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M Ed / Structured PhD in Literacy Education

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  • Programme Overview

    The Department of Language and Literacy Education, Mary Immaculate College is pleased to announce a Structured PhD/M Ed in Literacy Education in response to recommendations for high quality professional development in effective literacy instructional practice in recent policy reports at national level including the National Strategy for Literacy and Numeracy 2011-2020, Cosán 2016, Action Plan for Education 2017 and DEIS 2017.

    Key Features

    The Structured PhD/M Ed in Literacy Education is a two-year part-time Masters programme or a four-year Doctoral programme which endeavours to promote the development of research, critical thinking and communication skills within the context of the evolving nature of literacy in the twenty first century.

    In line with national and international recommendations, this programme seeks to promote literacy leaders within schools and communities whose literacy knowledge reflects the highest standards of academic rigour. It will be of particular interest to classroom teachers, aspiring literacy leaders, school principals, policy makers and those engaged in the provision of continued professional development in the area of Literacy Education.

    Participants will explore the trajectory of children’s language and literacy development and a range of appropriate instructional approaches for the promotion of same. The programme will be delivered through blended learning approaches and will provide participants with the opportunity, in a collaborative setting, to reflect critically and synthesise key issues, debates, and controversies in Literacy Education.

    The Structured PhD/M Ed in Literacy Education at MIC aims to:

    • Encourage participants to create original and unique research that contributes to knowledge and innovation in the promotion of Literacy Education nationally and internationally
    • Enhance participants’ knowledge of key cognitive, socio-cultural and linguistic theories of language and literacy acquisition and development through a theoretically-aware matrix of teaching methodologies and seminars
    • Develop a professional learning community that displays the ability to reflect critically on national and international policy and practice in Literacy Education

    Student Testimonial

    Testimonial from Ciara Dowling, M Ed in Literacy Education Graduate 2020

    I had always considered returning to education to undertake a masters. As part of my undergraduate course for primary teaching I specialised in the area of Language and Literacy and with the introduction of the MEd in Literacy Education at MIC in September 2018, I felt that this was the right course for me. This course has given me with the opportunity to grow as a teacher, providing me with a more in-depth understanding of Literacy acquisition and development, the role of a Literacy leader, and critical approaches to teaching children’s literature. It enabled me to undertake a piece of research in an area of Literacy that I am interested in and with no previous experience in completing a research study, the research methods modules, workshops, and support of my supervisor guided me throughout the process. I gained research skills; analytical skills; critical and evaluative skills over the duration of the course.

    The lecturers and guest lecturers had a wide range of literacy backgrounds, covering various aspects of literacy development in the 21st century, giving each student the opportunity to find what they were interested in, and pursue this area for their own research study. Throughout the programme of study, the lecturers were very approachable and supportive, showing great interest in our studies, wanting us to do well. The diversity of the student cohort provided a variety of insights into a number of fields including adult literacy, speech and language therapy, and the work of librarians. Their insights and experiences added significantly to the richness of the course. The small nature of the cohort enabled an abundance of opportunities for interaction between lecturers and students, creating authentic opportunities for knowledge development in Literacy. This also meant that lecturers knew us individually by name; and allowed us to get to know all students in the cohort. The blended method of learning meant that some weekends were on campus with face to face lectures and other evenings were facilitated online. This flexibility was a major factor for me as it meant that I did not have to travel to Limerick too often. 

    This course has equipped me with the tools necessary to enhance my own teaching of Literacy and further developed my understanding of contemporary approaches to literacy development in the 21st century classroom. I hope to continue to share what I have learned from the modules and my research study with my colleagues, and alongside them reflect on and improve literacy practices within our school. The MEd in Literacy Education journey has been one of the greatest experiences for me, both professionally and personally.

    Ciara Dowling
    Ciara Dowling
    M Ed in Literacy Education

    Contact

    Josephine Brady, Programme Coordinator

    E: Josephine.Brady@mic.ul.ie

    Programme Content

    M Ed

    The first two semesters of Year 1 of the programme will consist of taught discipline-specific modules, including research modules c. The core modules in Semester One will explore the nature of literacy in the 21st century and provide foundational knowledge on literacy acquisition and diversity in the developmental trajectory of same.

    The core modules in Semester 2 will focus on inclusive instructional practice, literacy difficulties, early interventions and literacy leadership. Pedagogies such as dialogic teaching, the role of play in language development, the importance of high quality children’s literature in the promotion of children’s literacy development and the role of parental support in the process of enhancing language skills will be investigated. Participants will be encouraged through the process of school self-evaluation to evaluate critically current national policies and curricula with respect to the promotion of effective literacy instruction.

    Students who intend to exit the programme at the end of Semester 2 of Year 1 may qualify for a Graduate Diploma qualification, provided they fulfil the University requirements for such an award. Students who intend to exit with a Masters degree in Year 2 will begin working on their dissertation proposals in Semester 2 of Year 1 in tandem with a prospective supervisor(s) and begin work on the dissertation in Semester 1 of Year 2 of the programme.

    60 Credits (Taught and Research) split over two years

    Semester 1 (Year 1)
    Foundations of Literacy Acquisition and Development
    Diversity in Literacy Acquisition and Development
    Advanced Research Methods 1: Principles and Practices of Research in Education
    Critical Approaches to Children’s Literature
    Autumn Masterclass
    Semester 2 (Year 1)
    Inclusive Literacy Pedagogy 1
    Promoting Effective Literacy Leadership in Educational Settings
    Advanced Research Methods 2: Critical and Interpretive Research in Educational Settings
    Inclusive Literacy Pedagogy 2
    Leadership and Learning
    Spring Masterclass
    Semester 3 (Year 2)
    Dissertation 1 (M-Grade)
    Semester 4 (Year 2)
    Dissertation 2 (M-Grade)

    Structured PhD

    Students may decide at the end of Semester 2 of Year 1 to continue onto the PhD stage of the programme. Those prospective doctoral candidates will develop a research proposal and participate in the International Research Methods Summer School (IRMSS) during the summer semester. On application to the doctoral component of the programme (Years 2, 3 and 4), participants are required to submit a draft proposal in summer semester, Year 1, which is approved at department and faculty level in terms of academic merit and suitability of topic. This proposal will then be reviewed by the MIC Postgraduate Research Sub-Committee (PRSC). Only students whose proposals have been approved at PRSC are eligible to continue onto the doctoral component of the programme.

    Academic progress during stage two of the Structured PhD in Literacy Education will continue to be monitored by the Doctoral Studies Panel (DSP), in accordance with general academic regulations. The DSP will include a principal supervisor, plus any additional supervisor(s) and at least one other member, who will act as the student’s advisor. The DSP will be chaired by the principal supervisor; it will support and advise the student and supervisor(s) throughout the course of a student’s research programme. Members of the DSP will normally be members of faculty, or adjunct, visiting or affiliated academics or professionals.

    360 Credits (Taught and Research) split over four years

    Semester 1 (Year 1)
    Foundations of Literacy Acquisition and Development
    Diversity in Literacy Acquisition and Development
    Advanced Research Methods 1: Principles and Practices of Research in Education
    Critical Approaches to Children’s Literature
    Autumn Masterclass
    Semester 2 (Year 1)
    Inclusive Literacy Pedagogy 1
    Promoting Effective Literacy Leadership in Educational Settings
    Advanced Research Methods 2: Critical and Interpretive Research in Educational Settings
    Spring Masterclasses
    Summer (Year 1)
    Individual doctoral thesis work under supervision of designated supervisor and Doctoral Studies Panel
    International Research Methods Summer School (IRMSS)
    Semester 3 (Year 2)
    Individual doctoral thesis work under supervision of designated supervisor and Doctoral Studies Panel
    Advanced Research Methods 3: Collecting and Analysing Cross Sectional and Statistical Data in Educational Settings
    Graduate Studies Generic Skills
    Semester 4 (Year 2)
    Individual doctoral thesis work under supervision of designated supervisor and Doctoral Studies Panel
    Descriptive and Inferential Statistics in Educational Research
    Graduate Studies Generic Skills
    Summer (Year 2)
    Individual doctoral thesis work under supervision of designated supervisor and Doctoral Studies Panel
    Semester 5 & 6 (Year 3)
    Individual doctoral thesis work under supervision of designated supervisor and Doctoral Studies Panel
    Summer (Year 3)
    Individual doctoral thesis work under supervision of designated supervisor and Doctoral Studies Panel
    Semester 7 & 8 (Year 3)
    Individual doctoral thesis work under supervision of designated supervisor and Doctoral Studies Panel
    Summer (Year 4)
    Individual doctoral thesis work under supervision of designated supervisor and Doctoral Studies Panel

    Entry Requirements

    The minimum entry requirements for this programme are the following:

    • Applicants should be the holders of a first class honours primary degree or upper second class honours (2.1) primary degree (Level 8, NFQ) in a relevant or cognate discipline that incorporates a substantial education or social science component.

    Or

    • A Masters degree or equivalent qualification (Level 9, NFQ), at a minimum 2.2 honours level, in Literacy Education, that has been obtained from a university or other institution recognised by the University of Limerick and in accordance with the University of Limerick Policy on the Recognition of Prior Learning.

    And

    • A minimum of two years’ experience as a teacher of Literacy or Literacy Education or related fields, may be considered as a basis for entry on a case-by-case basis. Acceptance under this criteria may be subject to an interview, which may be done in person or alternatively via video conferencing where the candidate is unavailable to attend.
    • Applicants for whom English is not a first language must provide evidence of their proficiency level in 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 be required to undergo an interview through English.
    • Performance at interview: an interview may form part of the selection process for applicants. This will be done in person if possible or alternatively via video conferencing where the candidate is unavailable to attend in person.

    And

    • Submission of a research proposal (PhD candidates only) and application form in line with the requirements set out by the Research and Graduate School, MIC.
    • Places on the programme will be offered based on all the above, viz. qualifications, performance at interview, language proficiency level (if applicable), PhD proposal, as well as candidates’ references given in the application form.
    • Click here for English language requirements.

    How to Apply

    Closing date for receipt of completed applications: 29 July 2022.

    Due to popular demand, this course has been allocated five further places. These will be given to applicants with appropriate interest / experience on a first come/ first serve basis. Applications close on 29 July 2022.

    Please Note: This programme is not open to applications from non-EU countries. Application fees are non-refundable due to applicant ineligibility. See International programme listing here.

    Fees: Click here.

    M Ed

    Complete all the steps below:

    1. Download and complete the application form here.
    2. You will be required to send your university transcripts (and applicants may be required to name one or more referees on request).
    3. In the case of non-native English speakers, a copy of IETLS (or equivalent) is required. 
    4. Please pay the non-refundable €50 application fee using Realex hereand return the completed application and transcripts by email to TaughtProgrammes@mic.ul.ie.

    SPhD

    After you have read How to Apply for a Research Postgraduate programme at MIC here, download and complete the application form here. For applications in Irish, download and complete the application form here.

    It is recommended that you make initial contact with the programme coordinator (Josephine.Brady@mic.ul.ie) prior to the completion of the PhD application form. 

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

    Please pay the non-refundable €50 application fee using Realex hereand return the application form by email to: rgso@mic.ul.ie.

    [*All Non-EU applicants will need to pay their €50 non-refundable application fee through TransferMate available here.]

     

    Contact
    Programme Coordinator
    Josephine Brady
    +353 85 8702647

    Ask a Question

  • Programme Overview
  • Programme Content
  • Entry Requirements
  • How to Apply
  • Ask a Question