This programme has been offered by the Institute of Education, DCU since September 2016. It combines two well-established graduate diploma courses that were offered previously at St. Patrick's College, Drumcondra and the Church of Ireland College of Education, Rathmines.
The programme is open to primary and post-primary teachers who are employed in a position that is funded by the Department of Education and Skills and who provide Learning Support, Resource Teaching and Resource Teaching for Travellers in recognised primary schools, post-primary schools, and in other recognised educational services. Teachers serving in special schools and special classes are also eligible to apply.
The programme provides a qualification that is recognised by the Department of Education and Skills for teachers working in the areas of inclusive education, special education and learning support who work in the following roles: Learning Support Teacher and/or Resource Teacher, Teacher in a Special School, Teacher in a Special Class.
Funding for the course is provided by the DES. This means that for teachers who are eligible:
•No fees or registration charges will apply to participants.
•They will continue to receive their salary in the usual during their participation.
•Substitution will be provided by the DES to the schools in which they work, to cover their attendance at lectures and seminars during school hours.
There are no formal written examinations involved in the course. Participants will be assessed on the basis of full attendance at the programme venue, engagement with course content and activities, successful completion of selected tasks and written assignments and supervision of work in schools/centres, including final evaluation of this.
Participants who successfully complete the course, and who meet the relevant entry requirements, will be eligible to seek admission to the Masters in Special Educational Needs (MSEN) programme run at the School of Inclusive and Special Education. Credit for completion of the postgraduate diploma will be given to those who progress to the MSEN programme.
This is a one-year, part-time postgraduate diploma programme that aims to provide substantial theoretical and practical continuing professional development to teachers who work with learners deemed to have special educational needs and/or who require learning support in primary, post-primary and special schools and other recognised educational settings.
It is a delivered in a blended format. This involves attending lectures, seminars and workshops during eight weeks of block-release that is spread out over the course of one academic year, including a number of Saturdays. Learning also occurs during visits by course tutors to schools, in dedicated on-line sessions and through engagement with resources made available on DCU learning platforms. In order to participate in the programme, teachers will need access to a computer and broadband internet access.
The institute of Education, DCU is set within the only faculty of education on the island of Ireland. It runs the largest postgraduate programme of this kind in the country. This means that you will have the opportunity to come in contact with course participants from a wide variety of settings and benefit from input provided by lecturers who have developed expertise in a very broad range of (often specialist) areas and sectors. For example, particular expertise has been developed within the programme team around the inclusion of students in primary, post-primary and special schools and other education centres, including settings that respond to highly complex learner profiles, such learners deemed to have severe or profound learning disability.