MA Programme Modules

Core Modules in Year 1

For a one page diagram summarising the MA modules available, please click on this link; Menu of modules figure for MA 2016-17  – please also note that optional modules for 2017-18 will be confirmed and details posted to this site shortly.

  • The Professional Development [15 ECTS] module will ascertain for the applicant the most suitable pathway towards the award of MA. This module offers a new and stimulating way to recognise the prior experiences and learning of suitable applicants to the programme. The module aims to allow the applicant to examine, analyse and capture their journey as professionals in developing their skills and knowledge of their discipline in practice as well as their developments as third level lecturers and practitioners. Participants undertake a short period of study involving reflection on professional development to date facilitated by the use of key texts/resources (some pre-assigned, some self-selected). Assessment is by means of a one hour structured interview.
  • Learning Theories [5 ECTS] This module will provide both an overview of the current and emerging third level learning and teaching landscape including the eLearning perspective within a context of the knowledge economy, globalisation and the resultant student diversity. A grounding in relevant learning theories will be used to create the foundations for both the MA in Higher Education and the MSc Applied eLearning and participants from both programmes will be expected to embed their understanding in their own authentic, professional practice. Read More: CPD_LearningTheories_Info_Sheet
  • Higher Education Policy [10 ECTS] is a module which will provide an overview of key policy issues within this sector. It will equip participants with the requisite knowledge and understanding of higher education policies that will enable them to apply an understanding of policy issues to their own practice context. The module has been designed to be responsive to policy issues and current debates in any given year and features several guest speaker inputs. Read more: CPD HE Policy_InformationSheet Sept14
  • The Educational Research Design [10 ECTS] module will advance participants’ understanding of the philosophical bases of quantitative and qualitative research approaches and promote an understanding of how research contributes to knowledge.  It will equip participants to design a feasible educational research project through the writing of a substantive research proposal.  Within this module, Information Literacy will be introduced to enable the student to acquire the necessary skills to prepare them, not only for performing efficiently in their working environment, but for their own lifelong learning.

Optional Modules in Year 1 (please note that a selection from these modules will be offered in a given year)

  • Academic Writing and Publishing [10 ECTS] is a module designed to support participants in their academic writing and publishing pursuits.  There is increasing pressure on academics to undertake research and to publish and both higher education learning and teaching and applied eLearning practice offer rich and interesting fields for investigation.  In this module there will be an opportunity to consider how our teaching, our learning/eLearning, professional practice and our students’ learning can become the focus of some form of sustained inquiry. Participants will learn how to successfully present and disseminate their work and the module will be beneficial for all who work in either higher education or industry settings. Read more: CPD_Academic Writing Publishing_InfoSheet
  • Technology Enhanced Learning, Teaching & Assessment [5 ECTS, online] Given the increasingly pervasive adoption of technology in life and learning, this fully online module will give participants the opportunity to immerse themselves in both existing and emerging learning technologies. A unique approach will be taken to this module in that participants will be required to set their own personal learning objectives at the outset, thereby enabling them to reflect on the weekly topics from their own professional perspectives. This approach will also give participants the opportunity to develop their personal learning networks as they discuss meaningfully, with like-minded peers, how best technologies could be utilised to enhance learning, teaching and assessment experiences. Aimed at participants from both public and private sectors, the module has the added advantage of giving participants the opportunity to experience what it is like to be an online student. Building a community is crucial to the online experience: taking this into account, participants will be required to partake in weekly webinars and actively contribute to online discussions and collaborative activities which will run each week for the duration of the module. Find out more on the module website.
  • Creativity and Critical Thinking in Higher Education [5 ECTS] This module aims to enable participants to develop an analytical appreciation of the concepts and techniques essential to creative and critical thinking, problem resolution and idea generation which can then be implemented into teaching and learning strategies in their own practice. Participants will be introduced to creativity and critical thinking; Characteristics of creative and critical thinkers; Examples of creativity and critical thinking in the disciplines; A variety of strategies and tools will be explored for creativity including brainstorming, lateral thinking; A variety of strategies and tools will be explored for critical thinking including Socratic questioning, critical thinking skills, open-ended problem solving.
  • Supervising Undergraduate Dissertations & Projects [5 ECTS, online] This is a new research and practice based module run via a blend of face to face and eLearning which would suit anyone developing and refining their skills in undergraduate supervision. Undoubtedly, the quality of supervision is the most important element of the undergraduate dissertation process. This module will include strategies for development of supervisors at all levels of experience and aims to deepen and extend the study and exploration of good supervisory practices at undergraduate level. This 4 week module is research-enlightened, and using information, discussion, and interactive activities, participants will be able to develop and share experience-informed good practice in effective undergraduate supervision. Read more: CPD_Supervisioin_UG_InfoSheet
  • Assessment and Feedback [5 ECTS] Do you feel that your current assessment methods are being challenged by increased numbers or diversity of student skills within your classes?  Would you like to make research informed changes to the way you assess and provide feedback to your students? Processes around assessment are a key task of lecturers. Assessment determines what, when and how students spend their study time with feedback being demonstrated as having a major impact upon the resultant quality of their learning.  This module will provide you with the opportunity to explore the nature of assessment and feedback within an HE context.  Drawing upon relevant theory and shared knowledge, participants will develop skills to be able to reflect upon their current assessment and feedback practice and to undertake a module assessment redesign. Read more: CPD_AssessmtFeedback_InfoSheet
  • Supporting Virtual Communities [5 ECTS] If you are moving towards some form of online teaching in the future and would like to experience for yourself what it is like, without having to jump in at the deep end, then this is the module for you! For even the most experienced classroom teacher, teaching online requires a thoughtful transition to the new environment. This module will provide such practitioners with the knowledge, competencies, experience and confidence to perform the complex role of an eTutor in an online setting. It will explore how best to prepare to teach online, how to build a learning community among your students & how best to support and communicate with them, how to identify a successful online learner, how to maintain a realistic workload – all using exciting and innovative tools & media. Read more: CPD_Support_Virtual_Comm_InfoSheet
  • This module is not currently being offered Internationalising the Curriculum (5 ECTS) Online course in collaboration with Oxford Brookes University. This course is designed to introduce lecturers and teachers in tertiary education to the wide-ranging concept of an internationalised curriculum. The course will challenge your ideas of an internationalised curriculum and offer the opportunity to explore curriculum, teaching and assessment strategies in terms of global perspectives, inter-cultural capabilities and responsible citizenship. It is an online course facilitated by Oxford Brookes University with tutors Valerie Clifford and Catherine Montgomery. Participants will be from a range of tertiary institutions from around the world.  Each week’s work will include readings and tasks, as well as the opportunity to engage in sharing your experiences, insights and reflections with others on the course to help inform your analysis and planning. Your exploration will be contextualised within your institutional and disciplinary environments. By the end of the course you should understand the concept of an internationalised curriculum, be familiar with a range of resources and perspectives on internationalisation of the curriculum (IoC) and have thought through how best to focus your efforts in this area according to your position in your institution. Further details are available on:
    Places are limited to 10 participants from DIT.
  • Designing and facilitating Problem Based Learning pedagogies (5 ECTS) In this module, participants will learn about and experience Problem Based Learning (PBL) both individually and as a group. We will discuss the theories and practices used in PBL and explore how these ideas and practices can be applied in our own work. Key elements such as writing problems and facilitating the tutorial process will be discussed. The aim is to empower participants to design, deliver, assess and evaluate PBL activities and curricula. Participants will learn about the use of PBL within a variety of disciplines and contexts. A series of five workshops will be provided and participants will be required to complete group and individual tasks throughout the series and submit an associated assignment. On successful completion of this module, exemptions may be given to those participating in Masters programmes.

Year 2 – Thesis


The MA programme requires participants to undertake and complete a significant research project and to present it in appropriate thesis format. The participant is expected to demonstrate an understanding of the theoretical and practical knowledge relevant to the particular area under study, and a competence in the technical aspects of the research project. Implicit in this, is showcasing their intellectual development as researchers as well as their independence in the application of research skills. Successful completion of year 2 requires the completion of a thesis of 20,000 words (excluding references and appendices).

A list of thesis titles from past MA graduates is available here;

MA Thesis Titles list


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