Postgraduate Study Options

Postgraduate Study Options

A postgraduate qualification is usually pursued after obtaining an undergraduate award at Levels 7 or 8 on the NFQ (National Framework of Qualifications). Postgraduate qualifications are on levels 9 and 10 of the NFQ

Postgraduate courses can usually be categorised as one of the following;

  • Postgraduate Diploma: Often this is a vocational course, linked to professions such as teaching or librarianship. The subject may be different from the primary degree.
  • Masters Degree: This can be either a taught course or based on research. It lasts 1-2 years and usually involves course work and a thesis.
  • PhD: This is a doctorate awarded for a thesis based on research. It takes at least 3 years’ study and it must be an original contribution to knowledge.

Funding postgraduate study
In general, you will have to pay fees for postgraduate courses. You may be able to get tax relief on the fees. If you got a third-level grant for your undergraduate course, you may qualify for a grant for postgraduate study in Ireland, including Northern Ireland.

There are different sources of funding for postgraduate students. Sometimes financial support is available from the university that is running the postgraduate course; sometimes you need to apply to an external body. A number of research bodies provide funding for postgraduate research in Ireland, including the Irish Research Council and Science Foundation Ireland.

A number of scholarships and fellowships for study abroad are awarded annually by foreign governments to Irish students who are engaged in, or have completed, a course of third-level education. You can find information about opportunities for postgraduate study abroad on the website of the Department of Education and Skills. If you wish to study in the UK there is a graduate website for the UK called Prospects.

Applications and further information
For postgraduate courses you generally apply directly to the university or college. You can find information about postgraduate courses and applications from the careers office in your college or university. If you are applying for postgraduate courses in the UK you may apply online to certain universities and colleges.

The Postgraduate Applications Centre ( website allows students to make applications for postgraduate programmes at a number of higher level education institutes, including UCC, NUI Maynooth and DCU.

There are many postgraduate courses on offer in third level and private colleges with a range of colleges offering diverse and exciting postgraduate options. Below is a list of some and examples of the courses they offer.

  • NUIG : NUI Galway has established a reputation for high quality education and offers a wide selection of courses for postgraduates. The courses on offer include Master of Arts in Adult Learning and Development and Practice Based Play Therapy (P Cert/ Dip)
  • CMI : Communications and Management Institute in Dublin city centre offers many business training courses which are career and industry focused. Postgraduate options include Management Postgraduate Diploma level 9 and HR Advanced Diploma Course.
  • PCI : PCI College was founded in 1991 and is Ireland’s leading provider of courses in the field of counselling and psychotherapy. Braches are located in Dublin, Cork, Limerick, Kilkenny and Athlone. Postgraduate courses include a Postgraduate Certificate in Psychology (level 8).
  • IPA: The Institute of Public Administration is the management development agency for the country’s public sector. IPA offers a range of training programmes for the public, private and voluntary sectors, such as a Postgraduate Diploma in Public Management and Master of Arts and Postgraduate Diploma (and Master of Economic Science) in Policy Analysis.
  • ICHAS: The Irish College of Humanities and Applied Sciences  is an independent third level college that offers a range of programmes from undergraduate Level to Masters Level. Programmes cover an extensive range of disciplines including Counselling and Psychotherapy, Youth Studies, addiction studies, Leadership and Management, Childhood and Adolescent studies, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Clinical Supervision, and many more exciting programmes.

To view Postgraduate Courses on, use the following link; Postgraduate Course Listings on

Author: Fiona McBennett