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Irish Medium - Post Primary - PGCE

Irish-Medium Post-Primary PGCE
In response to the demand for subject-specific teachers in the growing Irish-medium post-primary sector, St Mary’s University College, Queen’s University Belfast (QUB) and the University of Ulster (UU) work in partnership to offer a one-year PGCE course to students interested in becoming teachers in Irishmedium post-primary education.

Additional places have been added to the PGCE intake quotas for QUB and UU specifically for those applicants who wish to teach in the Irish-medium postprimary sector. On completion of the course, these students will be awarded a Certificate in Bilingual Education (St Mary’s University College) in addition to their PGCE qualification (UU/QUB).

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.

Further enquiries

Anyone requiring additional information is invited to contact the Irish Medium Post-Primary PGCE Coordinator, Dr Seán Mac Corraidh on +44 (0) 28 9026 8283, s.maccorraidh@smucb.ac.uk

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

Applying for the Irish-Medium Post-Primary PGCE
Applicants will apply to do their PGCE with either QUB or UU (depending on their subject specialism) and should express an interest in Irish-medium education if they wish to be considered for this option. Competence in Irish is required. Usually, this means an A-Level or the equivalent qualification in the language.

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 www.studentfinanceni.co.uk.

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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