May 17, 2020

My Masters Journey

Hi everyone,

I started a Masters with ICEP Europe and UEL back in January. Whenever I share any posts about in on Instagram I get lots of questions about the workload, what it entails and so on. I have decided to do a blog post once a week where I will share what I learned and what work we had to do etc. Now I won't lie, there are some weeks where I don't even get a chance to log in to my masters but then I just have to make up for it the following week. That is one of the perks of online learning! I find with the masters I really need to be in the 'zone'. Some of the information is heavy and takes a while to get through so I really need a few hours away from any distractions to really concentrate on it. Those hours are not easy to get with a toddler who just wants to play all day long!

I loved loved loved my time in NUIG and had been accepted to do two different masters there, one in journalism and one in law, technology and governance. I started the law one and left it by the end of September ( it was as boring as it sounds!) and applied to Hibernia instead. I started training to become a teacher then in the March. So in a roundabout way, I was always destined to do a masters I just had to find the right one. I am loving being immersed in academia again, the complete and utter geek in me delights in reading scholarly articles and being a student again.

I originally wanted to do a masters then after being made permanent in my job around four years ago. I was going to do one in literacy in DCU. Then we decided to buy a house, so that put a stop to that. Then we got engaged, again that put it off. Then Lara came along and a masters was the last thing on my mind. After that it was the wedding, which meant the masters had to be pushed back again as we had to save for that! So after the wedding I said that's it, if I don't do it now I never will!

I think it worked out for the best. I would have done a completely different masters back then. When I started working in our class for children with autism, I realised how much I had to learn. My interest grew and grew and by Christmas I had made up my mind to do the masters in Special and Additional Needs.

I applied and got a place and started in January. It has been fairly full on I won't lie. I am juggling a few different projects though and that's why. If you were just working and doing a masters then it would be completely doable. I do enjoy it though and I feel like I am learning so much.

I'll attach the information about it now which I copied from the ICEP website:

This specialist SEN qualification is fully online and international in focus. It is undertaken on a part time basis and is modular giving you real flexibility in terms of study and payment. If modules are completed in succession, students can complete the course in two years. 

The following modules are available to choose from:

• Inclusive Education: Collaboration and best practice.

• Autism Spectrum Disorders: Contemporary perspectives and best practice.

• Dyslexia and Literacy: Issues, perspectives and best practice.

• Applied Behavioural Analysis: Critical exploration and practice.

• Exceptionally Able Learners: Understanding theory, perspectives and practice.

• Understanding Behaviour: Theories, perspectives and best practice.

- The above modules carry a weighting of 15 ECTS credits (30 CATS credits). A further module on Research Methods and Dissertation (30 ECTS, 60 CATS creidts) will be required when completing this MA in Special Educational Needs.

Awards:

• PG Certificate – Two modules (30 ECTS)

• PG Diploma – Four modules (60 ECTS)

• MA – Four modules, plus a dissertation (90 ECTS)

This is a modular programme so you can commence with the PG Cert and then progress to the Diploma or MA if you wish. This part time programme can be complete alongside a full time teaching role. 

Successful completion of the programme MA Special and Additional Learning Needs at ICEP Europe, leads to the award MA Special and Additional Learning Needs by University of East London (level 9 Ireland, Level 7 UK).

This course has two intakes each year, September and January.

Hopefully keeping this record will encourage me to be more diligent in my studies!

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