Education - Art & Design Education - Post Primary Teaching

The Professional Master of Education (PME) is a two year masters programme that leads to a professional qualification to teach Art and Design at second level. The award is professionally accredited by the Teaching Council of Ireland. The masters programme will enable you as an art or design graduate, to apply your practice in a professional teaching context. On completion of the PME you will have developed an integrated understanding and appreciation of the unique qualities of an art and design education. Specifically, you will have achieved the capacity to perform as an educator in a variety of settings and contexts particularly at second-level.

The focus of the PME is on the application of your own art and design practices, insights and modes of learning to the requirements of teaching. The PME aims to facilitate your personal, social, intellectual and practical growth, prepare you for a professional career as a teacher and foster the necessary skills and dispositions of research, analysis, evaluation and critique to enable you to become a reflective practitioner.

The two-year Professional Master of Education (PME) programme has three interconnected pillars: School Placement, Foundation/Professional Studies, and Subject Discipline/Visual Arts Pedagogy. In Year 1 you are given both a theoretical and a practical understanding of key processes of teaching and learning. The School of Education operates on the principle that art teacher education is not centrally concerned with the teaching of art or teaching about art but, rather, is expressly committed to teaching through art. There is a particular emphasis throughout the programme on exploring a range of visual art processes and contemporary art practice through practical workshops in a studio setting.

Over the process of the programme student teachers will critically map their work, as educators and artists, on to the current pedagogical shifts in art and design curriculum reform taking place in post primary education. You are introduced to influential traditions of practice in teaching and classroom management. You also undertake teaching practice in a school where you will develop the knowledge, teaching skills and attitudes needed for effective teaching. This is supported by college tutorials and support teaching. In an extended placement in Year 2, the emphasis is on more autonomous learning, and you will be encouraged to take up a visible and active role in the full life of the host school. Key requirements in Year 2 are an Action Research project and an Arts Based Research project, which you will undertake with college support.

Entry requirements

Educational Standard
Applicants for the Professional Master in Education (Art & Design) should hold a degree or equivalent in art and/or design recognised by the Registration Council for Secondary Teachers of the Department of Education and Science in Ireland.

Applicants will also be required to complete Irish Teaching Council Subject Declaration form. The form is included in the link below. More information can be found at the Teaching Council website

Applicants who do not meet the minimum academic entry requirements may be considered on the basis of prior work or learning experience (RPEL). Candidates may be required to pass a qualifying examination set by the relevant department before being accepted to a Masters degree programme. Attendance at selected undergraduate lecture courses at NCAD, together with related written work may be prescribed.

You may apply for the programme if you are currently completing your Undergraduate Degree. NCAD will review the rest of your application If necessary, we can make you a Conditional Offer. When your degree is completed and you send us final transcripts we will upgrade this to a Full Offer.

Essential Supporting Documents
- A Statement of Interest

*Statements should refer to the most enjoyable aspects of your own education.

*Indicate which aspects of education policy and practice especially interest you and outline your views on current issues on art and design education within second-level schools.

- A recent CV

- Certified transcripts of previous programmes followed

- Certified copies of degree/ certificates and/or other appropriate third level qualifications bearing the official stamp of the institution.

- Reference 1 (Academic - Head of School/Department preferred)

*Some referees prefer to submit the reference directly to the college. If this is the case, please instruct your referee to email a standard reference to Please make sure all references contain the letterhead and the institution contact email address for the referee.

- Reference 2 (Tutor or Current/Recent Employer)

- Subject Declaration Form-Please complete this form online. Download it as a PDF and add it to your application along with other supporting documents. Alternatively, you can email it as a PDF to Please go to the following url to complete the form:

Document Description
When uploading documents please make sure you clearly label them using the Description Box.

You will not be asked to supply your portfolio until all of the other documents have been received and have been reviewed. We do not ask you to submit it when making your application.

English Language Requirements
All programmes in NCAD are taught through English. International Applicants are asked to provide proof of their English Language Proficiency.

Full details of acceptable tests and the standard required can be found at the following link:

Application dates

Applications now open.

The priority deadline for receipt of applications to postgraduate programmes starting in Sept. 2024 is Friday 31st March 2024. Applications made by 31st March are guaranteed to be reviewed by NCAD. If you apply after this date, we may not be in a position to review your application.

There is an application fee of €55.00*


120 ECTS credits / Taught masters


A 2 year Professional Master in Education with a qualification to teach art and design at postprimary level. Replaces the Professional Diploma in Art & Design Education.

Enrolment dates

Start Date: Programme commences in September 2024.

Post Course Info

After Your Master’s Degree
Graduates of the programme take up positions as second level art teachers in Ireland and across the world, as third level art educators, as school principals and deputy-principals, as museum curators, youth workers, arts officers, artists in residence in primary and secondary schools, independent art education consultants and as researchers in art education.

More details
  • Qualification letters


  • Qualifications

    Degree - Masters (Level 9 NFQ)

  • Attendance type

    Daytime,Full time

  • Apply to

    Course provider