MA in Community Education, Equality & Social Activism
How can we bring about social justice and environmental survival in Ireland and beyond? This course will offer some answers to this question with a view to enabling students to think about how to build real alternatives to challenge existing structures of oppression and injustice. It seeks to develop the capacity of ordinary people to change the world through community education, grassroots community activism and social movement campaigning.
One of the main forces behind positive social change in Ireland and globally has always been "people power": those who were not "on the inside", without property, status or power coming together to push for change where it was needed. Community activism, the women's movement, global justice campaigners, self-organising by travellers and new Irish communities, trade unions, GLBTQ campaigning, environmentalism, international solidarity, anti-racism, anti-war activism, survivors of institutional abuse, human rights work, the deaf movement and many other such movements have reshaped our society and put human need on the agenda beside profit and power. Participants have developed important bodies of knowledge about how to do this, which are fundamental resources for anyone trying to make a better world possible.
Course and Structure
This full-time MA programme consists of 90 Post Graduate credits, at Level 9 on the Qualifications Framework. Students will complete the Thesis and Research Module (30 credits), four core modules (10 credit) and select 20 credits from the rest of the programme of elective modules 5 credit each). The programme will offer a choice of 3 elective modules per semester, of which, students will complete 2.
The course involves two days a week on campus (typically Monday and Tuesday) over two twelve-week semesters, along with independent reading and study which you should expect to take another two days equivalent during the rest of the week. Your thesis, which is usually linked to an activist project you are involved in or aiming to develop, typically takes about four months after the end of formal classes.
CEESA Handbook 2012-13
- Critical pedagogy in adult and community education
- Equality, social justice and sustainable development
- Power, politics and praxis
- Praxis and community participation
- Thesis and research
Elective modules (may not all be offered in any given year):
- The politics of environmental justice
- Critical media and cultural pedagogy
- The market, the state and social movements
- Politics of masculinities
- Utopian literature and popular empowerment
- Feminist theory and practice
- Sustainable organising
- Strategies for transformation
- Political economy of development
- Globalisation and its discontents
- The search for good work
- Social movements, old and new
- Critical community development and skills for grassroots organising
- Meaningful work for equality and praxis
- Radical democracy
Research methods options (may not all be offered in any given year):
- Participatory action research in social movement practice
- Life history
- Qualitative research
- Comparative research
- Quantitative research / SPSS
To apply to this course, you need to go through Ireland's online application system for postgraduate courses at www.pac.ie. The PAC code for the MA is MHA64. The deadline for applications is April 30th, but we suggest you register for PAC well in advance so you can see what information they will be looking for. 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. This 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.
For general information, please contact the Department of Sociology, NUI Maynooth, Co. Kildare, Ireland at firstname.lastname@example.org or (+353-1) 7083659.
More more on the course please see the course blog.
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