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Master in Education Studies (Primary Mathematics Education)

The Master in Education Studies (Primary Mathematics Education) is a fully online, part-time Masters course taught over two years. Practice and research in primary mathematics education provide the foundation for this course. 

Applications for 2022-23 now closed

What is the Master in Education Studies (Primary Mathematics Education)?

The Masters in Education Studies (Primary Mathematics Education) prepares participants to advance primary mathematics education by building an online community where participants will interact with fellow teachers from a range of locations and diverse cultures.  Course content follows an online, interactive approach where weekly synchronous and asynchronous classes are designed to promote collaboration, build knowledge, and encourage students to interact effectively in a digital environment.

Who is the programme for?

This course appeals to primary school teachers with an interest in mathematics education, teachers who aspire to or currently work as a mathematics leader, as a teacher educator at initial or in-service levels, or as an inspector with the Department of Education. Although designed for primary teachers in Ireland, the online delivery of the course means that suitably qualified teachers from other countries may apply for a place.

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What will I study?

Students will take six modules in first year:

  • Understanding Primary Mathematics Education
  • Contemporary Issues on Primary Mathematics Education
  • Inclusive Primary Mathematics Education
  • Mathematics Learning Difficulties and Interventions
  • Differentiation and Challenge in Primary Mathematics
  • Leadership in Primary Mathematics Education.

In year 2, students focus on one of these areas in greater depth, develop research skills and prepare a 15,000-word dissertation on a topic of choice, relevant to primary mathematics education.

How is the programme assessed?

Assessment is linked to the modular nature of the course. It consists of a variety of assessment methods in year 1 followed by a research proposal and dissertation in year 2. In order to progress to year 2, students must successfully pass assessments for each of the six modules in Year 1.

What are my career options?

This MES was developed in response to recommendations from the STEM Education Review Group’s Report on Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Education in the Irish School System (2016), which calls for the development of specialist STEM teachers or “STEM champions” who would work at school level to disseminate insights and evidence-based practice in STEM education. It is both timely and necessary because a new primary school mathematics curriculum is scheduled to be introduced in Ireland shortly and this course will help develop leaders who can bring about this change in mathematics teaching at school level.

Graduates of the programme would be well prepared for many leadership, evaluative and management roles in Primary Mathematics and STEM education. This would include school principalship. This course will also provide suitable preparation for a teacher who aspires to work or who is currently working in teacher education at initial or in-service levels or who aspires to work as an inspector with the Department of Education and Skills. 

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Module Listing

The MES in Primary Mathematics Education programme is delivered online, part-time over two academic years. Its total credit weighting is 90 credits.

YEAR 1

In Year 1, students take all six taught modules in a range of aspects relating to primary mathematics education. These modules are worth 60 ECTS credits. The six modules are:

Module 1: Understanding Primary Mathematics Education

  • Introduction to primary mathematics education
  • Academic skills for mathematics research
  • Theory of learning in primary mathematics education
  • Epistemological frameworks in mathematics teaching
  • The role of mathematics in the world
  • The role of social context in mathematics education

Module 2: Contemporary Issues in the teaching and learning of Primary Mathematics

  • Mathematisation
  • Contemporary approaches to problem-solving
  • Perspectives on the teaching of geometry to children
  • Integrated approaches to mathematics education
  • Using technology in mathematics education
  • STEAM education in primary schools

Module 3: Inclusive Primary Mathematics Education

  • Inclusion in primary mathematics education
  • Social justice in the primary mathematics classroom
  • Culturally responsive mathematics pedagogy
  • Diverse approaches to teaching and learning in primary mathematics

Module 4: Mathematics Learning Difficulties and Interventions

  • Learning difficulties and primary mathematics education
  • Dyscalculia
  • Mathematics anxiety and developing a growth mindset
  • Assessments to identify primary mathematics learning difficulties
  • Interventions to improve primary mathematics (Early mathematical awareness)
  • Universal design for learning

Module 5: Differentiation and Challenge in Primary Mathematics

  • Tasks in primary mathematics education
  • Models of differentiation
  • Diagnostic assessment in primary school mathematics
  • Combining challenges and differentiation in practice
  • Professional development in primary mathematics education
  • Evaluating cases of instruction in diverse settings and advising on strategies for improvement

Module 6: Leadership in Primary Mathematics Education

  • What is leadership in primary mathematics?
  • The relationship between policy and change in primary mathematics
  • Mathematics leadership modules
  • Extending pedagogy
  • Establishing professional learning communities
  • Leadership and learning using lesson study

YEAR 2

In Year 2, 30 credits are allocated to the Research Methods and Dissertation module, which provides students with an opportunity to conduct an independent piece of research with a primary mathematics education underpinning. Students will undertake research and engage in professional scholarship in order to enhance their knowledge and appreciation of research, while contributing to the body of mathematics education research literature.

General information

  • Duration: 2 years part-time
  • Delivery: online
  • Award level: NFQ 9
  • ECTS Credits: 90

Minimum entry requirements

An Honours Bachelor (level 8) with second class honours or higher and at least three years’ teaching experience or equivalent professional experience.

In exceptional circumstances, students who meet the honours degree requirement but who do not have the necessary teaching experience, may be required to satisfy the course admission committee, through interview process and a written academic assignment, that they have the ability to complete and benefit from the course and are resident in a time zone that is compatible with full participation in the course.

English Language Requirement: IELTS level 6.5 (or equivalent)

Delivery Mode

This Master in Education Studies will be delivered fully online with both synchronous and asynchronous classes.

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 admissions@mie.ie