To become a recognised, second level teacher in Ireland, you must hold a primary degree in a relevant subject area, and/or a Post Graduate Diploma in Education (PDE or PGD, previously called H.dip).
Post-primary Initial Teacher Education (ITE) is provided through programmes that are either concurrent (undergraduate) or consecutive (postgraduate).
The concurrent (undergraduate) route to a post-primary teaching qualification is offered for a range of programmes (e.g. with practical, laboratory and workshop elements). Students study a 4 or 5 year teacher training programme, which combines the study of education with the study of an academic specialist area and includes school placement.
For the most part, these programmes are in the sciences, technological education, physical education, art and design, music, mathematics, religious education and home economics. For example, P.E. (UL), Religion (Mater Dei/DCU), Home Economics (St. Angela's), Art (NCAD), Science, Engineering Technology and wood/building technology.
Depending on the subject specialism taken, the final degree awarded may be a Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science (Education), a Bachelor of Technology (Education) or a Bachelor of Education.
Some higher education institutions offer a ‘hybrid model’ whereby students can exit the programme with a subject specialist degree after three or four years but are not qualified teachers until they have completed all five years.
Students apply through the Central Applications Office (CAO) and selection is based on the CAO points system.
The most common route to becoming a post-primary teacher is a Bachelor's Degree, followed by a Postgraduate Diploma in Education. If you go this route, your degree must comprise three years full-time study or equivalent, and enable you to teach at least one curriculum subject to Leaving Cert level.
E.g. P.E Teacher - by doing a degree, followed by the Graduate Diploma in Physical Education (P.E.) - UL takes students from a range of backgrounds such as, the BSc. in Health & Leisure Studies at IT Tralee.
|Note*: Since September 2014, postgraduate programmes of ITE accredited by the Teaching Council have been extended to two years full time study, or 120 ECTS credits and is now termed the Professional Master of Education
For consecutive programmes, application is made through the Postgraduate Applications Centre (PAC), a central application system for NUI colleges and Dublin City University. For other institutions, applications are made directly to individual institutions.
The teaching profession is monitored by the Teaching Council, who determine the suitability of qualifications to teach subjects in the second level curriculum.
The Teaching Council website provides details of the individual subject requirements (subject criteria) for all post-primary curricular subjects (i.e. English, Maths, Art, Languages etc). The Teaching Council website also provides a list of degrees deemed to meet the requirements for named curricular subjects.
Agricultural Science Teaching
In addition to the general requirements for post-Primary Teachers, applicants for Agricultural Science teaching must provide officially certified evidence of satisfactory achievement in primary degree studies (or equivalent) as follows:
- The study of Agricultural Science as a specialist degree extending over at least three years
- Details of the degree course content to show that the knowledge, skills and understanding to teach Agricultural Science to the highest level in post-primary education have been acquire
- The content of the degree course in Agricultural Science should reflect the following indicative tripartite structure:
- Soils / Earth Science / Natural Resource Science (25%)
- Crop (25%) and Animal Production (25%) Sciences (50%)
- General Biological Concepts 25%.
- Explicit details of standards achieved in degree studies in Agricultural Science with at least an overall Pass result in the examinations
Additional information must be provided as required.
A list of institutions in Ireland who are providers of post-primary ITE programmes is available here.
Newly Qualified Teachers (NQTs)
NQTs need to go through a one-year induction programme after they have qualified. Full details are available from the Association of Teachers' Education Centres in Ireland (ATECI) (See here).
NQTs also need to register their qualifications with The Teaching Council.
All new teachers will also need to be Garda vetted, as they are responsible for children.
Droichead - Pilot Scheme for NQTs
Droichead is a post-qualification of continuous professional development (CPD) for NQTs. where the NQT works alongside a fully qualified colleague.
Last Updated: August, 2015