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									Athlone Institute of Technology

     Postgraduate Prospectus

Athlone Institute of Technology

   Postgraduate Prospectus

Welcome from the President               5

About Athlone Institute of Technology    6

Student Supports                         8

Learning Supports                       10

AIT Graduate School                     12

Fees and Grants                         14

International                           16

Applying to AIT                         17

Research Opportunities at AIT
     Materials Research Institute       20
     Bioscience Research Institute      22
     Software Research Institute        24
     Business School                    27
     School of Engineering              28
     School of Humanities               30
     School of Science                  32

Taught Programmes at AIT
     Business School                    36
     School of Engineering              32
     School of Humanities               35
     School of Science                  42

Useful Contacts                         62
10 Top Reasons to Choose AIT for Postgraduate Study
1.    AIT Graduates Enjoy Strong Career Prospects
      Some 55% of AIT’s Master’s degree graduates had secured full-time employment within six months of completing
      their programme, according to the 2009 graduate survey.

2.    Dedicated Postgrad Research Space
      A new postgraduate research hub was opened on campus in 2010, which can accommodate 60 research
      Master’s and doctoral student stations. Facilities in the hub include purpose-built research workspace, seminar and
      social space.

3.    A World of International Linkages
      AIT has established relationships with 230 third level institutions around the world, while 10% of the full-time
      student body comes from overseas. Recent developments include agreements with the government training
      institute in Saudi Arabia, as well as with universities in Beijing and Emden, Germany.

4.    Support for Innovation
      According to Enterprise Ireland, AIT is in the top three higher education institutions in Ireland, in terms of the
      number of innovation voucher projects completed, with 83 collaborative projects concluded or in process.

5.    Proven Track Record in Securing Research Funding
      AIT has a proven track record in securing research funding and has received €23 million since 2005. The institute
      is also one of the most successful higher education institutions nationally in securing applied research funding.

6.    Growing Research Capacity and Capability
      Research capacity and capability is being continually expanded in Athlone. AIT has three strategic research
      institutes: in materials engineering, biomolecular science and software engineering. Further research clusters exist
      at school level.

7.    An Attractive Modern Campus
      €100 million has been invested in AIT’s infrastructure and campus since 2000. The most recent projects to be
      completed are the Engineering and Informatics Building (€36m), the Postgraduate Research Hub (€2m) and the
      FIFA astro-turf pitch and IAAF-approved athletics track (€2m).

8.    A Sporting Hub
      AIT has invested substantially in its sporting infrastructure in recent years and has ambitious plans to add to its
      facilities. This has attracted the full gamut of sporting bodies to the institute’s facilities for competition and training
      purposes; including the HSE Community Games, Athletics Ireland, the FAI, the IRFU, the GAA, the Irish Amateur
      Boxing Asociation; to mention just a few.

9.    Athlone Offers Quality, Excellent Value Accommodation
      According to a rental report published by, Athlone offers some of the best value student accommodation
      in Ireland.

10.   Athlone: In the Heart of the Country
      Located right in the centre of the country, getting to Athlone couldn’t be easier. The town is very well served with
      an improving road infrastructure and excellent public transport.
Welcome from the President

I am delighted to welcome you to our prospectus        AIT is investing in developing and fostering a vibrant
of taught and research postgraduate programmes.        research culture, one that gives genuine expression
                                                       to the vision of 4th level Ireland in bold and
Within these pages you will find details of our        imaginative ways. The institute’s success in winning
growing range of special purpose awards, higher        substantial research funding across a variety of
and postgraduate diplomas, Master’s degrees and        awarding agencies is testimony to this.
research opportunities at Master’s and doctoral
level. Programmes are available across our four        Hopefully this prospectus gives you a flavour of
schools of business, humanities, engineering and       postgraduate life at AIT. We look forward to forging
science.                                               a bright, exciting future with you.

Postgraduate study is a significant undertaking,
but we believe that it is an investment that will
profit you personally and professionally. At AIT, we
are committed to providing the perfect learning
environment to enable you to fulfil your ambitions.
This extends across the varying requirements of        Professor Ciárán Ó Catháin
our full- and part-time students.                      President

                                                                                       AIT 1970-2010        5
About Athlone Institute of Technology

Athlone Institute of Technology        AIT has the authority to confer          The development of an
(AIT) is the only higher education     academic awards under section 29         international campus has been
institution in the Midlands of         of the Qualifications (Education         a strategic priority over the past
Ireland. Established in 1970, it       and Training) Act 1999. This             decade. This has yielded significant
has expanded in size, scope and        provision is informed through            dividends in terms of the number
influence over the period.             delegated authority from the             of partnerships and agreements
                                       Higher Education and Training            with international HEIs and
There are currently some 6,000         Awards Council (HETAC).                  research institutes, which number
full- and part-time learners in        Delegated authority in AIT covers        in excess of 230. Athlone Institute
AIT studying a broad range of          all taught programmes to Level           of Technology is also a college
programmes from extramural to          9 and in Level 9 awards through          of choice for a growing number
doctorate Level 10 on the National     research in life and physical science;   of EU and non-EU students.
Framework of Qualifications            mechanical, software and polymer         Some ten per cent of the full-
(NFQ). Programme provision is          engineering; and social care.            time learner population is from
through the institute’s four schools   Pending is DA for Level 10 in life       outside Ireland, with students
of business, engineering, humanities   and physical science and polymer         drawn from countries as diverse
and science.                           engineering.                             as China, Malaysia, India, the USA,
                                                                                Saudi Arabia, Italy, France, Poland,
                                                                                Lithuania and Nigeria.

6      AIT Postgraduate Prospectus
Research capacity and capability             also a strategic priority for AIT.      Enterprise Ireland-supported
is being continually expanded in             The institute plays a major role        innovation voucher scheme.
Athlone. AIT has three strategic             in fostering and developing
research institutes: in materials            entrepreneurial activity in the         AIT’s infrastructure and facilities
engineering, biomolecular sciences           Midlands Gateway/region. The            have benefited from €100 million
and software engineering. Further            Midlands Innovation and Research        investment over the past decade,
research clusters exist at school            Centre (MIRC), located on campus,       which has delivered a world-class
level. The research institutes, which        operates as a converging hub for        teaching, research and recreational
have developed international                 innovation, research and enterprise.    campus. Recent developments
collaborations with leading                  It provides incubation facilities       have included a new engineering
multinational companies and                  for innovative and knowledge-           and informatics building (€36
universities in Europe, Asia and             based enterprises, an enterprise        million); a postgraduate research
the US, have attracted significant           programme for entrepreneurs             hub (€2 million), an IAAF-approved
multimillion euro funding. This has          and start-ups, and makes available      athletics track and a FIFA 2-star
amounted to €23 million since                the resources and expertise of          astro-turf pitch (€2 million). These
2005.                                        the institute to support client         developments have insured top-
                                             companies. In addition, AIT is in the   quality facilities are available for the
Assisting in the economic, social,           top three HEIs nationally in driving    student body and faculty.
cultural and environmental                   innovation among small Irish firms
development of the region is                 through their participation in the

           President McAleese receives the institute’s
           first distinguished fellowship

                                                                                                    AIT 1970-2010          7
Student Supports

The institute offers a wide range      •   Career counselling to facilitate       contact the Disability Liaison
of services to students. These             students in knowing and                Officer, Patricia Kearney
include counselling, chaplaincy,           evaluating the possibilities           (telephone + 353 (0)90 646
disability support, student tutor/         available                              8141), prior to registration in
mentors, health and a careers          •   Compiling CVs and cover                order that appropriate supports
and appointments service. These            letters                                may be arranged at the earliest
services continue to expand and        •   Interview techniques and               opportunity.
are designed to help students              ‘mock’ interviews
obtain maximum benefit from their      •   Employer recruitment                   Additional facilities are available
time at the institute.                     programme and careers fairs            for all registered students with
                                       •   Job opportunities                      disabilities (includes physical/
                                       •   Employer presentations and             learning/sensory disabilities,
Careers and Appointments                   interviews                             significant ongoing illness and
Service                                •   Career videos                          mental health difficulties). To avail
The role of the Careers Service        •   Employers’ information                 of these facilities, you must be
combines careers advisory              •   Scholarships                           registered with the institute’s
work with students and facilities                                                 disability support service. Supports
for employers to come into                                                        include note takers, personal
direct contact with students for       Disability Support Services                assistance, learning help, assistive
recruitment purposes. Those            AIT provides complete and equitable        technology training, additional
seeking specific careers counselling   access to education and all areas of       tuition and special examination
should make an appointment by          college life, by avidly pursuing in its    arrangements.
calling to the careers office in       inclusive policies, seamless integration
person, or by telephone to             and active participation for students      The disability support service is
+ 353 (0)90 646 8129. The              with disabilities.                         confidential. Each student’s needs
careers office can help you with                                                  are assessed individually, taking
information on the following:          Prospective students with a                into account his/her particular
                                       disability/special need should             requirements.

8      AIT Postgraduate Prospectus
Counselling Service                       Chaplaincy Services                     Health Service
At any stage of your academic             The overall objective of the            A confidential health and medical
career, you may experience                chaplaincy service is to make life in   service under the direction of
personal crises, difficulty in relation   AIT as meaningful and as enjoyable      the institute nurse is available on
to study or examinations, lack            as possible and to create a spirit      campus. The health centre provides
of confidence or self-esteem,             of cooperation and personal             a full medical service and advises
unsatisfactory relationships, family      care. An emergency service is           on all health-related matters.
difficulties, anxiety or depression.      provided in the event of sudden         Doctors attend at the institute
The counselling service provides          illness, family or personal problems.   each day, at times which are
help and support if you are               Students are invited to visit the       published within AIT.
experiencing difficulties. The            residence outside working hours
institute counsellors provide a           and volunteers to assist with the
professional, confidential and free       running of the services are always      Crèche
service to help you cope or to            welcome. Mass is celebrated each        While an on-campus crèche is not
resolve difficulties.                     weekday in the institute chapel         currently available, a subsidy for
                                          with interdenominational services       those using private childminding
                                          celebrated each month.                  services is available for eligible
                                                                                  applicants through the student
                                                                                  services department.

                                                                                                AIT 1970-2010       9
Learning Supports

Library                                 may book a machine and request            ICT Facilities
The Goldsmith Library at AIT is         individual instruction on searching       The institute has invested heavily
an integral part of the institute       the databases and the internet.           in updating its computer facilities.
and it plays a central role in          Group information sessions are            The information technology centre
academic life. It supports the          also provided in collaboration with       is a centralised service available
educational and research activities     lecturers. In addition, the library has   to all students within the institute.
of the institution by providing         20 open access PCs with internet          Currently there are eight general-
a comprehensive information             connections, which are not subject        purpose laboratories consisting
service. In recent years the library    to booking and are available on a         of 250 personal computers linked
has taken on an educational role        first-come, first-served basis. The       by file servers using an ethernet
by providing instruction in the use     library has 10 PCs with internet          network and Windows XP
of information technology.              connections in the computer               Professional software. Specialist
                                        room, however, they are not on            laboratories are also available
We have a purpose-built modern          open access and must be booked            within the institute’s four schools.
library which contains 400 study        at the issue desk. Photocopiers
places and a total book stock of        for student use are also available        In addition to the suite of
some 30,000 volumes. The library        within the library.                       computer laboratories, the institute
currently subscribes to 300 print                                                 provides a 150-seat open access
journal titles covering subjects in     The library has an automated              area for students involved in
business, engineering, humanities       circulation system and the                project and research work.
and science. Information is also        computerised catalogue can be
available in electronic format. The     searched by means of three public         For students with special needs, an
library subscribes to a number of       access terminals (OPACs) within           assistive technology laboratory is
databases which are accessible          the library or through the web            available just off the main canteen
through the internet. InfoTrac          ( Library staff    area.
Onefile, a database of over 4,000       are available to help students
journal titles covering engineering,    to use the search facility and to         Students have access to industry-
health, humanities, science, social     answer information queries. Any           standard hardware and software
studies and business studies, is an     material not held in the library can      packages across the various
example of one such resource.           be obtained from other libraries          disciplines of study. Wireless
                                        using the inter-library loan facility.    network facilities are also available
The computer room in the library                                                  for student access across the
contains open access PCs and            Further information on library            campus.
internet access, and information        services may be obtained at
sessions are conducted for    
students. Students are encouraged
to conduct research by using the
web databases linked from the
library homepage. Library users

10        AIT Postgraduate Prospectus
AIT Graduate School

Research Community                     A structured postgraduate             Postgraduate Research Hub
The Graduate School at AIT             programme has been introduced         AIT’s Postgraduate Research
supports the postgraduate              recently in line with best practice   Hub which was opened in 2010,
research community in the              throughout Europe. This structured    includes purpose-built research
institute. It helps ensure that they   research programme incorporates       workspace, seminar and social
have a world-class experience in       a research and personal               space. The hub is located on the
Athlone, while studying for their      development plan (RPDP) where         East Campus and considerably
Master’s or doctorate degree. This     postgraduate candidates can           enhances the learning, research and
support extends from providing         plan and record their personal        social infrastructure of the Athlone
the appropriate facilities and         development during the course         campus.
resources, to cultivating networks     of their research. Delivery of the
to support genuine collaboration       structured programme has also         Sixty research Master’s and
and partnerships.                      seen the AIT Graduate School          doctoral candidate stations
                                       become the first institute in         are accommodated in the hub.
Workshops organised by the             Ireland to embrace the training       The research space comprises
Graduate School range from team-       programmes on offer from the          two major ‘equipment platform’
building for new researchers to        Research Alliance Graduate            laboratories in the areas of imaging
CV preparation for those who are       Education Programme                   and materials processing, research
finishing their projects. A research   (            candidate seminar and social space,
seminar programme which runs                                                 journal reading room and ancillary
throughout the academic year is                                              supporting facilities.
also facilated, with experts from
industry and academia presenting.

12       Postgraduate Prospectus 2010-2011

12       AIT Postgraduate Prospectus
The enhanced research facility provides for hosting
of young researchers and, where appropriate,
distinguished scientists and engineers, participation
in Science Foundation Ireland’s (SFI) Short-term
Fellowships Programme, and academic and social
networking deriving from the interdisciplinary character
of the hub.

Induction for new postgraduate research candidates
is conducted by the Graduate School, supported by
the relevant faculty or research institute. This process
enables new students to begin productive work as
soon as possible, and also provides a formal setting to
present students with the regulations concerning their

It also affords an opportunity to discuss the challenges
that will typically face research students during the
course of their studies and where guidance may be
sought in the event of difficulties.

Graduate Education Programme
Postgraduate researchers at AIT can undertake a
series of taught modules in research skills (through the
Research Alliance Graduate Education Programme),
which build to a stand-alone postgraduate award,
culminating in a Level 9 Diploma in Research Practice.
The modules currently include research methods,
research management, personal development for
researchers, data handling and analysis, creativity and
entrepreneurship, and communication for researchers.

The modules were developed by the Institute of
Technology Research Alliance, which is a
SIF 1-funded project, involving a collaboration between
all of the institutes of technology, four universities, the
IUA, HETAC and IBEC. Further information is available

                                                              AIT 1970-2010   13
                                                              AIT 1970-2010   13
Fees and Grants

Fees                                                         In most cases, however, funding comes from external
Tuition fees are subject to review on an annual basis,       sources where the researcher applies directly to an
while a registration fee is also payable to the institute/   external body, or is commissioned by a funding agency
HETAC, on initial registration. Details of the fees for      to undertake a piece of research.
taught programmes can be found on the individual
programme pages in this prospectus.                          It is also noteworthy that students who received
                                                             an Irish local authority or VEC grant during their
Postgraduate research students are required to have          undergraduate studies are normally able to extend
paid all fees and/or charges, including write-up fees        this to cover one full-time postgraduate course
as appropriate, prior to completion of their notice          in Ireland. The student should contact their local
of intention to present form, and they must provide          authority to make application.
written proof to the registrar that all lawfully due
fees/charges have been discharged in full. Failure to
maintain good financial standing and to discharge fees/      Funding Organisations in Ireland
charges owing to the institute will negatively impact        Numerous organisations provide funding for research
the student’s ability to pursue a course of study/           in Ireland. Some exist with the sole purpose of funding
research, to sit examinations and/or be issued with          research. Others, such as the HEA, have funding
their examination results.                                   research as part of their overall remit.

                                                             Some of the principal sources of funding in Ireland
Grants                                                       include:
When applying for postgraduate study it is important         • Irish Research Council for the Humanities and
to consider the availability of finances for both                 Social Sciences []
tuition fees and living costs. Sources of finance are        • Irish Council for Science, Engineering and
wide-ranging and vary for individual students, from               Technology [].
self-funding through to research grants. It is the           • Health Research Board []
responsibility of each postgraduate to determine a           • Higher Education Authority []
funding mechanism for their study.                           • Science Foundation Ireland []
                                                             • Royal Irish Academy []
Students in receipt of a maintenance grant must              • The Arts Council []
present to the Fees and Grants Office official               • Enterprise Ireland []
notification of the award.

                                                             European Sources of Funding
Funding Sources                                              Increasingly, the EU has become a major source of
Funding can come from both internal and external             research funding in Ireland. Funding initiatives such
sources. The institution or organisation within which        as Framework 7 (FP7) are all readily available to
the researcher works may provide internal funds.             researchers in Ireland in all areas of research including
One example of this is the President’s seed fund             business, IT, health and medicine among others.
programme at AIT for new and existing researchers.

14       AIT Postgraduate Prospectus
EU research funding is designed to encourage                 IRCSET Scholarship Student Profile
cooperation among EU researchers and promote
research excellence at the highest level. Strict
guidelines are in place and should be consulted
before undertaking EU-funded research. Projects and
programmes available include Erasmus-Mundus.

For further information on available Erasmus-Mundus
programmes visit:

Socrates-Erasmus is devoted to higher education
research, covering all types of higher education      Kelsey McEvoy, a final year agricultural science degree
establishments, all subject areas and all levels      student at AIT was successful in the Irish Research
of higher studies up to postgraduate level. Its       Council for Science, Engineering and Technology
purpose is to support European activities of higher   (IRCSET) ‘Embark Initiative’ Postgraduate Scholarship
education institutions and to promote the mobility    scheme 2010.
and exchange of their teaching staff, students and
administrators.                                       Kelsey will undertake doctoral research into how to
                                                      stop a particular bacteria (Cronobacter malonaticus)
There are two forms of funding:                       from causing disease.
• financial support to universities to enhance the
   European dimension of studies                      This bacteria is most often found in powdered milk
• mobility grants for students and teachers wishing   formulas used to feed infants and causes very serious
   to study/teach in another participating country    problems such as meningitis, and infection can cause
                                                      death. The bacteria works by infecting cells in the
There are numerous other funding programmes           intestines and then travels to the brain or other
available. For all EU funding programme see the       parts of the body. Kelsey will be researching how to
website                           find a way of stopping the bacteria from invading the
                                                      intestinal cells, cutting it off before it can even begin
                                                      to cause disease.

                                                      The research will augment current food-related
                                                      research in the School of Science and strengthen
                                                      inter-departmental collaboration within the school.

                                                                                      AIT 1970-2010         15

Athlone Institute of Technology offers students             Visa Requirements
from around the globe the prospect of gaining an            Please note that students from non-EU countries are
international qualification in an institution and country   required to hold a valid visa for the duration of the
where learning and research are highly valued. Some         proposed course at the time of registration.
10 per cent of AIT’s full-time student body comes
from outside Ireland, with countries as diverse as
China, Italy, Brazil and Malaysia represented.              Additional Requirements
                                                            Non-EU candidates are also required to supply
AIT has a dedicated International Office which              the following information with their completed
provides a wide range of supports to learners,              postgraduate application form:
including:                                                  • detailed curriculum vitae
• information and support to international                  • certified transcripts of examination results and
     applicants prior to their arrival, as well as              English language translations of qualifications not
     induction events for international students                issued in English
     registered with the institute                          • letter of recommendation from appropriate head
• assistance to international students, in the areas of         of department of own institution;
     accommodation, welfare, academic and social life       • two personal character references;
• assistance to institute students, with international      • proof of ability to sustain oneself financially for the
     ambitions, in the area of finding placements, long-        academic year;
     term employment and exchange programmes                • any other relevant information regarding stated
• information for prospective international students.           qualifications or previous work experience.

English Language Requirements                               International Society
AIT is keen to ensure that all of our students are          The international society at AIT offers a forum for
well-prepared to succeed. International students            learners and researchers from outside Ireland to
whose first language is not English must achieve an         network, socialise and share experiences. The society
appropriate level in an approved test before they can       is one of the most active in Athlone.
register with the institute.

The required standard to be attained is:                    Contact
• International English Language Testing System             Further details on the work of the international office
   (IELTS) 6.0; or                                          may be obtained from:
• Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)             Mary Simpson
   213 (CBT).                                               Director of International Relations
                                                            T       + 353 (0)90 642 4562
                                                            F       + 353 (0)90 642 4417

16       AIT Postgraduate Prospectus
Applying to AIT

Taught Postgraduate Programmes                             Applications for Research Grant-Funded Projects
Application forms for taught postgraduate                  Following a competitive application process by staff
programmes are available from the admissions               to a funding agency, advertisements seeking eligible
office: tel + 353 (0)90 646 8130/8131 and email            postgraduate researchers will be placed in appropriate Alternatively, they can be              media. Interested candidates should complete the
downloaded from the web:                       postgraduate research application form and forward it,
                                                           along with certified transcripts of examination results,
Complete the form fully, attaching any additional          to the office of research. Once a successful applicant
documentation that may be required and return to           is identified, the head of school/department will then
the admissions office. Provisional offers may be made      undertake to identify a potential research supervisor
to those who have not yet completed their final            who will liaise with the applicant and the research
examinations.                                              office to manage the subsequent application process.

Research Postgraduate Programmes                           Applications for Student/Self-Funded Projects
Application forms for research postgraduate                If you intend to carry out your postgraduate research
programmes are available from the postgraduate             degree by self-funding your research, you are
research cooordinator: tel + 353 (0)90 647 1807            advised to contact the appropriate head of school/
and email Alternatively, they can be        department with your research proposal. Candidates
downloaded from the web:                       are then required to complete the postgraduate
                                                           research application form and forward it, along with
All applications for postgraduate research                 certified transcripts of examination results, to the
programmes to AIT must adhere to the criteria and          head of school/department. The applicant will be
processes outlined in the institute’s procedures and       interviewed by school personnel to determine the
guidelines for postgraduate research.                      suitability of the proposed research and the availability
                                                           of required resources and facilities within the institute.
Closing dates for applications for postgraduate research
programmes may vary (usually dependant on the              If the applicant is deemed suitable, and the research
source of funding for the project). Candidates should      deemed an appropriate subject area for AIT, the head
contact the appropriate head of school/department          of school/department will then undertake to identify
or the office of research for details. Postgraduate        a potential research supervisor who will liaise with
research programme start dates are dependant on, and       the applicant and the research office to manage the
consistent with, programme closing dates.                  subsequent application process.

                                                                                             AIT 1970-2010        17
                                   Project Approval/Ratification Process
                                   Following meetings with the head of school/
                                   department and/or the allocated research
                                   supervisor (in the case of self-funding candidates), or
                                   interviews held by the office of research (in the case
                                   of research granted-funded candidates), candidates’
                                   details are then submitted for ratification within
                                   the institute. To facilitate this process, applicants
                                   are required to complete an application form for
                                   registration for a research degree programme. For
                                   programmes where AIT does not have delegated
                                   authority to make its own awards, applicants
                                   should complete the HETAC application form for
                                   registration for a research degree programme,
                                   which is presented to the postgraduate review
                                   group meeting for consideration. The group will
                                   consider the research proposal and review the
                                   candidate’s suitability to the proposed programme
                                   with regard to qualifications, experience, funding
                                   available, allocated supervisor(s), etc. as per AIT’s
                                   procedures and guidelines for postgraduate research
                                   at the institute.

                                   Applications approved by the postgraduate review
                                   group meeting are subject to ratification by the
                                   institute’s research, innovation and enterprise
                                   committee, which is a sub-committee of academic
                                   council. For programmes in research areas where
                                   AIT does not have delegated authority to make
                                   its own awards, the application will also be sent to
                                   HETAC, the institute’s ultimate awarding body, for
                                   assessment in accordance with their procedures.

                                   The candidate will be informed in writing of the
                                   outcome of the research, innovation and enterprise
                                   committee meeting. In the case of an applications
                                   not being approved, the application will be returned
                                   to the applicant/supervisor outlining the reasons as
                                   to why the application was unsuccessful.

18   AIT Postgraduate Prospectus
Research Opportunities at AIT

                                AIT 1970-2010   19
Materials Research Institute
The Materials Research Institute (MRI) is a locus      •   Development of polymeric synthetic skin for
for interdisciplinary research focused on materials        application to biomedical training
science and technology and the delivery of contract    •   Application of process moulding and extrusion
development and testing services to industry. The          technology to food manufacture
MRI has facilities dedicated to materials synthesis;
processing, manufacture, analysis and testing.         Funding for projects is secured from sources such as
                                                       the Enterprise Ireland Innovation Partnership Grant
Key Research Areas                                     Scheme, Enterprise Ireland’s Commercialisation
•    Biodegradable Materials                           Fund, and the Council of Directors for Institutes of
•    Nanomedicine                                      Technology, Strands I and III.
•    Computational Analysis and RPTM
Current Research Projects                              The MRI hosts an extensive analytical laboratory,
•    Development of smart polymer systems for novel    micro fabrication facilities, clean rooms, a polymer
     drug delivery applications                        processing hall, physical and mechanical testing
•    Synthesis and characterisation of biodegradable   laboratory, surface analysis laboratory (AFM and
     elastomers for polymer industry                   μ -TA) and support infrastructure. The centre
•    Development of multifunctional coating systems    combines these laboratory capacities with skill sets
     for the medical device industry                   in technology transfer, development and clinical trial
•    A thermal management approach to conformal        management.
     cooling within the blow moulding industry
•    Investigation of novel methods for recycling

20       AIT Postgraduate Prospectus
MRI Researcher Profiles

Guy Havet                              Fei Liang                             Tommy Smith

Guy Havet graduated with a             Fei Liang graduated with a            Tommy Smith graduated from
doctorate degree in polymer            research-based Master’s degree        AIT in 2006 with an honours
engineering from the University        in polymer engineering in China       degree in polymer science. He
of Akron, Ohio in 2000. He is          in 2006 and commenced her             is currently pursuing a PhD on
experienced in scaling-up reactions    research in Athlone the following     the development of a two-phase
involving the synthesis of polymeric   year, where she is undertaking        hydrogel system containing
materials and the processes            doctoral studies.                     hydrogen peroxide for potential
associated with those materials.                                             wound healing applications.
He is experienced in developing        Her research is in the field of
R&D and QC techniques for              polymeric nanomaterials for           The aim of the project is to
establishment of formulation-          biomedical application. The           develop a wound healing device
process-morphology-property            research project she is undertaking   which would be capable of
relationships. His experience in       is more specifically on the           delivering extra oxygen/moisture
polymer science and engineering        research and development of high      to the wound site with the use of
is invaluable in synthesising,         performance and non-invasive          hydrogen peroxide (H2O2). The
characterising, and processing         polymeric micellar nanoparticles      two phase gel is a two-in-one gel
innovative polyesters with the         for anticancer drugs delivery.        with the inner gel been a xerogel
equipment available at the MRI.                                              consisting of various active agents
                                       Her research interests include        and the outer gel been a cryogel
His current research is in the         high performance and non-toxic        consisting of H2O2. The transparent
synthesis of biodegradable             polymer materials for biomedical      nature of the wound healing device
polymers from renewable feed           or pharmaceutical application,        allows the doctor and patient to
stock. The project is being funded     polymeric nanomaterials for           monitor the wound over time.
by Enterprise Ireland and IRCSET.      biomedical devices, polymeric
His future work will include the       micelles for drug delivery devices,   To date, Tommy has had a number
research of novel methods for          and multifunctional or intelligent    of papers based on his research
recycling HDPE.                        polymer materials.                    published in peer-reviewed

                                                                                         AIT 1970-2010
                                                                                         AIT 1970-2010         19
BRI Researcher Profiles

Dominik Kirf                          Haroon Rashid                          Mary Garvey

Dominik Kirf is currently             Haroon Rashid graduated from           A novel means of killing the water
developing and investigating the      AIT in 2008 with a BSc (Honours)       bug cryptosporidium has been
biocompatibility of novel polymeric   in Biotechnology and was also          developed at AIT by doctoral
materials (hydrogels) for use in      awarded the best student award.        researcher, Mary Garvey.
medical applications. His research
also involves the sterilisation       Haroon’s research in the BRI           Mary’s research utilised ultra-
of biomaterials via a new high-       is primarily on an FP6 project,        short bursts of pulsed ultra-violet
intensity pulsed plasma-gas           EXERA. The existence of non-           light lasting 1/1000th of a second
discharge system.                     genotoxic carcinogens has              to treat the water. Up to 100
                                      presented a major challenge for        bursts were delivered per second,
Born in Germany, he moved to          the toxicity screening of chemicals.   with each burst being 50,000
Ireland in 2004 to undertake a        The main aim of this study is to       times the intensity of sunlight.
degree in toxicology in Athlone       understand the mechanisms of           Her research concluded that
as part of a placement required       non-genotoxic carcinogenesis           this next-generation approach
for his honours degree in             and to use the data generated to       produced rapid destruction of
environmental engineering (Dipl.-     establish appropriate short term       cryptosporidium in water in a
Wirtsch.-Ing. FH).                    test batteries for the screening       highly energy efficient manner.
                                      of various sub-classes of non-
During this time he acquired an       genotoxic carcinogens.                 While further studies are required
interest in the field of biomedical                                          to confirm efficacy of the approach
toxicology which led him to return    Overall this study will further        at full scale water treatment
to Ireland once he finished his       define correlations between            plant level, Mary believes that her
studies in Germany. Following         genomic and more traditional           findings will impact positively on
the successful completion of his      hazard determination data, and         public health and quality of life by
honours degree in toxicology,         potentially identify new biomarkers    safeguarding the quality of drinking
Dominik obtained a research           for epigenetic, non-genotoxic          water supplies in Ireland.
position in AIT’s Bioscience          carcinogens.
Research Institute.                                                          Dr Garvey’s doctoral thesis was
                                                                             funded under the Environmental
                                                                             Protection Agency’s (EPA) STRIVE
                                                                             PhD programme.

22      AIT Postgraduate Prospectus
Bioscience Research Institute

Bioscience research was initiated in AIT in the 1980s and by
the mid-90s had acquired a suite of dedicated laboratories
and a spin-out company. By 2000, the bioscience domain in
collaboration with polymer science/engineering had established
the first research centre in AIT and in 2010, the scale of both
entities warranted re-location to a new expanded facility for both
disciplines as autonomous centres.

Key Research Areas
•   Toxicology (cell & molecular, ecotoxicology)
•   Decontamination technologies (chemical biocides, pulse HV
    & UV)
•   Biomedical/biotechnology (substrate synthesis, cell line
    development, chemical analysis, bioanalysis)

Current Research Projects
•   Development and analysis of mammalian cell reporter
    systems for detection of endocrine disrupter chemicals
•   Detection of nanotoxicants
•   Evaluation of multiple biocide toxicity
•   Phyto-oestrogen signalling processes
•   Development & application of pulse UV systems for water
•   Pulse treatment of biomedical foods
•   Synthesis of a library of enzyme substrates and associated
    kinetic analysis
•   Novel chemical strategies for EDC detection
•   MRSA strain profiling and analysis of potential zoonotic transfer

The BRI has access to some key technology core facilities: cell
culture suites, protein purification, Raman confocal microscopy,
genomics, gentotoxicology, GC-MS-TOF, bioreactors (including

The research institute has acquired multi-million national funding
for twenty years and partnered in sequential EU projects since
the mid-90s and more recently established collaborative links
with institutions in the US and Australia.

                                                                        AIT 1970-2010   21
                                                                        AIT 1970-2010   23
Software Research Institute
Today’s networks are evolving from a conduit for            SUNAT
voice communications into a Future Internet that will       SRI hosts the SUNAT Applied Research Enhancement
deliver not just a whole range of new multimedia            (ARE) centre which is sponsored by Enterprise
services but also act as pervasive infrastructure and       Ireland and which conducts research on mobile
services platform. This will facilitate the integration     devices and seamless content delivery in the mobile
and operation of applications in such diverse fields as     internet. The increasing mobility of users, devices,
health, energy management, transport, construction          and even networks, combined with new forms of
among others.                                               multimedia services and the ability of end users to act
                                                            as ‘prosumers’ creates many new challenges to the
The Software Research Institute (SRI) works with            creation and delivery of end-to-end content. SUNAT
industrial and commercial partners to exploit the           seeks novel solutions to meet this challenge both in
by-products of its research programme i.e. technology,      the network and on the terminals.
competency and intellectual property to seek
innovative solutions in a number of commercial
application fields.                                         Key Research Areas
                                                            •   Multimedia networking
Core competencies include:                                  •   Seamless user experience
• Network transmission protocols and architectures          •   Management of networks and devices
• Image processing
• Multimedia (audio and video) sensor networking
• Network management solutions                              Current Research Projects
• Self adaptive software architectures and design           •   SUNAT - focused on seamless content delivery in
• Web based application development                             heterogeneous networks.
                                                            •   SVDN - explores the distribution of multimedia
These competencies and technologies are                         content using a combination of P2P and network
applicable in a variety of application areas e.g. health,       coding.
entertainment, logistics, construction and SRI has          •   DRAI - network management system developed
engaged in a variety of commercial collaborations               by the SRI to monitor services over IP.
though Enterprise Ireland partnership schemes.

24       AIT Postgraduate Prospectus
SRI Researcher Profiles

Sadik Armagan                          Yuansong Qiao                          Changqiao Xu

Sadik Armagan is undertaking           Yuansong Qiao is a postdoctoral        Changqiao Xu held the role of
Master’s-level research into the use   researcher in the Software             researcher/project manager in
of sensing and monitoring devices      Research Institute, AIT. He received   R&D area of network in the
for healthcare purposes and the        his PhD in computer applied            Institute of Software, Chinese
use of wearable/wireless devices       technology from the Institute of       Academy of Sciences (ISCAS),
for clinical applications. Wireless    Software, Chinese Academy of           Beijing. He is currently undertaking
medical body sensor networks           Sciences, Beijing, in 2007.            an MSc by research at the SRI.
enable a new way of continuous
patient monitoring, extending          As part of his PhD research, he        The growing availability of different
the reach of current healthcare        joined the SRI in 2005, where          wireless access technologies
solutions.                             he worked on multi-homed               provides the opportunity for real-
                                       transmission protocols and             time distribution of multimedia
Sadik’s research investigates how      network failure tolerant multi-        content. In such services,
communications software, utilising     media transmission technologies.       multimedia data is displayed
multiple network interfaces (multi-                                           continuously at the receiver side,
homing), can be deployed in a          Since 1999, he has been working in     which requires the network
body sensor network (bluetooth-        the Institute of Software, Chinese     transport to deliver the multimedia
based) where the data can be           Academy of Sciences on the             data in a timely fashion. Due to its
transferred directly to the local      R&D area of computer network,          real-time nature, video transport
network without the need for a         multimedia communication and           usually has stringent bandwidth,
bulky coordinating unit. The crucial   network security protocols and         delay, and loss requirements.
aspect of the investigation is to      products.
guarantee reliable transmission                                               Changqiao Xu’s research focuses
of real-time life-critical data in     His research interests include         on investigating the performance of
situations where there are frequent    innovative transmission protocols,     real-time multimedia transmission
network handovers due to sensors       peer-to-peer networks, wireless        over transport layer multi-homing
with short range transmission          networks, sensor networks, and         protocol SCTP utilising handover
distances, electromagnetic             network security.                      mechanism and Concurrent
interference in the target                                                    Multipath Transfer (CMT)
environment or patient mobility.                                              respectively. .

                                                                                           AIT 1970-2010        25
Research Opportunities in
the Business School
The Business School includes the Department of                   Business Researcher Profiles
Business Studies and the Department of Accounting
and Business Computing.

The school has an excellent track record of
mentoring students and providing learning supports
to students across all of its programmes. The success
of our graduates on the national and international
stage is testament to the quality of education they
received at AIT.

There is a truly international mix to students in the
Business School, with Europe, Asia and America all
well represented. It makes for an enriched cultural     Ways in which the Irish-Canadian diaspora can
and educational environment.                            assist businesses in the country was the focus
                                                        of a research trip to Toronto in 2009 by two
Areas of research expertise:                            postgraduate accountancy students at AIT.
•   Accounting and finance
•   Business strategy and management                    Shane McCaul and Stefano Dellai were awarded
•   Computing and information technology                scholarships under the auspices of the Ireland
•   Economics                                           Canada University Foundation (ICUF) and
•   Entrepreneurship                                    sponsored by Atlantic Corridor Ireland.
•   Financial services
•   Innovation                                          Shane and Stefano’s research built on a review by
•   Marketing                                           the Department of Foreign Affairs into Irish-US
•   Sales                                               relations which found that ties between Ireland and
                                                        America needed to change in order to develop
                                                        business, economic and technology links. Their
                                                        research applied that framework in the context of
                                                        Canada, which has also been a popular destination
                                                        for generations of Irish.

                                                                                    AIT 1970-2010        27
Research Opportunities in the School of Engineering

The School of Engineering includes the Department          moulding techniques and building materials suitable
of Civil, Construction and Mineral Engineering, the        for medical devices. Mechanical engineering research
Department of Electronics, Computer and Software           staff, leveraging their moulding expertise over the
Engineering, and the Department of Mechanical and          years, have investigated rapid prototyping applications
Plastics Engineering.                                      and investigated new manufacturing models and
                                                           techniques. Equally, the increasing biomedical research
AIT has delegated authority from HETAC to award            focus has brought together analytical chemistry and
its own Level 9 degrees in mechanical and polymer          polymer chemistry leading to a concentration of
engineering and software engineering. Master’s             competencies in this domain.
degrees in other areas of engineering are awarded
directly by HETAC. The institute is entitled to maintain   Electronics and software research has been
a doctoral register in the area of polymer engineering.    established for some time, which led to the
                                                           foundation of the Software Research Institute. The
There is a substantial track record of research            software research area has concentrated on topics
activities within the School. Postgraduate research        linked to the heterogeneous network management
opportunities are provided in a number of disciplines      including handover mechanisms and techniques to
and suitably qualified graduates may enrol for Master’s    improve network performance.
and PhD research programmes. There are also
opportunities for post-doctoral students in selected       Areas of research expertise:
disciplines.                                               •   Ad hoc networking
                                                           •   Biopolymer and biomolecular research
Staff within the school have links with national           •   Digital signal processing
and international research organisations. Research         •   Mobile applications
funding has been secured from a wide variety of            •   Novel materials for the medical device industry
bodies, including Enterprise Ireland, the HEA, IRCSET,     •   Software engineering
InterTrade Ireland, amongst others. There is also          •   Software systems design
an impressive track record of publication within           •   Speech coding and enhancement
the school in peer-reviewed journals, including the        •   Telecoms software
International Journal of Pharmaceuticals, the Journal of
Materials Science, the European Polymer Journal, etc.

The polymer/plastics research capacity has long been
established at AIT and the Department of Mechanical
and Plastics Engineering has an international reach
in its research capacity and capability. The cross
disciplines of plastics and mechanical has resulted
in interesting research in these disciplines that arise
from the collective disciplines. Polymer researchers
have built deep expertise in drug delivery systems
(coatings), smart materials (hydrogels), injection

28       AIT Postgraduate Prospectus
Engineering Researcher Profiles

Mohd Najmuddin Hassan                     Karol Fitzgerald                         Shidong Liu

Mohd Najmuddin Hassan is a                Karol Fitzgerald holds an honours        Shidong Liu graduated from Dalian
graduate of electrical engineering        degree in software engineering           University of Technology, China in
from the University of Technology,        from Athlone Institute of                2007 with a BEng in Mechanical
MARA, Malaysia. His research              Technology.                              Engineering and Dublin City
interest is in traffic characterisation                                            University in 2008 with an MSc in
and traffic modeling in                   Karol’s PhD research is the              Computer Aided Mechanical and
communication networks. He is             development of a new classicisation      Manufacturing Engineering. He
currently working towards a PhD           function (or classifier) for real time   is currently pursuing a Master’s
in the Wireless Networking Group.         object detection in images and           degree by research in the area of
                                          streaming video using mathematical       bridge monitoring.
Traffic modeling can be used to           functions called wavelets. The
analyse and simulate the traffic          classifier is trained by means of        Structural health monitoring
generated by certain applications         Supervised Machine Learning to           refers to assessment of structures
in order to determine acceptable          detect an object, such as a face, in     and identification of any damage
quality of service (QoS) levels.          any image or video stream.               inherent in the structure. Several
Based on existing models for                                                       normal non-destructive monitoring
voice traffic and data traffic,           This proposed new                        methods have already been
Najmuddin’s research is to evaluate       classification function can be used      developed and widely used.
the requirements for the next             to detect almost any object such
generation of applications such as        as eyes, faces, cars, aeroplanes,        Shidong Liu’s research is
sensor, gaming and inter-vehicular        etc. Systems that would avail of         developing a numerical model-
communication traffic, using              such technology include face             based damage detection method
tools such as OPNET modeler.              and eye detection for biometric          and a statistical process control
Validation of the modeling work           authentication and security              algorithm. Both methods will be
will be carried out on the newly          systems.                                 calibrated and verified through
completed Motorola test bed                                                        application to a scaled laboratory
recently installed on the AIT             Karol’s research includes such           test structure prior to testing on a
campus.                                   diverse disciplines as computer          full-scale existing bridge.
                                          graphics, machine learning,
                                          biometrics, software development,
                                          and wavelets

                                                                                                AIT 1970-2010        29
Research Opportunities in the School of Humanities

The School of Humanities includes the Department            The school is developing research clusters in its
of Humanities and the Department of Hospitality,            various discipline areas. Two such clusters are in sport
Tourism and Leisure Studies.                                and recreation and spiritual tourism. The institute has
                                                            also undertaken a number of pioneering research
AIT has delegated authority from HETAC to award its         measures with the industry body, Fáilte Ireland.
own Level 9 degrees in social care. Master’s degrees
in other areas of humanities are awarded directly           Humanities staff have enjoyed research funding
by HETAC. The school is interested to consider any          success, from the Council of Directors’ Strand I
proposals of a multidisciplinary nature e.g. business       scheme, the Irish Research Council for the Humanities
and health, or science and arts, or areas straddling the    and Social Sciences, the Health Services Executive, the
disciplines that come within the aegis of the school.       Department of Education and Skills and the Strategic
                                                            Innovation Fund, amongst others.
Social care is a major strength of AIT at
undergraduate level and that expertise is drawn upon        Areas of research expertise:
at postgraduate level. School staff have published in       •   Child care
peer-reviewed journals such as the Irish Journal of         •   Design and visual communications
Applied Social Studies, as well as producing a variety of   •   Hospitality and tourism
reports and presenting at conferences.                      •   Languages
                                                            •   Leisure studies
                                                            •   Social care and related areas
                                                            •   Sport and recreation

30       AIT Postgraduate Prospectus
Humanities Researcher Profiles

Gary Broderick                           Crona Condron                             Corina Griffin

Gary Broderick has been working          Crona Condron is a language               Corina Griffin’s MSc in tourism
in the field of addiction for the past   graduate who has a passion for            investigates the visitor experience
17 years. An addiction counsellor        literature.                               at the religious sites of Ireland and
by training, he has always been                                                    will examine the reasons behind
interested in eating disorders and       Her research project, entitled            the rapid expansion of the religious
how they can be viewed as similar        ‘Slamming Doors Open: A Critical          and pilgrimage tourism sector, as
to addictions and indeed addiction       Study of French Slam Artist Abd           well as the new phenomenen that
recovery.                                Al Malik and its Relevance for            is spiritual tourism.
                                         Intercultural Dialogue’ analyses a
His current research explores            range of texts by and about Al            From her case studies at
eating disorders among young             Malik.                                    Clonmacnois and Lough Derg,
males who are in residential care.                                                 Corina aims to establish the extent
While international data indicate        Crona is undertaking a qualitative        to which visitor motivations are
an upward shift in occurrence,           analysis of the artist’s albums,          for religious, spiritual, health and
Irish services report very low           interviews, articles, online              wellness or other purposes. She
incidences. Eating disorders are         discussions and video clips.              has presented preliminary findings
usually regarded as a female                                                       from the Lough Derg phase of
phenomenon, with commentary              The objective of the research is          her research at the International
rarely considering males as              to assess how Al Malik’s work             Society of Travel and Tourism
potential sufferers.                     promotes better intercultural             Educators (ISTTE) Conference in
                                         communication. In the context of          Dublin.
This research will record whatever       Ireland’s increased cultural diversity,
incidence exists while also              this research will offer insights as      A lecturer at the Garda College,
exploring whether eating disorders       we strive for openness, tolerance         Templemore, Corina holds a
are slipping under the radar for         and inclusion.                            degree in applied languages from
those in residential settings. Gary                                                DCU, as well as an MA in Applied
is also examining whether models                                                   Linguistics from IT Tralee.
of understanding and intervention
from the addiction arena can be
useful for grappling with eating

                                                                                                AIT 1970-2010        31
Research Opportunities in the School of Science

The School of Science includes the Department of           Research in the School of Science in recent years
Life and Physical Science and the Department of            has been supported by Science Foundation Ireland,
Nursing and Health Science.                                Enterprise Ireland, the Health Research Board, the
                                                           Council of Directors (Strands I and III), Teagasc
AIT has delegated authority from HETAC to award            and EU Framework programmes. Science staff
its own Level 9 degrees in life and physical science.      have an impressive record of publication in peer-
Master’s degrees in other areas of science are             reviewed journals, including the International Journal
awarded directly by HETAC.                                 of Environmental Analytical Chemistry, Toxicological and
                                                           Environmental Chemistry, Chemosphere, the Journal
The School of Science has been involved in research        of Medicinal Chemistry, the Journal of Carbohydrate
for more than 20 years and a large number of its staff     Research, the Journal of Chemico-Biological Interactions,
are active researchers. Collaboration is a prominent       Water Research and the Journal of Fish Diseases,
feature of research activity within the school, with       amongst others.
AIT having partnered with NUI Galway, the Líonra
network, Trinity College Dublin, University of Milan,      Areas of research expertise:
University of Brescia and the University of Strathclyde,   •   Atmospherics physics/climatology
amongst others. The school is a major contributor to       •   Biomedical and health science
the Bioscience Research Institute and the Materials        •   Biopolymer and biomolecular research
Research Institute.                                        •   Cancer research
                                                           •   Cell and molecular toxicology
Within the Department of Nursing and Health                •   Disease models
Science, the Biomedical Research Group is producing        •   Drug discovery/drug delivery systems
significant outputs in terms of Master’s and doctorate-    •   Ecotoxicology and environmental science
level activity. Amongst the research areas explored        •   Nursing
by the group are the use of pulsed light to inactivate     •   Organic chemistry
medically important yeast and clinically relevant          •   Pharmaceutical cleaning validation
bacteria, the effects on microbial pathogens exposed       •   Surface science
to pulsed plasma gas discharge treatments, and             •   Tissue engineering
copolymeric hydrogels for wound healing applications

AIT is also pioneering postgraduate research in
nursing and graduated the first two Master’s degrees
by research in an Irish institute of technology in
2009. Areas of research expertise include coercive
interventions in psychiatry, the role of staff nurses
working in community mental health settings,
neuroleptic drug usage, nurse prescribing, child health
research, primary health care, service delivery for the
older person; breast cancer; dementia; child protection
and welfare; palliative care and bereavement.

32      AIT Postgraduate Prospectus
Science Researcher Profiles

Brenda Gaffey                            Catrina O’Donohoe                        Colm McGee

Brenda Gaffey holds an honours           Catrina O’Donohoe studied for            Colm McGee holds an honours
degree in toxicology from                her primary degree in chemistry          degree in toxicology from Athlone
AIT. Her research involves an            in Trinity College Dublin. She           Institute of Technology. His initial
investigation of phytoestrogen           enrolled on the MSc in Toxicology        postgraduate experience was to
signaling pathways involved in the       at AIT in 2005, and the following        undertake an MSc by research
proliferation and toxicity of breast     year registered for an Science           into the effects that endocrine
cancer cells.                            Foundation Ireland-funded Master’s       disrupting chemicals (EDCs) were
                                         degree by research, under SFI’s          having on wild fish populations in
Vegetarianism corresponds with a         Research Frontiers Grant Scheme.         Irish rivers. His research involved
reduced risk of developing breast                                                 sampling numerous rivers for fish
cancer and a dietary intake high in      The aim of this project is to            at points downstream of a sewage
vegetables and pulses; particularly      synthesise and optimise a novel class    treatment plant, as this is the point
soya is rich in phytoestrogens.          of cholinesterase inhibitors using the   where the majority of EDCs are
Genistein is a phytoestrogen that        simple sugar isosorbide, as a building   known to enter rivers and streams.
binds to the estrogen receptor and       block and to assess the inhibitory
affects the growth of breast cancer      activity of these compounds              In early 2008, Colm received two
cells. Therefore, genistein can have     in vitro. There are two types of         years’ extra funding and upgraded
stimulatory or inhibitory effects        cholinestersaes; Acetylcholinesterase    his research to a PhD. His new
on cell proliferation depending on       (AChE) [E.C.] and                research involves the development
the concentration administered.          Butyrylcholinesterase (BChE) [ E.C.      of a novel in vitro (cell culture)
However, the signalling processes] which hydrolyse choline         based system, which can be used
elicited by phytoestrogens to            esters. Current drugs used to treat      in the analysis of new and existing
regulate cell growth have not yet        AD are AChE inhibitors.                  chemicals to detect whether or
been fully elucidated.                                                            not they can disrupt the endocrine
                                         Recently an increasing number            system.
The aim of this project is to            of groups have linked BChE
elucidate the effects of genistein, at   with Alzheimer’s Disease (AD).           Colm’s research interests include:
various concentrations, on breast        Inhibitors of this enzyme are            environmental toxicology,
cancer cell lines.                       therefore highly desirable as a          endocrine disruption, molecular
                                         potential therapeutic agent for the      biology and molecular toxicology.
                                         treatment of AD.

                                                                                               AIT 1970-2010        33
Taught Programmes at AIT

Higher Diploma in Business           37
Higher Diploma in Computing          38
Master of Business                   39
Master of Arts in Accounting         40
Master of Business Administration    41
ACCA Fundamentals                    42
ACCA Professionals                   43

Peter Melinn
Head of Department of Business Studies
Tel + 353 (0)90 642 4507

Eoin Langan
Head of Department of Accounting and Business Computing
Tel + 353 (0)90 642 4521

Higher Diploma in Business

This higher diploma programme            Minimum Entry Requirements             COURSE
provides formal education and            A Bachelor degree (Level 7) or a
training in business disciplines for     Bachelor degree (honours, Level        DETAILS
graduates with a non-business            8) in any non-business discipline is
background. Holders of the               required.
qualification will normally be
expected to enter employment                                                    DURATION
with a strong business studies                                                  1 year
                                         Semester 1
background, which will complement        Management Strategy and Change,
the qualification(s) already acquired.   Economics and the Business
The course emphasises the                                                       MODE
                                         Environment, Financial Statement
importance of practical/project                                                 Full-time
                                         Analysis, Marketing Management,
work across all modules.
                                         Semester 2
The course will provide you                                                     LEVEL
                                         Business Law, Human Resource
with the conceptual framework,                                                  8
                                         Management, Enterprise
knowledge and skills which will          Development and Project
enable you to understand a               Management, Business Applications.
complex and changing business                                                   FEES
environment. It will also give                                                  €3,500 (EU)
you an understanding of the                                                     €9,000 (non-EU)
                                         As a graduate of this Level 8
respective importance and                programme, you are eligible to
the interrelationship between            be considered for the Master
the different disciplines and                                                   APPLICATION TO
                                         of Business one-year, full-time
functions represented in the                                                    Admissions Office, AIT
                                         programme at AIT. Alternatively,
modern business, with a focus            you may decide to pursue
on enterprise development and            postgraduate study at another
project management. You will gain                                               CONTACT
an enhanced understanding of the                                                Peter Melinn
finance function and its importance                                             Head of Department of
                                         Career Opportunities                   Business Studies
in a modern business environment;        As a graduate of this programme,
and of marketing and its role in                                                Tel + 353 (0)90 642 4507
                                         you will have a wide range of          Email
effectively supporting business          skills and will be well suited to
development. The modules on              gain employment across a broad
management and organisational            range of industries building on
behaviour will build on your prior       your original qualification(s), but
qualification(s) and will focus on       now enhanced with this business
business settings.                       qualification.

                                                                                     AIT 1970-2010       37
Higher Diploma in Computing

This higher diploma programme              computerised systems and develop      COURSE
provides formal education and              an analytical awareness of the
training for graduates (in any             implications, uses and potential      DETAILS
discipline) who wish to pursue             of the internet as a tool for the
careers in areas related to                development of e-business.
computing and information
technology. Holders of the                 Minimum Entry Requirements            DURATION
qualification will normally be             A Bachelor degree (Level 7) or a      1 year
expected to enter employment               Bachelor degree (honours, Level 8)
involving business ICT, with a view        in any non-computing discipline is
to progressing to a managerial             required.                             MODE
position. They will also be suitable                                             Full-time
for vacancies in the smaller               Modules
organisation where a broader base          Computer Technology, Database
of knowledge and skills is required,                                             LEVEL
                                           Applications, Enterprise
while a career in computer                                                       8
                                           Applications, Object Oriented
hardware/software sales is another         Programming and Design, Systems
realistic objective. The programme         Analysis and Design, Systems
emphasises the importance of                                                     FEES
                                           Development and Implementation.
practical/project work across all                                                €3,500 (EU)
modules.                                                                         €9,000 (non-EU)
                                           As a graduate of this Level 8
The course will provide you                programme, you are eligible to
with an understanding of the key           be considered for the Master
competencies involved in business                                                APPLICATION TO
                                           of Business one-year, full-time
analysis, as well as the theoretical                                             Admissions Office, AIT
                                           programme at AIT. Alternatively,
concepts and practical aspects             you may decide to pursue
associated with the ICT industry. It       postgraduate study at another
will enable you to develop a critical                                            CONTACT
awareness of the strategies and                                                  Eoin Langan
methodologies used in providing                                                  Head of Department of
                                           Career Opportunities                  Accounting and Business
computerised solutions to business-        As a graduate of this programme,
related problems. You will gain the                                              Computing
                                           you will have a wide range of         Tel + 353 (0)90 642 4521
ability and sensitivity to plan, design,   skills and will be well suited to
implement and review a project                                                   Email
                                           gain employment across a broad
using the necessary supervisory,           range of industries building on
interpersonal and project                  your original qualification(s), but
management skills. You will also           now enhanced with this business
obtain a detailed understanding            computing qualification.
of the workings of commercial

38       AIT Postgraduate Prospectus
Master of Business

This full-time programme is               Minimum Entry Requirements              COURSE
structured to enable participants         Applicants should have a minimum
to develop advanced key core              of an honours Bachelor degree           DETAILS
competencies in business and to           (Level 8) in business or a cognate
build on specialisations already          discipline at 2.2 level or an
achieved at honours Bachelor of           approved equivalent qualification.
Business (or related discipline) level.   Applicants will be ranked in order      DURATION
The curriculum offers a richness          of merit, based on academic             1 year
and variety of learning which will        attainment and the outcome of a
ensure that the student develops          selection interview.
and demonstrates a range of high-                                                 MODE
level knowledge and skills in areas                                               Full-time
such as research, strategic thinking      Semester 1
and reflective learning, thereby          Services Marketing Management,
establishing the foundation for a                                                 LEVEL
                                          International Corporate Strategy,
successful business career, as well                                               9
                                          New Venture Creation and Growth,
as for continuing academic and            The Enterprise Environment.
professional development.
                                          Semester 2
Graduates are expected to have:                                                   €5,500 (EU)
                                          Research Methods, Information
• a critical understanding of                                                     €9,000 (non-EU)
                                          Systems for Managers, Applied
   advanced theories, concepts,           Corporate Strategy, Innovation
   principles, methods and                and Creativity, Research Project
   techniques of business and                                                     APPLICATION TO
                                          (completed throughout the year
   related research;                                                              Admissions Office, AIT
                                          and submitted in August).
• the ability to apply strategic
   thinking and to choose                 Career Opportunities
   techniques for the analysis and                                                CONTACT
                                          This programme is expected to
   interpretation of information;                                                 Peter Melinn
                                          provide students with the expertise
• the capacity to assess and                                                      Head of Department of
                                          to survive and progress in an
   contrast the impact of                                                         Business Studies
                                          increasingly competitive job market.
   decisions, with particular                                                     Tel + 353 (0)90 642 4507
   reference to business ethics                                                   Email
                                          Graduates with a Master’s degree
   and social responsibility;             (Level 9) can reasonably be
• the ability to conduct further          expected to rise to more advanced
   research and self-directed, life-      positions, including senior executive
   long learning.                         level, in private industry, in the
                                          public and private sectors, and in

                                                                                       AIT 1970-2010       39
Master of Arts in Accounting

The overall aim of this programme        Modules                                COURSE
is to facilitate the personal and        Semester 1
intellectual development of the          Financial Reporting and Corporate      DETAILS
students in order to ensure              Governance, Financial Strategy,
synthesis at the highest level in        Auditing.
their chosen field of knowledge.
                                         Semester 2                             DURATION
The student will be expected to:         Taxation, Strategic Management         1 year
• evaluate, contrast, criticise and      Accounting, Research Methods,
   judge the fundamental and             Research Project (completed
   advanced theories, concepts,          throughout the year and submitted      MODE
   principles, methods and               in August).                            Full-time
   techniques of accounting and
   research;                             Accreditation
• develop and demonstrate                                                       LEVEL
                                         Students who successfully complete
   the critical abilities of analysis,                                          9
                                         the Master of Arts in Accounting
   interpretation, evaluation and        are exempt from CAP2
   judgement;                            Examinations of the Institute of
• lay a meaningful foundation for                                               APPLICATION TO
                                         Chartered Accountants of Ireland.
   further research and study and                                               Admissions Office, AIT
   self-directed, life-long learning;    Career Opportunities
• develop the ability to exercise        Learning outcomes at this level
   strategic judgement and to                                                   FEES
                                         are associated with an ability
   choose and apply techniques in                                               €5,500 (EU)
                                         to integrate knowledge, handle
   the analysis and interpretation                                              €9,000 (non-EU)
                                         complexity and formulate
   of information;                       judgements. Outcomes associated
• assess and contrast the impact         with this level would link
   of decisions;                                                                CONTACT
                                         with employment as a senior
• evaluate and criticise current                                                Eoin Langan
                                         professional or manager with
   practices and issues and assess                                              Head of Department of
                                         responsibility for the work outputs
   the strategic impact of these                                                Accounting and Business
                                         of teams. Graduates will be eligible
   issues.                                                                      Computing
                                         for employment in financial and/or
                                                                                Tel + 353 (0)90 642 4521
                                         management accounting at a high
Minimum Entry Requirements                                                      Email
An honours bachelor degree in
accounting (minimum grade 2.2) or        Rapid career progression may be
closely related discipline, together     expected on the basis of expertise,
with the standard required in terms      commitment and attitude.
of listed prerequisites for specific
modules within the curriculum.

40       AIT Postgraduate Prospectus
Master of Business Administration

This Executive MBA programme            Teaching and learning methods          COURSE
is designed for middle managers,        include lectures, tutorials, case
senior executives and consultants.      studies, seminars and learning sets.   DETAILS
The programme places a central          An appropriate balance of group
emphasis on the development and         and individual activity is provided
consequent application of high-level    in order to promote independent
conceptual skills. The curriculum       learning, to encourage shared          DURATION
is based upon a philosophy              experiences and to enhance             2 years
of successful management                interpersonal skills.
practice, underpinned by a
critical understanding of relevant      Minimum Entry Requirements             MODE
theoretical perspectives applied to     In order to gain entry to the          Part-time
an organisational context.              Executive MBA you must normally
                                        have at least five years’ work
While there is a strong emphasis        experience with three years in         LEVEL
on academic content, much of the        a management-related role. In          9
assessment relates to a variety of      addition you should hold one
organisational contexts. Participants   of the following qualifications: a
are required to engage with real-life   recognised degree, a postgraduate      FEE
problems and dilemmas faced by          certificate or diploma in              €7,850
organisations. The strong analytical    management, or a relevant
basis significantly enhances the        professional qualification.
effectiveness of the programme.                                                APPLICATION TO
                                                                               Admissions Office, AIT
Upon successful completion of the       Year One
Executive MBA, graduates will have      Strategic Management, Financial
developed a reflective approach to                                             CONTACT
                                        Statement Analysis, Research
their work experience, as well as a                                            Jason Palframan
                                        Methods, Economics and the
commitment to life-long learning.                                              MBA Coordinator
                                        Business Environment, Operations
                                                                               Tel + 353 (0)90 647 1814
                                        and Supply Chain Management,
The teaching and learning methods                                              Email
                                        Applied Marketing Strategy.
encourage the application of
a theoretical framework to              Year Two
understand employment situations.       Knowledge and Project
Case studies help to develop            Management, Strategic Human
the capacity to argue rationally,       Resource Management,
analytically and critically and the     Introduction to Management
competence to be successful as a        Consulting, Management Consulting
team member or leader.                  Project, Dissertation.

                                                                                   AIT 1970-2010        41
Association of Chartered Certified
Accountants (ACCA) Fundamentals

This new ACCA qualification is           Students must apply to the ACCA         COURSE
designed to provide the accounting       by mid-August to be eligible to
knowledge, skills and professional       sit their December examinations.        DETAILS
values which will deliver finance        Check the ACCA website,
professionals who are capable of, for details. It
building successful careers across all   is the responsibility of all students
sectors, whether they are working        to register for examinations            DURATION
in the public or private sectors,        independently with the ACCA.            1 year
practicing in accounting firms, or       Students should also apply directly
pursuing a career in business.           to the ACCA for any exemptions.         MODE
ACCA has designed a qualification        Minimum Entry Requirements
which embeds the global                  Applicants must have successfully
accounting education standards                                                   LEVEL
                                         completed accounting technician
set by the International Federation                                              N/A
                                         examinations, completed Part 1 or
of Accountants (IFAC). There is a        F1, F2 and F3 of the new ACCA
strong focus on professional values,     qualification or have received
ethics, and governance. These skills                                             APPLICATION TO
                                         official exemptions from the ACCA.
are essential as the profession                                                  ACCA
moves towards strengthened               Modules
codes of conduct, regulation, and        Semester 1
legislation – with an increasing                                                 CONTACT
                                         F4 Corporate and Business Law,
focus on professionalism and                                                     Department of Adult and
                                         F5 Performance Management, F6
ethics in accounting. They will be                                               Continuing Education, AIT
examined at the highest level in
the new ACCA qualification and                                                   ACCA
                                         Semester 2
form a core element of students’         F7 Financial Reporting, F8 Audit
practical experience requirements.       and Assurance, F9 Financial

42       AIT Postgraduate Prospectus
Association of Chartered Certified
Accountants (ACCA) Professionals

ACCA’s Professional level                 processes, projects, and people       COURSE
qualification builds on the               within financial and other resource
knowledge gained at the                   constraints.                          DETAILS
Fundamentals stage and explores
more advanced professional skills,        Students must apply to the ACCA
techniques and values. In addition        by mid-August to be eligible to
to the three essential modules of         sit their December examinations.      DURATION
Professional Accountant, Corporate        Check the ACCA website, www.          1 year f/t or 2 years p/t
Reporting and Business Analysis,, for details. It is
the two Options modules give              the responsibility of all students    MODE
you the chance to further develop         to register for examinations          Full-time and part-time
specialist skills relevant to the areas   independently with the ACCA.
of accountancy that interest you          Students should also apply directly
most.                                     to the ACCA for any exemptions.       LEVEL
The qualification will enable you to
apply relevant knowledge, skills and      Minimum Entry Requirements
exercise professional judgement                                                 APPLICATION TO
                                          Applicants must have successfully
in carrying out the role of the                                                 ACCA
                                          completed or be exempted from
accountant relating to governance,        all nine exams in Fundamentals
internal control, compliance and          level.
the management of risk within                                                   CONTACT
an organisation, in the context                                                 Department of Adult and
                                          Modules                               Continuing Education, AIT
of an overall ethical framework.          P1 Professional Accountant, P3
Similarly you will learn how to           Business Analysis, P2 Corporate
apply professional judgement in                                                 ACCA
                                          Reporting, P6 Advanced Taxation,
the application and evaluation of         P7 Advanced Audit and Assurance
financial reporting principles and                                              Eoin Langan
practices in a range of business                                                Head of Department of
contexts and situations. You will                                               Accounting and Business
also be versed in assessing strategic                                           Computing
position, determining strategic                                                 Tel + 353 (0)90 642 4521
choice, and implementing strategic                                              Email
action through beneficial business
process and structural change;
coordinating knowledge systems
and information technology and
by effectively managing quality

                                                                                     AIT 1970-2010          43

Master of Science in Software Engineering                     45
Master of Science in Applied Polymer Technology               46

Austin Hanley
Head of School of Engineering
Tel + 353 (0)90 642 4456

Fergal Sweeney
Head of Department of Civil, Construction and Mineral Engineering
Tel + 353 (0)90 642 4608

Marcus Rahilly
Head of Department of Electronics, Computer, and Software Engineering
Head of Department of Mechanical and Plastics/Polymer Engineering
Tel + 353 (0)90 642 4455

Master of Science in Software

The aim of this programme is             Modules                            COURSE
to provide an opportunity for            Semester 1/Year 1
computer professionals and               Computer Graphics, Service         DETAILS
engineers to enhance their               Oriented Architecture, Software
knowledge and expertise in               Design and Programming,
areas of current active research         Distributed System, Software
and development in software              Engineering Project (year-long     DURATION
engineering.                             module).                           1 year f/t or 2 years p/t

Participants gain exposure to the        Semester 2/Year 2
various techniques for performing        Software Engineering Management    MODE
academic research. The course also       and Practice, Advanced Database    Full-time and part-time
aims to provide an environment in        Technology, Computer Networks
which the participant is exposed to      and Telecommunications, Internet
new technological developments,          and Multimedia Systems.            LEVEL
to ethical and social issues affecting                                      9
the computer industry, and to the
requirement to uphold general
professional standards.                                                     FEES
                                                                            €5,500 (Full-time EU)
Minimum Entry Requirements                                                  €9,000 (Full-time non-EU)
Honours (Grade 2.2) degree                                                  €1,100 per module (Part-time)
in an appropriate engineering,
computing or cognate discipline,
or an equivalent qualification.                                             APPLICATION TO
Appropriate experience (or                                                  Admissions Office, AIT
appropriate qualifier) may also
be required depending upon the
degree qualifications.                                                      CONTACT
                                                                            Marcus Rahilly
                                                                            Head of Department of
                                                                            Electronics, Computer and
                                                                            Software Engineering
                                                                            Tel + 353 (0)90 642 4455

                                                                                 AIT 1970-2010          45
Master of Science in Applied
Polymer Technology

The overall philosophy of the         Minimum Entry Requirements              COURSE
course is to address the need         Applicants for the course will
to provide additional skills to       be admitted on the basis of an          DETAILS
professional engineers and            honours degree in a relevant
technologists currently working in    discipline such as polymer
polymer-related, or hoping to work    technology, engineering or
in polymer-related industries.        material science or an appropriate      DURATION
                                      equivalent qualification. Additional    1 year f/t or 2 years p/t
The course takes advantage of         industrial experience may be
the participants’ academic and        required depending on the degree
professional background. Hence, a     qualification.                          MODE
fast learning curve will be assumed                                           Full-time and part-time
and efforts will be made to           Modules
provide breadth and depth to the      Semester 1/Year 1
various areas of applied polymer                                              LEVEL
                                      Engineering and Product Design,
technology under study. Special                                               9
                                      Polymer Processing Technology,
emphasis will be placed on leading    Biomedical Science and Technology,
edge technologies and industrial      Project Management, Advanced
issues                                                                        FEES
                                      Polymer Materials.
                                                                              €5,500 (Full-time EU)
The course is delivered in the                                                €9,000 (Full-time non-EU)
                                      Semester 2/Year 2
form of on-site lectures/practicals                                           €1,100 per module (Part-time)
                                      Computer Aided Design and
at AIT complemented by a              Analysis, Polymer Materials,
strong emphasis on continuous         Biomedical Materials, Regulatory
assessment via individual and group                                           APPLICATION TO
                                      Affairs and Validation, Packaging and
coursework assignments to be                                                  Admissions Office, AIT
                                      Sterilisation, Industrial Project.
completed in participants’ own
                                                                              Marcus Rahilly
                                                                              Head of Department of
                                                                              Electronics, Computer and
                                                                              Software Engineering
                                                                              Tel + 353 (0)90 642 4455

46      AIT Postgraduate Prospectus

Master of Arts in Child and Youth Care                           48
Postgraduate Steps                                               49
Master of Arts in Advanced Social Care Practice                  50
Promoting Inclusion through Person-Centred Approaches            52
Behaviours that Challenge: Breaking the Cycle                    53

Dr Marian Fitzgibbon
Head of School of Humanities
Tel + 353 (0)90 647 1802

Owen Ross
Head of Department of Humanities
Tel + 353 (0)90 647 1895

John O’Hara
Head of Department of Hospitality, Tourism and Leisure Studies
Tel + 353 (0)90 647 1894

Master of Arts in Child and Youth Care

Child and youth care workers work      Minimum Entry Requirements             COURSE
with children who are at risk of       Full-time applicants are expected
not reaching their developmental       to have a minimum of an honours        DETAILS
potential, or who already have         Bachelor degree (Level 8) in
experienced difficulties in            Applied Social Studies in Social
development, as a result of social     Care at grade 2.2 or an approved
disadvantage.                          equivalent qualification. Applicants   DURATION
                                       who hold a 2.2 grade honours           1 year f/t or 2 years p/t
Some of the challenges currently       degree or higher in a cognate
facing the profession include          discipline may also be considered.
the evolution of specializations       Part-time candidates will ideally be   MODE
in therapeutic approaches, the         employed in a child and youth care     Full-time and Part-time
development of a multidisciplinary     setting.
approach to the care of children
and youth, and an appreciation of an                                          LEVEL
increasingly rights-based approach                                            9
                                       Semester One/Year One
to policy and practice. The MA in      Models of Care, Child and Youth
Child and Youth Care aims to equip     Law, Research Methods
highly competent and motivated                                                APPLICATION TO
child and youth care workers with                                             Admissions Office, AIT
                                       Semester Two/Year Two
the skills necessary to become         Resilience and Interventions,
leaders in the profession and to       Children’s Rights, Management in
advance the field to internationally                                          FEES
                                       Child and Youth Care, Research
accepted standards of best practice.                                          €5,500 (Full-time EU)
                                                                              €9,000 (Full-time non-EU)
Graduates of the programme will                                               €4,450 (Part-time)
                                       Career Opportunities
have specialised knowledge of child    Graduates with a Master’s degree
development, risk and resilience;      can reasonably be expected to
will appreciate and advocate the                                              CONTACT
                                       rise to advanced positions within
rights approach to the care of                                                Owen Ross
                                       the child and youth care sector
children and youth; and will be in                                            Head of Department of
                                       including senior executive level.
a position to develop empirically-                                            Humanities
                                       The rights-based approach of the
based intervention programmes                                                 Tel + 353 (0)90 647 1895
                                       programme will equip graduates
for children and young people. The                                            Email
                                       for emerging professional roles
programme will promote a holistic      within the sector including those
and multidisciplinary approach         of children’s rights officers and
to the care of the young, and will     guardian ad litem. Graduates will be
make a significant contribution        well placed to manage and develop
to the move from crisis-based          empirically-based intervention and
approaches to early intervention       prevention-based programmes.
and prevention of problems.

48      AIT Postgraduate Prospectus
Postgraduate Steps

Postgraduate Steps is a radically   •   Completion of 1 module (10         appropriate manner. It is demand
new approach to postgraduate            ECTS credits) leading to a         driven. Content will evolve along
education developed by the              minor award at postgraduate        with the sector and the changing
Department of Humanities at             level.                             environment. The awards will
Athlone Institute of Technology.    •   Completion of 6 modules            be built module by module, as
Recognising that people’s higher        over time, leading to an award     required.
educational needs are diverse,          of a Postgraduate Diploma in
Postgraduate Steps enables              Advanced Social Care Practice.     The first two modules to be
learners to undertake modules       •   Completion of 4 modules, as        offered through Postgraduate Steps
that address their professional         well as a module in research       are Promoting Inclusion through
development needs, in a fashion         methods and a dissertation,        Person Centred Approaches and
that suits diverse lifestyles.          leading to a Master of Arts in     Behaviours that Challenge: Breaking
                                        Advanced Social Care Practice.     the Cycle.
Any learner who enrols will have
three potential avenues open to     New modules will be introduced in      Postgraduate Steps is supported by
them as follows:                    response to developments in the        Work-Based Learning at AIT and
                                    area of social care. This innovative   by the Education in Employment
                                    new process is designed to             initiative.
                                    respond to the sector’s education
                                    needs in a flexible, timely and

                                                                                       AIT 1970-2010           49
Master of Arts/Postgraduate Diploma in
Advanced Social Care Practice

The social care profession is          to keep themselves well-informed      •   offer flexibility of provision:
dedicated to protecting and            on current policy, strategy and           evening course, day release or
assisting the most vulnerable in our   quality considerations that impact        weekend hours
society. Social care professionals     on their work.                        •   provide flexible modes of
are on the front line in attempting                                              delivery (lectures, tutorials,
to address pertinent social issues     This innovative postgraduate social       discussions, blended learning,
like child abuse and domestic          care degree has been designed             group work, case studies,
violence, in promoting equality        after extensive consultation to           problem solving)
of opportunity for those with          identify the needs of the sector.     •   incorporate modular delivery,
special needs and dignity for          Furthermore, each module will             on-campus as well as at a
the marginalised in our society.       be created following annual               variety of locations off-campus
Such a profession requires highly      consultation with professionals in        to facilitate organisations/
competent, confident and qualified     order to introduce ideas emerging         agencies
persons with specialised training      from international best practice.     •   include work-based
and knowledge of international                                                   assessments
best practice.                         The programme is intended for         •   feature on-going review and
                                       social care professionals, social         consultation with social care
There have been few avenues to         workers, community workers,               practitioners/professionals
date for career development for        youth workers, psychologists,             to ensure currency and
graduates in the social care field.    teachers, school liaison officers,        adaptability to address the
This postgraduate programme is         Garda liaison officers, as well as        ever-changing nature of the
aimed at increasing the choices        those working with any area of            social care environment
available to social care graduates,    social disadvantage.                  •   maintain high standards of
thus in turn, enabling graduates                                                 education and training for
to stay in education for longer. In    The MA/PgD in Advanced Social             social care professionals in
the past, social care education was    Care Practice will:                       line with current national and
generic and provided a good basis                                                international legislation and
for understanding the totality of      •   focus on educational and              protocols
issues confronting people who use          training needs of social care     •   support the learning,
its services.                              professionals employed within         enhancement of skills and
                                           the care sector, past and             professional development
This programme is designed to              current social care graduates,        of social care professionals
support professionals in extending         as well as employers (CEOs,           and those working in related
their knowledge and skills to a            managing directors, managers,         disciplines
higher level, including novel and          deputy managers, team
emerging techniques linked to              coordinators/leaders, training
evidence based practice. It will           officers)
encourage social care professionals

50      AIT Postgraduate Prospectus
Minimum Entry Requirements           Progression                           COURSE
Applicants should hold an honours    Learners who are awarded
degree (Level 8) in applied social   module-level awards are eligible to   DETAILS
studies or cognate discipline.       progress towards a Postgraduate
                                     Diploma in Advanced Social Care
Modules                              Practice or an MA in Advanced
                                     Social Care Practice. Graduates       DURATION
The initial model to be offered
                                     of the Postgraduate Diploma can       At the learner’s discretion
is Promoting Inclusion through
Person Centred Approaches. The       progress to the MA in Child and
second module is Behaviours          Youth Care. Graduates of the MA
                                     in Advanced Social Care Practice      MODE
that Challenge: Breaking the
                                     can progress to study at PhD level.   Part-time
Cycle, which will commence in
September 2010.
Future modules may include:
• Conflict resolution and
    negotiation skills
• Crisis management and
    management of challenging
                                                                           €750 per module
• Working with families and
                                                                           APPLICATION TO
• Mental health
                                                                           Admissions Office, AIT
• Advocacy skills
• Teamwork skills and
    interagency practice
• Elder abuse within the home,
                                                                           Owen Ross
    community and institutional
                                                                           Head of Department of
• Stress, time management and
                                                                           Tel + 353 (0)90 647 1895
    reflective practice
• Mental health (child, adolescent
    and adult)
• Self-harm, suicide and bullying

                                                                                AIT 1970-2010        51
Promoting Inclusion through Person
Centred Approaches
The aim of this module is to enable     •   assess the current international   DETAILS
learners to:                                trends for supporting people
• critically appraise the values            with disability and identify
    and principles underpinning             various funding supports for
    person centred approaches               disability related services        DURATION
    and practice and its potential      •   analyse the challenges in          13 weeks
    for inclusion for people with           implementing person centred
    disabilities in society                 approaches in their work, and      MODE
• evaluate the skills and                   develop creative and innovative    Part-time
    competencies necessary for              responses
    incorporating the person
    centred ethos into practice         The module will feature a variety      LEVEL
    and to be able to critically        of teaching and learning techniques,   9
    analyse particular approaches       including lectures, guest speakers,
    according to international best     workshops, role plays, videos, group
    practice                            discussion, independent study,         FEE
• incorporate work-based                case studies and problem solving       €750
    learning as a tool for reflective   exercises.
                                                                               APPLICATION TO
                                        Minimum Entry Requirements
On completion of the module, the                                               Admissions Office, AIT
                                        Applicants should hold an honours
learner will be able to:                degree (Level 8) in applied social
• critique person centred               studies or cognate discipline.
    planning as a model of best                                                CONTACT
    practice                                                                   Owen Ross
                                        Progression                            Head of Department of
• evaluate a variety of person          Learners who are awarded
    centred tools and apply                                                    Humanities
                                        module-level awards are eligible
    the most appropriate tools                                                 Tel + 353 (0)90 647 1895
                                        to progress towards a Master of
    according to circumstances                                                 Email
                                        Arts or Postgraduate Diploma in
• critically examine the skills         Advanced Social Care Practice.
    required for the person
    centred planning process

52      AIT Postgraduate Prospectus
Behaviours that Challenge:
Breaking the Cycle
The aim of this module is to:             vulnerability to episodes of       DETAILS
• provide students with an in-            challenging behaviour within
   depth insight and awareness            different care environments;
   of what constitutes challenging    • critically examine
   behaviour in different social          contemporary national and          DURATION
   care settings and the various          international theoretical          13 weeks
   factors that contribute to it;         models and approaches for
• to enable students in assessing         intervening when challenging       MODE
   the continuum of challenging           behaviour arises;                  Part-time
   behaviour and the risks of it      • demonstrate awareness
   occurring; and                         of organisational policies,
• to critique in context, the             procedures and mechanisms          LEVEL
   interventions (as a practitioner       that managers and staff can        9
   or an organisation) to both            develop to prevent challenging
   prevent or manage challenging          behaviour occurring or
   behaviour.                             minimise the effects of it; and    FEE
                                      • apply the learning from the          €750
On successful completion of this          module to the development
module you will be able to:               of a policy for managing
• express a systematic                    challenging behaviour within       APPLICATION TO
   understanding of the different         his/her own work environment       Admissions Office, AIT
   perspectives and ways of           The module will feature a variety of
   conceptualising challenging        teaching and learning techniques.
   behaviour across different                                                CONTACT
   social care settings;                                                     Owen Ross
                                      Minimum Entry Requirements
• demonstrate awareness of                                                   Head of Department of
                                      Applicants should hold an honours
   the factors which can trigger                                             Humanities
                                      degree (Level 8) in applied social
   episodes of challenging                                                   Tel + 353 (0)90 647 1895
                                      studies or cognate discipline.
   behaviour including: individual,                                          Email
   group and family, wider            Progression
   organisational and cultural        Learners who are awarded
   influences;                        module-level awards are eligible
• assess the impact of challenging    to progress towards a Master of
   behaviour on staff and service     Arts or Postgraduate Diploma in
   users, and the degrees of          Advanced Social Care Practice.
   tolerance by individuals and
   groups when responding to it;
• critically evaluate assessment
   frameworks and tools for
   determining the risk of and
                                                                                 AIT 1970-2010        53

Master of Science of Toxicology                                  55
Master of Science in Environmental, Health & Safety Management   56
Master of Science in Science Education (Primary Science)         57
Higher Diploma in Behaviours that Challenge                      58
Special Purpose Award in Behaviours that Challenge               59
Special Purpose Award in Gerontology Nursing                     60
Special Purpose Award in Lactation Studies                       61

Dr Don Faller
Head of Department of Life and Physical Science
Tel + 353 (0)90 642 4598

Dr Pearse Murphy
Acting Head of Department of Nursing and Health Science
Tel + 353 (0)90 647 1801

Master of Science in Toxicology

There is a growing demand within        Modules                                   COURSE
EU and international professional       Applied Toxicology, Pharmacology,
toxicology bodies to ensure             Neuropharmacology/Toxicology              DETAILS
competence in the practice of           Practical Toxicology/GLP, In Vitro
toxicology. Thus, in order to gain      Models of Target Organ Toxicity,
access to the best employment           Toxicokinetics, Reproductive
opportunities, Irish toxicologists      Toxicology, Seminar/Project               DURATION
require appropriate postgraduate        Preparation, Project                      1 year
training. This full-time Master of
Science programme is designed
for recent graduates in toxicology,                                               MODE
biomedical science and related                                                    Full-time
                                        Career Opportunities
sciences as well as for appropriately   Graduates of this programme can
qualified industrial researchers.       expect to gain employment in
                                        research and development and at
This is a joint programme with NUI                                                9
                                        managerial and supervisory level
Galway, the first semester of which     in industry, particularly the medical
is delivered in the university, with    devices sector, pharmaceutical,
the second semester delivered in                                                  FEE
                                        cosmetics, food and agrochemicals
Athlone.                                                                          €6,820 (EU)
                                        and in contract testing. Graduates
                                                                                  €13,500 (non-EU)
                                        of this programme have also
Minimum Entry Requirements              obtained positions in regulatory
Applicants are required to hold         affairs, contract testing laboratories,
an honours (Grade 2.2) degree                                                     APPLICATION TO
                                        health and safety departments, as
in an appropriate life science                                                    Admissions Office, AIT
                                        well as progressing to complete
discipline, or an equivalent Level 8    PhD programmes.
qualification. An interview may be
held.                                                                             CONTACT
                                                                                  Dr Don Faller
                                                                                  Head of Department of
                                                                                  Life and Physical Science
                                                                                  Tel + 353 (0)90 644 2587

                                                                                       AIT 1970-2010       55
Master of Science in Environmental,
Health and Safety Management

This two-year part-time                  •   discuss and formulate measures     COURSE
programme aims to provide                    to prevent pollution and
participants with specialist                 reduce waste through process       DETAILS
knowledge in both environmental              design;
management and health and safety         •   understand the effects of
management. It offers participants           environmental hazards on the
an opportunity to reflect on their           biotic and abiotic environment;    DURATION
professional practice and gain a         •   have a fundamental                 2 years
theoretical and critical perspective         understanding of the Irish and
of issues associated with                    European legal framework;
environmental, health and safety         •   have a clear understanding         MODE
management.                                  of requirements in the             Part-time
                                             main health, safety and
On successful completion of the              environmental laws.
programme, participants will:                                                   LEVEL
• have a detailed knowledge                                                     9
                                         Minimum Entry Requirements
    and understanding of the             Applicants are required to hold
    major concepts and theories          an honours (Grade 2.2) degree
    associated with environmental,                                              FEES
                                         in an appropriate life science
    health and safety management;                                               €4,200
                                         discipline, or an equivalent Level 8
• employ appropriate advanced            qualification. An interview may be
    data analysing, synthesising and     held.
    summarising skills in a scientific                                          APPLICATION TO
    research environment;                                                       Admissions Office, AIT
• have a detailed knowledge              Year 1
    and understanding of the             Risk Management and
    concepts and processes of risk                                              CONTACT
                                         Organisational Behaviour,
    management;                                                                 Dr Don Faller
                                         Occupational Hazards, Research
• be able to implement risk                                                     Head of Department of
                                         Methods, Project Management,
    assessment techniques in a                                                  Life and Physical Science
                                         Business Development,
    number of diverse areas;                                                    Tel + 353 (0)90 644 2587
                                         Environmental Hazards.
• have a detailed knowledge of                                                  Email
    and apply current approaches         Year 2
    to managing chemical and             Strategic Management and
    biological hazards;                  Implementation, Health and Safety
• understand how the principles          Law, Environmental Management,
    of toxicology relate to              Action Research-Based
    occupational exposures;              Dissertation.

56       AIT Postgraduate Prospectus
Master of Science in Science Education
(Primary Science)

The Master of Science in Science       •   develop a school plan for the       COURSE
Education (Primary Science) is a           provision of science education,
two-year, part-time programme              across all primary school           DETAILS
designed to meet the needs of              classes;
teaching professionals at primary      •   critically appraise best practice
level in science education.                with respect to primary
                                           science education.                  DURATION
The course provides participants                                               2 years
with specialist knowledge in           Minimum Entry Requirements
primary science education. It offers   A recognised primary teaching
an opportunity to reflect on their                                             MODE
                                       qualification, plus two years’ post-
professional practice and gain a                                               Part-time
                                       qualification experience.
theoretical and critical perspective
of science education. This course is   Modules
informed by, and addresses, national                                           LEVEL
                                       Year 1
and international developments in                                              9
                                       Scientific Thought Processes and
primary science education.             Awareness, Pedagogy of Learning
                                       and Teaching Science, Teaching the
On successful completion of the                                                APPLICATION TO
                                       Energy and Forces Strand, Teaching
programme, participants will be                                                Admissions Office, AIT
                                       the Materials Strand, Teaching the
able to:                               Livings Things Strand, Teaching
• demonstrate an understanding         the Environment Awareness and
    of the scientific principles                                               CONTACT
                                       Care Strand, Education Research
    underlying the four strands of                                             Dr Don Faller
    the primary science curriculum;                                            Head of Department of
• develop appropriate activities                                               Life and Physical Science
                                       Year 2
    to demonstrate the scientific                                              Tel + 353 (0)90 644 2587
                                       Digital Technology and Science
    principles underpinning the                                                Email
                                       Education, Multiple Intelligence and
    four teaching strands;             Inclusive Practices, Issues in Modern
• apply knowledge and                  Science, Action Research-Based
    understanding of how children      Dissertation.
    learn and think about science,
    in order to plan appropriate
    learning experiences;
• critically evaluate the provision
    of science within a primary

                                                                                   AIT 1970-2010        57
Higher Diploma in Behaviours
That Challenge

The aim of this higher diploma             challenging issues that occur in        COURSE
programme is to equip the                  the intellectual disability services.
registered nurse who works in          •   Undertake a range of roles              DETAILS
the intellectual disability service        and responsibilities specific
with an increased understanding            to behaviours that challenge
and knowledge of issues around             and perform competently and
behaviours that challenge and to           ethically as a professional nurse,      DURATION
develop strategies to manage these         team member, or manager.                1 year
                                       Minimum Entry Requirements
On completion of the programme,                                                    MODE
                                       Applicant must be a Bord Altranais
the learner will be able to:                                                       Part-time
                                       Registered Nurse, or at least
• Demonstrate a comprehensive          equivalent professional grade in
    knowledge and understanding        the HSE working in the intellectual
    of the principles, theories,                                                   LEVEL
                                       disability services.
    and practices of managing                                                      8
    behaviours that challenge.         Modules
• Demonstrate a detailed               Communication and Health
    knowledge of key concepts                                                      APPLICATION TO
                                       Service Management, Behaviour
    and compliance issues with                                                     Dept of Nursing and
                                       Analysis, Assessment of Challenging
    behaviours that challenge.                                                     Health Science
                                       Behaviour, Health Related Research,
• Utilise and apply knowledge          Behaviour Management Strategies/
    of the Mental Health Act, the      Positive Skills Programme, Clinical
    Intellectual Disability Act, for                                               CONTACT
    example, and all of the other                                                  Dr Pearse Murphy
    regulatory frameworks that are                                                 Head of Department
                                       Progression                                 of Nursing and Health
    in place for caring for clients    Futher study to a Master’s in
    with intellectual disability.                                                  Science
                                       nursing either taught or by                 Tel + 353 (0)90 647 1801
• Identify research areas              research.
    appropriate to intellectual                                                    Email
    disability and competently
                                       Professional Recognition
    implement assessment
                                       An Board Altranais approved
    techniques and behavioural
    systems appropriate to
    behaviours that challenge.
                                       Career Opportunities
• Source, critically analyse,
                                       May be useful in career progression
    evaluate and apply scientific
                                       to CNS or CNM positions.
    and other information to solve

58      AIT Postgraduate Prospectus
Special Purpose Award in Behaviours
that Challenge

The aim of this Level 8 10 ECTS           •   Appraise the clinical, legal and   COURSE
credits programme is to equip                 ethical issues in relation to
the registered nurse who works                the medicated management           DETAILS
in the intellectual disability service        of clients in the intellectual
with an increased understanding               disability service who have an
and knowledge of issues around                intellectual disability.
challenging behaviour and to                                                     DURATION
develop strategies on how to                                                     1 semester
                                          Minimum Entry Requirements
manage behaviours that challenge.         Applicant must be a Bord Altranais
The programme is delivered one            Registered Nurse, or at least
day per week over eight weeks                                                    MODE
                                          equivalent professional grade in
                                          the HSE working in the intellectual
On successful completion of the           disability services.
programme the learner will be able
to:                                                                              LEVEL
                                          Modules                                8
• Understand academic writing             Behaviours that Challenge
    skills and referencing and how
    to assess evidenced-based             Progression
    information.                                                                 APPLICATION TO
                                          Completion of this special purpose     Dept of Nursing and
• Critically evaluate the principles      award may lead to further study in
    underlying communication                                                     Health Science
                                          the Higher Diploma in Behaviours
    and its impact on planning            that Challenge.
    and providing care for clients
    with multiple and complex                                                    FEE
                                          Professional Recognition               €550
                                          An Board Altranais approved
• Evaluate strategies affecting
    challenging behaviours
    and devise effective and                                                     CONTACT
                                          Career Opportunities                   Dr Pearse Murphy
    appropriate treatment regimes
                                          May be useful in career progression    Head of Department
    in an environment of social and
                                          to CNS or CNM positions.               of Nursing and Health
    political change.
• Critically review the                                                          Science
    appropriateness and                                                          Tel + 353 (0)90 647 1801
    effectiveness of validated                                                   Email
    international assessment tools in
    relation to intellectual disability
    and its impact on the provision
    of health services in Ireland.

                                                                                     AIT 1970-2010      59
Special Purpose Award in
Gerontology Nursing

The aim of Level 8 10 ECTS               •   Critically evaluate health         COURSE
credits programme is to equip the            economics and its significance
registered nurse with specialised            in caring for older people         DETAILS
up-to-date relevant knowledge and        •   Demonstrate critical thinking
skills to enable him/her to function         ability which enhances clinical
effectively as a healthcare provider         and nursing diagnosis, planning,
in gerontology. It is delivered in six       implementation and evaluation      DURATION
days over 12 weeks.                          through knowledge that is          1 semester
                                             reflective of evidence based
The knowledge gained will be                 practice.
evidence-based and aimed at                                                     MODE
bridging the gap between theory                                                 Part-time
                                         Minimum Entry Requirements
and practice.                            Applicant must be a Bord Altranais
                                         Registered Nurse working in the
The learning outcomes will equip                                                LEVEL
                                         area of gerontology nursing.
the student to:                                                                 8
• Critically evaluate national and       Modules
    international health policy and      Gerontology Nursing
    its impact on the provision of                                              APPLICATION TO
    healthcare to older people in                                               Dept of Nursing and
                                         Progression                            Health Science
    Ireland.                             Upon completion of this special
• Develop a critical insight             purpose award, you may apply to
    into the impact of mental            progress to the Higher Diploma in
    health and the physical and                                                 FEE
                                         Gerontology Nursing.                   €550
    psychological issues relevant to
    the lives of older people.
                                         Professional Recognition
• Evaluate relevant nursing
                                         An Board Altranais approved            CONTACT
    practice knowledge to adopt
                                         programme.                             Dr Pearse Murphy
    approaches to caring for the
    older person.                                                               Head of Department
                                         Career Opportunities                   of Nursing and Health
• Critically appraise the clinical,
                                         May be useful in career progression    Science
    legal and ethical issues
                                         to CNS or CNM positions.               Tel + 353 (0)90 647 1801
    pertaining to caring for the
    older person.                                                               Email
• Critically evaluate the principles
    underlying communication
    and its impact on planning and
    providing care for older people.

60       AIT Postgraduate Prospectus
Special Purpose Award in Lactation
Studies: Quality Care for Brestfeeding

The aim of this Level 8 course (10          related to breastfeeding.          COURSE
ECTS) is to provide the student         •   Demonstrate basic skills to
with knowledge and skills to                promote breastfeeding (in a        DETAILS
promote and provide quality care            simulated setting).
for clients related to breastfeeding    •   Demonstrate basic skills to
in both hospital and community.             support breastfeeding (in a
                                            simulated setting).                DURATION
The course is aimed at those                                                   1 semester
working in health promotion,            Minimum Entry Requirements
community support, and health           Applicant should be working as a
care settings. It can be used           health worker or hold a related        MODE
towards fulfilling the requirements     qualification of at least Level 7 or   Part-time
for certification or re-certification   hold a qualification recognised for
by the International Board of           work in this area.
Lactation Consultant Examiners.                                                LEVEL
                                        Programme Content
On successful completion of this        Professional/quality practice
course the student will be able to:     Initiatives for Quality Care
• Access and assess evidenced-                                                 APPLICATION TO
                                        Effective Communication
    based information and                                                      Dept of Nursing and
                                        Planning for improving care
    use academic writing skills                                                Health Science
                                        Skills to promote breastfeeding
    as elements of ethical/             Skills to support breastfeeding
    professional/quality practice.
• Critically examine how the                                                   FEE
                                        Progression                            €550
    criteria of the WHO/UNICEF          Further study onto higher diploma
    Baby Friendly Hospital              or Master’s level by research in the
    Initiative and other national       area of lactation studies.
    and international quality                                                  CONTACT
    programmes are reflected, or                                               Dr Pearse Murphy
                                        Professional Recognition               Head of Department
    not reflected, in health care       This programme should qualify you
    services in Ireland.                                                       of Nursing and Health
                                        for CERPs in IBLC.                     Science
• Communicate effectively
    including listening, seeing and                                            Tel + 353 (0)90 647 1801
                                        Career Opportunities                   Email
                                        May be useful in career progression
• Describe the process of change
                                        as a lactation consultant
    and acting as an agent for
    change and prepare an action
    plan to improve quality of care

                                                                                   AIT 1970-2010      61
Useful Contacts

President                             Director,                      Communications and Marketing
Professor Ciarán Ó Catháin            Materials Research Institute   Manager
Tel (090) 646 8101                    Dr Clement Higginbotham        Brian Lynch
Email                Tel (090) 646 8050             Tel (090) 644 2595
                                      Email     Email
Dr Joseph Ryan                        Director,                      Director of International
Tel (090) 646 8106                    Software Research Institute    Relations
Email               Dr Brian Lee                   Mary Simpson
                                      Tel (090) 648 3035             Tel 090 642 4562
Secretary/Financial Controller                                       Email:
John McKenna                          Director of Graduate Studies
Tel (090) 646 8109                    Dr Robert Stewart              Disability Liaison Officer
Email                 Tel (090) 647 1891             Patricia Kearney
                                      Email          Tel 090 646 8141
Head of School of Engineering                                        Email
Austin Hanley                         Postgraduate Research
Tel (090) 642 4542                    Cooordinator                   Careers Officer
Email                  Mary Duffy                     Denise Dolan
                                      Tel (090) 647 1807             Tel 090 646 8129
Head of School of Humanities          Email            Email
Dr Marian Fitzgibbon
Tel (090) 647 1802                    Admissions Officer             Student Services Manager
Email              Norrie O’Callaghan             Sarah LaCumbre
                                      Tel (090) 646 8130             Tel 090 646 8139
Director,                             Email        Email
Bioscience Research Institute
Dr Paul Tomkins                       Academic Affairs and Student
Tel (090) 646 8053                    Administration Manager
Email                 Jackie Farrell
                                      Tel (090) 646 8132

62      AIT Postgraduate Prospectus
Institiúid Teicneolaíochta Bhaile Átha Luain
Bóthar Bhaile Átha Cliath
Baile Átha Luain
Co na hIarmhí

Athlone Institute of Technology
Dublin Road
Co Westmeath

T: + 353 (0)90 646 8000
F: + 353 (0)90 646 8148

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