Night-time Degrees for Adults at Maynooth University

By Steven Galvin - Last update

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Maynooth University are offering Night-time Degrees for Adults.

The BA in Local Studies (Arts) and the BA in Community Studies (Social Sciences) (MH803) are specifically designed for Adult Students (over 21 on 1 January 2021) who are interested in pursuing a Part-Time Evening degree.

These flexible degrees have been developed for people who are busy with work, family and daily life and who can’t take up fulltime university education.

If you are interested in History, Folklore, Geography, Education and the Arts, the Environment, Community and Youth work, Society and Culture and you have two evenings a week free then these wide ranging degrees may be for you. 

Maynooth University are hosting a CAO Information evening on Wednesday 13 January where you can get information on the degrees and how to apply for these degrees. 

For more information and to register for the event click HERE.  

How to apply

Adults can be very put off by the thoughts of applying through the CAO and think that it is all about Leaving Cert. points etc.  In fact, applications for the Adult Student part-time evening degrees. (MH803) Local Studies/Community Studies could not be more straightforward and simple and we will have an easy guide to application for MH803 at the Information evening:  

FAQs: Here are some of the most common questions that people ask us about the BA Local Studies/BA Community Studies MH803: 

Do I need a Leaving Cert.? NO

Am I too old? NO

Am I too long out of education? NO

Are there Exams? NO

Will I get Study Support? YES.

Will I be able for it? Let’s Find Out.

Do I have to Fill out the CAO? Contact:

What the students say:

Jacqueline Cummings BA Community Studies student:

It seems a distant memory, but what started out for me as “just doing a 16-week Communiversities course” in Coolock Library, resulted in me having the bright idea that I would go on to do a part-time degree course in Maynooth; Bachelor of Arts in Local and Community Studies to be more precise.  Yes, it seemed like a daunting task, but not so daunting as to turn me off, and so it began!

Towards the end of September 2018, approximately twenty of us newbies sat around a classroom and were given an overview of what the course we had enrolled for entailed. I was slightly anxious that third-level academia might be too difficult for me, given that I have been out of education since I finished my Leaving Certificate in the 1980s! However, reading back through my learning journal, I noticed that I have always emphasised to my children that education is power. So, it seems appropriate to be taking that concept on board for myself. 

I didn’t embark upon this degree with one particular area of the course in mind to primarily focus on, I came in with a very open mind. The course content is very rich and informative weekly for all modules. As the weeks are progressing and an abundance of information is being given, I find myself being drawn more and more toward Social Studies. The Local Studies course contents have some very fascinating aspects, but Community Studies appears to outweigh that for me.

Some weeks into the course, ‘Anthropology’ came up in discussion in Community Studies. I really didn’t know what anthropology was! Sociology is very widely known and discussed, but anthropology almost sounded like something one would do with animals! When I actually did discover what anthropology entails, I found myself fascinated. I was particularly happy to hear that we could choose both Anthropology and Sociology as modules in this degree,

So, to sum up… to date, it would appear that I have hope that I can overcome all of my adversities. I certainly will give it my best shot, I am really enjoying the challenge, and even if I don’t always know what things mean, it is very rewarding to realise how much I am learning, after so many years out of education. Overall, I am enjoying the course very much. The participants are lovely and if anyone can help out, they will. Our tutors are extra helpful. Onwards I go, with fear but also with hope, courage and determination to get through this. 

Excerpts taken with permission from Jacqueline Cummings Learning Journal Essay.

Seán Ó Broin BA Local Studies student.

The BA Local Studies is an excellent course for mature students, since the programme is interdisciplinary with subjects ranging from history, geography, adult education, anthropology, sociology, classics, and archaeology. I now view Ireland through a giant lens in the context of history, archaeology and the impact of the ice age and climate change on the physical landscape. 

The lecturers are excellent and the field trips and summer schools are a most enjoyable and satisfying feature of the programme – they bring everything together in a meaningful way. After the field trip to Eamhain Macha, I went to the Ulster Museum and derived a greater understanding of the interpretation and perspective of the requisite exhibits on display. Some of the summer schools on the Local Studies degree provide the opportunity to carry out actual fieldwork, resulting in great insights into where archaeologists are coming from with a consequential understanding of the contents of their reports. 

Although retired from the workforce for some years, I would strongly recommend the degree as a means to improving career prospects. The programme provides skill sets of critical assessment tools that are invaluable for business application: How to think rationally; how to argue logically. How to look critically at documents.  

Writing a thesis is the course highlight for most students – the opportunity for practical research based on the cumulative skill sets taught to students during their studies. It provides the opportunity for practical research in a topic of particular interest to students. As a young child I accompanied my grandmother who hailed from Drumcar, County Louth to the annual patron (patrún) or blessing of the graves The Church of Ireland building was closed during the ceremony of blessing the graves which always intrigued me as a child. I ended up doing research on it – the story of the area could be told through the plaques on the walls, which was a most satisfying experience.

Finally, all in all, the night-time degree is very well organised and delivered and strongly recommended – the two evenings spent at lectures is much better that being glued to the television set. I have made good friends on the BA, so the social aspect is just as important apart from the subjects you study since you have a friendly face to have a cuppa with when the going gets tough.

Anthony O’Prey BA Community Studies.: 

“One of the best decisions I have made in recent years is starting the Community Studies degree in Maynooth University. After many years working in the Youth and Community sector, this degree is broadening my understanding of the many issues facing people and society and is enriching my skill-set in my work. The modules are interesting, diverse and challenging and very relevant to modern Ireland. The mix of people attending this course is also very diverse. Some people are there to enhance their careers; others are there to change them. Some people are there to attain a university degree; others are there simply because they love learning. This creates a very unique learning environment, one which is supportive and encouraging. As a fulltime worker and father of two young boys, I am fortunate to have the support of my wife to give the time commitment to attend the lectures two evenings per week and the time to complete the assignments. Because I find the modules so interesting, I enjoy completing the assignments and sharing my new knowledge with my sons. I am in year three now and already have my eyes on a post-graduate course. Maynooth University has allowed me to nurture my appetite for knowledge and has introduced me to the idea that learning is a life-long adventure”. Anthony O’Prey 2019 Community Studies Student.

Dr Derek Barter BA manager:

Here in the Department of Adult and Community Education we have over 40 years of experience working with people who have been out of formal education for any number of years. We get people from all walks of life and with varying levels of qualifications behind them, from people without the Leaving Cert. to people with Master’s degrees. The one thing that unites them all is their desire to learn and this degree programme was developed specifically with adult students in mind to fulfil this motivation. 

To find out more contact 


Steven Galvin

Maynooth University CAO Information Evening 2021
NCAD Portfolio Workshop