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MA GEOGRAPHY: SPATIAL JUSTICE

Qualification : MASTER OF ARTS DEGREE

Award Type and NFQ level : TAUGHT MASTERS (9)

CAO/PAC code : MHN67

CAO Points :

Closing Date : 31 July 2020

View FETAC details

This new ‘MA in Geography: Spatial Justice’ responds to Irish President Michael D. Higgins’ call to attend to the ‘serious contradictions and obstacles to a genuinely inclusive citizenship’ resulting from recent social and environmental crises. In this course, students will be exposed to pressing global, European and Irish issues, and examine the geographical dimensions of questions of justice through unique public engagement opportunities with civil society partners and cutting-edge research modules. Students will also learn how more equitable forms of spatial, environmental, land, health, social and place-based justice might be realised in the future. They will gain training in participatory, action, and mixed research methods and practices appropriate for geographically-informed research, including fieldwork, qualitative and quantitative research methods, cultural mappings, and QGIS. Students will gain experience in working with civil society, community-based, artistic and government partners, and develop their sense of the ethical and practical demands of such collaborative work.
 

As the Spatial Justice and the Irish Crisis (2014) volume indicates, Maynooth Geography is internationally ranked for research about current issues including: the global economic crisis, the Irish housing and homelessness crisis, the severity of Direct Provision in relation to Europe’s migration and refugee crisis, the HIV/AIDs epidemic, health crises, environmental crises, and everyday forms of homophobia and gender inequality. Our staff are internationally recognised for research related to: housing justice; economic and work justice; land justice; health justice; place-based memory work; ethical geographies; vital geographies; sexualities and genders; migration; environmental justice; feminist methodologies; and activist scholarship. Geographers have a particular set of perspectives on justice: we may speak of spatial, environmental and land, and place justice. As access to social goods can depend upon where one lives or works, the focuss on spatial justice examines distributional and procedural processes. Geographical inequality in health and poverty, for example, often has a structural basis through the ways unequal spaces are produced, particularly as a consequence of capitalism and neoliberalism. Geographers also look at the legal orderings of space around racial, gender-sex or class apartheid. Environmental and land justice scholars attend to how the negative externalities of noxious facilities are visited upon disadvantaged peoples, including work on Ireland incorporating gender. Irish geographers have also become increasingly concerned with the justice as related to climate change. A ‘global sense of place’ considers how attachments are formed in place, both as expressive sets of connections that come into a locale as well as, pass through and out of to other places. Attachments to and routines through place result in forms of existential security; the disruption of such ‘mazeways’, as in many projects of urban renewal or more extreme forms of forced removals, produces a set of harmful social-psychological consequences. If we understand place as including attachments to particular locales that people develop through the everyday routines, then, we begin to understand recent calls for the ‘right to the city’, and by extension the right to healthy places to live.

In addition to learning how to understand, document and map forms of discrimination, violence and displacement at different scales, students will learn how citizens and groups challenge historical legacies and existing structural injustices, and seek more equitable alternatives. Working with Maynooth Geographers and their public engagement partners, including with groups such as the Maynooth Housing Justice Research Group, the Irish Housing Network, Right to Water, and Dublin Bay North Choice and Equality Network, students will gain insights into ‘third spaces’, grassroots movements, and forms of solidarity that may significantly lead to re-thinking current inhabitants’ rights to the city, shared resources, and the right to living in healthy places in Ireland.

This MA is flexible in delivery, innovative in emphasis, and stresses experiential- and field-based learning opportunities for students to develop ethical research skills and other employability competencies.

Students should normally have earned a 2.1 or above in Geography (either subject degree in Geography or overall) or related disciplines. A personal statement is required so the Director can give consideration to applicants with relevant academic, work or professional experience if coming from a different background than the social sciences and/or if earned a 2.2 mark.

Applicants must have a recognised primary degree which is considered equivalent to Irish university primary degree level.

Minimum English language requirements: please visit Maynooth University International Office website for information about English language tests accepted and required scores. The requirements specified are applicable for both EU and non-EU applicants.

 

National University of Ireland Maynooth’s TOEFL code is 8850

Geography - Gerry Kearns - Maynooth University

Head of Department

Department of Geography

Geography - Ro Charlton - Maynooth University

Academic

Department of Geography


Department of ICARUS

Geography - Rowan Fealy - Maynooth University

Academic

Department of Geography


Department of ICARUS

Geography - Ronan Foley - Maynooth University

Academic

Department of Geography


Department of ALL Institute

Academic

Department of Geography


Department of ICARUS

Academic

Department of Geography


Department of ICARUS

Geography - Conor Murphy - Maynooth University

Academic

Department of Geography


Department of ICARUS

Academic

Department of ICARUS


Department of Geography

Academic

Department of Geography


Department of ICARUS

Geography - Peter Thorne - Maynooth University

Academic

Department of Geography


Department of ICARUS

The ‘MA Geography: Spatial Justice’ offers a wide-ranging programme of taught modules, delivered through lectures, seminars, fieldwork, practicals and civil society partnerships, with an emphasis on teaching and learning informed by participatory action research.

Degree structure (90 credits, taken over 2 years part-time).

Part-time students must take three compulsory modules (30 ECTS) over four semesters, and a formative thesis preparation module focused on Spatial Justice both semesters in the second year, which will culminate in the student’s independent minor thesis (worth 30 ECTS). Depending on the students’ research focus, s/he will take an additional three taught modules (30 ECTS) over four semesters, with one to three of these modules in Geography, and up to 20 elective credits in Anthropology, Media Studies and Sociology.

Each Geography taught module will consist of ten, 2-hour seminars. There are some slight variations in module format for elective credits. All modules are 100% continuous assessment, with a range of assessment types (academic essays, field research journals, applied research projects, mapping projects, blogs, vlogs, field-based reports, individual and group presentations, other). Optional module offerings are offered on a rotational basis, depending on student interest and staff availability (i.e. not all GY modules listed below are offered every year). This may also be the case for optional modules listed in Anthropology, Media Studies, and Sociology.

Course Duration: 2 year part-time

Our graduates acquire valuable research, analytical and critical, spatial thinking, ethical and professional skills. The skills learned allow our graduates to find employment in various fields, such as: administration; education; services; creative industries; and working with NGOs and local government authorities. A number of our graduates go on to pursue a PhD.

One student said she ‘would never have gotten to this stage without the [M]asters’ because the high academic standards ‘helped me to define what I’m interested in’. Another student stated that ‘My MA in Geography has allowed me to expand my knowledge of working with vulnerable groups, census data and overall aspects of Human Geography’. Our graduates note that the professional research training in the MA ‘helped me demonstrate a varied skill set when interviewing for employment’ (data engineer). Another graduate stated that the research thesis and transferrable skills from the MA were the reason she landed a senior position ‘dream’ job in local government. Three students who went on to receive fully-funded competitive PhD fellowships acknowledged that the MA provided the skills and accomplishments leading to doctoral research: ‘This is especially true about my funding which I couldn’t continue without’.

 

Online application only http://www.pac.ie/maynoothuniversity

PAC Code
MHN67

The following documents should be forwarded to PAC, 1 Courthouse Square, Galway or uploaded to your online application form:

Certified copies of all official transcripts of results for all non-Maynooth University qualifications listed MUST accompany the application. Failure to do so will delay your application being processed. Non-Maynooth University students are asked to provide two academic references and a copy of birth certificate or valid passport.

All applicants should provide a short personal statement (around 500 words). Your personal statement should include a brief description of any aspects of your work or other experience which you feel are relevant to the programme and how you hope the programme will benefit your practice in these areas.

Applicants must have a recognised primary degree which is considered equivalent to Irish university primary degree level.

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