IT Carlow, FAI & PFA Ireland Launch Scholarship

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IT Carlow, FAI & PFA Ireland Launch Scholarship

A new annual postgraduate scholarship has been set up for international, League of Ireland and Women’s National League players and ex-players with the aim of encouraging and supporting the pursuit of postgraduate study. The scholarship has been set up by the Institute of Technology Carlow (IT Carlow), the Football Association of Ireland (FAI) and the Professional Footballers Association of Ireland (PFA Ireland).

The scholarship is available for 28 different programmes of study at IT Carlow, from Higher Certificate to Masters, across six academic departments: engineering: science; computing and data science; business; digital marketing and design; humanities and social sciences.

Applications for the new scholarship are now being accepted  with a closing date of 30 July and the term to commence this September. Successful applicants will be known as Institute of Technology Carlow Postgraduate PFAI/FAI Scholars.

IT Carlow, FAI & PFA Ireland Launch Scholarship

Speaking at the launch of the new postgraduate scholarship, David Denieffe, Registrar and Vice-President for Academic Affairs at IT Carlow said; “Institute of Technology Carlow is delighted to provide this unique opportunity for football players and ex-players to progress to postgraduate study. This scholarship programme builds on our long-standing and highly successful relationship with the FAI and incorporates PFA Ireland. We look forward to continuing to build on these very strong relationships into the future.”

Republic of Ireland Under-21 Men’s Team Manager Jim Crawford was present for the launch of the postgraduate scholarship programme at IT Carlow alongside FAI Regional Manager Barry Ferguson and Peamount United Women’s National League and FAI Cup winner Lauryn O’Callaghan, a student at IT Carlow.

Jim Crawford commented; “This scholarship programme will greatly assist current and former players and coaches with their education and post-playing career prospects. I know from personal experience that it can be a challenging time for players and ex-players as they look to return to and progress within education. This scholarship has the potential to have a hugely positive impact on the successful applicants.”

IT Carlow sports scholar Lauryn O’Callaghan said; “As I enter the final year of my honours degree here in IT Carlow, I already have one eye on ‘what’s next’ in terms of my progression to masters level.  I am considering the MSc in Strength and Conditioning in the future as I will continue to combine training and playing with Peamount United alongside work and study. It’s great to know that there are opportunities to apply for a postgraduate scholarship such as the one announced here today.”

PFA Ireland Player Executive Ollie Cahill commented; “PFA Ireland is delighted to be working with IT Carlow and the FAI in offering this new postgraduate scholarship opportunity for our members. It is a new and exciting concept and IT Carlow is hugely supportive of players and ex-players in their educational endeavours. We look forward to working with them on this programme, and other similar opportunities, in the future.”

Representatives from IT Carlow, PFA Ireland and the FAI were also in attendance for the announcement including: Dónal McNally, IT Carlow Director of Sport; Declan Doyle, Vice-President for Development and Research, IT Carlow; Paul O’Reilly, FAI IT Carlow Football Programme Manager; Will Clarke, FAI League of Ireland Academy Development Manager and Ollie Cahill, PFA Ireland Player Executive.

IT Carlow, FAI & PFA Ireland Launch Scholarship

League of Ireland Academy Development Manager Will Clarke said; “The FAI and IT Carlow have a longstanding relationship since the launch of the BA Sports Coaching and Business Management degree programme in 2009. We are delighted to further develop this relationship by collaborating in this new IT Carlow/PFA Ireland/FAI postgraduate scholarship, the first of its kind in Ireland. This is the first time the three bodies have come together to offer a scholarship at this level and it is a significant milestone in player education and support within Irish football. We look forward to working closely with both IT Carlow and PFA Ireland on this initiative.”

IT Carlow will assess applications and entry criteria for the Institute of Technology Carlow Postgraduate PFA Ireland/FAI Scholarship. For more information, contact

Discover postgraduate courses and masters programmes on

Institute of Technology Carlow has a range of high quality postgraduate programmes that offer suitably qualified primary degree holders (NFQ level 8) exciting opportunities to progress to higher awards (Higher Diploma, Masters and Doctoral degrees). These opportunities may be undertaken by research and thesis, or through taught programmes. Programmes are available in full-time and/or part-time modes across our three main campuses in Carlow, Wexford and Wicklow.

Higher Diplomas (NFQ Level 8-60 credits) and Postgraduate Diplomas (NFQ Level 9-60 credits)

Entry requirements for Postgraduate Diplomas are typically the same as for the Masters programme but are completed at NFQ Level 9 and require completion of just 60 credits. Students undertake the same subjects as Masters students in that stream until they complete their diploma. Postgraduate Diplomas are also offered as an exit award, should a student leave their Masters programme prior to completion.

Masters Degree (NFQ Level 9)

Institute of Technology Carlow offers two types of Masters degree programme: taught Masters programmes and research Masters programmes.

The taught Masters degree is awarded following the completion of a programme of one to two years duration (typically 90 ECTS credits). Entry to a taught programme leading to a Masters award is typically for holders of Honours Bachelor degrees. In certain circumstances, entry to such programmes may be considered for holders of Ordinary Bachelor Degrees or equivalent.

Research Masters Degree programmes are typically of two years duration (typically 90 ECTS credits) where learners undertake a substantial piece of research. The project is carried out under the guidance of an experienced supervisor. Learning outcomes at this level relate to the demonstration of knowledge and understanding at the forefront of a field of learning.  Outcomes relate to the application of knowledge, understanding and problem solving abilities in new or unfamiliar contexts related to the field of study. The outcomes are associated with an ability to integrate knowledge, handle complexity and formulate judgements.

An Irish Masters Degree is compatible with completion of the Bologna Second Cycle.

PhD or Doctoral Degree (NFQ Level 10)

A PhD (NFQ Level 10) or doctoral programme should take from three to four years (full-time) to complete. ECTS credits are used in doctoral programmes for taught elements only. Learning outcomes at this level relate to the discovery and development of new knowledge and skills and delivering findings at the frontiers of knowledge and application. Further outcomes at this level relate to specialist skills and transferable skills required for managing, such as the ability to critique   and develop organisational structure and initiate change. Postgraduate students may have to pass a series of examinations and/or assessments in order to progress through their course and may be required to attend for interview as part of the application process.

The Irish Doctoral Degree is compatible with completion of the Bologna Third Cycle.


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