Professional Master of Education

The Professional Master of Education (PME) is a full time teacher education programme designed for those who fulfil the *Teaching Council’s Curricular Subject Requirements in at least one subject and who wish to become a post primary teacher. The Professional Master of Education is a two year, 120-credit, NFQ Level 9 programme.

The Professional Master of Education is a required qualification for those wishing to work as post primary school teachers in the Republic of Ireland and a recognised teaching qualification within the EU. The programme aims to prepare new entrants for the teaching profession who are passionate subject experts in their chosen discipline, who are knowledgeable, creative, inclusive and reflective about the aims and processes of education and who are professional in all aspects of their work.

Dates for 2023-24 applications are as follows:

  • Application Opening Date: Now Open [Apply Now]
  • Application Closing Date: Friday, 25th November, 2022 [First Round]
  • Interviews: First round interviews will be held week commencing Monday, 12th December, 2022 [interviews will be held online]

Commencement of Programme

The programme commences in September 2023.

All entry requirements should be met before the commencement of the programme.

Course Contacts

Programme Director: Dr Louise Heeran Flynn
Programme Administrators: Ms Linda Mc Hugh and Ms Dearbhail Gallagher
Email: Pme.Admin@tcd.ie | Tel: 00 353 1 8961488

Professional Master of Education in TCD- Webinar 2022

The Professional Master of Education (PME) is a required qualification for persons wishing to work as post-primary school teachers in the Republic of Ireland and a recognised teaching qualification within the EU.

Applicants will normally hold at least a primary honours degree (NFQ Level 8) which complies with the Teaching Council’s Curricular Subject Requirements for at least one subject from the list of those taught at Leaving Certificate level in Ireland.

Applicants are short listed for interview on the basis of our PME Application Scoring Sheet (PDF) including what qualifies as relevant professional or voluntary experience. Applicants will be expected to have an Honours Bachelor degree. Applicants should hold or expect to secure a 2.1 degree or higher.

Applicants must provide two academic references or one academic reference and one professional reference from relevant professional experience. All academic references must be from a third-level institution.

First round interviews will be held online in December 2022 and offers are made to successful applicants directly following this.

The School of Education is committed to ensuring an inclusive approach to education with a broad and diverse teaching profession. We shortlist and interview candidates on the basis of their degree award and their professional and life experiences. Students will be required to undergo Garda Vetting.

Applicants should be aware of specific entry criteria to the teaching profession which are set and regulated by the Department of Education and Skills in association with the Teaching Council of Ireland, and which must be satisfied independently of the School of Education's entry requirements.

Applicants are required to have a Level 8 degree which satisfies the Curricular Subject Requirements set and regulated by the Department of Education and Skills in association with the Teaching Council of Ireland. It is the applicant’s responsibility to ascertain whether their specific qualifications are in accordance with the Teaching Council requirements, satisfying the general and specific criteria for post primary registration purposes and including the requisite number of European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System (ECTS) credits.

Therefore, as part of the application process, applicants are required to complete a Self Declaration Form (SDF) regarding their eligibility to teach specific curricular subjects, where they map their Level 8 credits to the Curricular Subject Requirements.

Teaching Council regulations stipulate that, in addition to holding a Level 8 degree which has an ECTS weighting of at least 180 credits on the NFQ (or equivalent), you must meet the requirements for at least one post primary curricular subject.

The Professional Master of Education programme provides for the professional formation of student teachers through a values-based approach which recognises the transformative and emancipatory potential of education. Facilitating the development of inclusive practice and appropriate learning environments which are inclusive by design are integral to the programme. The purpose of the PME is to prepare new entrants for the teaching profession, who are professional in all aspects of their work and who are knowledgeable and reflective about the aims and processes of education, as expressed in the Code of Professional Conduct for Teachers. The PME from its inception is a research-informed programme underpinned by in depth engagement with research and scholarship in Initial Teacher Education at post primary level.

The programme achieves a high level of integration between theoretically informed Professional Studies, the Foundation Disciplines and School Placement providing for a coherent, holistic student experience across a range of sites of practice. The student experience is underpinned by research-informed teaching, which facilitates student teachers to engage with research as an integral part of their postgraduate education throughout the programme.

On entering the programme, students are embarking on a process of professional development which continues through to their induction and probation as a Newly Qualified Teacher and then on to Continuing Professional Development as an experienced teacher. The two year full-time programme of Initial Teacher Education constitutes the first stage of this process, primarily a programme of professional development with a significant academic dimension. There is a clear emphasis on the acquisition of key teaching competences and students are expected to develop the competences both during their time in university and whilst on School Placement.

The PME is offered in the School of Education with specialisms in nine post primary curriculum subjects. Applicants select one at the time of application as their Major subject:

  • Business Studies (including Accounting and Economics)
  • English
  • Geography
  • History
  • An Ghaeilge
  • Mathematics (including Applied Mathematics)
  • Modern Languages (including French, German, Italian, Spanish and other Curricular Languages)
  • Music
  • Science (including Biology, Chemistry and Physics)

The Professional Master of Education aims to provide an inclusive, responsive programme for the preparation of individuals for a career in the teaching profession through the development of critical and analytical skills, skills and strategies for teaching, and an inclusive, reflective professional approach to teaching and learning.

We seek to develop our students’:

  • critical knowledge and appreciation of the discipline of education and their subject area(s);
  • understanding of the broad context of Irish education as part of society as a whole;
  • appreciation and understanding of the complicated nature of the teacher’s role and of the function[s] of schools in society;
  • critical knowledge of a wide range of inclusive teaching, learning and assessment methods;
  • ability and willingness to act as responsive and reflective practitioners, adopting critical insights into practice as appropriate.

In keeping with the Teaching Council’s Céim: Standards for Initial Teacher Education (2020), our PME places heightened emphasis on seven core areas:

  • Inclusive Education: This includes the fostering of appropriate learning environments, including digital ones, that support the development of student teachers’ ability to provide for the learning needs of all pupils by utilising, for example, a Universal Design for Learning framework.
  • Global Citizenship Education: To include Education for Sustainable Development; Wellbeing (personal and community); Social Justice, Interculturalism. There should be demonstrable integration between Inclusive Education and Global Citizenship Education rooted in the principle of care for others.
  • Professional Relationships and Working with Parents: To include working with parents, pupils, peers, external agencies and others; preparing for school placement; the school as a learning community; and legislation relevant to the school and classroom.
  • Professional Identity and Agency: To include support for the development of the teacher as a self-reflective autonomous professional who demonstrates the four values outlined in the Code of Professional Conduct for Teachers, and the teacher as a lifelong learner (and Treoraí) in relation to the continuum of teacher education.
  • Creativity and Reflective Practice: To include fostering a creative mindset among student teachers, teachers as reflective practitioners; teachers as innovators; teachers as researchers; teachers’ relationship with the school as a learning community and the development of Taisce to support the process of portfolio-based learning.
  • Literacy and Numeracy: Programme design shall ensure that student teachers are afforded opportunities to enhance their own literacy and numeracy and are required to demonstrate an acceptable level of proficiency in literacy and numeracy. Students shall be required to demonstrate their competence in teaching and assessing literacy and numeracy appropriate to their curricular/subject area(s).
  • Digital Skills: To include Digital Literacy; the use of digital technologies to support teaching, learning and assessment for all learners; the integration of digital skills across the programme including opportunities for student teachers to explore new and emerging technologies.

 Please refer to Céim: Standards for Initial Teacher Education (The Teaching Council, 2020).

The programme consists of four components which work together in a spiral, iterative manner:

  • Foundation of Education Disciplines
  • Professional Studies
  • School Placement
  • Electives

Foundation Disciplines

The Foundation of Education disciplines aim to provide aspiring teachers with the critical theoretical knowledge necessary to underpin their professional practice.

Foundation Disciplines consist of:

  • Introduction to Assessment and Examinations in Post Primary Education
  • Irish Educational History and Policy
  • Applied Psychology in Education
  • Inclusive Education
  • Educational Philosophy and Theory
  • Sociology of Education

Professional Studies

Professional Studies focus on the student teacher’s specific subject area. These modules work together to develop student teachers’ competence and confidence teaching their chosen subjects.

Professional Studies consist of:

  • Major Pedagogy (Subject 1)
  • Minor Pedagogy (Subject 2)
  • Digital Learning
  • Advanced Pedagogy and Research

In Year 1, students attend two pedagogy subjects (Major and Minor Pedagogy). The first (Major) will be the subject that they intend to teach full-time in schools. Students attend seminars and workshops in both their Major and Minor subjects in Year 1 and specialise only in their Major subject as an Advanced Study of Pedagogy in Year 2. The purpose of the modules in pedagogy are to introduce students to the theoretical and practical aspects of teaching and learning in their subject area. Literacy and numeracy are included as key components of each pedagogical subject area. Teaching in each subject is shared by a team of full-time members of the School and part-time staff, many of whom are also practising teachers.

Each pedagogy subject area aims to develop in students:

  • the ability to reflect on and evaluate their own practice;
  • a working knowledge of relevant research into pupils’ learning and an appreciation of the importance of pupils being actively engaged in their own learning;
  • an appreciation of the importance of developing positive relationships with pupils, based on principles of equity and inclusiveness;
  • a rigorous approach to inclusive planning, combined with the ability to make considered choices from a range of inclusive teaching methods and resources;
  • a knowledge of approaches to the teaching and learning of literacy and numeracy which can be implemented through their subject curriculum;
  • a knowledge of the content of their subject[s] as required for the Junior Cycle and Leaving Certificate examination syllabi.

School Placement

School Placement consists of two modules:

  • School Placement (Year 1)
  • Advanced School Placement (Year 2)

School Placement is a major element of the programme and students accepted for the programme must source two placements in two different school, within 85km of the university. In accordance with the Teaching Council of Ireland guidelines, at least 40% (24 weeks) of student time over the two years of the PME must be allocated to School Placement, involving between 200-250 hours of direct teaching (200 direct teaching hours is a minimum).

Over the two year programme, students must source their own school placement in different educational settings to reflect the socio-economic and cultural diversity of society, including all girls/boys/mixed gender, Designated Disadvantaged, multiple languages, Gaelscoileanna. It is the responsibility of the PME student teacher to source and secure both their Year 1 and Year 2 School Placement. The placement must comply with all requirements of the School Placement block set out below. Students who are offered a place on the programme, will be provided with further specific teaching hours requirements.

School Placement Requirements

  • Location - All School Placements must be within an 85km radius of Trinity College.
  • Type of Post-Primary School - Placements must be conducted in a ‘recognised’ Department of Education funded post-primary school. Use this handy tool from the Department of Education to Find a School
  • Teaching Hours - Student teachers who are offered a place on the programme will be given a specific number of hours which must be secured on each School Placement.
  • Two Different School Placements - Student teachers are not permitted to undertake two School Placements in the same school, i.e. student teachers must undertake School Placement and Advanced School Placement in two different schools. School Placement must comprise a minimum of two placement settings incorporating a variety of teaching situations, class levels and school contexts, which may include Irish medium schools. Therefore, students must secure a different school for their Advanced School Placement in Year 2.

Electives

Students may choose one elective from a range of electives, including:

  • Literacy and Numeracy
  • Citizenship Education within Wellbeing
  • Global Citizenship Education
  • Drama in Education
  • Arts Education
  • Irish Traditional Music
  • History of Education

Year 1

During their first semester in Year 1, students are expected to attend lectures, tutorials and preparatory sessions in Trinity College. In the second semester, students will participate in a twelve-week block School Placement, prioritising Junior Cycle classes, with responsibility for planning, implementing, assessing and evaluating allocated classes. During their block School Placement, students will attend pedagogical support sessions in College on week day late afternoons (after school). These sessions are designed to maximise student learning and opportunities for reflection during School Placement and to facilitate the integration of theory with practice. Opportunities for collaborative reflective activity are supported by our e-learning platform.

When students return from School Placement, they will participate in placement review and evaluation activities, and complete a Research Methods programme in order to prepare them to write a detailed research proposal for their thesis in Year 2. The research proposal is designed to draw on the material included in students’ teaching and learning Portfolio which includes all Units of Learning, Lesson Plans, Observations, Reflections, Action Plans and Placement Feedback from the beginning of the programme.

Year 2

During their first semester of Year 2, students participate in a twelve-week Advanced School Placement module, in a different school to where they completed their first School Placement, covering both Junior and Senior Cycle classes. Student teachers must have full responsibility to plan, deliver and evaluate all aspects of the classes they teach and engage fully in the day-to-day life of a school. Student teachers will attend evening pedagogical support sessions in College every two weeks in their second year.

During their second semester, students will attend lectures, workshops and seminars in College, and undertake Advanced Pedagogical Studies and Research. This is designed to equip students with the relevant knowledge and skills to reflect on their periods of School Placement and academic studies in education and to complete a substantial research project (10,000 word minor thesis).

Incoming PME students for the academic year 2023/2024 must complete and return a Garda Vetting Application form to Academic Registry prior to commencing the course. PME students will not be permitted to commence their School Placement until they have been garda vetted. The application form and supporting documentation (Garda Vetting (PDF)) see below. Incoming PME students are encouraged to submit the application form as a matter of urgency.

Please note that you will not be permitted to begin your placement until your student vetting application is processed and approved in accordance with our Student Vetting policy.

Further details on Garda Vetting.

Garda Vetting declaration (PDF)

NVB 1 Vetting Invitation (PDF)

Information and Guidelines (PGNonEU) (PDF)

Professional Master of Education in TCD