Dr Majella Dempsey


Associate Professor

Maynooth University School of Education
(01) 708 3529


Majella is strand leader for Curriculum Studies on the Doctorate of Education with Specialisms programme.  She lectures on Curriculum Studies, Research Methods, Teaching, Learning and Assessment at undergraduate and post-graduate level.  She is Link Convenor for the curriculum network of the EERA (European Educational Research Association), and a member of the International Network for Curriculum Studies of the University of Stirling, Scotland. She leads the ESAI Curriculum Studies Special Interest Group in Ireland. Majella chairs the NCCA Development Group working on developing the new specification for biology and is the IUA representative on the NCCA Board for Senior Cycle.
Majella is co-pi on an Erasmus plus project looking at teacher education in Ireland and Poland. She was co-PI on an Erasmus+ project Learning to Disagree working on teaching, learning and assessing social and civic competences.  She was the country lead for the FP7 EU funded project FaSMEd in Ireland looking at the role of technology in promoting formative assessment practices in science and mathematics.  Majella has carried out a number of research projects on the impact of COVID-19 pandemic on education in Ireland. At the heart of all her research interests is the role of pedagogy in teaching, learning, assessment and curriculum.
 hosted the 4th EuroACS conference and EERA/EuroACS Curriculum Summer School in Maynooth University in 2019. 
Majella completed her doctoral work in Trinity College Dublin on the role of key skills in senior cycle education.  Prior to joining Maynooth University, Majella worked as an Education Officer in the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment (NCCA), where her main area of responsibility was working on the senior cycle curriculum developments. She was a member of the Junior Science Support Service (JSSS) working with science teachers on the introduction of the revised curriculum, and, prior to that worked as a science and mathematics teacher.

Research Interests

Research Topics
All of my research activities come under the area of Curriculum Studies 
Planning for Learning History that is not yet History
  • Working with EuroClio on this project about teaching about the dissolution of Yugoslavia and the 1990s wars in the Balkins. 
Impact of Covid 19 pandemic on school leadership, teaching, learning and assessment  [2020 - on-going]
  • Covid-19 Practice in Primary Schools research 
Task design, analysis and implementation [2015-on-going]
  • Critical Evaluation and Design of Mathematics Tasks with Pre-Service Teachers. (Fellowship funding)
Design Based Research [2014 -on-going]
  • What is the impact of participation in a module on the competences needed for ‘scientific teaching’ on PSTs attitudes to, and confidence in carrying out experiments at second level? 
Assessing civic and social competences [2017 - on-going]
  • Project looking at how we assess knowledge, skills, attitudes and values in civic education with my colleague Dr Anthony Malone. Erasmus+ Project Learning to Disagree
Classroom-based instructional interventions 
  • The role of key skills in promoting and developing innovative and creative teaching and learning environments.
  • Research on the role of teaching and assessment methods in addressing low achievement in the field of Mathematics, Science and Technology FaSMEd. (FP7 funded research). 
Teachers' mathematical knowledge and beliefs
  • Building Mathematical Knowledge for Teaching (MKT) in initial teacher education. (3U/ NSTEP funded research).
  • Researching issues regarding the teaching and learning of science/mathematics across transitions (Senior Primary/Junior Cycle and Senior Cycle/Third-level) in Ireland. (3U funded research)
Quasi-experimental design methodology 
  • Exploring the impact of a key skills approach to teaching and learning in secondary education (Doctoral research)

Research Projects

Title Role Description Start date End date Amount
Class of 2021 MU first year undergraduate experience of education during COVID-19 Co-pi 01/09/2021 01/09/2023 4587
Project Live - Supporting Maths Education Co-pi 01/09/2021 01/06/2022 2845
Learning History that is not yet History II Consultation 01/01/2022 01/01/2023
Learning to Disagree Erasmus+ PI EUROCLIO Erasmus+ funded project ‘Learning to Disagree’. The key objectives of this project were: • A needs assessment conducted via a questionnaire and focus groups across Europe • Production of a variety of viewpoints to provide multi-perspective material on key topics for discussion, debate and dialogue in the classroom • Linking each of these viewpoints to a resourced lesson plan and e-Learning activity • Production of teacher guides for teaching and assessing discussion, debate and dialogue in the classroom 01/09/2017 31/08/2020 40
Digital Portfolios and Collaborative Learning Research partner 01/05/2015 30/05/2018 4
Building Mathematical Knowledge for Teaching (MKT) for Pre-Service Mathematics Teachers Team member Mathematical Knowledge for Teaching (MKT) refers to the mathematical knowledge required to carry out the work of teaching. This is distinct from common mathematical knowledge (e.g. knowing how to deal with percentages), but blends this with pedagogical knowledge and skills to enable the teacher to undertake the many and varied mathematical tasks required in day-to-day teaching (e.g. representing mathematical ideas, anticipating student difficulties, connecting mathematics with the students’ environment). In this talk, we discuss the results of a project in which we assessed pre-service mathematics teachers’ awareness and level of MKT, and studied how best to build this with in a taught programme focusing on MKT and the students’ conceptions of quality mathematics teaching 15/09/2014 06/06/2016 4838
Critical Evaluation and Design of Assessment Tasks. Researcher We aim to develop the Mathematical Knowledge for Teaching (MKT) (Ball, Thames & Phelps 2008) of Mathematics and Science Education undergraduates by focussing on the design of formative and summative assessment tasks for use in second level classrooms. MKT incorporates both subject matter knowledge and pedagogical content knowledge and relates to the specialised knowledge a teacher must possess in order to carry out the mathematical tasks of teaching (like explaining or choosing an appropriate example). In this project we would like to concentrate on the aspects of MKT needed for good assessment practice such as asking productive mathematical questions, designing or modifying tasks, and critically evaluating textbook materials. 14/09/2015 29/08/2016 5
FaSMEd: Improving Progress for Lower Achievers through Formative Assessment in Science and Mathematics Education PI 01/01/2014 31/12/2016 170024

Post Doctoral Fellows / Research Team

Researcher Name Project Funding Body
Niamh Burke FaSMEd


Year Publication
2022 Burke, J., and Dempsey, M. (2022) Undertaking Capstone and Final Year Projects in Psychology Practical Guide for Students. UK: Routledge. [Link]
2021 Burke, J. & Dempsey, M. (2021) Undertaking Capstone Projects in Education: A Practical Guide for Students. London: Routledge.

Book Chapter

Year Publication
2023 Majella Dempsey (2023) 'Curriculum and teacher education: the pre-service teacher as curriculum maker' In: International Encylopedia of Education 4th Edition. UK : Elsevier. [Link] https://doi.org/10.1016/B978-0-12-818630-5.03025-6
2023 Majella Dempsey (2023) 'Curriculum' In: [Link] [DOI]
2023 Jeffers, G., Lillis, C., & Dempsey, M. (2023) 'Deputy Principals – A Hidden Asset in Schools?' In: Ireland's Education Yearbook. Ireland : Education Matters. [Link]
2022 Jolanta Burke; Majella Dempsey (2022) 'The Impact of COVID-19 on Educational Leader Wellbeing' In: [Link] [DOI]
2022 Dempsey, M., & Burke, J. (2022) 'Pedagogy for wellbeing: A new model for organic development of wellbeing in schools' In: Applied Positive School Psychology. UK : Routledge. [Link]
2021 Dempsey, M.; Doyle, A.; Looney, A. (2021) 'The Craft of Curriculum Making in Lower Secondary Education in Ireland' In: Curriculum Making in Europe: Policy and Practice within and across Diverse Contexts. [Link] [DOI]
2021 Burke, J. & Dempsey, M. (2021) 'The Impact of COVID-19 on Educational Leader Wellbeing' In: Handbook of Research on Cyberchondria, Health Literacy, and the Role of Media in Society’s Perception of Medical Information. UK : IGI. [Link] [DOI]
2021 Majella Dempsey (2021) 'Curriculum as an Encounter The evolving role of curriculum specifications in Ireland' In: Education Matters - Ireland's Education Yearbook 2021. Dublin : Education Matters. [Link]
2021 Dempsey, M., Doyle, A., & Looney, A. (2021) 'Chapter 8. The Craft of Curriculum Making in Lower Secondary Education in Ireland' In: Curriculum Making in Europe: Policy and Practice Within and Across Diverse Contexts. West Yorkshire : Emerald Publishing Limited. [Link]
2021 Dempsey, M., & Tierney, H. (2021) 'Ethical Challenges in Educational Research during the Pandemic Implications for interviewing in the online environment' In: Education Matters - Ireland's Education Yearbook 2020. Dublin : Education Matters. [Link]
2016 Dempsey, M. (2016) 'Gearing up for skills development – a challenge of Junior Cycle Reform' In: Education Matters. Dublin : Education Matters.
2012 Dempsey M (2012) 'Developing a Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge using sensor technology with BSc Science Education students' In: Teaching and Learning Fellowships project report 2012: NUIM. Maynooth : NUIM.
2010 Looney, A., Dempsey, M. and O’Shea, M. (2010) 'School-based curriculum development: The Irish context' In: Edmond Law and Nienke Nieveen(Eds.). Schools as Curriculum Agencies: Asian and European Perspectives.
2008 Dempsey, M. and O’Shea, M. (2008) 'Key Skills in Senior Cycle: An approach to embedding key skills in the curriculum at upper secondary in Ireland' In: CIDREE yearbook 2008 – A toolkit for the European citizen.

Peer Reviewed Journal

Year Publication
2021 Dempsey, M., & Burke, J. (2021) 'Flourishing during COVID-19: Exploration of the factors that impacted the wellbeing of school leaders during the pandemic in Ireland'. Journal of Happiness and Health, 1 (1):28-39. [Link] [Full-Text]
2020 Garry, A., Reilly, A., Dempsey, M., & O'Shea, A. (2020) 'Auditing summative assessments: the need to increase creative reasoning in mathematics and science at lower secondary in Ireland'. The School Science Review, 102 (379):47-54. [Link] [Full-Text]
2019 Dempsey M.; O’Shea A. (2019) 'The role of task classification and design in curriculum making for preservice teachers of mathematics'. Curriculum Journal, 31 (3):436-453. [Link] [DOI] [Full-Text]
2019 Burke O'Connell, N; Dempsey, M; O'Shea, A (2019) 'An Investigation of Students' Attitudes to Science, Mathematics and the Use of Technology in Lower Secondary Education'. International Journal of Education in Mathematics, Science and Technology (IJEMST), 7 :319-334. [Full-Text]

Other Journal

Year Publication
2013 Dempsey M (2013) 'Key Skills in a BSc Science and Maths Education Course' Brussels: European Schoolnet Web published http://keyconet.eun.org/case-notes/ireland4, KeyCoNet European policy network focused on identifying and analysing initiatives on the implementation of key competencies in primary and secondary school education. BSc module published as .

Conference Publication

Year Publication
2019 Dempsey M., O'Shea, A. (2019) Proceedings of the Seventh Conference on Research in Mathematics Education in Ireland . In: Harbison, l., & Twohill, A eds. BEING ABLE TO DO MATHS BUT YET FEELING KIND OF FREE: USING THE FLAGWAY GAME TO LEARN MATHEMATICS [Link] [DOI] [Full-Text]
2017 Dempsey, M; O' Shea, A (2017) PROCEEDINGS OF THE TENTH CONGRESS OF THE EUROPEAN SOCIETY FOR RESEARCH IN MATHEMATICS EDUCATION (CERME10) Critical evaluation and design of mathematics tasks: Pre-service teachers
2016 Dempsey, M., O'Shea, A, & Burke, N. (2016) Science and Mathematics Education Conference (SMEC) Role of technology in promoting formative assessment practices in science and mathematics classes [Link] [Full-Text]
2014 Nolan, B., Dempsey, M.,Lovatt, J., & O’Shea, A. (2014) British Society for Research into Learning Mathematics Developing Mathematical Knowledge for Teaching (MKT) for pre-service teachers: a study of students’ developing thinking in relation to the teaching of mathematics [Link] [Full-Text]

Published Report

Year Publication
2021 Burke, J. & Dempsey, M. (2021) One month before Covid-19 and one year after: An assessment of wellbeing of post-primary school leaders in Ireland. Maynooth, . [Link]
2021 Burke, J. & Dempsey, M. (2021) Wellbeing in Post-Covid Schools: Primary School Leaders’ Reimagining of the Future. Maynooth, . [Link]
2021 Dempsey, M. & Burke, J. (2021) Lessons Learned: The experiences of teachers in Ireland during the 2020 pandemic. Maynooth University, . [Link]
2020 Burke, J & Dempsey, M (2020) Covid-19 Practice in Primary Schools in Ireland. Maynooth University, .
2020 Dempsey, M., Malone, A. (2020) Learning to Disagree: Assessing Social and Civic Competences. Euroclio, .
2020 Dempsey, M., and Burke, J. (2020) Covid-19 Practice in Primary Schools in Ireland Report: A Two-month Follow-up. MURAL - Maynooth University Research Archive Library, . [Link] http://mural.maynoothuniversity.ie/13001/
2017 Dempsey, M & and O'Shea, A. (2017) Evaluation Report on the Algebra Project in Ireland. Maynooth University, . [Link]
2015 Dempsey, M., Lovatt, J., Nolan., B., O'Shea, A., (2015) Building Mathematical Knowledge for Teaching (MKT) for Pre-Service Mathematics Teachers in 3U NSTEP National Initiative in STEM Education and Practice Strand 1 Project Reports. 3U Partnership, . [Link]
2014 Byrne, D., Burke, N.,Dempsey, M., O'Shea, A., & Rickard, A. (2014) FaSMEd Position Paper Low-Attaining Learners in Science and Mathematics. FaSMEd, . [Link]

Conference Contribution

Year Publication
2024 Dempsey, M., Doyle, A., Gleeson, J., & Pike S. (2024) ESAI Annual Conference 2024 Curriculum Reform in Ireland ESAI Symposium Maynooth University, .
2024 Dempsey, M., Jeffers, G., & Lillis, C. (2024) ESAI Annual Conference 2024 Deputy Principals, a hidden asset in schools? Maynooth University, .
2023 Dempsey, M., & Mac an Bhaird, C. (2023) ESAI Annual Conference 2023 Time to think and problem solve: Tutoring in a Maths Support Centre Stranmillis University, Belfast, .
2023 Dempsey, M., & Byrne, D. (2023) ECER annual conference 2023 Student Agency: the Impact of distance education on learning at third level during COVID-19 Pandemic Glasgow, Scotland ECER 2023, .
2023 Doganca Kucuk, Z.; Young, K.; Dempsey, M.; Delahunty, T. (2023) ECER 2023- Conference by European Educational Research Association The Impact of a Digital-Literacy Based Placement Programme on Student Teachers’ Teaching Experience and Practices Glasgow, UK, 22/08/2023-25/08/2023.
2023 Young, K.; Doganca Kucuk, Z.; Dempsey, M.; Delahunty, T. (2023) Educational Studies Association in Ireland (ESAI) Conference 2023 Exploring the Impact of the Digital Leaders' Placement Programme on Pre-service Teachers' Practice and Identity Belfast, North Ireland, .
2021 Dempsey, M. (2021) MathsFest 2021 - Irish Mathematics Teachers' Association Wellbeing in the Mathematics Classroom On-line, 20/11/2021-.
2021 Majella Dempsey (2021) Doing the cryptic crossword without clues: Ireland’s largest educational experiment in history Pandemic Imaginaries: Making Sense of COVID-19 On-line, 21/10/2021-.
2021 Majella Dempsey (2021) Country Workshop - Directorate for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport of the European Commission Impact of COVID-19 on key competence development – positive and negative On-line, 06/10/2021-.
2021 Majella Dempsey (2021) JCT Team Conference Teaching, Learning and Assessment in Post-Covid Schools On-line, 24/05/2021-.
2021 Burke, J. & Dempsey, M. (2021) Wellbeing in Post-Covid Schools: Primary School Leaders’ Reimagining of the Future IPPN Anual Conference On-line, 07/05/2021-.
2021 Burke, J. & Dempsey, M. (2021) Annual IPPN Conference Wellbeing in post-Covid schools Dublin (Online), .
2021 Dempsey, M., & Tierney, H. (2021) Ethical Challenges in Educational Research during the Pandemic Implications for interviewing in the online environment Education Matters Virtual Summit 2021 On-line, 06/05/2021-.
2021 Dempsey, M., & Burke, J. (2021) Long term Implications of COVID-19 for the Teaching Profession TUI Education Sub-Committee On-line, 23/04/2021-.
2021 Dempsey, M and Malone, A. (2021) Social and Civic Competences: Learning to Disagree Five Nations Conference 'Active Citizenship for a hopeful future' On-line, 27/02/2021-28/02/2021.
2021 Majella Dempsey (2021) Panel Discussion on Curriculum Design in the Senior Cycle Sciences Irish Science Teachers' Association: The Big Ideas in Science and Hope for the Future On-line, 27/03/2021-.
2021 Majella Dempsey (2021) The big ideas in science education Irish Science Teachers' Association: The Big Ideas in Science and Hope for the Future On-line, 27/03/2021-.
2021 Majella Dempsey and Jolanta Burke (2021) The shifting sands: Teaching during and after COVID19 pandemic school closure ESAI Conference On-line, 25/03/2021-26/03/2021.
2020 Malone, A. and Dempsey, M. (2020) Euroclio International Conference Assessing Key Competences in Learning to Disagree Belgrade, Serbia (Online), 21/11/2020-.
2020 Dempsey, M., and Burke, J. (2020) Rapid response to Covid-19-related school closures: Diverging from traditional teaching & learning approaches Kaleidoscope 2020 Inclusive Ways of Knowing: Diverging from Tradition University of Cambridge, 28/05/2020-29/05/2020.
2019 Dempsey, M. & Malone, A. (2019) Assessing Competences for Democratic Culture: Opportunities and Challenges EuroACS International Conference Maynooth University, .
2019 Majella Dempsey (2019) Learning to Disagree: Addressing Sensitive and Controversial Issues in the Classroom National Forum Seminar: Religions and Beliefs in Changing Times (RBCT): Responses to Religious Belief Diversity in Educational Settings in the Republic of Ireland Mary Immaculate College, University of Limerick, .
2019 Dempsey, M (2019) Educational Studies Association of Ireland ESAI Straddling the divide between transmission and constructivist beliefs: Changing pedagogical practices in upper secondary education in Ireland Ireland, .
2019 Malone, A. & Dempsey, M. (2019) Using (Critical) Discourse Analysis to Research Curriculum and Policy EERA International Doctoral Summer School Maynooth University, .
2019 Dempsey, M. & O'Neill, N. (2019) Hands-On, Minds-On: The Role of Factual and Procedural Knowledge in Teaching Practical Work in Upper Secondary Education in Ireland European Educational Research Conference ECER Germany, 03/09/2019-07/09/2019.
2019 Majella Dempsey (2019) 4th European Conference on Curriculum Studies EuroACS Conference chair and host Maynooth University, 07/06/2019-08/06/2019.
2018 Dempsey, M. (2018) Design Based Research in STEM Education Invited lecture and discussion with researchers in education at Brno University of Technology, Czech Republic BRNO UNIVERSITY OF TECHNOLOGY, .
2018 Dempsey, M. (2018) Theoretical Frameworks - A discussion Invited seminar and discussion with faculty at Charles University Charles University, Prague, .
2018 Majella Dempsey (2018) MORSE - Methods of Research in Science Education Invited speaker: Design Based Research Methods in Science Education TU Dublin, 02/11/2018-02/11/2018.
2018 Dempsey, M & and O'Shea, A. (2018) The Evaluation and Design of Tasks by Science and Mathematics Pre-Service Teachers SMEC 2018 Science and Mathematics Education DCU, .
2018 M. Dempsey and A. Malone (2018) Assessing Competences for Democratic Culture Learning to Disagree Scientific meeting Maynooth University, 17/01/2019-20/01/2019.
2018 M. Dempsey (2018) Curriculum development in Ireland Presentation to Curriculum Council in Prague Charles University, Prague, 15/10/2018-19/10/2018.
2018 Dempsey, M., and Doyle, A. (2018) The Liminal State: Curriculum Reform in Lower Secondary Education in Ireland European Conference Educational Research Bolzano, Italy, .
2017 Dempsey, M., and Murray, B. (2017) Developing collaborative learning and teaching skills 3rd EuroACS curriculum conference in Stirling University, Scotland Stirling University, Scotland, .
2017 Dempsey, M & O'Shea, A. (2017) Critical Evaluation and Design of Mathematics Tasks: Pre-Service Teachers CERME10 Dublin, 01/02/2017-05/02/2017. [Full-Text]
2017 Dempsey, M (2017) Pedagogy and learning: The co-construction of the culture for learning by students and teachers EUROPEAN EDUCATIONAL RESEARCH ASSOCIATION Copenhagen, .
2017 Majella Dempsey (2017) FaSMEd - Country report Teaching and Teacher Education in STEM Education Seminar EPI-STEM, the National Centre for STEM Education Research, 26/05/2017-26/05/2017.
2016 Majella Dempsey (2016) Sustainable Networks for Inclusive Education Invited participant to conference of EU policy networks Brussels, 11/04/2016-13/04/2016.
2014 Dempsey, M (2014) Key competency development through transition pedagogy RCSI Bridging the Gap: Researching and Enacting Transition Pedagogy for STEM and Medical students ECSI, .
2014 Dempsey, M (2014) Developing Key Skills in Science Teaching and Learning PDST/ AMGEN Teaching Science through Inquiry Maynooth University, .
2014 Majella Dempsey (2014) Improving the Integration of key Competences in School Education KeyCoNet Final Conference European Schoolnet: Brussels, .
2014 Dempsey, M., Burke, N., & O'Shea, A. (2014) ESRI Educational Research and Practice in Time of Transition: Looking to the Future Improving Progress through Formative Assessment in Science and Mathematics Education Ireland, 09/04/2015-11/04/2015.
2013 Dempsey, M. (2013) Initial Teacher Education in Maynooth University - EMINENT -Experts Meeting in Education Networking 2013 Roundtable on initial teacher training: Challenges and best practices Helsinki, Finland, .
2012 Dempsey M (2012) Keynote address: Post Primary School Curriculum; Teaching and Learning Methods of the Future RIAI/DES COLLOQUIUM ON POST PRIMARY SCHOOLS DESIGN MAKES A DIFFERENCE -Long Term Value in the Design Dublin, .
2012 Dempsey, M., and Rickard, A. (2012) Workshop – Critical reflection in science teaching and learning: a creative approach to the introduc SCoTENS the Standing Conference on Teacher Education North and South: Tenth Annual Conference Cavan, .
2008 (2008) Key Skills and their relevance in sustainable development education UBUNTU Network .
2008 (2008) Key Skills ASTI Education Conference .
2008 Dempsey M (2008) Making their voices heard: students perception of senior cycle teaching and learning Educational Studies Association of Ireland (ESAI) Conference Ireland, .
2008 (2008) Flexible Learning Profiles IVEA Conference .
2008 Dempsey M (2008) Unlocking learning through key skills Quest 2008 – Focused Leadership that Deepens Learning Canada, .
2007 Dempsey M (2007) To embed or bury-the challenge of making an impact on teaching and learning through key skills European Educational Research Association (EERA) Conference ECER, .
2007 (2007) The Senior Cycle Developments IVEA Conference .
2002 Dempsey M (2002) The Student Voice in Transition Year European Educational Research Association (EERA) Conference Ireland, .

Key Note Address

Year Publication
2023 M Dempsey (2023) International Conference Curriculum 2023 Kurikulum 2023 - Pupil Choice in the Flexible and Differentiated Curriculum: The Irish Experience. [Key Note Address] [Link]
2023 M Dempsey (2023) Curriculum change and the teaching profession Keynote address at the ASTI Education Conference 2023. [Key Note Address]

Invited Lectures

Year Publication
2018 M. Dempsey (2018) Curriculum policy in Ireland: the past, the future and the present. [Invited Lectures]
2015 Dempsey, M. (2015) Assessment of Key Competences - Policy conference. [Invited Lectures]

Educational Article

Year Publication
2020 Burke, J. & Dempsey, M. (2020) COVID-19 Practice in Primary Schools. Cork: [Educational Article]
2020 Burke, J & Dempsey, M (2020) Wellbeing and Leadership. Cork: [Educational Article] [Link]

Invited Seminars

Year Publication
2022 Majella Dempsey (2022) Junior Cycle for Teachers - Rethinking Curriculum and Teaching. [Invited Seminars]
2014 Dempsey, M (2014) Self-Evaluation of key Competence in Adult Age. [Invited Seminars]

Magazine Article

Year Publication
2021 Burke, J. & Dempsey, M. (2021) School Leadership: A work full of meaning. [Magazine Article] [Link]
2020 Burke, J., and Dempsey, M. (2020) COVID-19 Practice in Primary Schools in Leadership+ The Professional Voice of School Leaders. IPPN Dublin: [Magazine Article] [Link]

Newspaper Articles

Year Publication
2017 Dempsey, M and Mediaplanet (2017) We need to talk about women in STEM. [Newspaper Articles] [Link]
2015 Dempsey, M., & Jeffers, J. (2015) 'Teachers against learning' sounds very like a new form of professional self-harm. [Newspaper Articles] [Link]
2014 Dempsey, M. (2014) Students need to know physics and chemistry are important. [Newspaper Articles] [Link]
2014 Dempsey, M., & Jeffers, J. (2014) Teachers should grasp this unique opportunity to engage with young learners. [Newspaper Articles] [Link]


Year Publication
2023 Majella Dempsey (2023) Methodological and Theoretical Perspectives on Curriculum Research. [Workshops]


Year Publication
2016 Dempsey, M. (2016) Exploring the impact of a key skills approach to teaching and learning in secondary education. Dublin: [Thesis] [Link]


Year Publication
2021 Dempsey, M., Malone, A., & Nolan, D. (2021) Use of Rubrics and Features of Quality in Assessment. Netherlands: [Webinar]
2020 Dempsey, M. & Malone, A. (2020) Assessment in the on-line environment- An international perspective. [Webinar] [Link]
2020 Varga, J., Vodli, Z., Dempsey, M. (2020) Heros and Villains - Learning to Disagree. Netherlands: [Webinar] [Link]
2020 Dempsey, M., Malone, A. (2020) Assessing Key Competences in Learning to Disagree. Netherlands: [Webinar] [Link]
Certain data included herein are derived from the © Web of Science (2024) of Clarivate. All rights reserved.

Professional Associations

Description Function From / To
European Educational Research Association (EERA) Link Convenor Network 3 01/05/2007 -
DCU STInt (STEM Teacher Internship) Programme MU Lead 01/01/2020 - 01/01/2023
ESAI Curriculum Studies Special Interest Group Lead 01/01/2020 - 01/01/2023
Stirling Curriculum Studies Network The Network aims to build understanding and to influence curriculum development 01/11/2018 -
Education Studies Association of Ireland ESAI Irish Education Association, Member, contributor 01/07/2019 - 01/12/2020
UNESCO IBE's Global Curriculum Network To link curriculum policy makers and academics around the world. 01/05/2019 -
Public Pedagogy and Sustainability Challenges International educational theorists and sustainability education researchers network. 09/01/2018 -
European Association of Curriculum Studies Board member 27/06/2017 - 01/07/2021
Irish Association of Science Education Lecturers (IASEL) Maynooth University member responding to STEM education policy 02/05/2016 - 30/10/2017
Discover Science and Engineering Member of the consultative panel for school related initiatives 01/09/2010 - 29/06/2014
UN Regional Centre for Expertise in Education for Sustainable Development Member 01/01/2008 - 18/12/2009
Kildare Education Centre Management Committee 01/08/2008 - 07/02/2016
KeyCoNet European Policy Network Associate Member 19/07/2014 - 31/12/2015
Mountmellick Development Association Board of Management 05/10/2008 - 12/10/2014

Honors and Awards

Date Title Awarding Body
01/01/2022 Researcher In Residence Teaching Council
01/10/2022 Teaching and Learning Fellowship Maynooth University
01/01/2021 Teaching Hero Award The National Forum for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education and the Union of Students in Ireland
01/08/2015 Teaching and Learning Fellowship Maynooth University
01/01/2011 Teaching and Learning Fellowship


Committee Function From / To
Irish Science Teacher's Association Conference Committee Member 01/05/2016 - 01/05/2017
HRS4R Implementation Group Member 16/05/2019 - 01/02/2025
The Social Research Ethics Subcommittee (SRESC) Vice chair 01/09/2015 - 03/09/2020


Employer Position From / To
Department of Education and Skills Regional Development Officer Junior Science Support Service (JSSS) 01/08/2003 - 01/08/2006
National Council for Curriculum and Assessment Senior Cycle Education Officer 01/06/2006 - 31/12/2009
Department of Education and Science Science and mathematics teacher 01/08/1992 - 01/08/2003


Start date Institution Qualification Subject
Trinity College Dublin Professional Doctorate Education
Maynooth University Master's Degree Education
Maynooth University Bachelor of Science Biology, chemistry and mathematics
Maynooth University Higher Diploma in Education Education

Other Activities

A new specification for Leaving Certificate Biology is currently being developed. Majella Dempsey is the chair for the group. The draft specification has been approved for consultation by council. Consultation timeframe to follow.
The Board for Senior Cycle is working on curriculum developments at senior cycle.


Client Description
Education Matters Editorial Board Member
AmgenTeach programme High Level Expert for Ireland on Amgen Science Teacher Training Initiative
Teaching Council - External Advisor External Advisor assessing applications for registration
National University of Ireland - Specialist Academic Assessor Carry out programme review and offer advice.

Editorial / Academic Reviews

Amount Role From / To
Curriculum Journal Reviewer -
Journal of Curriculum Studies Reviewer -
Education Sciences Reviewer 01/09/2016 - 05/03/2021
Empirical Research in Vocational Education and Training Reviewer -

Outreach Activities

Organisation Type Description
National Council for Curriculum & Assessment - Chair of Biology SDG Civic Society Chair of the Biology Development Group working with a team to develop STEM education in Ireland. [Link]
Irish Science Teachers Association Civic Society
Kildare Education Centre Civic Society

Current Students

Student Name Degree Supervision

Recent Students

Graduation date Name Degree
2019 Audrey Doyle PhD
2023 Niamh O'Connell PhD
2023 Natalie O'Neill PhD

External Collaborators

Name Role Country
Stirling University Lead in Ireland on bid for a project United Kingdom
Dublin City University Research partner Ireland
Università degli Studi di Torino Partner in FaSMEd project Italy
Soer-Troendelag University College, Trondheim Partner in FaSMEd project Norway
EUROCLIO Lead on Erasmus+ project Netherlands
The Centre of Social Sciences in University NOVA Working in a consortium Portugal
University of Nottingham Partner in FaSMEd project United Kingdom
European Scoolnet External partner on the Co-Lab project Belgium
University of Duisburg-Essen Partner in FaSMEd project Germany
African Institute for Mathematical Sciences Schools Enrichment Centre Partner in FaSMEd project South Africa
Newcastle University Partner in FaSMEd project United Kingdom
University of Duisburg-Essen Partner in FaSMEd project Germany
École Normale Supérieure de Lyon Partner in FaSMEd project France