Inclusive & Special Education

Hibernia College

Inclusive & Special Education

The MA/PG Dip (Arts) in Inclusive and Special Education is designed to meet the professional and personal needs of educators working with learners with special and additional learning needs in diverse educational settings.
Our part-time, online programme will empower early years, primary, post-primary and special education teachers with the knowledge, skills, values and competencies to provide an inclusive and quality education for all. It will be of particular interest to special education teachers and those who may wish to take on coordinating or leadership roles in a range of educational contexts relevant to inclusion and special education. It may also be relevant to other professionals involved in the education and support of learners with additional needs.

The programme aims to give educators a thorough professional knowledge and understanding of special educational needs and learning difficulties and is underpinned by the latest national and international research.

The modular structure and online model of delivery make this programme particularly suitable for educators seeking a more flexible postgraduate option due to personal circumstances, work or other commitments.

The programme enables educators to acquire a deep understanding of core issues within the field of inclusive and special education. Educators will develop their skillsets and acquire knowledge and expertise in carrying out educational research relevant to inclusion and learners with diverse, special or additional needs.

Graduates may use the knowledge and skills developed during the programme to expand their career opportunities — to become more specialised lead teachers in their schools, to take on educational leadership or management roles, or to work in the field of education policy and practice. Others may continue their studies to doctorate level.

It also enables educators and others to become change agents within schools, other educational settings and the wider education community by promoting and leading inclusive pedagogy through innovative, evidence-informed practice underpinned by a research culture in inclusive and special education.

The College operates a Recognition of Prior Learning Policy for entry into the programme, and applicants with previous learning in a relevant area may be able to have it formally recognised by the College as part of this programme. Those who may wish to be considered under this policy should email

Please note that this programme is not a route to a Teaching Council number. If you wish to complete an initial teacher qualification, please refer to our PME programmes.

Subjects taught

Inclusive Education and Special Education Needs is a core module (15 ECTS) and must be completed in the first teaching term.

Participants can then choose three of the following elective modules:
General Learning Disabilities: Understanding and Best Practice (15 ECTS)
Dyslexia and Literacy (15 ECTS)
Understanding Autism: Effective Management and Teaching Strategies (15 ECTS)
Understanding Behaviour as Communication (15 ECTS)
Those progressing to MA level will also complete a Research Methods and Thesis module (30 ECTS).

Entry requirements

Applicants must hold a minimum of a Pass, or equivalent, in an honours bachelor’s degree at NFQ Level 8 in a relevant area.
To apply, applicants must provide their official Level 8 transcript (or above), showing their overall result and total ECTS credits awarded.

English Language Proficiency
An applicant whose first language/primary mode of expression is not English will be required to produce evidence of English competence. The required proficiency level is B2+ or higher in the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR)

Application dates




This blended programme will be delivered mainly online, providing a flexible route to specialist training for educators. It will be offered on a modular, part-time basis for maximum flexibility.

The Postgraduate Diploma in Arts in Inclusive and Special Education comprises four taught modules (15 ECTS each) and can be completed in one year. Students can take longer if they wish.

The Master of Arts in Inclusive and Special Education comprises four taught modules (15 ECTS each) and a Research Methods and Thesis module (30 ECTS). It can be completed in two years or more.

The programme is set up to be flexible, agile and individualised, allowing participants to tailor modules to their own professional specialisation, research areas and personal interests.

Modules are delivered over a 12-week period as distance learning modules, with live classes delivered every second week. Participants will have the opportunity to interact with peers in online class discussions. Modules are based on continuous assessment, and there are no exams.

Enrolment dates

Next Intakes: January 2024, September 2024

More details
  • Qualification letters

    MA / PGDip

  • Qualifications

    Postgraduate Diploma (Level 9 NFQ),Degree - Masters (Level 9 NFQ)

  • Attendance type

    Blended,Part time

  • Apply to

    Course provider