City scape

Education - Primary Teaching

The Professional Master of Education (Primary Teaching) (PMEP) programme equips students with the principles, curriculum knowledge and pedagogical understanding with which to begin their teaching careers as competent and committed professionals. The programme is responsive to the changing contexts of primary education, offering student teachers opportunities to engage critically with the interface between society and education.

As with any professional course, the Professional Master of Education is intensive and requires a considerable commitment from students. It is also a rewarding and interesting experience and you will find that you have been comprehensively prepared for your teaching career.

The programme aims to develop graduates who:

Are competent, professional and knowledgeable in their approach to teaching, learning, curriculum and assessment;

Become adaptive experts and critically reflective practitioners who continue to grow and learn throughout their careers;

Facilitate the holistic development of all children in terms of their emotional, social, personal, physical, creative, spiritual and intellectual capacities, promoting their agency across all areas of school life;

Recognise and meet the needs of all learners with insight, expertise and respect;

Become collaborative, supportive and committed members of school communities, learning communities and the teaching profession;

Engage in ethical practice informed by a critical concern for social justice, equality and care and respect for others locally and globally, and recognise all children as citizens, rights-holders and active agents in their own learning.


As a student of the DCU Institute of Education you will have access to more opportunities in Teacher Education than any other Irish institution and will study in the context characterised by innovation and development, scholarship, research and excellence in teaching and learning. Embedded in our programmes is a deep commitment to equity, social justice and inclusion.

You will be taught by internationally recognised experts in (primary) teacher education.Committed to academic excellence and innovation, the DCU Institute of Education is confident its graduates will flourish in the challenging and complex contexts of the 21st century societies.

Entry requirements

Entry Requirements and Procedure for 2020

1. This is a postgraduate teacher education programme for primary teaching (2020–2022) for persons who possess an honours Bachelor Degree at Level 8 or those who expect to have successfully completed final examinations before Monday, 6 July 2020.

This is a full-time programme, commencing in September 2020 and concluding in summer 2022.

A limited number of places will be available on these programmes and successful applicants will be selected by way of competition. Applicants are advised that shortlisting may apply.
Persons who successfully complete this programme are eligible to be registered by the Teaching Council under Route 1: Primary and will thereby be eligible for appointment in primary schools.

2. Application Procedure & Closing Date
Teastas Eorpach na Gaeilge (TEG) for all candidates
Please note that prospective applicants must have completed and achieved 65% or higher in the oral component of the Teastas Eorpach na Gaeilge (TEG) Meánleibhéal 1 (B1) Irish examination prior to the closing date (i.e. 30 March 2020) to satisfy the entry requirements.

Registration is now open and the closing date for TEG online applications is 12 noon on Wednesday, 8 January 2020. If you have not already registered for the Teastas Eorpach na Gaeilge (TEG) (ORAL) examination, you will need to register at this link

The oral Irish examination will be administered by the Centre for Irish Language Research, Teaching and Testing in Maynooth University and candidates must apply separately to do this oral Irish exam. More information, including examination guidelines, is available here:

All applicants should note the selection procedure detailed in section 4 below.

3. Conditions of Eligibility
Applicants must have the following academic qualifications:
(a) Minimum H2.2 Honours Bachelor Degree (Major Award at Level 8 on the National Framework of Qualifications) or a major award at Level 9 or a major award at Level 10 on the National Framework of Qualifications,

(b) one of the following sets of second level qualifications:

(i) in the Leaving Certificate Examination

Subject Irish
Minimum Grade (new 2017 Scheme) H5
% Mark 50% - 59%

Subject Mathematics
Minimum Grade (new 2017 Scheme) H7 or O6
% Mark 30% - 39% or 40% - 49%

Subject English
Minimum Grade (new 2017 Scheme) H7 or O5
% Mark 30% - 39% or 50% - 59%

The grades and % marks in the 1992-2016 grading scheme and the new 2017 scheme are set out at Appendix 1 at

(ii) in the Northern Ireland GCSE and GCE A Level Examinations: a Grade C at GCE A Level Irish; a Grade C at GCSE Level in both English and English Literature or Grade B at GCSE Level in either; and a Grade D at GCSE Level in Additional Mathematics or a Grade C at GCSE Level in Mathematics.

Applicants must provide evidence to the Higher Education Institution that their degree is placed as a major award at the appropriate level on the National Framework of Qualifications. Applicants must meet entry requirements (a) and (b) by Monday, 6th July 2020 and must provide documentary evidence of meeting these requirements.

Alternatives to a second-level qualification in Irish, English or Maths

A Pass in a University First Arts Examination in Irish, English or Mathematics will be accepted in lieu of the Leaving Certificate Examination or GCE/GCSE requirement for the relevant subject.

Alternatives to a second-level qualification in Irish
• Grade C obtained in the Matriculation Examination (which existed up to 1992)
• Dioplóma sa Ghaeilge, Level C1, NUIG
• Dioplóma sa Ghaeilge, Level B2, NUIG
• Dioplóma sa Ghaeilge, Maynooth University
• Teastas Eorpach na Gaeilge (TEG) at Level B2, Maynooth University
• Diploma in Arts (Applied Irish), University College Cork
• Dioplóma sa Ghaeilge Fheidhmeach, UCD
• Dioplóma sa Ghaeilge (An Ghaeilge sa Saol Comhaimseartha), University of
• Diploma in Irish at the University of Ulster

Alternatives to a second-level qualification in Mathematics

• A Pass grade obtained in Mathematics in the Matriculation Examination (which existed up to 1992).

• A merit grade (65-79%) or distinction grade (80-100%) obtained in QQI Level 5 Mathematics Course (5N 1833).


(c) Oral Irish Examination
Applicants must achieve 65% or higher on the oral component of the Teastas Eorpach na Gaeilge (TEG) Meánleibhéal 1 (B1) Irish examination, prior to the closing date for applications (i.e. 30 March 2020) to satisfy the entry requirements.

A successful result in the TEG oral will be valid for two years before the test needs to be retaken. Candidates who have achieved a minimum of 65% on the TEG oral exam in the last two years are eligible to apply.

For futher information go to:


2 years Full-time

Please note that all PMEP students must undertake two mandatory Gaeltacht Placement periods as part of the programme during the following dates:

Year 1: Thursday, 27 August - Thursday, 10 September 2020

Year 2: August/ September 2021 (Dates TBC)

Deferral Requests
Deferrals are not permitted on the DC970 PMEP Programme

Careers or further progression

The PME is not only a gateway to the primary teaching profession, but also to a number of other careers in the areas of educational administration, consulting, content writing, research and educational policy.

Further enquiries

Tel: 01 884 2212

Enrolment and start dates

This is a full-time programme, commencing in September 2020 and concluding in summer 2022.

Remember to mention gradireland when contacting institutions!