Education - STEM Education

Key Features

Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Education plays an important role in developing STEM-related literacies, in promoting creative and critical thinking and in advancing problem-solving skills.

The programme is intended for teachers and educators who want to develop their skills as they critique, investigate, and disseminate new approaches to STEM education and become STEM leaders in their workplaces. The variety of experiences provided in the programme will build competency and knowledge in STEM education-related research and will be framed within a primary education context. It will be delivered predominantly using face-to-face and some blended learning components.


Benefits of studying for an MA in STEM Education:

- Provides an introduction to the foundations, pedagogies, curriculum, research, and contemporary issues in each of the STEM education disciplines

- Increases teaching efficacy in STEM subjects and in integrated STEM approaches

- Explores approaches to enhance the creativity of STEM students and broaden interest in STEM fields

- Allows learners to gain insights into strategies that support STEM learning such as hands-on learning experiences and inquiry-based pedagogy

- Gives the opportunity to experience how to better connect STEM to everyday life through community initiatives and out-of-school STEM programmes

- Develops awareness of how to spark, sustain, and extend young people’s interest, augment understandings, and commitment to STEM

The STEM Education Department prepares teachers to draw on technology enhanced learning to support the development of pedagogies in all curriculum subjects, to utilise a range of innovative teaching and learning modalities and to become future leaders in STEM education in their schools.

Subjects taught

Five STEM Education modules and two Research modules constitute the core programme components:

STEM 1: Key Paradigms in STEM Education

This module examines the fundamentals of relevant paradigms, learning theories and frameworks with a specific focus on STEM education. Cognitive, affective and conceptual development will be used to analyse and appraise pedagogical approaches. Strategies to promote discussion, argumentation and critical thinking in STEM will be examined. Participants will review the characteristics of the systems and structures (educational and/or others) within which they are working, through exploration and application of such theories and frameworks.

STEM 2: Critical Perspectives and Policy in STEM Education

This module is designed to enhance participants’ appreciation of the multi-faceted factors which contribute to equity of access and opportunity based on social class, ethnicity and gender, in STEM fields. The module identifies and interrogates connections between educational experience and the under-representation of particular social categories in STEM careers. Participants will apply their practitioner perspectives and experiences from professional practice to critical themes explored throughout this module.

STEM 3: Communications and Industry

This module allows participants to examine and look critically at features of successful STEM communication and outreach. The wide diversity of goals, motivations and purposes of public engagement are explored. Participants also critically examine and analyse how STEM is communicated and portrayed in the media. This module examines different practices and models of communication in facilitating public participation with STEM, allowing the participants’ time to examine their own practice, and modify existing approaches in encouraging public engagement in STEM.

STEM 4: Expanding the Boundaries of STEM

This module creates a bridge between foundational STEM education and the world of STEM beyond the classroom. It explores the cross-curricular integration of STEM disciplines in the classroom. It explores the integration of STEM disciplines in the classroom, using problem and inquiry based learning approaches to more closely align individual STEM skills with higher order independent thinking and problem solving. Educators are encouraged to enhance student engagement with STEM through an understanding of the science of the world around them and the use of engineering and technologies to modify and enhance that world. Collaborative pedagogies which promote the enhanced interaction and engagement of students with science, technology, engineering and mathematics are promoted. Practitioners are encouraged to reflect on practice, and modify existing approaches in order to engage students more effectively with the STEM area.

STEM 5: Special Studies in STEM Education

This module provides opportunities to take on the role of STEM champions in an educational context beyond the classroom. Participants will be supported in disseminating their research and scholarship in STEM teaching and learning. This will be carried out by providing mentoring in preparing an abstract for submission to either a journal, teacher practitioner outlet/forum, or a conference in teaching and learning. Alternatively, participants will be supported in contributing to the sustainability of STEM education through the creation of, or contribution towards, an online (or other) community of practice in STEM education.

Research 1: Applied Research Project

This module enables students to devise and complete an independent academic research project based on a question of their choice. This module aims to prepare students to structure, develop and interrogate a research question following critical exploration of contemporary research methods in education.

Research 2: Principles and Practice of Research in Education

The purpose of the module is to facilitate postgraduate student’s acquisition of the skills of literature search and review and the skills of research design and proposal writing. Students will be introduced to how, and in what ways to do a literature search and write a literature review and conceptualise/write a research design.

Semester 1 (Year 1)

STEM 1: Key Paradigms in STEM Education

Research 1: Applied Research Project

Semester 2 (Year 1)

STEM 2: Critical Perspectives and Policy in STEM

STEM 3: Communications and Industry

Semester 3 (Year 2)

STEM 4: Expanding the Boundaries of STEM

Research 2: Principles and Practice in Research and Education

Dissertation 1

Semester 4 (Year 2)

STEM 5: Special Studies in STEM

Dissertation 2

Entry requirements

Applicants should be holders of a First or upper Second class Honours undergraduate degree in a relevant or cognate discipline and/or have evidence of relevant experience and extensive prior learning in the discipline.

Please note: We welcome expressions of interest from all those interested in STEM education and we realise potential applicants may have a diversity of backgrounds and experiences. Please contact the programme coordinator, Dr. Aisling Leavy (, if you do not meet the above requirements or have alternative complementary experiences or qualifications.

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

How to Apply

Applications for the MA in Stem Education are now open and the closing date is the 31st May 2024.

Please Note: This programme is not open to applications from non-EU countries. Application fees are non-refundable due to applicant ineligibility. See International programme listing.

Complete all the steps below:

1. Download and complete the application form here

2. You will be required to send your university transcripts.

3. In the case of non-native English speakers, a copy of IETLS (or equivalent) is required.

4. Please pay the non-refundable €50 application fee here using Stripe, and return the completed application and transcripts by email: to

Applications will close at 5pm on Friday 31 May 2024.


2 years part-time. Delivery Mode: Blended (80% face-to-face & 20% online approx.).

Enrolment dates

Applications for the MA in Stem Education are now open and the closing date is the 31st May 2024.

More details
  • Qualification letters


  • Qualifications

    Degree - Masters (Level 9 NFQ)

  • Attendance type

    Part time,Daytime,Blended

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    Course provider