Education - Art & Design Education - Post Primary Teaching

The programme deals with the theory and practice of art, craft and design education at post-primary level. It develops the student teacher's understanding of the ways in which art, craft and design experiences can be used to promote the aesthetic, intellectual, personal and social development of young people.

The Professional Master of Education (PME) is a two-year masters programme which leads to a professional qualification to teach Art and Design at second level. The award is accredited by the Teaching Council of Ireland. This Masters programme will enable you as an art or design graduate, to apply your art or design 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, with particular reference to second-level teaching. 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, with specific reference to the requirements of the Irish second-level education system. The PME aims to facilitate your personal, social, intellectual and practical growth, preparing you for a professional career as a teacher and fostering the necessary skills and dispositions of research, analysis, evaluation and critique to enable you to become a reflective practitioner.

The Change Lab project instils in our student teacher a strong commitment and motivation to teach for social justice and sustainability through the lens of their practice as artist -researchers. Each year the Change Lab consists of the student teachers working in groups of three and four in the NCAD gallery space, for a 2/3-weeks period, to create a body of artwork that critically reflects social injustices and unsustainable practices that define our time. The Change Lab fosters a space where they can explore how their art practice has a social, ethical and cultural dimension as they create work that investigates complex, real world problems. How the students on the PME programme respond, research and create work through the lens of their practice as an artist, researcher and teacher is integral to the methodology of learning and teaching of Visual Art in post primary education.

The Change Lab is designed and led by School of Education staff members in NCAD. Fiona King, Coordinator of the Professional Master of Education programme & Tony Murphy Lecturer in Education in collaboration with NCAD Gallery.

Subjects taught

The two-year Professional Master of Education (PME) programme has three interconnected pillars:

School Placement and Foundation Studies
Professional Studies and Subject Discipline
Visual Arts Pedagogy

In year one, you are given both a theoretical and a practical understanding of key processes of teaching and learning. 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 functioning, and you will be encouraged to take up a visible and active role in the full life of the host school. A key requirement in Year 2 is an Action Research project which you will undertake, with college support.

The PME is based in the School of Education NCAD, where a homeroom and workshop facilities are provided. A feature of the PME is the group collective experience, with peer teaching and learning a prominent element.

Entry requirements

The programme is open to graduates with an honours degree award of 2.2 or higher, or an equivalent academic or professional qualification in a related discipline.

English language: Students who have not been educated through English must show proof of achieving IELTS 6.5 (with a minimum of 6 in the writing section on the academic version) or an equivalent score in another accepted test.

Application dates

Priority Deadline
The proprity deadline for receipt of applications to postgraduate programmes starting in Sept. 2022 is Thursday 31st March 2022.

Applicants who wish to be considered for a scholarship (where applicable) must submit their application before the priority deadline.

International applicants are encouraged to submit their applications before the priority deadline.

After the priority deadline, NCAD will operate a rolling closing date for postgraduate applications for 2022 - 23. Applications will be reviewed on receipt, and offers will be sent on a rolling basis. A waitlist will apply to over-subscribed courses.

Please contact the Admissions Office for further information

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.

1. A Statement of Interest**

2. A recent CV

3. Certified transcripts of previous programmes followed

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

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

6. Reference 2 (Tutor or Current/Recent Employer)

Note: Please supply the reference. 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 for the attention of Fiona Cleary to

Please make sure all references contain the letterhead and the institution contact email address for the referee.

7. Portfolio

The presentation of a portfolio of 10 pieces of recent work will be required if you are shortlisted to attend for interview. Applicants will be sent a brief for a drawing project that they must complete and bring with them to interview, if shortlisted. Shortlisting for interview will apply. Click here for more information.

Applicants will also be required to bring the completed Irish Teaching Council Subject Declaration form to interview. Find out more about the Irish Teaching Council Subject Declaration form.

**Supporting statements for the AD459 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.


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

To find out more about the entry requirements, application process and tuition fees visit -

Post Course Info

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

    Full time,Daytime

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    Course provider