City scape

Irish Medium - Primary - PGCE

Why Become a Teacher?
Children will always need and deserve excellent teachers. It is their right as individuals, it is the expectation of their parents and it is necessary for the future prosperity of our society. At St Mary's University College we believe that our mission is to prepare excellent teachers who in turn can lead and inspire our children in a life of learning and who will pass on the beliefs, values, knowledge and skills necessary for leading a life of full participation in society.

Teaching is more than merely a job: it is truly a vocation. Teachers must believe in their vocation and the importance of their responsibilities for the future of each individual child and the well-being of society as a whole. In our teacher education courses we aim to foster teachers who have the following qualities:

• a caring attitude for children and a sensitivity to their needs

• an enthusiasm about teaching and a commitment to the value of the educational process

• a belief in the promotion of equal opportunities, recognising and celebrating differences occasioned by race, religion, gender, class and special needs

• a willingness to learn, a confidence to constructively reflect, and an openness to change and innovation

• a lively and inquisitive mind and a range of cultural, intellectual and other personal interests

These attributes reflect the core values set forth by the General Teaching Council for Northern Ireland (GTCNI).

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 specialist insights into educational issues relevant to immersion education.

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. Modules have been designed to allow students to integrate the 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 with classification of 2:2 or above. 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.


36 weeks

Further enquiries

Anyone requiring additional information is invited to contact
Dr Gabrielle Nig Uidhir on +44 (0)28 9026 8202 or

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.

Applications for the PGCE for 2019 entry must be received by Friday, 22nd February 2019

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 £4,160 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, currently up to a maximum of £4,160, by paying the full fee directly to the College or by 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 in applying for a fee loan, for loans for living costs and maintenance grants and for 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 the 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 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 thirty days.

EU Students
Non-UK EU Students, including students from the Republic of Ireland, can defer their fees by applying for a fee loan, currently up to a maximum of £4,160.

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.

Remember to mention gradireland when contacting institutions!