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MA in STEM Education

Note: The 'At a Glance' section below is indicative only. Note: The next intake for this programme will be September 2023.

Available: Part-time

Level: 9

Duration: 2 years

Location: MIC Limerick

Delivery Mode:

Blended (80% face-to-face & 20% online approx.)


Mixed coursework.

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

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

MA in STEM Education
MA in STEM Education – More than a Master's at MIC
This flexible two-year, part-time programme is aimed at educators who want to become STEM leaders
STEM-related Literacies are increasingly important
STEM-related Literacies are increasingly important
Participants will learn to teach skills like creative and critical thinking and problem-solving


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.

MA in STEM gives teachers confidence to let children lead

Teacher, Aaron Carroll, had this to say about his experience on the MA in STEM.

"I have never really been a fan of focusing in on wrong or right answers. What intrigues me in a classroom is the creativity and adaptability shown by children when they encounter a problem. That’s where the learning lies. Funnily enough, the solution is often irrelevant. Allowing the children to discover through enquiry and curiosity has underpinned what I have learned on the MA in STEM at MIC. 

"As a result there is much less emphasis on memorising content and fact in the hands on investigations in my classroom. I really feel this has empowered and motivated the pupils, especially those who may struggle with timed or textbook procedures. When the answer in STEM activities is not the sole focus, the pupils have learned that problems are there to be embraced - not to be afraid of. This has changed the whole concept of what a ‘mistake’ actually is and has shown the children the benefits of perseverance and having a growth mind-set in the classroom.

"Aside from this of course, there’s the fun in working collaboratively with classmates to design and construct things used to solve everyday problems. School work suddenly becomes relevant and purposeful and it doesn’t necessarily mean more work for me as a teacher. Over time I have learned to step back and merely guide the pupils with probing questions and interest in how they approach a task. They lead the lessons and the outcomes are often wonderful."

Testimonial: MA in STEM Education
Testimonial: MA in STEM Education
'Allowing the children to discover through enquiry & curiosity has underpinned what I have learned'
Testimonial: MA in STEM Education
Testimonial: MA in STEM Education
'The schedule is very facilitatory and flexible for teachers in full-time positions'

Day-to-day work and studies complement one another

Clodagh Cleary, a current student on the MA in STEM Education, explains that she chose this programme to "enhance my skills as a teacher, and I have enjoyed it thoroughly so far".

"The first-year of the programme was a very practical experience in which we investigated a lot of relevant methodologies and practices in relation to STEM as they applied to the classroom. The second year focuses on research within the STEM field. At the moment I am teaching full-time and my studies work complementary to my classwork. My day-to-day work as a teacher and my studies at MIC are working concurrently and complementing one another.

"The MA in STEM Education schedule is very facilitatory and flexible for teachers in full-time positions. In enrolling on the programme, I have experienced a friendly and research-orientated atmosphere. The relatively small class size, coupled with how receptive the lecturers are in sharing their seemingly unquantifiable knowledge, ensured that assignment deadlines were met with ease. I would highly recommend partaking in this programme, and I strongly feel that the MA in STEM Education will continue to be invaluable to my teaching."  


Dr Aisling Leavy, Head of STEM Education 
T: +353 61 204978

Programme Content

Five STEM Education modules and two Research modules constitute the core programme components:

STEM 1: 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.

STEM 2: 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.

STEM 3: 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.

STEM 4: 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 5:  Special Studies in STEM Education

This module provides opportunities to take on the role of STEM champions in an educational context beyond the classroom. Participants will be supported in disseminating their research and scholarship in STEM teaching and learning. This will be carried out by providing mentoring in preparing an abstract for submission to either a journal, teacher practitioner outlet/forum, or a conference in teaching and learning. Alternatively, participants will be supported in contributing to the sustainability of STEM education through the creation of, or contribution towards, an online (or other) community of practice in STEM education.

Research 1: Applied Research Project 

This module enables students to devise and complete an independent academic research project based on a question of their choice. This module aims to prepare students to structure, develop and interrogate a research question following critical exploration of contemporary research methods in education.

Research 2: Principles and Practice of Research in Education

The purpose of the module is to facilitate postgraduate student’s acquisition of the skills of literature search and review and the skills of research design and proposal writing. Students will be introduced to how, and in what ways to do a literature search and write a literature review and conceptualise/write a research design.

Semester 1 (Year 1)
STEM 1: Key Paradigms in STEM Education
Research 1: Applied Research Project
Semester 2 (Year 1)
STEM 2: Critical Perspectives and Policy in STEM
STEM 3: Communications and Industry
Semester 3 (Year 2)
STEM 4: Expanding the Boundaries of STEM
Research 2: Principles and Practice in Research and Education
Dissertation 1
Semester 4 (Year 2)
STEM 5: Special Studies in STEM
Dissertation 2

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.

Please note: We welcome expressions of interest from all those interested in STEM education and we realise potential applicants may have a diversity of backgrounds and experiences. Please contact the programme coordinator, Dr. Aisling Leavy (, if you do not meet the above requirements or have alternative complementary experiences or qualifications. 

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.

How to Apply

Applications for the MA in Stem Education are now open and the closing date is the 31 May 2024.

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.

Complete all the steps below:

  1. Download and complete the application form here
  2. You will be required to send your university transcripts.
  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 here using Stripe, and return the completed application and transcripts by email: to

Applications will close at 5pm on Friday 31 May 2024.

For fees click here.

Head of Department, STEM Education
Dr Aisling Leavy
+353 61 204978

Ask a Question

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