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

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

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)

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.

TL6002: Teaching and Learning Research Project (45 credits)

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.

Course Practicalities

TL 6001 consists of 24 contact hours. There are a series of lunchtime sessions (six x two hours) and a series of Saturday sessions (three x four hours). The reading relates to understanding the SoTL literature through researching key teaching and learning journals .The teacher's practice site is your research laboratory and extensive hours are accumulated researching practice and identifying interventions to maximise student learning. TL6002 timetables a number of presentation sessions where you, in consultation with a supervisor, develop your research project and present drafts of your research paper.

Entry requirements


Applicants must have a 2H2 BA (Hons) Degree or equivalent, and MUST have attended and satisfactorily passed the UCC Postgraduate Diploma in Teaching and Learning in Higher Education, or equivalent.

If you are applying with Qualifications obtained outside Ireland and you wish to verify if you meet the minimum academic and English language requirements for this programme please click here to view the grades comparison table by country and for details of recognised English language tests.

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.


1 year or 2 years Part-time

Careers or further progression

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.

Further enquiries

Mary Clohessy

+ 353 21 4902919

Dr. Briony Supple

+353 21 4902432

Subjects taught


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.

Assessment method


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.

Application date

Applications for academic year 2020/2021 are open.

EU Applicants: UCC operates a rounds closing date system for the majority of postgraduate taught courses, which means offers are made four times a year on a rolling basis. Some courses have one specific closing date, please check your course prospectus page for this information.

The UCC rounds closing dates for postgraduate taught courses are below. Applicants are advised to apply as soon as possible.

Deadline for receipt of full applications:

For all completed applications received by January 10th 2020

Offers will be made by January 24th 2020

For all completed applications received by March 2nd 2020

Offers will be made by March 16th 2020

For all completed applications received by May 1st 2020

Offers will be made by May 15th 2020

For all completed applications received by July 1st 2020

Offer will be made by July 15th 2020

Late applications may be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis for any courses that have remaining capacity.

Non-EU Closing Date: 15 June

Non-EU Applicants: Information for Non-EU applicants may be found on the International Office Website

Enrolment and start dates

Start Date: September 2019

Remember to mention gradireland when contacting institutions!