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Overview

Master of Education with Specialisms.

Summary

The Master of Education degree is a professional development course for teachers and other adult educators, who wish to update their knowledge and qualifications. The award has been developed in conjunction with the teaching community and is designed to ensure you will have the opportunity to explore contemporary issues in education which impact upon your own professional practice. The full master’s programme will normally take you up to 3 years to complete, but you can exit with the Postgraduate Certificate (normally after 1 year) or Postgraduate Diploma (normally after 2 years).

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About this course

In this section

About

If you are currently working in a teaching or training environment and you wish to build on the qualifications and experience you already have, then this course is for you. You will enter at the Postgraduate Diploma level and undertake modules worth 120 credits for your Postgraduate Diploma award and a further 60 credits for your MEd award.

If, after completing 60 credits, you wish to exit the course, you can do so with a Postgraduate Certificate award.

This is summarised below:

  • Year 1

Award: Postgraduate Certificate (exit award only)

Modules: 2 modules of 30 credits

Accumulated credits: 60

  • Year 2

Award: Postgraduate Diploma

Modules: 2 modules of 30 credits

Accumulated credits: 120

  • Year 3

Award: MEd

Modules: 1 modules of 60 credits (Dissertation)
or

2 modules of 30 credits to include the Research Project module

Accumulated credits: 180

Please note that this award does not qualify you as a teacher.

Specialisms available (you must complete two modules in a Specialism to get that named on your parchment):

  • Educational Management Specialism (this is the one which is offered face to face in Magee)
    • Modules
      • EDU927 Building Teams and Managing Resources (Monaghan: Semester 1, year 1; Other Centres: Semester 2 Year 1)
      • EDU867 Leadership for Learning (Monaghan: Semester 2, Year 1; Other Centres: Semester 1, Year 2)
      • EDU912 Strategic Development Planning (Monaghan; Semester 1, Year 2)
  • Inclusive and Special Education Specialism (fully online)
    • Modules
      • EDU963 Inclusive and Special Education - developing and analysing practice (Fully online: Semester 1)
      • EDU964 Inclusive and Special Education - Leading and Managing (Fully online: Semester 2)
  • ICT Specialism (fully online)
    • Modules
      • EDU920 Leading, Managing and Assessing ICT(fully online: Semester 1)
      • EDU922 Collaborative Learning Online(Fully online: Semester 2)
  • Learning and Teaching Specialism (fully online)
    • Modules
      • EDU953 E-Portfolios: Personal Development Planning(Fully online: Semester 2)
      • EDU955 Children’s Learning and Assessment(Fully online: Semester 2)
  • Children and Young People Specialism (fully online)
    • Modules
      • EDU705 Policy Development and Implementation(Fully online: Semester 1)
      • EDU 704 Introduction to Children’s Rights (Fully online: Semester 2)
  • Conflict and Peace Building Specialism (fully online)
    • Modules
      • EDU707 Schooling in Conflict Affected Contexts(Fully online: Semester 1)
      • EDU706 Education, Conflict and Peace building: From Theory to Practice (Fully online: Semester 2)
  • TESOL Specialism (Blended)
    • Modules
      • EDU701 English Language Teaching Methodologies (Face-to-face/weekend/evening)
      • EDU956 English as an Additional Language(Face-to-face/weekend/evening)

A candidate who does not do two modules from the same specialism will get the Specialism of Professional Practice

Compulsory modules

Year 1 Semester 1: EDU957 The Reflective Professional(except for students studying for the Educational Leadership Specialism at Monaghan)

Year 2 Semester2: EDU958 Research Design and Initiation (preparing for personal research)

Year 3 Semester 1or 2: EDU969 Research Project (8000 word individual research, suppported by a supervising tutor)

OR

Year 3 Semester 1and 2: EDU899 Dissertation (18000 word individual research, suppported by a supervising tutor)

You can access more details on the Specialisms, and when they are offered here.

Attendance

It is possible to complete the course fully online so that your physical attendance is not required

Modules in the Educational Leadership Specialism are delivered face-to-face or are a mix of face-to-face and online delivery (i.e. blended delivery).

Although the course is administered through Jordanstown, no teaching takes place there. Face-to-face modules are delivered at Magee, and at Athlone, Carrick-on-Shannon and Monaghan Education Centres.

Attendance requirements will depend on the modules that you select.

Start dates

  • September 2019
How to apply

Teaching and learning assessment

Content

The content for each course is summarised on the relevant course page, along with an overview of the modules that make up the course.

Each course is approved by the University and meets the expectations of:

- the relevant generic national Qualification Descriptor

- the applicable Subject Benchmark Statement

- the requirements of any professional, regulatory, statutory and accrediting bodies.

Attendance and Independent Study

As part of your course induction, you will be provided with details of the organisation and management of the course, including attendance and assessment requirements - usually in the form of a timetable. For full-time courses, the precise timetable for each semester is not confirmed until close to the start date and may be subject to some change in the early weeks as all courses settle into their planned patterns. For part-time courses which require attendance on particular days and times, an expectation of the days and periods of attendance will be included in the letter of offer. A course handbook is also made available.

Courses comprise modules for which the notional effort involved is indicated by its credit rating. Each credit point represents 10 hours of student effort. Undergraduate courses typically contain 10- or 20-credit modules (more usually 20) and postgraduate course typically 15- or 30-credit modules.

The normal study load expectation for an undergraduate full-time course of study in the standard academic year is 120 credit points. This amounts to around 36-42 hours of expected teaching and learning per week, inclusive of attendance requirements for lectures, seminars, tutorials, practical work, fieldwork or other scheduled classes, private study, and assessment. Part-time study load is the same as full-time pro-rata, with each credit point representing 10 hours of student effort.

Postgraduate Master’s courses typically comprise 180 credits, taken in three semesters when studied full-time. A Postgraduate Certificate (PGCert) comprises 60 credits and can usually be completed on a part-time basis in one year. A 120-credit Postgraduate Diploma (PGDip) can usually be completed on a part-time basis in two years.

Class contact times vary by course and type of module. Typically, for a module predominantly delivered through lectures you can expect at least 3 contact hours per week (lectures/seminars/tutorials). Laboratory classes often require a greater intensity of attendance in blocks. Some modules may combine lecture and laboratory. The precise model will depend on the course you apply for and may be subject to change from year to year for quality or enhancement reasons. Prospective students will be consulted about any significant changes.

Assessment

Assessment methods vary and are defined explicitly in each module. Assessment can be a combination of examination and coursework but may also be only one of these methods. Assessment is designed to assess your achievement of the module’s stated learning outcomes. You can expect to receive timely feedback on all coursework assessment. The precise assessment will depend on the module and may be subject to change from year to year for quality or enhancement reasons. You will be consulted about any significant changes.

Coursework can take many forms, for example: essay, report, seminar paper, test, presentation, dissertation, design, artefacts, portfolio, journal, group work. The precise form and combination of assessment will depend on the course you apply for and the module. Details will be made available in advance through induction, the course handbook, the module specification and the assessment timetable. The details are subject to change from year to year for quality or enhancement reasons. You will be consulted about any significant changes.

Normally, a module will have 4 learning outcomes, and no more than 2 items of assessment. An item of assessment can comprise more than one task. The notional workload and the equivalence across types of assessment is standardised.

Calculation of the Final Award

The class of Honours awarded in Bachelor’s degrees is usually determined by calculation of an aggregate mark based on performance across the modules at Levels 5 and 6, (which correspond to the second and third year of full-time attendance).

Level 6 modules contribute 70% of the aggregate mark and Level 5 contributes 30% to the calculation of the class of the award. Classification of integrated Master’s degrees with Honours include a Level 7 component. The calculation in this case is: 50% Level 7, 30% Level 6, 20% Level 5. At least half the Level 5 modules must be studied at the University for Level 5 to be included in the calculation of the class.

All other qualifications have an overall grade determined by results in modules from the final level of study. In Master’s degrees of more than 200 credit points the final 120 points usually determine the overall grading.

Modules

Here is a guide to the subjects studied on this course.

Courses are continually reviewed to take advantage of new teaching approaches and developments in research, industry and the professions. Please be aware that modules may change for your year of entry. The exact modules available and their order may vary depending on course updates, staff availability, timetabling and student demand. Please contact the course team for the most up to date module list.

In this section

Year one

The Reflective Professional

Year: 1

This module is designed for all students to help develop their abilities in critical reflection on their practice. It is concerned with the theory and practice of reflective analysis as well as the development and application of curriculum theory. Special emphasis is placed on the understanding, philosophy and application of these reforms in the new Northern Ireland Curriculum. The module is designed to improve current practice in context, as well as preparing participants for later modules.

English Language Teaching Methodology

Year: 1

This module is optional

This module focuses on the practical tools and strategies needed for creative language teaching. It features a series of lectures and practical exercises which support a programme of peer teaching sessions in which students design and deliver lessons in small groups. Challenges to effective language teaching are explored through critical reflective practice on peer teaching sessions. Additionally, the module prepares students for EDU710, the Teaching Practice module in semester two.

Introduction to Children's Rights

Year: 1

This module is optional

The key theme of the module is to introduce students to the concept of a rights-based approach to monitor provision for children. Using the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child as a normative framework, the module will explore its function in relation to State party obligations. Students will be encouraged to reflect critically on the application of a rights-based approach and identify the benefits and challenges of implementing this. Central to the module is students' reflection on the extent to which a rights-based approach informs their own practice.

Policy Development and Implementation for Children and Young People

Year: 1

This module is optional

This module introduces students to the processes of policy development and implementation and encourages them to apply their knowledge of children's rights within this context. Using the General Principles and General Measures of Implementation as fundamental tools for 'good' policy, it introduces a framework for a Child Rights Impact Assessment (CRIA) which can be used to evaluate and monitor government obligations. Students will be encouraged to reflect critically on policy processes and identify the enablers and barriers to its effective development and implementation incorporating a rights-based approach.

Education, Conflict and Peacebuilding: from theory to practice

Year: 1

This module is optional

This course will introduce students to developments over the past ten years in the field of Education, Conflict and Peacebuilding. Over the course of six weeks students will be encouraged to critically analyse different conceptualisations of the relationship between education and conflict including the role for education as part of humanitarian response, the potential for education in both fuelling and mitigating intergroup hostility and its contribution towards a more transformative agenda. Each lecture shall provide a critical review of the state of the art in a number of key thematic areas by analysing the different theoretical perspectives and motivations of various actors and agencies in each of these fields. Thematic areas include the development of Education in Emergencies; theories that have emerged about the relationship between education, identity and conflict; educational responses to 'youth' in conflict settings; and critiques related to the role of aid and security and its relationship to the UN peacebuilding agenda. The course will provide students with the ability to critically analyse the design and implementation of education policy and programming in conflict settings.

Schooling in Conflict Affected Contexts

Year: 1

This module is optional

Building on the Education, Conflict and Peacebuilding module, this course allows students to further explore a number of key areas that merit particular attention in terms of their contribution to conflict and peacebuilding including ethnicity, religion, national identity and historical memory. Through the use of international case studies the implications for education are illustrated through approaches to language of instruction, faith-based education, the role of citizenship education in the development of national identity and state-building and implications for history teaching.

Leadership for learning

Year: 1

This module is optional

The key theme of the module is that leadership at all levels of the school matters in enhancing student learning. Distributed leadership and learning-centred leadership are important concepts for leaders in helping improve learning and teaching in classrooms and schools.

Leading, Managing and Assessing ICT for Professional Development

Year: 1

This module is optional

This module is about understanding how interactive digital technology can impact on learning and teacher support. It provides an introduction to the potential and challenges of multimedia literacy and examines theoretical, practical and infrastructural issues that underpin learning and/or professional development in a virtual context. Participants will be encouraged to develop and use multimedia-learning environments and evaluate their impact on teaching, learning, assessment and/or professional development within a reflective approach.

Collaborative learning online

Year: 1

This module is optional

This module embraces the use of on-line environments to promote collaborative learning. Collaboration lends itself to a constructivist approach to learning in which the learners are at the centre of the learning process. It provides a critical community for articulating, challenging and clarifying ideas and for promoting knowledge building communities. Opportunities are provided for evaluating on-line courses/learning and appreciating the learning and teaching implications surrounding the design and implementation of teaching on-line.

Building Teams and Managing Resources

Year: 1

This module is optional

Building Teams Increasingly, schools require teachers to operate as a team and communicate effectively. This module provides an opportunity to acquire the methods and skills for effective team presentations, as well as providing a chance for personal development in the company of other teachers. Managing Resources The effective management of resources is an important element in raising the quality of learning in schools. Education managers need to understand the methods of managing financial and other resources to enhance the effectiveness of learning. The module provides opportunities to develop new approaches to resource management in schools.

E Portfolios - Personal Development Planning

Year: 1

This module is optional

This module examines the application of Personal Development Planning to a range of teaching, learning and professional development contexts. E-portfolios are examined as is the medium through which the process is recorded and there is a strong focus on how to equip those responsible for integrating PDP into their teaching, learning and support programmes. The module will also focus on the practicalities of using and maintaining e-portfolios in short and long-terms contexts

Children's Learning and Assessment

Year: 1

This module is optional

This module is designed to develop the student's knowledge and ability to apply current thinking about the nature of teaching and learning to enhance learning performance. The module will require reflection on personal practice followed by action research in the quest to bring about effective change in children's learning and attainment

English as an Additional Language

Year: 1

This module is optional

This module is intended for trained, experienced teachers wishing to enhance their skills in teaching pupils whose first language is not English. It covers the theory and practice of the Teaching of English to Speakers of Other Languages, and also invites consideration of how pupils' home language and community culture impact upon their performance and behaviour in an English-language medium school. The strategies and techniques mediated in the module will be applicable across a range of ages and levels

Policy and Practice: Leading and Managing Inclusive and Special Education

Year: 1

This module is optional

This module has as its focus the analysis of inclusive policy, provision and practice at local, national and international levels. It seeks to stimulate debate among participants about their own practice and to compare and contrast this with practice in other countries. Participants will be encouraged to explore and develop their leadership capabilities and consider ways in which they can influence the inclusion debate and contribute to future policy and practice.

Inclusive and Special Education: Developing and Analysing Practice

Year: 1

This module is optional

This module encourages participants to analyse, share and build upon their knowledge and experiences and to consider alternative strategies that will enhance the educational, social and emotional development of pupils with SEN within a changing educational environment. The existing context in which practitioners find themselves will be the starting point for these activities. Forms of educational enquiry will be used to enable participants to investigate aspects of their existing practices as a basis for development and improvement. This will include the promotion of supportive teacher and peer strategies that acknowledge the particular requirements created by different learning needs and school/classroom environments. Participants will examine their individual and institutional practices with a view to developing a positive, equitable and inclusive education environment.

Research Project

Year: 1

This module is optional

This module gives candidates the opportunity to carry out an independent piece of research that will be academically rigorous yet manageable within the circumstances of professional life. It will draw upon knowledge of research methodology and involve a synthesis of theory and practice of benefit to the student intellectually and to the workplace within which he or she functions.

Year two

Research Design and Initiation

Year: 2

The Research Design and Initiation module introduces students to the key ideas and issues that underpin educational research theory and practice. It provides a research methods course to guide them in commencing their own empirical research project. All students will have developed knowledge, insight and skills as reflective practitioners in the classroom or practice situation, and many will be very familiar with action research. This module is designed to widen their views of research enquiry, to help students organise, implement and progress an educational research project by dissertation encompassing good practice in primary and secondary research, methodological design, analytical insightfulness and piloting, and implementation planning including ethical enquiry.

Strategic Development Planning

Year: 2

This module is optional

This module analyses the concept of strategic planning in school improvement. It provides practical guidelines for using strategic planning techniques and tools. Opportunities are given to participants to practice using the techniques and tools. Case studies and examples of strategic planning in action in schools and colleges are provided. The possible future of schools in 10 to 20 years is considered.

Year three

Dissertation

Year: 3

This module is optional

This module allows participants to produce a sustained piece of independent research. It seeks to improve the quality of the participants' personal and professional understanding and the excellence of their practice, so that the impact on their organisation and on their colleagues and students is enhanced. It provides opportunities for the development of educational research methodologies and deepening understanding of the participant's situation and context.

Entry conditions

We recognise a range of qualifications for admission to our courses. In addition to the specific entry conditions for this course you must also meet the University’s General Entrance Requirements.

In this section

Entry Requirements

Applicants must normally:

(a) have gained

(i) a degree from a university of the United Kingdom or the Republic of Ireland, from the Council for National Academic Awards, the Higher Education and Training Awards Council, or from an institution of another country which is recognised as being of an equivalent standard; or

(ii) an equivalent standard (normally 50%) in a Graduate Diploma, Graduate Certificate, Postgraduate Certificate or Diploma or an approved alternative qualification, e.g. a professional qualification; and

(b) be currently working in a teaching or training environment

(please note: the PGDip/MEd with Specialisms does not qualify you as a teacher).

English Language Requirements

English language requirements for international applicants
The minimum requirement for this course is Academic IELTS 6.0 with no band score less than 5.5. Trinity ISE: Pass at level III also meets this requirement for Tier 4 visa purposes.

Ulster recognises a number of other English language tests and comparable IELTS equivalent scores.

Exemptions and transferability

The PGDip/MEd with Specialisms comprises six 30-credit point modules (180 credits in total).

You may be able to enter the course at a higher stage or claim exemptions from particular modules. We call this process the Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL). You can gain APL credits based on awards that you hold (certificated learning) or life experiences that you have accrued (experiential learning). In the case of certificated learning, awards must have been achieved within the last five years.

There is a limit to the number of APL credits that you can claim against our course. See the table below:

Award: Postgraduate Diploma in Education with Specialisms

Comprising: 120 credits

Maximum APL claim: 60 credits

MEd with Specialisms

Comprising: 180 credits

Maximum APL claim: 120 credits

Careers & opportunities

In this section

Career options

In addition to improving your career portfolio, this course will allow you to develop higher level skills of argument and critical thinking as well as developing academic writing skills and research capability. Having a Masters level qualification should enhance potential career advancement, and is a useful preparation for Doctoral level study.

Past students who have taken the specialisms Learning and Teaching, Inclusive and Special Education and ICT have used the qualifications for career advancement, while several of those studying or having completed the Leadership and Management modules have been successful in gaining Vice-Principal and Principal posts both in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. Other pathways have also led to enhanced professional practice and career advancement.

Academic profile

The University employs over 1,000 suitably qualified and experienced academic staff - 59% have PhDs in their subject field and many have professional body recognition.

Courses are taught by staff who are Professors (25%), Readers, Senior Lecturers (18%) or Lecturers (57%).

We require most academic staff to be qualified to teach in higher education: 82% hold either Postgraduate Certificates in Higher Education Practice or higher. Most academic staff (81%) are accredited fellows of the Higher Education Academy (HEA) - the university sector professional body for teaching and learning. Many academic and technical staff hold other professional body designations related to their subject or scholarly practice.

The profiles of many academic staff can be found on the University’s departmental websites and give a detailed insight into the range of staffing and expertise. The precise staffing for a course will depend on the department(s) involved and the availability and management of staff. This is subject to change annually and is confirmed in the timetable issued at the start of the course.

Occasionally, teaching may be supplemented by suitably qualified part-time staff (usually qualified researchers) and specialist guest lecturers. In these cases, all staff are inducted, mostly through our staff development programme ‘First Steps to Teaching’. In some cases, usually for provision in one of our out-centres, Recognised University Teachers are involved, supported by the University in suitable professional development for teaching.

Figures correct for academic year 2019-2020.

Apply

How to apply Request a prospectus

Applications to our postgraduate courses are made through the University’s online application system.

Accreditation for Prior Learning may be available if you have a recent qualification at Masters level, or extensive and outstanding recent experience. For details, and a copy of the application form, download the document here.

Start dates

  • September 2019

Fees and funding

In this section

Fees (total cost)

Important notice - fees information Fees illustrated are based on 19/20 entry and are subject to an annual increase. Correct at the time of publishing. Terms and conditions apply. Additional mandatory costs are highlighted where they are known in advance. There are other costs associated with university study.
Visit our Fees pages for full details of fees

To find out more about fees related to this course please visit
https://www.ulster.ac.uk/apply/fees-and-finance/price-on-application

Where the postgraduate course selected offers multiple awards (e.g. PG Cert, PG Dip, Master’s), please note that the price displayed is for the complete master’s programme. Postgraduate certificates and diplomas are charged at a pro-rata basis. Find out more

Scholarships, awards and prizes

Biggar Awards are awarded annually to two MEd graduates

Additional mandatory costs

Tuition fees and costs associated with accommodation, travel (including car parking charges), and normal living are a part of university life.

Where a course has additional mandatory expenses we make every effort to highlight them. These may include residential visits, field trips, materials (e.g. art, design, engineering) inoculations, security checks, computer equipment, uniforms, professional memberships etc.

We aim to provide students with the learning materials needed to support their studies. Our libraries are a valuable resource with an extensive collection of books and journals as well as first-class facilities and IT equipment. Computer suites and free wifi is also available on each of the campuses.

There will be some additional costs to being a student which cannot be itemised and these will be different for each student. You may choose to purchase your own textbooks and course materials or prefer your own computer and software. Printing and binding may also be required. There are additional fees for graduation ceremonies, examination resits and library fines. Additional costs vary from course to course.

Students choosing a period of paid work placement or study abroad as part of their course should be aware that there may be additional travel and living costs as well as tuition fees.

Please contact the course team for more information.

Disclaimer

  1. The University endeavours to deliver courses and programmes of study in accordance with the description set out in this prospectus. The University’s prospectus is produced at the earliest possible date in order to provide maximum assistance to individuals considering applying for a course of study offered by the University. The University makes every effort to ensure that the information contained in the prospectus is accurate but it is possible that some changes will occur between the date of printing and the start of the academic year to which it relates. Please note that the University’s website is the most up-to-date source of information regarding courses and facilities and we strongly recommend that you always visit the website before making any commitments.
  2. Although reasonable steps are taken to provide the programmes and services described, the University cannot guarantee the provision of any course or facility and the University may make variations to the contents or methods of delivery of courses, discontinue, merge or combine courses and introduce new courses if such action is reasonably considered to be necessary by the University. Such circumstances include (but are not limited to) industrial action, lack of demand, departure of key staff, changes in legislation or government policy including changes, if any, resulting from the UK departing the European Union, withdrawal or reduction of funding or other circumstances beyond the University’s reasonable control.
  3. If the University discontinues any courses, it will use its best endeavours to provide a suitable alternative course. In addition, courses may change during the course of study and in such circumstances the University will normally undertake a consultation process prior to any such changes being introduced and seek to ensure that no student is unreasonably prejudiced as a consequence of any such change.
  4. The University does not accept responsibility (other than through the negligence of the University, its staff or agents), for the consequences of any modification or cancellation of any course, or part of a course, offered by the University but will take into consideration the effects on individual students and seek to minimise the impact of such effects where reasonably practicable.
  5. The University cannot accept any liability for disruption to its provision of educational or other services caused by circumstances beyond its control, but the University will take all reasonable steps to minimise the resultant disruption to such services.

Testimonials

I began the M.Ed. course largely because I wanted to challenge myself: after many years’ teaching, I wanted to ensure that I was still learning. It certainly provided a great learning experience, whether at lively seminars at Magee or Coleraine, or through online learning in the University’s VLE.

Although it wasn’t always easy to balance reading, research and assignments with a demanding school schedule and all the complications of ‘real life’, it always felt worthwhile. Completing this course reminded me just how much I love learning new things: even though studying took up a lot of my spare time and holidays, I always found it very interesting and stimulating.

In particular, working on the Dissertation module attuned me to the difficulties faced by A Level students completing A2 coursework or extended essays, and I hope it helped me to improve my teaching in this respect. I found my Dissertation topic – the role and importance of effective teacher Continuous Professional Development – absorbing, thought-provoking and worthwhile.

I would recommend this course really highly to anyone interested in a personal or professional challenge: the modules are interesting and offer something for everyone, the combination of seminars and VLE contact makes the learning flexible enough to fit around a busy working life, and the teaching is excellent. I’ve been inspired and rejuvenated in completing this course.

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Carragh Little MEd (Graduated 2015)

After working as a primary school teacher for seven years, in 2012, I decided to finally take the plunge and enrol as a student once again in the in the quest of a Masters in Education qualification. Initially, I feared that I may find it difficult to settle into student life and to motivate myself, however, I was surprised at how quickly I adapted to the change. As I was a distance learner, good time management was essential for me because I was already quite a busy person. I immediately put a plan in place and decided which evenings would suit me best to do my study. The introductory online sessions put me more at ease as I quickly learned that others were in similar positions and together, we became a close-knit community of online learners, very ably led by our supervisor. Even though I had not met many of my online fellow students, I felt I had a good relationship with them and trust and loyalty among the group predominated alongside a strong culture of collaborative learning and sharing. On many occasions, I learned a lot from the online contributions of my fellow students. I particularly enjoyed the real time ‘live’ chat forums where our tutor would often bounce questions and provoke invaluable discussions, which was golden when preparing for assignments.

Although I am based in County Galway, and never actually got to visit the University Campus during my study, I grew a huge allegiance for Ulster University as I felt that the course director, tutors, supervisors and library staff were only more than happy to help me when I needed support. The hardest part is getting started and after that, it’s just about using your time efficiently, or studying smartly as I called it. I am delighted now that I dipped my foot into the unchartered waters and am honoured to have achieved my goal. I am also honoured to be awarded the Biggar Award in Educational Studies, in recognition of my results. I certainly feel that I am a better teacher and moreover, a better person as a result of the education I have received from Ulster University.

Sinéad Cahalan MEd (Graduated 2015)

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“The master’s programme at the University of Ulster enriched my life both personally and professionally”.

Having taught in a mainstream primary school for eight years I decided to undertake the three-year part-time Masters of Education programme with the University of Ulster. The master’s programme offers different specialisms in the area of education but the area in which I chose to specialise was ‘Special and Inclusive Education’. I found it to be an enriching and rewarding experience.

The first two years of the Masters paved the foundation for my dissertation year. The module entitled ‘Reflective Practitioner’, allowed me to critically reflect on my own practice. The first module which focused on Special and Inclusive Education entitled ‘Inclusive and Special Education: Developing and Analysing Practice’, allowed me to develop an in-depth knowledge of special educational needs and inclusion in the every changing classroom. The second module of SEN programme ‘Policy and Practice’ helped me to analyse and reflect on my own practice and to recognise international policy. The last module’ Research Design and Initiation’, focused my study on research methodology. All modules were delivered online and were building blocks towards my final year. The course is facilitated by tutors who are highly skilled, very approachable and helpful. Their support was paramount to the success of my master’s programme

The third year of my master’s programmes was the most challenging but worthwhile. I learned many new skills during this journey. The dissertation offered me an opportunity to pursue in-depth study of an area of Special and Inclusive Education. It enabled me to analyse qualitative and quantitive data and to evaluate the perceptions of Irish primary school teachers.

My experience with the University of Ulster has been very positive and rewarding. The master’s programme is very manageable with full-time employment and family commitments. The journey towards a master’s programme is one which I would highly recommend.

Jennifer Fox MEd (Graduated 2015)

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