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Master in Education

The programme comprises eleven strands that allow students to gain a comprehensive and contemporary understanding in one of the specialisms offered. The course will foster a critical understanding of educational research, policy and practice and promote the ability to participate effectively in the advancement of knowledge.

*PLEASE NOTE Music in Education and Positive Behaviour Management will not be running for 2021-22.

Programme at a glance

The course is open to teachers at all levels of the education system, to appropriately qualified professionals working in the areas of education, training, administration and management, and to graduates in areas related to the strand specialisms. We welcome applications from both Irish and international graduates who wish to relate their particular fields of competence to the theory and practice of education.

Course Structure

The M.Ed. programme comprises the strands listed below, each focusing on a distinct specialism within education. Please note, not all specialisms may run in a given academic year. Timetables are individual to each strand and applicants can get an indication of the strand timetables, see timetable link at the bottom of the page.

Routes to M.Ed.

In addition to the eleven strands available on the M.Ed., many of the strands may offer students the opportunity to study on a 1-Year Full-Time, 2-Year Part-Time and a 3-Year Part-Time basis.

  • Option 1: 1-Year Full-time (see note 1)

    4 strand modules, 1 common M.Ed. module on Academic Literacy and Research Methods and a 20,000 word dissertation completed in one year.

  • Option 2: 2-Year Part-time (see note 2)

    4 strand modules, 1 common M.Ed. module on Academic Literacy and Research Methods and a 20,000 word dissertation completed over two years. The taught component is completed in year 1, and the dissertation is completed in year 2.

  • Option 3: 3-Year Part-time (see note 3)

    4 strand modules, 1 common M.Ed. module on Academic Literacy and Research Methods and a 20,000 word dissertation completed over three years. 2 strand modules and the common M.Ed. module on Academic Literacy and Research Methods are completed in year 1, 2 further strand modules are completed in year 2, and the dissertation is completed in year 3.


2-year part-time students wishing to progress to the dissertation year must submit their completed coursework for the taught component of the programme (5 modules) by May 10th of the year following entry to the programme.

3-year part-time students wishing to progress to the dissertation year must submit their completed coursework for the taught component of the programme (5 modules) by May 10th in their second year of the programme.

Application Deadlines

The closing date for applications for the academic year 2020-21 is 31st July 2020 with the exception of Drama in Education (June 15th ). Applications for all strands for 2020-21 should be made through the web portal system.

Please note that not all strands may run in a given academic year and all are subject to minimum and maximum student numbers.

Please note - applications for strands on this course may close in advance of the listed deadline if we recruit the required number of applicants. Thus, we advise applicants to apply expeditiously.

Admission Requirements

Applicants are normally expected to hold a good honour's degree (normally a 2.1 or equivalent). In order to complete the application, electronic copies of undergraduate degree transcripts, the email addresses of two academic referees and an up-to-date CV are required. Professional experience in the field of education is desirable for all strands and is a requirement for some strands. Applicants who have completed their primary degree through a medium other than English should provide confirmation of their linguistic proficiency in English (e.g. certification at grade 6.5 IELTS, or equivalent). Applicants to the 1-year Full-Time M.Ed. route must also submit an outline of their area of research interest (1-2 pages) as part of the application process.

Academic Credit

The total credit rating for the programme is 90 ECTS. These credits are distributed across the taught modules (60 ECTS) and the dissertation module (30 ECTS). The taught component carries 60 ECTS. Each strand contains four taught strand-themed modules and one common M.Ed. taught module on Academic Literacy and Research Methods. The remaining 30 ECTS are allocated to the dissertation module.

Teaching and Learning Strategies

The integration of theory and practice is stressed in the content of the modules and in the assessments, as appropriate to each strand. Active teaching and learning strategies are used in the presentation of taught modules. Each of the five taught modules is formally assessed, and a variety of methods including projects, case studies, portfolios, reports and essays are used. Typically, the teaching activities are organised outside of normal school hours, such as during the evenings and at weekends, and classes are normally held in Trinity College or convened online. Timetables are individual to each strand and an indicative timetable can be found at the bottom of the page.


Each student will typically complete written (or equivalent) assignments of between 4,000-5,000 words per 15-credit strand module. Assignments are graded as Distinction, Pass, or Fail. The type of assessment may vary according to the nature of the module and the strand. The Dissertation module entails two components: a 2,000 word Dissertation Proposal assessed on a Pass/Fail basis (for part-time students only) and a 20,000 word Dissertation graded on the basis of Distinction, Pass, or Fail. A student who achieves a Distinction in the Dissertation and a Distinction in at least two 15-credit modules (or equivalent) may be awarded the M.Ed. with Distinction.

Exit route: Postgraduate Diploma in Educational Studies

Those students who, for any reason, do not wish to continue to the Dissertation on the M.Ed. programme may, after satisfactorily passing the 5 taught modules, apply to exit with a Post-graduate Diploma in Educational Studies.


Chelsea Whittaker

I have thoroughly enjoyed my experience as an M.Ed. student at Trinity College Dublin. I studied a BA degree majoring in Psychology and English at the University of Cape Town and continued with further qualifications in Education and Psychology. I decided to complete my MEd (Language stream) at TCD in 2018-2019 to extend my theoretical knowledge as a language teacher and to access new career opportunities. I will never forget arriving in Dublin and walking into Front Square for the first time, knowing that I had been accepted into the top-ranked university in Ireland. The course exceeded my expectations and I benefitted not only from the world-class facilities but also from engaging with staff and students of a high standard. I look forward to implementing what I have learned at TCD in my professional practice and will remember my times as a student in Ireland with great fondness.

Linda Krakaur
Adjunct Professor - Art Integration Department of Art and Design College of Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences Millersville University

Earning my graduate degree at Trinity greatly informed my worldview, elevated my academic thinking, and prepared me to achieve my professional goals. Every aspect of the program was highly engaging and challenging. Attending the Summer School in Drama in Education offered an important and powerful opportunity to work with teachers and artists from across the globe. The expertise of the faculty provided me with a solid theoretical and practical foundation to facilitate meaningful arts-based lessons and shift the way the arts are integrated in classrooms in my own country. I thank Trinity College for truly preparing me to follow my vision, to be a global citizen, and to employ high quality methods both in terms of research and practice. My experiences at Trinity College, and specifically, the Drama In Education Summer School, have directly impacted the arch of my career. I am a proud graduate of Trinity College, and no matter where I travel or what I do, I will always consider Trinity to be my home away from home.

Elaine Clotworthy
PhD Candidate

I found my time on the M.Ed. Drama in Education interesting, inspiring and challenging. The content covered during the summer school provided both theoretical understanding of concepts, as well as having the opportunity to participate in drama workshops and develop skills as a drama practitioner. The summer school format provided me with the opportunity to get to know fellow students and lecturers well, developing friendships and a support network which really helped when completing assignments and the dissertation.
As a primary school teacher, I found the M.Ed. equipped me not only to facilitate a range of drama methodologies with my class, but also to use drama across all subjects as a methodology. Completing the M.Ed. impacted greatly on my career. I am currently lecturing in Drama in Education in Marino Institute of Education, and completing doctoral research in the area of Drama in Education and Special Education. The M.Ed. developed my passion of drama in education and equipped me with subject knowledge, as well as the research skills, to progress my career.

Jamie Herlihy
The Desmond School of Music and Theatre

My time undertaking the Drama in Education programme at Trinity College was a memorable and stimulating experience. The instructors are incredible minds whose passion is inspiring and infectious. They are also prominent figures in the field and intently interested in the use of drama across a wide range of disciplines.

As a second level English and Music teacher, I did not have any prior theoretical foundation in drama. My background experience lay in performance and active methodologies in the classroom. In this regard, the summer school aspect of the course ensured to provide each student with both a practical and theoretical understanding of new concepts. This 'hands-on approach' allowed us ample opportunity for further study relating to our individual interest.

As a part-time student, I sometimes found studying away from the campus challenging. However, I must commend the School of Education for its wonderful support network. Our class were affirmed in their research though regular communication and online mentoring given by the course instructors. One of the highlights for me was getting the opportunity to meet and share ideas with like-minded individuals from all around the world who have now become life-long contacts and friends.

Completing the M.Ed. programme has also had a significant impact on my professional life and since graduating, I have taken a career break to establish my own school – "The Desmond School of Music and Theatre" in my hometown. This would not have been possible without the knowledge and skills that I acquired during my time at Trinity.

Andrew Slade
Elementary Teacher- Winnipeg, MB

When it came time to select a graduate school, Trinity’s M.Ed. (Drama in Education) program came highly recommended, and it did not disappoint.  Throughout the program, we were able to learn from and work with leading experts in the field, collaborate with fellow students on projects and assignments, and develop lessons and activities that could be used in our classrooms.

In addition to the classes on campus, much of the coursework was done through distance education.  This was extremely convenient as I was able to continue working fulltime while completing my coursework during the evenings and weekends.  I was provided with a very supportive tutor, who guided me through my thesis and answered any questions I had.

As a classroom teacher, I use the knowledge and skills I acquired through the program on a daily basis.  My students love the role-playing, improvising and process drama techniques I have incorporated into my lessons, as it creates a fun and engaging atmosphere for learning.  As one of my former students mused, “I think it’s fun to do drama work in class because we actually have to use our brains while we’re learning”! 

I would highly recommend this program to any teacher looking to grow professionally.  This Masters program provides teachers with many practical ideas and lessons, which can be immediately implemented in the classroom.


Q: Will the M.Ed. qualify me to be a teacher?

A: No. The M.Ed. is an academic programme and not a professional programme. While the M.Ed. allows students to explore issues in education and aims to enhance participants' knowledge and practice in educational spheres, it is not designed so as to qualify graduates to teach.

Q: What is the deadline for applications?

A: The deadline for strands is July 31st 2020, with the exception for Drama in Education (June 15th).

Q: What do I need to include in my application?

A: An application form, two academic references and an up-to-date CV are required for all applications. Students applying to the Full-time route are also required to submit a description of their area of research interest. Students who studied for their primary degree through a medium other than English are asked to provide certification of their linguistic competence in English (e.g. grade 6.5 IELTS).

Q: When will I be informed of the decision on my applications?

A: Applications are assessed and offers are made on a rolling basis. For non-EU students, we aim to communicate a decision on applications within three weeks of receiving the completed application.

Q: Who should I choose as my referees?

A: Two academic references are generally required. These are normally provided by lecturers who have taught the applicant. In some circumstances, professional references may be accepted e.g. from schools principals.

Who should I contact for more information?

A: For general M.Ed. queries, please contact the M.Ed. administrators at, or by telephone: Ms. Keara Eades +353-1-896-3568; Ms Agnes Turk +353-1-896-1290.

For queries that relate specifically to individual strand content, please contact the strand leader (contact details available within each strand description).