Award Type and NFQ level : RESEARCH MASTERS (9)

CAO/PAC code : MH04K (FT), MH05K(PT)

CAO Points :

The aim of this course is to combine independent research with structured educational inputs. Students will learn how to execute advanced design research, that captures, analyses, and innovatively responds to human experience. This research can tackle economic, cultural, ecological, and societal challenges through the design of services, products, and strategies. Students will enrol in taught modules to ensure expertise in both their topic and their ability to deliver scholarly, peer-viewed outputs for both academic and non-academic audiences. The Department of Design Innovation will also provide students with the opportunity to work independently under the supervision of a member of staff who will provide detailed feedback and advice on the work.

Applicants must have a minimum 2.1 primary degree or international equivalent to Irish university primary degree level. Applicants in possession of a primary degree with a grade lower than 2.1 will be considered if they have relevant experience. Applicants are welcome from all disciplines, however a clear appetite and interest in Design is required, which aligns with staff research interests within the Department of Design Innovation (please see “Research Interests”).

Minimum English language requirements:
Applicants for whom English is not their first language are required to demonstrate their proficiency in English in order to benefit fully from their course of study. For information about English language tests accepted and required scores, please see here. The requirements specified are applicable for both EU and International applicants..

Maynooth University's TOEFL code is 8850

Although the purpose of MLitt study is to focus on independent, original research, Maynooth University research degrees are structured and require MLitt students to register for a minimum of 10 credits in pass/fail modules for the entire programme. These modules are identified from a suite of modules spanning across various departments within the Faculty of Social Sciences, including Design Innovation. Modules are selected in close consultation with the MLitt supervisor and are designed around the student’s primary need to carry out long-term research and the submission of a written thesis of approx. 30,000 words.

Annual progress reviews are part of the MLitt programme and completion of requisite modules will be taken into account when assessing student progress. Students will not be permitted to submit their thesis (or equivalent) for examination without having accumulated the required amount of credits (min 10 credits in total).

Course Duration: 2 years (full-time) / 3 years (part-time)

Course Duration: 2 years Full-time, 3 years Part-time

A Design Innovation education prepares students for the challenges of the twenty-first century. Design Innovation occupies the space between traditional design disciplines and business/societal innovation. Graduates will be prepared to work across private and public sectors, in the capacity of both employee and or their own enterprise or consulting service. What this programme also offers however, is the opportunity to pursue a more academic path to applied research in the Design and Design Innovation field, as graduates will have the opportunity to progress on to PhD studies.

Before making a formal application, students are advised to make contact with the Programme Director Dr Mary Galvin ( to discuss the suitability of their interests and qualifications.

Online application only

PAC Code

MH04K-  MLitt by Research Full-time

MH05K-  MLitt by Research Part-time


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

Online PAC application form

  • Statement of your academic and professional goals (approx. 1000 words)
  • An outline of your proposed research project (3000-5000 words)
  • Names and contact details of two referees who have agreed to write letters of recommendation for you (SEE BELOW)
  • Official Transcripts of degrees not earned at Maynooth University**
  • A copy of your Birth Certificate or valid Passport (non-Maynooth University students only)


**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.

Arranging for letters of recommendation

You must make prior arrangements with two referees to write letters of recommendation on your behalf. These should be academic references, or if you do not have recent academic experience, please supply professional references. Personal character references are not appropriate.

In your application, provide the names and contact details (preferably emails) of these two referees, and the department will contact them on your behalf to request letters. You may alternatively ask your referees to send letters directly to Letters should be signed and sent from the referee’s email address. They can also be sent by post to the department at the address below.


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