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Education - Primary Teaching

Programme Overview
The Professional Master of Education (Primary Teaching) is a two-year, full-time Level 9 postgraduate professional teacher education programme designed to qualify graduates as primary teachers. A key element of the PME is practice-oriented inquiry where students interrogate experiences and forge new understandings, integrating educational theory and practice through structured reflection and research applications. The programme is designed to equip student teachers with the cognitions and competencies necessary to develop creative and flexible approaches to teaching in different contexts and settings embracing pupils with diverse and often complex needs.

Key Features
Thematic in nature, the programme focuses iteratively on students' role as learner, teacher, researcher and leader. In addition to the established broad range of curriculum and foundation studies areas studied traditionally within ITE programmes at MIC, this programme contains a strong spine of three research methods modules which culminate in the Reporting Educational Research module. The research modules provide students with a critical introduction to the principal methods in educational research; identify educational research issues and questions, and consider appropriate methods of investigating them.

This course provides students with the opportunity to spend two Tréimhse Foghlama sa Ghaeltacht across their two years.

A range of assessment modes are employed across the two year programme, comprising written examinations and course work including group presentations and Blended Learning; summer modules such as 'Leadership and Policy' are undertaken by the students in an online format.

Programme Aims
The Professional Master of Education (PME) seeks to foster in graduate teacher education students a spirit of justice and compassion in the service of others and the creation of a democratic setting where all have the freedom and opportunity to achieve their full potential. The PME aims to develop graduate students' knowledge, skills, beliefs, and values in ways that support the development of professionals who:

•Promote and maintain a strong commitment to education and teaching and to the quality of the educational experiences of their pupils
•Respect and value childhood and help children to unlock and realise their potential.
•Value their identity as learners, teachers, researchers and future leaders
•Recognise the dignity of the individual graduate student of education who brings her/his own unique identity, prior experience and expertise to the teaching profession
•Comprehensively understand, respect, question and think critically about knowledge and who can adapt this knowledge within the complexities of their educational research and practice
•Are committed to promoting rich, innovative, flexible, creative learner-centred environments
•Seek to develop their personal and professional qualities including creativity, enthusiasm, risk-taking, commitment, responsibility and innovation, all of which equip teachers to actively contribute and respond positively to change in Irish society in the twenty-first century
•Promote the vision of the teacher as researcher and critically reflective practitioner who engages with inquiry-based examination and consideration of all aspects of professional practice, linked to a commitment of the teacher
•Challenge and confront social injustice and inequality as they see them in the class, playground and in the community, thus helping them to become agents of change.
•Are empowered to recognise, appreciate and accommodate difference
•Understand, recognise and imbue the pivotal contribution of educational research to teacher formation
•Recognise leadership as an intrinsic component of teacher education

Entry requirements

The Department of Education and Skills has approved the Professional Master of Education (Primary Teaching) programme to run again in September 2019. There will be 60 places available at Mary Immaculate College, and the closing date for receipt of completed applications is 5pm on Monday 25th March 2019.

Please find the press release regarding the Minimum Entry Requirements, issued by the Minister for Education on Wednesday 30 January 2019, here.

For 2019 the Leaving Certificate minimum requirements for the PME are as follows:
•Irish - H5
•English - H7 or O5
•Maths - H7 or O6

For Leaving Certificate Grading Schemes (1992-2016 Scheme and New Scheme 2017), click here.

For Department of Education and Skills Requirements for Entry 2019, click here.

Note: The Oral Irish Exam requirements have changed for 2019, see details below.

Oral Irish Exam Change for 2019
From 2019, candidates wishing to apply for the PME Programme will be required to take an Oral Irish exam before applying to MIC for the programme.

Applicants will be required to take the Teastas Eorpach Gaeilge (TEG) Level B1 Oral Irish Examination. Full details on the exam are on the website:

A minimum of 65% must be obtained in the TEG exam to be eligible to apply for the PME Programme.

The TEG Office in Maynooth has made the following arrangements for candidates who have missed the deadline for the February Meánleibhéal 1 (B1) PME exams:
•A further exam will be held on Saturday 2 March 2019 in Maynooth only
•All information relating to this exam will be on on Monday 18 February.
•Students must register between Monday 18 February and Friday 22 February.

Candidates must include their results from TEG Level B1 Oral Irish exam as part of their application to MIC for the PME programme. Applicants who are successful in TEG and who meet all other entry requirements will be required to take a general interview as part of the entrance process.

Additional marks are awarded for students who complete the TEG Oral Examination at a high Level.
•Up to 10 additional marks may be awarded for students who successfully complete the TEG oral examination at a high level and these marks will be added to their interview score. Candidates achieving from 90-100% receive 10 additional marks, candidates achieving from 80-89% receive 5 additional marks.
•Candidates who complete the TEG oral examination and obtain 65-79% receive no additional marks but are deemed to have passed the test and are eligible for the programme.
•Candidates who have passed higher levels of TEG (B2, C1 and C2) receive 10 additional marks.

These marks can only be added to the scores of candidates who have completed the higher level of TEG prior to the closing date for applications.


2 years full-time.

Careers or further progression

Professional Placement & Career Opportunities
The students have the opportunity to undertake a number of school placement experiences across a range of classes over the course of the two years and assessment and mentoring supports the student during this process. Assessment of school placement and micro-teaching is also a core component of this programme.

On successful completion of the course, graduates are qualified to teach all classes in the primary school.

Further enquiries

Dr Margaret Nohilly
T: +353 61 774744

MIC Admissions Office
T: +353 61 204929 / 204348

Subjects taught

Year 1:
Semester 1 provides a strong foundation in many curricular areas, foundation disciplines and research methods as well as introducing students to School Placement. Blending subject-specific pedagogies with modules which interrogate contemporary issues in education in a context of campus-based and school-based learning opportunities, students will be enabled to achieve deep insights into teaching and learning early in the programme.

Semester 2 builds on and extends the knowledge, skills and understanding gained in Semester 1. Semester 2 culminates in a prolonged school placement offering students an opportunity to apply learning in practice.

A summer school programme is an integral part of the first year of this master's programme. This summer school includes a Tréimhse Foghlama sa Ghaeltacht and students return to campus following their period in the Gaeltacht to complete an oral Irish examination. In addition, students complete two on-line modules; in the Leadership and Policy module provides an intensive immersion experience into the field of educational research where students explore fundamental theories and enduring questions in the field of educational leadership and policy. Within the Research Methods 2 module research principles, theories and approaches are explored leading to the completion of students' research ethics application.

Year 2:
Semester 3 builds on the knowledge, skills and attitudes gained during Year 1 through curricular areas, foundation disciplines and research methods. Inclusive and Special Education is a discrete focus of this Semester through both a taught module and a specific school placement. Students will develop their research proposal during this Semester and engage in data collection and analysis. A significant element of Semester 3 will be the parallel focus of teaching, learning and research highlighting the multi-faceted nature of the role of the teacher and the teaching profession. Students work individually with allocated supervisors with significant expertise in the students' chosen field. Students will submit their educational research report during Semester 4.

Semester 4 is primarily devoted to prolonged school placement and the application of knowledge, skills and attitudes acquired through Semesters 1, 2 and 3. A key feature of Semester 4 is the completion and presentation of a professional portfolio which will provide an opportunity to link practice with theory, to engage deeply with subject matter and pedagogical content and to participate in reflective dialogue about teaching and learning. It will provide a structure for documenting and reflecting on students' assumptions, understandings, experiences and achievements during their teacher education programme.

This Summer School programme includes the second Tréimhse Foghlama sa Ghaeltacht.

Application date

Application forms and definitive entry requirements for 2019 will be available when the PME programme is sanctioned by the Department of Education & Skills.

Enrolment and start dates

How to Apply
1.Please pay the application fee of €45 (non-refundable) online. It is essential that this fee is paid before making your application, and please include the date of payment of the fee at the top of your application form.

2.Complete the Application Form (see below) and submit with relevant documentation, directly to the Admissions Office of Mary Immaculate College by 5pm on Monday 25 March 2019. Late applications cannot be accepted and applications will not be accepted by email and by fax.

3.Please include proof of completion of TEG Exam with your application, as applications will not be processed without this.

4.Please remember to carefully read the Department of Education and Skills Entry Requirements, paying particular attention to the Irish, English and Maths requirement, before making an application for the PME.

5.Please include certified copies of all results, including Leaving Cert and degree with your applications. A 'certified copy' is a photocopy of your original transcript which is signed and stamped by a Garda, Teacher, Solicitor etc to verify that it is a true copy of the original document. Please do not submit original copies as they will not be returned to you.

6.If you are in the final year of a degree programme please include a full certified copy of your degree results for all years to date and if you have already completed a degree please remember to submit a full transcript of all years results. The minimum level 8 degree requirement is a 2.2 award.

For any queries on the PME application process, please email the Admissions Office at with the subject heading PME.

The following documentation is now available to download below:
•PME Application Form – English
•PME Application Form – Gaeilge

The PME interviews will be held in Mary Immaculate College, Limerick on Wednesday 29 May and Thursday 30 May. All candidates will be given their interview results on Wednesday 12 June.

Remember to mention gradireland when contacting institutions!