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MIC’s new M Ed in Digital Leadership in Education empowers educators to lead change

Teacher and student in front of computer screen

Mary Immaculate College (MIC) is delighted to announce the launch of a Masters in Digital Leadership in Education. 

The programme is designed for those working in education to support them to integrate innovative digital learning practices in their organisations. Students will study and analyse the relationship between various elements within their digital learning ecosystem by studying in particular; policy, digital equality diversity and inclusion, pedagogy, digital literacies, wellbeing and infrastructure. The programme encourages an open and distributed leadership ethos that empowers all individuals in the educational community to work together to design, implement and lead inclusive digital learning environments.

The programme which is offered through a hyflex model on a full-time (one-year) or part-time (two-year basis), allows for flexible learning which is suitable for those who are working.

According to Programme Coordinator, Dr Emma O’Brien: "The Level 9 M Ed in Digital Leadership in Education is the first of its kind in Ireland. It has been developed in response to a societal and professional need in which many educators have had to lead and plan new pedagogical models due to the current pandemic. There is an urgent need to provide educational leaders with an integrated skillset to plan a new way forward so they can leverage from their existing experience and develop a sustainable model of digital learning for their education communities."

Dr O’Brien goes on to say: "To date much of the focus of digital learning has been on technology. However, this M Ed takes a broader perspective encouraging us to consider the needs of the wider educational community from social, personal and academic perspectives. Students will work in collaborative groups to develop and lead solutions to contemporary problems regarding digital learning, acting as agents for change and informing policy and practice."

The programme is comprised of a number of core modules including Digital Pedagogies, Digital Equality Diversity and Inclusion, Digital Literacy and Wellbeing, Digital Infrastructure and Open and Distributed e-leadership. Students will also complete a dissertation in the area of digital leadership in education.

Dr Emma O'Brien
WATCH: M Ed in Digital Leadership in Education
Programme Coordinator Dr Emma O'Brien outlines the new M Ed in Digital Leadership in Education

According to Donncha O’Treasaigh, Director of Schools, Limerick and Clare Education and Training Board: "The launch of this exciting programme is very timely as we analyse the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on education which has been both unprecedented and widespread in education history.  The sudden emergence of the pandemic and subsequent school closures propelled teachers and schools to adapt and innovate around the world. Remote learning became the de facto method of education provision for varying periods. We saw teachers responding admirably to the shifts in teaching, learning and assessment. While there has been very commendable innovation demonstrated in schools, school leaders and educators are at a real crossroads now in critically interpreting how these innovations can be developed for the short to medium term in accordance with the next Department of Education Digital Strategy."

This hybrid cross-sectoral programme has been designed using a strong evidence base and adopts a novel pedagogical model based on many years of experience in the field of digital learning with experts in the fields of educational leadership, reflective pedagogies, inclusion and digital learning. 

The programme models best practice in digital learning based on the principles of Universal Design for Learning, transformative learning (using digital pedagogies) and digital problem-based learning. The programme is aimed at fostering learner agency where students will work as part of a wider learning community to apply learning to their professional environments with a view to empowering them to make positive change in their sector.

Dr TJ Ó Ceallaigh, Director of Taught Postgraduate Programmes, MIC Faculty of Education adds: "The impact of widespread remote learning during the COVID-19 pandemic has exposed a lasting need for educators to assess the use of online learning technologies in their teaching and design practice critically. This M Ed in Digital Leadership in Education provides personalised, connected, transformative and innovative learning opportunities for educators to challenge their teaching and learning paradigms in this time of challenge and change, reimagine the learning experience, and critically examine how disruptions in education today will shape and innovate the classroom of tomorrow. MIC as a globalised provider, especially welcomes international students to this hyflex M Ed programme."

Applicants with a primary degree in education (Level 8 NFQ) at a minimum of Honours 2.2 will be considered for direct entry into the M Ed in Digital Leadership in Education. Applicants who have a 2.2 honours degree in other disciplines may be considered if they have substantial and relevant professional experience.

In cases where the applicant does not meet the normal entry requirements, the applicant can be assessed on prior learning in line with University policy and procedures on the Recognition of Prior Learning. The admission procedures will include an interview wherein the prior learning and experience of applicants in education will be assessed. For direct entry into Year 2 of the part-time programme, applicants should hold a Professional Development Graduate Diploma in Education (Level 9 NFQ) at a minimum of Honours 2.1.

Further details on the programme are available here.