Friday, 19 March 2010

Contact us / how to apply / fees and funding

Contact details:
For general information and queries, please contact the Dept. of Adult and Community Education, NUI Maynooth, Co. Kildare, Ireland at or (+353-1) 7083937.
To apply to this course, you need to go through Ireland's online application system for postgraduate courses at The PAC code for the MA is MHA64. The deadline for applications is April 30th 2012, but we suggest you register for PAC well in advance so you can see what information they will be looking for (you can find some of that information here). The form asks you for two references. These can of course be the usual academics etc., but for this course they can also be activists who can talk about your practitioner knowledge and skill.
The basic requirement for entry is a BA with a 2:2 result or higher, or the equivalent of a BA, including accreditation of prior learning and prior experiential learning. If you are in doubt about whether you meet this requirement, please email us at the address above.
Along with the usual information for the online form, we will look for a short (one – two pages) statement about any aspects of your experience which you feel are relevant to the course, and what you are hoping the course will be able to offer you that will benefit your practice. The personal statement isn't a test! We want to tailor the course to bring out what students already know and can share with each other, and what their priorities are in terms of learning needs, and we can't do that if we don't know where students are coming from.
We are keen to have a mix of backgrounds and abilities on this course, so please don't assume that this course isn't for you! We very much welcome activists who want to go back to education, as well as students who are keen to get involved in movements, mature students as well as traditional ones, and people with different community or movement points of reference.
Fees and funding
You will probably need to set aside some time to find out about funding possibilities. Ultimately fees are set by government policy on higher education, according to which Irish and other EU students are partly subsidised while those from outside the EU pay what is calculated as the full cost of their education. In practice though a majority of postgraduate students probably receive some funding, whether to cover fees alone, living expenses or partial supports. The system is complicated and takes time to explore: funding can come from various government departments as well as local authorities and in some cases the university. Below are some starting points:
The most widely applicable possibility is what was the Maintenance Grant until the December 2011 budget, which abolished the maintenance (living allowance) element but continues to pay fees. At time of writing it is not yet clear if there will be changes in how to apply for this or how it is paid, but it is important to say that the grant covers a range of different nationalities and statuses
Beyond this, there are grants, supports and even occasionally scholarships, for fees and for maintenance, as well as tax relief on fees, student medical entitlements and support for students with disabilities, and the Back to Education scheme which allows you to retain social welfare payments while studying. You can find information about these from Citizens' Information, the HEA's Student Finance site, and the Graduate Studies pages on funding and finances. You can also contact the NUIM Fees and Grants office.
International students will find useful information on funding and many other practical issues at the Irish Council for International Students.
Tuition fees have not yet been set for the academic year 2012 / 2013, but should be in the region of €4850 plus a registration fee of around €2250 for Irish and other EU students; for non-EU students the tuition fee is likely to be in the region of €12,500. For EU students, half of the tuition fee is payable prior to registration and the other half is usually payable before February 1st. For non-EU students resident overseas, the full fee is payable before registration. Up-to-date information is available via Graduate Studies and the Fees and Grants Office.
Finally, you can find practical information for prospective Maynooth students at this page, including access students, mature students, international students, and childcare.
The basic message that we hear from students is that it is not easy but is doable for people from a wide range of different situations and backgrounds.