I’m in Ireland, which meant I didn’t have too much choice. I could have done a distance-learning MLIS in the UK (a lot of Irish people do this in Aberystwyth in Wales) or I could have done a two-year part-time course in the Dublin Business School. Ultimately I decided to go with a one-year full-time MLIS in University College Dublin. It’s the only full-time MLIS in the Republic of Ireland and it’s accredited by all the important bodies.
Another reason why I decided to stay in Dublin for my MLIS is so that I could live in my parents’ house for the year, meaning I wouldn’t have to take on a job. I also have personal reasons for wanting to stay in my hometown, including maintaining access to medical professionals for health reasons.
But why would this be relevant to anyone who lives outside Dublin? Well about one fifth of my classmates hail from the US or Canada. They have chosen to come to Dublin for their MLIS for a number of reasons. The first is to qualify within one year. The second is to gain a new cultural experience while they study. And the third reason is financial. My fees as a home student were just under €6,000 for the year. A non-EU student would pay €12,400 for the year. It works out a lot less than the fees for what would probably be a two- or three-year qualification in the States. You can live cheaply enough on campus or in the nearby suburbs, so overall, you could save quite a bit by coming here for the year.<>/p>
There are pros and cons with doing the MLIS in twelve months. It’s very heavy and pressurised, and only the most motivated (or desperate) manage to hold down a part-time job or internship while they study. The faculty staff are from big LIS schools in the US and the UK and they’re mostly pretty good. The standard of what we’re doing is high. My complaints would probably be the same as those people would have on MLIS courses anywhere (too much group work, too many assignments, too much to do and not enough time to do it, etc.).
The application process was quick. I was required to have at least six weeks of library work experience and a decent primary degree. They got back to me quickly, and the administrator was really helpful with questions I had about the process.
I should probably also add that Dublin is such a small place that there was no need to take a tour of the UCD campus. I played hockey there when I was in school, I went to events and parties there when I was in college (in TCD, the other big Dublin university), I use the grounds as a shortcut to get to my aunt’s house… So yeah, no tour necessary. However if you’re not a native, it might be worth having a look. UCD is most definitely not a beautiful campus. It’s a sprawling concrete jungle. It’s got most of what you would expect from a good university, facilities-wise, and there’s plenty of on-campus accommodation. Sports are a big deal (if that’s what you’re into) and there’s also a fairly active LGBTQ community.
If you’re interested in finding out more about doing your MLIS in Dublin, check out the department website or feel free to send me an ask. I’d be delighted to help. I’ve tagged all my MLIS posts so having a look through them might give you an idea of the kind of things I’ve got up to this year. - thecommonlibrarian