Postgrad Rss Feed Postgrad en-us Array Tue, 10 Jun 2003 09:41:01 GMT Webmaster Hibernia College Accredited by the Teaching Council for two Teaching Programmes Hibernia College have announced that the Teaching Council of Ireland has accredited the College’s two teaching programmes – The Professional Master of Education (PME) in Post-Primary Education and The Professional Master of Education (PME) in Primary Education.  These programmes are both at Master’s level and are the postgraduate qualification needed to become a post-primary or primary school teacher in Ireland. Dr. Sean Rowland, President of Hibernia College said, “The Teaching Council accreditation is a hard earned validation of the outstanding blended learning programmes that the College has been delivering in Ireland and internationally over the last decade. They will be challenging courses of study, but participants will have the support of our highly skilled academic and administrative teams. ”  The PME in Primary Education is a 120-credit award and the duration of the programme is 24 months.  It is a flexibly delivered blended learning programme, combining online content, virtual learning environments and face-to-face delivery to develop professionals and experts who are positioned to be leaders in the field of primary education.  Speaking at the announcement Dr. Nicholas Breakwell, Academic Dean, said “Master’s level teacher preparation confers strong benefits on societies, individuals and economies. Following these successful accreditation events, Hibernia College is proud to be at the vanguard of bringing these benefits to every County in Ireland. ” In May of this year the Post-Primary accreditation was granted following review by a Teaching Council appointed panel chaired by Professor John Coolahan. The panel recommended accreditation be granted and commended ‘the pioneering initiative of the College in developing blended learning approaches to Initial Teacher Education in Ireland. ’  The Post-Primary teaching programme at Hibernia College consists of a sequence of modules that reflect the contemporary issues faced by post-primary teachers today and the skills and knowledge required of them in order to be expert teachers who enable effective student learning. In addition to the professional accreditation by the Teaching Council successful students from both courses will receive a level 9 academic accreditation from Quality and Qualifications Ireland (QQI). Applications are being accepted until mid July (21st July for Post-Primary and 16th July for Primary) with programmes commencing in September 2014.   Registration information and further details are available at www. hiberniacollege. com You can access the full Teaching Council reports on www. teachingcouncil. ie 2014-07-15 Open Evening at NCI, Thursday 17 July The National College of Ireland (NCI) is giving candidates a chance to explore their postgraduate course options this summer with an open evening on Thursday, 17 July from 5PM to 7PM. The open evening will take place at the NCI campus on Mayor Street, IFSC, Dublin 1. While the open evening will also cover a range of undergraduate options, those interested in advancing into postgraduate study will also be catered for, with both part- and full-time courses in areas such as Business Administration,   Management and Marketing featuring at the event. So if you are thinking of taking your training to the next level and would like to get as informed as possible before making your decision, pop over to the IFSC and hear from the people who know best. For more, email info@ncirl. ie or call 1850 221 721. 2014-07-09 Free Higher Diploma in Science in Computing at DBS with guaranteed 6-month placement There are thousands of unfilled positions in the ICT sector in Ireland. The ICT industry needs talented and skilled graduates to fill these positions. Dublin Business School (DBS) in conjunction with Microsoft Ireland, their Partner Network and other Industry Partners under the Government Springboard initiative is giving participants the opportunity to re-skill or cross skill for FREE under an approved and accredited Level 8 conversion award for a Higher Diploma in Science in Computing. The initiative was launched on 9th June 2014, when the then-Minister for Education & Skills, Ruairi Quinn TD, announced 6, 100 free higher education places to provide re-training opportunities for the unemployed as part of a further roll out of the Springboard initiative. All courses are supported by the HEA and Department of Education and Skills which means the tuition fees normally associated with such programmes are waived. To anybody holding a Level 8 degree and interested in a career in Software Development, IT Infrastructure and Networking or Web and Cloud technologies, this is the programme you have been looking for. With 44, 500 new jobs forecasted in the ICT sector to arise by 2018 it has become a real success story in Ireland. Graduates of the programme will be qualified for graduate entry level positions in a wide range of IT areas, including Software Development, Systems Analysis and Design, Database Administration, Computer Architecture, Networking and Web and Cloud Technologies. With over 80 per cent of the college's ICT graduates going on to secure full-time employment, this is an opportunity not to be missed. Applications for September 2014 are now being considered. 'The Higher Diploma in Science in Computing is an excellent industry supported course which has helped me to develop a wide range of highly desirable IT skills, ' said Kieran O'Connell, a graduate of the Higher Diploma in Science in Computing programme. 'While the workload on the course is highly intensive the opportunities and skills gained from its completion are highly recommended and offer the student the maximum possibility of employment on its completion. The staff and lectures offer great support during the course and have an excellent knowledge of the subject areas. Overall a great experience and I would like to thank everyone at DBS. 'For more information visit www. dbs. ie/ict-skills-programme or call admissions at DBS (01) 417 7500  *subject to academic performance 2014-07-03 NUI Galway boasts most influential scientific minds among Irish universities  Three top-quality scientific researchers from NUI Galway have been included in a list of the ‘World’s Most Influential Scientific Minds 2014’. Three thousand scientists were included on the list, which was compiled by multinational media body Thompson Reuters. The rankings were based on the number of published articles most frequently cited by fellow researchers. Analysts assessed papers indexed between 2002 and 2012 in 21 broad fields of study. They tracked authors who published numerous articles that ranked among the top one per cent of the most cited in their respective fields in the given year of publication. The documents therefore represent the most useful and significant research, as judged by the wider scientific community. With three researchers included on the list, NUI Galway was the highest-performing of the Irish universities. They are:Professor Henry Curran, Director of the Combustion Chemistry Centre at NUI Galway. His research interest lies in the study of the chemistry of how fuels burn in combustors in order to increase efficiency and reduce emissions for a cleaner world. Professor Colin O’Dowd, Director of the Centre for Climate and Air Pollution Studies at the Ryan Institute, NUI Galway. Internationally renowned as one of the leading scientists in the field of climate change through his pioneering work in the field of atmospheric physics. Professor Donal O’Regan, Personal Professor of Mathematics at NUI Galway and an internationally recognised expert in the field of Nonlinear Analysis, Differential Equations, and Fixed Point Theory. With over 1, 000 peer-reviewed mathematical articles, Professor O’Regan is one of the most prolific authors of mathematics ever. 2014-07-02 Postgrad research scholarships at ITT Dublin The Institute of Technology Tallaght (ITT) is inviting applications for a number of postgraduate research opportunities funded by the ITT Dublin Presidents Research Award Scheme 2014. Candidates will hold (or expect to graduate in 2014) a cognate honours degree with a minimum grade of 2nd class honours grade 2 (H2:2). For non-nationals, an IELTS score of >6. 0 is also required. All positions must be filled and students registered by the end of September 2014. Successful applicants will be eligible for a 20-month scholarship under the ITT Dublin Presidents Research Award Scheme 2014, which will provide a stipend of €10, 000 per annum, full EU college fees* for two years from September 2014 and a contribution towards project running costs. Click on the link for more information. *Note: Non-EU students must pay an additional non-EU postgraduate fee of €4, 250. 2014-06-27 UCC research labs to receive latest technology from Intel University College Cork’s (UCC) research labs will soon be kitted out with the very latest devices in embedded computing from Intel. The technology giant will provide some 40 devices for teaching and student projects. Intel has previously selected UCC as a pre-release home for Galileo – an extremely powerful embedded computer. Originally designed in Ireland, Galileo can be used across a range of applications such as security, healthcare and robotics. One of the UCC projects in which the technology will feature involves autonomously guiding a robot to assist in healing wireless networks that have been damaged after a disaster. To date the Galileo platform had been released to just 17 universities worldwide, including Tsinghua University in Beijing, and Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta. 2014-06-23 RDS Student Art Awards - submussions accepted until Wednesday, June 18 Applications for the RDS Student Art Awards (encompassing the RDS Taylor Art Award) will close Wednesday, June 18. The Awards are widely considered to be the most prestigious art awards for students studying at graduate or postgraduate level. This prestige is underpinned both by the history of the Awards (the RDS Taylor Art Award has been in existence since 1860) and by the prize money involved, which stands at more than €17, 000. Students working in a variety of artistic disciplines are invited to submit work for the Awards, which will allow everything from multimedia and photography to painting, print-making, sculpture and more. The judges’ panel will be nominated by the Royal Hibernian Academy, the National Gallery of Ireland and the Irish Museum of Modern Art (IMMA). The winning entry, along with some commendations, will be given the chance to showcase their work at the RDS National Craft & Student Art Awards Exhibition during the Discover Ireland Dublin Horse Show. Click here for the competition rules and anapplication form. 2014-06-16 CIT researchers discover bacteria species Researchers at Cork Institute of Technology (CIT) have discovered a species of bacteria during tests on a lion-tailed macaque monkey. The bacteria species, which has been given the name campylobacter corcagiensis, could have potentially fatal consequences if passed on to the elderly or people in poor health. Dr Roy Sleater, a member of the CIT CREATE team responsible for the research, said the researchers’ primary concern was whether or not the bacteria could be passed from monkeys to humans. ‘A lot of campylobacter bacteria can lead to food poisoning in humans and if they are old or their health is compromised it could kill, ’ said Dr Sleater, who also admitted the team would have to handle the bacteria with care until they could determine the level of transferability. ‘We are now embarking on the second stage to see if it is dangerous. This could take anything from months to years to complete, ’ Dr Sleator said. The discovery of the bacteria was officially announced on June 6 at opening of the €5 million CREATE building at CIT by Research and Innovation Minister Sean Sherlock. The 1, 600sq m building will provide space for more than 60 researchers and their academic and business partners. The centre will focus on finding solutions to public health problems, improving disease diagnosis and assisting the discovery of new and more effective medicines. 2014-06-12 NUI Galway boasts 6 Fulbright Award winners NUI Galway boasted six winners at the recent Fulbright Awards, which are given annually by the Irish and U. S. governments and provide Irish students, scholars, and professionals with the opportunity to study, lecture, and research at top universities and institutions throughout the United States. The six Fulbright winners from NUI Galway are:Dr Gavin Collins, a lecturer in microbiology and European Research Council Fellow at NUI Galway, and a British Science Association Media Fellow at The Irish Times. Professor Fidelma Dunne, Head of the School of Medicine at NUI Galway. Colm Mac Fhionnghaile, an MA candidate in Modern Irish at NUI Galway. Dr Emer Mulligan, Head of the School of Business and Economics at NUI Galway. Julanne Murphy a graduate of the Professional Diploma in Education programme at NUI Galway in 2012 and currently a secondary school teacher at Ardscoil Ris, Limerick. Alena Yuryna Connolly, a PhD student in Information Systems Security at NUI Galway. Speaking about NUI Galway’s winners, Patrick McDermott, Chair of the Fulbright Commission Board, commented: ‘The breadth and diversity of specialist knowledge, combined with immense leadership ability, makes this contingent an incredibly powerful group of representatives for Ireland. Each individual has overcome a rigorous selection process where research and study objectives were judged based on their potential to drive the Irish knowledge economy. ‘However, their mission extends even beyond academia. Fulbrighters are recognized for their capacity to forge meaningful collaborations between Ireland and the US. This element of inter-country collaboration is crucial to driving creativity which is at the core of all innovation and Fulbright itself. ’The next round of applications for Irish Fulbright Awardees will open on Tuesday, 26 August, 2014. Interested applicants in all disciplines are encouraged to visit the Fulbright Commission’s website, www. fulbright. ie, for more information. All applications for the 2015–2016 academic year will be due on Wednesday, 12 November, 2014. 2014-06-11 New research building opened at NUI Galway NUI Galway last week officially opened two new buildings – the Hardiman Research Building, and a new building for the college’s School of Pshychology. Readers may be familiar with the former, which was recently named the 2014 Irish Building and Design Architectural Project of the Year. The Hardiman Research Building will bring together the Moore Institute for Research in the Humanities and Social Studies and the Whitaker Institute for Innovation and Societal Change. The new School of Psychology’s building will bring staff and students under one roof for the first time in the 40-year history of the School of Psychology. The building features a new electro-physiological laboratory and will house over 200 students. The new buildings cost a combined total of €23 million. They have been built to offer world-class teaching, learning and research facilities for staff, students and the public. ‘These new, landmark buildings at the heart of our campus are testament to the breadth of the humanities and social sciences; from the creative arts to the complexity of the mind, ’ said President of NUI Galway Dr Jim Browne. ‘They will be centres of education and research, home to future generations of scholars and to NUI Galway’s unique collection of archives from the past. ’The college will host an exhibition to mark the opening of the two buildings. Located in the foyer of the Hardiman Research Building, the ‘Performing Ireland 1904-2014’ exhibition is open to the public and will run until October. 2014-05-06 SFI anounces €47 million funding for 36 research projects More than 200 researchers working on 36 scientific research projects are to receive a combined total of €47 million in funding through Science Foundation Ireland’s Investigators Programme. Set up with the intention of providing financial assistance to scientific research with the potential to affect a positive change in Ireland’s social and economic development, the programme will give each project between €400, 000 and €3. 1 million in funding. The 36 projects comprise a wealth of research areas, including sustainable food production, enhancing communications networks to enable high-quality internet video, developing innovative wave energy devices, and cancer detection. Speaking at the announcement of the funding, Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Richard Bruton said:‘The funding we are announcing will directly support over 200 highly skilled researchers in Ireland through to 2019, and is linked to 62 private sector companies. This investment through SFI helps to develop Ireland’s international reputation for excellent research with impact. This allows us to continue to attract foreign-direct investment, as well as to support Irish companies, long-term economic competitiveness and most importantly ultimately job-creation. ’The research projects will be spread among ten centres of research; namely, University College Dublin, Trinity College Dublin, University College Cork, Dublin City University, Tyndall National Institute, University of Limerick, Teagasc, National University of Ireland Galway, National University of Ireland Maynooth and Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland. 2014-04-30 Horizon 2020 funding workshop at UCC Researchers looking to obtain a share of the Horizon 2020 fund – Europe’s largest ever fund for research and innovation – will have the chance to improve their chances by attending a dedicated workshop on Thursday, 1 May in University College Cork (UCC). The workshop, which will focus specifically on funding opportunities for Cork companies, will be delivered by Dr Sean McCarthy of Hyperion Ltd. Dr McCarthy, who is himself from Cork, is a well-know expert in EU funding. He specialises in designing training courses for researchers and businesses looking for EU support for their research projects. The workshop not only gives attendees the opportunity to get advice on applying for EU funding, but also offers them the chance to network with researchers and the agencies responsible for supporting the programme at European, national and local level. The workshop will take place at 7pm, in Room G05, Western Gateway Building, UCC. The event is free to attend. To reserve a place, email mary. mccarthy@hyperion. ie. 2014-04-28 CIT's Nimbus Centre to create 27 new jobs Some 27 jobs are to be created this year thanks to an expansion of Cork Institute of Technology’s (CIT) Nimbus Centre for Embedded Systems Research. The research centre – which last year received €4 million in funding from Enterprise Ireland, Higher Education Authority, European Union and Science Foundation Ireland – is Ireland’s only dedicated research centre for networked embedded systems: the hidden computers that monitor and control many aspects of our daily lives, operating our mobile phones, running machines in factories, controlling our domestic appliances and keeping our cars running safely. The Centre focuses on four key application areas: energy, water, location-based services and management of the built environment. The Centre also boasts a range of complementary research and development expertise, which includes wireless sensor and actuator network design and analysis, vehicular and mobile network protocol design and analysis, sensor data fusion, radio localisation systems, embedded hardware design, miniaturisation, reliability analysis, embedded software systems, embedded interaction-based user interfaces, cloud-based software platforms, and system integration and optimisation tools. Hiring for the 27 new high-tech research and development roles is now underway. To find out more click on the following link. 2014-04-22 NUI Galway's research building wins architectural award Researchers using the Hardiman Research Building at NUI Galway can now feel an even greater sense of pride as they head in to their place of work. That’s because the building has been awarded the prize Architectural Project of the Year at this Year’s CMG Awards Ceremony. The Hardiman Research Building provides space for arts, humanities and social science researchers. It is also used for the secure display of important archives and special collections. The building’s distinctive ‘blonde’-coloured limestone cladding, which change character in the rain, is a major part of the architecture and the large glazed element provide reflections of the surrounding trees and buildings from several angles. The Hardiman Research Building was nominated by architects RAUG+Payette. 2014-04-16 MIC accepting applications for Professional Masters of Education course Mary Immaculate College, Limerick, is now inviting applications for its Professional Master of Education (Primary Teaching). The programme will commence in September 2014. The new course – which replaces the Graduate Diploma in Education (Primary Teaching) – is aimed at third-level graduates who wish to become qualified Primary Teachers. Though the number of available places has yet to be confirmed, it will be no fewer than 60. This programme will run for two years, full time. The closing date for receipt of completed applications is Monday, April 28 at 5pm. To download an application form, click here. For more information, email admissions@mic. ul. ie. 2014-04-07 Just add water – Tyndall researchers to unlock water’s energy potential A one million euro initiative will see researchers from Cork’s Tyndall National Institute partnering with scientists from the US and Northern Ireland to investigate the energy potential of water. The aim of the project is to isolate the energy-rich hydrogen in water by utilising semiconductor materials and sunlight to replicate processes found in nature. The initiative, titled ‘Research into Emerging Nanostructored Electrodes for the Splitting of Water’ (RENEW), is led by Professor Martyn Pemble and Dr Paul Hurley at Tyndall, Professor Paul McIntyre at Stanford University and Professor Andrew Mills at Queen’s University Belfast. ‘The main focus for the project is a tiny, stacked arrangement of materials that is used for some transistors in the electronic industry, ’ said Tyndall’s Professor Pemble. ‘Previous work has shown that these structures can act as basic “artificial leaves” for splitting water and the aim now is to make them more efficient. ‘The ultimate goal is to combine our expertise to get to a point where you just drop the electrodes into water and when the sun comes out they would start to bubble away generating an unlimited, free and completely clean source of hydrogen, as well as oxygen. ’The RENEW project is expected to run for the next three years, with funding from the National Science Foundation in the US, Science Foundation Ireland and the Department for Employment and Learning for Northern Ireland under the US-Ireland Research and Development Partnership Program. 2014-04-04 Law scholarship available at DCU Dublin City University (DCU) is offering outstanding PhD candidates the chance to avail of a 4-year scholarship in the field of Law, within the School of Law and Government. The scholarship includes a fee waiver and a tax-free annual stipend of €12, 000 for a full-time PhD student. The School will also support its PhD students with funding for conference and research travel. Potential applicants for the PhD scholarship are asked to contact a member of staff in the most relevant field of research for an informal consultation about their proposed doctoral work. The staff members and their specific fields are as follows:Dr Brenda Daly:     right and access to healthcare; healthcare law; mediationDr Yvonne Daly:     criminal evidence; criminal justiceDr James Gallen:     public international law; human rights; jurisprudenceDr Tom Hickey:     constitutional law and political theoryDr Adam McAuley:     medical law and ethics; research on disciplinary mechanisms for health care professionals; family law; child law; judicial politicsDr Cliodhna Murphy:     immigration and asylum law; human rightsDr Roderic O’Gorman:     EU constitutional law; EU citizenship; Fundamental rights under EU LawDr Olivia Smith:     work-care reconciliation; caring and the law; equality and discrimination lawOnce they have had their initial consultation, applicants should then send a full CV and research proposal to Alexander Baturo at alex. baturo@dcu. ie by Friday, May 2. 2014-04-01 Postgraduate Steps Programme at AIT – MBS in Advance Business Practice Athlone Institute of Technology (AIT) has developed a new approach towards postgraduate education. The Postgraduate Steps programme operates on the understanding that people’s higher education needs are diverse. The programme is therefore designed to enable learners to undertake modules that address their professional development needs in a way that is compatible with their lifestyle. The MBS/PgD and Minor Awards in Advanced Business Practice provides further education and training to graduates of a business and cognate disciplines. The Masters of Business Studies in Advanced Business Practice is aimed at enhancing student’s core skills, fostering an entrepreneurial spirit and employing critical thinking skills for the modern business environment. The content of the programme’s modules are designed to reflect current professional development needs as articulated by Business Professionals. How it worksAny learner who enrols on a single module will have three potential avenues available to them:1    Completion of four designed modules worth 40 credits in addition to the modules, ‘Research Methods’ and ‘Dissertation’, leading to an award of a Master of Business Studies in Advanced Business Practice. 2    Completion of six designed modules over time, leading to an award of a Postgraduate Diploma in Business in Advanced Business Practice. 3    Completion of one designed module leading to a minor award associated with the Master of Business in Advanced Business Practice (level 9). This programme is built module by module. The process involves ongoing consultation and collaboration with a variety of the Institute’s strategic partners in enterprise and business graduates in order to identify the areas within their profession/sector where there is a skills shortage. Based on its findings, the Institute will then develop a series of designed modules to meet the needs of the employee and the employer, while addressing emerging issues in the business environment. From September 2014, the programme will include modules in Managerial Finance and Supervision of People, Culture and Change. Please contact Eimear O’Connor with regards to more detailed information on the modules at eoconnor@ait. ie. For more information about the Masters of Business Studies in Advanced Business Practice, click here. DetailsDurationEach module will run over one semester. The learner has the flexibility to decide the period of time they take to achieve an MBS or PgD award (up to a maximum of ten years). Minimum Entry RequirementsApplicants must hold a level 8 award in Business or a cognate discipline at a minimum 2. 2 level. Career opportunitiesGraduates can reasonably expect to rise to more advanced positions, including Senior Executive Level, and command salaries commensurate with their status. CommencingSeptember 2014Course Fee€750 per module 2014-03-28 Researchers optimistic about new arthritis treatment The findings of a major project involving researchers from a number of European universities including NUI Galway has given hope to those suffering from arthritis that a cure may be on the horizon. With €9 million in EU backing, researchers on the project have been looking at using patients’ stem cells as a form of treatment rather than the more standard options of replacement surgery or pain management. The newer process uses cells derived from body fat which are then injected into diseased joints. Researchers then observe the regeneration rates of the damaged cartilage. ‘From the clinical trials conducted so far, we have seen the first signs of finding a cure for this truly incapacitating disease which affects so many. Using the patient’s own stem cells, we have been able to treat their diseased joints and relieve their suffering and burden of pain, ’ said Professor Frank Berry, scientific director of the NUI Galway’s Regenerative Medicine Institute (REMEDI). ‘While we are still in the early stages of clinical trials, the results so far are extremely positive, such that the use of stem cell therapy for osteoarthritis could become a reality for patients within the next five years. ’Arthritis currently affects more than 400, 000 people in Ireland alone. It is estimated that the disease affects over 70 million people in the EU. 2014-03-27 Success for NUI Galway in Irish Chartered Financial Analysts Competition Five students in the Masters in International Finance programme at NUI Galway have won first place in the prestigious Irish Chartered Financial Analysts Competition. The competition gives students the chance to gain real-world experience as they take on the role of research analysts and are tested on their ability to value a stock, write an initiation-of-coverage report, and present their recommendations to a panel of leading financial services professionals. The NUI Galway team chose Ryanair PLC as the subject of their analysis. The win means that the team will go on to represent Ireland at the European Middle East Africa (EMEA) Finals of the competition in early April. The President of the Chartered Financial Analsyts Society Ireland, Ronan McCabe said: ‘NUI Galway really had to earn their win this year as the overall standard of all the teams competing was exceptionally high. ’ 2014-03-24 UL researcher awarded €250,000 funding to examine condition affecting half of men over the age of 50 A researcher at the University of Limerick has been awarded €250, 000 by the Health Research Board to examine Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH) – a condition that is thought to affect 50 per cent of men above the age of 50. A urologist with UL’s Department of Urology where he is undertaking his PhD research, Dr Kelly says of the condition: ‘BPH is a condition that will affect the majority of all men at some point in their lives. BPH results in the enlargement of the prostate gland which affects the ability to pass urine in a normal way. ’While around half of all men over the age of 50 are affected by BPH, the rate is even higher among those over the age of 70, where it affects approximately 70 per cent of men. ‘Treatment of the condition involves the use of medical therapies and in some cases surgery, ’ says Dr Kelly. ‘The processes which cause this condition are still not fully understood. The management of BPH is of major public health significance and is the source of considerable expenditure and is estimated to cost approximately €1 billion in Europe each year. ’‘Through this study we hope to get a better understanding of how BPH develops and how it affects men, looking at a number of novel biomarkers that may ultimately be new targets for treatment of BPH, which we would hope will improve the quality of life for the ageing man. ’Supporting the successful awarding of the fellowship was a multidisciplinary team comprising clinicians, engineers, bioengineers and biologists. This research is being undertaken at the Centre for Applied Biomedical Engineering Research (CABER), in collaboration with the Material and Surface Sciences Institute (MSSI) and Graduate Entry Medical School (GEMS) at the University of Limerick (UL) and UL Hospitals. 2014-03-20 Musical note to UL’s new two-year masters programme The University of Limerick has added an exciting new course to its list of existing programmes. The two-year Masters in Classical String Performance is the result of a collaboration between the Irish Chamber Orchestra and the Irish World Academy. The new course, which has been given the name ACADEMOS, is a full-time masters that will give students the opportunity to train, study and perform with world-renowned musicians, composers and conductors. Classes will be delivered by leaders from the Irish Chamber Orchestra. According to the University of Limerick President Don Barry: ‘Students of ACADEMOS will benefit from the best of both worlds — recognised, accredited study and access to some of the best musicians in Europe and internationally. ’Mícheál O Súilleabháin, director of the Irish World Academy, also expressed his excitement at the newfangled programme’s ambition: ‘ACADEMOS Irish Chamber Orchestra Academy seeks to build on the shared achievements of the Irish Chamber Orchestra and the Irish World Academy across their first 20 years in the inspired environment of the University of Limerick. ’ 2014-03-10 DBS offering free postgraduate diploma in Computing There are thousands of unfilled positions in the ICT sector in Ireland. The ICT industry needs talented and skilled graduates to fill these positions. In January 2012, in a direct response to specific skills shortages for people with high-level ICT skills, the Department of Education and Skills published a joint Government–Industry ICT Action Plan aimed at building the supply of high-level ICT graduates. One of the key measures in the Plan was the roll-out, from March 2012, of more than 700 places on intensive NFQ level 8 higher diploma ICT skills conversion programmes by higher education providers in partnership with industry. Due to very positive initial evaluation and strong industry endorsement a second phase of the conversion programmes is now being rolled out. All courses are supported by the HEA and Department of Education and Skills which means the tuition fees normally associated with such programmes are waived. To anybody holding a Level 8 degree and interested in a career in Software Development or Web & Cloud technologies, this is the programme you have been looking for. With 44, 500 new jobs forecasted in the ICT sector to arise by 2018 it has become a real success story in Ireland. Dublin Business School (DBS) is providing graduates with the opportunity to re-skill or cross-skill for FREE under an approved and accredited Level 8 Graduate conversion award for a Higher Diploma in Science in Computing with 6 months placement guaranteed * commencing in April 2014. Graduates of this programme will be qualified for graduate entry level positions in a wide range of IT areas, including Software Development, Systems Analysis, Design, Database Administration, Computer Architecture, Networking and Web & Cloud Technologies. 70% of DBS ICT graduates to date have secured Full-Time employment. This is an opportunity no-one should miss. 'I have completed the DBS ICT conversion programme and found it excellent. It has enabled me to move into an IT role in Hewlett Packard and offered me the chance of a lifetime to up-skill and gain a ‘real’ job with excellent prospects at the leading edge of technology. I can strongly recommend the DBS ICT conversion programme to prospective students and employers. 'Paul Brosnan, Software DevelopmentFor more information www. ictskills. ie  or call admissions at DBS 01 417 7500*subject to academic performance 2014-03-07 CIT to announce Rísam PhD Scholarships Cork Institute of Technology (CIT) will shortly announce the Rísam Scholarship Programme 2014 for high-achieving final-year Bachelor (Hons) and Masters-level students who are thinking of undertaking PhDs. The Scholarships are awarded on a competitive basis for research proposals and focus on research activities that reflect the dominant strategic research strengths and critical mass at CIT: BioExplore (Biological Sciences; Chemistry; Biomedical Engineering); Nimbus (Electronic Engineering; Computing); Photonics (Applied Physics & Instrumentation) and Energy & Sustainable Environment (Civil, Structural & Environmental Engineering; Mechanical Engineering; Marine; Architecture). Further information on these and Business, Humanities, Social Care, Music and Art research opportunities is available at this link. 2014-02-28 CIT to host annual Postgraduate Fair on Tuesday, 25 February 2014 Graduates interested in examining their options for further education should note that Cork Institute of Technology (CIT) will host a Postgraduate Fair on Tuesday, February 25th 2014 from 11am to 2pm. The event, which will take place in CIT Nexus Student Centre on CIT’s Bishopstown Campus, is free to all and will offer attendees all the information they need on the wide choice of Doctoral and Masters programmes available to graduates at CIT and other higher education Institutions. The college anticipates that more than 1, 500 final year and other students will attend the fair. Dr Eamonn Cashell, CIT’s Dean of Graduate Studies, believes that the fair is the perfect opportunity for the college to showcase its ever-growing number of research and taught programmes. ‘We will have representatives from many of CIT’s academic departments and research centres showcasing opportunities in Business, Engineering, Science, Humanities, Music, Art & Design, and Maritime, ’ he said. ‘External institutions and organisations from across Ireland and the UK will also be attending. ’ 2014-02-21 Lectures for MSc in Financial Services to commence in late February Lectures for the Institute of Banker’s MSc in Financial Services will commence on Wednesday, February 19. The MSc in Financial Services is aimed at providing masters-level progression to those who have achieved an honours award in either the Graduate Diploma in Financial Services (60 ECTS credits) or the Graduate Diploma in Financial Planning (60 ECTS credits). The programme’s modules are designed to enable those operating in the financial services industry to draw appropriate lessons from the global and domestic crisis in order to position themselves to capitalise on opportunities arising in the future and to avoid the mistakes of the past. The course will explore issues such as: Individual and group behavioural biases that lead to the emergence of asset bubbles, such as occurred in property and other assets How to measure and manage financial risk at both an individual and organisational level and to appreciate the dynamic links between ‘risk appetite’ and return performance How broader macro-environmental factors, such as austerity and stimulus, interest rates, and exchange rates etc. impact on global and domestic economic activity and influence the financial services industry and its customers. Students on the course are assessed by a combination of end-of-semester closed-book examinations and continuous assessment, based on assignments and case studies. 2014-02-13 Postgraduate open evening at NUI Galway NUI Galway’s spring postgraduate open day will take place on Tuesday the 11th of February and will showcase more than 400 full- and part-time postgraduate programmes available at the college – including taught and research programmes, along with doctoral research options. With one of the broadest portfolios of postgraduate teaching and learning in the country, NUI Galway’s Postgraduate Open Day will give prospective students the chance to speak to academic staff and current students. More than 70 stands will offer information on the wide range of programmes on the day, along with the application process, funding and student life at NUI Galway. Valerie Leahy, Postgraduate Recruitment Officer at NUI Galway, comments: ‘A postgraduate qualification broadens your skill set, increases your specialist knowledge, and can improve your job prospects: over 93 per cent of NUI Galway graduates are currently employed or are in further study within six months of graduating. ’The event will take place in the Bailey Allen Hall, Áras na Mac Léinn. To book your place at the open day, click on the link. 2014-02-05 UCD’s MBA programme remains inside world’s top 100 Despite dropping 10 places since 2013, University College Dublin’s MBA programme managed to retain a spot in the 2014 Financial Times Top 100 MBA rankings. It is the only Irish business school on the prestigious list. The master of business administration course, which is run by Smurfit Business School, placed 91st in the global rankings. Of the top 10 places, US-based institutions took 7 with Harvard Business School taking top spot. The rankings were compiled according to metrics such as programme quality, achievements in research and alumni success. While UCD’s programme may have dropped down the list, there was plenty of consolation to be gleaned from the fact that this year’s finish marked a 15th consecutive top 100 placing for the university. In addition, the MBA was also ranked 25th in Europe. Commenting on the rankings, the school’s dean, Professor Ciarán O hÓgartaigh said: ‘Our students are competing with graduates from the best schools in the world in an increasingly competitive international market. ’ ‘We are ambitious for our students and we must ensure they are able to compete. ‘These rankings results are of enormous benefit in enabling them to do so. The results help us to attract the very best faculty and students. ’ 2014-02-03 GAMSAT preparation course at Independent College Dublin Independent College Dublin’s (ICD) GAMSAT preparation course will take place on Saturday the 25th and Sunday the 26th of January from 9am to 5. 30pm at the college’s Dawson Street campus in Dublin. The GAMSAT (Graduate Medical School Admissions Test) test is designed to assist in the selection of students to participate in graduate-entry medical programmes. The test assesses an individual’s capacity to undertake high-level intellectual studies in the medical and health professional programmes. The GAMSAT preparation course will cover areas such as general physics, chemistry and biology. The course will also provide advice on how to interpret experiments, tables and graphs. In addition, students will be given the option to take a practice test. To register for the GAMSAT preparation course, or to view the course schedule, click on the link.   2014-01-22 Chartered Institute of Management Accountants January Open Evenings If you’re looking to pursue a career in business as a management accountant, you can find all the information you need at one of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants’ (CIMA) January Open Evenings. The open evenings will afford prospective students the opportunity to learn about the CIMA qualification and the career directions to which it can lead. CIMA is the world's largest professional body of management accountants. CIMA graduates will be able to use the Chartered Global Management Accountant (CGMA) designation and be part of a truly global network. CIMA professionals, tuition providers, local recruiters, and local employers will be on hand at the open evenings to give further insights into studying CIMA and to discuss the career opportunities that are available in Ireland. Open Evening times:Cork – Wednesday 15 January (6-8pm)  Dublin - Wednesday 22 January (5. 30-7. 30pm) Derry - Thursday 23 January (6-7. 30pm)To attend an open evening, register now by clicking on the following link. 2014-01-15 €16 million fund available to SMEs to find top researchers The Irish Research Council (IRC) has announced that it will make available a  €16 million fund – the largest research fund ever given by the IRC – to Irish companies looking for researchers to assist them. This will be the largest fund ever given to research by the IRC. Small and medium-sized enterprises are due to benefit most from the fund, as they will be given the opportunity develop their business models by recruiting top-quality researchers in the higher education and business sectors in Ireland. The IRC has provided support to more than 200 companies to date. Speaking about €16 million fund, chair of the IRC, Prof Orla Feely, said: ‘The programmes on offer advance the objective of supporting researchers in the development of their careers, as well as assisting business in tackling specific research challenges. The schemes are unique in that they are open to any type of company, in any field or discipline. ‘Big companies, especially multinationals, have a strong record of research support but these schemes also allow SMEs to develop in this area and many have already done so to date’. 2014-01-13 NUI Galway extends closing date for post-primary teaching qualifications NUI Galway’s School of Education has extended the closing date for applications for its new masters-level post-primary teaching qualifications. The new deadline is 31 January 2014. The Professional Master of Education and the Máistir Gairmiúil san Oideachas are both due to commence in September 2014. Both masters programmes are two years in duration (full-time) and are set to replace the Professional Diploma in Education (formerly the Higher Diploma in Education) and the Dioplóma Gairmiúil san Oideachas as the recognised postgraduate qualification for teaching (post-primary). ‘This move to Masters level post-primary teaching programmes is in line with best practice internationally, ’ said Dr Mary Fleming, Head of the School of Education. ‘The new Professional Master of Education and the Máistir Gairmiúil san Oideachas programmes will provide an opportunity for the teachers of the future to engage with evidence and inquiry based reflective practice, as recommended by international research and the recent International Review of Teacher Education in Ireland. We at NUI Galway look forward to being part of this new era in initial teacher education in Ireland. ’Both programmes are professionally accredited by the Teaching Council of Ireland for the purposes of registration as a post-primary teacher in Ireland and internationally. Applications can be made through the Postgraduate Applications Centre (PAC). For further information on the new programmes visit NUI Galway School of Education’s website. 2014-01-09 3 NUI Galway academics to lead Health Research Board initiative Ireland's Health Research Board will invest €9million in a new research initiative, which will create some 22 new research positions. Of the 6 people to be chosen as leaders of the initiative, 3 are based in NUI Galway. The 3 NUI Galway-based research leaders are Professor Ciaran O’Neill, Dr Molly Byrne and Dr Brian Maguire. They will be responsible for addressing strategic gaps and leadership capacity in population health and health services research in Ireland. They will also be expected to deliver relevant and timely evidence that can be used in healthcare decision-making. Each of the research leaders will create a solid foundation of expertise and evidence to deliver better health, reduced healthcare costs and new approaches to care that will benefit patients, care providers and the Irish economy. President of NUI Galway Dr Jim Browne congratulated Professor Ciaran O’Neill, Dr Molly Byrne and Dr Brian Maguire: ‘this is a significant investment by the HRB to ensure that the work carried out by our research leaders helps society by helping decision makers make better choices. NUI Galway is focused on ensuring that our research improves the world around us through discovery and innovation, further education and greater choice. ’ 2014-01-08 UCD gives new lease of life to Joyce's The Dead Many lovers of literature may be aware that today, January 6, is the date on which the events of James Joyce’s famous short story ‘The Dead’ occur. Now, thanks to UCD’s Humanities Institute, Joyce’s great work looks set to reach a new audience through the launch of a dedicated app. The app, which was developed by Athena Media and Vermillion Design, features the full text of 'The Dead', a reading of the story by actor Barry McGovern, archived images from the Dublin of Joyce’s time, music, drawings and commentary. ‘The app demonstrates what can be achieved by creatively combining cultural heritage, scholarship and technology to bring classic texts alive for a new generation, ’ says Gerardine Meaney of UCD’s Humanities Institute. Fans of Joyce, technology and apps, culture and history can download James Joyce: The Dead for free from iTunes today. 2014-01-06 Applications open for spring courses at Dublin Business School Dublin Business School (DBS) is now accepting applications for a number of postgraduate courses, which are due to commence in January and September 2014. The programmes offer prospective students the opportunity to return to education, build new skills, meet new people and embark on the desired career direction. The following courses will commence in January 2014:Master of Business Administration in Business ManagementMaster of Business Administration (Human Resource Management)Master of Business Administration (Finance)Master of Business Administration (Cloud Computing)Master of Business Administration (Marketing)Master of Science (MSc) in MarketingMaster of Science (MSc) in Management PracticeMaster of Arts (MA) in Addiction StudiesThe college is also accepting applications for all part time and full time postgraduate courses due to begin in September 2014, comprising:Postgraduate Arts Postgraduate Business  Postgraduate LawFor more information about these programmes, or to apply online, visit the DBS website. Alternatively, contact the college at 01 4177500 or by emailing admissions@dbs. ie. 2013-12-23 Grants to encourage more female participation in science research More women with science degrees are being encouraged to remain in or return to research. To do so, funds of approximately €150, 000 are being made available through an awards programme with the aim of providing support for childcare costs. Details of the new Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) Advance Fellowship Award programme for women scientists were announced earlier this week at the foundation’s review of 2013 and annual plan for 2014. Director general of the SFI, Professor Mark Ferguson, claims that the programme is aimed at helping women who may have left academia in order to take a career break or start a family to get back into research. Though limited to 100 fellowships to begin with, the programme will likely expand to accommodate any increase in demand. In addition to financial support for two years, the scheme will also provide a mentor to allow women to resume careers either in academia or industry. Science Foundation Ireland has set up seven major research centres during the past year, with the backing of some €200 million in state funding and a further €100 million from industrial partners. It is expected that up to three more research centres will be opened in 2014. Naturally, such scope and ambition requires continued support. ‘We are not alone when it comes to an interest in promoting science, ’ says Professor Ferguson. ‘We must increase money for research and development as we emerge from recession. ’ 2013-12-19 NUI Galway English lecturer awarded €2m European Research Council (ERC) Grant Dr Marie-Louise Coolahan, a lecturer in English at NUI Galway, is the first Irish researcher in any field of literature to be given a Consolidator Grant by the European Research Council. The award is also the only one made in Ireland this year in the Social Sciences and Humanities. The €2 million award will help fund Dr Coolahan along with a five-person postdoctoral team for a period of five years. The project on which Dr Coolahan and her team will work, ‘RECIRC: The Reception and Circulation of Early Modern Women’s Writing, 1550-1700’, will look at women’s writing in the early modern English-speaking world and how it was circulated. The results will then be used to analyse the ways in which texts, ideas and reputations came to gain an influence over time. Speaking on the team’s research project, Dr Coolahan said: ‘While there has been an increasing number of case studies on individual women writers in recent years, we have lacked an understanding of how and where women’s writing made an impact on a broader scale. ’President of NUI Galway, Dr Jim Browne, also praised Dr Coolahan’s achievement: ‘This is only the second time ever that a researcher in humanities in an Irish University has secured an ERC award. It is, as such, a remarkable achievement, not only for Dr Marie-Louise Coolahan but for the Discipline of English and for NUI Galway as whole. ’  2013-12-18 Irish universities aiming for €1 billion of Horizon's funds Horizon 2020 is the largest European funding scheme yet. It will make some €80 billion available to international researchers – €1 billion of which Irish universities will attempt to secure. The action plan for Irish universities’ participation in Horizon 2020 was launched on Tuesday 10 December by Minister for Research and Innovation Mr Sean Sherlock TD. Speaking at the launch, Minister Sherlock said: ‘I welcome the renewed commitment of the universities to maximise their participation in Horizon 2020 across all areas. At a time when national funding for research must be carefully invested, it is critical that the universities and all public research institutions gain maximum leverage from exchequer funds. ’The proposed action plan, entitled ‘Horizon 2020: Sustaining Excellence in University Research & Innovation’, identifies a number of key actions to ensure a high-class performance in Horizon 2020. They include:Maintaining and increasing research excellence across all disciplines by improving the universities’ performance in European Research Council Calls, thereby attracting excellent researchers to relocate to Ireland, as well as targeting high potential researchers already resident here. Strengthening partnerships with the private sector in order to maximise returns from the three Pillars of Horizon 2020 and ensure the implementation of the National Research Prioritisation plan. Strategically using European Structural and Investment Funds to increase the research system’s capacity to participate in Horizon 2020, particularly with respect to investment in human capital and research infrastructure. Click the link to read the national action plan in full. 2013-12-12 UCC lecturer awarded prestigious international accolade University College Cork lecturer Dr Gerald Clarke of the Alimentary Pharmabiotic Centre (APC) was recently awarded a 2013 NARSAD Young Investigator Grant by the Brain & Behavior Research Foundation. Given the highly competitive nature of the award, in which applications from around the world are peer-reviewed, the celebrated prize is something of a scoop for the university. It is even more impressive when one considers that the number of such awards given to researchers outside of North is extremely small. Advances in Mental IllnessThe aim of the Brain & Behavior Research Foundation is to alleviate the suffering caused by mental illness by conferring grants that will eventuate in advances and breakthroughs in scientific research. The NARSAD Young Investigator Grant programme provides support to only the most gifted young scientists conducting neurobiological research. Dr Clarke’s proposal (entitled ‘Regulation of Anxiety by the Gut Microbiota: Role of Amygdala and Prefrontal Cortex microRNAs) centres upon the impact of the gut bacteria on brain and behaviour. The $60, 000 prize money will help support research using the germ-free platform in the Alimentary Pharmabiotic Centre, the only such facility in Ireland and one of the few available in Europe. ‘I’m honoured to receive this award, ’ said Dr Clarke, ‘Ultimately, advances from this project may pave the way for microbiota-based strategies to treat anxiety where there is currently an unmet medical need’. The Alimentary Pharmabiotic Centre is a national research centre for food and medicine funded by government and industry through Science Foundation Ireland’s Research Centres’ Programme. 2013-12-04 Two Irish universities among first in queue for new Intel technology The core chip technology on Intel’s new dev Galileo board, which is aimed at driving wearable computing and the ‘internet of things’ revolution, has been ‘designed in Ireland’. Because of this, Trinity College Dublin and University College Cork (UCC) will be among the first of the world’s top universities to receive the devices for free. Intel plans to donate 50, 000 Intel Galileo boards to 1, 000 universities worldwide over the next 18 months and two Irish universities are on a priority list to receive the device first. Both Trinity College Dublin and UCC have highly regarded computer science departments, whose graduates have gone on to enjoy hugely successful careers at Intel. Among the universities that will receive the boards first are: the University of Melbourne, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Sapienza University of Rome, Tsinghua University in Beijing, and Georgia Institute of Technology. The devices, which were launched at the European edition of the prestigious Maker Faire in Rome, use Arduino software and are designed to be open and allow makers, creators and inventors to apply computing to any application, be it clothing, transport, communications, robotics – in essence, just about anything the mind can conceive. The dev board runs on an open-source Linux operating system with Arduino libraries. The Intel Quark SoC X1000 chip that drives the board – which, according to Intel CEO Brian Krzanich, is intended to feature in potentially billions of ‘internet of things’ applications – was designed in Ireland by a 70-strong team as part of an IDA Ireland-backed project. The words ‘Designed in Ireland’ are displayed on the boards. ‘Through our ongoing efforts in education, we know that hands-on learning inspires interest in science, technology, engineering and maths, ’ said Krzanich. ‘I’ve been a “maker” for many years and am passionate about the exciting possibilities of technology and what can be created with it. We look forward to a productive collaboration with Arduino and to providing this community with some incredible Intel products that will help push the boundaries of our imaginations. ’ 2013-10-07 New study finds that women are under-represented in ICT According to a new study from the European Commission, there are too few women working in the ICT sector. The study revealed that only 19. 2 per cent of ICT-sector workers have female bosses, compared to 45. 2 per cent of non-ICT workers. If the trend were reversed and women held digital jobs as frequently as men, the European GDP could be boosted annually by around € 9 billion (i. e. roughly 1. 3 times Malta’s GDP). The study’s key finding was that encouraging more female participation in digital careers would effect a boon for the ICT industry, for women themselves and for Europe’s economy. The study also found that:StatisticsOf 1, 000 women with a Bachelors or other first degree, only 29 hold a degree in Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) (compared to 95 men), and only 4 in 1000 women will eventually work in the ICT sector. Women leave the sector mid-career to a greater extent than men and they are under-represented in managerial and decision-making positions (even more than in other sectors). The study also suggests that women who work in the ICT sector earn almost 9% more than women in other parts of the economy, and also have greater flexibility in arranging their working schedules and are less susceptible to unemployment (it is estimated that by 2015, there will be 900, 000 unfilled ICT positions in the EU). European Commission Vice-President for the Digital Agenda Neelie Kroes said: ‘We now know, beyond doubt, that more women in a business mean a healthier business. It is high time the IT sector realised this and allowed women a chance to help the sector and Europe's economy benefit from their enormous potential’. Measures for improvementThe study also suggests four priority areas where action needs to be taken: Building a renewed image of the sector among women and society, with actions such as disseminating most appealing ICT topics for young women (exciting, diverse, profitable etc. ); Empowering women in the sector, e. g. promoting, together with industry, harmonised European educational curricula to foster clear and straightforward ICT careers paths; Increasing the number of women entrepreneurs in ICTs, e. g. improving access to seed and venture capital programs for women entrepreneurs; Improving working conditions in the sector; for example, by highlighting the improved performance of businesses employing women. Traditional causes of low female participation The study also notes several factors that prevent women from fully participating in the sector: (a) cultural traditions and stereotypes about women's role, (b) internal barriers and socio-psychological factors, such as lack of self-confidence, lack of bargaining skills, risk-aversion and negative attitudes towards competition and (c) external barriers, such as a strongly male-dominated environment, difficulties in balancing personal and professional life and lack of role models in the sector. The study showcases a variety of profiles of women working in the area of digital technology: from a videogames developer and a digital communications specialist to an ICT policy-maker. Profiling of digital role models for girls and giving visibility to women in the sector is the key way to attracting many more girls to consider a career in the ICT sector, the report concludes. *Image courtesy of adamr/freedigitalphotos. net 2013-10-03 Discovery by UCC researchers could lead to improved treatment for inflammation Researchers at University College Cork (UCC) have made a discovery that could greatly assist in the treatment of inflammation. Scientists at UCC’s Alimentary Pharmabiotic Centre were able to determine that cells that destroy tumours and viral infections also played a major role in reducing gut inflammation. The discovery could lead to new treatments for several diseases. Killer cells are a type of white blood cell that protect the body against tumours or viral infection. When a tumour or virus is identified, a front line of immune cells accumulates to attack the invader, causing inflammation. The researchers had predicted that mice lacking killer cells would develop less inflammation; however, they were surprised when the mice developed acute inflammation and severe signs of disease. Lindsay Hall, the lead investigator in the research, said it was an exciting discovery in natural killer cell biology. ‘Our findings open up the possibility of new therapeutic approaches for inflammatory bowel disease and other inflammatory diseases such as cystic fibrosis, rheumatoid arthritis and severe asthma. ’  2013-09-27 New Fully Funded ICT graduate programmes at DBS Dublin Business School (DBS), in conjunction with Microsoft Ireland, their Partner Network - along with other Industry Partners under the Joint Government ‘ICT Skills’ initiative - is providing graduates with the opportunity to re-skill or cross skill for FREE under the following approved and accredited courses commencing in October 2013. Exciting NEW Graduate Programme in Sales/Business Development for Cloud Services with 6 months' work placement. DBS, in collaboration with Microsoft Ireland and their Partner Network, have developed a Level 8 Special Purpose Award for a Graduate Programme in Sales/Business Development for Cloud Services.  A unique feature of the programme is a Professional Sales Stage delivered by expert professionals with over 25 years’ experience in sales, business development and sales management. Programme participants will also engage in a six-month credit-bearing work placement in a Microsoft Ireland Partner Network Company. Interested in a career in Software Development? Fully-funded Postgraduate Higher Diploma in Science in Computing with 6 months' work placement. Dublin Business School (BDS) is currently offering a Level 8 Higher Diploma in Science in Computing in the specialist stream of Software Development awarded by Quality & Qualifications Ireland (QQI) – Formerly Higher Education & Training Awards Council (HETAC). The college's programme provides specialised ICT training that will offer graduates a realistic prospect of a graduate-level entry into the ICT sector and produce graduates that genuinely satisfy the needs of industry. Final Applications are now being considered. To find out more and to apply visit the ICT Skills portal www. ictskills. ie. Alternatively, contact the DBS Admissions Office directly on 01 4177500 or email admissions@dbs. ie.   2013-09-26 Researchers at Tyndall National Institute to tackle counterfeit goods market Nanotechnologist from Cork’s Tyndall Institute has spent the last four years pioneering a new anti-counterfeit device. The group hopes to take on the €485bn global market in fake goods by introducing a new RFID device which features readable technology and an optical hologram. In global nanotech and materials science circles, Tyndall National Institute has carved out an enviable reputation for its pioneering nano-science innovations in order to disrupt areas such as clean-tech, med-tech and pharmaceuticals. The ICT specialists and scientists at the Institute also work closely with industry in ensuring that there are technologies to fill gaps in the market. The team behind the new device – Dr Mary Manning, Dr Aidan Quinn and Dr Michéal Burke –describe describe the new device as a ‘low-cost un-cloneable anti-counterfeit device’. The three scientists believe that their new technology has the scope to ‘revolutionise’ the authentication and tracking of credit cards, medical devices and high-end consumer goods. Such product sectors currently face massive difficulties as a result of counterfeit copies that cost billions in fraudulent transactions and lost revenue each year. Last year, €20m was lost to fraud on Irish cards, with €3m of this figure caused by skimmed cards. 2013-09-23 Digital Marketing Institute announces open evening ahead of course application deadline Readers should note that applications for the Digital Marketing Institute’s autumn Postgraduate Diploma in Digital Marketing course will close in the next two weeks. The Postgraduate Diploma in Digital Marketing is designed to help you create and implement effective digital marketing strategies. The programme is available to study in three different formats: online, part time over one year, or full time. In case any prospective students may have missed the Institute’s previous two open evenings, a third Dublin date has been added: next Wednesday, 25 September. Full- and part-time classes will begin in October. The final open evening will give a full overview of the topics covered in the programme – from SEO and PPC to social media and email marketing.  Please register in advance if you would like to attend the Open Evening, or contact us for more information. About the Digital Marketing InstituteThe Digital Marketing Institute is the world’s leading institute in the field of Digital Marketing. The Institute is dedicated to educating professionals in the field of Digital Marketing to ensure career growth and competitiveness in a global jobs market. 2013-09-19 PhD researcher from NUI Galway awarded prize for best presentation A PhD researcher from NUI Galway was recently awarded the Best Oral Presentation in the Life Sciences prize at the 37th Annual Symposium of the Microscopy Society of Ireland (MSI). A native of Sligo Town, Yvonne Lang is currently pursuing her PhD under the supervision of Professor Abhay Pandit and Dr David Finn at the Network of Excellence for Functional Biomaterials (NFB) at NUI Galway. Yvonne’s PhD research focuses on the use of diatoms as biotemplates to generate structures with elaborate hierarchical architecture. Diatoms are ubiquitous in freshwater and seawater environments and over 100, 000 different species have been identified to date, each with its own unique architecture. The potential applications of these ornate algae range from roles in photonics to separation science to catalysis to drug delivery. Speaking about the PhD student’s success, Professor Abhay Pandit, Director of the NFB at NUI Galway, said: ‘Yvonne’s achievement is a testament to the high quality of research being carried out in the NFB at NUI Galway. Her presentation described how various microscopy techniques enabled her to monitor chemical and architectural modifications to microscopic unicellular algae called the diatom. ’Professor Pandit’s goal at the Science Foundation Ireland funded NFB is to harness this natural resource to prepare biocompatible structures for drug delivery. 2013-09-13 NUI Galway to showcase research activities at conference NUI Galway will host the ‘People, Policy, Places and the Economy’ Conference from 19 to 20 September. The two-day conference will showcase some of the research activities that have been supported by the Programme for Research in Third Level Institutions Cycle 4 (PRTLI 4) and co-funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) as part the Irish Social Sciences Platform. Minister Sean Sherlock TD, Department of Enterprise, Job and Innovation, and the Department of Education and Skills, will deliver the keynote address on Thursday 19 September. Entitled ‘What Ireland Needs and How Universities Can Help’, the address and a roundtable discussion with Minister Sherlock are due to commence at 6. 30pm in the Aula Maxima, NUI Galway, and are open to the public. On Friday 20 September, NUI Galway will host a one-day conference which aims to highlight examples of NUI Galway’s research and community outreach efforts and contemporary social and business debates that have been enabled through funding from the PRTLI 4 as part of the Irish Social Science Platform. Panel presentations and discussions will focus on the Creative Economy and Creative Places; Improving the Lives of People; and Enterprise, Entrepreneurs and the Irish Economy. Kevin Leyden, Professor of Political Science at NUI Galway, said: ‘At this conference we will introduce a new initiative called “Public Policy Puzzles” that we hope to implement in the coming year. The goal will be to seek new ideas from the public and business on how to improve policy, places, and the economy. ’Click on the link for more information on guest speakers, the conference programme and registration.   2013-09-11 Moving up the rankings: NUI Galway improves its place in the QS World Universtiy Rankings 2013/2014 NUI Galway has once again increased its position in the QS World University Rankings 2013/2014, rising 3 places to 284th in this year’s ranking. NUI Galway is one of only two Irish universities – the other being Trinity College Dublin, which moved from 67th to 61st – to improve their standing in this year’s league table. Commenting on the achievement, Dr Jim Browne, President of NUI Galway, said: ‘This is good news for NUI Galway and further acknowledgement of the developments in teaching and research that have taken place at this University in recent years. Although all ranking systems have their limitations in that they seek to measure performance across a narrow range of criteria, the QS World University Rankings is one of the best regarded evaluations of higher education in the world, and it is great to see NUI Galway continue to make its mark on that ranking. ’President Browne added: ‘It is clear that Irish universities are competing in a global market now. In spite of the economic difficulties the country faces, we need to continue to invest in teaching and research if we are to continue to attract the best staff and students and to maintain and enhance Ireland’s position within higher education globally’. NUI Galway is now ranks in the top 300 universities in the disciplines of Engineering and Technology (251), Arts and Humanities (276) and Social Sciences and Management (288). It is in the top 350 universities globally for Life Sciences and Medicine (307) and Natural Sciences (348) in the QS World University Rankings’ discipline categories. QS Head of Research Ben Sowter said that the economic climate of recent years has been very challenging for Irish universities, with recurrent grant allocations falling 25 per cent between 2008 and 2012. The QS World University Rankings have been running since 2004 and are among the most-high profile global evaluations of comparative university quality. The World University Rankings were conceived to present a multi-faceted view of the relative strengths of the world’s leading universities. The calculations leading to the QS World University Rankings are based on data gathered in the following categories: Academic Peer Review, Employer Review, International Faculty Ratio, International Student Ratio, Student Faculty Ratio, and Citations per Faculty. 2013-09-10 Limited places still available on DIT's MSc in Advertising programme There is a still limited number of places available on Dublin Institute of Technology’s MSc in Advertising. This flagship DIT programme explores the issues that are at the forefront of advertising and digital communications. It is open to all honours graduates and is informed and supported by the Irish communications industry. Students will gain an extensive up-to-date knowledge and understanding of the advertising business with a developed awareness of the emerging business environment, the social responsibilities and the need for adaptation and change in the area of advertising and communications. Students will learn how to apply problem-solving and creative thinking across a range of business problems and leave the programme ready to apply their knowledge in this fast-changing and dynamic communications industry. The first semester introduces participants to the principles of strategic digital and marketing communications, advertising strategy, consumption studies, advertising and marketing research, art direction and content creation. In the second semester, the executive stream focuses on current issues in advertising and marketing, client leadership and strategic media planning. At the end of the programme, participants work on a communications campaign using a real brief supplied by a client, which they then develop and execute in teams, or 'advertising agencies', and 'pitch for the account' in front of a group of invited industry guests. See details of recent advertising graduates here. For details on DIT's MSc in Advertising and on application process, click here.     2013-09-02 Postgrad Open Events at the Digital Marketing Institute The ascent of digital media has been well documented over the last few years. The number of positions available in the sector continues to grow, even though many companies have noted that there is a significant shortage of digital skills among the Irish population. This is an issue that the Digital Marketing Institute (DMI) is aiming to tackle through delivering a number of high-quality digital courses that have immediate applicability to the work environment. Those wishing to enhance their digital skills or address their shortcomings in the area are therefore invited to attend the Digital Marketing Institute’s September Open Events. These will give an overview of the course content of both the Postgraduate Diploma and Masters programmes that are on offer. Prospective students will have the chance to speak directly to the Institute’s team and ask any questions they may have. The DMI’s Dublin Open Evenings take place in:Chartered Accountants House 47–49 Pearse Street Dublin 2. Dates and times:11 September 2013 5. 30pm to 7. 30pm17 September 2013 5. 30pm to 7. 30pmClick on the link if you would like to register for an Open Event. For more info, contact the DMI. 2013-08-19 Trinity scientists make breakthrough in understanding the childhood cancer neuroblastoma Scientists from the Smurfit Institute of Genetics at Trinity College Dublin (TCD) have made a significant advance in the understanding of a childhood cancer known as neuroblastoma. The TCD group, led by Dr Adrian Bracken and funded by Science Foundation Ireland, has just published its findings in the leading international journal, Developmental Cell. Neuroblastoma is the most common form of cancer found in children who are less than two years old. As its name suggests, neuroblastoma is a cancer of special nerve cells called ‘neuroblasts’, which are found throughout the body. These immature cells typically grow and mature into functioning nerve cells. However, in neuroblastoma, they fail to mature and instead develop in to cancer cells. This new research explored the function of the gene CHD5, which is deleted in children with the worst form of neuroblastoma. Chris Egan, the lead author on the study, and a post-doctoral fellow in the laboratory of Dr Bracken, together with colleagues at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, showed that without the CHD5 gene, neuroblasts are incapable of maturing or ‘differentiating’ to mature neurons. Commenting on the study, Dr Adrian Bracken said: ‘Understanding the role of genes whose deletion or inactivation is associated with disease is central to designing intelligent therapeutic strategies. Our work has unravelled the normal function of the CHD5 gene, and suggests that its inactivation in neuroblastoma leads to an inability of these cells to correctly mature or differentiate. Our future work will assess the potential benefit of reactivating CHD5 in neuroblastoma cells which usually retain one silenced copy of this gene. We hope that this research will lead to new and improved treatments for children with this disease. ’ 2013-08-16 Researchers in Ireland receive the least funding from business world The government’s attempt to craft an image of Ireland as a world-leading research hub took a major blow this week when the details of a study by Times Higher Education Magazine were published. The study, which looked at the relationship between big business and universities, assembled a league table that showcased the amount of research money that countries around the world managed to attract. At the bottom of the league, which comprised 30 countries, were Irish academics with an average of pay package of €6, 000 per researcher conducting work for a company. The study highlights the glaring paucity of the figure when placed in context with that of university researchers in South Korea, who ranked top of the league with an average remuneration of €75, 000 per researcher. Researchers in Singapore, which placed second in the list, attracted an average of €64, 000 each, while researchers in third-placed Netherlands can expect €55, 000. Ireland’s poor performance in the study was symptomatic of a Western trend, with both the US (14th) and the UK (26th) faring badly. Asian nations such as Taiwan, China and India were successful in making their way into the list’s top ten. Commenting on the study, a spokesman for the Times Higher Education Magazine said:‘Working with business and industry to move their discoveries and ideas from the ivory towers into the real world — and to make a real social and economic impact — has become one of the most important functions of a modern university. ‘For some, an ability to attract funding from big business could even be a case of sink or swim in this age of austerity. ‘That South Korea and Singapore are the top two countries listed in this new table, with other Asian nations like Taiwan, China and India all making the top ten will be a shocking wake-up call for the West. It seems that the balance of power is destined to tip further eastwards. ’ 2013-08-12 Information Evening on Taught Masters in Business at CIT Cork Institute of Technology (CIT) will hold an information evening on its Taught Masters in Business on Tuesday 20 August. The four business streams that will be presented in September 2013 are:Master of Business in MarketingMaster of Business in AccountingMaster of Business in EnterpriseMaster of Business in Management Information SystemsCourse ProgrammeThe overall aim of the MBus programme is to facilitate the further personal and intellectual development of students, encompassing the skills of analysis, interpretation and synthesis within their chosen field of knowledge. Participants will be required to adopt innovative and creative approaches to business-related issues and to critically analyse business and management problems in a national, international and global context. For more information on the course (duration, modules, etc. ), click on the link. The EventThe information evening will feature a brief presentation by a graduate student on the benefits of taking the MBus Programme and how it can help one’s personal and career development. The information evening will take place in T103, The new Tourism Building in Cork Institute of Technology at 8. 30pm sharp. If you have any queries or would like some further information on the event, contact John Meyler, Taught MBus Course Coordinator, by email at john. meyler@cit. ie, or call 021 433 5335. 2013-08-07 New postgrad programmes in design and development at CIT The Department of Media Communications at Cork Institute of Technology (CIT) has announced the launch of two new postgraduate programmes in design and development. The new MA programme in E-learning Design and Development is a flexibly delivered programme that aims to prepare students for careers as developers of cutting-edge, educationally effective e-learning solutions. Employment opportunities exist both directly in the e-learning industry and in a wide range of other sectors where, in recent years, e-learning has become a mainstream practice or service. Direct entrants to this masters programme require a Level 8 (i. e. an honours degree) qualification in the field of multimedia, or similar, but graduates from other fields may gain admission by first undertaking another new programme being offered by the department: a Level 8 single semester Certificate in Digital Media Design and Development. Click on the links to read more about the MA in E-learning Design and Development or about the Certificate in Digital Media Design and Development. 2013-08-01 Government approves new metrics to optimise R&D funding in Ireland The Government has approved new metrics and targets to assess the impact of the core €500m science and technology budget. One of the key targets will be to increase the number of spin-outs from publicly-funded research by 50 per cent. The Cabinet also approved the publication of individual action plans on each of 14 priority areas of research that show the greatest opportunity in terms of supporting jobs. Targets at national and agency level include increasing the share of publicly performed R&D financed by enterprise to €180m over the period 2013 to 2017 (an average of €36m per annum, from a baseline of €31. 2m in 2010); increasing the number of spin-out companies greater than three years old from 44 to 69 by 2017; increasing the number of firms engaged in R&D projects of significant scale by 115 firms by 2017, from 1070 in 2011 to 1185 companies in 2017; increasing by 10 per cent the turnover due to new-to-firm or new-to-market product innovations from 9. 3 per cent to 10. 3 per cent by 2017; and employing a further 1, 100 researchers in the enterprise sector in addition to the 10, 600 (approx. ) currently employed there. ‘Turning good ideas into good jobs is the key outcome that we need to see in the short term from our investment of scarce public funds in scientific research, ’ said Minister for Jobs Enterprise and Innovation Richard Bruton. ‘These metrics and targets will help us to track that investment and the impact that it is having. ’‘Having just concluded lengthy negotiations with the European Parliament and the European Commission as chairman of the EU Competitiveness Council, I am confident that Ireland will be in a position to target up to €1bn in research and innovation funding under Horizon 2020 over the next seven years, ’ said Minister for Research and Innovation Seán Sherlock. ‘We need to set ambitious targets – nationally and at EU level - to ensure that we maximise the availability of productive, job creating funds. We know from our own enterprise sector that research and development drives exports and profitability and helps to secure and grow jobs. ’ 2013-07-25 Irish researchers awarded EU grants worth €6 million The high-quality research currently being carried out in Ireland was recently in evidence when three Irish researchers were announced as recipients of the prestigious European Research Council (ERC) Starting Grants. The award means that each of the three researchers will receive €2 million to pursue their cutting-edge research in physical sciences and engineering. The three recipients are Aoife Gowen from Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT)/University College Dublin (UCD), David Hoey from the University of Limerick (UL), and Niamh Nowlan, who is based at Imperial College London. Considering the intense level of competition for the grants (there were well over three thousand proposals in total - an increase of 50 per cent on the amount of proposals submitted last year) the award represents a significant achievement for the three Irish researchers. It is expected that the ERC will receive a major increase in funding under the new Horizon 2020 programme, which is on track to replace the Seventh Framework Programme. *Image courtesy of freedigitalphotos. net 2013-07-22 Revolutionary new software has potential to delay onset of Alzheimer's by 'up to five years' Brain Care Ireland, an Irish company based at the Research and Innovation Centre in NUI Galway, has brought to the market a revolutionary piece of software that has the potential to delay the onset of Alzheimer’s by up to five years. The software is also used to remediate and rehabilitate disorders such as depression, stroke, traumatic brain injury, post-traumatic stress disorder, schizophrenia, and bi-polar disorder. Developed by a team of neuroscientists, clinicians and researchers, the software (Scientific Brain Training PRO) is already widely available in the US, where it is reimbursable under Medicare. It is also used in countries such as Brazil, Australia, Israel, Korea, Russia and Japan. Scientific Brain Training PRO facilitates the effective treatment of a variety of conditions through fun and interactive games specially designed for targeted stimulation of key cognitive functions. According to Brain Care Ireland, research from around the world has shown that engaging in these regular brain training exercises can effect positive changes in our brains helping to improve disorder impairments. ‘When it comes to diseases such as Alzheimer’s, early-intervention is key. This product is not a cure for Alzheimer’s albeit research has shown, when used for as little as six months it can delay the onset and progress of the disease by up to five years. Potentially, this could keep people in their own homes longer, save on nursing home costs, and manage future numbers effectively. Modern internet-based technologies, such as Scientific Brain Training PRO, provide medical practitioners with an effective alternative to residential or pharmaceutical interventions with patients’, explains James Lee, Scientific Director of Brain Care Ireland. As well as combating known disorders, the software can also be used as part of an ageing well programme, which has proved most effective in maintaining older people’s memory from aged decline. Scientific Brain Training PRO facilitates the effective treatment of a variety of Neurotrauma, Neurodegenerative and Neuropsychiatric conditions through fun and interactive games specially designed for targeted stimulation of key cognitive functions. ‘With this software, medical professionals can provide affordable, personalized cognitive therapy programmes, at a distance, to hundreds of patients at the same time maximizing  time management and patient communication irrespective of whether the patient has a Stroke, Alzheimer’s, Depression, traumatic brain injury or post-traumatic stress disorder. There is huge potential here for the healthcare system in Ireland to take a cost effective patient centric fresh approach to managing these disorders and move to a more holistic and modern system of treatments’, added James Lee. As part of the company’s drive to make people aware of cognitive decline, Brain Care Ireland is offering a short three-minute memory test (Brain Care Ireland and Stanford University USA) for memory decline and impairment in a number of pharmacies across Galway. For further information visit www. braincare. ie. 2013-07-17 Ireland set to become energy leader with €15m research lab University College Cork (UCC) is to build a new maritime energy research laboratory in Cork Harbour, next to the National Maritime College of Ireland. The Beaufort Centre is a collaboration between UCC, Cork Institute of Technology and the Irish Naval Service. The centre, which has already secured over €50m in funding from European programmes and Science Foundation Ireland, will also house the National Ocean Test facility, which will have the world’s largest, wave-testing tank. ‘Ireland needs to be able to compete globally where new research in fields like sustainable energy and maritime science are concerned, ’ said Taoiseach Enda Kenny on the project. ‘We want to exceed €6. 4bn a year in turnover from our maritime sectors by 2020, and want to double their contribution to 2. 4% of GDP a year by 2030. ’‘The Government’s action plan for jobs 2013 recognises this and the Beaufort building will play an important role in the marine energy sector and help to drive Ireland’s economic recovery. ’The project will create up to 200 construction jobs, with up to 135 full-time researchers expected to take up positions once the work on the centre has been completed next year. The Irish Maritime Development Office estimates that direct employment in this area could double over the next five years, with the potential for up to 52, 000 jobs in ocean energy, maritime security and safety, shipping, logistics and transport, and marine recreation in Ireland by 2030. 2013-07-15 CIT unveils two new postgraduate programmes Cork Institute of Technology has announced the addition of two new postgraduate programmes: the MSc in Architectural Technical Design and the MSc in Interior Architecture. The former of these aims to develop advanced technical, analytical, assessment, appraisal and research skills and competency in Architectural Technical Design. The structure of the programme facilitates the development of a self-directed technical specialist focus with expertise in the specific areas of sustainable, performance-based, energy-efficient technical design. Graduates of the programme will be well equipped to meet the demands of contemporary sustainable, energy-efficient architectural technology practice. The programme incorporates theoretical and practical content in order to predict future best-practice in environmental responsibility. The intention of MSc in Technical Design is to develop advanced design, aesthetic, analytical, technical, assessment, appraisal and research skills of students. Graduates of the programme will be well prepared to meet the challenges of contemporary sustainable retrofit and interior architecture practice. The closing date for applications is 19 August 2013. For more information on the courses, contact Katherine Keane, Head of CIT’s Department of Architecture, call on 021 4335970, or email Katherine. keane@cit. ie. Those interested in learning more about these programmes an also check out the CIT website. 2013-07-10 IT begins: Government to invest 4 million euro in national supercomputer The Government is to invest €4 million in a new national supercomputer, supporting 25 computational scientist positions over the next three years. The money is part of a €13m package of Exchequer funding being given to the Irish Centre for High End Computing (ICHEC), the State's centre for high performance computing. The ICHEC is run in collaboration with the main universities here, and carries out heavy duty data analytics and high-performance computer processing for researchers and scientists. It also works with a number of public bodies such as Met Éireann, which uses it to process weather forecasting and climate change models. The ICHEC currently owns two supercomputers, Stokes and Stoney, which are hosted in the National University of Ireland Galway and University College Dublin, respectively. The UCD machine, which is the most powerful publicly accessible computer in the country, is nearing the end of its life. This has prompted Science Foundation Ireland to support an investment by the ICHEC in a new €4 million supercomputer. An additional €8 million investment in ICHEC was also announced by the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation and Department of Education and Skills under the Government's Action Plan for Jobs 2013, which will support the centre's next phase of development over the next three years. Speaking at the announcement, Minister for Research and Innovation, Sean Sherlock said: ‘We believe that Ireland is in a prime position to lead in the area of Big Data/Data Analytics and High Performance Computing with many large multinationals already located here including Intel, Accenture, Google, Facebook, EMC and Data Direct Networks. However Big Data also needs the computational horsepower and talented personnel to be able to store, analyse and interpret the vast amount of data being generated. ’Minister Sherlock also claimed that the funding for the supercomputer would allow ICHEC to leverage new investments and create more high-quality jobs in Ireland. 2013-07-05 Students to get animating at IADT The National Film School at IADT has announced the 2nd NFS Animation Academy, which will run from 8–19 July. Designed to bridge the gap between education and industry, the Animation Academy will take the existing strengths and skills of final-year undergraduates and recent graduates – nationally and internationally – as well as animators who want to retrain or redirect their career into a more specialised area. Course One (8–12 July), ‘Anime Studio Pro – Production Pipeline’ will be based on the teaching of the animation software, Anime Studio Pro. The goal is to bring all students to a level where they will be able to proficiently produce animation using this vector-based 2D programme. The tutor is Jeremy Purcell of Man & Ink, who has also worked as an SFX supervisor for Cartoon Saloon. Course Two (15–19 July), ‘Post Production and Visual FX Workflows’, will be partly hosted and taught by Screen Scene, The National Film School's partner in Animation Academy. It is an exciting examination of the integrated systems involved in the post-production processes for animation, with a special focus on visual FX, particularly the digital compositing software, Nuke. For further details and application forms for both courses, please contact Adult and Continuing Education at IADT on (01-239 4631) or e-mail ptc@iadt. ie.   2013-07-03 €50 million in research funding for APC Cork The Alimentary Pharmabiotic Centre (APC) Cork, which undertakes advanced food science based around microbes living in the gut, has been designated a national centre for food and medicine research excellence. Mr. Sean Sherlock TD, Minister for Research and Innovation and Mr. Simon Coveney TD, Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine have announced Government funding, through the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, of €36 million, which will leverage a further investment of €14 million from industry for research at the APC, Cork. The APC spans UCC, Teagasc (Ireland’s Agriculture & Food Development Authority) and Cork Institute of Technology. One hundred and nine researchers will be employed at the centre over the next 6 years and that talent pool will enable Ireland to leverage significant other investments, including EU funding streams and additional industry partners in the years ahead. The exchequer funding is through Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) Research Centres programme and supports world-class research into how bacteria in the human gut impacts on population health, leading to the development of future foods and medicines. Announcing the funding, Minister Sherlock stated: ‘The importance of continued investment in research cannot be underestimated both in terms of job creation and its overall impact on society. A central part of the Government’s Action Plan for Jobs is to ensure that research is better targeted at turning the good ideas of our top-class researchers into good products and high quality jobs. Through the SFI Research Centres Programme this year we are establishing seven research centres of international scale and excellence. These cutting-edge research centres, which includes the APC here in Cork, will further enhance Ireland’s economic recovery process and be a magnet of attraction for industry. ’Minister Sherlock added ‘The APC centre has already established itself as one of the premier probiotics research facilities in the world and this funding will ensure that the APC and its talented personnel will lead not just in probiotics but also in pharmabiotics. ’Mr. Simon Coveney TD, Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, added: ‘The agriculture sector is one of Ireland’s largest and most successful industries. Food for Health products are expected to have a global value of $176. 7 billion in 2013 and Ireland is uniquely positioned to capitalise on this growing sector. ’Minister Coveney added ‘I am delighted that institutions such as University College Cork, Teagasc, the Irish Agriculture and Food Development Authority, and Cork Institute of Technology are collaborating in ensuring the success of this national centre for food and medicine research. The continued and on-going commitment of private enterprise is also critical for long-term success and I congratulate and applaud companies such as Kerry Group, Wyeth Nutrition, Alimentary Health, Second Genome, Trino Therapeutics and Sigmoid Pharma for investing in the success of the APC. ’Speaking at the announcement, Prof. Mark Ferguson, Director General of SFI said: ‘The SFI Research Centres Programme is the largest ever state and industry co-funded research investment of its kind in Ireland. The potential to deliver tangible economic benefits through research excellence was critical in the selection of the initial seven centres. The APC is a world leader in the area of probiotics research and we are confident of its continued success. We expect that APC will expand and further leverage this initial investment through successful applications to the EU and by developing additional academic and industry partners in Ireland and internationally. ’Prof. Fergus Shanahan, Director of the APC stated: ‘Ten years ago we predicted that the microbes within the gut would be a source of new antibiotics, a source of biomarkers for risk of certain diseases, a regulator of immunity and even an influence on the brain and behaviour. We also predicted that this field would become one of the most relevant to human biology and to society. All of this has proven to be correct. ’Prof. Shanahan continued: ‘As marvellous as the discovery of the human genetic code has been, the genetic messages contained within our microbes (microbiome) promise even greater advances for human health, veterinary medicine and for both the food and pharmaceutical industries in Ireland. The APC is particularly well suited to explore and exploit the mysteries of the human microbiome and can make this science deliver for our society and for our economy. ’Professor Gerry Boyle, Director of Teagasc, said ‘as a founding partner, Teagasc is extremely pleased that a new round of funding has been approved for APC. This will help ensure that the scientific knowledge and human capacity already developed will be directed towards increased economic benefit for the Irish food industry, and in this respect Teagasc welcomes the enhanced involvement by industrial partners, including some of our major food companies’. Highlighting the importance of the research carried out by the APC Centre to the future food industry, Stan McCarthy, CEO of Kerry Group, one of the participating companies, said: ‘The Kerry Group is pleased to be partnering with APC. This research collaboration is consistent with our mission statement, and our emphasis on technology, which is critical for our global business in the long term. This partnership is hugely important as we build our Technology Centre in Naas, Co Kildare both in developing and nurturing high quality researchers to staff that facility and in further enhancing Kerry’s ability to provide technical solutions for our customers around the world. ’ Source: UCC website 2013-06-25 Researcher from UCC wins international Famelab science competition Fergus McAuliffe, a postgraduate researcher at University College Cork (UCC), topped a 20-strong field of finalists from across Europe, Asia and Africa to win the FameLab science communication contest. McAuliffe, whose PhD research focuses on the use of willow trees as a sustainable means for wastewater treatment, was awarded first place in the FameLab competition at the weekend. Organised by the British Council and Cheltenham Festivals, the competition marks an attempt to highlight the efforts of emerging scientists who have the ability to communicate a scientific topic to a non-scientific audience. To make matters yet more difficult, the communicators have just three minutes in which to impress. The presentations were judged on a criteria that included articulacy, clarity and charisma. McAuliffe was crowned champion for his presentation on the wood frog in Canada. His topic covered the strange physiology of the wood frog, which is capable of freezing during the winter in Canada and yet continue its lifecycle again in the spring. ’Every winter in Canada, this frog freezes itself solid. Its heart stops beating for weeks, and then in spring, it comes back to life as it thaws out, ’ explained McAuliffe. ’We aren’t close to trying this with humans, but one possible application in the future could be for storing organs for transplantation. ’McAuliffe is currently pursuing a PhD at the School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences at UCC. 2013-06-18 UL research into European debt and demography receives €650k in funding The University of Limerick (UL) has been awarded €650, 000 in funding from a number of international investors, including the New York-based Institute for New Economic Thinking. The money will benefit a series of international research projects led by UL’s Dr Stephen Kinsella, senior lecturer in economics at Kemmy Business School. The research will examine a series of questions such as: How do we learn from the global financial crisis? What models can be developed to better understand future growth in the EU as people within the EU age? What is the relationship between debt, and demography? How can we design policies taking aging and indebtedness into account?As part of the series, Kinsella will collaborate with Nobel Laureate, Professor Joseph Stiglitz on a three-year project studying the evolution of debt and demography in European periphery. The research will develop new models for understanding the European economy, and make a direct contribution to policy making in Iceland, where a new model for the country will be developed, funded by Rannis, the Icelandic statistics agency. Speaking on the grants, Kinsella said: ‘As a consequence of this funding, UL will become the world’s largest centre for stock flow consistent modeling and probably the largest number of researchers (seven) in the world working on this area will be based here. ’  2013-06-13 IADT Graduate Exhibition 2013 open from 7 to 13 June Dun Laoghaire Institute of Art, Design and Technology’s Graduate Exhibition 2013 is now open to the public. The event takes place on the college’s main campus on Kill Avenue, Dun Laoghaire. The exhibition features the final-year project work of students in the creative disciplines of Animation, Photography, Design & Digital Effects, Film & Television Production, and many more. Opening times for the event, which runs until Thursday 13 June, are:Monday 10 June: 2pm – 8pm Tuesday 11 June: 2pm – 8pm Wednesday 12 June: 2pm – 8pm Thursday 13 June:  2pm – 8pmAbout IADT / FACTThe Faculty of Film, Art & Creative Technologies is an area of excellence incorporating art, design, film and technology. The Faculty offers a rich portfolio of inter-related undergraduate and postgraduate programmes in the areas of Animation, Applied Psychology, Audio Visual media, Broadcast Production, Computing, Cyber Psychology, Screenwriting, Film & TV, Photography, Visual Communication Design, Design for Stage and Screen, Multimedia Programming, Web Engineering, Modelmaking and Visual Arts Practices. 2013-06-10 NUI Galway Entrepreneurs win MBA World Trophy The NUI Galway MBA, in conjunction with the University’s BioInnovate programme, received a major award in the recent MBA World Trophy, which took place in Dublin. The competition brought together teams of highly motivated entrepreneurs from some of the world’s top universities to compete against one another with their start-up businesses, where business models were challenged by a leading panel of successful entrepreneurs, VCs and thought leaders. The MBA World Trophy is the first initiative of its kind: a unique showcase of entrepreneurial talent from some of the world’s finest graduate schools. Billed as a business start-up competition, the World Trophy will accelerate an early stage company using the lean start-up principles and change how college students think about business building. Competing teams pitched their business models to an exclusive panel of VCs, and participated in workshops in Innovation, Finance, Growth and Leadership. Each team was paired with a mentor and, on the final day, each presented their final pitch to the judging panel. The team that won the award for the most impactful business idea, which is based on a medical device innovation product, includes two BioInnovate Ireland Fellows, Ashwin Kher (NUI Galway BioInnovate Team) and Michael Morrissey (University of Limerick BioInnovate team) – both of whom are NUI Galway MBA graduates – and Joseph O’Callaghan, a third-year Biomedical Engineering student at NUI Galway. Winning team member Ashwin Kher commented: ‘The World MBA trophy competition was an incredible experience, both in the content and the quality of the speakers. It was a privilege to get an opportunity to learn from global thought leaders on lean start-up strategy and entrepreneurship. The three-day competition was gruelling from start to finish and the standard of competitors was truly world class. Teams represented the finest international MBA programmes from Columbia University (USA) to INSEAD (France). ’The value of the MBA and the training received during the BioInnovate programme was critical to the team’s success as another team member, Michael Morrissey (BioInnovate Ireland Fellow and NUI Galway MBA 2012) states: ‘The MBA at NUI Galway was instrumental in providing us with the skills to compete effectively at this level. The emphasis on strategy and innovation and its application out of the classroom provided a strong foundation for our success. The BioInnovate programme taught us the fundamental steps in the process of medical device innovation and identifying clinical needs that stressed the importance of patient and user impact. Winning the title of “Business Most Likely to Have a Global Impact” is something we’re proud of. Being recognised by someone of the calibre of Professor Vivek Wadwha is really huge for us. ’Competitors included some of the best schools in the world including: INSEAD (FRANCE), UCD Smurfit, Instituto de Empresa Business School (ES), NYU Stern, ESAN Graduate School of Business (Peru), Columbia (US), Rotman School of Business (CA), Warwick (UK), Tel Aviv University (Israel), IPADE (Mexico) and Trinity College Dublin. This World Trophy follows from the recent announcement that NUI Galway has attained the global AMBA accreditation for its MBA programme offered in the School of Business and Economics. AMBA provide the only dedicated accreditation regime for MBA Programmes and now positions NUI Galway against the best worldwide. The Association of MBAs (AMBA) accreditation is internationally recognised as the global standard for all MBA programmes. AMBA accreditation represents the highest standard of achievement in MBA education and is earned only by the best programmes. AMBA accredits 200 Schools in over 70 countries. Speaking about this most recent accolade, Dr Alma McCarthy, Executive MBA Programme Director, J. E. Cairnes School of Business and Economics at NUI Galway said: ‘Winning an award at the MBA World Trophy demonstrates that our MBA graduates can successfully compete on the global stage and follows successes for NUI Galway MBA teams in the MBA Association of Ireland national all-Ireland competitions. We extend our congratulations to the BioInnovate Ireland team and wish them continued success in what promises to be an exciting entrepreneurial start-up journey. ’Dr Mark Bruzzi, Programme Director of BioInnovate Ireland added: ‘BioInnovate are delighted that the teams activities in identifying unmet clinical needs and aligning them with market opportunities has been recognised in this way. ’ 2013-06-04 CIMA open evenings in Dublin and Cork The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) is inviting members of the public to attend either (or both!) of its two open evenings in June. The first open evening will take place in the CIMA Ireland office, Harcourt Road, Dublin 2 on Thursday 20 June; the second open evening will be held at the River Lee Hotel in Cork City on Tuesday 25 June. The two open evenings will give prospective students the opportunity to speak to professionals whose careers have benefited from the CIMA qualification, learn from recruitment specialists Morgan McKinley how the qualification will increase their career options and gain valuable insights from course lecturers. The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) professional qualification offers huge diversity in terms of career development and opportunity. With 8, 000 members and students in Ireland, CIMA members typically go on to achieve senior positions in both public and private sector organisations and are represented across the majority of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) businesses in Ireland. As an internationally recognised qualification, with some 203, 000 members across 173 countries, it also gives members and students global mobility in terms of career choices. The institute’s presence globally has been further strengthened through the joint venture with the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) to create the Chartered Global Management Accountant designation (CGMA). Focus of the CIMA qualificationThe CIMA qualification is forward looking in emphasis; that is, rather than analysing business retrospectively, it instead focuses on future performance. The syllabus is concentrated across three key pillars covering business, information and financial strategic needs and solutions. As such, the qualification of the CIMA management accountant combines both professional accounting and strategic business management skills, thus widening career options both within and outside financial management. What you gain from the CIMA qualificationCIMA members are trained to have a fundamental understanding of all aspects of business so that they can make and support key decisions and manage risk. In this context the unique skill set of a CIMA-qualified management accountant is seen as a key point of difference, appreciated by both professionals and employers alike. A CIMA-qualified management accountant will have a detailed knowledge of management, which enables them to work throughout the different areas of an organization, thus providing more holistic and sustainable solutions to businesses. Many businesses – both indigenous and multinational – are CIMA training partners and have a structured approach that encourages and supports employees to study for CIMA as part of their training and development. Students can begin the CIMA qualification at any stage of their career – whether they are school leavers, graduates or already in the workplace. To view details of entry routes, click here. If you are interested in attending either of the open evenings, you can register online and be in with a chance of winning a voucher worth €150. 2013-05-29 DMI's Postgraduate Diploma in Digital Marketing to commence in June Marketers take note – the Digital Marketing Institute is accepting applications for its Postgraduate Diploma in Digital Marketing (full-time), which is due to commence on Monday 10 June 2013. The full-time Postgraduate Diploma in Digital Marketing provides students with the framework and tools needed to create and implement effective digital marketing strategies. The skills acquired will strongly position graduates within the marketplace and help them to realise their career or business aspirations. The programme will take place in Dublin over a six-month period. This comprises three months of classroom learning followed by a three-month internship with a participating company. The course has been designed to meet the needs of graduates, jobseekers, small-business owners, CEOs and sales and marketing professionals looking for tuition in the latest developments and innovations within the ever-evolving digital sector. The course does not require that participants possess a high level of technical competence as it concentrates on the commercial aspects of digital and online marketing. Those with no previous marketing experience are also welcome to apply. This Postgraduate Diploma in Digital Marketing is also available as a part-time or online/blended option. Please click on the link for more information.    2013-05-27 NUI Galway Only Regional MBA to Attain International AMBA Accreditation in Ireland   NUI Galway has announced the attainment of the global AMBA accreditation for its MBA programme offered in the School of Business and Economics. AMBA provide the only dedicated accreditation regime for MBA programmes and the attainment now positions NUI Galway among the best worldwide. The Association of MBAs (AMBA) accreditation is internationally recognised as the global standard for all MBA programmes. AMBA accreditation represents the highest standard of achievement in MBA education and is awarded to only the best programmes. AMBA accredits 200 Schools in over 70 countries.  ‘The number of MBA qualifications available worldwide is now in the thousands, but only a small percentage of these would achieve accreditation if they were submitted to our rigorous international criteria’ said Mark Stoddard, Director of Accreditation at AMBA. The NUI Galway MBA is one of the leading management development programmes in the country. A general management programme that enhances and develops business and management capabilities while also preparing students for strategic leadership roles, the programme places great emphasis on strategic decision-making and develops practical and professional skills for success in increasingly complex environments. Speaking about the achievement, Dr Alma McCarthy, Executive MBA Programme Director, J. E. Cairnes School of Business and Economics at NUI Galway, said: ‘The NUI Galway MBA this year celebrates its fortieth anniversary and it is fitting that we successfully attained AMBA accreditation demonstrating the world-class quality of our MBA programme. Employers and top business recruiters looking to acquire the best managers and future business leaders know that graduates of the AMBA accredited programmes have received the highest quality management education. We are proud to now confirm that to recruit a graduate from the NUI Galway MBA is to recruit top talent in Ireland. ’Dr McCarthy added: ‘We know for students, the decision to study an MBA represents a major commitment, both in terms of time and money. This AMBA accreditation ensures that students' investments are rewarded with the finest MBA education available. We have constant engagement with the business community and our programme reflects and aligns with developments in industry both nationally and internationally. Our class sizes are kept small, our lecturers are leading experts in their respective fields and keep teaching relevant to the changing demands of the business world which overall results in greater one to one attention and learning experience. ’Graduates of the NUI Galway Executive MBA have significantly advanced their careers with many being promoted, starting their own business, or changing careers after completing the programme. Applications for the next programme will be accepted from September 2013. Further information on the Executive MBA at NUI Galway is available at the following link.   *Image courtesy of renjith krishnan/freedigitalphotos. net 2013-05-23 NUI Galway to hold symposium on higher education The eleventh Galway Symposium on Higher Education will take place at NUI Galway on Friday 7 June in Áras Moyola. The symposium, which is entitled ‘Thinking Differently’ – New Curricula, New Skills in Higher Education, comprises papers, short presentations, and workshops. The Symposium will examine the kind of degrees and curricula that are most relevant to graduates in this age of mass higher education and what particular attributes and skills graduates should have. Workshop sessions will provide participants with the opportunities to experiment with course design with an emphasis on interdisciplinarity and active learning. There will also be a showcase of innovations in Teaching and Learning – both locally and nationally. Keynote speakers will include: Professor Marijk van der Wende, University College Amsterdam, who will describe a model for the renewal of the idea of the ‘Liberal Arts and Sciences’; Dr Camille Kandiko, King’s College London, will present an overview of models of curricular redesign that have emerged in institutions across the world in recent years; Professor Derek Raine, Leicester University, will show how they radically reconceptualised its undergraduate Science programme around interdisciplinarity and higher levels of student intellectual engagement; Dr Alastair Robertson, Higher Education Academy, will discuss key ideas on graduate attributes; and Dr Vicky Gunn, University of Glasgow, will describe the efforts her institute use to involve students in the support and development of graduate attributes. Dr Iain Mac Labhrainn, Director of Centre for Excellence and Teaching (CELT) at NUI Galway commented: ‘This is a period of rapid change for higher education and NUI Galway, in parallel with other research-led institutions, is exploring new models of learning and teaching. This event will examine the question as to what kinds of degree programmes are best suited to the needs of students, employers and wider society. We are delighted to welcome some key international experts in the field of curriculum design and institutional change as presenters at the event and we look forward to much stimulating debate and discussion. ’ 2013-05-21 MIC Limerick accepting applications for MA in Music Education programme Mary Immaculate College Limerick's Department of Arts Education and Physical Education, in association with the Department of Music, is offering a specialised MA degree in Music Education. Applications are now invited for the next cycle of this programme, which will be offered on a full-time (one year) or part-time basis (two years) beginning in late September 2013. This taught Masters in Music Education is particularly applicable to teachers (at primary, post-primary and music school/college levels), policymakers, community/outreach and curriculum support personnel, and professional/community musicians working in the area of education. The course explores music teaching and learning processes from a range of social science perspectives involving interdisciplinary studies in Education, Music, and other related fields. Further details on entry requirements and course modules can be obtained by visiting the college website. Queries relating to the programme may be directed to Course Coordinator Dr Ailbhe Kenny at ailbhe. kenny@mic. ul. ie. 2013-05-15 UCC postgrads awarded top prize at competition in Canada Five postgraduate students from University College Cork (UCC) have been awarded top prize at an international graduate competition at the HEC Business School in Montreal, Canada. The Irish university was one of only eight universities selected globally to compete in the finals of this event and was the first and only university from Ireland or the UK to compete in the competition, which was run over a period of six days. The UCC team worked through four interrelated business case studies to identify and address issues involving international entrepreneurship, marketing challenges, human resources and management structure, and finance. Their award-winning work comprised a 15-minute business pitch, a 30-minute analysis of business solutions, a 40-page written report, and a 20-minutes question-and-answer session. Team captain Timothy Crowley, an economics masters student, was awarded a prize for being one of the top students in the HEC competition and has earned an internship with global consultancy ProAction International, one of the competition’s main sponsors. 2013-05-10 NUI Galway to award scholarships worth €2000 NUI Galway has announced that two scholarships of €2, 000 will be made available on a competitive basis to applicants of the 2013–2014 MA in Gender, Globalisation and Rights at the Global Women’s Studies Centre. The MA offers a unique opportunity to combine advanced study of global issues and human rights through a practice-oriented, gender lens. Students on the programme will gain a thorough understanding of the complex terrain of globalization and related global issues and policy processes, spanning topics from extreme poverty, armed conflict and politicized religion to human trafficking, gender-based violence and global health challenges (e. g. HIV/AIDS, maternal mortality, reproductive and sexual health). Dr Niamh Reilly, School of Political Science and Sociology Co-director, Global Women's Studies at NUI Galway, commented: ‘This MA offers a unique focus on gender, global issues and human rights and provides a dynamic mix of academic learning and professional placement. The MA also provides a solid grounding in international human rights practices with a focus on gender-aware and community-based approaches to human rights advocacy, implementation and monitoring. We are delighted to be offering two partial scholarships specifically for this programme and would encourage those interested to apply before the approaching deadline. ’In addition to a range of core and optional academic modules, students will also have the opportunity to undertake a professional placement of 8–10 weeks and to complete a minor research thesis. As such, the programme offers students an exciting combination of engagement with academic debates and ideas, hands-on practical assignments and professional experience, as well as support in honing advanced research and writing skills. Most recently, MA students have completed placements with: Amnesty International (Irish Section), Galway Rape Crisis Centre, Galway City Partnership (community development ), Gorta and Trócaire (international development organisations), Irish Congress of Trade Unions, National Women’s Council of Ireland, Pavee Point (Traveller and Roma rights) and Safe Ireland (domestic violence research and advocacy). The MA in Gender, Globalisation and Rights will be of interest to recent graduates, local or international, experienced development and/or human rights practitioners, or mature students who wish to pursue career paths related to gender, global issues, policy processes and human rights. The programme has a strong practitioner focus that prepares students for work in a range of policy and advocacy roles in non-governmental, media, local and national government, EU and UN agencies and/or to pursue further advanced academic research, including doctoral study. The extended deadline for partial scholarship applications is Friday 17 May 2013. For further information please click on the link or contact Gillian Browne, Global Women’s Studies, Tel: 091 495398, Gillian. browne@nuigalway. ie.   2013-05-08 University Limerick launches world's first MA in Festive Arts Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Jimmy Deenihan TD recently launched the world’s first Masters in Festive Arts at the Irish World Academy of Music, University of Limerick. Professor Mícheál Ó’ Súilleabháin, Chair in Music, University of Limerick commented: ‘This new MA Festive Arts programme is a global first. It is the University’s gift in a way, to the city of Limerick at this time of the approaching City of Culture status. It will intersect with the City of Culture initiative, and will serve as one of the important legacy projects of the City of Culture 2014 year. Graduates of this programme will work on a practical level with festivals – and perhaps specifically with a new International Arts Festival proposed by the Irish World Academy as a further legacy project for the City of Culture year 2014. ’  A feasibility study for a major international festival was commissioned by the Irish World Academy in 2010 and copies of this study were made available at the launch. Speaking at the launch, Minister Deenihan said: ‘The fact that this new MA in Festive Arts is an excitingly unique postgraduate programme will, I am sure, attract graduate students from all around the world, students who will already have skills in festival activities of all kinds. In offering a programme that will encourage new ways of viewing the design and organisation of festivals, it will without doubt increase the international attractiveness of our many festivals already in existence. I have every confidence that this innovative programme will also ultimately lead to new festivals of a globally significant nature. ’Non-EU students comprise more than 25 per cent of the postgraduate students currently studying at the Irish World Academy, and it is expected that the new MA in Festive Arts will help to attract international candidates already skilled in festival activities of all kinds. This one year, full-time Masters offers a wide-ranging programme of study embracing practical, scholarly and performance-based aspects of festival studies.  Students will have the opportunity to apprentice with a festival in order to gain skills related to festival coordination and design, as well as being introducing to methods for the study of festival, a survey of global festivity, along with aspects of festival management and curatorship. 2013-05-02 NUI Galway announces new taught postgraduates in Engineering and Informatics NUI Galway’s College of Engineering and Informatics has announced that it will provide a suite of new taught postgraduate programmes across various Engineering and Informatics subject areas. Commencing in September 2013, the full-time, one-year postgraduate programmes have been devised in response to the requirement by Engineers Ireland who, from 2013 onwards, require that graduate engineers hold an accredited Master degree (Level 9) to satisfy the educational standard to become Chartered Engineers. Professor Gerard Lyons, Dean of the College of Engineering and Informatics commented: ‘These new programmes are excellent examples of how NUI Galway engages with industry in order to inform our postgraduate programmes. Engineering and ICT are key strategic priorities for Ireland and for NUI Galway. The University recognises the importance of equipping our graduates with the skills and knowledge needed to support the rapidly growing engineering and ICT sectors in Ireland and abroad. We believe that these Masters programmes are very timely for Ireland and that its graduates will play a significant role in harnessing the opportunities and challenges for tomorrow’s economy. ’These new innovative Masters programmes are designed to provide highly qualified graduates with advance engineering and informatics skills and are aimed at those who wish to work as Chartered Engineers. ‘Our students benefit from the University’s unique combination of ground-breaking academic expertise, professional practice and access world-class facilities. These new courses are a wonderful opportunity for students to explore many advanced topics in engineering and informatics’, said Professor Mike Hartnett, Vice-Dean for Teaching and Learning with the College of Engineering and Informatics. The first intake of students for the new Masters programmes across the disciplines of Civil, Mechanical, Energy and Biomedical Engineering will be in September 2013. Masters programmes for Electrical and Electronic Engineering, and Computer Science and Information Technology will commence in 2014. Applications are now open and the deadline is Saturday 1 June 2013. Applications will be accepted via the PAC application process, on which the new courses are listed. For more detailed information about these programmes visit www. nuigalway. ie or contact Sharon Allman at 091 492101 or by email at sharon. allman@nuigalway. ie. 2013-04-30 Researchers at NUI Galway contribute to major new cancer study Researchers from NUI Galway recently contributed to a major analysis of the genetic links between breast, prostate and ovarian cancer. The findings of the study were published in the online journal Nature Genetics and represent a great advance in understanding of these cancers, which together affect more than 2. 5 million people worldwide annually. The study – a collaboration involving multiple international research centres and genetic consortia – represents the largest genetic association study in cancer to this point.  Professor Michael Kerin from NUI Galway, who along with Dr Nicola Miller from the Discipline of Surgery, NUI Galway, contributed to the study and stated that the work succeeded in identifying some important genetic variations that can predispose women to breast cancer. ‘The study is also important in providing evidence for distinct pathways in ER negative breast cancer. All of this information has great potential both for breast cancer prevention and providing new targets for therapy, ’ said Professor Kerin. ‘We are very fortunate here in NUI Galway that we have a large biobank of tissues and bloods that have been contributed by our patients in the Breast Programme and with the support of the National Breast Cancer Research Institute we have been able to contribute to this major international research collaboration which sheds very valuable new light on this important area and opens new avenues for therapy. ’ 2013-04-29 PhD Scholarship in Hispanic Studies at the School of Languages, Literatures and Cultures, UCC University College Cork’s Department of Hispanic Studies has announced a new award for October 2013 entry. The PhD Scholarship in Hispanic Studies is awarded on the basis of academic excellence to a student in any of the research specialisms covered by the Department, including Iberian Peninsular and Latin American literatures, visual cultures and film; Translation Studies; Galician and Catalan Studies. The Department also welcomes applications from those interested in comparative topics, which might include comparisons between the literature, film or culture of different language areas, subject to the availability of relevant expertise in the School of Languages, Literatures and Cultures. Further details on the research expertise of academic staff in the Department can be viewed here.  The total value of the scholarship will be €7, 560 per year, to cover registration fees for a full-time PhD in Hispanic Studies (€5, 770 euros) as well as small stipend (€1, 790 euros) divided into 12 monthly installments. Successful applicants will be expected to contribute 4–5 hours per week of language and/or tutorial teaching to undergraduates during term time, as well as full-time dedication to their research project. The scholarship will be tenable for up to three years, subject to annual performance review. Applicants should submit both an online application for a PhD in Hispanic Studies via the Postgraduate Applications Centre (PAC, www. pac. ie), in advance of the deadline, as well as filling a PhD Scholarship Application Form. Applicants are advised to identify a potential supervisor and to discuss their project proposal with a member of staff in the Department of Hispanic Studies before applying. The deadline for applications is 14 June 2013. For further information, contact Dr Helena Buffery by email at H. Buffery@ucc. ie. 2013-04-26 Mary Immaculate College & University of Limerick postgraduates to examine the value of postgraduate research in today’s Ireland The Limerick Postgraduate Research Community (LPRC) is to host an innovative conference on 6 June 2013 at the University of Limerick, aimed at exhibiting the research of the postgraduate community of Limerick City, and to highlight its value to the Ireland of today. In order to compete with the 'knowledge-based' economy of the twenty-first century, companies are in need of a strong foundation in academic research. Postgraduate students straddle a strategic position between the academic and business worlds – something that the conference aims to highlight by delivering a range of contemporary research perspectives that will highlight the vibrancy, sustainability and applicability of the postgraduate research community to both academics and company executives alike. This year’s conference follows on from the successful inaugural conference, hosted in Mary Immaculate College and overseen by Professor Emerita Eda Sagarra, which focused on the value of postgraduate research in Limerick.  This year’s conference continues on with last year’s ethos to support postgraduate students by developing a peer group environment in which postgraduate students can present their work and by further developing a support network for the postgraduate population of Limerick City.  This conference continues to maintain an affordable outlet to the postgraduate community of Limerick City to present in and to attend. 2013-04-24 Open day at Griffith College Dublin on Wednesday 24 April 2013 Keen to explore your postgraduate options? The staff of Griffith College Dublin will be on hand to help at the college's Open Day, which will be held on Wednesday 24 April from 5. 30pm to 8pm. This Event is open to all full-time and part-time prospective students and will afford you the opportunity to meet members of the Admissions Team to discuss your application, eligibility criteria, timetables and fees. Meet on a one-to-one basis with members of each Dept. and Faculty to discuss specific course queries, examination & assessment methods and potential routes for further education or career progression. • Applicants can avail of a range of study options such as part-time and full-time study.  The college will offer solutions to fit your budget and personal/professional commitments. • Applicants may be eligible to avail of tax relief on all HETAC-validated courses. • Applicants who do not meet the academic entry criteria but who have sufficient work experience may be permitted onto a number of postgraduate courses in Griffith College. For more information contact the admissions office Admissions Office:Tel: (01) 415 04 00Fax: (01) 454 95 95Email:admissions@gcd. ie 2013-04-18 Social Work and Counselling At a time when the number of people in Ireland that are in danger of living in poverty is disarmingly high – having gone from 14. 7 per cent to 16 per cent in the space of a single year – the need for well-trained and capable social workers has increased along a corresponding trajectory.   Social Work has always been a popular career choice, providing, as it does, the opportunity for graduates in the field to have a tangible and positive influence on people’s lives. Two-year vocational Masters that provide professional training and are accredited by the National Social Work Qualifications Board are available from Trinity College, UCD, NUI Galway and UCC. As with all public service roles, employment prospects have suffered as a result of the recession, yet there is still call for optimism. ‘The country is never going to be in a situation where it doesn’t need social workers, ’ says Simone McCaughren of UCC. ‘The qualification is highly transferable and so a real selling point is that graduates can and do go to work in places like the UK or Canada. ’  While McCaughren agrees that social work is a demanding vocation – ‘you’re dealing with a lot of emotional situations and it can have an impact’ – Social Work programmes are designed to prepare students for such a challenge. ‘Learning to self-care is an important element of the programme, and it starts with the work placements, ’ she says. The work could also be easily described as diverse and exciting: social workers are often required to provide their services to hospitals, community workers and asylum seekers.   Candidates for the Masters in Social Work (MSW) are usually required to have at least a second-class honours degree in Social Science, with Social Policy as a major subject, or have completed the Higher Diploma in Social Policy as a conversion programme. One-year HDips in Social Policy are available to study at UCD and UCC. Relevant work experience is also a requirement, although not necessarily of the paid variety, as voluntary work may be taken into consideration. Typical modules include Social Work Theory, Family Law, Child Welfare and a Field Placement.   Practising social work professionals might be interested in augmenting their careers with a research programme. These are available from UCD (MSocSc) and Trinity (MPhil) College. Students attend taught modules on how to advance their social research skills while they work towards completing their dissertation. It is possible to progress to a PhD programme at UCD after one year.   Experienced professionals from all sectors of the social arena – from policy formulation and research to social care provision and youth work – that wish to develop their skills and knowledge might consider enrolling in an Applied Social Studies programme – a course that is available at both MA and PhD levels at NUI Maynooth. The programme includes taught modules (both practical and theoretical) and research projects: facilitating high-level research experience and career progression.   There are alternative areas of study for those who wish to work within the social realm but who may not be entirely comfortable with the emotional intensity that much social work entails. One such area is the discipline of social justice. Anyone wishing to work in the advocacy of a marginalized or oppressed group, or anyone simply seeking to research and thus deepen his or her understanding of social inequalities, will be interested in a Social Justice qualification. Courses are available from All Hallows College (MA in Social Justice and Public Policy – two years part time); and by research from UCD’s School of Social Justice, where students can enrol in an MsC in Equality Studies (one year full time, two years part time; the course can also be taken as a Gdip).   2013-04-15 Nursing Courses It has not been an easy time for nurses in Ireland. With many of them forced to emigrate in order to secure get full-time employment, and those at home facing the imminent threat and ongoing discussion over cutbacks, it would be forgivable for there to be an air of hesitancy over entering the profession. However, for those currently employed as nurses, or those who have managed to acquire the required work experience, a postgraduate course can still exert a positive affect on career prospects. Nurses can work in either the public or private healthcare sectors, but postgraduate education can also open doors in other arenas such as in childcare, healthcare sales and pharmaceuticals, to name but a few. In the current climate it is helpful to have relevant yet diverse skills and accreditation in areas such as paediatric nursing, midwifery and pubic health nursing. This can greatly add to a candidate’s employability and earning potential. An Bord Altranais, the regulatory body for nursing, continually recognises the absolute necessity of further education for advancing in the profession. The body’s primary duty is to promote high standards of professional education and any opportunities to develop, extend and strengthen the position of professional education.   Most postgraduate options require that the candidate be a registered nurse and have requisite experience. One such specialist programme is the Higher Diploma in Children's Nursing, which is a one-year full-time course for which any nurse registered in one of the four divisions RNID (Intellectual Disability), RPN (Psychiatric), RGN (General) or RM (Midwifery) may apply. Available from Trinity College and DCU, it provides qualified nurses with the essential skills to enable them to meet the changing healthcare needs of children and families. Upon successful completion of the course it is possible to register as a Children’s Nurse (RCN).   Midwifery is an extremely popular option for registered nurses looking to expand upon their skill set.  Providers of the Higher Diploma in Midwifery include Trinity College, NUI Galway, UL, UCC and UCD. The programme offers a year-long full-time graduate diploma course that is aimed at providing registered nurses and midwives with the opportunity to develop their existing professional education, along with their evidence-based practise/research abilities, knowledge, skills, and attitudes in preparation for professional role enhancement within nursing/midwifery. Applicants should possess a primary degree and be on the appropriate register maintained by An Bord Altranais.   One of the growing areas of specialisation is Oncology (cancer care) nursing, which at NUIG is taught through a ‘blended learning approach’, whereby students first access lectures, reading material, activities and discussion online and then come to the university for two-day workshops on each module studied during the programme. The course can be taken over one year full time, or as a part time option over the course of two years. Course Director Dr Maura Dowling describes cancer care as an area that has undergone ‘huge changes. . . and nurses are needed to implement these changes. Oncology nurses have to be scientifically minded to deal with the areas of chemotherapy and radiotherapy, but they also need to be excellent communicators in order to treat cancer patients. The students who do best are those who relate theory to practice. Some of our students wouldn't have a degree and would have entered the programme through completing a qualifier essay. But these students tend to have had many years of experience in cancer wards. They've seen it all, and we really value that’. In most cases it is possible to progress to a Masters (MSc) once the higher/graduate diploma has been completed. The MSc prepares students for more advanced roles in leadership, as well as serving to improve their research skills by undertaking a dissertation in their chosen area of specialisation. Trinity College’s MSc in Gerontological Nursing, for example, seeks to answer the needs of an ageing society where proper care of the elderly must be prioritised. This two-year course (part time) is open to registered nurses who have attained both a degree and possess relevant professional experience. Students will receive instruction in the concepts and practice behind gerontological nursing and will develop an awareness of the ageing process. They will also study the ethics and laws that govern healthcare. In the second year, they will complete a dissertation of between 20, 000 and 25, 000 words in length. But, what are the benefits of pursuing an area of specialisation over a general nursing role? Generally speaking, it allows students to develop skills that are not taught in undergraduate programmes, and thus lead to an increased chance to finding work in a specialised field. Indeed, specialised skills, allied with an entrepreneurial spirit, can often lead to the creation of niche roles for patient needs that may yet have to be met. 2013-04-12 Postgraduate Medical Science Irish research institutes may not be able to compete with the resources at the disposal of behemoth facilities such as the US government-funded National Cancer Institute, but that has not stopped world-class research being conducted here. There, in fact, have been enough major breakthroughs in medical science in Ireland to ensure that it has garnered an international reputation for producing top-quality researchers. If we consider, for example, the broad area of cancer research we can see the immense amount of quality work being conducted at colleges and institutes around the country. For instance, researchers at Trinity College Dublin are currently investigating why it is that breast cancer cells require more sugar than normal cells. At University College Cork, researchers are examining how changes in a gene can turn a normal cell into an aggressive cancer cell; they are also looking to identify cell proteins that encourage the spread of ovarian cancer cells to other parts of the body in order to help research and develop drugs to prevent the spread of these cancer cells. And these are just a selection in one – albeit vast – area of medical research.   Of course the related areas of study are broad too. Biomedical Science is a popular postgraduate option that can lead to careers in a variety of industries, such as pharmaceuticals, medical devices and biotechnology, as well as the field of medical laboratory research. An MSc in Biomedical Science can be taken at UCC, Cork IT (part time) and NUI Galway (one year full time). The huge success of the medical device industry in Ireland has created the highest per capita employment of medical-technology personnel in Europe.   In addition to the aforementioned taught programmes, there are also research opportunities available in Biomedical Science. For example, UCD’s School of Biomolecular and Biomedical Science is actively engaged in three key areas of biomolecular research: namely, Disease Mechanisms (neuroscience, cancer and diabetes); Infection Biology; and Structural Biology. Research applications in this field are also welcomed at Cork IT, where current research streams include Clinical Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, Cell Biology and Virology. Biomedical Science affords students the opportunity to specialise in a number of different areas: Haematology, Medical Microbiology, Cellular Pathology, Clinical Chemistry, Immunology, among others. However, There is a range of other intriguing postgraduate programmes that enable specialisation from the beginning.   For example, NUI Maynooth’s MSc in Immunology and Global Health (one year full time) has been running since 2008, and is unique within Ireland. Taking influences and techniques from social sciences such as sociology and anthropology, the course provides biological and health science graduates with a deeper understanding of the challenges of health and development while broadening their understanding of immunology. Among the modules on offer are Vaccines and Adjuvants, and Molecular Parasitology and Diseases of Poverty. Another fascinating programme is the MSc in Toxicology, which is offered jointly by Athlone IT and NUI Galway (both one year full time). Toxicology is the study of poisons, and while drawing heavily on life and physical sciences, there is also a strong focus on its practical applications. Sample modules include Principles of Toxicology and Pharmacology, Reproductive Toxicology, Applied Issues in Pharmacology and Toxicology, and Toxicokinetics (or how a substance gets into the body and what happens to the body once it has).   While medical research in Ireland is onerous work, it is also rewarding. Competition for funding is intense, and a good degree of networking and investigating the opportunities offered by colleges, hospitals, and organisations such as the Health Research Board is advised. Given the current economic situation, it is no surprise that research funding is not as freely available (though the government have recently announced a €300-million investment in research here that will include areas of medical research). Thankfully however, organisations such as the Molecular Medicine Ireland are finding innovative and inexpensive ways to improve the research capabilities of PhD students. Budding researchers at any of the MMI’s founding partners – NUI Galway, the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, Trinity College, UCC, and UCD – are eligible for a pilot scheme called the MMI Clinician Scientists Structured PhD Curriculum. The programme allows researchers to select taught modules for their structured PhD from any of the participating institutes, as long as they meet the module requirements of their own programme. The scheme represents an exciting opportunity to tailor a structured PhD to meet a student’s own area of research interest.   2013-04-11 IADT Open Evening (Postgraduate and Part-Time Programmes) Thursday 18 April 2013 (5–8pm) Dun Laoghaire Institute of Art, Design and Technology will hold an Open Evening on Thursday 18 April aimed specifically at anyone interested in doing a postgraduate course or an accredited part-time programme (Special Purpose Award or Supplemental Award). The college’s Open Evenings are an ideal way for prospective students, parents, partners and guidance counsellors to see the wealth of courses and top-class facilities on offer from IADT.  They also give those in attendance an opportunity to get a feel for the college by exploring the campus, visiting lecture halls, labs and studios, and investigating its National Film School. There will be plenty of staff and students on hand to show guests around and to answer questions. In addition, there will also be a series of talks on what life and learning are like at IADT. There is no need to register for this event. Entrance to the campus is only via the new entrance at the Media Cube (blue square-shaped building). The entrance to the Atrium building, where information stands are located, is at the campus roundabout. Members of staff will be on-hand on the day to answer any queries you may have. Date: Thursday 18 April (5–8pm) Schedule 5. 30pm: MSc in Cyberpsychology 6pm: Faculty of Film, Art and Creative Technologies Part-time ProgrammesVenue: Room A021 (ground floor Atrium Building)For further information, email elena. somoza@iadt. ieAbout IADTIADT is unique in Ireland. It is one of the 14 Institutes of Technology but is the only Institute of Art, Design & Technology. It is also the leader in programmes for visual and media arts, digital media and technology, and the business and cultural sectors. As specialists in these fields you will receive an education not found elsewhere.  The college specialise in creativity, entrepreneurship and innovation in an educational environment that values the whole student experience. 2013-04-08 Environmental Studies and Ecology While attempts to kick-start the Irish economy again are both abundant and sustained – as indeed they must be – it is important that any attempts at re-igniting economic growth do not compromise our environmental health. Increasing our knowledge of the natural resources available to us will not only allow us to safeguard their future, but will also enable us to harness them in a useful yet sustainable way.   From research on sustainable seaweed harvesting to the use of renewable energy sources, efforts to increase environmental conscientiousness are steadily on the rise. Dublin City Council has committed to a long-term programme to improve its sustainability performance and plans to implement a series of widespread measures that will transform the capital into a ‘diverse, smart, green-based economy’ over the next 25–30 years.   According to the city council’s Sustainability Report 2012, reducing carbon emissions, setting up pollution and weather sensors, and optimising the use of finite resources (e. g. water) are among the proposed initiatives. While environmental protection is one of the strategy’s priorities, so too is the promotion of the capital as a premier tourist destination – thus allowing the move towards sustainability to help feed the economic recovery. It is an ethos that can be applied to many similar projects throughout the country; and it is also apparent in the scores of excellent postgraduate options that are available to students, many of which are available from UCD. Choices here include the MSc in Environmental Science (one year full time, two years part time). The course equips students with the necessary skills and knowledge for a career in environmental assessment and in the development of management, conservation strategies, and policy formulation. Training is given through extensive fieldwork, lab work, data analysis and information sourcing.   Another option at UCD is the GradDip in Rural Environmental Conservation and Management, which is a part-time programme of 18 months’ duration. This is a conversion course aimed at those interested in the conservation and sustainable management of our natural resources. Students will be gain an appreciation of farm management practices and the ecological status of rural ecosystems.   Anyone with a passion for preserving our flora and fauna but worried about finding the time to commit to a classroom-based postgraduate course will be interested in IT Sligo’s PGDip/MSc in Environmental Protection, which is facilitated through distance learning. This two-year programme covers a broad spectrum of topics, including ecology, geology, biology, water and waste management, and sustainability. Graduates are qualified to work in a wide range of industries, such as environmental management, enforcement, waste management, wastewater treatment, air pollution control, and research and development. Due to the fact that fossil fuels are both finite and costly, finding new means of supplying energy also represents a significant component of most sustainability projects. Dundalk IT’s MSc in Renewable Energy Systems offers tuition on wind, solar, water and bio-energy systems. The programme is delivered through a combination of taught modules and individual research (at the end of which students are required to submit a thesis). Candidates should have a second-class honours degree in Laboratory Science or in an Engineering discipline. Alternate energy-related courses – such as in Renewable Energy, Energy Management and Sustainable Energy – are available at postgraduate level from a host of colleges, including NUI Maynooth, Sligo IT, DIT and UCC. While a similar field of study to environmental science, ecology allows researchers to further explore the interactions beween the populations inhabiting an ecological system, thus helping them to explain the influencing evolutionary factors of a species. Though the course options in Ecology are relatively few, they tend to be both diverse yet thorough in their approaches.   The MSc in Ecological Assessment at UCC (one year full time), for instance, equips students with the key practical skills in the ecological assessment of terrestrial and freshwater habitats and ecosystems, thus enabling them to meet a growing demand for personnel skilled in methods of ecological assessment. Among the core modules are Habitat Classification and Survey, Plant Identification and Strategic Environmental Assessment. The programme is also designed so that it can be taken by those who are already in employment. Candidates are required to hold at least a 2. 2 degree in an area of Biological Sciences or a related field. A more holistic approach is taken towards the subject at All Hallows College, which offers a two-year MA in Ecology and Religion (part-time). While the course does comprise  scientific aspects (for example, the identification and dissection of flora and fauna samples), it also places ecological issues within a theoretical, inter-disciplinary framework that is designed to explore how religious philosophies and traditions can make vital connections between the health of the planet and the well-being of its sentient inhabitants. Assessment is based in the successful completion of eight modules (out of the eleven on offer) and the submission of a dissertation. As with other courses, applicants should possess a 2. 2 honours degree in a cognate subject area. Those who meet this criterion will be invited to attend an interview.   Though the ‘Green Revolution’ of the 1960s and 70s may have come and passed, it has been replaced by a kind of green evolution, as the area continues to play a vital role in the health of our economy and our environment, and persists in the equally important function of showing us the ways in which the two are connected.   2013-04-05 Food Science and Nutrition With approximately 230, 000 jobs linked to the sector and a turnover of €24 billion, the food and drink industry in Ireland represents a vibrant and vital element of the Irish economy. According to a report by the Food and Drink Industry Ireland, it is hoped that the sector’s performance levels will be augmented through the creation of an additional 30, 000 jobs by 2020. In order for this forecast to become a reality, however, there must be ongoing innovation. This is part of what makes studying Food Science and Technology at postgraduate level such an exciting challenge: it often plays an important role in the development process.   University College Cork currently offers three taught programmes in the food science field. As well as scientific training and research, students of the MSc in Food Science (Applied) – which is one-year full-time programme – can choose from among a broad selection of modules, including Material Science for Food Systems, Advanced Analytical Methods and Food Processing and Preservation. The MSc in Food Microbiology (also one year full time) is a more specific programme that is primarily focused on providing advanced theoretical and practical training within the confines of food microbiology. The HDip in Food Science & Technology (which is one year full time or two year part time) acts as a good introduction to either of the foregoing programmes.     University College Dublin’s MEngSc in Food Engineering (one year full time, two years part time) is aimed at graduates in engineering, science and related disciplines. It provides comprehensive coverage of bioprocess engineering, risk assessment and product development. Though class sizes vary, one-to-one tuition from an assigned mentor is provided to each student. While it may seem axiomatic to say that food safety should always be a priority, the unfortunate fact is that compliance is not entirely universal. In October 2012, the Food Safety Authority of Ireland found the highest number of food safety breaches by businesses in a decade (a total of eighteen; a further fourteen were found in November). Food legislation is there to maintain standards in the public’s interest; students who wish to learn more about the role of regulatory authorities can do so by enrolling in UCD’s MSc in Food Safety and Risk Analysis. This is a one-year full-time conversion course aimed at graduates with an appropriate bachelors qualification and a rudimentary knowledge of food safety (with relevant work experience an advantage). Those who complete the course will be well placed to secure a role within a regulatory agency or proceed to PhD-level research. A similar option is DIT’s MSc in Food Safety Management, which covers all areas relating to food safety – the dangers (microbial, chemical, etc. ); safety issues in food production; regulatory, consumer, and legal concerns; food safety management tools; and a unique Integrated Food Safety Management Case Study, through which students can apply their knowledge in a food company environment. Other food science and technology options at DIT include the MSc in Food Safety Management and the MSc in Culinary Innovation and Food Product Development – the later of which is a unique programme that bridges the areas of food science, business and culinary arts. Thanks to multi-disciplinary modules such as Gastronomy and Culture, New Food Business Creation and Sports and Exercise Nutrition, graduates are provided with extensive career options, including food product management, haute cuisine restaurants, as well as the possibility of further study.   Research avenues are available to students in both UCD and UCC. Among the research areas of particular interest in UCD are the development of new ingredient technologies and ensuring the security and safety of the food chain. The central role that nutrition plays in our physical and mental well-being has long been recognised, but appreciation of it continues to grow and ingrain itself in the public consciousness. The announcement of new food labelling legislation (which is set to replace rules originally put in place as far back as 2000) is something of an acknowledgment of this fact, with companies now having to communicate nutritional information more clearly to end users. This will undoubtedly have a strong impact on both public health and on consumers’ purchasing decisions. Such heightened awareness creates greater demand for expertise in the field, thus opening several career opportunities for graduates of nutritional science courses. Among the courses on offer to students interested in this area are UCD’s MPH in Public Health (Nutrition) and UCC’s MSc in Nutritional Sciences, the former of which can be taken as either a one- or two-year option, depending on whether students wish to study the topic on a full- or part-time basis; the latter course, on the other hand, can only be taken full time and runs for one year. While the MSc course tends to focus on the nutritional science techniques, and the relationship between nutrition and the development of disease (with module choices including Advances in Vitamins and Other Dietary Bioactives and Food Toxicology), the MPH degree aims to supply students with a keen understanding of public health practices and policies. Both courses require that students submit a dissertation (note, however, that the thesis subject will be allocated in the case of the MPH degree). 2013-04-04 SFI-funded PhD positions at ITT Dublin Applications are invited for two 4-year SFI-funded research positions under the supervision of Prof. Eithne Dempsey and Dr. Brian Seddon, Centre for Research in Electroanalytical Technologies ITT Dublin. Applicants must be highly motivated and are required to hold (or expect to receive) a 2. 1 or higher Honours degree in Chemistry or a related subject. In addition to their research project, they will also undertake specific taught modules, thereby enhancing their research expertise as well as advancing their professional development. The studentship includes a stipend of €18, 000 per annum plus a contribution of €5, 500 per year towards college registration fees. Applications should be sent by email to eithne. dempsey@ittdublin. ie and must include a CV, coverletter (containing a personal statement outlining the candidate’s relevant experience and motivation for application for the stated position) and full contact details for two academic referees. Closing Date: Friday 5 AprilFor more details about the related PhD projects, click here.   2013-04-03 Secondary Teaching There are many challenges for educators to overcome in the modern second-level classroom. Teachers are expected to be capable of dealing effectively with numerous issues such as diversity and disadvantage. Their job is to provide students with the greatest degree of preparation possible for the next stage of their lives. This means that teachers at this level must be well trained, dynamic and highly adaptable – all qualities that the Professional Diploma in Education (formerly known as the Postgraduate Diploma in Education) aims to instil.   In order to enter the teaching profession is one of the many that has been affected by the reversal suffered by the Irish economy recently. Getting a place on the necessary training course, and gaining permanent employment thereafter, can be a very challenging undertaking. There are still opportunities, however, and some sections of the profession are experiencing growth. Teaching at secondary level is a rewarding career choice, and remains a very popular one for many graduates. There are several requirements for those hoping to enter the teaching profession, one of which is to hold a primary degree that will allow the holder to teach to higher leaving cert standard in at least one subject on the school curriculum. Would-be educators must then obtain a Professional Diploma (PDE) in Education, or equivalent, which normally takes one year of full-time study. The CAO points the student will require depend very much on the subject or subjects chosen. For those seeking to make a career in such subjects as Art, Music, Religion, Physical Education or Home Economics, there are dedicated courses available that bypass the need for a postgraduate qualification. Dedicated degrees in Science have also been introduced. The one-year PDE requires that students undertake training in several core modules. These include topics such as Philosophy and History of Education, Psychology of Teaching and Learning and Inclusive and Multicultural Education. More practical elements include lesson planning, administration and assessment and Teaching Practice (to which a certain numbers of hours – generally around 100 – are allocated to teaching in an approved secondary school). A critical appraisal of the student’s performance in the classroom is a key element of teacher training. Accredited teacher training programmes are available from the constituent colleges of the National University of Ireland: UCD, UCC, NUI Galway and NUI Maynooth.   The Professional Diploma in Education on offer at Dublin City University is of two years’ duration with classes held in the evenings. As part of the school placement programme, student teachers must spend 200 hours systematically observing and participating in school life (this is in addition to the 100 hours of teaching they must undertake). It is also possible to study for the Professional Diploma in Education Trinity College Dublin; and those wishing to pursue their teaching qualification through the Irish language can do so at NUI Galway. The University of Limerick provides a range of one-year full-time PGDs in a variety of subject areas. There include Music, Maths, Science, Technology, Languages, Business Studies and Physical Education. Generally speaking, assessment for the PDE is continuous and a strong focus is place on a student’s capacity to integrate both theory and practice. Students are expected to apply what they have learned from each of the elements of the programme with their own personal experience in a considered and critical manner.   Qualified teachers are not solely reliant on the secondary school system for employment, however. While the majority of graduates will work as teachers in voluntary secondary, vocational, community and comprehensive schools, others will pursue further studies in education and related fields – such as in guidance, pastoral care, school leadership and management. Others again may go on to work in further education, higher education, within government departments or in other education and training settings. 2013-04-03 Physics Given the findings of a recent report by the Institute of Physics (IOP) in Ireland (‘The Importance of Physics to the Irish Economy’, November 2012), it is easy to understand the Irish government’s concerted attempt to promote the acquisition of Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) skills. After all, the evidence suggests that such skills are set to play a vital role in securing high-quality jobs here in the future.   At least this is if past performance is anything to go by: according to the report, physics-based businesses contribute €7 billion annually to the domestic economy, accounting for around 5. 6% of Ireland’s total economic output. The corresponding figure for direct employment is equally impressive at 86, 000 people – a figure that swells to a staggering 205, 000 when those indirectly employed are also taken into consideration. Writing on the IOP’s website, the Institute’s Chairman Kevin McGuigan claimed that ‘The source of the strength of physics-based industries is the product of physics research. To be able to develop this research, and create wealth, there must be a ready supply of physics-trained workers. ’ So what are some of the postgraduate options in Physics that attempt to address this need? Generally speaking, taught courses are designed to prepare students either for direct entry into the workplace or for the intellectual demands of a research programme. As physics is such a widely applicable natural science, taught programmes tend to cover a range of interests – mathematical, computational, medical, and so on. However, as the boundaries of physics tend to be flexible, there is a high level of interdisciplinary intersection. Among the courses on offer from the UCD School of Physics are the MSc in Mathematical Science (one year full time, two years part time; available too as a Higher Diploma) and the MSc in NanoBio Science (also one year full time, two years part time). The latter of these incorporates elements of both physics and biology. Students will be given tuition in nanomaterials, statistical mechanics, computational methods and biomimicry during the programme, with graduates typically going on to establish careers in biomedical technologies, drug development, sustainable energy, or in further academic/industrial research.   The School of Physics at NUI Galway offers another noteworthy option: the MSc in Medical Physics is a one-year full-time course that is primarily aimed towards training physicists in the application of radiation physics in medicine, although students also receive a thorough schooling in the application of physical sciences and engineering to medicine. Applicants must hold at least a second-class honours Level 8 degree (or equivalent international qualification) in Physics or Experimental Physics, Electronic Engineering, or another relevant discipline. Applications from candidates who do not meet these criteria, but who possess a primary degree with three years’ relevant work or practical experience, may also be considered.   Postgraduate programmes in Applied Physics are offered by number of colleges. The University of Limerick (at MSc level) and University College Cork (at both Postgraduate Diploma and MSc levels), for instance, both offer students the chance to specialise in particular areas, such as Condensed Matter Physics and Computational Physics. The Higher Diploma in Applied Science at NUI Maynooth is a skills conversion course (as defined by the Higher Education Authority). This one-year full-time programme aims to equip students with a wide variety of skills essential in experimental physics, with an emphasis on electronics, computer programming, and computer-based instrumentation and interfacing. Funding by the HEA means that fees for Irish and EU applicants have been significantly reduced. Of course a large number of postgraduate options in physics are primarily research-based. For example, Trinity College Dublin (TCD) offers a raft of programmes in which graduates can pursue physics qualifications through research, including Molecular Electronics, Surface and Interface Physics, and Environmental Radiation. While research students are ordinarily afforded a level of autonomy by their supervisors, the bodies they are receiving funding from often predetermine their areas of study. Elsewhere, over sixty postgraduate students and postdoctoral researchers are involved in three main research clusters in NUI Galway. They are: Astronomy and Astrophysics, Lasers and Applied Optics, and Atmospheric and Environmental Physics. The areas of interest are, understandably enough, hugely diverse, ranging from nanoparticle production and nanoparticle-based biosensing platforms to star and planet formation. Candidates for the PhD or MSc research degrees must have attained a high standard (minimum 2. 2 [or equivalent international qualification] for an MSc) at undergraduate level, though other evidence of an applicant’s suitability for the programme will be taken into account. Photo Courtesy of Freedigitalphotos. net  2013-04-03 Independent Colleges Dublin – Postgraduate Open Evening Independent College Dublin will hold a Postgraduate Open Evening on Tuesday 16 April from 5–7pm. The open evening will be held on the college’s campus, which is situated at 60–63 Dawson Street, Dublin 2. Anyone interested in enrolling on a postgraduate course is invited to come along and have a look at the courses currently being run at the college. The roster includes a range of appealing postgraduate programmes in the following areas: Business, Law, Arts & Psychotherapy and Media & Journalism. There will be plenty of staff members on hand to help with any inquiries candidates may have about the postgraduate courses on offer. All of Independent College Dublin’s programmes are validated to the highest standards, both nationally and internationally. Those with an interest in doing a course in Media or Journalism should note that as Independent College Dublin is part of Independent News & Media PLC (INM), the leading international newspaper and media group, it is therefore given access to extensive resources – particularly when it comes to job placements. 2013-03-28 Graduates called to IGNITE their business ideas Graduates with great business ideas now have the chance to implement their plans through University College Cork’s (UCC) IGNITE Graduate Business Innovation Programme. The IGNITE Programme at UCC has developed a formidable reputation for nurturing and supporting entrepreneurs since its inception two years ago. Open to higher education graduates of any discipline, IGNITE aims to support participants in turning ideas into profitable products and services. The Programme is financed jointly by Cork City Council, Cork County Council, Cork County & City Enterprise Boards and Bank of Ireland, and acts as a regional and national channel for job creation through nurturing entrepreneurship. Successful alumni of the programme include Kevin Bambury and Eoin O’Carroll, founders of Portable Medical Technologies – the first Irish company and only the third company worldwide to achieve CE approval for its mobile app ONCOassist, which provides a range of prognostic tools developed specifically for oncology healthcare professionals. This now means the app, which was launched in December 2012, is now classified as a medical device and can therefore be used in hospitals to make clinical decisions. ‘The programme has been remarkably successful in just two years’, says Eamon Curtin, Director of the IGNITE programme. ‘It has been central to the establishment of 10 new businesses so far and this figure is expected to almost double by the end of 2013. ’The IGNITE Graduate Business Innovation Programme is open to recent or forthcoming 2013 graduates of any third-level institution. The Programme offers:o A start-up grant and access to further funding opportunitieso Business incubation space in a top-class facility at Western Gateway Building, UCCo Individual business mentoring from leading entrepreneurso A comprehensive ‘Start Your Own Business’ programmeo Guidance from UCC Entrepreneur ‘Coaches on Campus’o Regular networking events and access to key entrepreneur networkso Access to UCC’s academic, research and commercialisation expertiseAn opening evening will take place on 25 April at UCC. For more details, go to ignite. ucc. ie, or email ignite@ucc. ie. The deadline for applications is 31 May.   2013-03-27 NUI Galway announces one million euro donation for R&D in Environment, Marine and Energy The National University of Ireland, Galway, has announced that it has received a significant donation from the Dr Tony Ryan Trust, which will be used to support scholarship and innovation in environment, marine and energy. The University’s access programme will also benefit from the donation. In addition to supporting the access programme, the philanthropic gift of over €1 million will specifically provide fully funded research scholarships for five PhD students. The Dr Tony Ryan Research Scholarships will offer opportunities to pursue a postgraduate degree in the research areas of environment, marine and energy.   The scholarships will specifically focus on research priorities at The Ryan Institute in the University. The key areas include:o Innovation in energy-efficient technologies and bio-energyo Research and development in aquaculture, fisheries, offshore renewable energy resources and bio-discoveryo Development of technologies for monitoring, modelling and mitigation of environmental pressuresSpeaking on behalf of the Trustees of the Dr Tony Ryan Trust, Emma Lane-Spollen commented: ‘We are proud to support so many Irish and migrant students to access NUI Galway’s degree programmes with €125, 000 per year for four years. We also look forward to supporting the development of the marine industry and the exploration of marine ecosystems in Ireland by supporting Galway’s ability to attract the best PhD students through these five full scholarships, putting Galway at the forefront of marine research and innovation. ’Dr Jim Browne, President of NUI Galway said: ‘The Ryan Institute is the leading centre for environment, marine and energy research in Ireland. Increasingly these areas are becoming crucial to the global economy, generating new and sustainable technologies. Support for scholarship and innovation in these areas is a strategic and important decision by the Trust and I would like to thank the Trustees for their philanthropy. The Dr Tony Ryan Trust’s funding of the NUI Galway Access Programme will also enable talented students facing financial challenges to realise their full educational potential. ”The Ryan Institute AwardIn addition to the Dr Ryan Scholarship Fund, a substantial Ryan Institute Award will feature annually, as a new means to support and foster entrepreneurship and innovation. The Award, which will be presented each year for five years, will be coupled with the above scholarship opportunity to drive innovation, entrepreneurship and spin-outs from postgraduate research at NUI Galway. An annual University competition, targeted at researchers and/or postgraduate students within the Ryan Institute, will assess business ideas arising from research. The award will enable the winner to commercialise or develop their idea – this may include further research , either at home or abroad. Environment, Marine and Energy Research at NUI GalwayThe college’s research emphasis in these areas is on: (1) understanding and predicting climate, ecological, terrestrial and marine system changes; (2) innovation in energy-efficient technology, water technology and bioenergy; (3) research and development in aquaculture, fisheries, offshore renewable energy resources and biodiscovery; (4) developing technologies for monitoring, modelling and mitigation of environmental pressures; and (5) providing scientific and technical information to guide socio-economic and policy decisions. 2013-03-25 Engineering Courses Engineering is an area with multiple strands, each of which is united to the others by a shared commitment to innovation. After all, the discipline, by its very nature, must constantly evolve if it is to continue to overcome the challenges posed across a range of areas – from computing and software to food and sustainability.   This forms part of the reason why, despite the current economic conditions, engineers can still look forward to a vibrant future. Engineering is necessary in the modern world; its importance is therefore set to endure, and even flourish – a sentiment reflected by the sustained investment activity in Ireland by major international companies over the last few years.   This is particularly true of microelectronic engineering, which has made assured progress in Ireland in recent years and includes companies such as Intel, ZMDI and Xilinx among its growing list of overseas investors. While the sector is already an excellent economic performer – employing around 8, 000 people and contributing €6 billion per year to the Irish economy – there is tangible evidence to suggest that further growth is highly likely.   For instance, recent research by the industry group Midas suggests that the sector will create an average of 200 jobs annually for engineering graduates. Supporting this projection are announcements such as the EU’s decisions to fund the development of an eco-friendly chip by a consortium including UCC staff, along with further financial backing for a major project in broadband infrastructure (known as ‘DISCUS’) to be headquartered at Trinity College Dublin. Even greater investment is expected from Intel, whose plans to develop a $4 billion chip fabrication plant in Kildare was given approval by An Bord Pleanála in January of this year. The creation of such a major facility would generate jobs not only for electrical engineers, but for those in construction too: it is estimated that developing the plant would create employment for 3, 500 construction workers. Such growth requires a continuous supply of well-trained graduates. Fortunately, the numerous postgraduate Engineering courses available to students will ensure that this need is well catered for. (Note: Postgraduate study is not just a wise move in terms of planning for future career prospects; it is also a necessity for anyone who wants to work as a chartered engineer from 2013 onwards – as decreed by Engineers Ireland. ) Aside from the wider aim of career goals, the main importance of postgraduate education in engineering is to enhance one’s skill set and level of expertise. Ongoing professional development is essential in a technology-led profession such as engineering. Some general advice for students is that they should consider enrolling on a wide-ranging engineering programme unless they are certain about the specific branch of engineering they wish to pursue (for instance, biomedical or biopharmaceutical engineering). Mechanical Engineering courses are often broad in scope and the area offers one of the most stable areas in terms of graduate employment. Programmes such as those offered at UCD and CIT are delivered through a combination of individual research, lab work, tutorials and work experience. Also, because students can generally tailor the programme (through module selection) to suit their personal tastes, they also have the chance to identify a topic that they may wish to explore further in an ensuing research programme. The resulting combination of general and specific skills allows graduates to secure employment in manufacturing, biomedical, energy and building services engineering, with further academic research being another available option. In terms of more specific study options, postgraduate programmes in Electronic Engineering are widespread across Irish ITs and universities, with courses on offer from DIT, UCD, UL, NUI Galway and DCU, among others – yet further testimony to the sector’s noteworthy potential for prosperity. NUI Maynooth also provides a conversion course option. Its Master of Engineering degree (one year full time or two years part time) is geared towards engineering graduates who wish to update their knowledge of cutting-edge technology. Among the subjects taught are Optimisation Theory and Applied Computing for Engineers. Applicants for all such courses are required to have at least a 2. 2 honours primary degree in a cognate discipline. Also popular are courses in Chemical Engineering. These are ordinarily designed to appeal to individuals with a science or engineering background who wish to develop or change their career towards the pharmaceutical or process industries. Offerings such as the University of Limerick’s GDip in Chemical Engineering (one year full time) have been specifically developed with industry in Ireland in mind – often in consultation with chemical and pharmaceutical companies. UL’s programme includes a series of one-day plant visits that give students a chance to tour chemical processing facilities and to interact with chemical engineering professionals. While candidates are typically expected to possess a second-class honours degree in a relevant scientific discipline, applications from graduates with relevant work experience are also invited.   2013-03-25 Special Educational Needs According to the Education for Person’s with Special Education Needs (SEN) Act 2004, students are to be educated as far as possible in an inclusive environment in mainstream classrooms. Students with special needs may be educated in ordinary classes in mainstream schools or in smaller classes in mainstream schools with a low teacher-to-pupil ratio – including one-to-one settings and, in some cases, ‘special schools’ that are dedicated to educating those with special needs. All such instances require trained professionals to deliver lessons in the most suitable way for the individual student’s specific needs. Special Educational Needs teachers are essential for the provision of learning support to those experiencing difficulty with the standard curriculum. All teachers receive some training in special education needs while completing the Postgraduate Diploma in Education; however, given the fact that mainstream schools often have students with special needs, completing a postgraduate course in Special Education Needs would be of benefit to any teacher, but would be especially so for those wishing to work solely as special educational needs teachers.   The increase and encouragement of inclusive education has meant that the number of students with special needs in mainstream education has grown. Past studies have shown that students educated in mainstream inclusive classrooms ‘show academic gains in a number of areas including improved performance on standardised tests … grades, on-task behaviour and motivation to learn’ (National Centre for Education Restructuring and Inclusion, 1995).   Students with many different special needs come through the mainstream education system. Some of the students may have reading difficulties such as dyslexia, while others may have autism or other behavioural or emotional difficulties. In some instances students may have average, or above average, intelligence and simply need to be taught in a way that is appropriate to them, while in other instances this may not be the case. Taking a Postgraduate Diploma in Special Education Needs gives student teachers an insight into how they should go about teaching those with special needs in the most effective way. It is a certainty that all teachers will, at some point in their careers, come into contact with pupils with different needs. Continued professional development is therefore extremely important in order for them to adapt to such an eventuality.   There are many different postgraduate SEN courses offered at numerous institutions and universities across Ireland. These courses are normally aimed at qualified teachers already in employment. For instance, UCD offer the Combined Postgraduate Diploma in Education in Special Education Needs, which is a one-year full-time programme. Support is available from the Department of Education and Science for qualified teachers who hold or are eligible to hold permanent teaching positions. This funding by the Department of Education and Science is offered so that a teacher who wishes to develop expertise in special needs education can have the opportunity to do so. There are a number of fee-paying places also reserved for suitably qualified graduate teachers who are not eligible for Department of Education and Science support. University College Dublin also offers an MEd in Special Education Needs, which is a two-year part-time programme. Again, the programme is designed for teachers or other professionals involved in the education or care of persons with special educational needs. Hibernia College runs various courses, including Drama and Inclusion of Pupils with SEN and Autism: Promoting the Social Communications Skills of Students with Autistic Spectrum Disorders. NUI Maynooth, together with Froebel College, operate a one-year part-time Postgraduate Diploma in Special Education Needs. This programme is designed for teachers working with pupils with a range of special education needs in mainstream primary, secondary and special school settings, and is compatible with full-time employment.   Other options in the area include St Patrick’s College Drumcondra’s one-year part-time PGdip in SEN. The course is aimed at teachers who are employed in a position funded by the Department of Education and Science who provide learning support and resource teaching at primary, post-primary and other recognised educational services. Another viable programme is St Angela’s College Sligo’s one-year part-time PGdip in SEN (one year part time). The course is delivered through a blend of online and face-to-face tutorials, along with supervised work in the teachers’ own schools or centres. Continuing professional development is essential for any teacher. Undertaking a postgraduate course in Special Education Needs will assist this professional development and help teachers and pupils alike to maximise their teaching and learning experience.   2013-03-25 Primary Teaching It has been said that there is no such thing as a bad student, only a bad teacher. It is a sentiment that is deeply felt by primary school teachers who face the difficult and intimidating task of communicating information to children knowing their performance will be judged by that of their students. This adds increased pressure to an already difficult and demanding profession. However, the rewards justify these challenges, and every exciting achievement for a pupil is one that is also shared by the teacher. The day of a primary school teacher does not have a clearly defined terminus. Instead of journeying home to an evening of relaxing or socialising the reality is often brought to bear by the thirty homework assignments waiting to be marked. And although the free summer months are undoubtedly a great perk of the profession, the length of the holidays may not be as impressive as it first seems. After all, part of this time must be spent planning and organising lessons for the following September’s new class. Yet these are small concessions to make, especially considering the returns teachers receive for their efforts. Educating children is an extremely worthy and fulfilling challenge, and one thing that can be counted on is that no two days will be the same: a huge bonus for those who wish to avoid monotony. Those who don’t have the necessary qualifications but who are in possession of an honours primary degree can apply for an 18-month Graduate Diploma course. This postgraduate conversion course is available from the following higher education institutions: St Patrick’s College (Drumcondra), Mary Immaculate College, Froebel College of Education, and Coláiste Mhuire (Marino Institute of Education).   Over the course of the programme students will be given instruction through a mixture of teaching practice and taught modules. The course is full time in each of the aforementioned colleges. Part of the programme will be dedicated to enabling students to teach subjects such as English, Mathematics, Music, Social, Personal & Health Education, but emphasis is also placed on teaching practice. Microteaching and practical classroom encounters will be discussed in order to prepare candidates for the end of semester teaching. In this way students are provided with the theoretical, professional and practical elements needed for the classroom.   The 18 months is divided into 14 taught modules and 4 teaching practice modules over 3 semesters, each of which are of 15 weeks’ duration. This is to ensure that students are afforded the chance to make the connections between education theory and practice. It also makes sure that by the time graduates are in front of their own class they will have developed the technique – and the tough skin – necessary to deal with any surprises! A period in the Gaeltacht is mandatory during the course and is usually completed after the first semester. Assessment is ongoing through a combination of course work, essays and an end-of-semester exam.   Requirements for the course are, in addition to a primary degree, a C3 or higher in Ordinary-level English, a D3 or higher in Ordinary-level Maths and a C3 or higher in Honours Irish in the Leaving Certificate. These conditions are extremely strict and if an applicant studied Ordinary-level Irish in the Leaving Cert or has never studied Irish before, they will be compelled to take the Irish in the Leaving Cert again (which it is possible to do with only one subject) and achieve the necessary results before they are can be considered for acceptance on to the programme. Entry to the course will first consist of an Irish interview, which is the hurdle at which many applicants fall and then must wait until the succeeding year to apply again. Potential applicants should therefore bear in mind that Irish language skills or, indeed, the motivation to learn them are vital.   Another common problem faced by many people that are considering taking this route is inaccessibility. Since three of the four colleges offering the conversion course are in Dublin, with the fourth being in Limerick, the commitment is simply not an option for some. However, this was resolved by the introduction of the Higher Diploma in Arts in Primary Education from Hibernia in 2004, which is a distance-learning programme. This provides a far more flexible route to teaching through a mixture of online and face-to-face tuition. Another option for primary school teaching is on offer at UCC in the guise of the Postgraduate Certificate in Teaching of Science at Primary School. This is a one-year part-time course (with the option of undergoing a second year of study in order to obtain a Postgraduate Diploma). As the programme’s title suggests, the course is part of an overall strategy to meet the growing demand from teachers for long-term professional development in the area. Applicants for the course must hold a recognised teaching qualification in Primary School teaching, and must satisfy the criteria of a selection committee.   2013-03-20 Primary Teaching - Student Profile Name: Jennifer Coffey College: Hibernia College Dublin Course: Higher Diploma in Arts in Primary Education An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity – Martin Luther King. Encountering people in life who exemplified this disposition inspired me to change career and move into education. Already fully qualified as a Fellow Accountant (FCCA) and as an experienced Six Sigma Black Belt Project Manager with a leading American multinational, I decided that I’d rather contribute to children’s education than to corporate profits - I wanted to help make a difference. I chose to study for the HDip in Arts in Primary Education with Hibernia College Dublin – an innovative online postgraduate course which facilitates attaining a formally recognised teaching qualification while continuing to work. Delivered over two years it comprises online and onsite tuition with practical in-school teacher training and a period in the Gaeltacht.   Although flexible in terms of changing career, it was also very intense! Despite attaining all prior professional qualifications while working full-time, I was still challenged by this. Applying oneself to distance learning and study is one aspect, however there is no substitute for real-life experience. Observing proficient teachers in the primary school environment proved fundamental to enhancing my awareness and effectiveness in the classroom and is a key part of the teaching practice blocks. Working as a substitute teacher throughout the course also helped me to hone my skills. Getting to know each child is essential as teachers must recognise their individual strengths, interests and needs. In primary schools this extends beyond the focus on literacy, numeracy and academic skills and aims to nurture and facilitate each child. Enhancing the full scope of their capabilities, talents, creativity, social skills, morals and self-esteem makes it a challenging profession, but one that can be very rewarding. I particularly love to see the children lighting up with enthusiasm, and thinking critically and creatively as they develop a deeper understanding of concepts and engage in team sharing activities. Children learn from each other as much as from their teachers so getting them working together and their feedback contributes greatly to effective teaching and learning. I find that varying activities using child-centred active-discovery methods with tangible materials, interactive games, team challenges, group and pair work (incorporating music, role-play and ICT) works particularly well and facilitates a fun-filled learning environment.   Hibernia graduates are highly regarded by the teaching community, with well developed ICT skills, and Infant and Special Educational Needs teaching practice. They often bring a valuable degree of life and work experience too. Having completed my probation teaching requirements post qualification, I am delighted to have secured permanent teaching status, working currently in Learning Support with the Patrician PS, Newbridge and St. Peter’s PS, Monasterevin.  This role branches into specialised areas encouraging further research and skills development. Teaching is a continuous learning process but I always try to apply the following philosophies that help inspire me:  • See the world through the eyes of a child, with the wisdom of the ages • Mol an Óige agus tiocfaidh sí!  2013-03-20 CIT announces Rísam Scholarship Programme 2013 Cork Institute of Technology recently announced its Rísam Scholarship Programme 2013 for high-achieving postgraduate research students undertaking PhDs. The programme aims to promote high-end research directed towards the generation of new knowledge or original applications of existing knowledge. The Rísam Scholarships are awarded on a competitive basis for research proposals aligned with CIT’s Research Prioritisation thematic areas. The main research activities can currently be found in the following four areas: BioExplore (Biological Sciences; Chemistry; Biomedical Engineering); Nimbus (Electronic Engineering; Computing); Photonics (Applied Physics & Instrumentation) and Energy & Sustainable Environment (Civil, Structural & Environmental Engineering; Mechanical Engineering; Marine; Architecture).    For further information on these, as well as research opportunities in Business, Humanities, Social Care, Music and Art, click on the link. The online application form for the Rísame Scholarship can be downloaded here, along with the full Terms and Conditions. Note that the closing date for applications is 30 April 2013. 2013-03-20 Pharmaceutical Studies According to the Irish Pharmaceutical Healthcare Association (IPHA), ‘Ireland is now the largest net exporter of pharmaceuticals in the world’. In 2011 the sector brought in an estimated €55 billion and accounted for more than half of all national exports. However, if such high-level performance is to continue (or even improve), then it is essential that the industry have access to a constant supply of graduates from high-quality science programmes.   The incentives for enrolling in postgraduate pharmaceutical studies are quite clear – with over 24, 000 people currently employed in the industry (which is a truly nationwide one, with 120 companies located throughout the country), domestic job prospects in the sector are promising; salaries are 30 per cent above the national average (according to CSO figures); and, as thirteen of the top fifteen pharmaceutical companies have a base here, the opportunities for career progression are excellent.   The quantity and variety of postgraduate courses currently on offer in the field reflects the industry’s vibrancy, in spite of the economic slump. A number of Irish institutes of higher education are meeting the demand of industry for highly skilled managers and researchers. Postgraduate science programmes that can lead to a well-remunerated career in the pharmaceutical industry need not be restricted to those with 'pharmaceutical' in the title. Other relevant fields of study include Biomedical Science, Microbiology and Food science. There are numerous programmes that provide existing workers with upskilling and ‘Qualified Person’ according to the latest legislative requirements. For example, experienced pharmaceutical workers can enrol in the MSc in Industrial Pharmaceutical Science, which was launched in January 2010. The course was developed by the School of Pharmacy at the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland together with the School of Science at the Institute of Technology, Sligo. The degree is an MSc of the National University of Ireland (NUI) and is of interest to those working in the pharmaceutical or healthcare industries looking to gain an education in the main subjects relating to industrial practice. The course comprises twelve modules, providing teaching in twenty-two major subject areas. There is also a research project. The programme is delivered by distance learning, with certain block attendance. The modular structure and credit system facilitate studying while working. The course duration is ordinarily two years; however, a credit system is operated, permitting completion over a longer period. Satisfactory completion of twelve modules and a research project are required.  This MSc course is open to students who have obtained an honours degree or its equivalent in an appropriate discipline. IT Tallaght also provides an MSc in Pharmaceutical Science through distance learning. Applicants must have two years’ relevant work experience and a degree in medicine, chemistry or biology. Another course in Tallaght for the currently employed is the MSc in Pharmaceutical Production (Higher Diploma available too). This provides students with hands-on experience through assignments undertaken in the Institute’s Pharmaceutical Education Centre. Training is given by a combination of academic and industrial staff. Another option is Trinity College Dublin’s MSc in Pharmaceutical Technology (also available as a Postgraduate  Diploma). This is a full-time course of one year’s duration that is specifically aimed at those hoping to work in the formulation and drug delivery design sectors of the human and veterinary pharmaceutical industries. Among the modules on offer are: Fundamentals of Pharmaceutical Formulation, Molecular Pharmaceutics & Advanced Drug Delivery, and Pharmaceutical and Medical Nanotechnology. Coursework is supplemented by organised site visits to pharmaceutical companies.   Naturally, the pharmaceutical industry requires huge R&D investment (it is estimated that 20% of all business R&D is put into the pharmaceutical sector) before a product can make it through to the production stage. For instance, it may take up to fifteen years to develop a new medicine, and even then only three out of every ten products will generate the revenue to match or exceed the initial R&D investment by the time patent protection has expired. This makes quality assurance an integral part of the production process.   Courses such as DIT’s MSc in Pharmaceutical Quality Assurance and Biotechnology cater for this aspect of the industry. This conversion programme may be taken either as a one-year full-time option, or as a two-year option for those who wish to study part-time. It is designed for those with a qualification in a related science discipline who wish to meet the specific criteria for work in pharmaceutical quality assurance. Among the subject areas covered are quality assurance, auditing and manufacturing. Students are assessed through a combination of written assignments, practical work, exams, and a minor dissertation. Other conversion course options include UCC’s MEngSc in Pharmaceutical and Biopharmaceutical Engineering. The course, which is part time, focuses on the unique concerns of the industry such as product containment, powder/particle technology, current Good Manufacturing Practice (cGMP), design of classified facilities, aseptic processing facility design, and validation. Graduates of chemistry or a related discipline are invited to apply for DCU’s PGDip/MSc in Chemical & Pharmaceutical Analysis. This programme seeks to provide fundamental training in the theory and practice of modern, advanced instrumental methods of analysis (special emphasis is placed on the importance of instrumentation in problem solving). Holders of the MSc attract strong interest from employers in the chemical, pharmaceutical and biopharma sectors looking to fill high-responsibility positions in analysis, development, quality control and management. Photo Courtesy of Freedigitalphotos. net 2013-03-20 New MSc in Digital Marketing and Analytics at DIT School of Marketing Dublin Institute of Technology School of Marketing has partnered with the Marketing Institute of Ireland (MII) to develop a new MSc programme in Digital Marketing & Analytics. The cutting-edge course is delivered by leading digital marketing practitioners and DIT marketing experts. Participants will learn how to design, implement, evaluate and report on an end-to-end digital marketing strategy. The emphsis of the course centres on Strategy, Skills and Analytics – producing ‘Digital Leaders’ with expert digital marketing skills and the ability to use analytics to gather consumer insights and drive digital marketing effectiveness. Participants will also be able to complete the MSc on a part-time basis and within 16 months. For further information visit www. mii. ie/digital-masters, or contact Colin Hughes, Programme Director, on 01-4027088 or by email at colin. hughes@dit. ie.   2013-03-15 Art and Design Though art and design are linked by their creative natures and a strong tendency towards the visual, they are quite distinct fields of endeavour. Good art is generally credited with being open to interpretation, whereas good design is credited with being clearly understood. However, with that said, there is some crossover between the two areas, and together they comprise a broad scope of creative disciplines.   Those wishing to advance their artistic credentials and develop a quality-rich body of work to might consider the Master’s degree in Fine Art in Studio Art (two years full time), which is offered jointly by NUI Galway and the Burren College of Art. The programme teaches students how to prepare for the vocation of art or, if preferred, for progression on to doctoral-level study. The course is comprised of three modules: Studio Research, Professional Skills and Historical and Critical Studies – all of which are treated as elements within an overall holistic experience.   Another hands-on programme is available from Cork Institute of Technology, whose intensive one-year MA in Art and Process (full time) encourages students to fully engage with medium, theory and technique. They are also given a degree of autonomy in which to experiment, reflect and discuss with the aim of developing their own unique work methodologies. Applicants should hold at least a 2. 2 honours primary degree in Fine Art or a related discipline, or have a significant level of professional experience. They must also submit a portfolio of work with some samples of written work (i. e. a statement of practice, a chapter from a thesis/review of a show).     The relationship between contemporary art practice and digital culture is a salient and central concern of the National College of Art and Design’s (NCAD) MA in Art in the Digital World (two years full time). The programme combines visual art, digital production and postproduction skills, creative content development, critical studies in contemporary art and digital culture, and research methods training. Students will also be given the opportunity to avail of an artist’s placement within a suitable organisation in year one, and will be offered the chance to study abroad as part of year two. Along with an approved primary degree, applicants must submit a CV, portfolio, references, along with a statement of intent. In addition to taught programmes, NCAD also offers doctoral-level research options. Research proposals are invited in all aspects of art and design, including practice, education, history, criticism and theory.   Limerick Institute of Technology is another college that provides research opportunities alongside its postgraduate courses in Art and Design. Research proposals are considered for MAs and PhDs in numerous fields, including fine art, printmaking, fashion, ceramic or digital design, as well as art and design education. Art creation, curation and criticism might ordinarily be considered independent career paths, but IADT’s unique MA in Visual Art Practices (two years full time) offers students tuition in all three. This approach allows budding artists to contextualise their work in new and exciting ways. Previous graduates on the programme have progressed on to careers in an array of areas, such as in public art commissioning, performance, photography, criticism, sculpture, video installation, curation and painting. Indeed, encouraging versatility in student is an important element of the course.   ‘Postgraduate studies teach students to look creatively at opportunities in industries where careers don’t follow straight lines, ’ says Liam Doona, Head of Department of Art & Design in IADT. ‘In creative arts you shape your own career and graduates tend to be ambitious and nimble, moving around and creating their own opportunities. What is important in our courses is that they are very professionally centred; conditioning students to see what their field is becoming and how to progress professionally within it. ’ One course that focuses on the practical element and recognises the importance of advice from industry experts is that of the MA Professional Design Practice – Visual Communications (two years full time), which is on offer at Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT). Leading industry professionals are on hand to offer input and advice on each project that a student undertakes, with the aim of equipping design graduates with the competencies required to work in the industry.   Teaching is another popular career choice for graduates of Art or Design programmes. One-year postgraduate diplomas are available from NCAD and CIT’s Crawford College of Art & Design. Another exciting option is the new MA in Art and Design (two years part time), which is on offer at Limerick Institute of Technology. The programme is designed for in-career art and design educators that wish to improve on their existing skills through re-engaging with their own art and design practice. The course endorses a collaboration- and contribution-based approach to learning, and also affords participants the opportunity to strengthen their professional networks.     2013-03-14 Digital Media - Student Profile Name: PAUL MALLON (EDITORIAL MANAGER, PADDYPOWER. COM ONLINE SPORTSBOOK) Course: MSc in APPLIED DIGITAL MEDIA College: Griffith College Dublin What made you decide to study Applied Digital Media at Griffith College? Fear and ambition. I'd worked at the coalface of the newspaper industry for 14 years and experienced amazing things. But the pace of digital change is staggering and, before going back to college, I felt totally unprepared for the future. I needed to kick myself up the backside. Best advice from a lecturer? 'Do a small bit of work (almost) every night. Cramming is not an option. ' Leaving Cert cramming flashbacks made me do it. Favourite student bar? Anseo on Camden Street. Great tunes and good beer.   Are you still in touch with your college crew? I wake up beside one every morning. She says hello. What learning has stood to you most from your college days? The importance of the 'process'. You have to sketch a lot and scrap a lot before you get a good result. It's way more perspiration than inspiration. What is your Proudest Achievement?  Our final Masters project, easter1916. ie, was a digital cultural heritage application to redefine the events of the Easter Rising. After a huge amount of work, the website was endorsed by Taoiseach Enda Kenny and Fianna Fail leader Micheál Martin.   What one piece of advice would you give a new student to make the most of their time in college?  Work continuously. The world's got enough dossers.   When choosing a course, what advice would you give to future students? Make sure there's at least one person you find attractive. It'll make the cold winter nights more bearable. Otherwise, research the modules before you take them so you at least think you're going to enjoy them, or find them challenging. 2013-03-14 Performing Arts With the abundant supply of talent shows now on air, it seems that performers of all persuasions and abilities – whether singers, dancers, actors or musicians – have numerous avenues of getting themselves into the spotlight. This doesn’t always result in quality acts, unfortunately. However, there is an alternative for those who are serious about fine-tuning their craft – study it at postgraduate level.   Those with an interest in establishing a career in theatre have plenty of options available to them.  The MA in Drama and Theatre Studies at NUI Galway (one year full time, two years part time), for instance, aims to strike a balance between performance and theory, so that students will have good opportunities to succeed onstage or in a more ‘behind-the-scenes’ capacity. ‘Students follow two core courses that are balanced between practice and theory, ’ explains lecturer Dr Patrick Lonergan. ‘They then choose from a range of options, in such areas as playwriting, dramatic history, theatre marketing and ensemble performance. ’ However, this is not to suggest a clear and permanent schism between subjects dealing with ‘performance’ and those concerned more with ‘theory’. The theoretical topics can still be hugely beneficial to students who wish to pursue a stage career, while the performance modules can also assist those who will ultimately perform a more administrative role after graduating. ‘The non-performance-based modules provide students with skills in essay-writing, research, archival work, and so on, ’ Dr Lonergan explains. ‘While these skills broaden students’ employment options, they also benefit those wishing to build a career in performance – since actors must also write analytically about their work, and research characters. Similarly, students who have taken courses in performance find that doing so improves their skills in areas such as public speaking and presentation. This benefits them in careers in business and the public service. ’ Armed with such a well-rounded skill set, graduates of the programme need not worry about career restrictions. Indeed, their opportunities go well beyond just treading the boards.   ‘There are a range of options available to students, ’ Dr Lonergan states. ‘Some have gone on to further study, taking PhDs, and ultimately finding work as university lecturers. Others have taken up – or returned to – teaching posts at primary and post-primary level. Some have published theatre reviews in publications like The Irish Times and the Irish Theatre Magazine. ’ Similar high-quality programmes are available from a range of colleges nationwide. Among the options are the Gaiety School of Acting’s MA in Theatre and Production (one year full time), Trinity College Dublin’s MPhil in Theatre and Performance (one year full time), and UCC’s MA in Drama and Theatre (also one year full time). For those who may feel a bit more at home giving direction rather than receiving it, UCD offers an MA in Directing for Theatre (one year full time, two years part time). Candidates for this unique course should have an honours-level primary degree in a related subject or relevant experience in theatre and performance. Note that all applicants for the programme will be asked to attend an interview as part of the selection process.   Though some Drama programmes include modules on dance, those who wish to specialise in this area might also consider enrolling on a dedicated Dance programme. The University of Limerick provides one such option through its MA in Dance Performance (one year full time). The course features independent Traditional Irish and Contemporary Dance streams, although there is some interactivity between the two genres thanks to shared workshops, seminars and electives. Though candidates are expected to hold at least a second-class honours primary degree in a related discipline, the practical nature of the course also means that an interview is mandatory, and an audition and/or portfolio of audio/written work may also be requested. The University of Limerick is also home to several postgraduate music courses, including the MA in Community Music. The course is aimed at musicians who already have a level of self-expressive skill and who wish to develop their talents while developing the abilities they will need to facilitate the expressive work of others. Alternatively, the MA in Classical String Performance provides students with advanced classical tuition in instruments such as the violin, viola, cello and double bass, as well as coaching in the repertoire of chamber music and string chamber orchestra. The programme also welcomes applications from pianists who particularly wish to engage with string chamber music repertoire. NUI Maynooth is another university renowned for its provision of music education at postgraduate level. The continual growth and position of information technology in music production has been recognised by the college with the inclusion of a MA in Computer Music, which explores the musical applications of technology. The aforementioned advantages of combining performance with academic training can be pursued in the musical arena with the MA in Performance & Musicology, where students improve their performance while conducting musicological, compositional and technological research. All participants take part in a public recital at the end of the course. Other postgraduate music programmes with a strong emphasis on performance are available from DIT, Royal Irish Academy of Music, Cork IT, and Dundalk IT.   2013-03-14 Software Engineering and Games Development For a country of such relatively small stature, Ireland continues to punch well above its weight in terms of its performance in software development and sales. According to the Irish Exporter’s Association, ICT exports from Ireland in 2011 reached the impressive tally of €40. 2 billion – more than three-quarters of which came directly from software export sales.   Yet only a decade ago the export sales for software amounted to just €10 billion. Such a huge increase in the sales figure surely illustrates the sector’s gathering momentum – something that is compounded by the fact that the top 10 global technology companies have a significant presence here. Among the ICT behemoths currently residing within these shores are Google (whose Irish operation is the company’s largest outside of the US), Facebook, EA Games, Big Fish Games, Dell, HP and Microsoft.   Hosting such an impressive roster of organisations is no coincidence: it is the result of a heady mixture of tax incentives and on-demand access to a talent-rich local labour force.   Postgraduate courses in Software Engineering aim to equip students with the theoretical, procedural, methodological and technical knowledge necessary to the development of high-quality – and cost effective – software. Although course content obviously differs depending on the educational institution, typical electives include Human-Computer Interaction, Software Architecture and Accessible Web Design. A postgraduate course will not concentrate solely on aspects of computer programming; it will also assist graduates in compiling the necessary qualities for working their way up the industry ladder (e. g. by improving their project management skills or problem-solving abilities).   The volume of taught programmes in Software Development and Engineering is a clear reflection of the sector’s ongoing expansion. Relevant courses are available from UCD (Software Engineering – Advanced), NUI Galway, UL, DCU, CIT, Dundalk IT, and Athlone IT. Typical modules include Artificial Intelligence, Software Design, Testing and Quality, and Graphics. Most Software Engineering/Development programmes require that applicants possess at least a second-class honours degree in a related field, or have a significant level of industry-related work experience. Note that some colleges may include interviews as part of the admission process.   Interesting alternatives include the University of Limerick’s MSc in Software Engineering & Entrepreneurship Management (one year full time). The programme provides graduates with a business and management education that will prepare them to either start new software firms or to work in existing organisations. Waterford IT’s MSc in Communications Software is another option that produces graduates fit to take leading roles in the highly profitable telecommunications software sector. Students with little or no background in IT can enrol on a conversion course (such as NUI Maynooth’s PGrad Dip in Software Engineering, which runs for one year, full time). Those unable to attend classes due to other commitments need not feel excluded – NUI Galway offers a distance-learning option for its MSc in Software Engineering and Database Technologies. This part-time programme is of two years’ duration and is aimed at those wishing to learn about information technology while gaining advanced research skills, along with anyone already working in the area seeking to obtain a recognised masters qualification.     Game development is a parallel area that has also seen tremendous expansion in recent years. Figures posted by the Irish Games Industry Survey 2012 indicate an incredible industry growth rate of 91 per cent since 2009, with close to 3, 000 people now employed in the sector. The announcement that Digit Games Studios, a Dublin-based games developer founded in early 2012, is to receive funding of $2. 5 million from investors is further testimony to the upward momentum the industry currently enjoys. Students looking to find work in the sector have a number of postgraduate options that will greatly enhance their chances of success. Trinity College Dublin’s MSc in Computer Science (Interactive Entertainment Technology), for instance, is a one-year full-time programme that has been developed in co-operation with leading local and international game industry companies. The course will provide guidance in the design and development of the technology that supports the video game market. Among the modules on offer are Graphics and Console Hardware, Artificial Intelligence and Real-time Physics. Students on the course must participate in a group project as well as complete a dissertation based on their individual research.   Dublin Institute of Technology’s MSc in Digital Games (one year full time) is a programme that aims to exploit the current boom in the area of digital gaming. The course provides multi-disciplinary training in game conception, design and manufacture. Group projects play a vital role in the course as the varying levels of students’ skills and experiences are taken into account and integrated (indeed the course culminates in a major group project in digital games, which must be accompanied by a research report). Core modules on the programme include Engine Programming, Design Principles, and Game Modding and Production. The programme is designed to appeal to graduates from diverse undergraduate backgrounds (2. 2 honours degree required) – including the visual and media arts, and computer science. However, candidates with work experience in a related field are also encouraged to apply. The quality of postgraduate courses in both software and games development therefore plays an essential part in maintaining, or in building, Ireland’s technology-based impetus.   2013-03-12 Informatics Informatics is a broad field concerned with the use of computer software in the creation, management and sharing of information. While it can be used within a variety of fields, informatics is probably best known as a complementary appendage to the healthcare industry where it now plays a central role in helping to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of healthcare delivery. Indeed, the array of Health Informatics courses on offer in Ireland attests to this fact.   One such option is the MSc in Health Informatics provided by Trinity College Dublin’s School of Computer Science and Statistics (in conjunction with the School of Medicine). The course is open to people who hold a good honours degree in a professional health sciences or computer engineering discipline, or to those with appropriate qualifications augmented by three years’ professional experience (in essence, applicants must indicate to the admissions committee that they have the ability to complete the course and benefit from it). The programme runs for two years on a part-time basis, thereby accommodating the large number of students already in full-time employment.   Course participants typically represent two distinct disciplines: information technology and healthcare. This initial division encourages crossover discussion, which thereby promotes mutual understanding and appreciation (note that those from a IT background must take a module on Basic Medical Sciences, while those from a clinical background are required to undergo an Introduction to Programming component). Such integration is also important as the first year of the course focuses heavily on practical, team-based assignments. In year two, students are required to take a module in research methods and must submit a dissertation of approximately 20, 000 words.   The University of Limerick also offers an MSc in Health Informatics, pursued on a full-time basis over one year. The course is open to administrators, managers and professionals in healthcare who have a primary undergraduate degree (2. 2 honours or higher); those who have a primary undergraduate degree (2. 2 honours or higher) in a health sciences discipline; and those with at least five years’ relevant work experience (who will be required to undertake an interview as part of their assessment for suitability). Course modules – roughly half of which will be delivered via distance learning – include Electronic Health Record Management, Strategic Issues in Health Informatics and Research Methods in Health Informatics. Another option is the MSc in Medical Science (Health Informatics) offered by NUI Galway. The course is pursued on a part-time basis over two years. Participants usually have a primary degree in healthcare, medicine or an equivalent qualification at 2. 1 level or above in a relevant area. Alternatively, students can opt to study for a Postgraduate Diploma. This is also part time, but is run over a shorter period of time (two semesters – September to December and January to April). Distance learning is a significant component of both programmes.   While courses in health informatics frequently lead to specific careers within the IT departments of hospitals or healthcare environments, they are equally dedicated to underpinning the existing work practices of those already employed in the industry – be they doctors, anaesthetists or psychiatrists.   Of course healthcare is not the only area in which informatics can be applied; there are numerous courses that reflect the variety of spheres in which it is employed. For instance, Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT) offers an MSc in Construction Informatics, which can be taken either full time (over eighteen months) or part time (over the course of thirty months). Applicants must have an honours (2. 2 or above) Level 8 undergraduate degree as well as relevant work experience in construction. The course is highly useful for those hoping to pursue careers in areas such as architecture, engineering, construction management, facility management or quantity surveying. It also explores topics such as the use of mobile computing in construction and project planning/scheduling.     In recent years, informatics has also come to play an increasingly important role in the study and understanding of biological processes. Bioinformatics, to give it its proper name, focuses on applying intensive computation and statistical techniques to studying the information processes in biotic systems. Dublin City University offers a one-year full-time Bioinformatics MSc, which has two streams – Computing and Life Sciences. The course is designed to give people from both these streams the multidisciplinary skills required for them to thrive in the bioinformatics and biotechnology industries.   As Bioinformatics is currently an area of rigorous research activity, students may also consider taking Informatics as a research option at either MSc or PhD levels, both of which can be taken full time or part time at NUI Galway. To do so, candidates must have achieved a high honours standard (2. 2 or above, or equivalent international qualification, for an MSc) at the examination for the primary degree, or must otherwise provide evidence of their suitability to satisfy the admissions committee. 2013-03-12 Computer Science and Computing The growth of the ICT (Information and Communication Technologies) sector in Ireland shows no sign of abating any time soon. Its performance during the economic slump has been remarkable – approximately 13, 700 jobs have been created in the industry over the last three years alone. The rate of development in the sector is so great that it can be difficult at times to keep abreast of the proliferating initiatives and investment announcements. The demand for people with a high level of ICT skills and experience is high: a recent survey by the Skills and Labour Market Research Unit (SLMRU) showed that the most difficult-to-fill positions for recruitment agencies are in ICT – software engineers, developers, and IT security experts were among the most sought after professionals. In order to overcome what was perceived as a skills shortage, the Department of Education and Skills took the measure of publishing a government-industry ICT action plan aimed at building the supply of high-level ICT graduates required in order to meet the industry’s needs. A key part of this plan was the roll out of a number of ICT skills conversion programmes in March 2012. The initiative has proven to be such a success that it will enter a second phase in spring 2013, with an additional 760 places being made available (the first phase had 700) on various programmes across a range of colleges.   The courses on offer cover the gamut of subject areas within the computing spectrum. The National College of Ireland, for instance, run a Higher Diploma in Science in Web Technologies (one year part time). Students on this programme will develop an understanding of the latest web 2. 0 technologies and applications, which they can then put to use during a work placement within a computing- or software-based organisation.   The Higher Diploma in Software Development (one year part time), which is run by the University of Limerick, is another excellent conversion course option. The programme aims to prepare students for the design and construction of software-based systems – from stand-alone applications to web-based applications and mobile apps – using a variety of languages, systems, methods and tools. As with NCI’s offering, students will also be given the chance to put their skills to use in an industrial setting via a 12-week work placement, which will also provide them with the opportunity to develop industry links.   Those interested in enrolling on a conversion course should note that such programmes are, naturally, aimed at students coming from non-computing backgrounds. They therefore tend to be quite intensive in terms of course delivery. While candidates are not expected to have a background in computing, they are expected to hold a level 8 degree in a cognate area (for example, applicants for a Data Analytics course should be numerate and have good technical/mathematical problem-solving skills).   But what are the career benefits of taking a computer science-based postgraduate course for those who have already secured an undergraduate qualification in the area? The answer is simple enough – the greater the level of expertise a student can obtain, the greater their competitive advantage on the jobs market. There is also the increased likelihood that those who come away with a postgraduate degree will proceed to higher-level functioning within the industry, finding roles for themselves as software architects, team leaders or project managers.   In such a vibrant field of study, the course options are bound to be plentiful, which is indeed the case: the MSc in Computing is available from a number of institutes of technology (e. g. Dundalk, Galway-Mayo, Blanchardstown, Tralee, Limerick and Athlone) and is an excellent preparation for senior IT roles. Students undertake modules such as Human Computer Interaction, Distributed Computing (i. e. Networks) and Advanced Software Engineering. Quite often, these courses will also focus on entrepreneurial and research skills. Another viable option is DIT’s recently launched MSc in Applied Software Technology – a fully funded programme that offers graduates a full-time and permanent position with Ericsson upon satisfactory completion.   The recent announcement that a major pan-European broadband project – which has received close to €12 million in funding – is to be headquartered at Trinity College Dublin suggests that the college’s international reputation for technological innovation and learning continues to grow. It is no surprise then that the subject of Computer Science is well serviced by the college’s School of Computer Sciences and Statistics with unique yet related MSc degrees on offer. These include subject areas as diverse as Interactive Entertainment Technology, Networks and Distributed Systems, and Mobile and Ubiquitous Computing – all of which are full-time courses of a single year’s duration. In addition, it is also possible to undertake a research role. The School divides its research activity into five disciplines – Computer Systems, Information Systems, Intelligent Systems, Software Systems and Statistics (note that the latter offers a PhD in Statistics, while the other four offer PhDs in Computer Science). Each of these areas is considered vital to Ireland’s development as a ‘knowledge economy’ and the postgraduate researchers produced often go on to assume future leadership positions in Irish industry. While it may be impossible to ignore the pressing influence of the computing world, reliance on it comes a cost as information becomes ever more diffuse and subject to security threats. This creates an urgent need for quality IT security experts. A number of postgraduate options can help pave the way for people looking to move into this profitable and challenging sector.   Dublin City University’s MSc in Security and Forensic Computing (one year full time, two years part time) provides the latest knowledge in the prevention and detection of Cybercrime. Modules cover such fascinating topics as System Software, Network Security and Cryptography. Potential employers include law enforcement agencies, financial institutions, and software developers. IT Blanchardstown’s MSc in Computing – Information Security and Digital Forensics (one year full time) is a similar programme, with modules on topics such as Cyber Crime Investigation and Digital Forensics. Cork IT’s MSc in Networking and Security (one year full time, two years part time) is more focused on prevention than detection, although students are imparted with a sufficiently high level of technical competence to find roles as senior security personnel within large organisations.   With the growth in ICT in Ireland due to continue, maximise your employment prospects by researching your options for studying on Postgrad. ie 2013-03-12 Accounting Courses While there is no industry that has not been adversely affected by the collapse of the Celtic Tiger, accounting is one of the few careers regularly bestowed with the title ‘recession-proof’. Not only has the number in employment remained stable, but, according to Finance Dublin’s latest annual Accountancy Survey, it actually showed signs of growth. Only logical really, given that firm control of the books is even more important in lean times. The prospects for future employment are also strong. The same survey revealed that the top 14 firms intended to recruit 1, 469 people between June 2012 and June 2013. Smaller- and medium-sized firms are also looking to recruit again.     But how would a postgraduate accounting course help a job seeker to stand out among a large number of candidates?  ‘Postgraduate qualifications are becoming increasingly desirable in differentiating oneself from other candidates in a competitive employment market, ’ says Brendan Doyle, Acting Head of Department of Accounting and Business Computing at Athlone Institute of Technology. ‘Obtaining a postgraduate award marks you out as a candidate willing to invest time and other resources in their career. In the field of accounting in particular the benefits are enhanced by the extra professional exemptions on offer from some accounting bodies to holders of Masters qualifications. ’ Doyle refers to the four professional accounting organizations listed below: Chartered Accountants Ireland: www. charteredaccountants. ie Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA): www. acca. ie Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA): www. cima. ie The Institute of Certified Public Accountants in Ireland (CPA): www. cpaireland. ie Each professional body is highly respected at home and abroad, with qualifications facilitating entry to roles in the public and private sectors, as well as self-employment. Would-be accountants should research each of the above carefully in order to find the qualification that best suits their needs. Issues to bear in mind include entry routes, exam exemptions, duration of training, modules of study, fees, and the employment status of current students and those who recently attained the professional qualification.   A focus on managerial skills marks the CIMA qualification. Award holders are qualified to make strategic business decisions based on financial data, and are thus suited to positions as financial analysts, consultants, as well as to a host of managerial roles. The CIMA entry route is their Certificate in Business Accounting, which consists of five modules that can be studied and assessed at the student’s own pace. As with all professional accounting qualifications, exemptions may apply depending on the qualifications already held by the student. With the opportunity for accounting graduates to find work and carry out their professional training by night, why should someone delay undertaking employment and professional exams in order to pursue a full time postgraduate qualification? Doyle offers the following response: ‘This is always an option, but like all options it brings compromises. Many professional positions are extremely demanding in terms of time commitment and intellectual effort. It is not easy to face into a night’s lectures and study after a draining day at work. Also, commitments to your employer will often mean that lectures are missed, with corresponding gaps in your syllabus coverage. Pursuing a postgraduate qualification ensures that your academic training is obtained in an environment most conducive to learning, with constant guidance available. In addition, the better Masters programmes offer a large element of professional development, as does Athlone IT, which will assist in preparation for the workplace. ’ A full-time postgraduate Accounting programme can also provide a shortcut to professional qualification. A one-year full-time postgraduate course can equip a student with the exemptions that would be equivalent to three years of part time study and assessment with a professional body. For that reason accountancy firms will sometimes sponsor a student to undertake a postgraduate course, thereby minimizing the amount of study leave required. This is an option that accounting graduates need to explore with potential employers. The research skills acquired by postgraduate students during a Masters programme are also attractive to employers: accountants regularly need to research and understand their client’s business and financial strategy. Vital communication and writing skills (something accountants are often accused of lacking) are also enhanced by prolonged academic study. Apart from Athlone Institute of Technology, Accounting Masters programmes are also available from UCD, UCC, DCU, NUI Galway, NUI Maynooth, DIT, Dundalk IT, Letterkenny IT, Waterford IT, Dublin Business School (with Finance – International), Independent Colleges (with Finance), ICD Business School (with Finance) and Griffith College Dublin (with Finance Management). Investigate your options fully, as these courses vary in terms of duration, professional exam exemptions, work placements, career prospects and modules of specialisation. Conversion courses, which are offered in NUI Maynooth, UCC, DIT, DCU and Galway-Mayo IT, are available to those with no accounting experience at third level. The only prerequisite is usually a second class honours degree, which can be in a completely unrelated topic. The accessible nature of these programmes has led to a diversity of backgrounds among accountants today; with many professionals having previous experience in law, teaching or IT for example. These transferable skills are looked at favourably by employers and reflect that in addition to a talent for numbers, the candidate has other impressive qualities such as an insight into business practice, analytical abilities and communication skills.   You can research your options for studying accounting as a postgraduate student on Postgrad. ie. 2013-03-11 Law - Student Profile Name: Louis Masterson College: The Honorable Society of King’s Inns Course: Barrister-at-Law Degree I first became interested in law during my transition year at secondary school. I spent a week on work experience with a barrister, which I absolutely loved. After school I studied my Bachelor of Commerce in University College Dublin majoring in Corporate Finance. Having completed my degree I did an internship with an asset management firm in the USA and in Dublin for a year. Although I enjoyed studying finance, working in that area wasn't for me. While only at the beginning of my working career, I know two things of myself: that I ultimately want to work for myself and that I don't want to spend all of my working life confined to a desk in an office. The Diploma in Legal Studies in The King’s Inns is an evening course spread out over two years. This enabled me to continue working during the day while studying law at night. The atmosphere in the courts is one of real collegiality. The same can be said for the atmosphere among students in the King’s Inns. The lecturers are all barristers themselves and as such are compelling speakers; making lectures a joy to attend. I am now studying full time for my Barrister-at-Law degree. Having completed the academic subjects during the Diploma in the King’s Inns, the Barrister-at-Law degree aims to provide students with the practical day-to-day skills that are needed for practice as a barrister. The Degree course is not an academic course but is a skills based course where students are exposed to the skills of advocacy, opinion writing, drafting and negotiation on a daily basis in small group sessions tutored by experienced practitioners. As with the Diploma the atmosphere of collegiality is ever-present.     While I am chomping at the bit to get down to the courts to begin my career as a barrister, I will be sorry to leave the King’s Inns behind me as it has been a fantastic experience. 2013-03-11 Law Courses Due to the fact that law is an area that is subject to constant revision and change, those working in the legal professions must always be prepared to not only keep abreast of the latest developments, but to expand and enrich their understanding of them too. To this end, a postgraduate course in Law is ideal.   While studying Law at postgraduate level is excellent preparation for the Law Society entrance exams (also known as FE-1) required for training as a solicitor, or for the King’s Inn Entrance exams that precede becoming a barrister, it also enhances the employment opportunities for graduates in a variety of other areas. For instance, a host of businesses and organisations will view a graduate who has specialised in company law as a valuable asset. Due to the fact that law is so vast and complex an area, the quantity of specialised areas is interest is considerable. At NUI Galway alone there are twelve different postgraduate programmes in Law to choose from. They range from the Bachelor of Laws (LLB) (three years full time, four years part time) – which is for those who have not previously studied Law – to more specialised programmes such as the Master of Law in (LLM) in International Human Rights (one year full time, two years part time) or the one-year part-time Postgraduate Certificate in Information Technology Law, for which applicants will need to hold an upper first-class primary degree in Law. The law must change in order to reflect the needs of society. This is apparent in the growing area of computing. Given the rapid rate of advance in technology and online interaction in the modern age (and the projections of same into the foreseeable future), the ways in which ideas are disseminated have grown, which has given rise to concerns over intellectual property. This is an issue that UCC’s LLM in Intellectual Property and E-Law (one year full time, two years part time) attempts to tackle directly. The course touches on areas such as copyright, patents and trademarks, along with a range of emerging fields such as Internet Regulation and Cybercrime. Apart from modules in the foregoing areas, the programme also offers optional components in Mental Health Law, Juvenile Justice and Contemporary Issues in Irish Constitutional Law.   Trinity College Dublin’s parallel LLM in International and European Intellectual Property Law (one year full time) covers similar ground, though it is more international in outlook. Among the modules on offer (students must choose six from what is quite an extensive and wide-ranging list) are Advanced European Union Law, Internet Law and Regulation, and Copyright and Innovation. As part of their assessment, students must complete a 25, 000-word thesis on a topic related to some aspect of International and /or European intellectual property law. While the foregoing may generally deal with issues of intellectual property and ownership, Independent College Dublin’s unique LLM in Comparative Media Law (one year full time, two years part time) concerns itself with the regulation of media in Ireland and internationally, with a focus on the laws on privacy, defamation, contempt of court and freedom of information and expression. As such, the programme is ideal for those with an interest in the legal and ethical issues surrounding freedom of expression worldwide. Subjects covered include Freedom of Expression: Constitutional Perspectives and Media Regulation. Candidates need not be restricted to Law graduates either: those with second-class honours primary degrees in Arts, Journalism or related disciplines are also invited to apply. For students wishing to undergo more general postgraduate Law programmes there are plenty of options, one of which is available from UCD. The LLM – General (one year full time, tow years part time) requires, as standard, that applicants have a second-class honours primary degree in Law or in a programme where the legal component accounted for at least half of the curriculum. While the programme focuses on providing students with a well-rounded knowledge of legal matters, there is plenty of room for specialisation. Students on the programme may also apply on a competitive basis to spend their second semester studying at a law school abroad, such as at the University of Antwerp or at the Universitat Pompeu Fabra in Barcelona.   For students with a background in another discipline hoping to study Law, there are numerous conversion courses available that will allow them to do so. Dublin Institute of Technology’s Postgraduate Diploma in Law (one year full time, two years part time) is one such option. The programme should be of great interest to those who may wish to enter a career in which law is a major (though not necessarily the primary) component. The course at DIT gives students a sound core knowledge of law through a combination of lectures, coursework and research projects. Tuition is given in how to access and analyse mandatory legal material, while a range of electives covering vast legal areas are also on offer, including Contract Law, Criminal Law, Equity and Refugee and Immigration Law. Graduates of the programme may go on to take the MA in Law, which is also on offer at the college. The myriad options for studying Law, and for specialising in one of its many branches, ensures that there is a wealth of career opportunities for Law graduates, with many establishing careers in areas such as politics, economics, business, journalism and government.   Consider your options for studying postgraduate law by browsing on Postgrad. ie 2013-03-11 MBA Postgraduate Courses The MBA (Masters of Business Administration) has attained such stature among businesses that studying for the qualification seems to have almost become a rite-of-passage for those wishing to step into senior management positions in the corporate world.   The popularity of the MBA has not diminished despite the prolonged challenge posed by the economic instability of recent years – a fact attested to by the array of colleges from which it is available (course providers include DIT, UCD, Dublin Business School, Griffith College Dublin and UCC, among others) – and while financial incentive has often been associated with the qualification, such an abundance of options suggests another consideration; namely, the pressing need for well-trained and experienced leaders. Eoghan O’Sullivan, the MBA Development Manager at DIT’s College of Business, agrees that the financial crisis did play a role in how colleges thought about the MBA courses they provided. ‘Following the onset of the global financial crisis, the challenge for MBA providers was to ensure that the programmes have a renewed emphasis on areas such as corporate governance and ethics, problem solving, decision making and change management – to try to help organisations to avoid similar crises in the future. ’ The MBA at DIT is one such example. ‘The DIT MBA was completely re-engineered in 2009 to provide a focused response to the smart economy, ’ says O’Sullivan. ‘By utilising our ties with industry to great effect we have ensured the programme is geared towards equipping DIT MBA graduates with the skill set they need to navigate tough market conditions and manage organisations ethically, while maintaining growth through delivery of real customer value. Our aim is to ensure that graduates have the requisite skills, whether they find themselves working for an Irish organisation looking to internationalise or an MNC managing global operations. ’ Generally speaking, MBA programmes tend to be comprehensive in scope and take into account the various duties and obligations normally expected of those in senior management positions. For instance, students are typically given training in financial, marketing, strategic and people management. They are also given the opportunity to enhance their communication and presentation skills, as well as their ability to negotiate with and influence others. Yet despite this focus on the essentials of managerial practice, MBA programmes still succeed in differentiating themselves from other postgraduate management courses in a number of ways. ‘One distinguishing feature of the MBA is the Leadership Development Programme’, says O’Sullivan. This is run in conjunction with classes and projects for the duration of the course. ‘The Programme begins by using Psychometric tools to identify individual needs and then seeks to address these needs through one-to-one mentoring with a range of workshops in areas including Critical Thinking, Influencing and Negotiating skills, Time Management and effective Presentation Skills. ’ Another noteworthy distinction lies in the level of experience that MBA students bring to their studies. The expectation (indeed, it is often a requirement) of many programme providers is that applicants have an appropriate academic qualification (typically a second-class honours primary degree) along with at least 2–3 years of professional experience (preferably at managerial level). In fact, most MBA programmes are specifically designed to cater for those who still hold full-time positions. By running their courses on a part-time basis over the course of two years, programme providers thereby afford their students the opportunity to immediately transfer their college learning to the professional environment, something that DIT’s O’Sullivan is keen to expound upon: ‘Sponsoring organisations see an immediate benefit from participants as the latest business concepts and strategic competencies covered in class can be immediately applied to the workplace. DIT College of Business has close relationships with various industry partners and professional bodies, which allows the MBA to remain at the forefront of business practice and satisfy the needs of employers. Supplemental to this, participant must also complete a variety of real-time projects for their employer during the programme, including a large-scale consultancy project. This requires that the student research a pertinent business issue (challenge or opportunity), and develop a series of recommendations and an action plan for implementation. Participants are supported throughout this process by DIT Faculty and consultancy experts. ’ The huge level of experience and diversity brought by students also contributes to their own class learning. ‘The average age of the DIT MBA student is 36, typically with 12 years’ work experience, 6 of which have been years spent in a management role’, continues O’Sullivan. ‘This wealth of experience and knowledge allows for deep peer learning, a hallmark of the MBA programme. Small class sizes are further broken down into working groups, which enhances structured in-class discussions and debating on business issues, thus allowing participants to share their experiences and to reflect – and possibly improve on – current practices in their organisation. ’ Such interaction also encourages networking and the generation of ideas – both of which are essential to the development of new business practices and ventures. While it cannot be said that studying for an MBA comes with the guarantee of a career, what can be said is that the qualification confers its graduates with a set of highly valued career goals and, consequently, greater prospects for the future.   2013-03-11 The MBA - Student Profile Name: Donal McAlister (Non-EU International Coordinator, IT Carlow) Course: MBA College: Institute of Technology Carlow I took the MBA course in order to inform myself of the latest research and thinking in the field of strategic management. I felt that this was important in terms of my on-going work and career advancement.   The highlight of the course for me was the sense of achievement and accomplishment that I felt upon graduation. The course provided many challenges, the most difficult being the balancing of a work and academic load with the needs of a young family. The support and understanding of my wife was very important in enabling me to disappear for seemingly endless periods of time to study, prepare assignments and complete my dissertation.   My dissertation concentrated on the decision making processes of international students when selecting a study abroad destination and was very helpful to me in understanding my role in encouraging students to come from Asia, Middle East and North America to study in Ireland. The completion of the MBA has already led to a promotion for me in my place of work. It is clear that the skills and knowledge provided during the course were vital in providing me with the opportunity to take the next step in my career.   Advice for anyone considering postgraduate education? Pick a course that suits your skill set. When the going gets tough, and it will, it is easier to stick at something that you are good at and enjoy doing. There will be times that the course will appear overwhelming but with a positive attitude and support from home you will be able to achieve your goals. One of the great benefits of pursuing a taught postgraduate program is the opportunity to meet and form bonds with fellow students and indeed I am pleased to say that I made some very good friends during this process. 2013-03-11 CIT invites applications for funded MA degrees (research) Cork Institute of Technology’s Extended Campus is now inviting applications for funded MA research opportunities. The bursaries will cover fees for two academic years (2013/2014–2014/2015).    Candidates from a wide range of disciplines will be considered, provided that they meet the minimum entry requirement of a second-class honours primary degree. Applicants should also be highly motivated, with good communication and project management skills. Candidates must submit an email with a copy (in Word or PDF format only) of their curriculum vitae, a letter outlining their reason for undertaking an MA (research), and a short research proposal in the area of Higher Education/Enterprise Engagement with a particular emphasis on regional development and the measurement of impact. Shortlisted applicants will be asked to attend an interview. The closing date for applications is 22 March 2013.   To submit an application, or to request further information, email Dr Irene Sheridan at Irene. Sheridan@cit. ie, or call 021 4326585.      2013-03-11 English Studies If you are considering studying English at postgraduate level then there is no need for us to rhapsodise on its inherent, intangible virtues; the chances are you are already well aware of them.   What does need to be said, however, is that the demands of studying English at postgraduate level are far greater than they are during the undergraduate stage. For one thing, students are expected to leaven their natural enthusiasm with scholarly equanimity, applying more independent, analytic and creative thought processes to their work. Moreover, as postgraduate degrees tend to be narrower in scope – and therefore far more in depth in their treatment of topics – it is important that students opt for an area of study for which they have genuine passion.   Fortunately, the subject range within English is broad, which means there should be something to accommodate all tastes. Perennial favourites include English (general), Creative Writing, Comparative Literature, and Drama and Theatre, all of which are run by a number of colleges as taught programmes. These generally follow a similar structure to undergraduate degrees in that they are delivered through class-based lectures and are assessed through a combination of essays (usually between 3, 000 to 5, 000 words in length) and exams. Where they differ noticeably is in their teaching approach; for instance, classes are much smaller, meaning that the learning experience is a more intimate one with discussion playing a vital role in the development of students’ ideas. Such interactions often affect the shape of students’ theses topics, which represent another key component of postgraduate study. A dissertation accounts for a major portion of a student’s overall degree grade and acts as a barometer for assessing his/her ability to carry out independent research, as well as his/her capacity to critically engage with, organise and articulate research findings.   Taught programmes are normally full time and of a year’s duration (note that part-time courses usually extend to two years). Thanks to the variety of courses on offer, students may elect to refine their knowledge of Ireland’s literary heritage (e. g. UCC’s MA in Irish Writing – Theories and Traditions) or get to grips with broader international perspectives (e. g. NUI Maynooth’s MA in Postcolonial and World Literature); they may focus on literature in a more general sense (e. g. UCD’s Modernity, Literature and Culture) or on the history and development of a particular genre (e. g. MA in Children’s Literature – available from Trinity College Dublin, or as a two-year part-time option from St Patrick’s College Drumcondra).   While students are required to stay within the confines of their chosen field, they are also afforded the freedom to focus on more specific subject matter from the wide array of selected course texts. A big advantage of this format is the presence of seminars, which greatly assist postgraduate students by providing guidance, and by instilling discipline and motivation.     Those who feel that they are already in possession of such qualities may be interested in enrolling on a research programme. In order to obtain an MLitt research degree, a student must produce an original piece of research or criticism, which should be approximately 60, 000 words in length – the result of two years’ labour. A PhD demands even greater academic rigour and self-motivation: the thesis at this level – which can be up to 100, 000 words long – must be a worthy addition to the collective body of knowledge on the particular topic in question. Anyone considering this option should be aware that it is an onerous undertaking, lasting for up to four years. However, students are not entirely alone in the endeavour, as a supervisor will be assigned to guide them, Virgil-like, through their research. Employment opportunities for taught and research English postgraduates are diverse. Graduates (generally of research degrees) often take up academic positions, but other established career paths include journalism, research, publishing and marketing. The research skills honed and developed over the course of a programme are valued in any industry; and it will be apparent to a prospective employer that the student is capable, organised, motivated and, of course, an eloquent communicator.   On a final note, conversion courses allow those without a background in English, or those who do not have an honours degree, to study the subject at postgraduate level. The Higher Diploma in Arts at UCC (taken either as a one-year full-time or a two-year part-time option) covers important elements of undergraduate English degree programmes, thereby providing students with the foundational knowledge necessary for further study.   Whether looking at taught, research or conversion programmes you can browse options for studying English at postgraduate level on Postgrad. ie 2013-03-08 Languages and Literature If the European Commission’s 2012 ‘Languages for Jobs’ report is anything to go by, being able to speak a foreign language is similar to being in possession of a precious commodity. ‘The demand for foreign languages and communication skills’, the report reads, ‘is steadily rising on the European labour market’. This is because multilingualism can greatly improve a company’s export potential. Having the resources to communicate across international borders gives companies an invaluable competitive edge, a fact that indirectly confers postgraduate language students with a similar advantage. Ireland’s poor record for multilingualism (the fifth-worst in Europe, according to a recent Eurobarometer survey) is something that employers here are understandably keen to amend. One certain way of taking advantage of their attempts to do so is by enrolling in a postgraduate language course. Augmenting a primary degree with further study not only adds to a student’s skill set and versatility, it also affords them a rarefied level of foreign language expertise. For those wishing to attain a high standard of proficiency in another tongue, the options are many. Most of the main higher education institutions offer postgraduate qualifications in the major languages (French, Spanish, German and Italian). It should be noted that not all options are reserved for confirmed bilinguists and polyglots; for instance, UCC offers one-year Higher Diplomas in French, German, Italian and Spanish for those with no language qualifications – in other words, conversion courses for the monolingual. However, for those looking to develop their existing language credentials, there are plenty of research programmes (e. g. Teaching German as a Foreign Language in NUI Maynooth) and specialised taught programmes (e. g. Hispanic Studies at UCC or Early Irish at Trinity College Dublin) to choose from.   Naturally enough, the technical competence expected of students with a postgraduate qualification in language is very high. To ensure that this expectation is met courses often combine practical areas of study with theoretical ones. The MA in Applied Linguistics at UCC provides tuition in language teaching and learning, covering practical elements such as grammar, syntax and phonetics, while also offering modules in areas such as Language and Gender and Historical Linguistics. Another course that emphasises linguistic and technical training is NUI Galway’s MA in Advanced Language Skills. Many students of this course have in the past gone on to find work in translation services, both at home and abroad.   Of course learning a language is not purely a matter of absorbing grammar and vocabulary by rote. Cultural awareness is also vital, and a holistic, intercultural approach is required if students are to achieve a richer, more intuitive appreciation of the language, or languages, they are learning. Studying foreign language literature accommodates this as literary works may not only reflect a country’s cultural climate, but can often play a role in generating that culture too. University College Dublin’s new MA in Modern Languages encourages students to engage with literature and culture as a means of negotiating cultural difference and identity, thereby improving their communicative, discursive and analytical skills. Students are trained to a high level in at least two languages, though they may specialise in one language area (e. g. German or Italian Studies) if they so wish.   One of the most obvious career prospects for a language graduate is that of a language teacher. This can be a highly competitive area, however, and so it is important to maximise your chances of success by possessing the requisite qualifications. UL’s Graduate Diploma in Education (Languages) is a one-year course designed to satisfy the needs of those hoping to become post-primary school educators teaching Irish, French, English (as a second language), Japanese, or Spanish. Course applicants will be selected based on their academic background and on an interview given in the applicant’s proposed language of study.   Another popular – as well as competitive – area of employment for language graduates is in translation, an area which Trinity College Dublin’s MA in Literary Translation approaches as an art. The target language for this programme is English but it is possible to source languages such as French, Italian, Spanish, Russian and Polish. Translation Studies is also provided by DCU and UCC (French only). Translation qualifications are highly valued in a number of sectors, including commerce, publishing, broadcasting, and IT where they are often required for technical writing, software localisation, and so on. The challenges brought about by interpreting – that is, translating orally and instantaneously – are somewhat different and require a unique skill set. Ethical awareness is a must for interpreters as they are frequently faced with sensitive situations, such as those often seen in medical or legal environments. DCU’s Community Interpreting is a part-time 12-week Special Purpose Certificate that equips students with the techniques necessary to interpret French, Spanish, Russian, Romanian or Chinese effectively in places such as hospitals, Garda stations, district courts, asylum seeker interviews, social welfare offices and so on.   Given that the Irish Council of General Practitioners have raised concerns in the past about the lack of trained interpreters in Ireland, this looks to be an area with good employment prospects. Consider your postgraduate options by searching for language courses on Postgrad. ie 2013-03-08 History Courses Postgraduate History courses require a greater degree of intellectual engagement than do their undergraduate precursors. This is because most programmes operate on the assumption that students are driven by a desire to deepen their historical knowledge as much as by the ambition to secure employment in a related field upon completing the course. Of course this is not to suggest that History courses are not of great practical utility – indeed, they encourage the development of numerous skills that are deemed to be invaluable by many employers: the ability to conduct complex independent research; to display well-developed powers of interpretation, deliberation, and critical analysis; and to articulate arguments and findings in a thorough and coherent way. There is also the sense of context and understanding that comes from studying the subject.   Moreover, much of the knowledge that a History course imparts can, in a sense, be converted into economic capital. After all, acknowledging our cultural and natural heritage is often the basis for future development, and preserving that heritage is essential not only so that we can establish a sense of personal and national context, but also because it acts as a major incentive for tourism in this country, which is an important source of employment here. One course that deals directly with the management of cultural heritage is Trinity College Dublin’s MPhil in Public History and Cultural Heritage (one year full time, two years part time). The programme examines the notion of ‘cultural heritage’: how it can be defined, shaped, and the policy consequences of its different definitions. The course is run in collaboration with several cultural institutions (i. e. libraries, museums, galleries) and so students will have the chance to undertake a short work placement with one of the participating bodies. While not strictly vocational in nature, the programme provides training in curatorial theory and in delivering web- and media-based projects in the field. Applicants should possess an upper-honours degree in a related subject (e. g. History, Philosophy, Language, Literature) or have relevant professional experience.   NUI Maynooth’s MA in Historic House Studies (full time, eighteen months) presents another interesting option. Students on this programme will examine the historic house in Ireland within its social, cultural and economic contexts. It is also possible for students to spend a summer module on the comparative study of historic houses in Britain and Ireland. Graduates may go on to work within cultural tourism, conservation or may go on to study at doctoral level. While accessing and analysing historical records is part and parcel of most History courses, the MA in Historical Archives (full time, eighteen months) – which is also run by NUI Maynooth – is solely dedicated to the equally important tasks of managing and preserving them. The programme is primarily geared towards those responsible for the care and development of archives in voluntary societies, religious institutions, historic houses and other such settings. As first-hand archival work is an integral part of the course, applicants are advised to note that admission to the programme is dependent upon arrangements for suitable practical experience being in place.   More general History courses are available from colleges throughout the country (e. g. UCD, UCC, Mary Immaculate College etc. ), each with their own key areas of study. The revised MA in History at NUI Galway (one year full time), for instance, allows students to choose from among modules such Studies in Local History, Studies in Oral History and Conceptions of Wealth and Poverty in the Early Modern World; while module options on UL’s MA in History programme include History of the European Idea and American Foreign Relations.   Programmes dedicated to Medieval studies are provided by NUI Galway, UCD, Mary Immaculate College, NUI Maynooth and Trinity College. Latin and palaeography (the ability to read and interpret ancient texts – two key skills for study of the Medieval and Renaissance ages) are normally included on such courses. Taught modules and research topics can vary hugely in a subject that spans from Iceland to the Crusader kingdoms of the Middle East, from the fall of the Roman Empire to the beginnings of Reformation. Many graduates of such courses go on to pursue MLitt or PhD degrees. However, completing a PhD is not a prerequisite for students interested in other careers such as archival, museum or heritage industry work, or traditional areas of graduate employment such as business, teaching and law.     The History of Art is very much a related area and an established discipline in its own right, with postgraduate courses available from UCD (one year full time), UL (one year full time) and UCC (one year full time or two years part time). Students will examine works of art and architecture and explore their relationship with notions of identity. Potential careers for students include working in galleries, museums, academia, arts administration, as well as art journalism and managing art collections.   Archaeology is another branch of history that is well catered for at postgraduate level. Courses are available from UCD, NUI Galway, and UCC – with all three universities providing Higher Diploma entry for applicants without a primary degree in the subject. Courses include fieldwork and theoretical study as well as the option to choose from specialised modules such as Celtic Archaeology, ICT for Archaeologists and Art & Ritual in Prehistoric Europe. For those with a more advanced knowledge in the subject there are taught and research master’s degrees available. Research courses allow students to investigate a highly specialised area (e. g. Bronze Age settlements in a particular geographic area), while taught masters provide the necessary professional skills (e. g. project management, GIS) for a career in archaeology. 2013-03-08 Accountancy - Student Profile Name: David Barrett Course: CIMA professional accounting qualification David Barrett is a finance analyst within the Spreads division of Kerry Foods which is part of the Kerry Group, a world leader in food ingredients and flavours serving the food and beverage industry, and a leading supplier of added value brands and customer branded foods to the Irish and UK markets. His key responsibilities are to ensure that the product costing is accurate and that the inventory is kept at an optimum level. David holds a Commerce Degree and a Master’s in Economics from University College Cork. Why CIMA? I chose CIMA as I knew that CIMA provides students with the skills not just to report the numbers but to accompany this with value adding analysis. I think the ability to add value to the figures you are reporting is a key advantage of the CIMA qualification. The experience has underpinned that. CIMA has helped me develop my strategic thinking. It encourages you to take a step back from the figures you are reporting and gets to start asking ‘why’; which is important. What does your role involve? It is a very interactive role involving liaising with different departments and people within the  organisation to ensure that we are aligned at all times. Another advantage with my job is that  despite the fact that I have been in the company for a relatively short period of time; my input  is always valued and encouraged. I was a SAP super user when we moved from our legacy  systems to SAP across the UK in October 2011. SAP will go live across Ireland this year and  last year’s launch has provided me with some key skills that I will put to good use this year.   How did you find studying CIMA? Large aspects of the CIMA syllabus relate to my work. You could be studying for your exams one evening and the following day in work applying that knowledge to real life situations. This was particularly true in the case of product costing where I found that by studying the syllabus I was enhancing my knowledge in my own role. As I progress to the strategic and TOPCIMA stages of the qualification, I see CIMA providing me with a platform so that I can think more strategically and that this can only enhance my career prospects within the organisation.   How is Kerry Foods providing support for you to fulfil the CIMA professional development  requirements? Within Kerry Foods, the CIMA qualification is the preferred finance qualification. There are a number of senior directors across Kerry Foods who have finished their CIMA qualification and know first-hand the benefits this brings with it. With the open door policy that exists across the organisation, these directors are keen to pass what they found to be the key advantages of the qualification.   2013-03-08 Development Studies - Student Profile Name: Kevin McParland Course: MA in Development Studies College: Kimmage Development Studies Centre (KDSC) I chose to undertake my postgraduate studies at KDSC due to its reputation for fostering rounded personal and professional development. This was achieved through the approaches to learning which relied greatly on tapping into the experiences of the participants in the programme. For me, such an approach to learning was crucial to achieving a critical understanding of complex and challenging development issues.  Discussion and debate, reflective practice and active learning methodologies were just some of the key elements used to create an engaging and innovative learning environment. I now work as Field Director for a small development NGO in Sri Lanka called Shining Life Children’s Trust, which works in partnership with local community-based organisations to improve the lives of children disadvantaged by war and poverty. By making best use of the skills and knowledge I developed in Kimmage, I have been equipped to instigate projects and initiatives that hopefully will impact positively in the communities in Sri Lanka where SLCT is working. This is possible by drawing upon the expertise in development planning that was delivered by KDSC, including managing development organisations, project cycle  management, leadership and group facilitation, and monitoring and evaluation. I see a key purpose of my work as being to facilitate a process where programme participants have the opportunities, knowledge, confidence and skills to undertake action orientated projects at a local level to meet their own needs. The KDSC approach of exploring and examining development issues in a participative way, and realising just and equitable outcomes, has been crucial to helping me to be effective in my own practice. The diverse range of professional skills that I acquired through the MA programme at KDSC, such as problem-based learning, critical reflection and participatory research, have been vital in my career development. As Field Director of SLCT in Sri Lanka, the need to be an independent decision maker, to work in partnership with local NGOs, facilitating training and coaching, and ensuring that projects are managed effectively and efficiently, are all skills I acquired or refined during my time at Kimmage. There is quite a difference in the experiences of being an undergraduate and postgraduate student. I was glad to have gained some work experience in the youth work sector in the period after graduating and before commencing the postgraduate course. However, the MA programme at KDSC has allowed me to become a more adaptable, capable learner by placing much more emphasis on independent thought, critical analysis and an inquisitive mind. These assets have proved critical in my subsequent career and have contributed immensely to my ability to fulfil my responsibilities and to creatively and confidently develop as a professional. Search for Development Studies courses on Postgrad. ie 2013-03-07 Development Studies Recent years have seen government deficits grow and foreign aid budgets contract. However, according to the Centre for Global Development’s ‘Commitment to Development Index 2012’, providing assistance to developing countries is not solely about donating large quantities of money.     An array of influencing factors must be examined when assessing a country’s devotion to development: Do its tariff rates encourage foreign trade? What are its migration policies? Do its intellectual property laws restrict or advance technological innovation in poorer countries? It has been claimed that, per capita, the Irish are among the most generous donators in the world, yet the report places Ireland bottom of the list when it comes to overseas investment. The reason? ‘It is one of only three CDI countries without a national agency to offer political risk insurance and also lacks policies to fully prevent double taxation of corporate profits earned abroad. ’ A postgraduate degree in Development Studies allows students to deepen their understanding of such concerns. Familiarity with the various factors of development – whether they be social, economic, cultural, political or environmental in nature – is crucial, as is recognising the guises that the associated problems may take around the world: from food security and conflict resolution to human rights and environmental sustainability. By examining and analysing the issues in context, students also learn about the policies currently in place, along with their alternatives.   According to Tom Campbell, Registrar and Lecturer in the Kimmage Development Studies Centre, the swelling popularity of Development Studies courses marks something of a response to the limitations of current international growth processes: ‘There has been a re-evaluation of human well-being and progress indicators. Emphasis is placed not just on economic growth but on building more equitable, sustainable and resilient societies. ’ While theoretical understanding is a vital component of postgraduate Development courses, they also provide students with the practical skills required to work in the development sector. Project management, problem solving, leadership and motivational skills are all fortified. The development of research ability is another key element, with students learning both quantitative and qualitative methodologies during the preparation of their dissertation. In addition to these benefits, Campbell adds that ‘the focus on group dynamics, human development and critical self reflection gives student an opportunity to develop a range of personal skills and competencies which are ideal for working with groups and in diverse contexts. Usually the numbers in postgraduate classes are no more than twenty-five, and so there is increased emphasis on learner participation, dialogue and inter-cultural learning’.   While well-established Development Studies courses are available from DCU (e. g. Management for Sustainable Development), UCC (European Development Studies, Planning & Sustainable Development) and the University of Limerick (Peace and Development), there are many related postgraduate programmes available elsewhere. A recent addition is the MA in Development Practice, delivered jointly by Trinity College and UCD. Because this programme is run in collaboration with the National University of Rwanda, students will be given the chance to undertake cross-disciplinary fieldwork there; they will also have the opportunity to undertake internships with leading international organisations. As Development courses are generally international in outlook, the chance they provide for students to travel remains one of their most potent attractions. As with the TCD-UCD programme, NUI Galway’s MA in Environment, Society & Development Students contains a foreign component – its field-based module takes place in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Here students will get to observe the development work of the European Commission along with various UN agencies. Along with deepening students’ appreciation of cultural difference, such time abroad helps them understand how initiatives on the ground are often framed by a nodus of broader geopolitical, economic and institutional structures.   Readers who are more interested in development careers a little closer to home can avail of postgraduate programmes in DIT (Community & Local Development) and NUI Galway (Community Development). These courses provide a practical and theoretical understanding of the issues faced by underdeveloped communities in particular. Students learn how to collect and analyse socio-economic data, understand communal development in terms of regional policy, and develop the practical management skills needed to bring about positive change in the community. Kimmage Development Studies Centre has also expanded its range of postgraduate programmes so that along with the standard MA in Development Studies (which is of fourteen months’ duration and is also available as a nine-month Postgraduate Diploma) students can choose from among a range of specialist MA pathways, including Faith and Development, Development and Management, and Globalisation and Change.   Distance learning presents an excellent option for those who may have more demands on their time (e. g. work or family) and so require greater flexibility. Kimmage offers a ‘fast track’ option through which such students can obtain their MA after twenty-five months. Conversely, the ‘slow track’ option is taken over four years. Another distance learning option is Mary Immaculate College’s Graduate Diploma/MEd in Development Education. This is informed by the work of organisations such as Trócaire and Concern and their dedication to producing teachers who can facilitate effective societal change and development through education. According to Campbell ‘Graduates of the MA in Development Studies have typically gone on to work with Irish and international development agencies, working at management and programme-officer levels, as well as being involved in campaigning, advocacy and awareness raising on global development issues. Others have opted to use their skills in project management, participatory development and leadership to work in the community development and voluntary sector here in Ireland. ’ With the welter of choices on offer, it seems that the career options are just as varied. 2013-03-07 Philosophy It is possible to view the study of philosophy as an antidote to the immediacy and disposability of short-lived trends, as, in some ways, it exists outside of them. However, this is not to suggest that the subject responds to change with any sort of antagonism; instead, it strives to examine change, along with its affects on our ways of living and being. Philosophy has had an incalculable influence on all kinds of endeavours – literary theory, architecture and art are just a handful of the areas on which its effect has been felt. While it is rich in history and continues to interact with its prior schools of thought, philosophy is never static; rather, it is both reflective and responsive – something which Dr Hans-Georg Muller, course director of NUI Galway’s MA in Philosophy: Ethics, Culture and Global Change (one year full time, two years part time), readily acknowledges. ‘The course composition is, I believe, a response to modern society and its needs, ’ he says. ‘Our course deals with central social issues in areas such as ethics, political theory and environmental philosophy. Moreover, we approach these subjects from a truly global perspective by focussing not only on “mainstream” traditional and contemporary Western philosophies, but also on non-Western views from Asia and other parts of the world. ’ Such a comprehensive, international focus is a natural reaction to the economic downturn’s legacy of destabilisation. As Dr Muller explains: ‘The huge advantage of such a global approach is that it actually responds to recent shifts in world society. Europe is no longer the centre of the world, neither politically nor economically nor intellectually. ’ The way of dealing with this, according to Dr Muller, is to adapt. ‘In an increasingly multi-polar world it will be of crucial importance to be “at home” in a variety of ways of living and thinking. Even more concretely, our focus on non-Western cultures and traditions provides our graduates with decisive advantages on newly emerging, and often highly attractive, job markets in Asia and other parts of the world. ’ Naturally, such massive cultural and social change generates a series of theoretical and ethical questions. Among those that students will be asked to consider are: Is real understanding possible between people from different cultures and religions? How can we understand war and political violence in a global world? Are there any moral limitations that should be imposed on scientific progress in areas such as genetics, stem cell research or nanotechnology?  While responses to such issues need not be definitive, they must be carefully and logically considered. Indeed, engagement, reflection and debate are essential features of any philosophical inquiry. ‘A discipline such as philosophy offers a valuable forum for reflection and analysis in our era of technology-based communication, ’ says Dr Muller. ‘Philosophy makes ample use of traditional forms of “in-depth” communication, such as the reading and writing of extensive texts (essays and books), but also, and equally important, it engages in intensive talking – that is, debates, lectures and public speeches. It thereby preserves and strengthens important cultural abilities of human expression. At the same time, it provides those who study, and practice, it, with the necessary linguistic and intellectual means to maintain a certain contemplative health within the turbulences of current mass communication. ’ Generic postgraduate courses in Philosophy are prolific, and can be found in colleges throughout the country (e. g. St Patrick’s College Maynooth, UCD, NUI Maynooth and UCC). Such broad programmes will normally tackle areas such as phenomenology, aesthetics and classical metaphysics, along with some material that is unique to each course.   There are also numerous, more area-specific alternatives to choose from – a number of which are on offer from UCD, such as its taught MA programmes in Consciousness and Embodiment (one year full time, two years part time); Contemporary European Philosophy; and Mind, Language and Knowledge (all of which ca be taken over one year full time, or two years part time). Applicants are generally expected to hold at least a 2. 2 honours primary degree in a related subject.   Doctoral-level options are also widely available (e. g. NUI Galway, NUI Maynooth and UCD); and while studying the subject at this level is a major undertaking, there are numerous grounds for research in such fertile areas as Political Philosophy, Bioethics and Phenomenology.   Of course studying philosophy at such a demanding level is not for everyone; yet this is hardly cause for concern – after all, the career options for philosophy graduates are without borders. Consider, for instance, a few famous graduates the subject has produced: Gerald Levine (CEO of Time Warner), Fyodor Dostoevsky (author of Crime and Punishment) Matt Groening (creator of The Simpsons), and Bill Clinton (former US President). Consider, too, the diversity of their achievements.   2013-03-06 Management - Student Profile Name: Fiona Duignan College: All Hallows College Course: MA in Management for Community and Voluntary Sector Why did you choose this course? I chose the MA in Management course in All Hallows College for a number of reasons. I felt I had not acquired any meaningful further education since completing a Post Graduate Diploma in Youth & Community Work in 1998. My career to date is embedded in the not-for-profit sector so it was vital for me that any further education I undertook was within that area. Another reason was that even though I have a professional qualification, and over 10 years’ management experience, I have no formal management qualification. This for me was crucial. This course potentially could be the difference between me and another candidate getting a job in the future. What does the course involve and what do you hope to get out of it in terms of your career? The programme is available either full or part time. It was great to have this flexibility and I chose the part time option of one night a week over a two-year period. This allowed me the flexibility to do those modules that most interested me, and also put me in a position where I could do extra modules when my work allowed. I think this helped me gain as much experience and information from the various modules as possible.   What are the differences between postgraduate and undergraduate study? The fundamental difference between undergraduate studies and this postgraduate course is that many of my classmates come from the community and voluntary sector. This means that discussions in class are varied but relevant. The atmosphere is that of support for each other and respect for the work that others are involved in. The ongoing support from the staff at All Hallows is also really encouraging. Overall it was a very supportive environment to be in and one I very much enjoyed.   Have you any advice for anyone considering a postgraduate course? Bite the bullet and do it! Also, it really helps to have a cross-section and good mix of students in the class. As well as those that have come through from undergraduate studies, there are plenty on my course who have been out working and they bring this experience to the classroom. Take this opportunity and invest in your career. All Hallows College is a great environment; I have received encouragement, support and a sense of community from students and staff alike.   What research have you undertaken? It is currently dissertation proposal time. I am hoping to focus on the following: ‘Agents of the State or Advocates of the Service User: The role of Representative Disability Organisation in the HSE Consultative Process’. 2013-03-06 Cloud Computing - Student Profile Name: Ken Gould Course: MSc in Cloud Computing (online learning) College: Cork Institute of Technology My name is Ken Gould. I'm 36 years old, a husband and father of three. I've been working for EMC (www. emc. com) for nearly 17 years in various capacities, having started as an intern back in college. It’s taken me 16 years but I feel like I am back to the same point! I worked for the internal IT department for the first 5 years, administering Banyan Vines/Windows and Exchange, before moving over to Solutions Development where I really started to build entire end-to-end environments for customer engagements.   This started from simple product demonstrations, but over the years evolved to designing, building and testing solutions for specific industry applications such as Exchange/SQL and Oracle. This work included new approaches to design, deployment and protection of these applications, creating white papers and evangelising the solutions at workshops and trade show sessions. In early 2003 I was one of the first to start working on virtualizing mission critical applications on the VMware platform. This naturally led me away from the application world and into the virtualisation world. The net result of that was working on large-scale virtualisation solutions testing and eventually cloud deployments. Why did I do the Masters? Cloud is one of the newest waves to hit the IT industry. My role gives me the scope to be constantly at the bleeding edge of what’s possible and help define some of the best practices that our customers will eventually deploy.   Unfortunately or fortunately, depending on your point of view, this leaves me and the team I work with constantly learning on the job, figuring out what works and what doesn't. It also means that a lot of our skill sets go unrecognized in terms of official qualifications.   I saw the chance to help develop the Cloud Computing Masters and also to participate in its first rotation as an opportunity both to ratify my official skill-sets through a 4th level qualification, and also as a chance to round out my skills in aspects of cloud computing that I rarely get a chance to dabble with.   Cloud is huge, and it encompasses just about every skill set of developers, administrators and architects across all sorts of hardware and software platforms. Throw in security and consulting and nobody does all that on a regular basis, no matter what their day job. The Masters gave me the opportunity to get my feet wet with things other than storage, orchestration and hypervisors. Being at college is certainly not as easy as it was back in my teenage years. Having a full time day job and trying to get through lectures, assignments and study means that you have to be prepared to put in the time.   It’s been beneficial in all the ways I thought it would be. I definitely have a better all round skill set, which sometimes you don’t even really know you’ve garnered until you walk into a meeting and all of a sudden you realize 'I get that', where you wouldn't have before. The hardest thing about college? Getting used to hand writing as fast as humanly possible during exams! 2013-03-06 Digital Media Given that businesses worldwide are incorporating digital technology into their services, products and marketing strategies, it comes as no surprise that there has been such an impetus in recent years to develop a world-class digital content industry here in Ireland. ‘Our aim, ’ said Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Richard Bruton at an event for start-up companies, ‘is not only to attract the next Google or Microsoft to Ireland, but to make it possible for the next Google or Microsoft to start-up in Ireland’. It is certainly a lofty ambition, but it is not without credibility. Initiatives such as the Digital Hub in Dublin – which aggregates a number of digital content and technology enterprises in one location so they can network, collaborate and offer support to one another – have been hugely successful and serve to illustrate the tangible sense of purpose and ambition present here.   So too, of course, do the kaleidoscope of Digital Media courses that are available at postgraduate level. These tend to be a convergence of elements – from the traditional entertainment and media sectors to IT and communications. Students on Digital Media courses are therefore trained to be conversant in a range of areas, such as mobile app development, web commerce, digital marketing, web video production, online publishing and game development.   One salient example is Huston School of Film and Digital Media’s full-time MA in Digital Media (also available as a postgraduate diploma). The course, which is of one year’s duration, includes a range of mandatory modules such as E-Learning, Internet Programming and 3D Modelling and Animation, which can be fused with electives such as A History of Avant Garde Film or Film in the Digital Age. While it may initially seem like there is a degree of disparity between such subject areas, the integration is in fact very deliberate, marking part of the programme’s ethos of ’reflective practice’ – which essentially means fostering an understanding of digital media production as something informed by narrative analysis, cinematic traditions, and creative discussion. Note that in addition to the standard entry criteria (second-class honours primary degree or professional experience in a related field), applicants must supply a sample or description of previous digital work along with two ideas (short outlines) for digital media projects. The one-year full-time MSc in Creative Digital Media at DIT is another well-rounded course. Students on the programme may choose to specialise in a particular area from among the options on offer. These can generally be broken down into the following categories: Digital Games; Interactive Media; and Mobile, Smart Device and Dynamic Web Applications Design. However, despite this capacity for refinement, all students still receive a thorough grounding in the fundamentals of digital media technologies. And though the programme is designed to address the specific needs of the industry, it has also been planned to work as a conversion course for graduates from related disciplines wishing to make the transition to digital media. This tends to produce a dynamic, eclectic mix of students, with areas such as computing, media, and art and design all well represented. Graduates of the programme typically go on to pursue careers as web/content designers/developers; IPhone, Android and W7 WebAPP designers; 2D animators, digital media consultants; game designers, software engineers and analysts. Trinity College Dublin’s MSc in Interactive Digital Media (one year full time) is another course that is suitable for those without IT or programming experience, as they will be given tuition in the basic principles behind app development using all digital media types. However, students on the course that do have such experience will be taught specialised programming methodologies for interactive digital platforms. Modules include Interactive Narrative, Graphic Design, Audio and Video Technologies, along with others such as Introduction to Computer Science and Client and Server Programming Technologies and Platforms. The diversity of students’ skills and experience is also embraced through a collaborative end-of-year project that centres upon a space on the college campus. While digital products such as apps, phones, tablets and – if recent reports are to be believed – wearable computing devices represent a significant portion of the digital industry’s output, the marketing of such products is also becoming increasingly reliant on digital methods. The MSc in Marketing with Digital Media at Dublin Business School (one year full time, two years part time) is designed to prepare students for business roles that require an applied knowledge of digital marketing principles, strategic digital planning and management, and web marketing. Applicants for the programme should hold at least a second-class honours primary degree in Marketing or Business.   Despite the applicability of digital media to business models, the area is also having a profound affect on the arts and humanities, as reflected by the recent emergence of Digital Humanities programmes. One such programme is available at UCC, whose MA in Digital Humanities programme (one year full time) is geared towards introducing Arts and Humanities graduates to the use of appropriate digital tools to address the various research questions in their respective disciplines. While the course does have practical elements, it also encourages students to reflect on the ways in which digital technology impacts on daily human interaction and on society as a whole.   A similar option is available from TCD. The college’s MPhil in Digital Humanities and Culture (one year full time, two years part time) confers students with a host of highly specialized IT skills. The programme takes a multidisciplinary approach, examining such aspects as the preservation and curation of digital data, the aesthetics of the digital (from individual objects to entire worlds), as well as the creation of the born-digital. An internship placement with a cultural heritage partner or digital humanities project also gives students the opportunity to put their skills to practice in a professional environment. 2013-03-06 Cloud Computing You’d think that the last thing we need in Ireland is more cloud, but as far as Information and Computer Technology is concerned, that is no longer the case. Cloud Computing will transform the way business is conducted internationally and will bring scores of exciting new opportunities to those with the skills and the savvy to take advantage of them.   The new sector’s burgeoning economic potential has been duly acknowledged by Microsoft Ireland, who put forward some staggering figures in a sector forecast for 2014. The company suggests that, providing Ireland fully embraces the new technology, it could be worth up to €9. 5 billion to the domestic economy and create as many as 20, 000 jobs here. Such noises have been heard loud and clear by the government, which has begun to invest heavily in the area. In April 2012, for instance, €1. 2 million was invested in the Cloud Computing Technology Research Centre (which comprises a group of researchers from higher education institutions). A further €5 million has gone towards DCU’s Centre for Cloud Computing and Commerce. Such injections of capital help illustrate the concerted attempt currently being made to position Ireland at the forefront of cloud technology research and development.   This, of course, represents a major challenge. As cloud computing is still in the embryonic stages of its evolution, a surge of rapid growth can be expected as new players enter the market, bringing with them new practices. The UK technological thinker Simon Wardsley has referred to this period of flux as the ‘war’ stage of a technology’s development. It is a period during which early action is essential for success – something that Richard Bruton, the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, has encouraged, telling attendees at the Cloud Capital Forum 2012 that: ‘Early mover advantage is critical … we need to make sure Ireland exploits these opportunities’.   Luckily, there are some excellent postgraduate courses that will allow us to do so, one of which is Cork IT’s MSc in Cloud Computing. This part-time programme is run over a period of eighteen months (equivalent to three semesters). Naturally, the cloud plays a central role in the course’s delivery. ‘All lectures are streamed live over the Internet and each session is captured and stored in the cloud for later retrieval’, explains Tim Horgan, Head of CIT’s Centre of Excellence in Cloud Computing. ‘This facilitates lecture review and revision and enables students to access lectures and labs anytime, anywhere, on any device by simply using a web browser. ’  Horgan describes this process as ‘learning about the cloud in the cloud’. The strategy’s effectiveness was given clear recognition when it received a nomination for Gradireland/AHECS Postgraduate Course of the year 2012. Of course this was as much a commendation of the course’s content as it was for its delivery method. ‘The MSc in Cloud Computing is one of the world’s first cloud computing degrees, it was the first to identify the real skill needs and to deliver a set of modules to address these needs, ’ says Horgan. Among the mandatory modules students take are Cloud Strategy, Planning and Management, Cloud Security, and Cloud Storage Infrastructures, all of which have been developed by industry leaders and academic staff. For Horgan, such a level of co-operation is crucial to the success of the course. ‘This partnership has fostered true engagement, where industry specialists from IBM, Dell, EMC, VMware, and SpringSource teach on the MSc programme along with staff from CIT’s Computing Department. As a result, graduates from this programme are given the cloud computing skills so desired by industry. ’ Another institution that has developed a Cloud Computing course to meet the growing demands of industry is the National College of Ireland. In order to ensure that students receive the highest level of tuition in cloud technologies, the college has established a state-of-the-art Cloud Competency Centre. From here students are provided with the guidance and tools required to investigate cloud potential and negotiate their ways around the cloud environment. The college’s MSc in Cloud Computing can be taken either as a full- or part-time option, as can its Postgraduate Diploma. A more business-oriented option is the new one-year MSc in Management (Cloud Computing and Commerce) provided by DCU. Along with classroom-based coursework, students also gain practical experience working on projects for real clients. Though the course does deal with the technical side of things, its main focus tends towards developing a high level of expertise in the strategies, services and business models enabled by cloud computing technology.   NUI Galway provides a further business-focused option in the guise of its MSc in Cloud Computing Research – a course designed by the J. E. Cairnes School of Business & Economics at NUI Galway in conjunction with Hewlett-Packard Galway’s Cloud Services Innovation Centre. Such collaboration has allowed for the development of a programme that meets the needs of companies moving into cloud space. Priority is afforded to the business-related aspects of cloud computing such as security, privacy, online collaboration and user behaviour. The course may be taken either as a one-year full-time option or as a two-year part-time one, and is most suitable for those with related industry experience or an IT-based qualification. Graduates without a background in computing are catered for too, however, as specially designed conversion courses offer them the chance to upskill to meet industry requirements. Cork IT offers two such courses: the Higher Diploma in Science in Cloud Computing and the Higher Diploma in Science in Cloud and Mobile Software Development. Students of these spend their first semesters building a solid IT foundation to work from before going on to specialise in an area of their choosing in the second semester. As with the MSc in Cloud Computing, lectures are generally delivered using online-based cloud technologies. Second-semester work placements provide students with an additional opportunity to obtain valuable practical experience.     Whether full or part time, diploma or Msc, cloud-computing is a postgraduate area that offers students excellent employment prospects and exciting opportunities. 2013-03-06 Gaiety School of Acting open day - MA in Theatre   The Gaiety School of Acting, in collaboration with NUI Maynooth, are hosting an Open Day for their MA in Theatre course on Saturday 9 March. The event will run from 2-5pm in Smock Alley Theatre on Lower Exchange Street. The course is a one-year programme that is open to a range of theatre practitioners including actors, directors, designers and producers. The programme is unique in Ireland and blends taught seminars at NUI Maynooth with practical theatre workshops at the Gaiety School of Acting and Smock Alley Theatre. The open days will offer prospective students the chance to meet people involved, such as Gaiety School Director Patrick Sutton and course coordinator Antoinette Duffy. There will be a tour of the historical Smock Alley Theatre, followed by a drama workshop given by GSA Director Patrick Sutton. There will also be a Q and A session in which students can gather further information and advice about various aspects, such as funding opportunities.  If you are interested in attending the Open Day, please call 01 679 9277 to book for free or check www. gaietyschool. com for more information on the MA in Theatre. Closing date for applications to the course is 22 April 2013.   2013-03-05 Sociology and Social Policy The Ireland of today is a foreign country to the Ireland of fifty years ago. It has moved from being an agrarian economy to a technological one; from a largely monocultural society to one that is multicultural; from a relatively poor nation to a wealthy one, and back again. Attitudes towards family, religion and culture are in a state of flux. All of which goes to make the social sciences more important than ever in sorting through the country’s issues and reaching some kind of understanding of where and who we are – and, more importantly, where we are going. These are multidimensional concerns requiring an analytical, multidisciplinary response – an approach that is fostered in students of Sociology at postgraduate level across over the country. A central discipline within the social sciences is Social Policy, which explores how real-life public policy affects issues such as citizenship, poverty, education and sustainable development. One such programme is the taught Masters in Social Policy at UCC (one year full time). It provides students with an opportunity to engage in social political analysis of major issues in Ireland and the wider world.  The Director of the course, Ms Eluska Fernandez, describes the programme as ‘very engaging’ with a lecture on a specific topic held once a week followed by a discussion during the succeeding week. ‘It’s a very full course with a module theorising social policy and a more applied module looking at contemporary policy issues, ’ Fernandez explains. ‘It has a seminar-style approach but with some lectures and a strong research module connected to the final thesis. ’ The course attracts a broad demographic of students from both the professional arena and graduates of politics, social science and sociology. Course participants include those from the areas of social work, youth community work, civil service and state agencies such as the HSE. Applicants normally hold second-class honours primary degrees in the Social Sciences.  ‘There aren’t many colleges in Ireland running a masters in Social Policy so it’s a great opportunity for people with a background in social science to learn different skills, including research skills, and to get a better understanding of Social Policy, ’ says Ms Fernandez.   One way of augmenting this understanding is through enrolling on a research programme. Trinity College Dublin runs a Social Work and Social Policy programme (research) at both masters and doctoral levels. Vital areas of research include Ageing and Social Policy, Family and Gender, and Immigration and Social Policy. Much of this research is conducted in collaboration with related schools or organisations such as the School of Psychology, the School of Business and the Trinity Consortium on Ageing. For students wishing to study the topic of social policy at a more introductory level, both UCD and UCC run one-year conversion courses (HDip) in Social Policy for graduates of non-social science degrees. Sociology represents a more theoretical branch of social science than Social Policy does. It looks at the origin, development, organisation, function and interplay between social groups, utilising the work of classical theorists such as Max Weber and Emile Durkheim, as well as more modern thinkers such as Michel Foucault and Pierre Bourdieu. Masters programmes in Sociology are available from NUI Maynooth, UCC and UCD. An important facet of each programme is developing an understanding of social change, along with how it might be identified, evaluated and better managed – an invaluable task in today’s climate. Graduates with a high degree of social research skill are also a key objective.   An innovative master’s programme is the Sociology of Health at UCD (one year full time, two year part time). The course is aimed at those working in the health professions as well as recent Sociology graduates or those from a related humanities discipline (philosophy, history, psychology, politics, etc. ). Students on the course will develop an in-depth and critical understanding of social analysis, research methods, health issues and health policy analysis. Modules include Health, Illness and Society (compulsory); Cultural Theory and Analysis (optional); and Race, Ethnicity and Society (optional). The University of Limerick provides an MA in Sociology – Applied Social Research (one year full time, two years part time). Central to the programme is the computer-aided analysis of qualitative data and statistical analysis of large-scale survey data sets. This statistical work is carried out in a number of social contexts, such as social exclusion, employment, marriage and divorce, education and community development. Graduates of the programme typically go on to embark on research careers in the private, public, voluntary or academic spheres. As with Social Policy, it is also possible for students interested in the subject to enrol on a Sociology conversion course. These are ideal for graduates without a background in the social sciences. One notable option is the HDip in Sociology offered by UCD (one year full time). Applicants should possess at least a second-class honours degree; they must also submit letters of recommendation from two academic referees. With a number of ways to study the social sciences why not research your course options on Postgrad. ie? 2013-02-28 IADT named one of Europe's Top 100 Schools of Architecture and Design for 2013 Published as a the supplement of the December issue of Domus, Europe's Top 100 Schools of Architecture and Design 2013 listed IADT as the only Irish institution among the top 100 architecture and design schools in Europe. European institutions are examined and rated on the basis of their 'curricular focus, pedagogical identity, and the type of educational environment that is fostered', as well as 'collaborative networks, strong professors and exceptional student work'. Appearing in the Graphic Design category, IADT’s academic and pedagogical approaches are described as 'stimulated by a committed group of young, practicing professionals' and that the Institute is 'up-to-date with contemporary graphic design and international talent'. 2013-01-17 Teacher training information events at Hibernia College Hibernia College is holding two information events in Dublin on January 17th (4. 30pm-7pm) and 26th (10. 30am-1pm). During the events, staff will be on hand to answer questions about the college's HDip in Arts in Primary Education (HDAPE) and Professional Diploma in Post Primary Education (PDE) teacher training programmes. The events will take place at Hibernia College, 2 Clare Street, Dublin 2. Space will be limited so registration  is required if you would like to attend. 2013-01-09 New DIT software course guarantees employment with Ericsson The MSc Applied Software Technology was officially launched in IBEC on Thursday 29th November. The programme, run by DIT, is supported by ICT Ireland Skillnet and Ericsson. The fully funded programme offers graduates a full-time and permanent position with Ericsson upon satisfactory completion. This collaboration between academic and industry partners has proven to be a huge success in filling the skills gap that exists in the Irish IT market. Speaking at the launch of the programme Teresa Hurley, Head of School of Management in DIT described the programme as an “innovative and important initiative highlighting the benefits of academic and industry collaboration. The students gain cutting edge skills through the tailored programme content and we produce work-ready graduates”. Dr. Jenny Munnelly, Programme Manager, referred to the first 40 students that recently graduated in DIT: "They have successfully integrated into fulltime work in Ericsson's product development campus in Athlone. The programme provided excellent tuition in terms of technologies and processes, preparing graduates for their roles as software engineers". A new cohort of 50 students are currently undertaking the programme and all involved look forward to their immersion into industry next year. 2013-01-02 Public Relations Courses The field of public relations is closely related to the marketing and advertising areas. The exact job description of the PR practitioner can vary, but they generally look after the public perception of their company of that of its products. This can involve creating information that shows your employers in a good light and providing this material to the media, customers, clients and other members of the public. It can also involve organising events to highlight your clients’ products and achievements. Successful PR professionals tend to be confident and sociable with excellent communications skills. Further study public relations courses can be attractive to those with business, media or general arts degrees who are looking to specialise at postgraduate level to further their careers. At postgraduate level, public relations academic programmes can be particularly specialised, concentrating on subjects such as PR Techniques, Media Writing, Sponsorship and Community Relations, Event Management, Public Affairs & Lobbying, Communication Theory and Strategy & Corporate Environment. The European Institute of Communications, the Fitzwilliam Institute, Dun Laoghaire College of Further Education and Dublin Institute of Technology all offer postgraduate programmes in Public Relations. Public Relations positions tend to be slightly less widespread, but a growing number of businesses and organisations employ public relations staff or information officers. Both the public and private sectors alike require Public Relations experts. As with the marketing area, there are a number of specialised agencies in Ireland who look after public relations for their clients who can range from multinational companies to charities to private individuals. With the spread of celebrity culture, media, politics and sporting luminaries increasingly employ their own PR staff for protection and support. PR in particular is an excellent option for undergraduates of all disciplines. John Gallagher, DIT’s Course Coordinator of the MA in Public Relations, explains: ‘A few years ago we had a student here who had a degree in agriculture and that was obviously a bit uncommon, but because there were agricultural companies in need of communications experts who had a feel for their industry, this student was very well sought after. In fact, she was the first in her class who was employed and there was a couple of companies fighting over her. ’‘What we try to do is gather people from as broad a range as possible of academic pursuits: arts, communications, law, business, agriculture, science; because those are the people that the industry wants. The companies who’ve taken on our graduates over the years reads like a “who’s who” of corporate Ireland, ’ he adds. Gallagher is also course director of an exciting new option for people with an interest in PR and politics: the MA in Public Affairs and Political Communications, which was launched last year. A ‘unique course’, this programme is the only one in Ireland that facilitates an internship in Seanad Éireann. Students spend three days a week in DIT Aungier Street and two more working with an assigned senator in Leinster House. The inaugural 15 graduates of 2007 are ‘virtually 100 per cent employed’ according to Gallagher in areas such as public affairs consultancies, and by TDs and senators as full time assistants.   2012-11-29 A Life in Research The following article was kindly contributed by Dr Graham Love, Director of Policy and Communications at Science Foundation Ireland. When one imagines what a typical scientific researcher might look like or do, images of men in long white coats locked away in some laboratory shrouded in secrecy usually spring to mind. But the reality of research is very different. Becoming a researcher is not akin to running away to join a 'scientific' circus. The door to this world is permanently open. Everyone is welcome to participate, to share in its benefits and to suggest new ways of doing things. Albert Einstein once said that ‘If we knew what it was we were doing, it would not be called research, would it?’Research is not necessarily about discovering the 'holy grail' of physics, biology or any other discipline. The old adage that 'success is a journey, not a destination' is one which we should reminder ourselves of. There is trial and there is error. We need only look at the persistence of Thomas Edison, one of the most outstanding inventors in history, to be inspired to continue our quest to progress. Edison is believed to have conducted more than 9, 000 experiments before finally creating the world's first light bulb.    The daily routine of a researcher is often intriguing: collaboration, travel opportunities, liaising with colleagues around the world, channelling your curiosity into productive processes and pushing the boundaries of your particular field. From your PlayStation, iPod, laptop and iPhone to the medicines you take or the energy sources used to power our homes, factories and office blocks, everything around you is rooted in science and innovation. Imagine being part of research that developed a new way of communicating or of delivering healthcare, or of heating our universities and hospitals?Once upon a time, Ireland followed other countries when it came to innovation. We were always playing catch-up! Times have changed, and we are beginning to earn a reputation internationally as a scientific research hub. There has arguably never been a more exciting and opportune time to be a scientific researcher in Ireland, either established or just embarking on one's journey of discovery. The quality of research being conducted by Irish-based researchers today is recognised globally as being higher than ever before, as evidenced by international ranking: Ireland is now in the world's top 20 countries for research quality. The popularity of initiatives such as Ireland's Science Gallery and the Dublin Web Summit continue to grow, while recent years have seen a steady stream of multinational corporations such as Google, Microsoft, Facebook, eBay, AOL, PayPal and Yahoo choosing Ireland as their European headquarters. Furthermore, Ireland's scientific research community is currently preparing for Dublin becoming 'European City of Science' in 2012, a prestigious honour in recognition of our rapidly developing research landscape. CAO statistics from July of last year (2011) showed a large increase (6, 876) since February in applications for science courses through the 'change of mind form' mechanism. This clearly shows a shift towards science, which is very welcome. The Irish Government has invested strategically and substantially in science for over a decade, and it is hoped that this will continue. But just as science in Ireland needs financial investment, it also needs a healthy supply of young, talented minds who will bring fresh thinking and vitality to research activities. There are currently over 500 companies working with Science Foundation Ireland-funded researchers. Over the past two years, the number of industry-academic collaborations reported by SFI-supported researchers has more than doubled. At an international level, SFI-funded researchers are working on over 1, 700 collaborations with researchers across 58 countries. Recent Irish breakthroughs in the world of medical and technological research include the treatment of thyroid disorders, diabetes, asthma and the superbug C difficile; while the development of the world's first junctionless transistor was developed by a research team at Tyndall National Institute in Cork. Researchers at UCD-based CLARITY research group are working closely on new sports television broadcasting capabilities in partnership with the research division of the world-renowned Walt Disney Company. Exciting times!The most outstanding achievements by our up-and-coming researches are recognised at the highest level by Science Foundation Ireland. The President of Ireland Young Researcher Award (PIYRA) is Science Foundation Ireland's most prestigious award to recruit young researchers currently based around the world to carry out their research in third level institutions in Ireland. The award recognises outstanding engineers and scientists who, early in their careers, have already demonstrated or shown exceptional potential for leadership at the frontiers of knowledge. Whether your strengths are in physics, chemistry, biology, mathematics, agricultural science, engineering, geography or technology, there is a clear path of research in front of you here in Ireland, and opportunities to establish a successful career on Irish soil. If you have any questions about scientific research supported by SFI, please see www. sfi. ie. 2012-10-23 Film and Broadcasting Courses According to the Irish Film Board, approximately twenty per cent of all tourists to Ireland in 2010 cited film as an influencing factor for their visit. And while 2013 will see significant cuts in government funding for the arts in Ireland, there was some welcome news for the film industry with the announcement that the Irish film tax incentive scheme (otherwise known as Section 481) would be extended until 2020, thereby essentially safeguarding Ireland’s position as a desirable film location for foreign investors.       This is just as well. Even placing the artistic merits to one side, the film industry is a huge contributor to the domestic economy – the audio-visual sector alone is estimated to be worth in the region of €550 million and acts as a source of employment for over 6, 000 people. The number of large international productions that have been hosted here – for instance, Saving Private Ryan and, more recently, P. S. I Love You – suggest that the Irish film industry is performing well above reasonable expectations. While many, such as Tim Morris of Windmill Lane Pictures, claim that ‘the primary reason international work comes to Ireland is tax based’, there is also plenty of evidence to suggest that the profusion of domestic talent plays a vital role in securing investment too. Domestic productions such as What Richard Did, Once, and the TV series Love/Hate are excellent advertisements for the mounting confidence and quality of the Irish TV and film industry.   The importance of such aptitude cannot be overstated. According to a report by the Irish Film Board (‘Creative Capital: Building Ireland’s Audio Visual Economy’), building a solid reputation is crucial to the industry’s development: ‘Ireland’s filmmaking talent and skilled workforce are recognised the world over and are central to the strategy for expanding Ireland as an international centre of excellence for content production. ’ Postgraduate courses in Film help deepen the pool of talent from which the industry draws. While many film courses are not strictly vocational in nature, they represent an excellent means through which students can develop their skills – whether analytic, communicative or productive.   The MPhil in Film Theory at Trinity College Dublin (one year full time; also available as a Postgraduate Diploma) imparts students with an appreciation of the intellectual and aesthetic concerns of film study. Among the modules on offer are Film Theory and History, Post-Classical European Cinema and Visual Culture in Ireland. University College Cork’s MA in Film Studies (one year full time) also engages critical theory and aesthetic concerns and includes modules such as Advanced Film Theory and Criticism, and Film and Cultural Memory. While essentially academic rather than industrial, studying film theory at postgraduate level is vital for a number of reasons: it animates discussion, sharpens students’ analytical and critical abilities, and helps to establish context. The resulting critical opinion subsequently helps inform the public’s awareness and appreciation of film, and so comes to play an active, if not always obvious, role in the film industry.   With that said, many courses (including the foregoing) ordinarily augment their programmes with the addition of more practical components too. Trinity’s MPhil, for example, includes an elective on the craft of Editing, while the MA at UCC has a module on Digital Video Capture and Packaging. Note that students on both programmes are assessed through a combination of coursework and a dissertation. For students looking for greater specificity, NUI Galway’s Huston School of Film & Digital Media provides a wealth of options, with MA programmes in Film Studies, Screenwriting, Production and Direction, Arts Policy and Practice, Digital Media and Public Advocacy and Criticism (all of which are of one year’s duration). Entry requirements vary, but candidates are normally required to possess an honours primary degree as well as a genuine ardour for film. Graduates of these programmes are equipped to secure employment in areas such as research, teaching, postproduction, communication and filmmaking. They may also choose to remain in academia by opting to enrol on a doctoral programme (two options are available – a traditional, thesis-based PhD, and a practice-based one), through which they can investigate a specific area of interest in greater depth.   The MA in Film and Television Studies at DCU (one year full time, two years part time) treats the two screen industries as being interlinked, contiguous entities. The course aims to give students an insight into the inner workings of the Irish film and television industries, along with an analysis of the impact on Ireland of audio-visual policy across the globe. Core modules include Television: Structure and Policy, and Media Audiences and Consumption. There are also optional modules in Digital Video & Audio Postproduction and Screenwriting.   Another option worth serious consideration is the MA in Broadcast Production for Radio and Television run by Dun Laoghaire Institute of Art, Design and Technology. This full-time programme runs for one year and is aimed specifically at those hoping to obtain editorial and production skills in radio and television broadcasting. It also offers instruction in a host of specialist areas, such as: editorial and scriptwriting; single and multi-camera operation; microphone and sound recording skills; production management; radio and television presentation, production and direction; and editing for radio and television. Candidates are typically expected to possess an honours primary degree and must submit a portfolio of their work (written or audio/video recordings). Shortlisted applicants will be asked to attend an interview as part of the selection process.   Graduates of the aforementioned courses often progress to find work in a variety of related and non-related fields including journalism, teaching, research and administration. While many are successful in securing positions in the TV, Film and Radio industries, doing so is no easy task and is often the preserve of the most determined. ‘The most effective way of entering the business is by deciding early on exactly what discipline you want to do, ’ says Windmill Lane’s Tim Morris. ‘You should also try to build up a network of industry contacts and expect to enter at the lowest rung of the ladder. ’ Following that, it’s just one step at a time. 2012-08-22 Geography Courses The word “geography” comes from the Greek language and means “to describe or write about the earth”.   The study of geography encompasses many topics, including  human society and its myriad interactions with the built and natural environment,  and physical phenomena such as earthquakes and the melting of the ice caps. Aside from being a fascinating subject there are many career opportunities available for students who have taken postgraduate qualifications in this discipline. Students may go on to pursue careers as teachers, researchers with government agencies or departments, consultants with private firms, aid workers in developing countries, planners,   local government officials or enter the field of academia. There are many postgraduate courses in geography in Ireland and usually it is not a prerequisite to have studied geography for primary degree, although a good result in your primary degree will usually be required.   If you did not study geography at primary degree level you may have to demonstrate your aptitude for a postgraduate geography course, perhaps by acquiring professional experience in a field related to geography or perhaps if you can show how topics covered for your undergraduate degree may have a link to the discipline. NUI Maynooth offers MLitt and PhD programmes in geography. A research thesis conducted over two to three years full time or three to four years part time constitutes the basis of the award. The MA in Society of Space is run jointly by the departments of Geography, Sociology and the National Institute for Regional and Spatial Analysis. The course offers an advanced introduction to social science, human geography and sociology research.   A Bachelor’s degree of honours 2. 1 or higher in any discipline is required for entry, although, in exceptional circumstances a Bachelor’s degree of 2. 2 will be considered. Applicants whose primary degree does not include human geography or sociology may be asked to attend for an interview. As the course provides a comprehensive introduction to social scientific and human geographical research on contemporary social, economic, political and economic policy, it will be of particular interest to policy funders, analysts, policymakers, practitioners and commentators currently in employment or those who would like to work as such. Other courses offered by NUI Maynooth in the field of geography include; MSc in Climate Change, MSc in Geographical Information Systems and Remote Sensing and MSc in Geocomputation. UCD offers a taught MA in Geography. The course is made up of taught modules along with independent research. Topics covered include the history of geographic thought, physical geography, practical cartography and project management, to name but a few. A thesis of approximately 12, 000 to 15, 000 words is also required. The course is one year full-time. There are also research programmes available from the School of Geography, Planning and Environmental Policy at UCD, namely, the MSc in physical geography or the MLitt. in Human Geography.   For anyone wishing to study at doctorate level, PhD study is another option at UCD and expressions of interest from students with ambitions to pursue research in the fields of civil society and governance, climatology, cultural geography, environmental economics, natural resource management, housing, political geography, quality of life, rural planning and development, transportation, urban geography, urban regeneration or urban and regional development are welcomed. PhD study typically takes three to four years full time. Geography researchers are also supported by Mary Immaculate College in Limerick. Research degrees to Masters and doctoral level are available across economic, urban and rural geography; historical and political geography and environmental geography. Trinity College Dublin’s Geography Department has several taught and research fourth level programmes. Taught programmes include; Masters in Environment and Development, Masters in Development Practice and MSc /PgDip. in Biodiversity and Conservation.   Successful PhD applicants will usually be provisionally entered onto the programme for the first year and subject to satisfactory progress, are confirmed on the register at the end of first year. University College Cork offers Higher Diplomas in Geography and also Geographic Information Systems (GIS). Various other taught and research Masters and PhD programmes are also offered by the university. NUI Galway also run several taught and research MA and PhD programmes. Log onto the individual institute’s websites for further information. In a world where geographical knowledge and experience are becoming increasingly important, completion of a fourth level geography programme is no doubt a valuable commodity. Geography is an interdisciplinary field that offers diverse career opportunities. Research your options well and decide on a programme that is most suited to your individual needs.   2012-04-17 Conversion Courses Postgraduate conversion courses offer an excellent opportunity for graduates to change direction and focus on a new academic or career goal. Normally one-year in length, these programmes enable graduates of unrelated disciplines to study a wholly new subject. For example, a graduate of engineering may undergo the Higher Diploma in Business & Financial Information Systems in University College Cork, or an arts graduate might decide to pursue a career in medicine by enrolling in a Graduate Medical Programme. Why Change Direction?Sarah-Jane Hutchinson was working in marketing before deciding that primary school teaching was something she wanted to pursue. “I had been out of college for a few years working in marketing for an insurance firm when I decided to change direction. Primary school teaching had always been in the back of my mind so I went about researching my options, ” says Sarah-Jane, who studied the Higher Diploma in Primary Education in Froebel College of Education. This course is an eighteen month programme and combines lectures with teaching practice. Sarah-Jane does say that the transition took a bit of getting used to financially, “it was a bit daunting making the change from receiving a full-time salary to being back in college, but it was definitely worth it in the end”. She also believes that taking the time to pursue another career avenue first was a good option as she felt that taking the time to mature meant that “I took my studies more seriously and was more proactive with learning when I returned. I am absolutely delighted with the outcome and doing the course was good socially too as I met lots of like-minded people”. Sarah-Jane is now employed as a primary school teacher and has not looked back. Roisin Kelly was also working when she decided to enrol in a full time conversion course, but for her the Graduate Diploma in Computing in the University of Limerick represents a chance to develop her career prospects rather than a radical change of direction. Working as a member of the data support team for a major mobile phone provider, Roisin believed that she had no specialised skills and that her career was not ‘going anywhere’ as a result. ‘I had a Degree in Commerce and French but no particular profession, and I felt that’s what I needed to gear myself towards. ’Starting OverMastering what is usually an entirely new subject in just one year is no easy task, but students will often be surprised at how skills they learned in a previous degree course or career can prove to be entirely relevant when undertaking a conversion programme. This can range from soft skills such as good writing and communication, to more specific talents. In the case of most conversion programmes, however, it is not necessary for the student to have acquired specific skills in a previous course or job. Roisin Kelly for instance, had only ‘a basic knowledge of computers – typing letters in Microsoft Word and things like that – no more than most people’, when she enrolled in UL’s Graduate Diploma in Computing. FundingPeople enrolling in conversion courses face the same financial challenges as any other postgraduate programme.   With fees and other costs such as travel and course materials to account for, Sarah-Jane found the course “tough on a financial level”. But she has no regrets whatsoever: ‘I’m thrilled I did the course. I would advise people to go for it and you’ll always find a way of funding it and overcoming the difficulties, look into grant options as you may be eligible for one. ’The funding process was not so hard for Roisin. She managed to hold down her job with the mobile provider on a part time basis. She was also pleasantly surprised to discover UL’s Graduate Diploma in Computing is part of the Higher Education Authority’s Graduate Skills Conversion Programme. For 2011-2012 the fee was €2, 750, a more manageable sum compared with the usual fee for a postgraduate course. 2012-04-17 International Law Student Profile Name: John KeatingCourse: LLM in International Law (part time)College: Griffith College DublinI completed my LLB in Griffith College in 2009 and just really liked the place and its staff. It really is like a second home or my space away from work and home.  I have thought about asking the Law Faculty how I might remain involved once the LLM in completed.   I’m one of those unusual students that are studying Law purely because it is very interesting and enjoyable. I am hoping that the LLM will now take me into working in the area of corporate governance which, along with Company Law, is really interesting. The Griffith LLM also has a module in this area and is very relevant considering the need for greater corporate governance these days. I think it is important to add that without the environment that Griffith College and its staff create I would not be able to do it. I have three young children and a full time job. Getting to Griffith each evening is an opportunity to mix with other adults and engage in a common interest. The lecturers are keenly aware of outside pressures and do give that extra little bit of attention to those that need it. It makes all the difference. The LLM is hard and fast in comparison to the LLB. Critically analysing information from a number of different areas is very important from the beginning and being able to form your own opinions in vital. This can be difficult when reading complex passages but it is a valuable skill that each student will develop in their own time. I think the LLM develops both interpersonal skills, and knowledge and understanding of the world of International Law. Assignments can be daunting at first until you collect your materials. It takes a couple of days or evenings of reading before you become comfortable with a topic.  Some areas can be very intangible; given the nature of international law it is sometimes like a social science. Griffith provides you with a multitude of legal resources both online and in the library to get through it. Finishing an essay is always immensely rewarding, even if you’re not entirely happy with it!I don’t actually work in the area of law but I am hoping to get a role as a junior company secretary once the LLM is completed. There are a multitude of opportunities in this very interesting field both at home and abroad. The LLM for me bridges 10 years of work experience with many areas that would generally be inaccessible to me. My class group has always been really great over the 3-4 years, although I do think Griffith attracts a certain type of student. I know from having studied for 4 years now that evening students at Griffith are just great to share a couple of years of your evenings with. 2012-04-17 English - PhD Student Profile Name: Dearbhla McCarthy (Postgraduate Officer, Mary Immaculate Students' Union)Course: PhD in English Language & LiteratureCollege: Mary Immaculate CollegeI first came to Mary Immaculate College in 2003 to take part in the foundation certificate course. This not only allowed me to enroll on the BA program, but helped me to return to education after a gap of quite a few years. After completing my BA in English and Philosophy, I began a research MA in English Language & Literature in September 2008, then upgraded to the PhD course in May 2009. The main reason for this was that the dimensions of my ideas and research were constantly expanding, and within the first six months I was fast approaching the limit for a research MA in my discipline (approximately 40, 000 words). Also, my research is based on the writing of a contemporary Irish author who is currently working on a new project, so it will be interesting to see which of us finishes first!I have regular meetings with my supervisor to review my progress, but my daily work schedule is up to me. I try to be disciplined and write for a couple of hours every day. Because there are several demands on my time, I write first thing in the morning. It is then much easier to return to this later in the day if I get a chance, or allocate time to reading and gathering more research material. I set myself very specific, short-term goals – for example, rewriting a particular paragraph on a particular page, rather than finishing an entire chapter – and so far this has worked very well indeed. One of my colleagues and I began a Thesis Writing Support Program (TWSP) last year, which has proven to be very popular, and is of great help to all who attend. The group meets for an hour once a fortnight. It is open to everyone who is engaged in written research, and the focus is on establishing and maintaining good writing habits, with the end goal of the thesis/dissertation in sight. Participants set their own goals, and review their progress so as to discover what impedes and improves their overall progress. Another of my colleagues began a series of Lunchtime Presentations last year. These are open to all postgraduate students, both taught and research, and provide an opportunity to present your research in front of an audience. This is very useful for those who have not presented before, or who may be preparing for conferences or larger group presentations. Both the Lunchtime Presentations and the TWSP have created a forum for interdisciplinary discussion and debate, which is both useful and interesting for all participants. Postgraduate life in MIC is busy. We have a coffee morning in the Students’ Lounge once every fortnight, and there are regular social events. As anyone who is engaged in academic work will know, it is very important to break out of the solitude that researching generally imposes, and to be reminded that you are not entirely alone. 2011-06-30 Marketing Courses They say a fool and his money are soon parted. That may have had a ring of truth in the profligate days of the Celtic Tiger, but nowadays even the union of village idiots is advocating spending cutbacks. An increasingly competitive market is seeking higher returns from a fast evaporating pool of business and consumer spend. The key to success is the development of ever more ingenious marketing techniques that strengthen customer relationships. And the surest way to acquire these skills is to enrol in a postgraduate course. A popular and proven method for graduates (marketing and non-marketing) to secure good positions is to enrol in a Marketing Practice postgraduate programme – available from Letterkenny IT, UCD and NUI Galway. With a strong focus on practical marketing skills, students are required to effectively apply what they learn in the classroom in a work placement (Letterkenny, NUI Galway), or as a ‘marketing advisor’ to an external business client (UCD). According to Billy Bennett, Head of the School of Business in Letterkenny IT, the work placement is ‘a significant learning curve for graduates, but hugely important’, as it bridges the gap between marketing theory and academic studies and the real life practicalities of the workplace. ’ Students also experience the pressures and responsibilities of paid employment, because as Bennett points out, it is a paid placement and the companies would not pay if they were not getting value for money. Of course the academic aspect is of equal importance, with students undergoing various marketing modules (research methods, managing sales, etc) and carrying out assignments on the strategic marketing plan they are applying in the workplace. Happily, most students thrive in this atmosphere and many go on to secure permanent marketing positions with their work placement employer. About a half of last year’s Letterkenny IT Marketing Practice graduates secured employment this way, while the NUI Galway programme claims a remarkable 90% recruitment rate. DCU have one of the strongest traditions of marketing education in the higher education sector, and the university’s MBS in Marketing has been running for over ten years. Dr Michael Gannon, senior lecturer in marketing, describes the course as ‘a specialist program designed to produce graduates with an in-depth marketing know-how and with the technical and personal skills to operate in a dynamic and increasingly competitive market’. Among the course’s unique features is an exchange agreement with the University of Illinois in the US, which has an Advertising Dept described by Forbes magazine as the best in the world. The agreement allows for three DCU MBS Marketing students to spend a spring semester in the US. Another mainstay of the course is the Spring Marketing Seminar Series whereby ‘visiting academics and business practitioners impart their experience and knowledge of marketing’, explains Dr Gannon. Speakers from universities such as Harvard and companies such as Google and Microsoft attend the event, which is in its 10th year and ‘fairly well established, people in industry readily accept invitations to come and speak’. Graduates of the course are ‘getting picked up fairly readily’ according to Dr Gannon, with large players in the marketing sector ‘always looking for people’. Graduates are employed with agencies such as Lansdowne Market Research, and in-house with companies such as Bank of Ireland and Google. A number also pursue a PhD in DCU or other institutions, e. g. the prestigious York University of Toronto. Besides DCU, a taught MBS in Marketing is available in the UCD Michael Smurfit School of Business, UCC, and Dundalk IT (where there is a dual focus on marketing and entrepreneurship). Whereas the MBS is well suited to graduates seeking an opportunity for further study, numerous qualifications that are awarded by professional bodies are also on offer that would greatly benefit experienced marketing professionals. Such programmes include the MSc Masters in Marketing (Executive) in DIT, which is delivered in partnership with the Marketing Institute of Ireland (MII). A two-year part time programme; the first year involves ‘the up-skilling and deepening of functional marketing knowledge and expertise’, and students develop ‘greater strategic perspective and organisational insights’ in year two. But what about those poor souls who the think the ‘four Ps’ are a popular hip-hop outfit? Knowledge of marketing is vital in a huge variety of careers, so thankfully there are postgraduate crash courses for the uninitiated who lack marketing qualifications. These include Management & Marketing for Non-Business Graduates in DIT and IT Tallaght’s Higher Diploma in Marketing Management. That’s ‘product’, ‘price’, ‘place’ and ‘promotion’ by the way, or what’s commonly referred to as the ‘Marketing Mix’. Graduates of every postgraduate marketing course have to work in a challenging environment, where marketing budgets have been reduced greatly along with all other costs in recent years. ‘All companies are much more focused on the bottom line and budgets nowadays, ’ says Billy Bennett of Letterkenny IT. ‘Graduates need to be more creative and able to practice guerrilla marketing [lower cost, unconventional campaigns] – making using of the internet and social media for example. ’ Unsurprisingly given the huge drop in consumer spending brought on by the recession, Bennett says there is also a re-emphasis on building strong customer relations.   2011-06-30 Health Informatics Student Profile Name: James BrennanCourse: MSc in Health InformaticsCollege: Department of Computer Science and Information (University of Limerick)Back in the days before the Celtic Tiger when UL was NIHE Limerick, Ireland was poor, and many graduates emigrated. I duly ended up in London as a Management Accountant, having spent four enjoyable years from 1981 to 1985 in Plassey studying for a BBS (Accounting and Finance). At that time the Internet, e-mail, broadband and the mobile phone had yet to see the light of day, and Health Informatics was quaintly known as 'Computers in Medicine'. My career brought me back to Ireland as a partner in a firm of Accountants and Management Consultants, and most of my work in the last twenty years has been in ICT projects in the healthcare sector. I have kept abreast of professional developments in the area of Health Informatics over that period, but I felt that there was no specific course in Ireland which addressed my particular niche until 2009, when I joined the new MSc course in Health Informatics in UL. The course was organised into 10 blocks (Friday and Saturday) over two terms and a dissertation over the summer, which suited the class, who came from all over Ireland and all of whom work full-time. We learned a great deal from each-other by working together in groups, both on campus and by distance, as distance learning was a key feature of the course. The course content was a good balance of ICT and healthcare, and is very relevant and topical for anybody involved in ICT projects in healthcare, especially from the clinical and nursing areas. The academic staff were excellent and very supportive, especially for the dissertation, which in my case involved a fact-finding mission in Europe. The campus has improved beyond recognition, and the facilities were excellent, especially the library and the remote ICT services, such as Moodle. I have thoroughly enjoyed the course, and it was a coincidence that I returned to my Alma Mater, as I would have travelled anywhere in Ireland for this particular course. 2011-04-29 Case Study - IT Part time student profile: Patrick CorryWhy you enrol in your part time course?I'd been working in IT for a few years, but my undergrad degree was a business course, so I felt it was a good time to get a qualification that matched my career path more closely. The IT course I did was a hybrid of management and IT (MSc in Management of Information Systems in Trinity), so was a good choice for me, as it suited my business background, and I could apply it in work day-to-day. What support did you get from your employer?They funded the course which was great. Also, there was some study leave available around exam time, but there was less tangible support as well. There was the understanding that I would be less flexible with regard to overtime when it came to exam time, or when I was writing my dissertation, so I was lucky that their expectations (usually!) reflected how busy I was in college at that time. How did you manage fitting your course work around a full time job?Although I did my best to avoid eating into holiday leave, I generally took holiday days off when I felt I needed additional time to study, or at least more than I could eke out from just evenings and weekends. I wrote a dissertation as part of my course, and that was the most difficult phase, as it involved studying almost all evenings and weekends for around six months. I found that, occasionally taking a Friday and Monday off work gave me a chance to focus on my dissertation without falling too far behind in the office. It's difficult to balance though, and everyone looks after it differently. How has the course improved your work performance?The course gave me confidence, particularly in softer skills like giving presentations and communicating in meetings. Also, when working day-to-day, it's easy to get mired in the daily grind. I found that the course gave me more perspective, and a clearer understanding of the larger context in which I work. And your career prospects?When I started the course my goal was to improve my own mobility, and give myself more career options. I think a masters ticks those boxes, although my expectations changed once the recession took hold! Coming out the other side of the recession though, I'm extremely glad to have the qualification, and it will give me confidence should I decide to change positions in future. Was studying with fellow professionals beneficial?Yes, I made some good contacts, and as most of the course was built around group projects, we worked together quite closely all the way through the course. This in turn helped me understand my own strengths and weaknesses better, and I've definitely tried to take that understanding back to my job. 2011-03-23 Psychology Courses Those who wish to pursue a postgraduate qualification in psychology can rest assured that there is no shortage of options available to them. But does the successful attainment of such a qualification open up a wider range of career options for participants?Dr Mark A Elliott, a Senior Lecturer in the School of Psychology at the National University of Ireland, Galway, explains:  ‘The answer is neither yes, nor is it no. Psychologists do specific things and so the field itself does not really change in scope, or breadth. ‘On the other hand, psychology is a very diverse discipline and – partly because it includes practice-based training – can encompass a wide range of postgraduate taught, professional and research degrees. ‘While the British Psychological Society have found that almost all psychology graduates find employment, 20 per cent find employment within psychology. This proportion is likely to be very significantly higher for postgraduates. This is likely for two reasons: firstly that practice-based qualifications lead deliberately to quite specific professional activities, while students tend to take postgraduate degrees in psychology because they would like to be psychologists. ’He continues: ‘In addition, the field of academic psychology is populated by people who started with degrees outside of psychology and migrated in through their research interests. ’There are a whole host of postgraduate psychology options available at NUI Galway. For instance, there is a MA and Postgraduate Diploma in Arts in Applied Behaviour Analysis. This course is pursued on a full time basis over one year (for the PGDip in Arts) or two years (for the MA), and applicants must have a second-class honours degree or its equivalent. There are also postgraduate options available at the college for those who have already pursued study in this area. There is a Doctor of Psychological Science (DPsychSc) in Clinical Psychology which is pursued on a full-time basis over three years. Candidates must usually hold a degree or postgraduate diploma in psychology recognised by the Psychological Society of Ireland (PSI) of at least upper second-class honours level, or its equivalent.   At least one year of relevant practical and/or research experience is also required. NUI Galway also offers a Master of Science (MSc) in Health Psychology, pursued on a one-year, full-time basis. Applicants must have at least a second class honours primary degree in psychology. There is also a Higher Diploma in Arts in Psychology, which is a one-year full-time conversion programme for students who have completed the BA in Psychological Studies at NUI Galway – or its equivalent. After the HDipPsych conversion programme, students will have covered the course content equivalent of the BA Psychology programme. There are also a whole host of research degree opportunities available at NUI Galway to candidates who have obtained a degree in psychology to at least upper second-class honours level, or its equivalent. In a period of great upheaval such as the one we are currently experiencing, many people will be curious as to whether any area of postgraduate study they are interested in pursuing has been affected by the economic slump. But is the study of psychology, generally speaking, an area which is particularly prone to change? Or are there constants in the content which remain, regardless of external factors?When asked if the content of the NUI Galway courses has to be regularly updated, Dr Mark A Elliott says that professional programmes should ‘follow national and where possible international accreditation guidelines’. He adds:  ‘however, and particularly because it is an internationalised discipline with more-or-less common teaching and research foci, this (changes) would not necessarily happen very frequently. On the other hand, psychology is a central discipline within the cognitive neurosciences, which is a rapidly evolving field of enquiry and subject to a massive global research effort. ’He adds that ‘perhaps most research in psychology goes on in this field’ and that ‘it is, not surprisingly, extremely competitive with respect to funds’. ‘Taught academic and research programmes would need to be very much on the ball to remain in the competition, ’ Dr Elliott adds. There are a whole host of other psychology postgraduate options available throughout Ireland, including programmes at Trinity, UCD and University College Cork. There is also a Postgraduate Higher Diploma in Psychology available from Dublin Business School. This course is pursued over two years on either a part-time or full-time basis, and is geared towards graduates who do not hold a degree in psychology. Applicants must have a primary honours degree of at least pass level in an unrelated subject. So, psychology postgraduate options in Ireland provide both a way into the sphere for people who previously studied unrelated subjects, and a host of possibilities for those who have already attained qualifications in this area. 2010-07-20 History - Student Profile Name: Tony O'ConnellCourse: Masters in History (Research)College: Mary Immaculate CollegeLittle did I think that when I entered Mary Immaculate College, Limerick as an undergraduate in September 2005 that I would eventually find myself parading around the corridors of the College four years later, as a post grad research History Masters student! For that is indeed what I am and loving every minute of it. Of course my Masters is waiting to be written but that will happen in time. Having spent over twenty-five years working with a multi-national company, I was given the opportunity in January 2004 of leaving full-time employment and making a complete change to my life. Having always entertained the idea, but never imagining it would happen, I was thrilled to be offered a place as an undergraduate at Mary I and so began a very personal journey on an academic path that has so far led me to complete my Liberal Arts Degree with a 1st and subsequently be accepted on the college’s postgraduate Masters programme. To say that I can’t quite believe that I am where I am today is an understatement. When I’m conferred in two weeks time, it will be an extremely emotional day for me. I never doubted that I would graduate once I got to College but the getting there was the bit that I thought would never happen. Once in the academic system my mind and horizons were broadened by fellow students, friends and lecturers. It was those people who believed I could go on to further study. Once I didn’t think I had it within me but now I see myself as Dr Anthony O’Connell and you know what, it just might happen! 2010-07-20 The role of the PhD in the smart economy NUI Maynooth supports the view that we now have an unparalleled opportunity to radically transform graduate education in Ireland, and that doing so will be a pre-requisite to meeting national objectives on the development of a ‘knowledge society’. The universities have argued that the establishment of inter-institutional and national graduate schools is a pre-requisite to producing high quality PhD graduates and, sector-wide, structural changes have been achieved that ensure that high quality training is provided to an increasing PhD cohort. In line with the overall approach of the university sector NUI Maynooth has now enhanced and revamped its PhD programmes by moving towards four-year structured graduate research education with inter-university and industry linkages where appropriate. NUIM is firmly of the view that properly-resourced and well-executed structured graduate education along these lines is of immense benefit to the student and to the economy. A research doctorate at NUI Maynooth now involves you engaging in professional skills training; availing of inter-institutional collaboration, individualized programmes in subject specific skills, and the possibility of internships and international mobility.   Conscious of meeting the needs of both a broad labour market and of doctoral students’ education, NUI Maynooth is the first university in the country to provide such supports for all of its new PhD students, from September, 2010. In reality many doctorate graduates are destined for careers outside academia in both research and non-research positions. NUI Maynooth equips students for this by building professional supports into their research programmes. From the perspective of you, the student, doctoral programmes at NUI Maynooth are:Research-led The doctoral candidate is embedded in a thematically aligned community of researchers, and is given access to the research team’s networks of, and links to, industry, business, public services, NGOs and research fields. Skills based An individual programme of training which involves taking no less than 30 taught credits is developed based on a student’s needs. These are made up of formal accredited specialist modules (involving inter-institutional delivery and world class expert input), generic skills modules (normally faculty-based), professional skills modules (normally department/research institute based, but with tangible involvement with the wider society/public body/industry/business context where possible), transferable skills modules (research/teaching/entrepreneurship and innovation specific to research subject) and placements in industry, business or public/community service (where appropriate) before submitting your final thesis. Student-centric Each student’s doctorate is customised and individualised in that the principal supervisor, supervisory panel/advisory team/departmental committee and student agree the research topic and the appropriate suite of modules to enhance the doctoral candidate’s future employability. The choice of specific activities is tailored to suit your experience and to reflect the disciplinary requirements of your broad research field. Where it is appropriate research is strongly focused on innovation through research and development in order to contribute to advancing a more ‘knowledge-based’ society and economy. Subject specific and themed research-led programmes, wherein specialised knowledge is developed, contextualized and embedded through a variety of linkages and networks into the society and economy where their contribution is targeted. From your perspective, while undergoing a PhD programme at NUI Maynooth, you can expect:• A high quality research experience and enhanced arrangements for supervision and mentorship • Structured arrangements for the development of generic and transferable skills • Advanced taught courses in your discipline• Academic transcript which records modules you have taken and your achievements• Regular monitoring and support of your progress.   2010-07-19 Journalism - Student Profile Name: Louise KehoeCourse: MA in Journalism and Media CommunicationsInstitution: Griffith College DublinI chose this course because it is aimed at people who don’t have a journalism degree already. I hadn't considered Griffith as an option for postgrad study as I had always thought of it as a private and therefore expensive college. As it turned out, it’s roughly the same cost as most other masters courses. The course really appealed to me, as I had no prior journalism experience.    The classes are very small, so all the lecturers know who you are and it is easy to get to know your classmates. The pace of learning is fast and a lot of it is very hands-on. Projects are generally carried out in groups and there is a good attitude in the class of helping each other out. There are opportunities to work on the college paper and radio station. This is great for extra experience and something to stick on the CV.  The course can seem pretty full on at times. A degree student has three or four years to learn and practice what we are expected to grasp in less than a year. Projects and assignments come hard and fast and it can feel a little like ‘sink or swim’ at times! So far we have had one news day, which involves being provided a news story, going out and researching it, and writing a report on it before a deadline; all on the one day! This was a highly enjoyable, if slightly nerve-wracking experience. It really gave a feeling of what it would be like to be a real reporter.  The future for me still seems quite unsure - at the moment I am concentrating on the many projects and assignments. I would like to get a bit more experience in the different media areas to see what I am best suited to. I would like to work in a few different areas, maybe as a freelance journalist, at the beginning of my career at least. 2010-06-24 Music technology - Student Profile Name: Patrick McGlynnCourse: PhD in Music TechnologyInstitution: NUI MaynoothI have been studying here at NUI Maynooth for several years. My subject area is Music Technology and I have just begun work on a PhD research project investigating creative new approaches to interactive music and experimental performance. There is a lot of exciting work taking place around the world exploring new ways to create and experience music, with emerging technologies constantly prompting further experimentation and innovation. It is a very exciting topic, and I am greatly looking forward to the challenges ahead. Postgraduate study requires a sense of self-motivation and a willingness to learn far beyond the material that is presented to you in lectures and seminars, and I am very fortunate to have both a passion for my subject area and the guidance of the staff here. People are often warned not to underestimate the amount of work that postgraduate study demands. However they often tend to forget that in the right circumstances, that work will be intensely stimulating and in an area that you find fascinating. My experience of studying and working here has always been a positive one, with a vibrant sense of community on-campus and exceptional staff/student relations. The excellent facilities, productive atmosphere and beautiful campus have never left me wondering why I chose to study here in the first place. Of course balancing work and study is always a concern, but I have found that the need to accommodate both has helped me to structure my own time and thoughts more efficiently. 2010-05-10 How to secure employer funding for a part time course This year, there has been a surge in applications to colleges for part time courses by people who are in employment. This makes sense, as those who are working are bolstering their chances of holding on to their position amid increased competition for jobs. Not so long ago, employers were happy to at least contribute, if not cover the full cost of a part time course for an employee. These days, the story is different. It’s hard to secure money for a day-long course, much less for a year long one. It is possible, however, and some employers are still willing to support the acquisition of further qualifications for staff for the long-term good of the company. One of the first things you should do is research the options available for you. Be assured, your employer will want to know how this course will help meet business needs so keep that question to the forefront of your mind while you research alternatives.   This should be carried out with consideration to what industry you are in, what direction your position is likely to go in within that industry and whether, in fact you want to remain there at all. Once you have a shortlist of courses that you would like to do, you should then have an initial chat with your employer about their educational assistance policy for third level funding to avoid any mismanagement of expectations. They may be willing to fund one of your chosen courses over another for example, so it’s important to have a number of options available. They may not have a budget for education assistance at all in which case you will have to thinking about funding it entirely by yourself. Indeed, some companies will only pay their contribution towards the course after you have completed it meaning you have to illustrate your commitment to it by paying the total or annual cost yourself initially. You will also need to outline your case for funding succinctly and pre-empt any questions such as ‘How will it benefit your current role’?  (You may be hoping to get promoted on the back of a further qualification but there may not be a route to promotion in your current role, which is, after all, what you are currently paid to do) or ‘How will you manage your college assignments/exams and your work commitments’? Or ‘How do you propose to manage the logistics of getting to and from college without impacting on your daily work schedule’? These are real challenges and you would do well to talk to someone who has already juggled a job, college, family and some glimmer of a social life. Nevertheless, plenty of people have successfully achieved this so it can be done with some planning and very finely tuned time-management skills. If your employer is willing to consider your case after that, you will probably be asked to compose a document (usually no longer than an A4 page) detailing the benefits of completing this course to a) the company and b) yourself.   This document should be brief but very clear on what the actual benefits will be. Be prepared to re-write it a couple of times to make sure you are conveying just the right message with no unnecessary waffle. Essentially, your employer is looking for a projected return on investment from you. You may also be asked to sign an agreement whereby you concede to paying for any exam re-sits yourself and/or to reimburse any funding you received to your employer if you voluntarily leave your job within approximately two years of completing the course. These agreements are standard practice and ensure fairness to both parties. Even after submitting these documents, your request may have to be considered by a group of managers and you may be asked to make yourself available for further questions from them – particularly if it is an expensive course such as an MBA. Unfortunately, your request may be declined regardless of how well you have sold it. Employers are in difficult circumstances now and try to remember not to take a refusal for funding personally. Have your fallback position ready: ask them if the situation can be reviewed in six month’s or a year’s time. Ask if you will be rewarded in any capacity on completion of the course: if not monetarily, perhaps you could secure some other coveted benefit? 2010-04-13 Human Resource Management Courses In a period of economic gloom such as the one we are currently experiencing, the importance of human resource management becomes even more apparent. With many jobs and businesses under threat, organisations must keep a firm focus on motivating, developing and maintaining good relations with their employees. Dr Sarah MacCurtain, Course Director of the Master of Business Studies (MBS) course in Human Resource Management at the University of Limerick (UL), says there has been huge demand to take part in the programme this year. She explains further: ‘I think there are many reasons for that. I think education – no matter what you’re going back to study in – many people are realising that now is the time to do it. But there is also a realisation, I think, in the current climate, that HR is more important than ever. . . The management of people in a recession is hugely important. ’As well as affecting the demand for places on the UL course, the current economic situation also has an impact on the actual content of the programme. ‘There’s a module that is purely seminar-based, and that looks at the current trends in HR. So that is constantly updated to reflect what’s important at the moment – the current recession, dealing with organisations, downsizing, those kinds of things, ’ she continues. ‘Even things like bullying, because it’s been found that bullying does increase in a more competitive environment. In times of recession you’ll find sometimes there is more individualistic behaviour, increased competition, and also increased bullying. ’‘We have a module on managing change, which I think, particularly now, is hugely important. It takes in managing change in terms of not just strategic change, but looking at it from the emotional, cognitive and behavioural angles as well. ’Margaret Heffernan, Programme Chair of the full-time MBS in Human Resource Management in DCU, also says that HRM is ‘now focussing a lot more in on the employee relations side’ of things. The MBS programme in Human Resource Management at UL can be pursued as either a one-year full-time or two-year part-time course. Normally, applicants must have a primary degree or equivalent professional qualification in a related area at first or second class honours (grade one) level.   HR experience is required for entry to the part-time programme. The MBS in Human Resource Management in DCU is pursued as a full-time, one-year option, and has a minimum entry requirement of a second class honours degree in any discipline. The university also offers a two-year part-time MBS in Human Resource Strategies. This course is geared more towards people who have already worked in the field, and applicants usually must have three years of relevant experience. There are a whole host of other HRM postgraduate options available throughout Ireland. For instance, the National University of Ireland, Galway, offers a Master of Science (MSc) course in Industrial Relations and Human Resource Management. It is a one-year, full-time programme, and a second-class honours degree, usually a grade one, in business, management or a related discipline is required for admittance. Programme Director Deirdre Curran adds: ‘Every year we accept candidates with an arts, law or other background and we feel that the cognate diversity adds to the richness of the class. In exceptional circumstances we have also accepted candidates without an undergraduate degree because of a combination of their extensive work experience and non-degree level courses of study. ’In a similar fashion to the aforementioned courses, the NUI Galway programme is responsive to trends and developments that affect human resources management. Deirdre Curran explains: ‘Our individual modules and the programme as a whole are regularly reviewed and updated to keep up with both theoretical and applied developments. ’There are numerous other options throughout Ireland for those who wish to pursue postgraduate study in this area, including courses at the Waterford Institute of Technology and UCD. For instance, the National College of Ireland offers a Postgraduate Diploma in Arts in Human Resource Management. This qualification is attained over one year – though students can elect to complete an additional semester to get a Masters of Arts (MA). Dublin Business School also offers a number of courses in this area, including an MBA in HRM, which can be pursued as a one-year full-time or two-year part-time option; and a Postgraduate Higher Diploma in Business Studies (HRM), which can be pursued as either a one-year full-time or 16-month part-time option. Applicants must have an unrelated primary honours degree of at least pass level, or an equivalent qualification. Graduates can progress to DBS’s MSC in HRM, which again can be pursued as either a one-year full-time or two-year part-time option. So human resources management is a among the most important and relevant areas of study in today’s economic climate – training people to offer solutions to many of our current problems, while absorbing important lessons from our present gloomy circumstances. 2010-04-13 Project Management Courses Project management involves the planning, organisation and management of time, labour, budget and resources (employees, software, building materials, etc), in order to achieve a clearly defined goal (e. g. launching a new product, erecting a building). All project management programmes are part time and are typically aimed at current professionals with leadership responsibilities, or those who hope to move into such a role. The course content is therefore heavily geared towards the workplace. The discipline is closely associated with, and originally developed from, heavy industry and construction. Engineering, architects and quantity surveyors who are seeking to develop their project management skills are therefore well catered for, with three part time programmes are available from Waterford IT (MSc), DIT (MBA) and Trinity College (PDip). The DIT programme provides expertise in the all-round business skills (leadership, strategic management, etc) that would one expect from the world’s leading business qualification, as well as modules aimed specifically at construction project management. The other two (cheaper!) programmes focus exclusively on project management in the construction sphere with modules on issues such as people management, IT, and the legal aspects of construction. Interested parties, who require the financial support of their employer toward fees, would be well advised to clearly identify the benefits to the company of your enrolling before approaching the boss. Dr Trevor Orr, Course Director in Trinity College, says there has been a ‘bit of a fall back in class numbers’ with the ongoing recession, which has hit construction particularly hard, dissuading employers from sponsoring employees. The employer benefits from the increased skill set of the employee, and the fruits of a work-based project carried out by the student. Examples of recent projects, which the students themselves propose, include an examination of the costs and benefits of high bay lighting, and underpinning accident prevention through risk assessment. The benefits to the learner are substantial according to Dr Orr. ‘Project management qualifications are very important for anyone hoping to progress to senior positions, ’ he explains. ‘These skills – contract management, risk assessment, etc – are not really taught at undergraduate level and they’re highly sought after within the sector. In addition, people learning through CPD [continuous professional development] will not have the qualification to show for it that a postgraduate has. ’Project management qualifications therefore, are a key requirement of construction managers. But recent years has seen the discipline, with its highly desirable traits of controlled budgets and effective outcomes, become more and more popular in other sectors of the economy. IT Tralee provide a postgraduate Certificate in Computing Project Management; a minor award from which students can progress to an MSc in Computing. The course, according to Head of Computing and Mathematics Dept Aisling Sharkey, is designed to provide IT professionals with the skills not only to lead a team, but also to function effectively as part of a team and understand other people’s roles. Skills such as research ability, defining goals, scheduling and task management all contribute to the student’s workplace performance and the overall marketability of their CV. According to John F Kelly, Director of the Centre of Project Management, which provides a distance learning MA in Project Management, it is ‘evolving as a discipline. Traditionally project management was needed to manage resources in construction projects, but it is now widely used to manage organisational change. More and more organisations, ’ he continues, ‘are recognising the need to identify and implement the changes that are strategically required, or are being forced upon them. Kelly identifies the recession as a typical cause of these enforced changes. ‘Project management is all the more critical now; it gives direction and focus at a time when more and more are being asked to do more with less resources. Maybe a small bit of wastage could have been afforded in the past, but not anymore. Project management can deliver efficiencies. ’ He identifies SMEs that are attempting to grow as a sector that could particularly benefit from adopting project management; ’15 to 50 employees is a huge change. ’ Courses will typically cover specialised software and management information systems, which play a vital role in project management, but Kelly feels it’s equally important to never lose sight of the human touch. ‘Software’s only a tool, but people run projects. There is a need for good people management skills as targets need to be met in a short time frame. The project manager needs to develop good relationships with others. ’The key to good project management is its successful adaptation to different sectors, and students of the MA programme, as with all project management courses, are given the opportunity to apply in the workplace the tools and techniques they have learnt. Students also undertake a project for their employer, or a third party company. In what Kelly describes as ‘a very powerful learning experience’, students present their findings to the businesses, which then provide feedback to the college. Aside from UL, non-industry specific project management programmes are also available from UCD Smurfit Business School (MBS or MSc), and the Communications & Management Institute (Advanced Diploma – approved by the Project Management Institute). 2010-01-13 Human Resource Management: Student Case Study Name: Lauren Heney, Course: MA in Human Resource ManagementCollege: Dublin Business SchoolWhen I filling out my CAO form in 6th year at school I was not sure of what career path I wanted to take so in the end I decided that the best option would be to go for an arts degree in Maynooth and study my favourite subjects from second level: Music and Geography. This would result in becoming degree-qualified and gaining transferable skills simultaneously. Towards the end of my three-year degree, I started to think about what path to take next. Although I had really enjoyed my BA degree and had been really interested in the course-work, I didn't see a career in teaching or directing my career towards one of the subjects I had studied. I decided that I'd like to continue with my education by gaining a qualification in an area relating to my long-term career path. I did a bit of research and was looking into the areas of PR, marketing and HR. Encouraged by my family, the people who know my strengths and weaknesses, I decided to undertake a week's work experience during a term break from college in the recruitment and selection division of the HR offices of an Irish Financial Institution. It was here where I decided that HR was for me, I loved going in each day, working in the team where no one day was the same as the next and I learnt so much. . . all in the space of a week!The following September I started in DBS to study for a MA in Human Resource Management. Initially I was apprehensive as to how I would be able to keep up with absolutely no business or HR knowledge gained from my previous third level education. However, I soon got down to the study and although at times it was challenging, everything was taught starting from the basics up to the more complex details with a large emphasis on case studies and applying theoretical knowledge to real-life situations. The class size for the masters was significantly smaller than my undergraduate degree, which gave more time to go over any issues the class was having and to look at particular subjects that interested the class, in addition to HR related topics that were in the news at the time. It also meant that we all got to know each other much better, and we would help each other out during our studies as we got to know each person's strengths and weaknesses. I do not regret making the decision to undertake masters, as it was vital for me to further my education in order to direct my career in a particular direction. The challenge of the masters was a truly worthwhile experience that enabled me to accomplish this. Click here for more information about postgrad courses in Dublin Business School.   2009-09-17 Part Time Study Welcome to the Part Time Study section of Postgrad. ie! Here you will find plenty of information about the part time options that are out there, how to fit the study in with a career, and case studies of successful part time postgrads. 2009-05-29 Case Study - Event Management Like many others, JulieAnn Relihan decided to give her career a much-needed boost by enrolling in a part time postgraduate course. She had been working as a Marketing Executive for Hawaiian Tropic since 2005 - having graduated in International Marketing with French and Spanish in DCU – when she learned at the start of 2008 that Hawaiian Tropic would be moving its Irish operation to London in six months’ time. During her time with Hawaiian Tropic, JulieAnn had developed a keen interest in public relations from dealing with the firm’s outsourced PR agencies. This new newfound passion was to inspire her decision to return to education. ‘One of the reasons I did the course was because I knew for six months that I was going to be made redundant, so I needed more ammunition looking for a new job – especially in Ireland because the marketing and PR sphere here is not big and is very, very competitive. ’So JulieAnn did some research and decided to enrol in the European Institute of Communication’s (EIC) Postgraduate Diploma in PR with Event Management, which is a professional qualification accredited by the PRII (Public Relations Institute of Ireland). Postgraduate courses accredited by professional bodies are generally strongly orientated toward work-based skills, which was a major attraction for JulieAnn. ‘All the staff in the Institute have their own PR jobs outside of lecturing, so it’s a very practical education that you’re receiving, ’ she enthuses. ‘Obviously there is theory and exams but what makes it so good, and why I would recommend it, is that the backbone of the course is how you would apply what you’re doing in the classroom out in the real world. ’She mentions a PR campaign project based on their employer organisation as a prime example of this approach. The course has certainly paid off in terms of JulieAnn’s career ambitions. She started a new job in the marketing & PR department of a Dublin-based cosmetics company within two weeks of leaving Hawaiian Tropic. ‘I do think having the diploma on my CV and being able to say how I put in two nights’ a week from 6. 30 to 9. 00pm doing the course shows motivation, energy, and that you’re willing to put the time and effort into your career. ’Although JulieAnn believes it was easier for her than fellow students with children to carve out the time to study, she says that ‘it’s always hard to sit down and study, especially when you haven’t been in that mindset for a few years. ’ Thankfully the EIC organised study groups and sessions on the Saturdays leading up to the exams. All part time students should consider taking part in a study group, whether provided by the college or not, as they can be very beneficial. Even though she paid the course fee without any funding assistance, JulieAnn believes it was ‘worth every penny’. She now applies what she learnt during the course on a regular basis in her current role, writing effective press releases for example. Not only that, but like most part time postgraduate courses, which are attended by ambitious working professionals, the diploma was a valuable source of potential future contacts. Fellow students on JulieAnn’s course included a Fine Gael worker, an RTE reporter, and several other journalists. 2009-05-29 Distance Learning Welcome to the Distance Learning section of Postgrad. ie! Here you will find plenty of information about the distance learning options that are out there, how to fit the study in with a career, and case studies of successful distance learning postgrads. 2009-05-29 Distance Learning Distance, or online, learning is playing an increasingly relevant role in postgraduate education. While some working professionals can attend a postgraduate course in the evenings, many others can only afford to study at irregular times and weekends. Another common scenario is the person who is seeking a course that is highly specialised and not available in the nearest IT, university or private college. It is for learners with these specific problems that distance learning represents a valid option. So long as there is ready access to a pc or laptop with a broadband facility, online learning enables students to find the course that suits their learning needs, no matter where the college or student is based. Distance learning conveys many inherent advantages such as courses tend to be cheaper than traditional classroom programmes, learning can be carried out a pace and rhythm that suits the student’s lifestyle, and they are assigned a personal tutor who is always available to provide feedback and advice online, or on the phone. There are many subjects available to study through the distance learning format, but one sector that seems to be increasingly well represented at postgraduate level is education. Fiona Thomas is an example of the former category. She caught the teaching bug when she did some substitute teaching in 2000 while pursuing a business degree. She enjoyed the experience immensely, but was not willing to commit to another full time course, which was then the only way to become a fully qualified primary teacher. But after eight years working in human resources, Fiona discovered Hibernia College. ‘It was perfect because it meant I could work, pay the mortgage and all of that good stuff, and study for my qualification at the same time, ’ she says. Hibernia College provide postgraduate courses in a number of areas, including education, pharmaceutical medicine, and financial management. The Higher Diploma in Arts in Primary Education initially received criticism regarding its non-traditional approach to teacher training, but Fiona feels that this criticism drove the college ‘to work us [the students] very hard, in order to prove that the graduates were just as good as the other teachers. ’ And it seems that schools are happy with the results too: Fiona managed to secure work during the course, and she currently has a temporary position teaching sixth class. Postgraduate distance learning opportunities also exist for adult educators. The Master of Arts in Adult Learning and Development, provided by NUI Galway’s Open Learning Centre, advances the theoretical knowledge and critical skills of professionals such as vocational trainers, educational consultants, and human resource specialists in a range of sectors. Like numerous other distance learning courses, attendance is required at occasional workshops and seminars, which take place off campus in locations that are designed to be geographically accessible to the most number of students. E-learning has become an increasingly popular activity thanks to the ongoing rollout of broadband across Ireland, and the growing importance attached to learning and development in the workplace. The University of Limerick's Graduate Certificate in Technical Writing offers an introduction to this area, as well as to the increasingly valued discipline of technical writing. Management is another sector that is well served by distance learning programmes. In these times of economic difficulty, managers will often struggle to attend regular evening classes, and so distance learning programmes are often viewed as the most viable solution to a working manager’s learning needs. Dublin City University’s distance learning provider, Oscail, features four postgraduate courses that seek to improve managerial knowledge and skills in technology-intensive businesses. The MSc in Operations Management is designed for operations managers in the manufacturing and service sectors; the MSc in Internet Systems enables managers to effectively apply internet strategies in their organisation; the MSc in Information Systems Strategy allows students to confidently manage a workplace that is heavily dependent on information systems and technologies; while the MSc in Management for Sustainable Development provides students with an understanding of the theoretical, practical and legal aspects of modern environmental practices alongside key management functions in business. UL’s Centre for Project Management runs the distance learning MSc in Project and Programme Management. Students with at least 4 years’ experience in a supervisory role tackle modules such as Project and Programme Planning and Control and Programme Value, Risk and Decision-Making over the course of a two-year programme. Students conduct an in-company project, and also complete a research paper under the mentorship of a research supervisor. The UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business Schools is well known for its MBA provision, but it also runs a distance learning management programme for non-business graduates with no managerial experience. The Master in Management is a two-year programme that equips graduates for careers in areas such as financial services, operations, human resources, sales and marketing. Another benefit of distance learning is that application is not confined to Irish course providers. UK institutions such as Open University and the University of Ulster’s (UU) well-established distance learning centre, Campus One, provide a range of internationally recognised postgraduate qualifications. Karl Dalton is environmental manager of Connolly Hospital in Dublin, and is currently studying UU’s MSc in Environmental Management. He chose the course because it ‘offered the best qualification’ and is ‘totally relevant’ to his job. Both Fiona Thomas and Karl acknowledge that distance learning brings its own specific challenges. ’You have to be disciplined, to work at a consistent rate as opposed to cramming. When you’re not attending a class like you would in a conventional educational environment, it’s very much up to you to do the work, ’ says Karl. His career prospects and the responsibility of a family with three children fuelling his motivation during those long work nights and weekends spent studying. He emphasises the need for the learner to take responsibility for themselves and face up to the challenge. ‘There’s no such thing as a perfect method. Classroom or distance learning – there are advantages and disadvantages. I imagine most people who are studying are relatively young, so I would hope they are malleable and adaptable to change. ’ Karl is particularly happy that his ability to learn independently is greatly enhanced by the research skills that his tutors impart. ‘The biggest thing is to stay organised, ’ says Fiona, who concurs with Karl regarding the importance of learner motivation and responsibility. ‘I think that because all the people who did this course all have primary degrees, so we’re all well used to studying. Many of us have changed career and we know this is absolutely what we want to do and are therefore highly motivated. ’’I would highly recommend it, ’ says Karl of the distance learning option, while Fiona is even more succinct in describing her experience as ‘perfect’. Certainly fuel for thought for anyone who would like to enrol in a postgraduate programme, but feels that they have don’t have the time, or that the right course is simply not geographically accessible. Browse postgraduate courses on Postgrad. ie. Distance learning options appear at the bottom of the search results page. 2009-05-29 Conversion Courses Welcome to the Conversion Courses section of Postgrad. ie! Here you will find plenty of information about the conversion course options that are out there and case studies of successful conversion course postgrads. 2009-05-29 Management Courses Some graduates may be seeking a quality postgraduate course that will prepare them for a leadership position, but do not have the required amount of work or academic experience to enrol in an MBA programme. Thankfully there are full time and part time courses in fourth level providers around Ireland that offer an alternative route to managerial-level knowledge and proficiency. One-year, full time conversion courses such as the MSc in Business Management provided by the DCU Business School, and the MA in Business Management in UL’s Kemmy Business School, provide non-business graduates with a good understanding of core business topics such as economics, finance, marketing, human resource management, etc. The nature of these courses ensures a wide variety of applicants. Students of UL’s MA in Business Management for example include arts and engineering graduates, Irish and international students, the recently graduated and those returning to education from careers in construction, farming and bar management.   ‘A lot of students with for example, an Arts or Public Administration degree, ’ explains Course Director Elaine Berkery, ‘see this programme as a stepping stone into organisations they feel they cannot get into on the back of their existing primary degree alone. ’Dr Theo Lynn of DCU Business School believes students that combine an undergraduate specialism with a postgraduate business qualification are greatly increasing their career prospects. ’Every student has a multidisciplinary background and so are more likely to hit the ground running as a manager in a business which operates in a specific domain such as science, engineering, IT, etc, ’ he says. These courses are focused primarily on preparing students for the workplace. The MSc in Business Management for instance, ‘does not rely on providing an understanding of the theory, concepts and methods pertaining to management; but also the wider and higher level skills used to deal with unstable and uncertain environments. These include diagnostic, evaluation and problem solving, creativity and innovation, leadership, communication and collaboration skills, and above all the ability to learn effectively. ’ Furthermore, DCU students engage in ‘real-life consulting projects’ and case studies. According to Elaine Berkery, a research project carried out by students of the MA in Business Management enables them to combine and utilise their full range of skills. So for example, computing undergraduates typically carry out business management research in the context of the IT sector. This, and other projects such as an online business simulation, provides students with the opportunity to learn and work together in groups. ‘What really comes out, ’ she says, ‘is that there is so many different people from different backgrounds, and that leads to a huge richness of discussion in the classroom. Because an engineer will look at a problem in a different way to someone who has done, say, Arts or Nursing. ’Opportunities to obtain a postgraduate qualification in management also exist for non-business graduates seeking a part time or distance-learning format. The UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School offer a Master in Management through blended learning, a mixture of e-learning and 16 weekends of campus attendance spread over a period of two years. The Communications & Management Institute (CMI) in Dublin provides a one-year, part time Graduate Diploma in Management Studies. Instilling a modern and successful management style in students is a key goal, according to John O’Toole, Director of CMI. Referring to Douglas McGregor’s renowned XY theory of management, he says students are encouraged to recognise and avoid the old “X” style of management, which is dictatorial and authoritarian; and to embrace the “Y” approach, which is inclusive and encourages feedback and creativity. The Graduate Diploma in Management Studies, which is not part of the National Framework of Qualifications but is accredited by the Institute of Commercial Management (ICM) and recognised worldwide, seeks to produce graduates who are knowledgeable about every aspect of a company’s activities. ‘So after the financial management module for instance, ’ explains John O’Toole, ‘they’re able to converse with an accountant or finance manager about the financial statement, and interpreting profits, losses, expenses, etc. ’But why should an employer invest in an employee’s management education during these extremely trying times?  ‘It’s probably more important now than ever that the right people with the right qualifications are in place, ’ says O’Toole. ‘The only way to get out of a recession is to have qualified managers in place; people who can make decisions, whether that involves reducing costs or coming up with new ways to break into international and emerging markets. ’ He also cites as another motivating factor the project carried out by every student on their sponsoring organisation, analysing the direction it is taking, and how it might overcome the challenges that confront it. Such is the quality of work produced by CMI’s students that many have received pay increases and promotions, while their findings have been implemented my major players in the pharmaceutical, medical device, and IT sectors. John O’Toole asserts that research work of similar quality sourced from a consultant would cost ‘a couple of thousand euro’. Numerous taught postgraduate programmes also cater for the more advanced learning needs of business graduates who are pursuing roles in senior management. Courses such as NUI Galway’s MSc in Corporate Strategy and People Management, and the MBS in Strategic Management and Planning in UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School equip students with the skills to develop a deep understanding of organisational strategy, how they deal with change and develop successfully in today’s challenging environment. For Ms Phil Hanlon, Course Coordinator of DIT’s MSc in Strategic Management (available in full and part time formats), it’s of utmost importance that students realise the complexity of organisations and the decisions they need to take. The holistic approach taken by students to last year’s Integrative Case Study is an indication of this. Groups of students were required to investigate and present upon three topics:  the airline industry as a whole; a single airline operator – its challenges, use of technology, etc; and the finance of the operator. No lectures are involved in this project, just the obtaining and sorting of huge amounts of information. This is good preparation for the executive role, says Ms Hanlon, as they must regularly sift through volumes of information of varying quality before making a decision. Poor and unethical strategic decision-making based upon short-term goals has played a big role in the current economic chaos, she says, so students of the MSc in Strategic Management are encouraged to examine the wider, long-term implications of business decisions for all stakeholders and society in general. The use of ‘non-traditional’ (i. e. non-American/British) texts and case studies helps foster in students this refreshing and much-needed change in mindset. There is no questioning the rights and wrongs of one particular decision however, and that is deciding to further your skills, knowledge and career prospects with a postgraduate management course. 2009-04-29 Music Courses Studying music is seen by many as a life choice rather than a career move or educational conquest. Most postgraduate courses available in Ireland assume that potential applicants are music graduates and the entry requirements of most programmes reflect this. In some cases however, a degree in a suitable related subject will be sufficient or admittance can also be acquired on the grounds of a performance or interview, depending on the content of the course in question. The number of options available and their diversity from one another is reflective of all possible musical tastes and talents. The range on offer is also evidence of the room for variation within music itself. The focus can be on performance, theory, technology, or composition. In the University of Limerick there are five Master programmes, one of which is entitled MA in Community Music.   A one-year fulltime course that provides the skills and knowledge needed to forge a career as a successful musician or music administrator in community organisations. The course itself intends to develop abilities to facilitate the expression of work and talent effectively in a wide range of circumstances. Great emphasis is placed on performance and interaction within the curriculum. Graduates from this course are not pub singers or that guy on Grafton Street that warbles out of tune constantly. They tend to direct themselves towards careers in schools, multicultural arts groups, or arts councils. Alternatively, UL’s MA in Classical String Performance provides students with the most advanced classical tuition possible in violin, viola, cello and double bass. For the more theoretical types there is the MA in Ethnomusicology, which focuses on analysing the place music has in culture - using critical theory from contexts such as anthropology and gender studies. The MA in Music Therapy seeks to educate and prepare students for the profession of the same name. Typical graduate career paths would include using music skills in therapeutic work while working in special schools, nursing homes and helping those with intellectual disabilities. A more exotic choice might be the MA in Ritual Chant & Song, which concentrates on Western plainchant as well as the relevant Irish traditional songs. NUI Maynooth is another university renowned for its provision of music education at postgraduate level. The continual growth and position of information technology in music production has been recognised by the college with the inclusion of a MA in Computer Music, which explores the music applications of technology. Anyone who prefers the library to the computer lab might be more interested in the MA in Musicology, which is very research based. Those with a fondness for the stage will enjoy the MA in Performance & Musicology, which strives to juxtapose performance and practice with the theories governing musicology. All participants take part in a public recital at the end of the course. Taught courses available at Trinity College Dublin follow a similar theme. The MA in Music & Music Technologies is based largely on the relationship between music and technology, and how the latter can help or hinder the growth of the medium. Trinity also provides an alternative for those who prefer to research the history and role of music with the existence of the MA in Musicology & Music Theory, which is critical and analytical in looking at historical case studies and contemporary theory. This programme can be likened to the MA in Musicology on offer at UCD where there is also a strong emphasis placed on research; but the load is lessened with an annual field trip to cultural locations such as Paris or Vienna. As far as research options go music lovers are well provided for at Dundalk IT where opportunities are available in Musicology, Traditional Irish Music, Music Technology, Composition and Performance. Focus areas include Music Modelling and Audio Circuit Design. A current example of a research project is a study of the tradition and innovation in the vocal music of Arnold Schoenberg. A more technical based project, which is ongoing, is the development of an automated flowchart generator for C-sound audio. Careers in music are as diverse as the courses available. The most obvious question that needs to be addressed is exactly where your interests lie: on the stage, in the recording studio or in a library? One common characteristic no matter what your personal calling is a need for flexibility. There is a wealth of opportunities out there for those willing and able to be versatile in their careers. The typical career paths can be divided into the creative, performance, production/direction, and teaching arenas; yet there are many possible diversions and combinations within this rough estimation. Due to the budget cutbacks affecting primary and secondary schools the provision of music education at Junior and Leaving Certificate level is certain to suffer. This will invariably cause restrictions on the number of music teachers employed in both areas, meaning that one very certain career path for music graduates might now face upheaval. However one way to avoid employment issues and to supplement income is by taking advantage of the hugely popular and well-paid option of giving home lessons. Non-qualified teachers claiming to be highly skilled plague this market, and the need for those with the requisite qualifications and teaching ability is higher than ever. Perhaps the most important consideration to bear in mind when choosing a postgraduate in music is the passion you are sure to have for it. The chance to study your obsession at such a focused level is an exhilarating opportunity and well worth the sacrifice of time and money. 2009-04-28 Education Courses Continuing professional development is necessary in every career nowadays, no more so than in teaching. Pedagogy is constantly in flux with regard to new teaching practices, new technologies in the classroom, an increase of non-nationals in the student body, and the development of special needs education – to name just a few of the current issues. The most popular postgraduate development programme for teachers is the taught Master of Education (MEd). Available from several universities and teacher-training colleges nationwide, the MEd is a two-year part time programme. According to Professor Jim Deegan, Director of Postgraduate Studies in Limerick’s Mary Immaculate College, the profile of MEd students has been steadily getting ‘younger and younger’. Increasingly, young professional teachers are viewing the MEd as a natural progression of their teacher training, rather than an added bonus that might be undertaken a number of years down the line. In an interesting reflection of the commonly held view that teaching represents more of a ‘calling’ than a straightforward career choice, Professor Deegan believes that the majority of MEd students are ‘fundamentally motivated by continuing their study and professional development’, rather than ‘getting a foothold on the promotional ladder’. That’s not to say the MEd is not beneficial to the career prospects of an ambitious young teacher. According to Professor Deegan the programme provides the student with ‘additional and focused training in issues around leadership, curriculum development, the changing contexts of schools regarding special needs, issues of diversity, advances in pedagogy, and all of those things that would give you confidence going into an interview for principalship, the schools inspectorate, moving into academic life, and so on. ’A MEd is not a purely academic pursuit; it has real benefits for the teacher’s performance in the classroom. ‘Whatever they learn with us is focused on workplace realities’, says Professor Deegan, ‘we help them not only to theorise their own teaching and learning experiences, but also to develop action responses. There is very much a connection between what they’re learning in college, and what they’re realising is possible and useful in classrooms, schools, and communities. ’While the MEd broadens and deepens the students’ knowledge generally, the opportunity also arises to specialise in a particular area of teaching – not least through the programme’s strong research element, which involves a dissertation of about 25, 000 words in length. And this initial research experience frequently serves to whet the students’ appetite for further knowledge. ‘Increasingly we find that another new pattern is developing whereby students are progressing from the MEd to the PhD – they see the MEd not as a terminal degree or the final step in professional development, but as a step towards the PhD, ’ says Professor Deegan. Alternatively to the MEd, teachers who feel that their research skills are up to the task, and who already have a specific specialised subject in mind, can apply for the research based MA or MLitt in Education. These programmes usually involve a 60, 000-word thesis on topics selected from fields such as the sociology, history, or psychology of education; and are also available in a part time format from universities and teacher training colleges around the country. Some teachers may be seeking a more targeted taught postgraduate course than the MEd, and they will find a wide range of opportunities in higher education providers around Ireland. For example, guidance counselling is of growing importance to all second level students, confronted as they are by a bewildering array of learning and training opportunities after completing the Leaving Certificate. Full time, one-year Postgraduate Diplomas in Guidance Counselling are available from NUI Maynooth and UCC, while the University of Limerick and DCU provide a two-year part time option. Trinity College Dublin enables MEd students to specialise in guidance counselling with a part time module that runs on Fridays and Saturday mornings. Graduates of all these courses, except (for the moment at least) the Dublin City University programme, are entitled to apply for membership with the Institute of Guidance Counsellors (www. igc. ie). Teachers who aspire to, or currently hold, management positions in schools can improve their career prospects with a postgraduate diploma/masters in subjects such as education management, leadership or administration. Course providers of this type of programme include the University of Limerick, University College Cork, NUI Maynooth and St Angela’s College in Sligo. Other career paths that might be facilitated by a postgraduate qualification include subject specific programmes such as Religious Education, Music & Drama Teaching and Science Teaching. Developed jointly by the Athlone Institute of Technology, Waterford Institute of Technology and the cutting edge research body CALMAST (Centre for the Advancement of Learning of Maths, Science and Technology), the Postgraduate Diploma/MSc in Science Education accepted its first students in 2007. This two-year, part time course is designed for the professional development of science teachers in primary schools, and was created with the input of scientists, educationalists and practising teachers. ICT (information communications technology) is one of the fastest growing areas of professional development for teachers. The National Centre for Technology in Education is a government agency concerned with the provision of ICT in education, and they provide a range of courses to 11, 000 primary and secondary teachers every year, focusing on the use of ICT in teaching and learning. Several higher education institutions now recognise these courses as part fulfilment of certain postgraduate courses. Visit www. ncte. ie to view the complete list of participating colleges and the relevant courses. Jerome Morrissey is Director of the NCTE and he believes that Ireland’s history of involving technology in the classroom has been ‘hit and miss’. Nowadays however, ‘ICT is totally ingrained in everyday life, so it’s very important that we should try to harness it. You can source all kinds of rich resources and images online for example – so therefore it brings a richer learning experience to the classroom. ’It’s not just about internet use though. Audio and visual technology can also add greatly to the learning process. Morrissey mentions the highly successful FĺS initiative as an example of this. Currently rolled out in ‘hundreds of primary schools’, FĺS allows children to get involved in every stage of the filming process: storyboarding, script writing, operating a video camera, and art & design. ’When you use technology like that, to meet the learning objectives of the various subjects on the curriculum – well then ICT is really imbedded into the process of teaching and learning, and that’s where we want it, ’ he concludes. 2009-04-28 Clinical Therapies What motivation does a qualified, practising clinical therapist have to pursue a postgraduate qualification in their field of expertise? There are, in fact, numerous incentives to do so – several of which are unrelated to the acquisition of a different or more lucrative job. Trinity College Dublin, for instance, offers a taught MSc (Master of Science) in Occupational Therapy, which provides qualified practitioners with a number of compelling reasons to apply. Dr Deirdre Connolly, Trinity’s co-ordinator of postgraduate studies in Occupational Therapy, explains: ‘The students we have in our postgraduate Masters are already qualified occupational therapists. So, the main thing they want to do at this stage is to develop their research skills. Secondly, they also want to get a deeper understanding of what drives occupational therapy practice – what theoretical perspectives they can look at (as) the base and the core of their practice. And they’re also coming to brush up on any new developments around occupational therapy theory and practice. ’Occupational therapy is a practice devoted to enabling people with limitations or impairments to take part in everyday activities. Applicants to the Trinity programme, which is pursued over two years in a part-time capacity, usually need to have two years of practical experience to secure a place. Dr Connolly believes the course will not take occupational therapists on a wildly different career path to the one they were on beforehand – but says it does open up good opportunities to make progress. She says: ‘In terms of career possibilities, (the course) won’t lead them into a different career. It may, down the line, give them the opportunity to look at management positions. You have to have a Masters to become an occupational therapy manager now. ’UL (University of Limerick) offers a PGDip (Postgraduate Diploma)/MSc in Clinical Therapies – a course that is open to occupational therapists, physiotherapists, and speech and language therapists. Physiotherapy is a discipline devoted to the maintenance of good movement and functional ability in humans, while speech and language therapy is concerned with the treatment of people with communication difficulties. This programme is offered to clinical therapists who are eligible for registration with the relevant Irish professional bodies: the AOTI (Association of Occupational Therapists of Ireland), the ISCP (Irish Society of Chartered Physiotherapists) and the IASLT (Irish Association of Speech and Language Therapists). Course director Kieran O’Sullivan says participants have a wide variety of motivations for pursuing the qualification. He explains: ‘Most clinicians see the programme as a means of enhancing their critical analysis and clinical reasoning skills. Completion of the PGDip/MSc may facilitate promotion and enhance career prospects. Many local clinicians also complete individual modules without completing the entire programme, as they use specific modules to address their own individual learning needs. ’The programme is offered on a part-time or full-time basis over a maximum of five years. Those wishing to progress to the Masters programme must get at least a 2. 1 in the PGDip. Successful completion of a thesis is required to be awarded the MSc qualification. Given that the course encompasses three different disciplines, the programme allows for a great deal of flexibility – as O’Sullivan explains. ‘Some modules are multidisciplinary – to replicate the clinical setting where these professions work together in multidisciplinary teams – and provide the opportunity to exchange ideas and approaches to clinical practice, ’ he says. ‘Certain modules are alsodiscipline-specific, where appropriate. Within most modules there is the flexibility for participants to choose their direction of learning, to accommodate their individual learning needs and particular areas of interest. ’Indeed, flexibility is also a key element of Trinity’s Occupational Therapy programme – in terms of both the frequency with which the course content is updated, and the self-directed approach to learning it encourages among its participants. Dr Connolly explains: ‘Occupational therapy has expanded a lot and become better known – and we have a lot more occupational therapists in the country as well. We try to reflect the current needs of practice when we’re designing the course. We do upgrade it and we change it. ’ She continues: ‘I think the course is flexible, in terms of the students being able to customise it in terms of their own needs and their own practice areas. The research methods would be very much based on the area of research that they want to do. We do advise students to research an area of their own practice. ’Of course, the deployment of such an approach makes it necessary for programme participants to bring a good deal of practical experience into the course with them. Dr Connolly explains: ‘We like (participants) to be working for a minimum of two years, because it’s kind of a two-way process. We feel they have more to offer the course, as they have the practice experience behind them – and they can apply those practice experiences to the modules that we do. ’There are several other postgraduate programmes in clinical therapies available in Ireland. For instance, UCC (University College Cork) offers Postgraduate Certificate, PGDip and MSc qualifications in Advanced Healthcare Practice. These courses are open to occupational therapists, physiotherapists, and speech and language therapists. Candidates must have a professional qualification from approved schools, gaining a 2:2 or higher from their primary degree. Alternatively, they may have the equivalent professional diploma and two years of experience. The Certificate, PGDip and MSc qualifications are pursued over maximum periods of two, three and five years, respectively. UCD (University College Dublin) offers a PGDip/MSc in Musculoskeletal Physiotherapy for practising physiotherapists. Applicants must be eligible for ISCP registration and have two years of experience subsequent to obtaining their qualification. The course is conducted on a part-time basis over two years. So, there are quite a few exciting postgraduate programmes in clinical therapies available in Ireland – almost all of which boast a pleasing willingness to adapt to their participants’ needs. 2009-04-28 Theology and Religious Studies The range of theological and religious postgraduate courses that span the country is receiving applicants in healthy numbers, and contrary to popular assumption, these applicants do not tend to be heading for the seminary but can originate from such backgrounds as teaching, journalism and even banking. One course currently experiencing ‘extreme popularity’ is the Master of Arts in Christian Spirituality run at Mary Immaculate College Limerick. As Dr Rik Van Nieuwenhove, Senior Lecturer in the Department of Theology and Religious Studies, explains:‘Many people nowadays are in search of spiritual fulfilment and are interested in the Christian tradition and Christian mystics. Walk into any bookshop and you will see shelves lined with self help books and books promoting spiritual growth. There is plainly a need out there and we want to meet that need. ’This course is provided in the evening time, twice a week, to meet the needs of students who work during the day. Dr Van Nieuwenhove explains that students frequently apply who do not have a degree in Theology, but if they can display an interest and knowledge of the subject they may gain admission to the course. Also running part time at Mary Immaculate College is a Graduate Diploma/Masters Degree in Theology and Religious Studies. This programme consists of eight taught modules, including The Religious Quest: Phenomenon and Method and Contemporary Questions about God. Students gain the Graduate Diploma after two years’ study; those who achieve a 2:1 may transfer into the MA programme. At the Milltown Institute in Dublin, the most popular taught postgraduate course at is the HDip/Master’s in Applied Christian Spirituality. Dr Michael O’Sullivan, programme director, says the course attracts around twenty students each year. Although their student profile is changing as the programme attracts more male students, Dr O’Sullivan categorises the students as ‘mostly mature female laypersons from a professional background, usually caring professions such as teaching, counselling or social work’. Dr O’Sullivan observes that students gravitate towards this course because ‘they arrive at a stage in their lives where they have personal or professional issues that they want to work through. We do lots of self-development and lots of ‘inner work’ on this course, and we are very happy with the results’. In the first year of the course, students are taught how to be reflective practitioners, better communicators and to ‘grow as people’. Students are encouraged to engage in peer learning, whereby they spend one day per week supporting and discussing elements of the course with each other, thus forming a strong support network. In the second year, students undertake research in a relevant area. One such student, Carol Milton chose the subject of male suicide as her research topic. Ms Milton came to the Masters having always been interested in spirituality and saw her previous work with young people as the perfect jumping-off point. Having experienced the suicide of a close family member, she was keen to carry out research in the area. ‘I studied literature on suicide, looked at statistics, attended conferences given by the Irish Association of Suicidology and looked at the causes, such as mental illness, alcohol, sexual orientation and bullying. I wanted to examine low self esteem and how it can come from a lack of connectedness to society, a lack of purpose in the world’. The results of Ms Milton’s research are soon to be published by Veritas. Research activity in the area of Theology continues elsewhere at a healthy pace. The School of Religions and Theology at Trinity College Dublin is a centre of such activity, encompassing four fields: Biblical Studies, Jewish Studies, Theology and Ethics. Students conduct supervised postgraduate research in each of these fields, leading to a Master of Letters (MLitt) or Doctor of Philosophy (PhD). Students at TCD undertake research that often shines a light into previously dark corners of theology. One MLitt student, Damian Bruce, published a thesis on ‘Sexual Identity and Representation in the Bible'. The thesis took as its aim the examination of the portrayal of female sexuality in the biblical text, and attempted to determine its effect upon the wider depiction of women characters. Other theses at TCD have included examinations of topics as diverse as ‘Religious Influences on Medical Thought and Practices in the Graeco-Roman World’ and ‘Angels in Apocalyptic Literature’. All Hallows College runs postgraduate programmes in Theology and Religion with a particular focus on the pastoral area. The MA in Leadership and Pastoral Care provides holistic training in areas such as psychology, faith & culture, and human development. Students can also undertake research-based masters degrees whereby they conduct research that has its basis in the Christian tradition. All programmes run at All Hallows are DCU accredited. Mater Dei Institute, a division of Dublin City University, runs several MAs in the religious area, including School Chaplaincy and Pastoral Care and Adult Religious Education. Mater Dei also provides a Graduate Diploma in Theological Studies. The Institute specialises in training Religion teachers for secondary school teaching in Ireland. At St Patrick’s College Maynooth, perhaps the historical hub of theological education in Ireland, postgraduate options include a Masters Degree in Theology, Doctoral Degree in Theology (PhD) and a Masters Degree in Pastoral Studies (MPS). The Masters Degree in Theology involves at least a year of fulltime study, during which students choose from two modes. The first involves the study of moral, biblical or pastoral theology, followed by a minor thesis, which must be submitted within two years of completing the course. As part of the second mode, students complete a major thesis. Graduates of such courses tend to find employment in areas such as healthcare chaplaincy, community development work, counselling, religious education and youth work. However, these courses are often sought as a means of personal and professional development, rather than as an explicit part of a career trajectory. The array of courses in the theological and religious area attests to an increasing demand for education that stretches outside the strictly academic sphere and involves the holistic self. Areas such as spirituality have become accepted as academic subjects, and courses are reportedly experiencing healthy enrolment numbers, not only from laypersons but also from the odd atheist! In an Ireland that has shed the veneer of being a traditionally religious society, there is plainly a demand for a postgraduate education that reflects our religious heritage. 2009-04-27 Finance Courses Ireland’s financial sector, a source of considerable growth and prosperity for a number of years, has long been an attractive area for young graduates and those looking to upskill through a postgraduate qualification, as reflected by the wide range of courses on offer in the area. However, the effects of the global financial downturn have made themselves felt on the sector. ‘Business for the industry in general was booming from the year 2000 on, ’ states an Assistant Vice President with the influential Citigroup. ‘But obviously the recent drop in the market has affected fund performance meaning business has fallen off. This has led to recruitment freezes by some employers and a number of redundancies, although the Irish industry has not been affected too badly yet. ’One of the upshots of the current financial turmoil is that the benefits of gaining a postgraduate qualification in finance have been amplified. ‘2009 is likely to be better and I’d hope to see some improvements in the prospects for graduates although things will be tight enough in comparison to previous years. Gaining that extra qualification would definitely be an advantage, ’ according to the Citigroup AVP. This is a view also taken by Dr. Fergal O'Brien of University of Limerick’s Department of Accounting & Finance: ‘Many would argue that now is exactly the time that one should undertake a postgraduate course in finance so as to be strongly positioned for the upturn, whenever that may come. We’re witnessing a surge in interest from students who view the downturn as another reason to undertake a postgraduate qualification in addition to people recently made redundant in the financial services sector who have decided to skill up. ’Dr. O’Brien is the course director for UL’s MSc in Financial Services, a one-year full-time programme of study designed to equip students with the balance of academic knowledge and technical skills that are required for more high value-added positions available in the financial services industry in Ireland and abroad. ‘Furthermore, the MSc in Financial Services has an exchange agreement with Tongji University in Shanghai which sees 2 graduates per year studying and working in China. This is an exceptional opportunity for our students to gain experience of the global financial services industry, ’ continues Dr. O’Brien. In addition to UL’s programmes, which also include an MSc in Computational Finance, there are several innovative opportunities for students interested in pursuing further study in finance in Ireland. From its exciting location in Dublin’s International Financial Services Centre (IFSC) the National College of Ireland’s MA in Finance allows students to gain a masters qualification while simultaneously preparing for the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) examinations. This course is open to graduates from finance related areas who achieved 2nd class honours and have worked in the field for two years or more. UCD’s Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School, which in December 2008 was ranked 24th in the Financial Times European Business School rankings, offers an MBS in Finance over one or two years aimed at those with a business or business-related background. Also offered on a part or full-time basis is Trinity’s MSc Finance. This course is open to graduates who have achieved upper second class honours or better at undergraduate level in business related areas. Similar entry requirements are sought for entrance to UCC’s various finance related courses which include the MBS Corporate Finance and Accounting; MBS Management Information and Managerial Accounting Systems; MSc Finance; and the MSc Accounting. students who do not have a background in cognate fields of study or a higher second class honours degree. Amongst these are UCC’s Higher Diploma in Accounting and Corporate Finance, which accepts graduates from any discipline who have achieved a lower second class honours or have equivalent educational or professional qualifications. Postgraduate studies can unlock the door to a diverse range of prospective jobs. From fund management to investment and corporate banking, financial trading to consultancy roles, graduates have an abundant choice in career path. Further academic research in finance is also an option for those not immediately interested in moving into the private sector although private wages, which increased by 5. 7% up to Q2 2008, continue to be a strong pull factor. ‘The downturn in the economy has had an effect on positions in accounting and finance, ’ states Brian Fowler, Managing Director of Accountancy Solutions, a financial recruitment specialists based in Dublin. ‘Many sectors are not set to increase employment levels in the shorter term and this will have an effect on the number of positions available for graduates in 2009. However, the larger firms are currently doing ‘milk round’ interviews and we have been advised that they will all be recruiting reasonable numbers of graduates going forward. ’The continuation of the milk rounds demonstrates a quiet optimism amongst employers in the sector as companies position themselves to be prepared for the predicted upturn. As the government continues to invest in human capital and offer attractive tax incentives to foreign and domestic companies, employers such as Permanent TSB, one of the largest players in retail banking in Ireland, have offered employees career breaks worth up to €35, 000 over three years so as to weather the current storm without loosing valuable staff. ‘The benefit to a candidate who additionally completes a Masters degree is that they will bring a greater knowledge base to their first position’ Mr. Fowler concludes. ‘Or if they are continuing on to study for professional accountancy exams they will receive a far higher level of exemptions, thus allowing them to qualify in a shorter time. ’ 2009-04-27 Tourism and Hospitality Courses The success of the tourism sector was a driving force behind the Celtic Tiger’s roar. And now that this roar has withered to a soft whisper, the role of tourism & hospitality in Ireland’s future economy is more important than ever. Over eight million overseas visitors came to the country in 2007, which may astonish us considering the weather and the price of a pint but our Emerald Isle must be doing something right. A recent survey completed by Fáilte Ireland concluded that Ireland’s cultural heritage is worth over two billion euro to the tourist industry on an annual basis. More than half of the visitors asked cited cultural or historical interests as the main reasons for choosing Ireland as a destination. Patriotic pride aside, this is a heritage we ought to be extremely thankful for considering that almost 250, 000 people are directly employed in tourism and hospitality management, according to the figures of the Department of Arts, Sport and Tourism. As well as being a fundamental part of a country’s economic success or survival it should also be bore in mind that tourism is a constantly evolving industry that must adapt itself to suit and cater for different trends and demands. For this reason those employed in tourism or hospitality management must be equipped with appropriate management and leadership skills in conjunction with a high level of business acumen and innovation. A postgraduate course in either of these subjects will ensure that these necessary skills are not only learnt but are mastered to such a degree that not even a busful of angry and exhausted tourists will faze you. The wealth of opportunities available in the field is reflected by the choices of postgraduate courses available around the country. DIT offers an MSc in Tourism Management which is suitable for those with experience of working in the area as well as anyone completely new to tourism. Specific topics covered throughout the year (or two years, should you choose the part-time option) include e-commerce, marketing and customer relationships. Typical career paths would encompass management positions in the travel sector, community development, cultural organisations and national and regional tourism organisations. DIT also runs an MSc programme in Hospitality Management which provides participants with the knowledge and experience to progress in areas such as hotel management, marketing and sales, consulting and human resource management. All aspects of the hospitality industry, everything from five star hotels to low scale catering companies, are considered within the course which has a business based curriculum. Core subjects would be inclusive of Intercultural Studies, Property Assessment Management and Tourism Forecasting. For those with a more specific role in mind there are other, more particular, postgraduate courses available at DIT such as the MSc in Environmental Health and Safety Management, the MSc in Food Safety Management, the MSc in Health Care Risk Management and the MSc in Culinary Innovation and Food Product Development. Considering that a recent report by the Expert Group on Future Skills Needs (EGFSN) stated that over 4, 000 new jobs were available for chefs/cooks between 2000 and 2005 it might be time to channel your inner Gordan/Nigella and benefit from the opportunities on offer. For those who would prefer to be left to their own devices and away from the more structured approach of a traditional taught programme, Waterford IT offers plenty of research opportunities in tourism and hospitality management. The important position held by research in tourism in the college is evident with the introduction of the Centre for Research, Creativity and Innovation in Tourism in 2007. The Centre seeks to contribute towards the strengthening of management capability, creativity and innovation within the tourism sector, and offers great support for any potential student interested in developing their education and expertise. Key areas of research carried out by the Centre include Food Product Development & Culinary Creativity, Tourism Destination Management, Culture and Heritage Tourism, and Tourism & Hospitality Legislation. Athlone Institute of Technology and Galway-Mayo IT’s West of Ireland Centre for Tourism and Hospitality Research, which is linked with Fáilte Ireland and Ireland West Tourism, also welcome tourism and hospitality related research proposals. The National Centre for Tourism Policy Studies (NCTPS) in the University of Limerick’s Kemmy Business School invites research proposals on every aspect of tourism from high calibre graduates of the following degrees in particular: economics, geography, sociology, anthropology, business studies, commerce, and tourism/hotel management. Tourism is not simply a domestic industry, but a global enterprise. This has been recognised by the NCTPS, with the provision of their MA in International Tourism. The key aim of this programme is to give participants an appreciation for the key issues that affect the position of tourism around the world including the planning and development of cities and the economic appraisal of a country’s finances. This programme prepares students for careers in professions such as tour operator and tour guide manager, as well as roles such as airline executives and those in rural, regional and national tourism organisations such as Fáilte Ireland and Discover Ireland. Research funding is also available direct from Fáilte Ireland. For example, last year Fáilte Ireland ran an Applied Industry Research Fellowship Scheme for senior lecturing staff who engaged in action based research projects in an aspect of tourism and hospitality education. The organisation also places great emphasis on learning and development programmes in order to ensure that today’s tourism professionals are fully equipped to deal with the erratic nature of the business. Professional development courses available include Management Development, Business Development, Finance, Human Resources, Marketing, Tour Guiding, Food & Beverage, and Health & Safety. As international travel becomes even more accessible, the need for highly skilled professionals in the tourism and hospitality sector will also rise. These important areas of the Irish economy will have a continual demand for those with the relevant qualifications. Go to Postgrad. ie for full details of courses and take your first step into this exciting sector. 2009-04-27 Government Sources Back to Education Allowance (BTEA)The Back to Education Allowance is a scheme that enables the unemployed, lone parents and people with disabilities who are in receipt of social welfare payments to enrol in approved full time courses without losing those payments. The only BTEA approved postgraduate courses are those that lead to are Higher Diploma in any subject (e. g. primary or secondary teaching). Other awards, such as a Master’s degree are not applicable. The BTEA is a form of income support that is not means-tested, and is not affected by earnings from part time work or the applicant’s eligibility for the maintenance grant. Visit www. welfare. ie for further information. ErasmusUnder this programme postgraduate students are eligible to apply for financial support that enables them to spend periods of three to twelve months studying or working in any of the 27 EU member states, as well as Iceland, Norway, Liechtenstein and Turkey. Students with disabilities are eligible for additional assistance and special provision is made for students from disadvantaged backgrounds. The Higher Education Authority distributes EU funding for the Erasmus programme to Ireland’s higher education institutions. Contact the International Office of your institution for further information. Graduate Skills Conversion ProgrammeStudents of many information technology-related postgraduate courses are entitled to subsidised fees, thanks to this government programme that is seeking to address the shortfall of ICT skills in the Irish economy. Over 150 part- and full time courses, ranging from Environmental Engineering to Microelectronics, were available at a subsidised fee of €2, 000 in 2009/2010. To find the latest list of courses that are eligible for funding under this scheme please visit the Funding section of www. hea. ie. Irish Government Exchange ScholarshipsThe Irish Government has an agreement with a number of foreign countries, where it sponsors a scholarship for an international student studying here in exchange for financial support for an Irish student researching or studying at postgraduate level in the international student’s country. Countries involved in this initiative include EU members, Australia, China, Japan, Mexico, Russia, Malaysia, Switzerland, Turkey and the USA. Visit www. education. ie for more information on this scheme. Student Assistance Fund Every publicly funded higher education provider in Ireland receives Student Assistance funding from the state. Students pursuing a full time course of at least one-year’s duration can apply to the college for monetary assistance if they are experiencing temporary or ongoing financial difficulties. An application can only be made once you have registered for your course. 2009-02-25 Disabled Students Dr Ciaran Barry ScholarshipsEvery year one or two students with a disability undertaking a postgraduate research course in any discipline are awarded the Dr Ciaran Barry Scholarship. Visit www. crc. ie for further information on how to apply. Funds for Students with DisabilitiesThe college, on behalf of students with a disability, makes applications to this government fund. Funding can be sought for three different areas of assistance: Assistive Technology Equipment and Software, Personal and Academic Support, and Transport. Contact the Disability or Access Officer in your college for further information and application details. 2009-02-25 Industry Awards North-South Masters BursariesUndergraduate students currently registered with an Irish or Northern Irish university or the Dublin Institute of Technology (or who have graduated within the past two years) and are planning on doing a Master’s or PhD (taught or research) in the other jurisdiction can apply for a North-South Masters Bursary. Worth €15, 000 each, the bursaries involve areas of study that are of particular interest to business and industry, and are co-sponsored by individual companies. Visit www. universitiesireland. ie for further information. O’Reilly Foundation ScholarshipsSir Anthony O’Reilly established the O’Reilly Foundation as a charitable body in 1998. Scholarships are awarded to exceptional postgraduate students with at least a 2. 1 degree who wish to study at PhD level or equivalent. Although PhD students of all disciplines are encouraged to apply, preference will be given to the following fields of study: Business Studies, Law, Marketing, Media Studies, Science, Technology and Arts. The scholarship is currently €25, 400 per annum per scholar and is usually awarded for two years. Visit www. oreillyfoundation. ie for more information. 2009-02-25 Other Sources EmployersSome postgraduate students are lucky enough to be sponsored by a current or future employer. If you present your case in terms of what your course/research will bring to the company and how much your work performance will benefit from a postgraduate course, they may find your request for sponsorship simply too hard to refuse!Tax-ReliefTax relief is sometimes available for fees of part- and full time courses where an applicant has been working and paying income tax. Contact your local tax office or visit www. revenue. ie for further information. WagesFull time postgraduate students can sometimes afford to work part time, depending on the course subject and flexibility. Many university departments offer postgraduates paid roles as teaching assistants or tutors. 2009-02-25 Environmental Analysis - Student Profile Dr. Carmel MoranPhD Graduate in Environmental AnalysisInstitute of Technology SligoI graduated this November with a PhD in environmental analysis. My academic journey with IT Sligo began a number of years ago, as a student on the Analytical Chemistry programme. The course included a strong practical and research element, and after graduating with honours, I decided that I would like to continue studying and enrolled in a research masters. My project was on the uptake of radiation by plants, and was part of a multidisciplinary multi-institutional study on Biosolids, funded by the Programme for Research in Third Level Institutions (PRTLI). The overall programme included researchers in TCD, UCD, UL, NUI Galway, NUI Maynooth and the University of Melbourne. During my studies, I attended UCD for training on advanced instrumentation and analytical techniques. My work progressed well, and after approximately two years, I transferred to the PhD register. During the course of my studies, I did demonstration and lecturing work at IT Sligo, further developing my career. The project was flexible, allowing me to focus on other developments at particular times, while ensuring completion of high quality research. I am now a lecturer in the Institute and am busy applying for research grants to further my professional career in academia. 2009-02-11 Software Engineering - Student Profile Anne-Marie FitzpatrickMSc in Software EngineeringAthlone Institute of TechnologyHaving worked in software testing, systems administration and in web development with Microsoft, Digital and Élan earlier in my career, I had long thought about undertaking postgraduate study in software engineering. That opportunity arose in 2004 when I registered for the MSc in Software Engineering at Athlone Institute of Technology. One of the attractive elements of the course is that it is offered on an ACCS (Accumulation of Credits and Certification of Subjects) basis, as well as being offered full-time. This meant that I could study at my own pace and in October 2008, I graduated. I found the modules in Computer Graphics and Internet and Multimedia Systems particularly interesting. These built on the knowledge I had already acquired in my professional career and were of considerable assistance in my current role as webmaster and computer technician at AIT. For my dissertation I researched benchmarking XML databases. While there is much doom and gloom about the state of the economy at present, most sources are agreed that there is a shortage of Irish software engineers. Obtaining a Masters qualification in this area will hopefully enhance my own career prospects, as well as affording me a sense of personal satisfaction and fulfilment. 2009-02-11 Nursing Student Profile Graduate of the Postgraduate Diploma in Nursing (Education)School of Nursing and Midwifery, NUI GalwayMy name is Rachael Comer. I work as a staff midwife in a Gynaecology ward in the West of Ireland. I love working in Women’s Health and in particular enjoy educating women about their care, and being a preceptor to student nurses and midwives. This motivated me to pursue a Postgraduate Diploma in Nursing (Education) in the School of Nursing and Midwifery, National University of Ireland, Galway. I thoroughly enjoyed this programme as it provided me with the theoretical knowledge and practical skills to educate nurses and clients, using different teaching methods to improve engagement with learning.   At times I did find the course challenging, as it made me think about education in a different way and pushed me to try new and innovative ways of teaching.   Overall though the experience was really great and having lecturers who are encouraging and motivating contributed to a wonderful learning experience.   I now feel more confident as an educator and this programme has opened up further career opportunities for me. Now as well as working in the clinical area I also work as a part-time lecturer. Long term, I hope to return to the National University of Ireland, Galway to complete my PhD. 2009-02-11 Commercial Irish Research Forum Research can be both stimulating and rewarding yet many problems can emerge when seeking to transform your findings into a marketable commodity. This is undoubtedly a common problem in today’s environment one that needs to be addressed for Ireland to maintain itself as a global centre for research and development. Enterprise Ireland intends to address this area of difficulty in a forum that will take place on the 18th June in the Guinness Storehouse. The idea is to give researchers the opportunity to voice their opinions on the current Irish research commercial centre; and what can be done to make it more effective. ‘The Bench to the Boardroom: Commercial Irish Research’ is the title of the forum during which three researchers will give presentations in which they will describe their experiences in bringing their work to the marketplace. A One To Watch award will also be a feature of the activities presented to the researcher whose commercial efforts are seen to have the most business potential. Places are limited; click here for more details. 2008-06-05 News Welcome to the Postgrad. ie News Section, where you will find all the all the latest stories about fourth level education and graduate opportunities in Ireland and abroad. 2008-05-28 Opt To Be Taught IIf it is a taught postgraduate programme you wish to apply for it is important to be aware of what is involved - the differences and similarities between this format and that of a research programme. While research programmes call for an impressive degree of self-motivation and persistence due to the amount of individual work required, taught programmes have a structured format that is quite similar to your experience at undergraduate level. That is not to imply that taught programmes signal an easier ride at this level. They are usually completed in a shorter time frame than research programmes with a usual duration of one (full time) or two years (part time), and requiring a very intensive level of study, assignment work and research. The most important factor to consider is, obviously enough, the subject. If you make the commitment to undertake a postgraduate course it is essential to bear in mind the specific nature it will take and a less than consuming interest in something may quickly be extinguished at such a concentrated level of study. Although much of the study will be in the form of lectures, exams, seminars and assignments, taught programmes in Ireland aslo recognise the value of research skills by incorporating a 10, 000-20, 000 word dissertation in the course of the study. So be warned that taking this option will in no way minimise time spent in the library! For those unsure of their ability or desire to undertake research programme, a taught course is the ideal way to get a feel for postgraduate study and research in your chosen field. 2008-05-01 Rural Development Courses Rural Ireland faces a plethora of significant challenges caused by factors at home and abroad. Farming is simply losing its viability as a full time profession, particularly in the meat sector with Irish farmers, who are so reliant upon export markets, being hit severely by developments such as the flooding of the EU market with cheaper imports from places like South America, and the imminent end of EU export subsidies in 2013. Nearly two thirds of the IFA’s (Irish Farming Association) 130, 000 members are now forced to combine farm work with other part time employment and in the last four years alone, the national ewe herd has fallen from 4½ to 2½ million, as farmers abandon loss-making lamb farming. It is not just on an agricultural level however, that Ireland’s rural society is mired in difficulty. Regions such as the border counties suffer from a brain drain as young people seek jobs in the flourishing cities and towns, and social services are gradually eroded as populations shrink in relation to burgeoning urban centres. These developments are damaging rural areas on economic and social terms. Programmes such as UCD’s MSc (and Graduate Diploma) in Rural Development are an educational response to such issues. A one-year full time course, it is designed for students from Ireland and overseas who wish to pursue a career in rural development with organisations such as local development companies, county councils, the ESRI and the Western Development Commission. The programme involves coursework from September to May. The taught modules cover areas such as Economics and Sociology in Rural Development, Rural Enterprise & Marketing, Social Research, Communications and Rural Development Policy. If the required standard is met in exams, students go on to complete a minor research thesis in the lead up to the following September in order to acquire the MSc. For Course Co-ordinator Anne Markey, the research thesis represents a crucial opportunity for students to pursue projects that are of benefit to their home region. ‘We try to assist them to do something practical so that they link up with the local development agencies on the ground, ’ she says. The many overseas students, often state employees from developing African nations such as Ethiopia and Tanzania, also return home to carry out their research thesis. The strong international element of UCD’s MSc in Rural Development applies not just to the nationality of the students, but also the course work. Many of the case studies that are examined are of foreign origin and as Markey points out, ‘the principles of rural development apply internationally. ’  Irish case studies involve examining companies such as Ballyhoura Development Ltd – a development organisation in North Cork and Limerick: ‘they would be nearly the “laboratory rat” of rural development in Ireland. ’ Students are also taken on field trips; in 2007 it was Carlow, where the class visited Teagasc, local farmers who were diversifying into new enterprises, and local development agencies.   The programme examines roughly three various approaches through which the farming community can improve their situation: improving farming efficiency; farmers (or their spouses) engaging in retraining in order to exploit additional income opportunities off the farm; or farmers developing new enterprises and specialisations with their existing resources. But as Anne Markey is at pains to point out, the programme is concerned not just with agriculture, but also ‘the broader rural community and how these communities can help themselves with economic and social developments, not just “what can the government do for us?” but “what can we do for ourselves?”‘UCC also offer a postgraduate programme in rural development: the two-year full time MSc in Co-Operative Organisation, Food Marketing and Rural Development (year one of which leads to the award of a Postgraduate Diploma). The programme is focused on fostering innovative development in the rural economy, with particular emphasis on co-operatives, social enterprises and food business in Ireland and overseas. Co-operatives play a major role in the rural economy in particular, and in 2006 there were 1, 040 registered in Ireland, comprising over 270, 000 members, 38, 000 employees and generating €3. 8 billion in sales revenue. Worldwide, co-operatives account for over eight million members. Modules in the Postgraduate Diploma include Co-Operative Organisation, Food Marketing, Rural Development and a Practical Training Placement. During this placement, students carry out a project while working with a co-operative, food firm or development agency in Ireland or abroad. Previous placements have been obtained by students in the UK, Denmark, the US, Italy, Germany and Russia. The year also includes examination of case studies, field trips and workshops conducted by visiting experts. An excellent opportunity is available to some graduates of the Postgraduate Diploma in Co-Operative Organisation, Food Marketing and Rural Development to undertake a fully funded work placement in a developing country such as Burkina Faso, Ethiopia and the Philippines. These placements often form the basis for the research dissertation that all students are required to complete in second year in order to attain the MSc. Previous research topics that were inspired by working abroad have included food security, credit and micro-finance, and soil and water conservation. Queen’s University in Belfast provide a third, part time option for those seeking a postgraduate education in rural development. After two years of this programme students are awarded a Graduate Diploma, with a successful third year culminating in a Master of Science in Rural Development. Rural development is a major challenge in terms of poverty, depopulation, etc. to societies all over the globe. And as a multidisciplinary subject of postgraduate study, it is a pathway to many rewarding careers in the public and private sectors, in Ireland and abroad. 2008-03-20 Veterinary Studies UCD is the only institution in Ireland that provides the Bachelor of Veterinary Medicine (MVB), and as the degree is registered with the Veterinary Council of Ireland, graduates can work as vets immediately on receiving the award. Most graduates take the opportunity to go into practice for a few years, acquiring vital experience in a real world environment, before returning to UCD in order to further their education/training. At this stage, graduates may choose between one of two options: a residency programme or further study in the form of a Masters in Veterinary Medicine (MVM) or PhD. Applicants for a residency position must hold a veterinary qualification registrable with the Veterinary Council of Ireland (such as the MVB) and have either successfully completed an internship or several years of clinical practice. UCD’s Veterinary Hospital provides formal training in various disciplines that are designed to fulfil the training requirements and eligibility for the European College Diploma Certifying Examinations. These disciplines include: small animal internal medicine, small animal surgery, veterinary reproduction, large animal surgery, large animal medicine, herd health, diagnostic imaging, veterinary anaesthesia, veterinary morphological pathology, veterinary clinical pathology and veterinary parasitology. At the moment residents are not formally registered as postgraduate students in UCD – however, there are discussions currently under way to change this, and it is hoped that the situation will be clarified sometime in 2008. Residency programmes are three years in length, and although variations exist, they all share certain features:• Supervision by a European Diplomate of each discipline with formal meetings every 6 to 12 months• Structured programme divided into clinical work and research/study, with obligatory training in different centres and conference attendance as outlined by individual programmes• Mandatory attendance and participation in training seminars and ward rounds• Specialised training in certain disciplines• Presentations of both CPD (continuing professional development) and original scientific research at national and international conferences • Publication of peer reviewed scientific articles (usually two: one as author and other as co-author)• Submission of case log, activity log and publications prior to acceptance for formal examination• Establishing a research project in a relevant topicApplicants for the Master of Veterinary Medicine (MVM) are also obliged to hold a qualification that is recognised by the Veterinary Council of Ireland. The MVM involves carrying out research for a minimum period of one year and no longer than three years. Veterinary clinical science research in UCD focuses on enhancing animal health, welfare and performance. Through clinical research, it aims to understand the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of disease at both the individual animal and herd level. With its state-of-the-art facilities and its unique status as a referral hospital, the University Veterinary Hospital provides an important resource for this research. The main areas of research include:• Development of new population medicine approaches to control animal diseases• Development of strategies for detection, prevention, control and therapeutic intervention for diseases of national and zoonotic importance• Development of innovative herd health programmes• Improvement of health and welfare of companion animalsDetails of funded research projects in the veterinary clinical science research area are posted on the school web site under the research opportunities section. Projects listed are updated as funding becomes available. Alternatively, if a student has access to their own funding and wishes to apply to the MVM they would firstly need to make informal contact with a potential supervisor for their research. Details of staff profiles are available on the school website. Veterinary graduates can also apply for direct entry to a PhD degree – there is no requisite for an applicant to firstly attain an MVM. However, the applicant must hold a minimum of a 2. 1 honours undergraduate degree to be eligible for direct entry to a PhD degree. UCD runs ‘structured’ PhD programmes where, in addition to completing a comprehensive original research project, students can also attend taught modules for improving the personal knowledge and transferable skills that are required in the workplace. At the time of writing the UCD Veterinary School are in the process of applying for accreditation from the AVMA (American Veterinary Medical Association), with the results of the application to be announced in March 2008. Many vet schools outside the US seek this globally recognised accreditation as it allows employers in the US to compare graduates with their American counterparts, and it will also facilitate educational opportunities for UCD students in the US. One institution that currently boasts AVMA accreditation is the Royal Veterinary College in London. The RVC (www. rvc. ac. uk) is the oldest vet school in the UK and has a strong tradition of welcoming international students; and in the Queen Mother Hospital for Animals, is associated with the largest veterinary training hospital in Europe. A variety of masters opportunities on offer in the RVC include programmes such as an MSc in Wild Animal Health and MSc in Control of Infectious Diseases.   PhD students are currently involved in research in the following areas: musculoskeletal biology; reproduction, genes and development; cardiovascular and inflammation biology; and infection and immunity. The RVC offers student scholarships for both one-year internships and three-year residencies. For those practising vets who are unable to overcome the practicalities of interrupting their career in order to return to full time training, the RVC also provides two masters programmes (MSc in Livestock Health and Production and MSc in Veterinary Epidemiology and Public Health) and a series of CPD short courses through the medium of distance learning. The veterinary career offers many opportunities for career development and specialisation through postgraduate training and CPD at home and abroad, so it is well worthwhile investigating all the options before committing to a programme. 2008-03-20 test last sub test last sub test last sub test last sub test last sub test last sub test last sub test last sub test last sub test last sub test last sub test last sub test last sub test last sub test last sub test last sub test last sub test last sub test last sub test last sub test last sub test last sub test last sub test last sub test last sub test last sub test last sub test last sub test last sub test last sub test last sub test last sub test last sub test last sub test last sub test last sub test last sub test last sub test last sub test last sub test last sub test last sub test last sub test last sub test last sub test last sub test last sub test last sub test last sub 2008-03-12 Strategy for Science These are good times for those with an interest in science at postgrad level. With the Government committed to investing in research and a wide variety of career options available, there has never been a greater incentive for the budding scientists of the future to take the plunge. The phrase ‘knowledge economy’ gets thrown around a great deal. There are various definitions of what it really means, but in practical terms it refers to efforts to create economic activity with a higher value. So rather than investing in basic manufacturing capacity only for investment to go to locations where capital costs and wages are much lower, for example, the focus shifts to high tech manufacturing and, even more importantly, the research and development work that takes place around it. The National Skills Bulletin 2006 reported that 24, 400 persons were employed in science occupations, representing 1. 25 per cent of total employment. These workers were primarily employed in the manufacture of chemicals and chemical products and in health and social work. Engineering and scientific technicians comprised the largest single group. Between 2000 and 2005, overall employment of scientists increased at a higher rate than overall employment growth. Biological scientists were most in demand, with 1600 additional positions created over the five year period, while employment of scientific and other technicians, physicists and other natural scientists also grew strongly. However, with the number of students studying science at undergraduate level declining in recent years, there is the danger that if this trend continues, a shortage of research scientists can be expected in the future. This is a possibility the Government is acutely aware of judging by its various science and technology initiatives. Most of us would be cynical when it comes to political commitments, but this is one area where the Government has puts its money where its mouth is. For example, the Strategy for Science, Technology & Innovation 2006-2013 includes a commitment to doubling the number of PhDs in Ireland. The strategy also aims to allow researchers to move from PhD training to postdoctoral positions and move in and out of the country to gain international R&D experience more easily. There has been much debate within the university system about the need for a graduate school type mechanism to ensure the most effective professional development for researchers. It is suggested that this more structured approach to postgraduate formation also has the potential to reduce the time taken to complete a PhD and increase the completion rates of entrants to doctoral programmes. In November the Minister for Enterprise Trade and Employment announced Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) research investment awards amounting to €87 million across a number of industry-academic projects. This is the largest funding award made by SFI under its Centres for Science, Engineering and Technology (CSET) and the new Strategic Research Clusters (SRC) programmes. The awards will support one CSET and twelve SRCs. The award recipients work in biotechnology and information communications technology across 11 academic institutions in Ireland and their partnerships with industry involve a total of 48 companies, both multinational and indigenous. The project involves almost 500 senior researchers, post docs and PhD students. In September, the Embark Initiative operated by the Irish Research Council for Science, Engineering and Technology (IRCSET) confirmed offers of research funding to 49 candidates from the second call under its Postgraduate Research Scholarship Scheme 2007. The funding of approximately €3. 6 million will support new Doctoral and Masters level researchers in science, engineering and technology. PhD funding is made available for up to three years to outstanding students, although this time period may be revised to cater for students whose research demands longer time periods. For those who complete their postgraduate studies the financial rewards can be considerable. Last year’s Forfas report on Comparative Starting Salaries and Career Progression of Graduates in Science, Engineering and Technology (SET) found that graduates with higher qualifications, such as PhDs, tend to be paid significantly more than those with just primary degrees. More than 80 per cent of PhD graduates in a range of areas including engineering and biosciences earning starting salaries in excess of €33, 000. The report also said that stipends for postgraduate study in Ireland at €24, 000 continue to be sufficiently attractive to encourage sufficient competition for research places amongst candidates from Ireland and abroad. ‘We will need to maintain the competitiveness of student stipends over the coming years at a level that is attractive to the best students, without compromising quality, so as to achieve the Government’s objective to double PhD output in the sciences and humanities by 2013, ’ said Mary Cryan, chair of the Science Council. The fact Ireland does not yet have a sufficiently high profile as a location of choice for world class research means that persuading the best researchers from Ireland and abroad to work here can be difficult. The good news for future postgrads is that there are also plans to make science a more attractive option by offering flexible career paths to reduce the reliance on two year post doctoral contracts. Emphasis will be placed on sustainable career development rather than only focusing on early stage careers. At the moment, there is limited opportunity for career development within the higher education sector and the Advisory Science Council has been asked to examine and come forward with proposals on this issue. 2008-02-25 Sports Medicine Irish students who wish to pursue a career in a sports-related field, but do not have an inclination towards a participatory sporting role, have numerous interesting postgraduate options available to them. There is now a wide range of courses in sports medicine operating throughout the country, and it is an area in which the standard of instruction and education has been steadily improving. The discipline that immediately springs to mind, when sports medicine is mentioned, is physiotherapy. Peter Hopkins is a chartered physiotherapist, who completed a Masters in Physiotherapy in UCD, specialising in Golf Mechanics. He also completed a Certificate in Manual Therapy, in Perth, Australia – the country widely regarded as possessing the finest physiotherapy postgraduate options – but feels that Ireland’s programmes within this field are steadily narrowing the perceived quality gap. ‘I believe that Irish postgraduate education, in relation to physiotherapy, has come on in leaps and bounds in the recent past, ’ Hopkins states. ‘People once preferred to travel to Australia to do post grads. But, with the arrival of a lot of new post grad courses in Irish universities – especially in manual therapy – more people choose to continue to study at home. ’Dr. Aideen Henry, Coordinator of the Masters in Sports and Exercise Medicine, and the Masters in Sports and Exercise Physiotherapy at NUI Galway, echoes this assessment.  ‘I believe the standard (of Irish postgraduate education in sports medicine) is high, ’ she states. ‘It is equivalent to the UK, but behind New Zealand and Australia, where the programmes are longer established. ’One of the real positives, when assessing the standard of Ireland’s postgraduate courses in sports medicine, is that the skills gleaned by postgraduates in this area can be applied very directly to their subsequent work. Peter Hopkins, for instance, has pursued a very successful career, which has incorporated his area of postgraduate specialisation. ‘I based my research on golf biomechanics, and now a lot of my work is with golfers of all abilities, ’ he explains. ‘I work closely with the teaching pro, putting together rehabilitation programmes to help golfers build a more efficient golf swing, which aids performance and helps avoid injury. ’But what programmes are available to those who wish to pursue a career in sports medicine? As was previously touched upon, NUI Galway offers MSc courses in both Sports and Exercise Medicine, and Sports Physiotherapy. These courses are not just concerned with the diagnosis and treatment of sports injuries; they also provide students with the necessary skills to give advice on the prevention of injury. In addition, the programme provides instruction in the theory and application of Sports Psychology, Sports Nutrition, and ethical issues within sport (among numerous other modules). There is a range of good career opportunities deriving from a course such as this. To become a team doctor with the FAI, IRFU or GAA, one must have a masters qualification in sports and exercise medicine. Indeed, Dr. Aideen Henry believes that there are a number of specific areas in which graduates can hone and pursue their skills, following completion of their qualification. ‘Doctors incorporate sports and exercise medicine into their general practice, accident & emergency, and orthopaedic practices, ’ she explains. ‘Also, physios incorporate sports and exercise physiotherapy into their hospital, private practice and team physio work. ’Of course, there are a number of other possibilities available to prospective postgraduate students within this area. University College Cork offers an MMedSc in Sports and Exercise Medicine, which is taken as a part-time option over the course of two years. It provides an interesting mixture of lectures, seminars, clinics and practical sessions, taking in a wide range of subjects along the way. Some modules are concerned with the treatment of sports injuries (Immunology, Cardiology and Rehabilitation for instance), while some focus on the relation between general health and sports medicine (Exercise and Weight Reduction, and Prescribing Exercise to the Un-Athletic, for example). Trinity College Dublin offers an MSc in Sports Medicine, which is completed over the course of one year as a full-time option. In a similar fashion to the aforementioned courses, it includes top-quality training in the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of sporting injuries, while also providing guidelines for the monitoring and training of athletes. UCD’s School Of Physiotherapy and Performance Science offers a MCsPGDip in Sports Physiotherapy, which is pursued over the course of two years, in a part-time capacity. The programme promises a mixture of all aspects of sports physiotherapy, while also including elements of Sports Psychology and Clinical Examination (among several other broadly sports-related modules). A burning question for many people interested in beginning a postgraduate option in this area may be: is sporting ability, or even just an interest in sport, required to successfully pursue a subsequent career? Encouragingly, Peter Hopkins believes that it is possible to use the qualification to find work in non-sporting areas, if one so wishes. ‘Although a lot of my classmates in college were interested in sport, many people found during their training that particular areas of physiotherapy interested them more than others, ’ he explains. ‘Naturally enough, their interests led them into other areas of physiotherapy such as neurology, respiratory and care of the elderly. ’So, a postgraduate qualification in sports medicine opens up a wider range of career possibilities than some may think. In addition, if one wishes to become involved in the treatment and assistance of professional athletes, a course in this area provides the best possible preparation. 2008-02-25 Master of Laws The LLM (a popular abbreviation for Master Of Laws, derived from its Latin name, Legum Magister) is not the only postgraduate option in law, but it offers students greater opportunities for specialisation than many alternative programmes. The LLM allows its course attendees to focus on an aspect of law that is of particular interest to them; for instance, a student might specialise in Criminal Justice or Human Rights Law during their Master Of Laws. However, the LLM also caters for a more rounded approach, as students can undertake broader law studies throughout, often in addition to their examination of a specific subject. The LLM is offered in a number of universities throughout Ireland. For instance, University College Cork offers four kinds of LLM: LLM Research, LLM General, LLM Criminal Justice and LLM E-Law. However, opportunities for specialisation go beyond just selecting one of these options, as all four are sub-divided, to afford students an even greater range of choices. This is particularly true of the LLM General: a student could take a human rights specialisation, or a commercial specialisation (to take two random examples) within this programme. Specialisation can be a double-edged sword: focussing on a particular area of law may make an individual extremely attractive to practices operating solely within that sphere. However, it can also narrow a student’s job possibilities, as their best career opportunities may lie exclusively within a single area (while a more generalised qualification would lead to equal job opportunities in most/all areas of Law). It is for this reason that UCC favours a mixture of specialisation and generalisation in their LLM programme. ‘The extent to which specialisation is attractive for employers can depend on the nature of the employer, ’ explains Dr. Mary Donnelly, Director of the LLM Programme at UCC. ‘For example, a human rights-centred NGO will welcome a specialisation in human rights. But sometimes more general employers – like a solicitor in general practice – may welcome a student with a broad range of subjects. This is why we offer both specialisations and the broader approach: so that students can adapt both to their own interests, and to the market place which is of most of relevance to them. ’Matthew Broadstock, a postgraduate who completed an LLM course in Trinity College Dublin, echoes these sentiments. He specialised in the areas of EU Law and Public International Law, including a subject that focussed on EU VAT Law. This is the area he has been practising in subsequently – within a London Law Firm – though he accepts that specialisation has not been an advantage for every position he has applied for. ‘In my experience, employers do not place too much emphasis on specific subjects studied in an academic setting, as the application of law can differ significantly in practice, ’ explains Broadstock. ‘Having said that, there is definitely an advantage when applying for a specific role, or attempting to qualify into a particular area in a solicitor's firm, if you already have an academic foundation in the area. It allows you to develop the practical skills required more quickly. ’There are a number of other Irish universities in which students can pursue an LLM postgraduate. The National University Of Ireland, Galway, for instance, offers a range of intriguing options in this area. Students can specialise in areas such as International Human Rights Law, Peace Support Operations and International Criminal Law. In addition, there is an interesting cross-border LLM option, provided in conjunction with Queen’s University Belfast’s School Of Law. Students spend one semester in Galway, and one in Belfast, undertaking either an LLM in Human Rights, or an MSSC/LLM in Human Rights and Criminal Justice. University College Dublin also offers an LLM programme, which is completed over the course of one year, in a full-time capacity (although there is also an option to take the course over two years, part-time). Like in University College Cork, there are opportunities both to specialise, and to take a broader approach. For those interested in specialisation, there is the possibility of securing an LLM (European) or an LLM (Commercial); these qualifications can be achieved by taking a specified number of modules in European or Commercial Law, while also completing a dissertation within the prescribed area. So, what job opportunities are open to students, upon completion of their LLM? According to Dr. Mary Donnelly, there is a limitless supply of possibilities available to successful Master Of Laws graduates. ‘Some – possibly the majority – proceed to professional training as solicitors and barristers, ’ says Dr. Donnelly. ‘Others choose from the increasingly broad range of options available; for example: legal researcher with law reform agencies and NGOs, or work within the public service, and the financial services. Others opt for further training: perhaps going down the PhD route, which has become more common in recent years. ’However, Matthew Broadstock offers some words of caution on this subject: an LLM does not provide a great deal of practical, hands-on experience. Rather, it provides a base, which postgraduate students must work hard to build upon in their occupations. ‘The hands-on, practical elements are not something you would expect to receive training in during an LLM, ’ Broadstock explains. ‘This is taken into account by the manner in which lawyers are trained; they require a period of practical, on-the-job training, subsequent to completing the academic training. I found my study of EU VAT Law was a useful foundation, which I quickly built upon with practical experience. ’So, the LLM provides a great opportunity for students to focus on a subject that is of particular interest to them. Once they have secured their qualification, they may pursue a career in this preferred field, while still retaining the ability to branch out into other areas of the law. 2008-02-25 Politics It may sometimes feel like Irish politics is exclusively dominated by outgoing, high-profile personalities, but there is also room in the political world for people who wish to work in a more behind-the-scenes capacity. The area of political research is one that offers a more low-key route into the field, as it can groom students for important advisory roles, which need not require a significant public profile. There are currently numerous postgraduate options in Ireland that can help prospective students to build a career in this area. One notable option is the Integrated Doctorate (MPhil/PhD) offered by Trinity College’s Department Of Political Science. It is a four-year course that, for its first two years, contains modules and taught components (alongside thesis work). Students also have to complete a dissertation, which provides their main focus in the two subsequent years. The course generally paves the way for a career in either political research or academia, though – as course co-ordinator Dr. Robert Thomson explains – students’ options are not solely limited to those areas. ‘We’re really providing people with a training to become researchers, or professional political scientists, ’ he explains. ‘22 people have gone through it so far, and they’re all doing very well. A number of things are open to them after they go through our programme; if you’re good at research, and especially quantitative research, that can be applied in different areas. ’Thomson believes that the programme offered in Trinity is particularly well suited to those who wish to pursue a subsequent career in academia, as the course has established a considerable reputation among its European contemporaries. The strong standard of instruction in the Department combined with the challenging course requirements, open up strong possibilities in the academic world. Indeed, around 50 per cent of those that have completed the course have gone on to pursue an academic career. ‘I think we’re in a stronger position than many Irish and British universities, in terms of the standard of methods that we bring students up to, ’ Thomson explains. ‘The programme encourages them to write a number of pieces of research that can be turned into published articles, and that’s one of the most important factors in getting an academic job afterwards. Often, people who have finished have already had a couple of publications, and that puts them in a really strong position. ’Although a large chunk of the course is devoted to a dissertation, great care is taken to ensure that students don’t focus solely on their chosen thesis topic. ‘We have a number of more substantive courses about various aspects of politics, ’ Thomson explains, ‘so that students don’t just become good at the particular area they’re focussing on in their dissertation. They have a wider view of the discipline and the variety of things that fall under the study of politics; from international relations, to political decision-making. ’There are several other colleges that offer postgraduate options in politics and political research. The University of Limerick’s Department Of Politics and Public Administration offers prospective students the opportunity to pursue postgraduate research, culminating in a written thesis. Like the Trinity programme, it also provides seminars that help students to hone their skills in other areas, such as Research Management and Academic Presenting. Of course, there are other political postgraduate options that are not so centred on a dissertation or thesis. UCD’s School of Politics and International Relations, for instance, offers a range of taught-module-based one-year courses in political topics (though the completion of a dissertation is also a programme requirement, in addition to the continuous assessment); MSc’s in Human Rights, International Relations and Nationalism and Ethno-Communal Conflict are available in this format. Also, the Dublin Institute Of Technology offers a full-time one-year MA in Public Affairs and Political Communication, which offers a slightly different range of career options to the aforementioned courses. Upon completion of this programme, students will be qualified to ‘take up full-time employment as liaisons between private, public and not-for-profit organisations, and governmental or political persons and organisations’. They may also work as providers of communication services for people working in the world of politics, and some graduates can even embark on careers as consultants, offering public affairs services. Modules in this programme include Public Affairs, Political Marketing, Political Structures and Public Affairs Writing. Political postgraduates are a well-established and respected qualification, rather than a rising phenomenon. When asked if political research is facing a growing demand for study positions, Robert Thomson is hesitant to say that it has had any recent popularity boost. However, he does believe that the methods for training PHD researchers have undergone something of a sea change in recent times, and that his own Department have been at the forefront of this. ‘One new trend is the professionalisation of the training of PHD researchers, ’ Thomson explains. ‘In the past, there was what is referred to as the “apprenticeship model”, where students just sit at the feet of some grand gentleman or lady, and somehow absorb their knowledge. This programme is moving towards a system where there’s a more structured, taught component to courses. That becomes important, as methods become a bit more formalised in a particular discipline. ’So, with these significant recent developments in the area of political research instruction coming into effect, now may be the ideal time to pursue a postgraduate study option in this field. A career in politics does not necessarily entail the pursuit of votes; the wide array of courses currently available in Ireland ensures a rich variety of politically focused job possibilities. 2008-02-25 Social Research Social research is, in many ways, a misunderstood field of expertise. Any member of the public can witness the skill with which a medical doctor performs his work, and the importance of his role, but the application of social research is not something that can be viewed so directly. Dr. Evelyn Mahon, Course Director for the Trinity College MSc in Social Research, acknowledges that it is an area that is not always fully appreciated by those in positions of power and authority. ‘I think the recognition of social science research is growing, but it’s still not fully established here (in Ireland), ’ Mahon explains. ‘When you look at Ireland and its development, what we most need now is an understanding of social issues; whether it’s organising a health service, or how best to manage and find cohesion. These are all social questions, and you need social science skills to answer them. I don’t think that’s fully recognised by governments and politicians. ’To redress this imbalance, Mahon set about designing a postgraduate course that would provide the best possible instruction in social research. Indeed, the quickest way to receive greater political support for the occupation may be to convince as many young Irish people as possible to pursue a career in the field; and the most efficient way of pursuing this aim is to provide graduates with a stimulating, informative postgraduate option, which can facilitate their development. ‘I actually designed the course having finished a very large study myself, within Crisis Pregnancy Ireland, ’ Mahon explains. ‘Having trained up research assistants for that project – and a number of other ones over the years – I thought “there must be another way to do this, rather than having to train up people once you’ve landed a big contract”. ’In keeping with this original goal, Mahon strived (and continues to strive) to make the postgraduate course as practical and hands-on as possible. ‘I sometimes say to students that doing research is like driving a car, ’ Mahon elaborates. ‘You can read the books, and read the rules of the road, but you have to get into the car and drive it – then you really learn what it’s about. So, that’s the whole orientation of the course: it’s very much hands-on and about getting stuff done. There’s no passive regurgitation of any description!’A key aspect of this applied approach is Mahon’s insistence on students taking up a work placement during their two-year postgraduate course. This serves as both an opportunity to put their skills to some serious practical use, and also pave the way for a future career in the field. ‘I had worked in the University of Limerick until 1991, and they have a co-operative placement programme there, in their undergraduate programme, ’ Mahon explains. ‘I thought that getting some placement work experience would be good for students. So, I contacted a number of organisations, and they were very supportive. So the students now go on placements, for about 12 weeks in April, in organisations that are primarily research-based. It’s a way of integrating the course with the broad research community of the country. ’Of course, there are a number of other notable postgraduate options in social research, in Ireland. The University Of Limerick’s School Of Humanities offers an MA in Applied Social Research, which can be pursued as either a part-time (2 year) or full-time (1 year) course. Like the UCD postgraduate option, it takes pride in its provision of instruction in both qualitative and quantitative research. These are the two major approaches to research methodology in social sciences; simply put, qualitative research seeks an understanding of human behaviour and the reasoning that governs it, while quantitative research is a more systematic and empirical approach to investigating natural phenomena. NUI Maynooth offers an MA in Sociology, which is entitled ‘Understanding Social Change: Politics, Culture, Community’. It is a one-year course, which takes an in-depth look at significant recent changes in Irish society: the rising influence of globalisation and the growth of immigration among many others. However, the course is not solely centred on Irish culture, as the investigation of these social issues is employed as a ‘laboratory’ for studying broader patterns of global change. But, what subsequent options do students have, upon completion of their postgraduate course in Social Research? It is an area that is growing in significance, within Ireland, so the opportunities to secure employment in the field are increasing. As such, most postgraduate students will go on to take up a position directly related to their career, although – as Dr. Evelyn Mahon explains – there are a number of other options available to them. ‘Most of them go on to a research career, though some of them would also go into media work, as that might require research, ’ she elaborates. ‘Quite a number of them return later on to do PhDs. The masters is also now an absolutely perfect base for pursuing postgraduate studies, even though it wasn’t designed primarily with that in mind. But, it does provide students with an excellent foundation, and quite a number of them have gone abroad to do PhDs. ’So, social research is a perfect postgraduate option for ambitious young students, as it opens up excellent career opportunities, in a progressive industry. And, given the growing range of challenging and interesting courses in the field, now may be the ideal time to pursue it. 2008-02-25 Science and Technology A large factor in the continued growth of the Irish economy has been the major developments in the flourishing science and technology-based industries. Ireland is a key global location for these industries. Currently, 13 of the top 15 companies in the world have substantial operations in Ireland and more than 17, 000 people are employed directly in this industry alone. Ireland has fast become one of the world’s largest exporters of pharmaceuticals and this success is spilling over into many other industries within the science and technology sector in Ireland. The government is keen to encourage people to enter careers in the science and technology sectors. It has introduced a number of initiatives to achieve this goal, notably the Irish Council for Science, Technology and Innovation (ICSTI) and Science Foundation Ireland (SFI), which are committed to providing the necessary structures and funding to educational institutions to ensure Ireland remains a global player in these areas. This means that career opportunities in the science and technology sectors show no sign of slowing down, which is good news for anyone considering the addition of a postgraduate qualification in a science, mathematics or technology discipline to their CV. Entry Requirements Most postgraduate courses in the science, mathematics and technology areas require at least a second-class honours primary degree for entry.   There are also postgraduate options available for graduates of other disciplines. Some of these postgraduate programmes function as conversion courses.   Relevant professional experience can be useful to help secure a place on a postgraduate course. Students should also demonstrate an interest in their chosen area of research. Courses Available There is an array of postgraduate options on offer to the interested graduate pertaining to science, mathematics and technology. Taught postgraduate courses are available in traditional core subjects such as maths, physics, chemistry and biology, as well as in topical areas of interest such as plasma technology and organic chemistry.   Postgraduate courses that focus on different areas and subspecialties of biology and chemistry such as biotechnology and microbiology are also available. Other courses include earth sciences subjects such as geographical analysis. The pharmaceutical sector is very strong in Ireland at the moment, and that is reflected in the number and scope of pharmacy-related postgraduate courses available at Irish universities. The different specialisations within the pharmaceuticals discipline include quality assurance, compounds analysis and chemical process technology. Technology and telecommunications is also an important area of study at postgraduate level. Course options include communications systems theory and virtual realities. Research Areas Science and Technology offer the research student a wealth of research possibilities. Many third-level institutions have developed expertise in different areas, and there are dedicated research centres at colleges throughout the country. Prospective students may also be able to take advantage of scholarship and graduate-training opportunities through collaborations with locally based companies. The subjects of pharmaceuticals, biology, biotechnology, chemistry and biochemistry are very strong possibilities for postgraduate researchers at present. Many institutions have close links with the R&D departments of local and global organisations that fund research programmes at Irish universities. The earth sciences are also ripe with postgraduate research potential. Postgraduate researchers get the opportunity to look for ways to protect the earth in tremendously diverse areas such as aquatic ecology, atmospheric physics & climatology and botany. Much of the most cutting-edge telecommunications research in the world is emerging from Irish university and research institute laboratories. Possibilities for research include multimedia and telecommunications. Career PathsCareers based around science and technology have seen a massive boom in the last ten years or so, and jobs are plentiful. Multinational pharmaceutical, chemical and biotechnology companies have been attracted to Ireland and recruitment in these areas shows no sign of slowing down. Many colleges and universities have established links with industry and business, and many companies recruit straight from graduate programmes.   Jobs in education and research provide well-established career options. Also, as these specialised industries are expanding in Ireland, a corresponding demand for researchers, experienced scientists and technologists has arisen in academia. Other career paths include IT, business, agriculture & food, insurance, banking & finance, the environment, logistics, the civil service, conservation and many, many more. 2008-02-25 Biotechnology   For bioengineers, nature represents an infinite source of inspiration. And it is no wonder: the natural world wastes nothing, recycles everything and continuously adapts in order to find solutions to the problems it encounters. If researchers continue to take their cue from nature, then there is no reason why human development cannot be reconciled with environmental health. Though it is an important aspiration to work towards, achieving such a balance also represents a major challenge to researchers. In 2009, an OECD report (‘The Bioeconomy to 2030: Designing a Policy Agenda’) estimated that by the year 2030 the global population would increase from its current standing of 7 billion to a staggering 8. 3 billion. Such dramatic growth creates a corollary strain on resources as the demand for food, water, materials, energy and medical supplies intensifies – thus raising well-founded concerns over sustainability.   Biotechnology (which can generally be defined as the application of biological processes to commercial and industrial purposes) attempts to address such issues. While it has already exerted a profound affect on the foregoing areas, its influence is only expected to increase – something which the aforementioned OECD report seems to support by claiming that biotechnology ‘can increase the supply and environmental sustainability of food, feed and fibre production, improve water quality, provide renewable energy, improve the health of animals and people, and help maintain diversity by detecting invasive species’.    It therefore comes as no surprise that there has been such an impressive level of investment in the biotechnology industry in Ireland – as most recently evidenced by the US biotechnology giant Amgen’s announcement of an expansion programme in Dun Laoghaire estimated to be worth in the region of €200 million. ‘Biotechnology is a direct outcome of a knowledge economy, which has been identified as the basis for a return to full economic strength’, says Dr Aoife Boyd, course director of the MSc in Biotechnology at NUI Galway. ‘There are many successful large and small biotechnology companies in Ireland. These companies’ products are distributed worldwide, and the markets for these products are not only maintained, but continue to increase year-on-year. ’ Because education has played such a vital role in creating and maintaining this success, it is now occupies a central place in most companies’ growth strategies. As Dr Boyd explains: ‘The companies require highly trained, motivated individuals to continue their success, and they recognise that the Irish education system gives students the quality of training that is needed for their employees. ’ Such recognition helps make Biotechnology an exciting and dynamic area of study for students to be involved in, and there are a number of high-quality options available to them at postgraduate level. NUI Galway’s MSc in Biotechnology, for instance, can be taken as a one-year full-time option or as a two-year part-time one. The course comprises lectures, tutorials and a four-month individual research project. Students will receive training across a range of science- and business-related modules such as Bioprocess Technology, Pharmacology and Marketing Principles. As there is a strong emphasis on quality, class sizes are typically small and applicants are required to have at least a second-class honours degree in science or a related field (with a background in biological sciences). Candidates with three years’ relevant research or industrial experience may also be considered. A one-year full-time MSc in Biotechnology is also available from University College Dublin. The programme is split into three semesters consisting of lectures, seminars, workshops and tutorials. Students will be given the opportunity to carry out an industry-based project; they will also be granted access to the on-campus and world-class facilities available at the National Institute for Bioprocessing Research and Training (NIBRT). Candidates for the programme must have obtained an upper second-class honours degree in biology or chemistry. Those with relevant industry experience may also be considered for a place. University College Cork’s MSc in Applied Science (Biotechnology) is another one-year course aimed at preparing graduates for leadership positions in the biopharmaceutical, agrochemical and biotechnology industries. The course is highly interdisciplinary and includes modules such as Biopharmaceuticals & Quality Assurance, Cell & Molecular Biology, and Functional Foods for Health. Students are also required to submit a dissertation based on six months’ research in the university laboratories or as part of an approved industrial placement. The programme is open to graduates with a second-class honours degree (or higher) in a similar science-based subject. The MSc in Pharmaceutical Quality Assurance and Biotechnology at DIT (one year full time, followed by a six-month industry-based dissertation) acts as a conversion programme for science graduates interested in entering the pharmaceutical (or related) industries. The programme offers a diverse curriculum covering aspects of quality assurance, auditing, manufacturing and pharmaceutical science and biotechnology. While a 2. 2 honours degree is the stated minimum entry requirement for the course, candidates should note that the competition for places can be intense and so interviews may be used as a part of the selection process.   However, the effort required to overcome the challenges posed by selection and examination procedures is well worth it in the end: ‘What postgraduate Biotechnology programmes do is build on the student’s pre-existing knowledge and experience and offer training in the applied aspects of biology’, says Dr Boyd. ‘This could cover a variety of competencies, ranging from techniques to creative R&D innovations to understanding the business side of biotechnology companies – all of which enhance the students’ employment prospects’.   Boyd relates one noteworthy example from among the many success stories: ‘One student carried out a nanotechnology research project as part of their MSc in Biotechnology, looking at the anti-bacterial effects of nanoparticles – a next generation technology that is at the forefront of modern biotechnology. Based on the student’s research experience, they were employed by a renowned Spanish research institute on a nanotechnology project. The student has been with the research institute for two years now and has received support from the EU for their research project. ’ With the sector’s development set to continue well into future, such welcome instances are now becoming the rule rather than the exception.     2008-02-25 Statistics It is certainly not a career choice for the uncommitted, but pursuing a postgraduate degree in statistics does open more doors than you might think and you dont necessarily need a maths degree to pursue this option. Mention the word statistics and most people will dive for the exit as they draw a mental picture of balding men with thick glasses spending too much time in airless rooms poring over meaningless numbers. Statistics can be defined as the scientific application of mathematical principles to the collection, analysis and presentation of numerical data. Statisticians contribute to scientific inquiry by applying their mathematical and statistical knowledge to the design of surveys and experiments; the collection, processing and analysis of data; and the interpretation of the results. It may sound dull, but this work impacts on just about every walk of life. Knowledge of statistical methods can be applied to a variety of subject areas. Many economic, social, political and military decisions cannot be made without statistical techniques, such as the design of experiments to gain regulatory approval for a newly manufactured drug. The search for improved medical treatments rests on careful experiments that compare promising new treatments with the current state of the art. Statisticians work with medical teams to design the experiments and to analyse the complex data they produce. Studies of the environment require data on the abundance and location of plants and animals, on the spread of pollution from its sources and on the possible effects of changes in human activities. The data is often incomplete or uncertain, but statisticians can help uncover its meaning. The future of many industries and their employees depends on improvement in the quality of goods and services and in the efficiency with which they are produced and delivered. Improvement should be based on data rather than guesswork, meaning more companies are installing elaborate systems to collect and act on data in order to better serve their customers. How many people are unemployed this month? What is the value of our exports to China? Are rates of violent crime increasing or decreasing? Government wants data on issues like these to guide policy and government statistical agencies provide them by surveys of households and businesses. Are consumer tastes in television programmes changing? What are promising locations for a new retail outlet? Market researchers use both government data and their own surveys to answer questions like these. Statisticians design the elaborate surveys that gather data for both public and private use. Some of the characteristics of a career in statistics include: Using data to solve problems in a wide variety of fields  Applying mathematical and statistical knowledge to social, economic, medical, political and ecological problems  Working individually and/or as part of an interdisciplinary team  Travelling to consult with other professionals or to attend conferences, seminars and continuing education activities  Advancing the frontiers of statistics, mathematics and probability through education and researchData analysis frequently involves a sophisticated interplay between the data and a mathematical model. Mathematical models provide the basis for much of the theoretical evaluation of statistical tools. Probability plays a central role in such models (and indeed in many other areas, from decision theory to quantum mechanics). The mathematics of probability and statistics is itself a fascinating subject in which quite subtle mathematical reasoning is required from an early stage. The Department of Statistics at TCD offers a significant number of courses to mathematics graduates. Graduates of any other discipline may enrol in the part time conversion course, the Diploma in Statistics. Postgraduate students currently pursing other courses or research degrees in TCD are also eligible to attend the Diploma in Statistics provided the course is complementary to their course of study and they have the permission of the Dean of Graduate Studies. NUI Maynooths Higher Diploma in Statistics is available in one-year full time and two-year part time formats, and prior exposure to statistics is highly desirable in applicants. The course is a blend of abstract principles and practical techniques with applications to real-world problems, and is suitable for further postgraduate study or a career in areas such as the civil service, the pharmaceutical sector, banking and many more. Maynooth also provides a two-year MSc by research; which is often carried out through interesting collaborations with parties in other fields such as chemistry, archaeology, and medicine. The Masters programme in Statistics at the UCC College of Science, Engineering and Food Science is intended to provide professional training in statistical theory and practice and to develop skills in computer-based analysis and interpretation of data. The programme consists of course work and completion of a project, which is written up as a minor thesis. In order to be permitted to proceed to the Masters degree in Statistics, a candidate must have obtained at least a second class honours in his/her primary degree, which must have had a substantial mathematical content. The candidate must also have an acceptable basic knowledge of statistics. Entrants to the programme with a good honours degree in statistics can expect to complete the programme in 10 months. However, if in the opinion of the professor or lecturers concerned, the candidate's knowledge of statistics is deficient, the candidate may be required to take supplementary courses to remedy these deficiencies. There is a local forum for those employed in this area to come together. The Statistical and Social Inquiry Society of Ireland (SSISI) is an all-Ireland body that has been in continuous existence since 1847. The society organises approximately six public meetings each year at which papers are read, followed by an open forum discussion. 2008-02-25 Health Administration The efficiency of our national health service is one of the most important and widely discussed issues in contemporary Ireland, particularly in light of recent scandalous revelations regarding breast cancer. There is a lot more to building an efficient health service than acquiring and training a large number of accomplished doctors, nurses and health professionals. To enable these skilled individuals to maximise their potential, sound management practices must be implemented. To help achieve this, there are now a number of postgraduate options available in Ireland, which focus on training and implementing successful management techniques within the health sector. These administrative skills are of use to both trained medical professionals, and to those who are involved in their management (but may not be qualified in a medical discipline themselves). But what postgraduate options are available to health workers and professionals who wish to brush up on their administrative technique?University College Cork’s College of Business and Law devised an MBS in Health Services Management some 8 years ago, in response to what they saw as ‘a gap in health management education in Ireland’. According to the current Programme Director, Dr. Jim Walsh, this gap has since been filled by a number of courses (including his own), though the UCC course remains the only specialised masters degree in health management in the South Munster region. Dr. Walsh and his colleagues were inspired to create this postgraduate course not just by the perceived gap in Irish health management education, but also by the professionalisation of nursing. ‘Nurses who would previously have been ward sisters or matrons, and so on, were now moving into this career structure called Clinical Nurse Manager, ’ Walsh explains. ‘They have a career path that requires awareness of, and best practice in, management. ’Postgraduate courses in health service management play a different role in the careers of their attendees to many other programmes. In numerous other fields, a postgraduate course represents a career starting point, which the student will seek to build on upon receiving their qualification. Postgraduate courses in health service management, on the other hand, provide an addition, or boost, to existing careers. They broaden existing career paths, rather than create new ones. ‘Our course is not designed to be a career beginning, it’s meant to be a career accelerative, ’ Walsh explains. ‘Our emphasis is on accelerating people’s professional development into, or through, management. So, we’re taking people who have already moved into a management role, or are about to. Or, people who consider it important in terms of a health role they might be taking. ’As a result, the course is aimed at a slightly older demographic than many other postgraduate programmes. The average student age is 35, and Dr. Walsh feels that the course is not particularly well suited to ‘people who are beginning careers, or who are interested in serious career change’. Still, while such courses may not appeal to a wide variety of age groups, they are of great interest to people from wildly contrasting areas of the health industry. Among the more administrative/ management-focussed types attending the UCC course, there is also ‘one doctor, who is a senior house officer, a pharmacist, a number of clinical nurse managers, the manager of a nursing home, and people from the voluntary health sector’. Dr. Walsh’s comments regarding the focus and demographic of his own programme are reflected in the outlines of several other notable courses in health service management. The UCD Michael Smurfit School Of Business offers an Executive MBA in Health Care Management and like the UCC course; its primary aim is to enhance the management skills of experienced health service professionals. Trinity College offers an MSc in Health Services Management, which is along similar lines to the aforementioned programmes. It accepts applicants who are currently employed in positions of planning or management within health service organisations, and aims to prepare them for middle and senior management positions within this sphere. Like the previously mentioned courses, it offers a wide range of subjects, which cover all conceivable bases. Modules include Management and Organisational Behaviour, Population Health, Financial Management, Health Economics, Health Policy and Information Management – among numerous others. All three of the aforementioned postgraduate courses are completed over two years, in a part-time capacity, so that they can sit comfortably alongside their participants’ day jobs.   The UCC postgraduate takes place on Friday and Saturdays, so that it can ‘support, not interrupt, the career’, in Dr. Jim Walsh’s words. The mixture of administrative and health issues tackled in these postgraduate courses are reflected in the university departments that participate in their instruction. The UCC postgraduate programme, for instance, contains input from the Department for Epidemiology and Public Health, alongside instruction from the Departments for Law, Government and Philosophy (among others). Trinity’s MSc in Health Services Management combines input from the Faculty of Health Sciences and the Faculty of Social and Human Sciences. However, these courses also look further afield, to provide a greater range and depth of instruction in health management. The Trinity programme, for instance, includes contributions from ‘leading policy makers and senior managers in the Irish health system’. Given the fast moving and rapidly altering nature of the health industry, this input is vital in keeping students abreast of current and recent developments. The UCC course also includes numerous contributions from visiting speakers, in addition to internal instruction. Postgraduate courses in Health Service Management may not be open to as wide a range of students as many other programmes, but their significance in the development of an efficient health service cannot be overstated. By fusing input from authorities in both management and medicine, these programmes have created a practical and challenging method of boosting the health sector’s quality of administration. 2008-02-21 Construction & Engineering The construction and engineering industries have been among the most significant contributors to the growth in the Irish economy in recent years through employment, export and output. These sectors have undergone a massive transformation and have played a huge part in transforming Ireland into an advanced nation at the cutting-edge of technological, engineering and manufacturing developments and change. Ireland’s manufacturing industries have adapted well to globalisation. While Ireland accounts for just 1 per cent of the EU’s population, it receives 25 per cent of US investment in the manufacturing industry in Europe. The development of high-value, knowledge-intensive jobs in areas such as software, medical devices, engineering, food and biotechnology have helped fuel the growth in our economy in recent years. With government investment pouring in to improve Ireland’s infrastructure, the construction industry is also performing steadily despite a recent slow down. With new technologies and techniques constantly evolving in the engineering and construction industries, it is important that Ireland stays ahead by keeping up-to-date with changes and advances in these industries. It is therefore welcome news that there has been a parallel expansion in the number of postgraduate courses available in these subjects. Entry Requirements Most postgraduate courses in the construction and engineering fields require at least a second-class honours primary degree. Relevant professional experience can help. There are concerns within the construction and engineering sectors that not enough people are pursuing studies in the areas for the economy to continue its present rate of development. Therefore, attractive incentives and schemes are in place to persuade graduates to remain within these areas. Courses AvailablePostgraduate programmes are available in all of the traditional areas such as the various engineering, manufacturing and architectural disciplines, as well as in subjects like technology safety and ergonomics. Architecture is a prime area for postgraduate study. Course options range from specific professional practice areas to more general planning and landscape management disciplines. Mechanical engineering and other physical manufacturing topics are traditionally a strong area of postgraduate specialisation and are no less important today. The biological and chemical engineering fields are also major areas for postgraduate study, bringing together the worlds of engineering and science. Course options include bioengineering, chemical engineering, and pharmaceutical manufacturing technology. Computing and IT developments have also played a key role in the recent growth of the engineering and manufacturing sector – postgraduate programmes which reflect this include computer integrated manufacturing, computer aided engineering product design and engineering computation. Research Areas There is a wide range of subject options available to potential postgraduate research students of construction and engineering disciplines. Many third-level institutions have developed expertise in different areas, and there are dedicated research centres at colleges throughout the country. Prospective students may also be able to take advantage of scholarship and graduate-training opportunities through collaborations with locally based companies. Architecture, planning and urban development are very important areas for postgraduate research. Postgraduate research opportunities also appear in the civil engineering and construction management areas as well as bioengineering and chemical engineering. Electronic and electrical engineering fields provide rich pickings for postgraduate researchers. Irish third-level institutions host a wide range of postgraduate research in the areas of mechanical and materials engineering, as well as related manufacturing subjects. Potential projects can be drawn from the areas of aeronautical engineering, automation & control, materials science, and thermofluids. Industrial and computer design programmes also open up postgraduate research opportunities. Career PathsThere is a diverse range of career paths possible for those with postgraduate qualifications in construction and engineering-related subjects. The construction industry is still very healthy in Ireland and there remain plenty of openings for qualified engineers of all specialities, quantity surveyors and architects. Graduates with postgraduate qualifications can move quickly into senior project management positions. There are also plenty of openings in bioengineering, chemical engineering and electronic and mechanical engineering. Close links have been built up between university research departments and indigenous and multinational companies, which can aid the career prospects of those with postgraduate qualifications. There has been recent development in the environmental science, urban planning and conservation areas. Graduates in architecture and engineering areas can find employment in these areas with both public and private organisations. Education and research provide well-established career options. Also, as the construction and engineering industries in Ireland become more specialised, a corresponding demand for researchers, experienced engineers and technologists has arisen in academia. 2008-02-21 Planning and Development Courses Ireland is unfortunately littered with examples of what can happen when construction and development occurs without proper planning. Things are changing for the better however, with public and private developments these days paying far more attention to issues such as sustainability and environmental degradation. Graduates of postgraduate planning and property development courses face a rewarding career, but with stiff challenges in the shape of Ireland’s shifting demographics, industry and infrastructure. Third level graduates who are seeking a career in planning have a selection of postgraduate courses that they can apply for. The Masters in Rural and Urban Planning (MRUP) in UCD is perhaps the best known. ‘It’s an excellent qualification and there’s a huge demand to get in, ’ says William Hynes, Director of Postgraduate Planning Degrees in UCD. The MRUP is fully accredited by the IPI (Irish Planners Institute) and the RTPI (Royal Town Planning Institute) and teaches students all the skills required by a professional planner: research methods, economics and spatial planning, public policy, methodology, studio work, project management, etc. There is also a strong international aspect of the course with the use of best practice cases and visiting lecturers from leading countries such as the Netherlands. Graduates from many disciplines – such as geography, engineering, surveying, architecture, and horticulture - are invited to apply, and diversity is welcomed by Hynes: ‘We find that the more multi disciplinary the class the better, as people with different skills are learning from each other. ’Career prospects in Ireland are ‘very, very good’ according to Hynes, with graduates working in the private sector as planning consultants for large companies like Tesco and IKEA, for various development consortia, and in the public sector. But it is abroad, and in the UK in particular, that graduates of the MRUP have a particular advantage over graduates of international universities. William Hynes explains: ‘The RTPI (a UK-based organisation) in the last number of years decided in an effort to get numbers into planning schools in the UK, to reduce what was normally two-year programme to a one-year Masters course. So we took the strategic decision not to do that, we decided to keep our two-year course and to run with it. ’It was a prescient decision. ‘Basically the RTPI have said that we have the gold standard Masters in the British Isles, and even anecdotally, all things being equal our graduate will get a job over a UK graduate, ’ he adds. There is one principal benefit to retaining the second year says Hynes: ‘We provide a huge level of studio based technical work where most of the other courses have cut down and become mostly lecture-based. ’However, hot on the heels of UCD’s MRUP is a similar option in the form of UCC’s recently launched programme – the MPlan in Planning and Sustainable Development. According to Brendan O’Sullivan, Programme Director of this two-year course, the MPlan will have received its accreditation from the IPI and RTPI by the time the inaugural class of 2006 graduates in 2008. It is already a much sought after qualification with 150 applicants vying for 30 places in the 2007 admission. The MPlan places an emphasis on the development challenges faced by city-regions, coastal settlements and rural hinterlands, and like the MRUP it has a strong international element. Graduates interested in a career other than that of professional planner within the urban and regional development sector may be interested in applying for DIT’s one-year full time MSc in Regional & Local Development. Module clusters include Understanding the Development Process and Making Development Happen, and students spend 20 per cent of the programme on work placement. Graduates will find career opportunities with community development organisations, private enterprises and regional/local development authorities at home and abroad. There are also numerous courses for experienced professionals within the planning and development industry who wish to improve their skills. Civil engineers working in local authorities, planning offices and consultancies can develop a sound basic knowledge of all the non-engineering elements – economic, legislative, sociological, etc. – that go into effective planning by enrolling in Trinity’s one-year, part time Postgraduate Diploma in Physical Planning. The programme is approved as a means for professional development by Engineers Ireland. DIT’s postgraduate programmes for working professionals in the construction sector include the MSc in Planning and Development. This 2½ -year course, which is accredited by the SCS (Society of Chartered Surveyors), is designed to enable professionals such as planning surveyors to develop their knowledge of areas such as property development, finance and law, and construction management; and to ultimately increase their area of responsibility within an organisation. DIT’s MSc in Spatial Planning is another 2½-year part time programme; aimed at developing the skills and knowledge of professionals with five-years’ experience within, or on the margins of, the planning system. Students will investigate issues such as the theory of planning, environmental assessment and urban development. The MSc in Real Estate, also provided by DIT, is in effect a conversion course for graduates of other disciplines such as arts or business who wish to pursue a career in real estate. This 2½-year part time programme is accredited by the RICS (Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors) and according to Course Director Martin Hanratty is attended by people who currently either have a job in the property business, or in the case of those (such as recent graduates) who don’t – ‘they use this course as a mechanism for obtaining a career in the industry. ’ He finds that the programme, which began in 2005, gives a definite boost to the career development of property management professionals. 2008-02-21 Creative Arts Artists and musicians have long been among the most popular and respected members of Irish society. Ordinary people rely on artists and musicians to brighten up their lives. Art and music transcend boundaries on all levels – geographical, cultural, social, economic and political – and the artistic expression and musical creativity of a nation can have a direct impact on its social and political spheres. Though it can be hard to break into the world of creative arts – and even harder to obtain a well-paid career in the industry – the pursuit to succeed can be just as rewarding for individuals in this area as the success itself. Thus, those who have the talent and are willing to put in the time and effort required should not give up on their dream. Many are called, but few are chosen. And those who are chosen usually go down in history. Taking a creative arts course at postgraduate level gives the student time and space to hone their skills, receive expert guidance and tuition, meet other like-minded artists, and open up opportunities that can lead to a creatively rewarding and fulfilling creative arts career. Entry RequirementsEntry onto a postgraduate course in the creative arts field is usually reliant on the candidate already having an undergraduate degree in their chosen discipline. On very few occasions, an artist who can demonstrate an exceptional skill or proficiency might be accepted, but this does not happen often. Most courses will ask for a demonstration of your ability in advance – by submission of portfolio, by performance, or by interview. The standard required at postgraduate level is often very high, and competition for places on courses can be tough. References from previous lecturers are usually also required. Courses Available Postgraduate courses are available in all of the many and varied artistic disciplines. The different fine arts disciplines provide many options for postgraduate study – from ceramics to fashion design, design communication, and sculpture. More theoretical subjects such as art history and visual communication are also offered at various third-level institutions around the country. Music provides rich pickings for postgraduate students, with a large amount of different specialities and options available – everything from composition to performance, Irish traditional and technology. Drama and dance courses are also on offer in specialised postgraduate departments. Potential postgraduate writers also have a number of different options, such as journalism and creative writing. Students more interested in analysing the media can choose from disciplines like film & television or media studies. Creative postgraduates with the technical skills and interests can look to postgraduate opportunities which feature new media technology. Irish third-level institutions offer programmes from multimedia systems to TV & video production. Research AreasThe creative arts offer the postgraduate research student many options. Individual students can undertake research projects in many facets of the different disciplines and add to the existing body of work already undertaken with their own personal stance. Some research programmes at postgraduate level in creative arts subjects can include a taught element, where students learn skills such as research methods, business or IT subjects, which will be useful for their particular research project and their future career prospects. Creative arts postgraduate research students are usually assessed by a final project, which is submitted at the end of the course. If the student is concentrating on the history or theory of their particular subject they may deliver a written thesis, while others may produce a performance or work of art as the culmination of their project. Career PathsJob prospects in the creative arts can be unpredictable and postgraduate courses do not serve as apprenticeships for career paths in the way that accountancy and IT courses do. However, they do give a solid grounding in the chosen subject, allowing the student to concentrate full-time on their art, writing or music. The university sector is always important for nurturing and developing creative talent. Taking a postgraduate course can keep you within a structure, such as moving onto a PhD and possibly even into teaching, which can help creative artists reach their full potential. Other ways of making money in the creative arts sector include royalties and advances from publishers, paid employment as freelance writers/artists, cash prizes from competitions, and bursaries from organisations. 2008-02-21 Music Technology Courses Music technology is a relatively new postgraduate option for Irish students, though it is steadily growing in significance. Some may feel that it is the most practical choice, employment-wise, for prospective musicians, as it broadens their subsequent possibilities to include backroom, studio-oriented work – like sound engineering and production – alongside more obvious musical career paths, like songwriting and live performance. However, this is not to say that music technology postgraduate courses skimp on the more creative, artistic elements of music making. Indeed, Dr. Gordon Delap – coordinator of the Music Technology Laboratory’s postgraduate courses in NUI Maynooth – firmly disagrees with the contention that his programmes are more suited to ‘behind-the-scenes’ music makers than potential pop stars, as he does not see any real divide between the two careers. ‘I don't think that there is always such a clear distinction between these roles [artist and producer], as many artists play a fully active role in the processes of production and engineering, ’ he states. ‘At any rate, the course isn't a “studio engineers” course; that's an aspect of the course, but it also looks at a range of other applications of music technology, like composition, programming, synthesis, sound design, and live electronics. ’In keeping with this philosophy, NUI Maynooth’s course coordinators take care to ensure that an equal portion of artistic content counterbalances these musical/technological applications. ‘That [artistic] element shouldn't be missing, ’ states Dr. Delap. ‘Music technology is fundamentally a creative discipline, so there's not much point in being technically proficient, if you forget about the listener at the end of the process. Our course aims to be divided 50/ 50 between technical concerns, and more creative elements. ’NUI Maynooth offers a Master of Arts Degree in Computer Music, and also a Higher Diploma in Music Technology. The MA course is 11 months in length, running from October to August – though it can also be pursued as a part-time, 2-year option. The HDip course is based solely on a taught element, without the thesis/portfolio requirement included in its MA equivalent. Both programmes have the same selection of taught modules, including Sound Recording Techniques, Multimedia Programming and Software Sound Synthesis. The University Of Limerick offers an MA and MSc in Music Technology, both of which are completed over the course of 12 months, in a full-time capacity. The two programmes include a 9-month taught section – which contains the same subject options for both the MA and MSc courses – followed by a 3-month research period. The degree designation depends on whether the research project is compositional (in which case an MA is awarded) or technological (which results in an MSc qualification). The Music Technology Centre, at the Dundalk Institute of Technology, offers both MSc and MA options in Music Technology. In fact, there are three pathways available within this course: Education (MA), Arts (MA) and Science (MSc). The programme takes place over the course of fourteen months: the first semester consists of mandatory, core modules (which differ slightly for the Education pathway), while the second gives students the opportunity to specialise in areas of personal interest. Electroacoustic Music & Composition, Recording Techniques & Technologies, and Sound Synthesis & Manipulation are mandatory modules for all three pathways. Trinity College Dublin offers a postgraduate programme in Music and Media Technologies, which can be taken as a Diploma option, over the course of one year. Furthermore, those who perform to a sufficient standard in their first year have the opportunity to pursue a Masters. They may remain for a second year, and attempt to secure the MPhil qualification, which entails a stronger research element than the Diploma. But, what career options are available to students, upon completion of their postgraduate qualification in music technology? Dr. Gordon Delap has discovered, through the experiences of his own course attendees, that there are a whole range of realistic possibilities open to them. ‘We get students from a variety of backgrounds, and when they leave, they go on to do a variety of things, ’ he explains. ‘From last year's graduates, we have one working in music production, one in radio, and one in arts administration. Another is undertaking a PhD in computer science, while some are taking on careers that don't have such an obvious connection to music technology. But whatever they do, we aim to provide them with skills they can transfer into many career environments. ’Niall Walsh recently completed a postgraduate qualification in Music Technology, in NUI Maynooth. Even though he has only been pursuing work for a short period of time (as the course concluded just a few months ago) he has found that the skills gleaned during the programme have been very useful in his subsequent endeavours. Since finishing in Maynooth, he has been performing live sound work, as well as some of his own personal studio projects. In addition, he has taken an unpaid work experience placement, in a recording studio. ‘The study of acoustics has proven to be useful in the studio, as well as in the live arena, ’ Walsh explains. ‘The recording techniques course has also proven helpful. My limited experience in the studio and at live venues would lead me to conclude that I am quite suited to these areas of work; the completion of the course has demystified them somewhat, removing the initial fear factor. ’So, there is a whole range of subsequent possibilities open to students who complete a music technology postgraduate course. In addition to the array of relatively low-profile (but highly-skilled) occupations a programme of this nature provides training for, there is also the tantalising possibility of pop/rock stardom, which can only be boosted by some well-informed, music-based instruction. 2008-02-21 Masters in Education The Masters in Education (MEd) typically appeals to teachers with several years' experience who decide to return to study in order to extend their professional knowledge. Sometimes they are considering some form of career change. For them, the MEd is both a form of professional development, and an aid towards career promotion. The qualification is the perfect medium for education graduates to further their study and research and develop a specialisation. Similar to many other MEds, the one run by St Patrick’s College in Drumcondra offers the student the opportunity to develop a specific area of expertise. According to the course information, this specialisation enables graduates to ‘provide leadership in schools, and support services within the education system more generally’. This MA would be ideal for those wishing to work in the education system outside of teaching itself. The MEd in St Patrick’s runs over two years and is part-time. Applicants are required to have an honours primary degree and a minimum of three years teaching experience to enter the course. Once accepted to the course, students study six modules during the first 18 months, while the final semester is taken up with writing a 20, 000-word thesis on a specialised research topic. Three compulsory or core modules are Current Issues in Education, Quantitative Research Methods and Qualitative Research Methods. Students can select from one of three other modules to allow the opportunity for specialisation: Digital Learning, Educational Disadvantage and Educational Leadership. Digital Learning is an area set to become more and more relevant to those working in education as technology plays a greater role in day-to-day teaching methods. The possibilities of using digital video and sound technologies are examined as well as the learning opportunities provided by the Internet. Students opt for a specific area of research and are then awarded with the relevant qualification – the MEd with a special option in Digital Learning, for example. MEd graduates can reap huge career benefits. According to Dr. Deirdre Rafferty, Deputy Head of the UCD School of Education & Lifelong Learning and Director of Research and Innovation, the MEd often enables them to progress in their current fields. ‘Our graduates often move upwards in their profession. Many become principals and deputy principals in schools, and others take posts of responsibility in schools, ’ she says. The specialist nature of many MEd programmes provides graduates with very desirable skills. UCD have an MA in Special Needs Education and an MA in Educational Psychology. According to the course information, the Special Needs MA (MEdSEN) ‘is designed for teachers and other professionals involved in the education, care and management of persons with special educational needs and disabilities’.   Aimed at teaching graduates, the programme teaches candidates to deal with a variety of students with different special needs. Experts working in the field are invited in to talk to students throughout the two-year course to give an insight in to the daily practicalities of working with special needs students. This kind of specialisation can be extremely useful for those wishing to progress in a particular area of their careers. Dr Rafferty confirms that studying the Leadership and Management MEd provides students with the skills necessary to work in managerial roles in schools. ‘Many of these students are hoping to apply for a principalship or deputy principalship, ’ she says. ‘Doing a MEd with a specialism in this area will increase their knowledge and may also increase their confidence. In addition, it is very common nowadays for teachers who are seeking promotion to have either a masters or doctorate degree, so returning to take a postgraduate degree is almost viewed as a necessity in order to compete favourably in the jobs market. ’While some graduates of the MEd go on to roles of great responsibility in schools, others choose the academic route and progress to further study. Dr Rafferty explains, ‘we have had a number of doctoral students who have continued their research after completing their masters in education. They may stay in research, or move into third-level work such as lecturing. Some of our recent graduates have also become very competent writers, publishing books and research papers in their area of interest. ’UCD's School of Education and Lifelong Learning offers a purely research based masters, the Mlitt. Working with the guidance of a research supervisor who specialises in their area of interest, students complete a major thesis.   According to Dr. Rafferty, the MLitt can be a first step towards a PhD in education, as ‘students can transfer to doctoral studies after their first year, if their work is of a sufficiently high standard. ’The part-time MA in Education in UCD is also a very popular course, combining evening classes with a thesis. Dr Rafferty says that this course is particularly popular with foreign students, attracting students from all over Africa, Asia and Europe.   With such a wide variety of specialisations available, there is something tailored to suit a range of education graduates and their career plans. The MEd is an excellent qualification that often leads to significant career progression and greater job satisfaction in the field of education. 2008-02-21 Postgraduate Application Process Postgraduate applications Competition is stiff for many postgraduate courses, so it definitely pays to do the research and enter an application on time and word perfect. Paper Application FormsApplication for most postgraduate courses in Ireland is via the college’s standard official application form.   A few specialised courses use their own individual forms. All forms are available from either the Postgraduate Admissions Office, or the particular school or faculty office. You might also be able to download a ‘PDF format’ application form from the college website. The forms are generally fairly standard, with space for your name, address and other personal information, and your academic achievements. You may also be asked for information on any professional qualifications, employment experience and scholarships that you have received. It is standard procedure to send the completed form along with all other necessary material by post to the college’s postgraduate admissions office. Online ApplicationsSix institutions require applicants to use the PAC (Postgraduate Applications Centre) system, which can be accessed at www. pac. ie. They are: University College Cork,  Dublin City University, NUI Maynooth,  NUI Galway,  Trinity College Dublin, and Waterford Institute of Technology. Some courses in these institutions are not applied for through the PAC system; so make sure to check the application status of your course with the Postgraduate Admissions Office. Applicants can apply for a number of courses (three to five typically). Beside standard postgraduate applications to the six listed institutions, applications for the following two courses are also carried out online: Postgraduate Diploma in Education (UCC, UCD, NUI Galway, NUI Maynooth) and the Postgraduate Diploma in Public Health Nursing (NUI Galway, UCC, UCD, St Angela’s College, HSE). The PAC’s online forms have fields for all the same information as their traditional printed equivalent. Some courses and most research programmes will have extra forms that have to be printed out and filled in. You receive your own PAC application number and can then follow your application online. Candidates receive emails from the PAC as their application progresses, including, hopefully, one offering you a place on the course that you want. You can apply to each institution separately, unlike in the CAO, so you can get offers from all six, and then decide. Postgraduate Applications Centre 1 Courthouse Square Galway IrelandTel: 091 549260Fax: 091 563056Academic Entry RequirementsAll students on a postgrad course have to prove they have reached the necessary standard before being accepted. This proof generally means you have been awarded at least a 2. 2 honours undergraduate degree in a relevant subject, while some courses may require a 2. 1 or higher result. For some courses relevant work experience is a useful attribute, while for other courses (e. g. the MBA) it is a strict requirement. PhD and other research programmes usually require a certain level of research experience for entry. Statement of InterestMost colleges want to know more about candidates, including their motivation and personal experience. The Statement of Interest can be the most important part of an application, and it pays to take it very seriously. You should aim to communicate your enthusiasm for the course, why you feel that you are particularly qualified, and what you hope to gain from the experience. Many people think of a statement of interest as similar to the cover letter submitted with a CV when applying for a job. If you have relevant professional and extra-curricular experience, mention it here to distinguish yourself from other applicants who might have similar academic achievements. Link your proposed studies with professional and/or personal goals. Other Application MaterialCandidates applying to a college they did not attend at undergrad level, usually have to submit official transcripts showing the subjects they studied and the results they achieved. Most institutions do not accept photocopies; official duplicate transcripts can be obtained from your previous university (this can take some time to arrange). All postgraduate courses will require that you submit academic references. Think carefully about who to approach and try to ask somebody with whom you have built up a good relationship, and whom you think you can rely on to remember specific details about your achievements. A number of programmes request a curriculum vitae and a copy of the applicant’s birth certificate. Applicants for places on research postgraduate courses generally have to submit a research proposal – discuss this in detail with your tutor or lecturer, as they will offer key advice. Applicants whose first language is not English may be required to submit evidence of their competency, e. g. TOEFL or IELTS results. Application FeeAll postgrad courses charge an application fee, which ranges from about €30 to €50, and is non refundable. A fee of €45 applies to PAC applications (except for the PDip in Education - €80 for a standard application). Closing DatesClosing dates for applications vary for different courses, even within the same institution. Some courses have a rolling system where they accept some applicants during the year and then hold a number of places over until final results are announced during the summer. Research postgraduate programmes tend to be more flexible, with students applying and starting some programmes throughout the year. Contact the college in question for details regarding your course. InterviewsSome postgraduate programmes (more specialised courses with a smaller intake in particular) hold interviews as part of the selection process; these tend to be similar in style to a job interview. You will usually have to answer questions about the specific field of study, your career plans and your academic and professional experience. As with a job interview, it is important to show enthusiasm for the work at hand by exhibiting a keen interest in the topic, asking appropriate questions and doing your preparatory research beforehand (i. e. what are the research interests of the interviewers? What kind of questions might they ask you? Can you stand over the results of a research assignment you may have carried out as part of your degree?). Interviewees should also convey their ability to work and communicate effectively with others, particularly if seeking to join an established research team.   Applying to a university in Ireland - Checklist Applications for taught postgraduate courses at Irish universities typically require the following: Application Form Application Fee Curriculum Vitae Transcript of Academic Results Statement of Interest Copy of Birth Certificate Academic References Evidence of English Competency 2008-02-20 Introducing Postgraduate Qualifications There is a wide variety of postgraduate qualifications available from Irish universities and other third-level institutions, each with potential pros and cons for different students. This section contains information on general entry requirements, typical course durations, and the modes of delivery and assessment for different kinds of qualification. Prospective students should bear in mind that it is possible to progress up the ladder to a Ph. D regardless of the level of entry. Postgraduate Certificates and DiplomasPostgraduate certificates and diplomas usually last for one academic year. They tend to be vocational in content, and can often act as conversion courses for those who have no prior knowledge of a subject matter. Certificates tend to be more intensive than diplomas, and students may move onto a diploma course after completing their certificate programme. Examples include the Higher Diploma in Education, the Postgraduate Certificate in Business Studies and the Higher Diploma in IT. Entry -   Primary degree or other undergraduate qualification. Some courses accept related work experienceDuration -  One year full-time or two years part-timeDelivery - Mixture of taught classes and practical and project workAssessment -  Mixture of exams and continuous assessment Progression - Students can often transfer onto a Masters course upon completion of their graduate certificate. Taught Masters DegreesTaking a Masters degree involves studying an academic subject in depth. Students generally choose to take a Masters in an area related to their primary degree, although this is not always the case. There are a number of different types of Masters postgraduate award. The most common are Master of Arts (MA) and Master of Sciences (MSc). Other qualifications available include the Master of Business Administration (MBA), the Master of Laws (LLM) and the Master of Engineering (ME). Entry -   Undergraduate degree or transfer from postgraduate certificate or diploma programmeDuration -  One year full-time or two years part-timeDelivery - Lectures, seminars and tutorials throughout the yearAssessment -  Projects/papers during term-time, written (and in some cases oral) exams at certain times throughout the year, with a thesis generally submitted at the end of the courseProgression -  Normally the end of the road for taught classes, but students who attain good honours results can continue their studies through research to MPhil or Ph. D programmes. Research Masters DegreesFor a research Masters programme, the student does not attend any classes or sit any exams; everything is geared toward the submission of a research project at the end of the course. A programme of study is devised in association with the students’ professor or supervisor, who provides guidance and advice during regular meetings.   Students generally choose to take a Masters in an area related to their primary degree, although not always. There are a number of different types of postgraduate award. The most common are Master of Arts (MA) and Master of Sciences (MSc), but other qualifications available include the Master of Literature (MLitt), the Master of Laws (LLM) and the Master of Engineering (ME). Entry -   Undergraduate degreeDuration -  Typically one or two years, depending on the research topic chosen and the motivation of the studentDelivery - Generally all research, but in some cases students may be required to attend classesAssessment -  Research project submitted at the end of the courseProgression - On completion of a research Masters, students who receive a good   honours result can apply to transfer onto an MPhil or Ph. D programmeMaster of Philosophy The Master of Philosophy (MPhil) is a special type of programme that can last longer than other Masters programmes – two years is the norm. The MPhil is usually research-based, although some do include taught elements, and it is pitched at a higher standard than MA or MSc awards. Students carry out supervised research in their chosen topic (which doesn’t have to be Philosophy) and produce a substantial thesis at the end of the course. MPhil students would typically intend to progress on to a Ph. D. Entry -  Good undergraduate or Masters degreeDuration - Typically two yearsDelivery -  Mixture of taught and research or purely researchAssessment - Generally a research project, sometimes with an oral examProgression - MPhil students are typically planning to progress on to a Ph. DDoctor of Philosophy (Ph. D)The Ph. D is the highest academic degree awarded. Traditionally, it means that the candidate has reached a sufficient standard to be accepted into academia. The Ph. D is the most common type of doctorate, although there are others available – including the Doctor of Laws (LLD) and Doctor of Letters (DLitt). Most doctorates are completed by research and candidates are generally required to produce a substantial dissertation, which must make a definite contribution (however modest) to human knowledge. Many colleges require students to defend their work in front of a panel of experts, a process known as ‘viva voce’. Honourary doctorates, typically awarded to celebrities like Roy Keane or Bob Geldof, do not require this vigorous defence and do not carry the same weight of respect in academia. Entry -   Most Ph. D students will possess a good Masters degree. Progression   from MPhil and research Masters programmes is common. Less usual, but not unheard of, is the progression of students moving straight from a Bachelors degree onto a PhDDuration -  Depends on the topic chosen and the motivation of the student, but   three to four years full-time or five to six years part-time is a typical durationDelivery - ResearchAssessment - Thesis and sometimes an oral examProgression -  Post-doctorate researchImportant to note: These guidelines are indicative only. Course characteristics can vary from discipline to discipline and from institution to institution. The only way to be sure is to contact the individual school hosting the course. 2008-01-10 Certification Welcome to the Certification section of Postgrad. ie. There is a wide array of qualifications available at fourth level, and it is hugely important you have a sound understanding of the significance and commitment required by each type before you make your decision. . .    2008-01-10 Part Time Postgraduate Study Almost 50 per cent of all postgraduate students at Irish universities are studying part-time. This includes mature students, who decide to return to education at different stages of their careers, as well as students who have just graduated from their primary degree, and don’t want to commit to a further year studying full-time. Part-time postgraduate study is so widespread because of the many other competing pressures on the time of people considering postgraduate study. Family commitments, work obligations and mortgage or rent payments can all mean that attending classes full time is not an option. Universities and colleges are well aware of this and offer a wide range of flexible and part-time options at postgraduate level. Taught postgraduate courses can take place in the evenings, or be spread over two years. Research courses can be even more flexible, with research supervisors giving students the responsibility to design their own schedules. Many employers are willing to be flexible if their staff wish to improve their skills and qualifications by taking a postgraduate course. Some companies give extra time off, and others will even help pay course fees, if the subject is relevant and useful to their business. Block release – where you attend fulltime classes for a set number of weeks a couple of times a year – is another option. The advent of the Internet and broadband means that distance learning is an increasingly popular choice. While part-time study is a very powerful and useful option, it is still important to keep in mind that committing to a college or university course is a big step, very different to a nightcourse in Mediterranean cookery or photography. It can be difficult to hit the books after a hard day at work, but you will have to do exactly that on a regular basis. You will need to dedicate a substantial amount of time to your studies to be successful, and this will inevitably eat into your leisure and personal time. Life doesn’t just stop while you are studying, and you will need the support of those close to you to make it work. It is usually a good idea discuss your plans with your family and friends before embarking on a course of study. But achieving a postgrad qualification wouldn’t be worth doing if it were easy. Success on a part-time postgraduate course can require a good deal of determination and self-motivation. However with the support of the college, and the people around you, a part-time postgraduate course can work out just fine.   2008-01-10 Taught v Research Programmes Choosing between a taught and research based programme depends upon factors such as your personality,  the varying duration, financial concerns and the type of career you are aiming for. Research programmes are tough and demanding, relying on your own initiative and drive is an intrinsic element. A research based qualification is essential for a career in academia or in the research & development sector. Taught programmes are more similar to the type of learning undergone at undergraduate level, with a structured format of lectures and exams. It is important however, not to overestimate the differences between the two approaches. Taught postgraduate programmes in Ireland involve an increasing amount of research; in many cases a dissertation on a student's chosen topic contributes a large proportion to your final mark. The following pieces will hopefully be of assistance as you decide which avenue to follow. . . 2008-01-09 The Research Option Roughly 40% of full time postgraduate students at Irish higher-level institutions are undertaking research degrees. But what does being a postgraduate researcher involve? Research involves the in-depth study of a very specific topic. Research courses do not revolve around classes, and researchers spend most of their time independently researching their topic, overseen by a supervisor who is an expert in the particular field. This can mean long hours in the library or laboratory – the time spent is essentially the equivalent of a full time job.   Research students must investigate and critically evaluate their topic, utilising the latest research methods in the field. There are usually no exams or term papers; instead, assessment is by a thesis or dissertation submitted at the very end of the course.  The student is graded according to the quality of the final published thesis and sometimes an oral exam (often referred to as a ‘viva voce’), which involves giving a presentation on the thesis findings and defending them in front of a panel of experts. The most well-known research qualification is the PhD, or Doctor of Philosophy. Traditionally, it means that the candidate has reached the minimum standard to be accepted into academia. A PhD usually takes between three and five years to complete. The Master of Philosophy (MPhil) is a shorter research course (two to four years full time), which is often taken as a stepping stone to a PhD. Also possible are shorter Masters courses such as research-based Master of Science (MSc) and Master of Arts (MA) degrees. These typically take one year on a full-time basis.   The most important decision to make when choosing a postgraduate research degree is the subject or topic. Students can decide upon their research topics in two ways. The first is to develop an idea themselves and then approach a supervisor, or the supervisor may have a set list of viable research topics. It is best to choose a supervisor who is already an expert in your area of research, and who has a genuine interest in guiding your research in the right direction. The second method is to apply for a research programme that is ongoing at a university. Students may hear that a position exists, see it advertised, or be approached by a supervisor. This route is more likely in the case of science or IT subject areas. A big advantage here is that set research programmes are more likely to have funding attached, plus the student gets to work as a member of an established team. Most research students take a good deal of care over their choice of supervisor and institution. Visit the campus and meet with your supervisor to discuss exactly how the arrangement will work. Are supervisor meetings frequent? What are the library, IT, laboratory and social facilities like? What other postgraduates are in the department? Do they have links with other universities or colleges in Ireland or abroad that might be useful? Ask for examples of previously completed research topics and find out what previous researchers are doing now.   Budding research students should be well prepared for what awaits them. Postgraduate research study requires a high level of self-motivation, and it can often be a solitary and pressurised experience. It should be noted however, that the traditional problem of the ‘loneliness of the researcher’ is increasingly countered by the ‘structured’ approach to research education. Researchers today are encouraged to avail of taught, classroom-based modules in generic skills (e. g. communication, report-writing) and subject-specific topics. For a student with a real interest in his or her subject, a postgraduate research degree is a tremendous opportunity to explore your field at the highest level of learning. The Research Proposal Application procedures vary from college to college, and from discipline to discipline. Most institutions have research proposal forms that standardise the application process. Candidates usually discuss their proposals with their prospective supervisors before submission. A typical research proposal is three to four pages long and can consist of the following elements: • Title of your proposed research topic • What you hope to achieve, demonstrate or argue • The methodology you plan to employ • Your motivation for the project • Your prospective supervisor • At least two academic references  • Professional references Candidates may be called for an interview before being accepted. In general, you can apply for, and start, a research postgraduate programme at any time during the year. However, most prospective students apply for September/October entry.     Students interested in securing a position in an established research team/centre should keep a regular eye on institution websites for any research positions that become available. 2008-01-09 Postgraduate Funding Once you’ve secured your place as a postgraduate student, you are faced with the new worry of how you are going to manage financially. With both tuition fees and living costs to account for, postgraduates need all the help they can get with lightening the load of their expenses. Luckily, there are many different ways in which you can acquire financial support and it is well worth your while pursuing as many of these avenues as soon as possible since all levels of funding are highly sought after. The more organised and open-minded you are in your quest to gain funding the better the position you are in to actually obtain it. 2008-01-04 Study Options There are many options to consider when contemplating the postgraduate option: research or taught programme? part time or distance learning? It's all about choosing the programme that best suits your own situation, so browse the following articles for a clearer understanding of what's involved. . . 2008-01-04 Mathematics There really are infinite possibilities for postgraduate study and research in the field of mathematics. Graduates with mathematics and related degrees can pursue further study within the broader Engineering, IT and Science fields. Given the specialised nature of mathematics at this level, many postgraduate opportunities in maths are through research. The Trinity College Dublin School of Mathematics offers students the possibility of postgraduate research across a range of subjects in Pure Mathematics, Theoretical Physics, High-Performance Computing, and interdisciplinary subjects such as Bioinformatics and Neuroscience. The School is small and the setting is informal, which encourages close contact with staff, postdoctoral fellows, visiting scholars and fellow postgraduate students. Close links with TCD’s Hamilton Mathematics Institute, School of Theoretical Physics and Institute for Advanced Studies can also be useful for research students. Postgraduate students in the School may read for a PhD or MSc degree by research. They may also pursue a one-year, full-time MSc course in High-Performance Computing. There are no formal entry requirements for those pursuing a degree by research. Prospective students are expected to have achieved at least a 2. 1 undergraduate degree and to have the necessary background to pursue advanced study in their chosen field of research. Following evidence of initial work on a thesis topic, the MSc candidate may apply to transfer to the PhD register after the first year. Research Topics available at TCD include Pure Mathematics (especially partial differential equations, and also operator algebras, operator theory and complex analysis), Theoretical Physics (String Theory, Lattice Quantum Chromodynamics, Quantum Field Theory), Bio-Mathematics and Research in High-Performance Computing. For those with a real interest and ability in mathematics, postgraduate research at TCD is a real option to consider. Alternatively there are a number of mathematics and related postgraduate options available at third level institutions throughout Ireland. UCD, UCC, NUI Maynooth, Galway, DCU, Waterford IT, Queens, DIT and UL all offer programmes specialising in areas within the field. For more details, consult the courses listed over the following pages. Those with postgraduate qualifications in mathematics are very sought after in a number of industries. Maths graduates may find themselves working in manufacturing, insurance, science, financial services, statistics, market research, IT, military, civil service and many other areas.   2007-04-13 Journalism Courses   Journalism is no longer the exclusive remit of print media, radio and TV; it has become a far more multidimensional discipline, incorporating a host of new elements – a fact that is clearly reflected by the widespread inclusion of a digital and social media dimension to most journalism programmes. The Internet has had a major effect on the ways in which information is circulated. The proliferation of websites, blogs and social media sites has come to represent a significant challenge to traditional media outlets, which have been forced to evolve in order to adapt and survive. This is because new media allows users a far greater level of immediacy and interactivity as they can access and respond to continuous streams of information through the use of laptops and other mobile devices. It is clear that engagement has become a hugely effective means of securing a wider readership. This fact is well recognised by many of the programme directors for postgraduate Journalism courses. Cork Institute of Technology’s MA in Journalism and New Media (one year full time), for example, puts great emphasis on the growing importance of digital and interactive media on the practice of journalism. Modules such as Features and Web Writing, Multimedia Design and New Media Production are developed in line with advances in the media and communications industry. Another course that acknowledges this shift in the nature of media and journalism is Independent College Dublin’s MA in Journalism (one year full time, two years part time). Along with the more conventional aspects of reporting, such as Investigative Journalism, Feature Writing and Law, the programme also incorporates modules such as Video Production and Online Journalism. This confers greater versatility to students. ‘Our graduates are increasingly finding employment in digital and social media’, says Course Director Janice Gaffey. ‘The programme trains them to work as multimedia content producers, dealing with video and online production, so they’re flexible in the areas in which they can work. ’   Such flexibility not only enhances a graduate’s employability, but – as students are adept at switching between platforms – it also creates the option to work freelance. This is a route that is becoming increasingly common within the new media landscape as people use social media sites and online resources to upload news content and express their views and opinions. In fact, ‘citizen journalism’ (as it has been called) has become hugely important in international news coverage in locations where there are currently draconian media restrictions in place (e. g. Syria, China, Iran).   While such decentralisation is to be welcomed in certain respects, it has also been suggested as one of the principal causes of a ‘race to the bottom’ as established news organizations struggle to compete with the levels of immediacy and engagement offered by bloggers and other web-based news outlets (the recent ‘phone hacking’ scandal and RTE’s ‘tweetgate’ could both be said to be evidence of this). An additional concern relates to bloggers’ and social media journalists’ lack of self-regulation or adherence to an entrenched code of ethics; indeed, much of this type of journalism remains essentially opinion-based, lacking both the impartiality and research of higher-quality reportage. ‘There’s no shortage of information available online but credibility and reliability of that information can be questionable, ’ says Gaffey. ‘The popularity of the websites of major news-gathering organisations suggests that people still rely on trained journalists to report and explain events. ’ Creating awareness in students of a code of practice that is not only a legal obligation, but also a means of safeguarding high standards is therefore one of the foremost concerns of all postgraduate programmes in Journalism. Training in ethics, context, research techniques, sub-editing and media law is given as standard. Many colleges (such as ICD, DCU and DIT) also provide internship opportunities within established media organisations in order to allow students put what they have learned into practise. The acquisition of journalistic and academic skills is ensured through continuous assessment, which normally involves a combination of in-class exercises, tests, essays/articles and a dissertation.   To gain admission to a Journalism course, applicants are generally required to have at least a second-class honours primary degree (in any subject – journalism, by its nature, encompasses a broad subject base). Some institutes also ask that candidates submit a short article, personal statement and/or attend for an interview. Naturally, candidates are also expected to display an appropriately high level of self-motivation, writing ability and commitment – qualities that are integral for anyone hoping to make it as a professional reporter. For Gaffey, such focus is a distinguishing feature of those who choose to study the topic at postgraduate level: ‘People tend to come to postgraduate journalism with a definite idea of what they’d like to do in the media. They’ve had the chance to develop during their undergraduate courses or working lives and tend to have well-formed views and opinions – journalism gives them an outlet for that. When they go into the workplace, they’re fully prepared to be at the heart of the events that shape the world around us. ’   2007-04-12 Environmental Studies As we learn more about the impact of modern development and industry on the world around us, the need for better thought out environmental management becomes clear. With government and EU regulations and legislation increasing, businesses and organisations are increasingly requiring qualified people with environmental training. A number of third level and postgraduate courses have emerged to cater for this demand. Environmental control is a relatively new discipline and requires the amalgamation of a variety of new and existing technical skills. Institute of Technology Sligo was the first third level institution in Ireland to offer courses in the environmental area. The three-year undergraduate National Diploma in Environmental Science has been running since 1975 and now has a one-year add-on post certificate course. IT Sligo has developed its expertise and leadership in this area, and now runs a host of other related postgraduate courses including research and taught options. One such course at IT Sligo is the Graduate Diploma / MSc in Environmental Protection. Graduates with qualifications falling broadly within the science and physical resources area are welcome to submit applications. Candidates with relevant professional experience and qualifications are also considered. This is a two or three year programme with flexible learning options available. Course Modules include Water Pollution Control, Air Pollution Control, Hazardous Waste Control, Noise and Vibration, Environmental Systems and Environmental Management. Graduate Diploma (Environmental Protection) comprises all the above subjects, plus a dissertation relating to the subject area chosen. Successful students can move on and conduct research into their area of interest for a further year, which should lead to the awarding of an MSc. For those who cannot study on a full-time basis, there is some flexibility in course structure available. Single subject certificates in each module discipline are awarded and there is provision for distance learning. All courses are supplemented by workshops, seminars and site visits at a range of locations throughout Ireland. Other postgraduate options in this area at IT Sligo include a one-year add-on degree in Environmental Chemistry to holders of relevant Diplomas in Applied Science, a Graduate Diploma in Environmental Protection by distance learning, an MSc in Environmental Biology, Environmental Impact and Environmental, Health and Safety Management. Many other institutions around the country run postgraduate courses in the area of environmental management. DIT has a taught MSc in Environmental Health & Safety Management. The Environmental Institute in UCD runs a variety of masters and PhD courses. Interested students can also consider the University of Ulster’s Postgraduate Diploma and MSc programmes in Environmental Management. A full list of courses available in the area can be found on the following pages. The programmes are designed to provide graduates and technologists in industry and state bodies with useful and valuable technological and managerial skills - so those with postgraduate qualifications in environmental management and related areas shouldn’t be short of job options. Environmental management degree holders often work as specialists in public health, waste disposal, recycling, and pollution control. Some environmental management experts work for government and regulatory authorities that investigate and prosecute companies that skirt environmental preservation regulations. A growing number of graduates actually work for companies that wish to prevent costly government actions by making sure they don’t break the rules. With concerns over pollution, global warming and corporate responsibility growing, and with EU and Irish government regulations becoming more stringent, environmental management looks set to continue as a growth area. One that is well worth considering for those interested in pursuing further study within the Agriculture, Environment, Food and Physical Resources sector. 2007-04-12 Civil Engineering Courses With huge levels of growth in the Irish construction industry at the moment, driven by both government and EU investment, Civil Engineering is a very attractive career path for the engineering graduate, or anyone with a qualification in a related discipline looking to specialise. Civil Engineers are responsible for designing and implementing the larger structures in the built environment. They work on designing roads, runways, bridges, sewage plants, dams and other large buildings such as hospitals and universities. Their work also involves managing the project, seeing it through to completion and dealing with any problems that arise. Civil Engineers get to wear both a hard hat and a business suit. There are many postgraduate qualifications in civil engineering and related areas to choose from. For example, the Department of Civil Engineering at NUI Galway offers two masters level research degrees (MengSc. for graduates with a primary degree in Engineering and MApplSc. for non-engineering graduates) as well as a PhD degree. Candidates wishing to take a postgraduate research degree at NUIG must submit a proposal outlining the areas of research that they intend to study. The research interests of the staff at NUIG include Computational Methods in Engineering Structures, Coastal and Marine Engineering, Computer Modelling in Offshore Engineering, Geotechnical Engineering, Wind Engineering, Flexible Pavements and Environmental Engineering. Graduates with good honours standard degrees are invited to submit proposals. Applicants can discuss topics of interest with appropriate staff members to agree on their topic for research. Students enrolled on masters programmes can usually transfer to Ph. D as their research progresses. The NUIG Faculty of Engineering offers a wide range of research degree options across all departments. Thus, students undertaking research in Civil Engineering will be able to make use of institutional expertise in Electronic Engineering, Engineering Hydrology, Industrial Engineering, Mechanical & Biomedical Engineering, and Information Technology. Other third level institutions throughout Ireland offer similar research and taught masters opportunities in Civil Engineering including CIT, Trinity, UCD and UCC. Similar qualifications in Building Project Management, Construction Management, Highway Technology, Materials Science and Engineering and Structural Engineering are also available around the country. Graduates with Civil Engineering qualifications should find that there are opportunities within the construction and related industries as well as in the civil service, manufacturing, environmental management and IT sectors. This makes a postgraduate qualification in Civil Engineering a most useful addition to the CV of anyone intent on pursuing a career in these areas. 2007-04-12 Agriculture Welcome to the Agriculture, Environment, Food & Physical Resources section of Postgrad. ie. These sectors are immensely important to the Irish economy and still employ 7% of the total workforce. Advances in policy and technology have seen sweeping changes in these areas in recent years and the postgraduate opportunities available at Irish universities reflect this. Follow the links below to explore your options… 2007-04-03 Arts & Humanties Ireland is a nation deeply rooted in history and rich in literary tradition and artistic expression. Irish has the third oldest literature in Europe after Greek and Latin and has a strong history in the art of story-telling which has played its part in distinguishing Irish art and literature from that of other countries. It boasts the rich literary talent and masterpieces of James Joyce, Oscar Wilde, William Butler Yeats, George Bernard Shaw and Samuel Beckett to name but a few, making it easy to see the extent to which Ireland has contributed to world literature alone. Postgraduate studies and research in arts and humanities are seen as essential to Ireland's economic, social, cultural and creative development. For those with an interest in the area there is no shortage of course options available. Entry RequirementsCandidates for most postgraduate courses in the arts and humanities areas must have at least a second-class honours primary degree. PhD candidates will need to demonstrate a significant level of research experience and potential. Applicants are not judged on their academic results alone; other considerations such as relevant experience and a real interest in the chosen subject will usually be taken into account. Language students at postgraduate level must demonstrate that they are approaching fluency. Courses AvailablePostgraduate courses are available in all of the traditional areas like history and literature, as well as in more modern fields such as social aspects of visual media and semiotics. Students with an interest in the past can choose from subjects such as history, archaeology, classics, medieval studies and Celtic studies. Foreign literature and language courses include American, French, German, Spanish, Asian, Australian, Latin and European literature and languages, while related subjects such as comparative literature, cultural studies, linguistics and interpreting studies will also interest graduates with fluency in more than one idiom. Other course options at postgraduate level include ecumenical subjects such as theology, spirituality and biblical studies, as well as subjects focusing on the opium of the masses (the media, of course) including journalism, film studies, visual studies, multimedia, creative writing and screenwriting. Other arts and humanities options at postgraduate level worth considering include philosophy, geography, and librarianship. Irish and Irish literature, and English and English literature are also options. Research AreasArts and humanities disciplines offer the potential postgraduate research student a wealth of opportunities. Many institutions offer dedicated research centres and staff with a vast collection of subject interests. Postgraduate study is about getting to the root of issues through in-depth research. This is what makes postgraduate research in the arts and humanities so potentially exciting, interesting and fulfilling. Often, arts and humanities postgraduate research does not fit within one neatly packaged discipline. For example, you can’t just choose philosophy as your research topic – you need to choose a more specific area upon which to focus. Cultural identity is currently an important research area at Irish universities – research areas include cross-border studies, cultural modernity and feminist literary theory. Irish studies is also an important area of research within Irish academia, with potential areas of research including Irish folklore, history, literature, and Anglo-Irish literature. Language departments also foster a wide range of postgraduate research, with students investigating the literature, history and politics of their chosen society, language or culture. Media is also an increasingly popular area for postgraduate research. Options can include film theory, media content analysis and the social effects of the media. The fields of philosophy, theology and English literature also contain rich pickings for potential postgraduate researchers. Career PathsA characteristic of arts and humanities disciplines at postgraduate level is their interdisciplinary nature, which provides graduates with a broad range of skills that can be used in all kinds of career areas. A non-exhaustive list of potential careers for arts and humanities graduates can include working in the media, the civil service, advertising, marketing, public relations, politics, publishing, human resources, librarianship, education, social work, economics, law and local government. Many graduates, especially those involved in research degrees, aim to remain in academia and become professors or lecturers. However, for many arts and humanities students, set career progression isn’t the real goal; it is the love of their particular subject that spurs them on. 2007-04-03 Business The rapid economic growth in Ireland over the past 15 years has put Ireland on a platform as one of the most successful and highly technological economies in the world. The ‘Celtic Tiger’ continues to drive successful business and its economy is performing steadily while less fortunate competitors flounder in the current atmosphere of economic uncertainty. The Dublin International Financial Services centre is the prime return-on-investment location within the EU for the financial services industry. Over a quarter of a million people are now employed in the financial services in Ireland and the need for more highly-qualified professionals in the areas of banking, financial services, business management and e-business continues to grow. A postgraduate qualification in a business discipline can be the key to unlocking diverse opportunities and career paths within the Irish business world. Modern business postgraduate courses equip students with the creative and entrepreneurial skills necessary to deal with real-world situations. Irish colleges work in partnership with industry, commerce and the various professions to ensure that the courses reflect the needs of the Irish economy. Many postgraduate business programmes employ flexible learning, allowing students to continue to work and study part-time, through block release or through distance learning. Entry Requirements Most postgraduate courses in business disciplines require at least a second-class honours primary degree. An academic background in a business or related subject is useful, though it is not always necessary. Graduates with a primary degree in a subject other than business often choose to take a postgraduate course in a business subject to enhance their CV. There are also plenty of opportunities for specialisation for those with an undergraduate business degree. Students wishing to undertake a PhD in business must demonstrate their research experience and competency. Courses Available Postgraduate courses in business span a huge range of topics relevant to the modern workplace. Programmes can be very career-orientated such as accountancy courses or they can be more general. Some postgraduate business degrees include subjects from other disciplines such as IT or Education. The areas of economics and corporate finance are very popular choices of postgraduate study – a good deal of specialisation is involved and options include everything from business economics to venture management and economic policy. Business administration, entrepreneurship and management are important areas for postgraduate study. The MBA (Masters of Business Administration) is the pre-eminent course in this area. Other options include everything from business & entrepreneurship to leadership & management. International management courses are another worthwhile option in our increasingly globalised economic reality. E-business and human resources management programmes are also increasingly popular. The fields of advertising and marketing offer students plenty of postgraduate opportunities, while postgraduate tourism courses can combine practical business management skills with a foreign language and other specific tourism modules. Research Areas Business offers the potential postgraduate research student a wealth of opportunities, particularly in economics and management disciplines. Many employers encourage their staff to undertake a postgraduate research course where the research topic or project work is closely linked to their own business. The broad economics and financial services areas provide fertile ground for postgraduate research. Business strategy and management are also important areas for postgraduate research, with areas such as enterprise development and e-business being a sample of what is possible. Advertising, marketing and public relations are also interesting disciplines for postgraduate research projects, while tourism and international business also offer up many potential research areas. Career Paths The real advantage of a postgraduate qualification in business is that it allows you to enter the career ladder at a higher rung. Starting salaries and responsibilities are usually higher for those who arrive armed with a masters or better. Those with postgraduate qualifications in business-related subjects will be prepared for a wide range of career options. This is still a huge growth area in the Irish economy and the opportunities are still there and growing. Many of the top business and financial services companies offer graduate training programmes. Often, the employer pays for the postgraduate tuition and in return the student agrees to work for a set time with that company. This arrangement provides benefits for both the employer and the student. Accountancy postgraduates in particular often benefit from this type of arrangement. 2007-04-03 IT and Computers The IT industry has recently begun to recover from the slight slump since the glory days of the early 1990s. It has accounted in no small part to Ireland’s economic stability and continues to thrive with an annual turnover in excess of €51 billion. Its contribution to Ireland’s employment levels has also been massive with Ireland’s Information, Communication and Technology (ICT) sector accounting for more than 90, 000 jobs with 13, 000 companies in Ireland. The IT sector is vital to Ireland’s economy. Many of the world’s leading ICT companies have operations in Ireland – including Microsoft, Dell, and Google. Ireland is the largest exporter of software in the world and 60 per cent of all software packages sold in Europe are produced in Ireland. The IT sector in Ireland is constantly evolving and continues to attract high-value jobs in a variety of different areas. The demand for highly-qualified graduates to continue this research and development is vital to ensure that Ireland stays at the cutting-edge of technological innovation and progression. Postgraduate courses are therefore, an important part of career development for anyone working or studying in the computing and IT sector. Entry RequirementsA second-class honours primary degree (or higher) is generally required for admission and most students will have already studied IT or a related subject. Graduates in related disciplines such as mathematics or engineering will have a good choice of IT-related postgraduate programmes. Conversion courses (usually graduate diplomas) are available to graduates of non-IT backgrounds and can fast-track you into the IT sector. Relevant professional experience can also be taken into consideration for entry onto a course. Courses Available There is a wide variety of postgraduate IT courses available. Masters programmes are available in a number of areas, from well-known subjects such as software engineering to up-and-coming topics like business informatics and forensic computing. Graduate diplomas in the form of conversion courses are particularly popular amongst those who don’t have a primary computing degree but who are interested in moving into a career in IT. The particular course areas in the computers and IT sector are manifold. Options include computer engineering, computer science, computing mathematics and information technology, and these courses often allow students to specialise in their particular areas of interest. More specialised postgraduate programmes are also available in a range of disciplines. Software development is also a massive area for postgraduate study; options include software design & development, software engineering and software localisation. ICT is also a growth area for postgraduate programmes with a wealth of specialised course options. Computing in education is yet another area that offers plenty of postgraduate course options. Research Areas Research and development are key elements of computing and IT. The industry continues to develop at an incredibly fast pace so the list of individual research topics in IT really is endless – covering everything and anything from artificial intelligence to video compression.   As the IT sector is so important to the Irish economy, the Irish government devotes a good deal of attention and resources to facilitating postgraduate research in the area. The Foresight Programme, which commits substantial resources to research in ICT, is good news for research students in these areas. Prospective students may also be able to take advantage of scholarship and graduate training opportunities through collaborations with the industry. Career Paths Computing and information technology is a very broad area. The rapid growth of the IT industry in Ireland has meant that career paths have not yet stabilised, and promotion and career development can happen more quickly than in other established industries. Many third-level institutions have developed dedicated research centres, some of which have close links with local or global IT companies. Those with postgraduate qualifications working in the IT sector fall into a varied number of specialities and job titles. Systems administrators, systems engineers, systems analysts and network engineers work within and for businesses to build and manage information systems that provide IT solutions to business problems. Computer hardware engineers and designers design and build the computer hardware. Web designers and multimedia experts work in the rapidly expanding Internet area. Those with postgraduate qualifications in IT are also much sought after in other sectors such as the civil service, education, manufacturing, the media, and everywhere computers are used, which is, well, everywhere. 2007-04-03 Education Welcome to the Education and Training section of Postgrad. ie. Teaching is among the most popular careers around, thankfully, as our future depends  on the continuing quality of our education system. As well as the HDip and GradDip teacher preparation courses, there are postgraduate options in the Adult Education, Professional Training, TEFL and Education Management sectors. Read on for more information… 2007-04-03 Law & Politics Welcome to the Law, Government & Politics section of Postgrad. ie. Those in charge in Ireland are the politicians, civil servants and legal professionals. As these career areas are so important and influential a postgraduate qualification is often required for even entry-level positions. The good news is that colleges welcome graduates in practically all subjects into postgraduate courses and research. Read on for more information… 2007-04-03 Health & Medical Welcome to the Health & Medical section of Postgrad. ie. A career in the health and medical sector can be tremendously rewarding and prestigious. Continuing professional development is essential however, as new treatments and technologies are constantly being advanced. There is a wide range of postgraduate course and research options available at Irish universities. Follow the links below for more information… 2007-04-03 Science Welcome to the Science & Technology section of Postgrad. ie. The recent growth of the Irish economy has been based on the excellent performance of our science and technology industries. The government is keen to encourage people into careers in these areas and has offered generous funding to universities and colleges to develop postgraduate courses and research. Follow the links below to discover what options are available… 2007-04-03