Our website uses cookies to offer you a better browsing experience, analyse site traffic, personalise content, and serve targeted advertisements. Please visit our Cookie Policy page for more information about cookies and how we use them

Master in Education Studies (Intercultural Learning and Leadership)

Applications for the September 2024 intake of this programme are now open and will close on the 31st of May 2024.  Following the close of applications eligible candidates will be called for interview. 



Tuesday 16th April 2024 at 7.00PM 

We are holding an online information session for this programme on Tuesday 16th of April 2024 at 7.00PM.  If you would like to learn more about the MES in Intercultural Learning and Leadership programme, please click the link below to register for the online session and we will send you the web link prior to the event.  Registrations for this event will close at 5.00PM on Monday 15th April 2024.




Please contact [email protected] to express your interest in this course or if you have any general queries.

What is the Master in Education Studies (Intercultural Learning and Leadership)?

The Master in Education Studies (Intercultural Learning and Leadership) is an innovative and unique course for educators who want to engage with the opportunities and challenges of teaching in a diverse and globalised world. This course aims to equip participants with the threshold academic knowledge of educational leadership, in the context of critical examination of race, language diversity, and religious diversity. Through engaging in this Masters, participants will be prepared to take on leadership roles in their own settings, bringing the skills of a critical intercultural educator to enable all learners to achieve their potential.

Who is the programme for?

This programme is for educators who want to better understand the role of education in a diverse society. The Master in Education Studies (Intercultural Learning and Leadership) is rooted in principles of social justice and equality, and is relevant for all educators and education leaders. The programme is endorsed by the CSL - Centre for School Leadership.  

What will I study?

Students on this programme will study four discrete modules in first year; namely, schools and diversity, inclusion and intercultural education; school leadership in diverse settings; teaching English as an additional language; and religious diversity and intercultural education. In year two, students have the opportunity to focus on one of these areas in greater depth. They will develop research skills and prepare a dissertation of 20,000 words on a topic relevant to intercultural education.

What are the programme aims?

On successful completion of the MES in Intercultural Learning and Leadership (ICLL), participants should be able to:

(i) Critically analyse key legislative and policy documents which underpin intercultural education in Ireland

(ii) Critically discuss the current context of diversity in Ireland: cultural, linguistic, ethnic, socio-economic and religious

(iii) Examine the implications of intercultural diversity for all educators, including those in leadership roles

(iv) Apply current theory and best practice regarding cultural diversity, additional language learning, religious diversity in the context of intercultural education and in the context of school leadership in diverse settings

(v) Employ effective pedagogical approaches for the inclusion of children and young people from minority ethnic, cultural and language backgrounds in the education system

(vi) Plan and implement strategies for establishing a whole-school/whole-class ethos that supports all learners and particularly those from minority ethnic, cultural and language backgrounds

(vii) Critically evaluate a set of School Leadership paradigms from a critical-intercultural perspective 

(viii) Demonstrate a critical self-reflective stance vis-à-vis their own positionality in relationship to leadership in a diverse educational setting

(ix) Design and implement a programme of ethical scholarly research, write up analysis of research results and communicate findings in both written and oral format in an appropriate scholarly manner.

How is the programme assessed?

Assessment is linked to the modular nature of the programme. It consists of assignments, case studies, a discussion forum and a literature review in Year 1, followed by a research proposal and dissertation in Year 2.

What are my career options?

Graduates of the programme would be well prepared for many leadership and management roles in schools, including principalships. Graduates would be well placed to offer professional development for teachers or to work with pre-service teachers on the topic of intercultural education. Finally graduates could contribute to the field of intercultural education by presenting conference papers and writing journal articles.

Early Exit Award 

Students have the opportunity to exit this course with a Postgraduate Diploma (in Intercultural Learning and Leadership) upon successful completion of Year 1. 

Module Listing



Schools and diversity, inclusion and intercultural education

  • Aspects of culture and individual cultural backgrounds
  • Approaches to understanding diversity in society and education
  • Policy, legislation and literature impacting on culture and education
  • Effective teaching and learning strategies for the diverse classroom
  • The inclusive school: building a shared sense of community


School leadership in diverse settings

  • School leadership: Concepts and paradigms
  • Learning-centred leadership
  • Ethical leadership
  • Distributed leadership
  • School leadership: Practitioner perspectives


Teaching English as an additional language: An intercultural approach

  • Linguistic diversity in the context of intercultural education
  • The role of oral language in the development of English language proficiency
  • Literacy: supporting the development of English language proficiency
  • Developing a whole-school and community approach to teaching English as an additional language
  • Assessment & evaluation


Religious diversity and intercultural education

  • Religious diversity in the context of intercultural education
  • Key pedagogical principles underpinning the religious dimension of intercultural education
  • Encounters with the ‘other’; entering into interreligious dialogue
  • Learning from the experience of others
  • Developing a whole-class and whole-school approach to religious diversity and intercultural education


The research dissertation

  • Research methodologies and research ethics
  • The research design process
  • Research proposal
  • Dissertation (20,000 words)

General information

Duration: 2 years part-time

Award level: NFQ 9

ECTS Credits: 90

Awarding body: Trinity College Dublin, the University of Dublin

Minimum Entry Requirements

An honours degree (level 8) with a second class honours or higher, and at least three years' teaching experience or equivalent experience. English Language Requirement IELTS Level 6.5 (or equivalent).

Delivery Mode

In Year 1, lectures generally take place two weekends per month on Fridays (6.00pm to 9.00pm) and Saturdays (9.00am to 4.00pm). In Year 2, students usually attend lectures early in Term 1 after which they will focus on their research dissertations.

Please note that this information is subject to change.

Course Fees

The fee for the course is €3,950 per annum. Full details of fees are outlined in the Institute Charges Policy.

How to Apply

Applicants must submit an online application and are typically required to undergo an interview. For further details, please contact [email protected] 

Sample titles of completed dissertations

Investigating the development of academic language proficiency in a multi-lingual classroom

Does a Student Council promote voice and participation in an ethnically diverse Irish primary school? A case study

Hard to reach parents or hard to reach schools? A case study of ethnic minority parental involvement in an Educate Together National School

An investigation into the role of complementary schools in the Irish education system: A case study

An investigation into the influence of assistencialism on students' perceptions of and attitudes to diversity in local and global contexts.

The role of teacher identity in the culturally diverse classroom

The question of religious / belief diversity in Irish multidenominational primary schools: Teachers' perspectives

An examination of the experiences of recent immigrant parents navigating their way through the Irish education system

An investigation into the impact of the phasing out of the Resource Teacher for Travellers in three schools in the West of Ireland: Views of teachers and Travellers

Exploring the capacity of human rights based actions in cultivating intercultural values in the Irish primary school

Implementing the Primary Language Curriculum in a multilingual infant classroom

Transition experiences of children from ethnic minority backgrounds from Early Years Services (EYS) into primary school

Teaching language strategies in the mainstream post-primary classroom: A community of practice initiating change through collaboration

Minority ethnic students’ experiences and perspectives on teacher diversity

Minority language students and the curriculum: closing the achievement gap

In April 2017, MIE held a one-day seminar entitled 'Minority language students and the curriculum: closing the achievement gap', which was supported by funding from SCoTENS. The initiative was organised in association with Dr Barbara Skinner at the University of Ulster in Coleraine. A one-day seminar on the same theme was held in Coleraine in February 2017.

Speakers at the MIE seminar included: Dr Piet Van Avermaet from the University of Ghent in Belgium, Dr Andrew Hancock from Edinburgh University, Dr Deirdre Kirwan, former principal of Scoil Bhríde Cailíní in Blanchardstown, Dublin, and Dr Jean Conteh from Leeds University. Dr Rory Mc Daid from MIE was the rapporteur for the day.

The seminars were filmed and the recordings have now been edited into a ten-minute digital resource: