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Montessori Education

The Higher Diploma (Level 8) in Arts in Early Years Montessori Education is designed for graduates who wish to embark on a career in pre-school education. This programme provides a broad understanding of the field of Early Childhood Education and Care in Ireland and internationally. It also provides a firm pedagogical foundation in Montessori philosophy and practice while embracing the core competence, skills and knowledge for working with children within the National frameworks of Síolta and Aistear.

Learners are required to complete a significant practicum, in relevant settings.

Programmes are delivered in our Dun Laoghaire campus, just a few minutes walk from the DART station and also in Cork, South Mall. Some modules or parts of modules may also be delivered online via web conferencing, or live lectures online.

Placement takes place each year and this can be arranged in schools throughout the country (additional fees may apply for placements in settings outside a 50km radius of Dun Laoghaire).

Entry requirements

Admission Requirements:

1 A degree in any discipline at level 7/8 on the National Framework of Qualifications (NFQ).

2 Interview

3 Full Garda vetting clearance

4 International students must also provide evidence of English language, certificate level 6 or above

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL):The College recognises that many graduate applicants may have substantial cognate learning acquired through other programmes of study in Early Childhood Education and Care. In such cases, under the College's RPL policy, it will be possible to complete the programme within a shorter timeframe. The College's RPL policy may similarly facilitate graduates with other cognate ELEMENTS acquired through degrees in e.g.Nursing, Sociology, Social Care, Teaching, Psychology etc. Graduates of these disciplines may apply for RPL for individual modules in Year 1 (see list of year one modules). Where applicants feel that this may apply in their cases, then SNMCI's RPL policy will detail the procedure to be followed.


2 years

The full time programme is delivered Wednesday, Thursday and Friday from 4pm to 9pm.

Number of credits

BA (QQI Level 8)
ECTS = 120

Further enquiries

For further information about the course contact the Programme Director Ann King email:

Subjects taught

Year 1

Module 1-01: Professional Placement and Development in ECEC
Module 1-02: The Creative Child
Module 1-03: Developmental Psychology
Module 1-04: Social Policy in ECEC
Module 1-05: Sociology of Childhood: Spaces and Places
Module 1-06: The Child at Play
Module 1-07: Active Start
Module 1-08: ICT in the Early Years

Year 2

Module 2-01: Montessori Early Childhood Education and Care
Module 2-02: Montessori Placement
Module 2-03: Special Education in the Early Years
Module 2-04: Research in Early Childhood Education and Care

Application date

Cognate degree holders – Direct Application
Recognition of Prior Learning and Experience is available

Course fee

Full time fees = € 4,975 per year
Part time fees = € 4,975 per year

Newly enrolling students must pay a €500 deposit to secure a place. The deposit will be deducted from the first year's fees.

Instalment plans are available.

This programme is eligible for funding under the SUSI grant scheme.

Remember to mention gradireland when contacting institutions!