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The aim of this paper is to share the experience of and the rationale behind the development of a new post-graduate programme in social research for the purpose of generating discussion with other higher education institutions. The context in which the programme is being developed is that where change in the landscape and aims of higher education in Ireland are being driven by aims to streamline resources through merging institutions, increase research output and the research skills of students as well as ensure that higher education meets its economic and social obligations through engagement with society. In addition the social care sector is undergoing significant changes with regard to professionalisation, reduced resources and changes in the basis of the provision of services. In this paper the influences of the aims of higher education as well as the value of consultation and collaboration with our industry partners both in social research and social care on the development of the programme are discussed.
McSweeney, F., & Fingleton, M. (2016) A Collaborative Approach to Designing a M.A. in Social Research in Response to the Changing Higher Education and Social Environment in Ireland. Higher Education in Transformation Symposium, Oshawa, Ontario, Canada, , November 2-6).