Inclusive & Special Education

GradDip Inclusive & Special Education
Graduate Taught (level 9 nfq, credits 60)
This course is designed to develop the skills of special education teachers who work in primary, post-primary and special school or specialist unit settings, in all aspects of theory and practice related to teaching pupils with additional educational needs.

The ethos of the course is that of maximizing inclusion of pupils while providing students with the skills and knowledge to support the most challenged and most challenging pupils within the education system within the most appropriate setting for those pupils.

It develops students' knowledge and skills in identification and assessment of pupils with additional educational needs and in planning, monitoring, and evaluating the effectiveness of, interventions for such pupils.

This professional full-time course is delivered over an academic year, with two four-week periods of fulltime attendance at college, supplemented by attendance on four Saturdays spread throughout the year. The vast majority of students on the course are funded by the DES and full substitution cover is funded by the DES while those students attend college.

When not attending college, students on the course are otherwise teaching in their own schools, where they are supported by site visits from UCD tutors. The format of delivery combines lectures, tutorials, workshops and visits to other schools considered to be centres of excellence.

UCD School of Education also invites applications from self-funded applicants to complete the course.

Vision and Values Statement
• This course covers a comprehensive range of topics pertinent to teaching and supporting pupils with additional educational needs.
• It examines a range of types of disabilities and additional educational needs, in relation to aetiology, characteristics and appropriate inclusive interventions.
• It critically examines various approaches to the organisation of provision for students with disabilities/additional educational needs, including an exploration of the role, if any, of special schools within an inclusive education system.
• Due to the small number of students on the programme, participants are provided with very high levels of support.
• Many sessions are collaborative in nature, allowing for sharing of ideas and expertise; each unit of learning is delivered by expert practitioners and top-class academics drawn from UCD and beyond
• Access to services, including the UCD library, on-line journals, and a wide range of specialised resources, is an important feature for students
• Assessment methods related to each of the five modules allow for considerable variety and are expertly matched to lecture content and to relevant classroom practice.

Subjects taught

1. Inclusive Education
2. Exploring Diversity
3. Inclusive Therapies/Approaches
4. Inclusive Pedagogy
5. Professional Practice & Portfolio Development

Entry requirements

Applicants to the Graduate Diploma in Inclusive and Special Education must be working in a Special Education Teacher role and have Teaching Council recognition

Application dates

The following entry routes are available:
Graduate Diploma Inclusive & Special Education FT (W424)

The course is open to teachers with a recognised teaching qualification who are currently teaching in Irish Primary and Post Primary Schools. Selection is by interview, and preference will be given to those with relevant SEN teaching experience. As the course is full-time, teachers in permanent employment who do not receive a place under the conditions of the relevant DES Circular will need to arrange leave of absence with their school authorities.

Full Time option suitable for: Domestic(EEA) applicants: Yes
International (Non EEA) applicants currently residing outside of the EEA Region. No

If you have any queries on the Graduate Diploma Inclusive & Special Education FT, please do not hesitate to contact us at




1 year full-time
Mode of delivery: Face-to-Face


GradDip Inclusive & Special Education (W424) Full Time
EU fee per year - € 6695
nonEU fee per year - € 13270

***Fees are subject to change

Tuition fee information is available on the UCD Fees website. Support under the terms and conditions of the relevant annual Department of Education and Skills (DES) Circular is available to suitably qualified primary and post-primary teachers who currently hold, or are eligible to hold, permanent positions in their schools.

Enrolment dates

Next Intake:2020/2021 September

Post Course Info

Careers & Employability
Completion of this course will significantly enhance the knowledge and skills of Special Education Teachers and will render them considerably more competent and confident in fulfilment of their roles.

It will further the careers of Special Education Teachers in schools, enabling them to perform a co-ordinating and managerial role in relation to provision for pupils with Additional Educational Needs in schools.

It will enable SET teachers to apply for national and regional roles within the National Council for Special Education (NCSE), including, but not confined to, the roles of Special Educational Needs Organisers (SENOs) and Visiting Teachers providing consultative services to schools.

Career & Graduate Study Opportunity
Students who complete the full-time Graduate Diploma in Inclusive and Special Education have the option of transferring directly into Year 2 of the MEd Inclusive Education and obtaining this Masters qualification by completing one module in Research Methods and a thesis.

More details
  • Qualification letters


  • Qualifications

    Postgraduate Diploma (Level 9 NFQ)

  • Attendance type

    Full time,Daytime

  • Apply to

    Course provider