Celebrating 50 years of Adult Learning at NUI Galway

2019 marks an exciting year for the Centre for Adult Learning and Professional Development as we celebrate the 50th anniversary of adult learning at NUI Galway. 

“From its early beginnings in 1969 of extra-mural Diplomas in Social Action and Industrial Relations, we have come a long way to the diverse array of courses on offer today through online, blended and classroom-based learning”, reflects Centre Director, Nuala McGuinn. 

Politics and Society for Secondary School Teachers

A new Higher Diploma in Arts (Politics and Society) was launched in September 2018. This is a two-year, part-time course which has been specifically designed to meet the needs of second level teachers who wish to teach ‘Politics and Society’ on the Leaving Certificate curriculum. 

“The course content is tailored to correspond directly with the four strands of learning on the Politics and Society curriculum, providing students with the skills, knowledge, learning and teaching methodologies required to engage with the disciplines of Political Science and Sociology” explains Course Director, Lisa Walshe. 

The course covers a broad range of subject matter within these Disciplines, but focuses specifically on Power, Decision Making, Active Citizenship, Human Rights, Globalisation and Localisation. Developed in conjunction with the School of Political Science & Sociology and the School of Education and delivered through blended-learning, NUI Galway is the first University in the country offering a third level qualification in this subject area for secondary school teachers.

Developing the next generation of leaders

Strong leadership and management skills are critical to the success of any business, irrespective of the sector you work in, whether in education or industry. 

With over 60% of our 2018/19 students indicating that professional development was the main motivational factor in choosing a part-time course, flexible, shorter-term courses are becoming increasingly popular for busy professionals enabling them to enhance their existing qualifications within a manageable timeframe. 

One-year Diplomas in Change Management, Innovation Management and Learning and Development are available. The Diploma in Learning and Development is a new course targeted at those who have managerial and supervisory responsibilities in corporate learning and development roles. 

The course focuses on skills development around Coaching, Human Resource Management and Online Learning Development in industry today”, highlights Course Co-ordinator, Paul Gormley, “and provides candidates with the skills to design, develop and operationalise strategic plans within their areas of responsibility”.

The Postgraduate Diploma/Certificate in Practice Based Play Therapy is also available in conjunction with the Academy of Play and Child Psychotherapy (APAC), and has become an increasingly popular course choice for teachers and educators who wish to add therapeutic play skills to their existing teaching or psychology skills for working with children.

Scholarship Opportunities

Each year, the Centre offers a number of Springboard+ courses with free places for students who are unemployed and 90% funding for those in employment. 

Among the programmes funded are Medical Device Science, Lean & Quality Systems, Automation and Control, Innovation Management and Technology Commercialisation. A 30% scholarship is also available for students who are in receipt of financial support from the Department of Social Protection.