M.A. in Childhood and Adolescent Studies

Awarding Body/NFQ Level
QQI/Level 9
1 to 2 Years
Mode of Study
Start Date
Sept 2020
€6,165 for the 1 Year Full Time Programme
€7,165 for the 2 Year Part Time Programme


Are you looking to develop senior management skills in the area of Childcare and Adolescent Care? If so, why not consider the M.A in Childhood and Adolescent Studies – one of the most up to date and advanced Childhood  and Adolescent care programmes in Ireland. The Masters in Childhood and Adolescent studies is specifically designed for those who want to develop higher order skills and competence in the areas of childhood and adolescent care. On completion of the programme learners will have developed higher order competencies to facilitate theoretical understanding and practical engagement in childhood and adolescent areas of study. Graduates will becomes complex consumers of evidence based practice and be prepared to assume leadership roles working with children and adolescents. Participants will have a critical awareness of current discourses within the area of Childhood and Adolescent care and the capacity to generate new insights within these fields


How can I complete this Course?

Students considering the MA in Childhood and Adolescent Studies can take this course on either a full-time or part-time basis.

The  programme runs 1 evening per week (6pm to 10pm)  and saturdays (9.30am to 4.30pm) over the 2 semesters September to December and January to April.

For the Full-time progamme, all taught modules including the Dissertation are completed in the one academic year.

Fro the Part-time programme, all taught modules are completed over 2 academic years with the 2nd year normally used to complete the practicum and dissertation.

Please refer to timetables for exact times and dates.

The programme is taught using a combination of classroom based and blended learning techniques. This allows the learner to access classes in person or using on-line facilities. In certain modules attendance may be a requirement.

Structure of Course

The course covers a range of subjects which when taken together provide a syllabus designed to develop competent professional practitioners. The subjects covered are designed to be both practical and theoretical as per the table below:

M.A  in Childhood and Adolescent Studies
Understanding Childhood and Youth Development
Supporting Child and Adolescent Transitioning
Engaging in Childhood and Adolescent Practices
Early Childhood Education and Care
Principles and Practices of Childhood and Adolescent Education
Evidence Based Practice and Research
Research Methods and Design
Elective Module
Total Credits 90

How will I be assessed?

The programme has been designed to enable learners to demonstrate their academic and reflective learning in appropriate ways. The assessment strategy accommodates different learning styles and therefore the programme assesses learners using a range of practical assignments, essays, learning journals, examinations, reflective exercises and projects.

ICHAS has always, and will continue to work closely with students to employ a range of assessment activities, and support students to achieve their best in each type of assessment activity. We recognise that many students may not have studied in a long time and we have developed systems and individual approaches to support students as they adapt to higher education.

The final year dissertation is a central part of the Masters programme and each student is provided with a supervisor for the entire period of their dissertation.

 What supports will I have?

ICHAS is a College with a proven track record of delivering high quality education and this is equally true across the suite of Master’s programmes.  At ICHAS, every lecturer and member of staff is committed to the ideal of quality education and student satisfaction. We provide feedback which is inclusive of both formative and summative feedback to each individual learner.

Who Awards My Qualification?

On successful completion of your pogramme, your qualification is awarded by Quality and Qualifications Ireland (QQI) and this will appear on your parchment. QQI is one of the principal Irish awarding bodies for the higher education sector in Ireland.

This programme is recognised in Ireland and all over Europe. See www.qqi.ie for further information.

Where Can I progress to on completion of the course?

On successful completion of the MA in Childhood and Adolescent Studies, students will be qualified  to access  Level 10  Programmes  on the NFQ specifically related to areas of childcare and adolescent care and practice.

What are the entry requirements for this course?

To join the MA in Childhood and Adolescent Studies, applicants must meet the following requirements;

  • A minimum of a second class honours degree (2.2) at Level 8,or its equivalent in a related discipline. The nature of the programme allows for the consideration of candidates from a variety of backgrounds. Those with relevant experience will also be considered through APL/RPL. Applicants are also required to complete a short interview. All applicants are expected to be fluent and competent in both written and spoken English. In the case of overseas applications, students will have to provide certification of competency in English indicating a minimum score of 6.5 IELTS.
  • Applicants are required to :
    • Be over 18 years of age.
    • Complete and submit the completed application form <download here>and provide all requested information.
    • Complete an interview process, which is designed to explore your reasons for taking the programme and to ensure that it is suitable for your needs. ICHAS is committed to ensuring that the programme you are on is right for you.
    • Complete the Garda vetting procedure.

If you have any queries in relation to this course then please contact the college on 061 216288 or email us on info@ichas.ie where we will be only too pleased to assist you.

Employment potential for graduates can be viewed across the complete spectrum of occupations within the childcare and adolescent care sectors. A range of established as well as new professions are engaged in the provision of professional care to children and adolescents, including schools, crèches, statutory organisations, non-governmental agencies, the social work sector and more. The child and adolescent sector is a relatively new area in terms of legislation and statutory governance. It has been the subject of increased governmental funding over the past decade. To date the vast majority of those who have qualified or are practicing, are educated to  levels 5 to 8 on the National Framework of Qualifications . At management and consultancy level there is and will continue to be increasing demand for those with a level 9 qualification.

Specific areas of employment include:

  • Managing childcare facilities
  • Working as consultants within both sectors and across a range of agencies
  • Working in the range of childcare provision across POBAL funded community groups and partnerships
  • Working in childcare provision across Leader funded programmes and groups
  • Working with the Department of Education & Departmenet of Justice on the  funded youth and adolescent programmes e.g. Youthreach, Community Training Workshops
  • Working in range of non-governmental agencies in the areas of youth and adolescents e.g. Barnardos
  • Working within HSE funded residential, non- residential and outreach programmes.

The MA in Childhood and Adolescent Studies has many  features that make it one of the leading programmes of this type in Ireland, these include:

  • This programme is part of a suite of programmes that havebeen recently revalidated by Quality and Qualifications Ireland (QQI), ensuring up to date teaching methods, programme content and quality.
  • It is delivered by lecturers who work in the field of Childhood and Adolescents and are passionate about your education.
  • The programme is recognised throughout Europe. On completion you will receive the Europass Diploma Supplement in addition to your degree parchment.
  • It mixes theory and practice together to provide a complete understanding of the areas.
  • This course has a progression route to PHD and doctoratelevel.
  • It is recognised widely  by employers, opening opportunities to graduates in a range of different areas.
  • The programme uses both classroom based and blended learning techniques. This allows the learner to access classes in person or using on-line facilities to allow for a better work/life/study balance. In certain modules attendance may be a requirement.

The M.A. in Childhood and Adolescent Studies is highly interactive and will support participants to develop the key skills necessary for effective professional practice.  It also provides learners with the opportunity to develop their knowledge and competence in the fields of childhood and adolescent studies

The programme can be completed over 1 year on a full time basis or 2 years on a part time basis. The programme has been designed with a work/life/study balance in mind, and supports a number of flexible modes of delivery, including blended learning. This programme will equip graduates with the conceptual frameworks, advanced knowledge and practical skills necessary to act, in a managerial capacity, within a range of organisations.

The programme incorporates the following themes: understanding childhood and youth development, supporting child and adolescent transitioning, engaging in childhood and adolescent practice,early childhood education and care, evidence based practice and research methods and design and; the completion of a practicum and dissertation related to these themes.

The course was revised in 2015 and is validated by Quality and Qualification Ireland (QQI), a statutory quality assurance body with overall responsibility for the quality of 3rd level academic programmes in Ireland.

The course is also recognised towards professional accreditation by the Association of Professional Counsellors and Psychotherapists (APCP) and the National Association of Pastoral Counselling and Psychotherapy (NAPCP).

The course will commence in September. It can be taken on a full time or part-time basis and is delivered across two twelve week terms through a combination of classroom based modules and ‘blended’ modules. Blended learning combines face to face and web based teaching.

Course Fees

The fees are as follows

Full -Time programme taken over  1 year – €6,165.

Part time Programme taken over 2 Years –  €7,165.

Students can pay in instalments but they will incur an extra fee of €100 for each year to avail of this facility. All fees are fully protected under the College’s  Protection of Enrolled Learners’ Policy.

All QQI accredited programmes of education and training of 3 months or longer duration are covered by arrangements under section 65 (4) of the Qualifications and Quality Assurance (Education and Training) Act 2012 whereby, in the event of the provider ceasing to provide the programme for any reason, enrolled learners may transfer to a similar programme at another provider, or, in the event that this is not practicable, the fees most recently paid will be refunded

If you do not wish to undertake a full Masters programme you can also complete a number of modules. You will find the list of modules above. There is a fee of €500 per 5 ECTS Module. Please contact the college on 061 216288 for further information

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M.A. Masters in Counselling & Psychotherapy – Graduate 2011

Joining ICHAS at diploma level, my aspiration was to discover what counselling was about. After the diploma and through the Level 8 and Level 9 programmes, it became more about discovering who I was and then becoming a reflective counsellor. Understanding my self was most important if I was to help others with their journey. An additional benefit from this course was meeting so many different people from different backgrounds and with different views which taught me more about working with people, as a client or otherwise.

The college, course, staff and peers enabled this journey for me, where I have become a more holistic person. Now that I have ended up with a Masters in Counselling & Psychotherapy through the various challenges along the way is a great achievement for me.


Sinead MCGuinness
(Graduate of the MA in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy; BA (Hons) in Counselling and PsychotherapyBA in Counselling Skills and Psychotherapy Studies)

I began my voyage with ICHAS in Studying for the BA degree in Counselling and Psychotherapy studies was the beginning of my voyage with ICHAS. I never imaged what an amazing voyage this would be and all the amazing people I would meet along my way.  I am still on my voyage and still meeting amazing people and still learning every day. My studies with ICHAS went further than I could ever have believed with finding myself growing both on a personal and professional level. The college at all times (more…)


Patrick Fitzgerald
(BA in Counselling Skills and Psychotherapy Studies)

I came into ICHAS knowing that I wanted to help and work with people. Currently in my third year and all I can say is that I am amazed by how much I have grown both as a person and as a student. I was out of education for two years before starting and had fears and reservations about my ability as an academic and still not fully sure what I wanted to do with my life. The environment here compared to University’s or Institutes is not focused on just delivering the content and getting you through your degree or masters. Here they are looking at the individual behind the books and making sure that each student receives the same quality engagement that I have not seen anywhere else. ICHAS has allowed me over the last three years to see my true potential and ability through the stimulating learning environment here. I recommend this college to anyone looking into the areas of Counselling and Psychotherapy due to the high level of engagement with peers and lecturers.

Phone: 061 216 288
Walton House, Lonsdale Rd., National Technology Park,
Castletroy, Limerick, Ireland