Postgraduate Certificate/Master of Arts in Universal Design for Learning (Online)

  • NFQ Level 9
  • Credits 90
  • Course Code
  • Award Masters (Taught)
  • Duration 1 year

Course Summary

The aim of this programme is to support educational personnel to develop a variety of teaching methods to lower any barriers to learning, by introducing more flexible methods of teaching, assessment, and service provision to cater for the diversity of learners in their classrooms. The programme carefully examines the neuro-educational research that UDL evidence in addressing how people learn. It will explore its implementation in a variety of contexts and critically examine it in practice success as support to inclusion and access.

Course Content

Research Project (Optional add-on) 60 Credits. This semester runs over 30 weeks and comprises of the MA research project which is based on the field research started in the ePortfolio in Semester 2, laying the groundwork for progressing this research.

Assessment: There are two distinctive assessments within this learning experience. Research Plan, Process and Progress Assessment one provides students with the opportunity to present their understanding of the research process, present their project and discuss their progress to the team. This will allow the team to give very specific guidance to the student for the next phases of their project. This RPPP will equate to 15% of the overall grade. Research Projection Formative/Product (75%) This research thesis/product will be assessed both verbally and with a written submission. There are two components to this assessment.

  • Written submission will be 25,000 words, including references (75%) The written submission will foster the process-based writing technique, research process tasks will scaffold the learning of skills. This involves the learner for the assessment ’FOR’ learning approach. Research process tasks will enrich the learning with a stage-built design (with on-going assessment integrated) to provide for a process-based approach. Learners will receive feedback on the various staged research process thereby feeding forward their learning and research writing development.

Viva (10%) Students will be given an opportunity to present and defend their research project and process to both internal and external examiners. Within this, they will also be required to outline their project's contribution to knowledge in the field of UDL and indicate a dissemination opportunity for their work (10%) The research study must adhere to ATU Sligo`s RESEARCH ETHICS PROCEDURE/ATU Sligo College ethics requirements.

Key Course Information

Study Hours - Whether you are studying part-time online, blended or full-time online, it is very important that you allocate enough study time to your online course to stay focused, reduce stress and achieve your goals. For part-time online or blended learning, it is recommended that you should try to allow for 5-6 hours per week per 5 credit module to your studies.

Most online courses typically involve 3 x 5 credit modules per semester which leads to an average 15 – 18 study hours per week. Our online courses have about 3 hours of live lectures per week (but this can vary per programme). The rest of your study time consists of independent learning, communicating with your lecturers and classmates and carrying out assignments.

Live Lectures - Normally take place between 6pm and 10pm, Monday to Thursday but this may vary depending on the availability of specific lecturers. If the Live Classroom scheduled times for the live online lectures do not suit you, recordings will be made available through Moodle. The assessment strategy for this programme is continuous assessment. All assessments briefs are made available in advance of the programme start. Furthermore, an assessment workshop is arranged as a pre-entry support allowing for all students to plan for the assessments accordingly.

Application Closing Date : 16th August 2024

Entry Requirements

Honours degree (Level 8), with evidence of a 2:2 or higher. Due to the specific nature of this programme, applicants are required to submit an expression of interest form which asks for a 500-word submission stating their knowledge and engagement with UDL or recognition of prior learning related specifically to inclusive practice. For students progressing to the Masters in Universal Design for Learning, Successful completion of SG_EUNIV_S09 Postgraduate Certificate in Universal Design for Learning is a pr-requisite.

Career Opportunities

On successful completion of the Postgraduate Certificate/Master of Arts in UDL, graduates will possess the necessary knowledge and skills on the science of cognition and how to embrace individual learning differences. Based in cognitive neurosciences, UDL focuses on designing curricula with variability and removing barriers through offering flexible options and proactively designing capacity building learning experiences. While completing the programme participants will experience the UDL framework first hand as programme lead and guest lecturers model the principles and actively engage students in applying and evaluating UDL in their own practice. This will empower graduates to apply UDL into curriculum and the classroom in manageable ways and thus empower their own students to learn more effectively with choice.

Following completion of the programme graduates will have a deeper, more accurate understanding of student learning. They will have the knowledge and skills to provide their students flexibility in expression and flexibility in engagement which will serve as a platform to enhance skills, abilities, and motivations. Graduates will build on these skills to develop curriculum that is inclusive and caters to the diversity of the 21st century student.

From this programme, these graduates will carry forward attributes that will enrich any educational programme team based on their deep engagement with the incorporating the principles of UDL into their curriculum

Did you know?

This award would be the first accreditation at Level 9 rooted in teaching and learning from both a National & International perspective and is therefore unique in its offering. 

  • Considers inclusive theory transcending into practice in supported professional development for educators in higher education.
  • This programme models what it teaches in flexibility and so the programme and its content will be offered through a flexible medium allowing for ease of access for academic staff through an online platform.
  • Opportunity to engage with peers nationally and learn from each other’s best practice approaches in relation to student-centred learning.
  •  Students can progress to complete a Master’s award with an add-on year, working on a UDL research component that will build a portfolio

Programme Fees

Academic Year 2024/25 Fees
Total Programme Fee: €7,200
To help make the payment of fees more manageable for students who are self-funding their studies, tuition fees can be paid through payment instalment plans at ATU Sligo. For further information on instalment plans, please visit our Fees and Funding webpage. 
If you apply and are approved for an online course at ATU Sligo, you will be required to pay a non-refundable deposit of €250 to secure your place. Your deposit will then be credited against the course fees once you are registered as a student. Students at ATU Sligo are also eligible to claim tax relief at the standard rate for tuition fees.
For further information and guidance about Fees and Funding for online and part-time courses at ATU Sligo, click here.
If you are seeking to take your exams online, and you meet the eligibility criteria (overseas students and those with extenuating circumstances), an additional examinations fee will apply. For further information, please visit our Examinations webpage.