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Education - STEM Education

Programme Overview
The Master of Arts degree programme in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) Education is a two-year, part-time programme offering a focus on integrative and innovative approaches to STEM education through exploring socially responsive teaching and research informed by national and international developments in school and education settings.

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 using face-to-face and some blended learning components.

Programme classes are scheduled depending on the semester of registration. Generally STEM Education modules are scheduled on Tuesdays or Thursdays from 6-9pm. In addition, modules taken as part of the general M Ed programme are scheduled on Fridays and Saturdays. Please contact the Programme Coordinator (see below) for more details.

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.

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.

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.


2 years part-time

Programme classes are scheduled on Thursdays from 6.00 – 9.00 pm and on Saturdays from 11.30 am – 1.00 pm, during semesters.

Further enquiries

Programme Coordinator
Dr Aisling Leavy
tel: +353 61 204978

Subjects taught

Four STEM Education Modules constitute the core programme components:

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.

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.

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: 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.

Semester 1 (Year 1)
Key Paradigms in STEM Education
Applied Research Project

Semester 2 (Year 1)
Critical Perspectives and Policy in STEM
STEM: Communications and Industry

Semester 3 (Year 2)
Expanding the Boundaries of STEM
Principles and Practice in Research and Education
Dissertation 1

Semester 4 (Year 2)
Dissertation 2

Application date

Closing date for Applications: 31 May 2019.

Enrolment and start dates

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

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

Pay the application fee* and return the application form by email to: or by post to: Admissions Office, Mary Immaculate College, South Circular Road, Limerick, Ireland, V94 VN26.

*Pay your application fee (EU: €33; non-EU: €55) using Realex system. Please note down the payment reference number, make a screenshot or print a copy for your own records.

Remember to mention gradireland when contacting institutions!