Education - Teaching & Learning in Higher Education - Third Level Education

University College Cork

Education - Teaching & Learning in Higher Education - Third Level Education

Course Outline
The MA in Teaching and Learning in Higher Education (for third level education teachers) is designed to build on the Postgraduate Diploma in Teaching and Learning in Higher Education and to encourage you to research your teaching and your students' learning in more depth. Teachers will identify a research topic to pursue and will write a publishable paper for a specific teaching and learning journal in their own disciplinary field or in the broader educational field of the scholarship of teaching and learning. The focus of the Master's is on encouraging you to identify with your teaching as research, to peer review your teaching, to network with peers interested in the scholarship of teaching and learning and to publish in this field.

On completion of the course, you will be able to:
- identify and apply principles of a Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) in the college classroom

- critically evaluate your teaching in light of your students' learning

- design a research project around a teaching and learning issue

- apply appropriate research methodologies to harness data about student learning

- research a teaching and learning issue to a professional standard, equivalent to that of a publishable paper/article

- communicate effectively with other scholars in the field of teaching and learning

- peer review your teaching within a SoTL community

Why Choose This Course
This programme provides staff who teach in higher education with an ideal opportunity to develop and deepen their practice by researching their teaching to enhance learning while working towards a publishable paper. Such continuing professional development has the potential to build confidence in teaching and learning and enhance career opportunities.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Please note that the MA in Teaching and Learning in Higher Education is aimed at third level teachers (who have completed the Postgraduate Diploma in Teaching and Learning in Higher Education - for third level teachers at University College Cork). Graduates must complete the Professional Master of Education to qualify as a secondary school teacher. Please see for further details.

Subjects taught

The MA in Teaching and Learning in Higher Education is normally taken over one academic year. It comprises two modules:

TL6001: Research Methodologies Relating to Teaching and Learning in Higher Education (15 credits)

TL6002: Teaching and Learning Research Project (45 credits)

This module focuses on introducing you to a variety of research methodologies designed to harness student learning. You will be encouraged to investigate and target teaching journals in your own disciplinary fields and to identify and critique methodologies used in the articles in them. You will write a 5,000-word essay discussing and critiquing your chosen methodology.

This module focuses on the key elements necessary to build a publishable research article/paper, including the identification and profiling of the research journal chosen; the rationale for such a journal in the context of the research question; the writing of a literature review to interrogate the research question; the selection and exploration of research methods designed to investigate student learning; the collection and analysis of data and the identification of implications and interventions for future practice and research. The research project will culminate in the writing of a publishable article/paper.

See the Postgraduate Academic Calendar for further details of the programme.

Additional Teaching Mode Information
Course may be taken over a minimum of 1 academic year or a maximum of 2 academic years from the date of first registration for the programme.

Further details on the modules listed above can be found in our book of modules. Any modules listed above are indicative of the current set of modules for this course but are subject to change from year to year.

University Calendar
You can find the full academic content for the current year of any given course in our University Calendar.

Entry requirements

The minimum academic entry requirement is a Second Class Honours Grade II in a primary honours BA degree (NFQ, Level 8) or equivalent, and MUST have attended and satisfactorily passed the UCC Postgraduate Diploma in Teaching and Learning in Higher Education, or equivalent. The programme is open to all staff who meet these requirements and also teach in the third level education sector. (This could include supervision, placement work, lab-based work, in the field or in an online context).

English Language Requirements for the MA in Teaching and Learning in Higher Education:
For applicants from non-native English-speaking backgrounds, proof of English language certification is not required if currently employed in the third level education sector where the main language of instruction is English. Applicants who fall into this category are required to show proof of employment, e.g. a letter from your director of Human Resources, which is evidence of working in a third-level educational setting where the main language of instruction is English.

Additional Requirements
Please note you will be required to provide additional information as part of the online application process for this programme. This will include the following questions:

You may enter the details of professional or voluntary positions held. We strongly encourage you to complete this section with all relevant work experiences that will support your application.

Please describe your motivation and readiness for this programme.

What is your current occupation/specialty?

Briefly describe a research question which may form the basis of your thesis. This can be included as an attachment or as part of your motivation statement.

Please detail your research interest(s).

English Language Requirements
Applicants that are non-native speakers of the English language must meet the university approved English language requirements available here.

For applicants with qualifications completed outside of Ireland:
Applicants must meet the required entry academic grade, equivalent to Irish requirements, please find our grades comparison by country here.

International/non-EU applicants
For full details of the non-EU application procedure please visit our how to apply pages for international students. In UCC, we use the term programme and course interchangeably to describe what a person has registered to study in UCC and its constituent colleges, schools, and departments.

Not all courses are open to international/non-EU applicants, please check the fact file above.

For more information please contact the International Office.

Application dates

Closing Date: 13 July 2022.

How Do I Apply?

1. Choose Course
Firstly choose your course. Applicants can apply for up to two courses under one application. Details of taught courses are available on our online prospectus.

2. Apply Online
Once you have chosen your course you can apply online at the online application portal. Applicants will need to apply before the course closing date. There is a non-refundable €50 application fee for all courses apart from the Education - Professional Master of Education - (Secondary School/Post-Primary Teacher Training) which has a €100 application fee.

Applicants for the Postgraduate Diploma in Public Health Nursing must apply on the PAC website when the programme opens for applications.

3. Gather Supporting Documents
Scanned copies of the following documents will need to be uploaded to the online application portal in support of your application. Applicants may need to produce the original documents if you are accepted onto a course and register at UCC.

Original qualification documents listed on your application including transcripts of results from institutions other than UCC
Any supplementary items requested for your course.
Please log into the online application portal for more details.

4. Application processing timeline
Our online application portal opens for applications for most courses in early November of each year. Check specific course details.

5. Rounds
For courses that are in the rounds system (Irish and EU applicants), please check the rounds closing dates.

Questions on how to apply?
Please use our web enquiry form to contact us.

Assessment Info


TL6001 is assessed by means of a 5,000 word essay on the research method/s that will be central to the writing of the research paper. TL6002 culminates in a publishable research paper of 7,000-8,000 words. However, the whole project comprises 20,000 words to allow for the discussion of the research question and its context and rationale, the profiling of a targeted journal, the exploration of the literature review, the analysis of research methodologies necessary to interrogate the question, the collection and analysis of data and the discussion of the research findings and implications.

Why Choose This Course
UCC runs the most successful accredited course for teaching and learning in higher education in the country. Since 2006, 300 staff from UCC and other institutions have successfully completed the Postgraduate Certificate, 150 have successfully completed the Postgraduate Diploma, while 50 have achieved a Master's Degree in Teaching and Learning in Higher Education. Graduates of the course have strengthened and extended their research profiles and used the research to benefit student learning as well as to achieve teaching awards and scholarships nationally and internationally.


1 year part-time.

Enrolment dates

Start Date: September 2019

Post Course Info

Skills and Careers Information
This course gives you research skills in the field of teaching and learning, including the skills of identifying research questions in your teaching, of documenting student learning, of identifying and investigating teaching and learning journals, of peer reviewing practice, of communicating your teaching and developing a language of research in relation to student engagement and learning. Teachers learn to identify key journals in the scholarship of teaching and learning and to maximise opportunities to network and publish in this field, making the most of integrating their research in the discipline and in teaching and learning.

More details
  • Qualification letters


  • Qualifications

    Degree - Masters (Level 9 NFQ)

  • Attendance type

    Part time

  • Apply to

    Course provider