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Irish - Medium Primary PGCE

Irish-Medium Primary PGCE
The Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) is a one-year, full-time course leading to full recognition as a teacher by the Department of Education. The Primary PGCE is taught substantially through the medium of Irish and is intended particularly for graduates who wish to teach in Irish-medium primary schools. The course content is based on the requirements of the Northern Ireland Curriculum, and students have the opportunity to gain meaningful insights into educational issues relevant to immersion education.

Modules have been designed to allow students to integrate knowledge gained from clinical practice and from College-based study. It is recommended that applicants applying for this course have a high level of competence in oral and written Irish.

Entry requirements

PGCE (Irish-medium Education) Applicants
Applicants will need to have obtained a minimum Grade C in GCSE English Language, Mathematics and Science (or equivalent).

The Postgraduate Certificate in Education requires candidates to have achieved a degree at honours level. The relevance of the degree to the primary curriculum will be taken into consideration within the selection process. Applicants will be interviewed. The ability to communicate in both oral and written Irish will be assessed.


This M-Level programme is thirty-six weeks in duration, of which eighteen weeks are spent in a variety of classroom settings where competences in professional practice are developed. Students will spend two blocks of School Experience in an Irish-medium school and one block in an English-medium school. Students will also have an opportunity to select practical experience in a special school or in a nursery.

Further enquiries

Anyone requiring additional information is invited to contact Dr Eibhlin MhicAoidh on 028 9026 8293,

Subjects taught

Subject Specialism Students will follow the PGCE course designed by either QUB or UU depending on their subject specialism.

QUB prepares students to teach in the following subject areas: English, Mathematics, ICT/Computing, Science, Modern Languages, Religious Education and Social Science/Citizenship.

UU prepares students to teach in the following subject areas: Art and Design, English with Drama and Media Studies, Geography, History, Home Economics, Music, Physical Education and Technology and Design.

Further information on specific subjects offered and on PGCE course structures is available on the QUB and UU websites.

Irish-medium students will also complete additional elements in the area of bilingual/immersion education. This bilingual focus will be provided by St Mary’s, which has a long tradition in preparing teachers to teach in the Irish-medium sector.

Application date

Application Procedures
All applications must be made directly to the College as St Mary’s is not a member of the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS).

To apply, go online to or contact:

The Academic Registry
St Mary’s University College
191 Falls Road
BT12 6FE
Tel: (+44) 028 9026 8320

The College website is regularly updated with relevant admissions information.

When to Apply
Applications for the PGCE for 2017 entry must be received by Friday, 24th February 2017.

Course fee

Tuition Fees
All full-time and part-time students will be charged tuition fees. This includes PGCE students. For students who are Northern Ireland domiciled these are currently £3,925 per year and are normally subject to an annual inflationary uplift. A student will be liable for the full tuition fee at the point of enrolment and registration. This includes a non-refundable element of 25% of the calculated tuition fee.

Tuition Fee Loan
Students may defer their fees by applying for a Tuition Fee Loan of currently up to a maximum of £3,925 or pay the full fee directly to the College or a combination of taking out a fee loan for part of the fees, and paying the rest directly to the College.

A single application form PN1 is used for applying for a fee loan, loans for living costs and maintenance grants and the St Mary’s College Bursary.

Students can apply online or download an application form via the Student Finance Northern Ireland website

Once applications have been assessed, the local branch of Student Finance NI will send the student a Student Notification which will include details of the amount of fee loan the student has requested.

Payment Options
Students who do not avail of the fee loan can pay their fees in one of two ways:
• Direct Debit – students can complete a direct debit authorisation which spreads the fee due over six months from December to May.

• Cash or Cheques – students who do not complete a direct debit authorisation will receive one invoice in November for the full amount, which will be payable within 30 days.

EU Students Non-UK EU Students, including students from the Republic of Ireland, can defer their fees by applying for a fee loan of currently up to a maximum of £3,925.

The application is essentially the same as the system for applying for fee loans and other support. EU students may also be eligible for a College Bursary. This will be dependent on the level of their household income. EU students should contact the Student Loan Company EU team by telephoning 0141 243 3570 in Darlington for advice. For maintenance support EU students should contact their local county council.

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