Education - Primary Teaching

Hibernia College

Education - Primary Teaching

Are you passionate about teaching young children? With a Professional Master of Education (PME) from Hibernia College, you can register to work as a primary teacher with the Teaching Council of Ireland. You'll learn to nurture the intellectual and personal development of children, and have the opportunity to instil a love of learning that will remain with them their entire lives. Prior teaching experience is not required to apply.

Our PME programme prepares students to become the best teachers they can be.

The Professional Master of Education (PME) in Primary Education is a 120-credit award at Level 9 delivered over 24 months. It is a blended learning programme, combining online and face-to-face delivery to develop professionals positioned to be leaders in the field of primary education.

The programme consists of a sequence of modules that reflect contemporary issues in education and the skills and knowledge required to be primary school teachers who enable effective student learning. Our emphasis on research ensures that student teachers understand teaching a form of self-critical learning. Student teachers are trained to use evidence-based reflection to continually improve their practice.

Programme Structure

You should expect to have approximately 3-4 tutorials each week (Mon.-Fri.). Tutorials are 1-1.5 hours in length and occur typically between the hours of 6-9 p.m. Please note that these classes are live and you will be expected to attend at the times stated.

You will meet approximately two Saturdays per month at a regional study centre from 9:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Locations for the centres are determined closer to the start of term as locations are based on where our students are located. There will also be a number of on-site weeks.

You will complete 24 weeks school experience in total throughout the programme. Placements are broken down into two 7-week blocks and one 10-week block. Students arrange their own placements, and at least two of the placements must be in different schools.

You will be required to spend 4 weeks in the Gaeltacht (e.g. two weeks in each year). Additional costs are incurred for each Gaeltacht stay and are payable to a third-party provider. All Gaeltacht placements are organised by the College.

It's recommended that you set aside approximately 37 hours per week for study, including tutorials and classes. The programme is 24 continuous months with a short break at Christmas and in summer. The programme is full-time, delivered through a blended learning model, and full attendance is required.

Subjects taught

Programme Structure

Online Content
On-demand online lectures, online tutorials and self-study

Irish: 4 weeks in the Gaeltacht (2 x 2 weeks courses)

School Experience
24 weeks undertaken in 3 schools - 2 blocks of 7 weeks and 1 block of 10 weeks.

This includes periods of observation, engagement in wider school activities, research, teaching, reflection and evaluation.

Onsite Delivery
Onsite conferences: the entire intake meets together in a central venue.

Regional onsites: tutor groups meet in a regional venue.

Entry requirements

An undergraduate degree at Level 8 or higher on the National Framework of Qualifications (NFQ) which has an ECTS weighting of at least 180 credits.

The grade and subject of the degree are not relevant for the purpose of meeting the minimum entry requirements.

Please note that an NFQ Level 8 Higher Diploma on its own does not fulfil this requirement.

Department of Education Minimum Leaving Certificate Entry Requirements

Subject Grade

C2 Higher Level H4

C2 Ordinary Level O4
E Higher Level H7

C2 Ordinary Level O4
E Higher Level H7

GCSE/GCE A Level Requirements

Minimum grade C in GCE A level Irish
Minimum grade C in GCSE English
Minimum grade C in GCSE English Literature
Minimum grade D in GCSE Additional Mathematics or
Minimum grade C at GCSE level in Mathematics

Alternatives to English, Irish and Mathematics Requirements

A pass in a University First Arts exam in the appropriate subject, NFQ Level 8

Alternatives to Irish Requirement

Diploma in Arts (Applied Irish) from University College Cork
Dioplóma sa Ghaeilge, level B2 from NUI Galway
Dioplóma sa Ghaeilge Fheidhmeach from University College Dublin
Dioplóma sa Ghaeilge from NUI Maynooth
Diploma in Irish from the University of Ulster
Teastas Eorpach na Gaeilge (TEG) Leibhéal B2 (Meánleibhéal 2)
Minimum grade C in the NUI matriculation exam (pre-1992)

Alternatives to Mathematics Requirement

A Pass grade obtained in Mathematics in the Matriculation Examination (which existed up to 1992)

A merit grade (65-79%) or distinction grade (80-100%) obtained in QQI Level 5 Mathematics Course (5N 1833)

Please note that the above are the only accepted entry requirements as set by the Department of Education. As these are Department of Education imposed requirements, unfortunately the College will not be in a position to accept any alternative qualifications.


Garda Vetting
Hibernia College offers programmes of study that require participants to work with children and/or other vulnerable groups. For this reason, successful applicants will be required to complete and sign a Garda Vetting Invitation Form. By completing and signing the Garda Vetting Invitation Form, the applicant is granting permission to Hibernia College to process details of any prosecutions/convictions for the purpose of assessing the candidate's suitability for the course for which he/she has applied and the completion of work placements associated with the course.

Primary Degree Level
If you are unsure of the level of your primary degree, contact the conferring college or university, the awarding body or the National Qualifications Authority of Ireland at In order to gain entry to the programme, candidates are required to possess a Level 8 award as per the NFQ. While Hibernia College will make every effort at the time of application to check the level of the award and notify applicants if the College believes there may be a concern with their qualification, it is each applicant's responsibility to check the level of their award. Hibernia College will not be held responsible in the unlikely event a graduate of the PME programme is refused admission to the Register of Teachers.

Mature Students
Note that there are no concessions for mature students. All applicants must meet the same minimum entry requirements to be considered for admission to the programme, and all applicants who meet those requirements will be called for interview.

Application dates

Application Fee: €95



All applicants who are deemed to have met the entry requirements and who have submitted a fully completed application form with supporting documentation and have paid the application fee will be invited to interview.

We strongly encourage applicants to submit their completed application form as early as possible.

Once your online application has been reviewed and processed, you will be called for an interview. The interview will comprise of a 20-minute general component and approximately 10 minutes of an oral Irish component to determine your language proficiency, including but not limited to conversational fluency including verb usage, vocabulary, grammar and tenses. To improve your Irish language skills, we advise regular practice and completion of an Irish language course that will adequately prepare you for interview.

Prior to interview, you should be speaking Irish conversationally for at least 30 minutes per day. It is also essential to comprehensively prepare for the general component of the interview, including your motivations for becoming a teacher and up-to-date knowledge of teaching in Ireland.

Please also note that if you have achieved a minimum of 65% / B1 Teastas Eorpach na Gaeilge (oral) (TEG) this will be accepted in lieu of the Irish interview.

The general interview may focus on elements including but not limited to:

The application form

Communication skills

Ability to demonstrate an excellent command of the English language

The standard of preparation and presentation

Familiarity with the modern–day primary school classroom and curriculum

Competencies relating to information technology

Suitability for the programme

Suitability for the profession

Please note that this list is given as a guide only.

Gaeilge is a core subject of the primary curriculum and a good command of the language is necessary in the teaching profession.

The PMEP is a Level 9 programme with two Gaeilge modules and you will be expected to study the language at that level. At interview, you must demonstrate a level of Gaeilge that proves your ability to teach the language effectively in the classroom.

Before submitting your application, you should be able to hold a conversation through the Irish language for at least 30 minutes. The interview itself will be a 10-minute, fast-paced conversation assessing your use of tense and grammar and your general level of comfort speaking the language.

For more information on Interview Scheduling and Outcomes go to


24 months

Gaeilge: 4 weeks in the Gaeltacht (e.g. two weeks in each year)
School Experience: 24 weeks in total

Enrolment dates

Next start dates: Spring and Autumn every year

More details
  • Qualification letters


  • Qualifications

    Degree - Masters (Level 9 NFQ)

  • Attendance type

    Part time,Flexible

  • Apply to

    Course provider