Education & the Arts - META

Programme Overview
META takes a collective arts approach. This two-year part-time programme is neither an integrated arts programme nor a programme in any specific discipline. Students examine a range of practices in arts education in primary, secondary and other educational contexts; scrutinising practices in music, visual arts, drama, dance, literature and film education. They interrogate the theories underpinning these practices and the national and international historical and policy contexts in which they are embedded. They also engage with core philosophical ideas relating to education and the arts: creativity, imagination, aesthetics, form, process, community, transformation, diversity, and performance.

Key Features
The programme provides a broad-based training in established and emergent (arts) education research methodologies. Student engagement with 'live' works of art is integral to the programme. Such engagement is facilitated by the presence on campus of Lime Tree Theatre and its nearby off-campus venue, Belltable, as well as by the proximity of Limerick City Gallery and the Hunt Museum; all receiving venues for high-quality national and international works of art and work by local artists. Ultimately, the META programme seeks to provide students with a firm understanding of the location of the arts within and outside the formal education system.

META is designed for both artists working (or intending to work) in educational contexts and teachers (primary and secondary) with a particular interest in the arts and education. It is also designed for arts/education policy makers and administrators.

Subjects taught

During the programme, students complete two research projects: (1) a small-scale project focusing on their own practice as artist/teacher in the first year of the programme and

(2) a larger scale project (20,000 words or its equivalent) in the second year of the programme. Among the research methodologies explored on the programme are: action research, case study, arts-based educational research, practice based research, critical discourse analysis, ethnography, narrative enquiry and autoethnography.

Essay, oral presentation, performance, resource pack, project, written dissertation (or its equivalent by arrangement with the dissertation tutor and the course leader).

Entry requirements

•Applicants will normally hold a 2.2 Honours degree (at level 8) with a major subject/component in one of the following areas: Education, Visual Arts, Music, Drama and Theatre Studies, Dance, Creative Writing, Film.

•Applicants with a degree major in other disciplines may be considered if they have substantial (more than three years) relevant professional experience in the arts and education. Other applicants who have substantial relevant prior experience and/or learning may be considered. Acceptance under these latter categories may be subject to an interview or the submission of a portfolio of prior learning.

English Language Requirements
Applicants for whom English is not a first language must provide evidence of their proficiency level English in the form of an IELTS (International English Language Testing System) composite score of 6.5 – 7.0 with no less than 6.0 in any one component, or IELTS equivalent accepted by UL. Such applicants will also be required to undergo an interview through English.

Application dates

Closing date for applications: 31st May 2020


2 years part-time

Enrolment dates

How to Apply
You can download and complete the application form below.

•The application form must also include your university transcripts and contact details for two referees.
•In the case of non-native English speakers, a copy of IETLS is also required, or equivalent.

Please pay the non-refundable €50 application fee using Realex here, and return the application form by email to: or by post to: Admissions Office, Mary Immaculate College, South Circular Road, Limerick, Ireland, V94 VN26.

Post Course Info

Career Opportunities
Possible career opportunities for artists include: school residencies on teacher-artist partnership projects funded by the Department of Education and Skills and the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht; residencies in a range of other educational contexts e.g. prisons, health, community education, youth arts, colleges involved in initial teacher education.

Possible career opportunities for teachers include: opportunities to work with artists on in-school teacher-artist partnership projects; special duties' posts as arts education coordinators in schools; providing Continuing Professional Development (CPD) in arts education for colleagues; designing, delivering and leading national CPD programmes in the arts for teachers (with the advent of a new primary school curriculum and fresh initiatives at second level).

More details
  • Qualification letters


  • Qualifications

    Degree - Masters (Level 9 NFQ)

  • Attendance type

    Part time

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    Course provider