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100% Online Masters Degree in Teaching and Learning

Hibernia College’s online Master of Arts in Teaching and Learning provides today’s teachers and educators with the knowledge and skills necessary to deal with current issues in the modern classroom.

Delivered online by experienced education professionals with a focus on classroom application, this Masters programme provides the tools and knowledge that enable teachers to bring the latest innovations and best practice into the class setting. Because the content is based on strategies and techniques (rather than a particular classroom curriculum), graduates from the programme will be able to apply their new skills regardless of the age of the students with whom they work.

Key Information

  • Accreditation: QQI (Qualifications, Quality, Ireland) level 9.

  • Content delivered through downloadable multimedia lectures and live online tutorials.

  • Assessed through written submitted reports and continuous assessment tasks that apply to classroom practice.

  • Focus on application in the classroom.

  • Delivered by experienced educators.

  • Tax relief on tuition fees available for Irish taxpayers if modules are completed as part of one of Hibernia College’s postgraduate diploma or masters’ programmes.

Sociology of Education and Development Education(10 Credits)

The sociology of education and development education focuses on how sociological theories and research can deepen teacher’s knowledge and understanding of educational systems nationally and globally. Education systems can unwittingly reproduce existing societal inequalities in terms of economic disadvantage/social background, gender, nomadic and ethnic groups and other aspects of diversity. Learners will critically reflect on the main theories of sociology of education and on national and international policies which seek to promote social inclusion and ameliorate disadvantages. Learners will critically reflect on the promotion of equality of opportunity and strategies to support this in the classroom and school. Learners will critically evaluate the aims and methodologies associated with development education and their practical application in education. Issues such as societal and global inequality, human rights, unequal power structures, social justice, globalisation, sustainable development and interdependence will be explored and learners will be able to apply concepts from development education to their teaching and learning strategies and to the school curriculum.

Promoting Social Inclusion (10 Credits)

This module aims to equip teachers with the knowledge, skills and strategies to promote the social inclusion of children with additional learning needs. Teachers will critically reflect on ways of promoting a welcoming school in which there are suitable supports for all the learning community: students and pupils, teachers, teaching assistants, administrative and resource staff, parents and families, the local and the wider educational community. It develops the learner’s knowledge and awareness of the different models of disability, of the rights of children, of recent legislation and special education policy and related national and international literature and policies. It examines the factors creating barriers to learning potential and provides strategies for addressing these barriers. The needs of children and young people requiring language support are explored critically while seeking ways to enhance achievement, inclusion and parental involvement. In particular, language development, English language support for speakers of English as a second language, speech difficulties and speech therapy are explored. Learners will reflect critically on appropriate teaching and learning strategies and support measures for the social inclusion of children with language difficulties while seeking ways to enhance achievement, inclusion and parental involvement.

Incorporating digital tools into 21st century learning environments (10 Credits)

Digital technology is all pervasive in the 21st century and today’s learners have grown up surrounded by digital tools such as computers, mobile phones and the internet. Yet many teachers and schools are still struggling to integrate these tools into their teaching and learning activities. Digital technologies provide opportunities to transform how teachers interact with their learners. In this module, teachers will examine critically the theory associated with using digital tools in a variety of learning environments and will be provided with examples of effective practice. Teachers will also have an opportunity to reflect on their own experience as learners online by interacting with the growing literature in this area. Ultimately teachers will be required to analyse their own teaching activity in light of this knowledge and to reflect on their own practice and incorporate digital tools in their own learning environments.

Behavioural and Relationship Challenges in Schools (10 Credits)

This module provides learners with critical insights into everyday behavioural and relationship challenges in the classroom and school and strategies for dealing with them. The module has two strands. The first half of the module explores theories of cause and effects of stress, trauma and chaos on a child as well as emotional and behavioural difficulties. It considers the behavioural outcomes and how these can be effectively managed in the classroom. Learners will gain critical insights into humanistic methods of interpreting and managing behavioural difficulties. Emphasis is placed on constructing a classroom and whole-school climate and collaborative approach where behavioural difficulties are minimised. The second half of the module focuses on wider relationships within the school environment. It considers all aspects of interpersonal relationships between children as well as relationships between the teacher and the child. It will address issues such as bullying and inappropriate behaviour, and a range of strategies for promoting effective interpersonal skills and resolving conflict. Learners will explore relevant theoretical frameworks and policies; lessons will highlight the importance of teachers, their decision making in the classroom and their interaction with colleagues and pupils alike.

Current perspectives on educational testing (5 Credits)

In this module, the learner will critically examine the theories which underpin standardised testing in education. It takes a critical approach to different types and purposes of testing in education and considers the benefits and limitations of testing in teaching and learning. It identifies the different purposes of educational testing. It examines testing at different levels of the system – individual learner, classroom, school, national and international. It explores recent and national developments in educational policy and their implications for testing (e.g. national literacy and numeracy strategy). It critically examines some key concepts and definitions underpinning testing, such as reliability and validity; measures of spread and central tendency; percentiles and scale scores. Learners will focus on the practical applications of individual and class testing, including identification of particular needs and actions that are suggested by test results.

Ethics of Professional Practice (5 credits)

In this module teachers will explore critically, the philosophical, professional and academic discourses of ethics in education and will critically analyse divergent discourses of ethical practice.  The teacher will develop his/her own personal and professional identity within the divergent discourses on the ethics of professional practice. Teacher self-identity is the important set of experiences and learning that come to constitute how you see yourself as a teacher and how you imagine a good teacher to be. It is also fundamental to becoming a teacher with an ethical approach to teaching and school leadership. Similarly, a professional  self-identity is fundamental for engaging with the practice of teaching in a manner that is nourishing for you personally and professionally. Learners will critically examine national and international policy on the ethical practice and obligations of teachers and schools.

Leadership in Education (10 credits)

In this module learners will develop knowledge of contemporary international discourse on educational leadership and acquire the skill of critical-discussion in order to participate in these discourses. Teachers will critically analyse the competing and conflicting discourses within this literature and develop their own personal and professional identity as future/current educational leaders through critical reflection and discussion of policy and practice. Learners will critically examine models of instructional, transformative, distributed, sustainable, and ethical school leadership; they will critically observe the role of school Principalship (and other school leadership roles such as Deputy Principal, Assistant Principal and Special Duties) in the context of both Irish and international models of Educational Leadership. They will examine the role of school leadership in developing and changing school-culture policy and practice.

Research Methods (10 credits)

In this module learners will explore critically the philosophies which underpin research methodologies. They will learn about the importance of research to evidence based practice in education and how the new School Self Evaluation process requires evidence based research and knowledge of research methods. Learners will discover how to write a critical literature review and formulate a research question or hypotheses. All aspects of research are critically reflected on: quantitative and qualitative methodologies, research design (case study, action research, documentary research, and evaluation research), research instruments (questionnaire, topic guide), sampling (probability and non-probability), data collection (observations, surveys, in-depth interviews, focus groups) and data analysis and interpretation. The centrality of ethics to good research design and execution is highlighted. This module will prepare students to develop their own researchable questions or hypotheses and design research to answer those researchable questions by developing a research proposal. It prepares students for their minor dissertation and gives them skills to critically evaluate published research.

Minor Dissertation (20 credits)

The capstone module is the final requirement for the Masters in Teaching and Learning and is worth 20 ECTS; learners are required to undertake a minor dissertation of 15,000 – 16,000 words. The research dissertation affords students the opportunity to engage in empirical research in a chosen discipline or course aspect relevant to their employment.  This dissertation requires learners to conceptualise a researchable topic in education, conduct a review of relevant literature, develop a research question or hypotheses, select appropriate methodologies and methods, choose a sample, collect and analyse data, take
cognisance of ethical issues and write up a coherent report with the findings, conclusions and recommendations. Learners are allocated a research supervisor following the submission of the student’s research proposal, and the aim is to allocate a supervisor with complementary research expertise and interests. The supervisor provides guidance and supervision to the student.  This research provides added value to their employing organisation.  Students develop conceptual and academic rigour in applied research and gain experience in the practical problems associated with sourcing and utilising primary and secondary data.  This provides proven research experience which may enhance career prospects.


Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of the programme, students will:

  • Be effective, critically reflective practitioners and demonstrate professionalism and high ethical standards in the educational environment
  • Demonstrate analytical skills and knowledge across the spectrum of interrelated subject areas that can be applied critically and strategically to education
  • Critically exercise leadership qualities and skills in diverse educational settings; recognise their role within a team and develop collegial relationships with other professionals from multiple agencies and the wider community
  • Integrate appropriate digital technologies in their pedagogies to ensure effective teaching practices and enhanced student engagement and learning
  • Include parents positively as active partners in the educational process
  • Embrace social inclusion and diversity and have developed skills to challenge bias of all kinds; endeavour to promote equality and social justice in the learning environment and hidden curriculum
  • Provide a supportive, welcoming and flexible learning environment for diverse learners and those with additional learning needs, that reflects current good practice
  • Design and execute an independent, critical, and reflective professional investigation which explores the relationship between theory and practice and which utilises the most appropriate research methods to address the identified issues
  • Be able to adopt an evidence-based approach to develop independent, critical and reflective approaches to professional practice and to enhanced teaching and learning strategies.

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