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MIC’s new MA sa Ghaeilge (Ceannaireacht i dTeanga, Cultúr agus Pobal): A new programme for a rapidly changing Irish language context

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Mary Immaculate College (MIC) is delighted to announce the launch of a brand-new online MA sa Ghaeilge (Ceannaireacht i dTeanga, Cultúr agus Pobal) for student intake in September 2024.

Students from throughout Ireland (and beyond) will be able to participate in this innovative one year programme as it can be accessed in a fully online format. The new programme is aimed at all those interested in developing their knowledge of Léann agus Litríocht na Gaeilge, along with their leadership skills.  Programme participants will have the opportunity to develop an in-depth knowledge of core areas of Irish language literature,  Cultural Studies and Irish Language Arts, Sociolinguistics and Language Planning, with an optional element as well. This disciplinary knowledge will be complemented by the provision of key professional and applied skills. In addition to a robust academic programme, the MA sa Ghaeilge (Ceannaireacht i dTeanga, Cultúr agus Pobal) will develop participants’ analytic, planning, communicative and interpersonal skills in line with their evolving professional and communication needs.

Participants will learn alongside peers through a mixture of live interactive workshops and rich learning resources which can be accessed on a flexible basis. Programme content will be delivered by full-time members of Roinn na Gaeilge, with additional input from colleagues in other disciplines.

In additional to the leadership aspect, a key feature of this programme is the input of sectoral experts and researchers, in both programme design, and in teaching, learning and assessment. This integration of academic knowledge with real-world insights ensures that programme participants acquire a cutting-edge skills and knowledge base that will enable them to become exemplars of best practice in their various professional, community and career contexts.

According to Programme Coordinator, Dr Róisín Ní Ghairbhí: "This innovative and timely qualification was developed by MIC’s Department of Irish with the changing Irish language landscape and the evolving Irish academic landscape in mind.The Irish language employment sector is a burgeoning one and an area of strategic importance nationally. Sectoral leaders report recurring difficulties in sourcing candidates with the skill set and knowledge base suitable to fill many advertised roles. In particular, feedback is suggesting that there is a need for a qualification which would include both high level academic knowledge and applied academic, professional, interpersonal and leadership skills.  The programme also addresses the new skill sets and training needs arising from developments in language planning and from developments to do with the Official Languages (Amendment) Act 2021, which was signed into law in December 2022."

To this end, the programme is designed to build a community of practice focused on peer learning, applied problem-solving and leadership skills. This rigorous academic qualification will enhance graduates’ professional practice and/or future research and will enable them to drive best practice in a range of fields and careers including Léann na Gaeilge, the wider Irish language sector, and various educational, cultural, public-sector and community-based settings.

Dr Ní Ghairbhí adds: "Innovative input by external experts into the programme design and delivery gives programme participants the opportunity to access the latest research and to acquire insights and skills with real-world applicability.

The Language and Communication modules are run in conjunction with the online Irish language newspaper, and MIC’s Department of Media and Communications Studies and the Department of Drama and Theatre Studies also have input into relevant modules. In recognition of people’s busy lives, participants will learn through a combination of live interactive seminars and asynchronous (in your own time) learning, a mode of delivery that allows for flexibility in accessing learning content and resources, while retaining a social aspect and the structure that will help participants organise their learning. The on-line aspect also means that geography is now no barrier and a wide range of people can be part of our learning community."

The MA sa Ghaeilge (Ceannaireacht i dTeanga, Cultúr agus Pobal) is suitable for a wide range of applicants, including individuals who have a keen interest in Léann na Gaeilge; those who wish to improve their communication and language skills; and those who want to enhance their planning and leadership skills in order to facilitate transformative change.

Programme content includes Irish Language Literature from the 17th to 21st centuries, Sociolinguistics and Language Planning, and Cultural Studies and Irish Language Arts. The modules on leadership and best practice includes an investigation of the concept of leadership, guidance on identifying and leveraging opportunities and training on planning for change. Core modules will support participants in developing their linguistic, communicative and research skills, according to their needs and interests.

Full programme details here.