Special Educational Needs - Professional Studies

St. Angela's College Sligo

Special Educational Needs - Professional Studies

Master of Arts (Professional Studies in Special Educational Needs) offers a level 9 qualification for all professionals interested in Special Educational Needs (SEN). Entry onto this Masters programme is based on successful completion of three modules (45 ECTs) from the suite of SEN Online Blended Learning modules offered as part of the Professional Studies in Special Educational Needs pathway.

Research methods are critical to successful study at MA level and will incorporate problem-solving activities, action research in professional contexts and the opportunity to link theory and practice in general and in terms of the execution of coursework. Participants accepted onto the Masters stage of the programme will have achieved an increased level of competence and confidence within the Professional Studies in Special Educational Needs pathway. They will also be looking forward to choosing the area of study for their MA dissertation and beginning to reflect on possible research methodologies for their dissertation.

The Advanced Research Module (15 ECTs) will provide students with the opportunity to make and implement informed choices regarding professionally relevant areas of research for their dissertation and to do this with the guidance and support of tutors and peers. Lectures take place at weekends between September and November and students use the remainder of the year to carry out research and draft material for their MA Dissertation.

The final dissertation will be a maximum of 20,000 words and the topic chosen by the participant must be related to the Professional Studies in Special Educational Needs pathway.

Who's Suited to This Course
The modules attract a wide range of participants from a variety of settings, including:

Classroom teachers
Graduates who wish to do a Postgraduate Diploma in Education and area awaiting a place on the programme
Qualified teachers who are seeking full-time employment
Employees within the Health Service Executive who work with learners with Special Educational Needs
Principals, managers and Department Inspectorate
Employees and Managers within Early Childhood Education sector
Classroom assistants (including cuntóirí teanga)
Educational Psychologists
Learning Support Tutors
Speech and Language Therapists
Occupational Therapists
Parents and Family Members involved in the care of learners with special educational needs
Any others involved in the training or educational needs of learners with special educational needs

Subjects taught

MA Stage Two Modules:
Advanced Research (Core)
Dissertation (Core)

Participants are required to attend up to 4 weekends of lectures between September and November with a further workshop scheduled to take place in January. Weekend lectures consist of sessions from 6:00-9:00pm on Friday evening and sessions from 9.30 – 5pm on Saturdays. At the end of the series of lectures students will be required to submit a Dissertation Proposal in November. A tutor will be assigned to you and once your proposal has been deemed successful you can progress on to the dissertation stage.

Entry requirements

Level 8 Undergraduate Degree or equivalent.

For students without the relevant academic qualification but with relevant previous experience, recognition for prior learning can be awarded.

Application dates

Please complete and return relevant Application Form to Mary Kearns mkearns@stangelas.nuigalway.ie

Before submitting this application, please ensure that you have satisfied the requirements listed below.
Incomplete entries or those not fulfilling these requirements will not be considered.

1. Fully competed application form
2. Application Fee €25 (non-refundable) **Payment must be made via our Online Payments Facility

Under Course Info please follow these instructions:

Student Number – leave blank or state 00000
Course Type – Choose "Other". Choose Course Title. "Post Grad Education – Application Fee"
Then type in the amount you wish to pay i.e. €25
Then proceed to enter your card details for payment.

3. *A certified copy of examination transcripts (actual results and award level) or Teaching Council Registration details, if applicable. Please note these will not be returned.
4. *Certified copy birth and marriage certificate (non-returnable)
5. IELTS or TOEFL certificate for applicants whose first language is not English

* Certified copy is a photocopy endorsed and stamped by a member of the Garda Siochana or a Commissioner for Oaths. In the case of examination transcripts, these must be stamped by awarding college.


1 year Blended

Post Course Info

Career Opportunities
This programme is suitable for candidates who wish to progress further in their professional sector and are already in employment. It aims to enhance professional knowledge and it is designed to provide a student-centred, accessible, flexible, coherent framework for the personal, professional and academic development of participants. Participants are encouraged to reflect on their own work practices and to link their study to their working environment.

More details
  • Qualification letters


  • Qualifications

    Degree - Masters (Level 9 NFQ)

  • Attendance type

    Part time,Blended

  • Apply to

    Course provider