Education - Primary Teaching

Is this programme for me?

The Primary teaching course is for those passionate about teaching young children. This course will enable graduates to register to work as primary teachers with the Teaching Council of Ireland.

You will receive opportunities to learn how to nurture and support the development of the full potential of the child and instil a love of learning that will remain with the child through all stages of formal education.

Through your engagement with the course, you will work in a diverse range of schools, experience a wide range of classroom settings and engage in action research in a supported environment.

Furthermore your cooperation with fellow students and faculty will foster a strong sense of collegiality and team spirit.

It is not a requirement to have prior teaching experience to be eligible to apply for this course.


The Professional Master of Education (PME) in Primary Education is a 120-credit award at level 9 and the duration of the programme is two years. It is a blended learning programme, combining online content, virtual learning environments and face-to-face delivery to develop professionals and experts who are positioned to be leaders in the field of primary education.

The PME in Primary Education at Hibernia College consists of a sequence of modules that reflect the contemporary issues faced by teachers today and the skills and knowledge required of them in order to be expert primary school teachers who enable effective student learning. In particular, it recognises the importance of ensuring that student teachers consider that teaching itself is understood and practised as a form of self-critical learning by them; learning that is driven by inquiry, reflection and improvements based on evidence (Teaching Council 2011).

Entry requirements

For students who sat the Leaving Certificate

•An honours degree, National Framework of Qualifications (NFQ) Level 8. Note that the grade and subject of the degree are not relevant for the purpose of meeting the minimum entry requirements.

•A Masters degree or PhD that is of NFQ Level 9 or higher is accepted in lieu of the honours degree.

•Please note that an NFQ Level 8 higher diploma on its own does not fulfil this requirement.

The Department of Education and Skills Minimum Leaving Certificate Entry Requirements:

Important update: Please be advised that the Department of Education and Skills announced on 12/06/2019 their intention to further defer the introduction of the new higher Minimum Entry Requirements for students entering the PME programme until September 2021.

Please see below for the minimum Leaving Certificate grades required:

Department of Education and Skills Minimum Entry Requirements

2019,2020 & Spring 2021
Irish C3* Higher Level H4*
English D1 Ordinary Level O5 OR E Higher Level H7
Maths D3 Ordinary Level O6 OR E Higher Level H7

*College Requirement

Beginning Autumn 2021
Irish C2 Higher Level H4
English C2 Ordinary Level O4 OR E Higher Level H7
Maths C2 Ordinary Level O4 OR E Higher Level H7

Alternatives To Irish Language Requirement

Current DES requirements for Spring 19 and Autumn 19 only.

The following will also satisfy the minimum Irish language 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
•Dioploma sa Ghaeilge (An Ghaeilge sa Saol Comhaimseartha) of Aonad na Gaeilge from the University of Limerick
•A pass in a First Arts exam in Irish, NFQ Level 8
•Teastas Eorpach na Gaeilge (TEG) Leibhéal B2 (Meánleibhéal 2)
•Minimum grade C in the NUI matriculation exam (pre-1992)

The following will also satisfy the minimum requirements in Irish, English and Mathematics:

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

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

Additional Information

Note 1: Garda vetting Hibernia College offers programmes of study that require participants to work with children and/or other vulnerable groups. For this reason, students on this programme will be required to complete and sign a Garda Vetting Form. By completing and signing the Garda Vetting 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.

Note 2: Primary degree level If you are unsure of the level of your primary degree, contact the conferring college or university, or contact 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 Higher Diploma is refused admission to the Register of Teachers.

Note 3: 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.


All applicants who are deemed to have met the entry requirements and who have submitted a fully completed application form with supporting documentation and payment of the application fee, will be interviewed.

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

Interview Scheduling

Acceptance and entry to the course is by interview. The process is as follows:

•Applications that are fully completed with all supporting documentation will be acknowledged by e-mail.

•Applicants are placed in the queue for processing and will be contacted by phone or e-mail during daytime hours to schedule an interview.

•The Admissions Team will make contact directly with the applicant to arrange an interview. During busy periods, the waiting time for interview may be slightly longer.

•Applicants will usually be given a notice period of approximately one week ahead of their allotted interview date and time.

•Interviews normally take place in the daytime, Monday to Thursday at Hibernia College, 9-10 Fenian Street, Dublin 2.

•Applicants are expected to attend at the scheduled time and date.

•Applicants must bring a valid photographic identification with them to the interview, this should be a current passport or driving license. If an applicant fails to present identification, the interview panel cannot proceed with the interview.

•Applicants will receive a reminder by e-mail confirming the scheduled interview, directions to our premises and other information.

Once an interview has been scheduled, in the unlikely event that an applicant has no choice but to cancel, the Admissions Team will endeavour to re-schedule the interview. However, during busy periods or nearing the start date of the programme, this may not be possible. Please note that if you are not in a position to attend the interview on the date offered, it is important that this is communicated to the Admissions Team at the earliest opportunity.

The Interview
The interview is approximately 30 minutes.

The interview is in two parts. The Gaeilge component is approx. 10 minutes. The general component is approx. 20 minutes.

General Interview

The general interview component 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.

Irish Interview

The Irish language component of the interview will consist of a general conversation in relation to you, your interests, the Irish language and education and will focus on:

•Conversational fluency
•Grammatical accuracy

It is important to note that material should not be memorised in advance as this will limit your ability to communicate effectively with the panel. You will also need to be comfortable with changes of tense and to have the ability to use a wide range of verbs and vocabulary accurately.

Many applicants who have not been in regular contact with Irish since Leaving Certificate benefit from preparatory measures such as conversation classes, ciorcail chomhrá, Gaeltacht courses, listening to Irish language radio programmes on Raidió na Gaeltachta or Raidió na Life, watching the news on TG4 and reviewing a good Irish grammar book. In preparation for the Irish interview, we advise applicants to engage with the language as often as possible to improve fluency and accuracy.

Gaelchultúr ( offer a range of Irish language courses that you may wish to avail of to improve your Irish.

Interview Outcomes

•The outcome of the interview will be that the applicant is recommended or not recommended.

•The outcome of the interview is communicated via e-mail only and is not given to applicants by phone.

•In the interest of fairness to applicants who are unsuccessful, the College will accept one repeat application following the initial application.

•Applicants can make two consecutive applications only. Following which, they must take a break in applying for two calendar years. This is intended as a means of affording applicants the time required to address any shortcomings identified in their application.

•Those who are recommended will be made an offer for the next available cohort. To accept an offer, applicants must submit documentation and payment in accordance with the terms of the offer.

•To accept an offer, all applicants will have to pay a deposit it €1050.

•Where the College has concerns about any individual failing to show genuine commitment to the commencement and/or completion of the programme following repeated applications/admissions, the College reserves the right to refuse future applications. In addition to this, in instances where an individual demonstrates that they do not have the potential to succeed on the programme and/or in the associated profession, the College reserves the right to refuse a subsequent application.


Two years (24 months)

Further enquiries

Phone: +353 (0)1 661 0168

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.


Academic Accreditation
QQI (Formerly HETAC)

Professional Accreditation
The Teaching Council

Course fee

Fees and Costs

Application Fee: €95

Course tuition fees: €15,000

Fees are payable as follows:
Year 1: €7,500
Year 2: €7,500

A deposit payment of €1,000 is required to secure your place. The balance of Year 1 fees, €6,500 are payable by the applicable due date.

Hibernia College is an approved college for the purposes of s.473 A of the Taxes Consolidation Act, 1997, enabling eligible students to avail of tax relief on tuition fees paid. More details are available on the Irish Revenue website.

Garda Vetting Fees: €50

Gaeltacht fees: 2 blocks of 2 weeks duration, cost per block €750 and payable to third party Gaeltacht provider.

Graduation: current fee is €100

Payment of tuition fees are to be made by bank transfer. Application fees are paid online, and must be paid in full before application will be processed.

Loan Facility for Students

The Comhar Linn INTO Credit Union have introduced a loan facility for students of primary teacher education. Please click here for more information.

Enrolment and start dates

Start Dates September and April

Next Intake Spring 2019

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