UCC Postgraduate courses

Teaching & Learning in Higher Education - Third Level Education

About This Course

Fact File

Course Outline

The MA in Teaching and Learning in Higher Education (for third-level education teachers) is designed to build on the Postgraduate Diploma in Teaching and Learning in Higher Education and to encourage you to research your teaching and your students’ learning in more depth. Teachers will identify a research topic to pursue and will write a publishable paper for a specific teaching and learning journal in their own disciplinary field or in the broader educational field of the scholarship of teaching and learning. The focus of the Master’s is to encourage you to identify with your teaching as research, to peer review your teaching, to network with peers interested in the scholarship of teaching and learning, and to publish in this field.

On completion of the course, you will be able to:

  • identify and apply principles of a Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) in the college classroom
  • critically evaluate your teaching in light of your students’ learning
  • design a research project around a teaching and learning issue
  • apply appropriate research methodologies to harness data about student learning
  • research a teaching and learning issue to a professional standard, equivalent to that of a publishable paper/article
  • communicate effectively with other scholars in the field of teaching and learning
  • peer-review your teaching within a SoTL community

The MA in Teaching and Learning in Higher Education is normally taken over one academic year. It comprises two modules:

  • TL6001 Research Methodologies Relating to Teaching and Learning in Higher Education (15 credits)
  • TL6002 Teaching and Learning Research Project (45 credits)

Research Methodologies Relating to Teaching and Learning in Higher Education (TL6001) focuses on introducing you to a variety of research methodologies designed to harness student learning. You will be encouraged to investigate and target teaching journals in your own disciplinary fields and to identify and critique methodologies used in the articles in them. You will write a 5,000-word essay discussing and critiquing your chosen methodology.

The Teaching and Learning Research Project (TL6002) focuses on the key elements necessary to build a publishable research article/paper, including the identification and profiling of the research journal chosen; the rationale for such a journal in the context of the research question; the writing of a literature review to interrogate the research question; the selection and exploration of research methods designed to investigate student learning; the collection and analysis of data and the identification of implications and interventions for future practice and research. The research project will culminate in the writing of a publishable article/paper.

See the Postgraduate Calendar for further details of the programme.

Additional Teaching Mode Information

This course may be taken over a minimum of 1 academic year or a maximum of 2 academic years from the date of first registration for the programme.


Further details on the modules listed above can be found in our Book of Modules. Any modules listed above are indicative of the current set of modules for this course but are subject to change from year to year.

University Calendar

You can find the full academic content for the current year of any given course in our University Calendar.

Course Practicalities

Research Methodologies Relating to Teaching and Learning in Higher Education (TL6001) consists of 24 contact hours. The resources guide you through developing an understanding of the SoTL literature through engagement with key teaching and learning journals.

The Teaching and Learning Research Project (TL6002) focuses on working within a community of practice and peer review in addition to guidance from your supervisor with the objective of developing your research project and drafts of your research paper. 

The program is assessed via an inquiry portfolio made up of a series of reflective entries which focus on the design, the enactment, and the results of your research to a total of approximately 20,000 words. The inquiry portfolio charts your journey in investigating the research question and its context and rationale, the profiling of a targeted journal, the exploration of the literature review, the analysis of research methodologies necessary to interrogate the question, the collection and analysis of data, and the discussion of the research findings and implications.

Who teaches this course

  • Dr Anna Santucci, CIRTL
  • James Cronin, CIRTL
  • Teaching Fellows drawn from the four colleges of the University and related centres.

Why Choose This Course

This programme provides staff who teach in higher education with an ideal opportunity to develop and deepen their practice by researching their teaching to enhance learning while working towards a publishable paper. Such continuing professional development has the potential to build confidence in teaching and learning and enhance career opportunities.

Skills and Careers Information

This course gives you research skills in the field of teaching and learning, including the skills of identifying research questions in your teaching, of documenting student learning, of identifying and investigating teaching and learning journals, of peer-reviewing practice, of communicating your teaching and developing a language of research in relation to student engagement and learning. Teachers learn to identify key journals in the scholarship of teaching and learning and to maximise opportunities to network and publish in this field, making the most of integrating their research in the discipline and in teaching and learning.


The minimum academic entry requirement is a Second Class Honours Grade II in a primary honours BA degree (NFQ, Level 8) or equivalent, and MUST have attended and satisfactorily passed the UCC Postgraduate Diploma in Teaching and Learning in Higher Education, or equivalent. The programme is open to all staff who meet these requirements and also teach in the third level education sector. (This could include supervision, placement work, lab-based work, in the field or in an online context).

English Language Requirements for the MA in Teaching and Learning in Higher Education

For applicants from non-native English-speaking backgrounds, proof of English language certification is not required if currently employed in the third level education sector where the main language of instruction is English. Applicants who fall into this category are required to show proof of employment, e.g. a letter from your director of Human Resources, which is evidence of working in a third-level educational setting where the main language of instruction is English.

Additional Requirements

Please note you will be required to provide additional information as part of the online application process for this programme. This will include the following questions:

  • You may enter the details of professional or voluntary positions held. We strongly encourage you to complete this section with all relevant work experiences that will support your application.
  • Please describe your motivation and readiness for this programme.
  • What is your current occupation/specialty?
  • Briefly describe a research question which may form the basis of your thesis. This can be included as an attachment or as part of your motivation statement.
  • Please detail your research interest(s). 

English Language Requirements

Applicants that are non-native speakers of the English language must meet the university-approved English language requirements. Please visit our PG English Language Requirements page for more information.

For applicants with qualifications completed outside of Ireland

Applicants must meet the required entry academic grade, equivalent to Irish requirements. For more information see our Qualification Comparison page.

International/Non-EU Applicants

For full details of the non-EU application procedure visit our how to apply pages for international students.

  • In UCC, we use the term programme and course interchangeably to describe what a person has registered to study in UCC and its constituent colleges, schools, and departments.
  • Note that not all courses are open to international/non-EU applicants, please check the fact file above. For more information contact the International Office.

Fees and Costs

The EU fee for this course is €3,600 (€900 for 15-credit module TL6001, €2,700 for 45-credit module TL6002).


If your course required a deposit, that figure will be deducted from your second semester fee payment in January.

EU student fee payment

Fees for EU students are payable in two equal instalments. First payment at registration in August and the second in January.

International student fee payment

International Students can pay in two equal instalments once they have paid the appropriate deposit. The initial payment is due on registration and the balance usually by the end of January.

How can I pay?

You can pay by Credit/Debit card online or by credit transfer.


If you have any questions on fee payment please email our Fees Office at fees@ucc.ie.

How Do I Apply

1. Check Dates: Check the opening and closing dates for the application process in the fact file boxes at the top of the page.

  • For Irish and EU applicants we operate a rounds system and you can check the rounds closing dates here.
  • Note that not all our programmes are subject to the rounds system so check the opening and closing dates for your specific programme in the fact file boxes above.

2. Gather Documents: Scanned copies of supporting documents have to be uploaded to the UCC online application portal and include:

  • Original qualification documents listed on your application including transcripts of results from institutions other than UCC;
  • Any supplementary items requested for your course if required.

3. Apply Online: Apply online via the UCC online application portal. Note the majority of our courses have a non-refundable €50 application fee.

Any questions? Use our web enquiry form to contact us.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Please note that the MA in Teaching and Learning in Higher Education is aimed at third-level teachers (who have completed the Postgraduate Diploma in Teaching and Learning in Higher Education - for third-level teachers at University College Cork).  Graduates must complete the Professional Master of Education to qualify as a secondary school teacher. Please see www.ucc.ie/en/pec01 for further details.

For queries regarding course content or timetables please contact