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Department of Adult & Community Education

National University of Ireland, Maynooth

Adult and Community Education - BA Local Studies, BA Community Studies


students walking through the south campus of NUI Maynooth


Adult and Community Education

The Department of Adult and Community Education at NUI Maynooth has been offering courses to adults throughout the country for 30 years.

Our society and our university have changed dramatically in that time. There is now a general acceptance of lifelong learning as necessary for the success of the economy, the development of society and the well-being of each citizen. Work, family and community make increasing demands on each one to continue learning throughout our lives. Many adults have harboured a dream for many years that they should have or could have gone to university but for various reasons could not. This is now possible.


We deliver our courses in partnership with a large number of schools, colleges and adult learning centres around the country and we are grateful to them for their interest in bringing the university into many towns and villages around the country.


Every year up to 1, 500  adult students participate on NUI Certificate level courses. The courses are delivered in a student friendly way using experiential learning methods and group work practice as tools for learning. As many adult students may not have had the opportunity to participate in third level education before, student support and study skills form an integral part of course design. The courses are both flexible and part-time and where possible are offered in local venues.


About our courses
The role of continuing education courses is to provide adults with third level learning opportunities that are flexible and part-time. The courses are particularly designed for those without previous third level education and they are offered at Certificate and Diploma level. They are for the most part, delivered locally in accessible venues and taught by NUI approved tutors. To date approximately 1, 500 adult students per annum have completed an NUI Certificate course from the range of courses provided.


Admission Requirements
All undergraduate courses are open to those over 23 years of age. In most cases, no academic requirements or qualifications are necessary, however, some courses, because of their content, are more suited to those with previous knowledge or experience of the subject.  Postgraduate level courses in Adult Education provided by the department are suitable for those who already have a primary degree and who wish to obtain a professional qualification.


Credit Transfer
The NUI Certificate & Diploma courses are linked to the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS). This means that students may acquire credits and apply for exemptions to other courses or degree programmes within the credit transfer system. The NUI Certificate courses carry up to 20 credits and the NUI Diploma in Arts carries 60 credits. Participants on the modular BA degree programmes at NUIM
must achieve 180 credits in order to complete their degree.


Foundation Courses

  • Return to Learning

  • Economics and Finance


    Certificate Courses


  • Addiction Studies

  • Adult & Community Education

  • Community Development & Leadership

  • Counselling Skills

  • Creative Writing  for Publication

  • Directing

  • Disability Studies

  • Local History

  • Philosophy

  • Psychology


Modular  Programmes

  • Culture & Society

  • People, place and Heritage


Professional Development Courses

  • NUI Certificate Adult Guidance, Theory & Practice
  • NUI Certificate Communication & Group Skills for Managers
  • NUI Certificate Equality Studies in Training & Development
  • NUI Certificate Integrating Literacy
  • NUI Certificate Training & Continuing Education
  • NUI Diploma Training & Development (for Socially Inclusive Workplaces)


Degree Programmes

· Bachelor of Arts Programme

1 Local Studies Modular evening part-time Programme

2 Local Studies


For detailed information on courses and application click here:


http: //





The National University of Ireland, Maynooth offers modular part-time degrees in Local Studies and Community Studies. These programmes were developed in response to the demand for inter-disciplinary, flexible progression routes for adults to degree level. They are offered in the evening to facilitate adults who are unable to attend on a full-time basis during the day. They represent a further expansion of NUI Maynooth’s provision for mature students. With such innovative features as flexible delivery, modularisation, credit accumulation and recognition of accredited prior learning, students may advance in a systematic and learner friendly way towards a primary degree. These programmes are offered at the main campus at Maynooth, Co. Kildare, and at the University’s Kilkenny Campus.


Structure of the Degree Programmes


Over a five-year cycle of delivery the following two programmes are provided:

· Programme 1: Local Studies

· Programme 2: Community Studies


Students on the degree may choose to follow either the Local Studies Programme or the Community Studies Programme. It is not possible to attend modules from both programmes, except where Common Modules are offered.

The inter-disciplinary nature of the programmes means that various University Departments have responsibility for module delivery.

Participating Departments - History, Geography, Ancient Classics, Nua Ghaeilge, Language Centre, Sociology, Anthropology, Adult & Community Education

2. Community Studies:
Participating Departments - Adult & Community Education, Applied Social Studies, Anthropology, Sociology, Geography, History


Delivery of the Degree Programmes
The degree is delivered over a five year cycle through a combination of regular lectures, tutorials, field courses and short summer schools.
Each academic year has two semesters. Semesters are blocks of fifteen weeks, consisting of twelve weeks class contact and three weeks study and examinations.



Academic year on-campus is typically structured as follows:

Semester 1

September - November 12 weeks class contact + 2 study weeks

Semester 2

January - April 12 weeks class contact + 2 study weeks

Summer Modules (Optional)

Monday - Friday full-time 1 week
Lectures are offered over two or three nights per week, usually Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, from 6.00 - 10.00 pm.

Each programme is offered through modules. A module is a “block” of learning in which a particular topic is taught and assessed. Most modules are “stand alone” and can be studied as separate blocks. All modules carry credits towards the degree. The modules of study are delivered through a combination of regular lectures, tutorials, presentations, field courses and short summer schools.


Student Support

Students on the part-time degree have access to all services and supports available in the university, with the additional services of a Student Support Officer. A Study Skills and Student Support module is offered in the first semester of the programme.

Admission Requirements

Applicants to the degree programmes should be mature students, i.e. aged twenty-three years or over by 1st January in the year of admission.

NUI Maynooth encourages applications from adults who may not have completed second level education. The number of places offered will be restricted so it may not be possible to offer places to all applicants in any one year.

Non-European Applicants
The University welcomes applications from non-EU applicants. Please visit the University’s website at:

Language Proficiency
Both programmes are delivered through English. Students are advised that to benefit from their chosen programme they should be proficient in both written and spoken English.

Fees are calculated on the credit weighting of each module and are payable at the beginning of each semester.

How and Where to Apply
Application for admission is made directly to Maynooth Campus or to Kilkenny Campus. It should be made on the official Application Form available from:


Maynooth Campus

BA Support Officer,

Department of Adult and Community Education,

National University of Ireland, Maynooth,


Co. Kildare.

Tel: 01 708 4587/708 3948

Fax: 01 708 4687


Kilkenny Campus

Campus Manager,

Kilkenny Campus (NUI Maynooth),

College Road,

Co. Kilkenny.

Tel: 056 777 5910/777 5919

Fax: 056 776 1369



For full brochure and application forms click here:

http: //

Completed application forms should be returned to the same address.
The information in this introduction is intended only as a guide for applicants.



Department of Adult and Community Education
Education House
North Campus
National University of Ireland,
Maynooth, Co. Kildare
Republic of Ireland

Tel: +353 1 708  4587/708 3937
Fax: +353 1 708 4687








Department of Adult and Community Education
Education House
North Campus
National University of Ireland,
Maynooth, Co. Kildare
Republic of Ireland

Tel: +353 1 708 3937/708 4500
Fax: +353 1 708 4687
























“I loved it, I miss the whole experience, making friends. I thought I would never achieve it, it felt like an impossible dream. In the beginning I didn’t tell anyone I was doing it in case I failed or dropped out. I wish I was starting again. I don’t take anything for granted anymore - I question politics, religion - it has opened my mind to society in general”

Nora Neary O’Hanlon (Graduated 2004), Maynooth Campus