Award Type and NFQ level : POSTGRADUATE DIPLOMA (9)

CAO/PAC code : MHY60

CAO Points :

Closing Date : 30 June 2022

View FETAC details

The goal of the Postgraduate Diploma is to provide a learning environment in which students can critically engage with the opportunities and challenges of social life online and develop an analytical skill set that focuses on the application of digital research methods in this sphere.

The Postgraduate Diploma programme offers (1) critical examination of the latest trends in the political economy and cultures of the internet; (2) knowledge of the latest research that engages with the social, ethical and legal aspects of internet use; (3) advanced social and digital research skills that will prepare graduates for researching online and using user data appropriately.

The proposed programme seeks to equip social and humanities graduates with the intellectual and practical research skills to understand social behaviours online. These should prepare students not only to work in academic and professional social research positions, but also for emergent roles in social media and community management jobs.


Honours Degree of at least a 2:2 in Social Science or a cognate discipline.

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Department of Sociology

Jane Gray


Department of Sociology

Department of Social Sciences Institute (MUSSI)

Department of IQDA

Sociology - Paul Ryan - Maynooth University


Department of Sociology

Students will complete 60 credits over the academic year.

Students will take a core module on analytical reasoning in the social sciences (10 credits), alongside two core internet related theory and methods options (20 credits).

Students will also take three optional modules (10 credits each). Each module will be delivered through 24 hours of in- class teaching in the form of seminars and some computer lab based workshops.

The core programme will be delivered in co-operation with the existing M.A. programme in Sociology and additional options are offered in collaboration with the Department of Law and Media Studies where resources allow. External public and private sector expertise will be invited to give guest lectures. Students will be introduced to existing social science research archives and data sets, (including the Irish qualitative data archive at Maynooth) and major research projects including the two ERC projects based in NIRSA, the Programmable City Project and the New Deals project.

Course Duration: 1 Year Full-Time

Graduates of this course will be able to work as social researchers, work in policy, in the media and in a variety of organisations and industries. They will be able to develop, execute and report on research projects for a range of public and private sector goals. Graduates will be able to interface with programmers and designers, and with those working on the statistical analysis of data. There is a demand for digitally literate graduates who understand the social, cultural, political, legal and business aspects of managing transnational online customers and users. The MA is also suitable for those who wish to bring their sociological knowledge to a new level, and potentially move on to doctoral research.

Online application only

PAC Code

The following information 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. 

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