Award Type and NFQ level : RESEARCH MASTERS (9)

CAO/PAC code : MH04G (FT), MH05G (PT)

CAO Points :

Closing Date : 15 June 2022

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The MLitt in Education is a research degree that supports students in engaging in an innovative research project centred on their own research interests. Students work closely with their supervisors to undertake this research. This research work is supported by a customised series of 10 credits of taught modules with students’ supervisors.

To be eligible students should generally have reached a high honours standard in their primary agree, or presented such other evidence as will satisfy the Head of Department and Faculty of his/her suitability. They must also submit a research proposal that is accepted by the Department.

Minimum English language requirements:

  • IELTS: 6.5 minimum overall score
  • TOEFL (Paper based test): 585
  • TOEFL (Internet based test): 95
  • PTE (Pearson): 62

Maynooth University’s TOEFL code is 8850

The Department of Education at Maynooth University is an exciting place in which to do postgraduate research. We have an excellent international profile and we are part of a wider research community that engages in research right across the educational continuum. Our staff and students also engage in inter-disciplinary and inter-institutional research. We have a large postgraduate research community, and the diversity of approaches and interests and our pluralistic and collaborative ethos makes it a welcoming and dynamic space for students. The atmosphere is one of intellectual vibrancy and creativity, grounded in excellent research. You can learn more about staff's interests here.

Students may find it helpful to reflect on a research question and locate a provisional area for research prior to contacting the Programme Director.

To support students' development of their research project, and to ensure that students are part of a wider community of knowledge exchange, research, scholarship and dialogue, Maynooth University research degrees are structured programmes. Students undertake 10 credits of modules. 5 of these will be generic/transferable modules, and 5 in subject/specialist modules.  Modules are selected in close consultation with the student’s supervisor. Students will write a thesis of approximately 40,000-50,000 words. 

Course Duration: 2 years full-time, 3 years part-time

Course Duration: 2 years full-time, 3 years part-time

Postgraduate students in education come from a range of backgrounds and have a wide range of interests. Some students wish to develop their professional practice and take on leadership roles, others wish to take on other professional responsibilities or engage in policy formation in the national or international context.

Applications will be considered 5 times during the year by the PhD / M.Litt Admissions Panel (in November, February, April, May and June). Before sending your proposal or making a formal application, please note that we will hosting regular proposal writing workshops on the following days in 2023-2024 (all times are Irish time):   


16:00 - 17:00 online


16:00 - 17:00 online


16:00 - 17:00 online


16:00 - 17:00 online


16:00 - 17:00 online


 To register for a workshop, please click here 

After attending one of these workshops, you can send in a proposal which will be reviewed by the PhD / M.Litt Admissions Panel at one of their meetings. We will then decide on supervision capacity and advise you on submitting a formal application. At that stage, you must make an application via the Postgraduate Application Centre Please note that there is also a Doctorate in Education with Specialisms and this is a different programme.

 Students should try to develop a provisional research question and to locate a topic for research. In terms of the parameters of a project, it is expected to make an original contribution to a field of research in education, so this should be born in mind when reflecting on a topic. This might be addressing a problem or gap in, or synthesis of, existing research. Students will also find it helpful to review staff profiles and identify staff with areas of interest relating to their proposed research question. Staff profiles are available at 

Applications will be reviewed by the PhD/ M.Litt Admissions Panel and interviews will take place 4-6 weeks after receipt of applications. Please note that applicants should ensure that PhD/ M. Litt applications are submitted before 15th June 2024 for a start date in September 2024. For applications received in the last quarter (May and June 2024), interviews will take place in June 2024.

Please note you will be asked to submit the following documentation when making your PAC application:

(a) Certified copies of all official transcripts of results for non-Maynooth University primary degree and post-graduate qualifications.

(b) Non-Maynooth University students are asked to provide a copy of their birth certificate or valid passport.

(c) A research proposal giving an outline of the rationale for your research, its proposed contribution to education and a provisional research plan.

(d) The names and contact details of a minimum of 2 academic referees who are familiar with the applicant’s academic work and can comment on their ability to work independently.

(e) A full Curriculum Vitae.

(f) A 3,000-word writing sample.

Subject to meeting university requirements and to providing a research proposal that is at an appropriate level and aligned with staff expertise, students will be called to interview.

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