Education - Professional Studies in Education

Programme Overview
The Graduate Certificate in Professional Studies in Education is a one-year part-time programme providing an academic qualification for teachers in professional studies. Designed to suit teachers' professional lives, the programme uses onsite and online lectures and tutorials. It will provide a link between teacher practice, theory and policy, prioritising reflective practice and teacher research as a vehicle for teacher professional development.

Key Features
The programme is designed in line with the Teaching Council's Policy on the Continuum of Teacher Education which recognises teachers as life-long learners and teacher education as a continuum (Teaching Council, 2011). The learning process and learning areas outlined in Cosán, the National Framework for Teachers' Learning, framed by reflective practice provide the basis for the course outline. Each of the four modules involves three-four days attendance (on Saturdays) in MIC together with further work online using the Moodle virtual learning platform.

Entry requirements

Candidates wishing to apply should have a Level 8 qualification and be registered with the Teaching Council.

English Language Requirements
Applicants for whom English is not a first language must provide evidence of their proficiency level English in the form of an IELTS (International English Language Testing System) composite score of 6.5 – 7.0 with no less than 6.0 in any one component, or IELTS equivalent accepted by UL. Such applicants will also be required to undergo an interview through English.

Subjects taught

Modules are:
Reflective and Professional Practice:
Teaching as a professional; managing a professional learning environment in the classroom; reflective practice; professional growth; professional development planning.

This module aims to develop students' understanding of teaching as a profession and to develop their use of reflective writing to support their own practice. It also examines how certain trends and forces may enhance or diminish professionalism focusing on current debates in relation to professional standards, professional development planning, and professionalization versus professionalism. The module explores various aspects of teachers' professional lives such as personal learning styles, personal philosophies of teaching, self-management, and personal effectiveness.

Teaching, Learning and Assessment:
The module critically examines perspectives on learning and teaching from the literature which connect with teachers' own routine work with children. It aims to develop teachers' academic and practical knowledge of teaching and learning, focusing on curriculum planning, integration, co-operative and collaborative learning, and curriculum differentiation. A key theme will be how curriculum goals, content, learning and assessment activities can be appropriately aligned for optimum children's learning.

Elective Modules 1 & 2:
The elective options offered in any year will be subject to demand and viability and will be drawn from the following: Innovation in Science Teaching; Play and Young Children's Learning; ICT: Teaching and Learning; Learning through Mentoring; Tumoideachas: Comhtháthú Teanga agus Ábhair. Further electives may be added.

The module will be assessed through a blend of essays, reflective diary, reading study circle reports and online discussion.


3 years part-time

Enrolment dates

How To Apply
Download and complete the application form (link below).
•The application form must also include your university transcripts and contact details for two referees.
•In the case of non-native English speakers, a copy of IETLS is also required, or equivalent.

Please pay the non-refundable €50 application fee using Realex (view course webpage for link), and return the application form by email to: or by post to: Admissions Office, Mary Immaculate College, South Circular Road, Limerick, Ireland, V94 VN26.

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Career Opportunities
The programme should be of particular interest to teachers at an early stage of their teaching career. The Graduate Certificate is intended for teachers who want to further develop themselves and their professional practice as teachers, while also developing as mentors to other teachers, particularly beginning teachers. Students who meet certain minimum achievement criteria in the Graduate Certificate are invited to progress to a Graduate Diploma and Master's Degree.

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