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 Teacher Education Access Course for Mature Learners

Programme Commence Date: September 2018.

What is the Teacher Education Access Course for Mature Learners?

The Teacher Education Access Course for Mature Learners is a programme offered by Mary Immaculate College in partnership with the City of Limerick Vocational Educational Committee, Adult Education Service and Limerick Youth services. It is designed for mature learners who wish to gain entry to the B.Ed. (Primary Education) at the College. The course is aimed at anyone over the age of 22 by January 1st on the year of application, who is interested in applying to the B. Ed (Primary Education) and who does not hold the minimum entry requirements (please see Appendix A for details). The course takes place on Friday evening from 6.00pm to 9.00pm and Saturdays (9.30am to 5.30pm) and runs from Friday September 2018.

Closing date for receipt of completed applications is Friday 24th August, and interviews will be on Friday 7th September.

Aims and objectives of the course:

  • * Equip students with the necessary skills to participate in, and benefit from, a third level course
  • * Provide students with an opportunity to experience the satisfaction that can be gained from learning
  • * Offer students an opportunity to obtain the minimum requirements for entry to the profession
  • * Build up confidence in a supportive learning environment
  • * Provide a direct access route to the MIC B.Ed. (Primary Education)
  • * Provide an alternative access route to third level for mature students

Subjects on offer:

The programme is designed to offer participants an opportunity to obtain the prerequisite entry requirements to the B. Ed programme (see Appendix A). To help students in this regard, two subjects at honours Leaving Certificate level will be offered (Gaeilge and English).

In addition, students will study a further two compulsory modules which require the completion of course work;

  • 1. Introduction to Studies in Education. Topics covered include:
    • * The Irish Primary School Curriculum,
    • * Theory of Teaching and Learning
  • 2. Students will spend time in a school setting observing and participating in the life of the school. Insights gained from this experience will be documented using a reflective journal.

What do I get afterwards?

Those who successfully complete the course and fulfil the minimum entry requirements for the B.Ed will be offered a place on the BED (Primary) Degree programme in MIC.v

All applicants for the Access Programme must have completed the Leaving Certificate and must have passed at least three subjects in the Leaving Certificate at either higher or ordinary level, including Mathematics, at the time of application. Applicants who may not have the minimum two H5 honours requirement and a H4 honours Irish (needed for the B.Ed in 2019), can opt to take both Irish and English to honours Leaving Cert level through the Access Programme at Mary Immaculate College. However, such applicants must note that there is a minimum H5 honours requirement in a third subject at Leaving Cert for the B.Ed Programme, and they must have this honour either at the time of making an application for the Access Programme, or must be in the process of obtaining this honour in the Leaving Cert before June 2019. Intending applicants are requested to carefully read the attached entry requirements for the B.Ed from the Department of Education & Skills (Appendix A), and take particular note of the requirement for three honours and three passes in the Leaving Cert. The essential subjects are an honour in Irish and passes in English and Maths. Please pay particular notice to the changes to the minimum requirements for Irish, English and Maths for the B.Ed Programme for 2019 and 2020








1. Application for admission to a Bachelor of Education Degree Programme as a mature candidate

A four year full-time course leading to a Bachelor of Education (B.Ed.) Degree is held in each of the following Higher Education Institutions for primary teachers:

(Contact details for the Higher Education Institutions are set out at Appendix 1)

Applications are made through the Central Applications Office (CAO) by 1st February 2018. Mature applicants must not be less than 23 years of age on 1 January of the year of entry (1 January 2018 for entry in autumn 2018)

Persons who successfully complete this course may be registered with the Teaching Council under under Route 1: Primary.

2. Minimum Academic Requirements 2018 – Leaving Certificate Examination


• Grade H5 (50%-59%) on a Higher Level paper in not less than three subjects

• Grade O6 (40%-49% Ordinary Level) or H7 (30%-40% Higher Level) in three other subjects in accordance with the Rules and Programme for Secondary Schools

Essential Subjects


September 2018 Entry

September 2019 & 2020 Entry
































H – Higher Level

O – Ordinary Level

The grades and % marks in the 1992-2016 grading scheme and the new 2017 scheme are set out at Appendix 3

Combination of results in different Leaving Certificate Examinations

Applicants may combine results obtained at the Leaving Certificate Examination in different years for the purpose of meeting the academic requirements.

Acceptablealternatives for Irish, English or Mathematics*

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

In the case of Irish, a Grade C in the Matriculation Examination (which existed up to 1992) will also be accepted in lieu of the Leaving Certificate Examination/GCE/GCSE requirement. In addition the following are accepted as satisfying the Leaving Certificate Examination/GCE/GCSE requirement.

• 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, Level C1, NUIG

• Dioplóma sa Ghaeilge, Level B2, NUIG

• Dioplóma sa Ghaeilge (An Ghaeilge sa Saol Comhaimseartha), University of Limerick

• Diploma in Irish at the University of Ulster,

In the case of Mathematics only, a pass in that subject in the Matriculation Examination (discontinued) will also be accepted in 2018 in lieu of the Leaving Certificate Examination/GC(S)E requirement.

The minimum academic requirements for GC(S)E and GCE A Level and AS Level Examinations are set out in Appendix 2.

3. Selection Process

Once applicants have satisfied the minimum academic requirements, selection is on the basis of a competitive General Interview and a competitive Oral Irish Examination. The CAO will e-mail eligible applicants with a link to the supplementary application form and instructions regarding other necessary steps. The CAO will include applicants who have indicated that they are taking a Leaving Certificate/GC(S)E in 2018 as ‘provisionally eligible’ on the basis that their actual Leaving Certificate results will be unknown until August. The closing date for the return of the completed supplementary application form and attachments to the Institution(s) is 5.15 p.m. on Wednesday, 4th April 2018.

The results of these tests will be graded and allocated points as follows:

Interview Total Marks Available Pass Mark

100 Marks 40 Marks

Oral Irish Examination Total Marks Available Pass Mark

40 Marks 16 Marks

Applicants who have failed the General Interview on two previous occasions are not eligible for the competition. Part of the General Interview may be conducted in Irish.

Information on the General Interview and Oral Irish Examination is available from the Higher Education Institutions.

Applicants who get a "fail" grade in either the General Interview or the Oral Irish Examination are eliminated from the competition. The remaining applicants are placed in anorder of merit determined by the results of the General Interview and Oral Irish Examination combined. There are two separate order of merit lists – one common list for Dublin City University, St Patrick’s Campus, Drumcondra; Froebel Department of Primary and Early Childhood Education, Maynooth University; and Marino Institute of Education and one for Mary Immaculate College, Limerick. Where two or more applicants obtain the same points, their placement on the order of merit will be determined by random selection.

Each Institution will fill its places by reference to the relevant order of merit list and offers are made through the CAO using the normal allocation process, working down through the applicant’s preferences to find the highest preference for which the applicant is entitled to receive an offer, if any.

Some high merit applicants will be made offers through the CAO in early July (Round A). The remaining applicants including those awaiting 2018 examination results may be made offers through the CAO in Mid- August (Round 1). If necessary, offers may be made in subsequent rounds. Please note that any offer will be subject to fulfilling the minimum entry requirements. An offer by one of the Institutions listed above is subject to the applicant not receiving a higher offer from a Higher Education Institution through the CAO for another course.

Successful applicants who accept places are required to enter the Higher Education Institutions in autumn (actual dates available from the individual Institutions). In special circumstances, at the discretion of the Higher Education Institution authorities, the date of entry may be deferred for a limited period.

4. Additional Information

Proficiency in Irish language:

1. Gaeltacht Course – Attendance and Cost: All students of primary initial teacher education are required to attend a residential course in the Gaeltacht. It should be noted that this is a compulsory part of the course.Since the 2012/13 academic year, the cost of this compulsory course has no longer been met by the Department of Education & Skills.

2. Oral Irish Test: In addition, applicants should note that students will be subject to an oral Irish test at the end of their first year of initial teacher education, and must pass this test in order to continue to the second year of the course. Students who fail this oral Irish test may, at the discretion of the Higher Education Institution, be allowed to repeat the test.

Student Grants:

SUSI (Student Universal Support Ireland) is Ireland’s single national awarding authority for all higher and further education grants. The online application system for new and renewal grant applications for the 2018/2019 academic year will open during the first week of April 2018. Further details available at www.susi.ie


Third Level Bursary Scheme

In 2012, the then Minister for Education and Skills Ruairí Quinn T.D. established a scheme of bursaries for students from DEIS schools based on Leaving Certificate examination results.

Applications are not needed for these bursaries as they are awarded on a regional basis (Dublin, rest of Leinster, Munster and Connaught/Ulster) based on Leaving Certificate results achieved in 2018

All Ireland Scholarship Scheme

The All Ireland Scholarship Scheme is administered by the Department of Education & Skills and funded by J.P. McManus. No applications are necessary for the All Ireland Scholarships as they are awarded based on the Leaving Certificate exam results achieved in 2018. They are available to first-time Leaving Certificate students who have been exempt from paying the Leaving Certificate exam fee and who have attended non-fee paying post primary schools.

Further information is available on the All Ireland Scholarship website.

Fitness to Practise:

1. Garda Vetting: Before a Higher Education Institution can complete a student registration, the Higher Education Institution requires that all incoming teacher education students are required to undergo a process of Garda vetting in order to establish whether they have any convictions or criminal charges pending. Where this process confirms the existence of such, the matter is referred to a Vetting Committee within the Institution which decides whether the student can continue with his/her programme of study.

2. Medical Requirements: Some Higher Education Institutions require that all incoming teacher education students complete a medical information form, indicating whether they have any significant ongoing illnesses or disabilities which might adversely impact their capacity to meet the requirements of the course, including School Placement. Entrants who declare health conditions, disabilities or psychological conditions will be assessed on an individual basis to evaluate whether, with reasonable accommodations, they would have the ability to undertake the demands of the programme. Individuals will not be excluded on the grounds that they possess a particular condition or disability if it is deemed likely that it would be possible for that person to fulfil the requirements of the course with reasonable accommodation(s). The Higher Education Institutions will advise students as to the procedure to be followed in this regard.

Appendix 1

Higher Education Institutions – Contact Details

Marino Institute of Education

Griffith Avenue

Dublin 9

Telephone: (01) 805 7742

Email: admissions@mie.ie

Website: www.mie.ie

Froebel Department of Primary and Early Childhood Education

Maynooth University

Maynooth, Co. Kildare

Telephone: (01) 708 3822

Email: admissions@mu.ie

Website: www.maynoothuniversity.ie

Mary Immaculate College

South Circular Road


Telephone: (061) 204 300

Email: admissions@mic.ul.ie

Website: www.mic.ul.ie

DCU Institute of Education

DCU St Patrick’s Campus


Dublin 9

Telephone: (01) 8842212

Telephone: 01-8842212
Email: ioe@dcu.ie

Appendix 2

Minimum Qualifications in GC(S)E and GCE AS and A Level Examinations for admission to the Bachelor of Education Degree Course


• Six subjects must be presented, at least three subjects at GCE A Level and the remaining subjects at GCE AS or GC(S)E level. The six subjects must include Irish, English and Mathematics.

• A subject may be counted from only one of the examinations, GC(S)E, GCE AS Level or GCE A Level.

• Only subjects taken at one sitting of a particular examination, GC(S)E, GCE AS Level or GCE A Level, will be accepted. Examinations taken in the same academic year are regarded as the same sitting.

Specific requirements in Irish, English & Mathematics.

• Grade C at GCE A level in at least three subjects, including Irish

  • Grade C at GC(S)E Level in both English and English Literature, or Grade B at GC(S)E Level in either
  • Grade D at GC(S)E Level in Additional Mathematics or Grade C at GC(S)E Level in Mathematics
  • Grade C in one other subject at GC(S)E level

Applicants must satisfy the matriculation requirements of the University to which the Higher Education Institution is affiliated.

Appendix 3

Leaving Cert Grading Schemes (1992-2016 Scheme and New Scheme 2017)

1992 – 2016 Scheme

% Awarded

New Scheme 2017 onwards

% Awarded



H1 / O1




H2 / O2






H3 / O3






H4 / O4






H5 / O5






H6 / O6












You will need to complete an application form, provide two written references and return to the Admissions Office at MIC. Late entrants may be accepted, if there are places available. All students enrolled on the programme are required to be Garda Vetted (€50 Charge).

Closing date for receipt of completed applications is Friday 24th August, and interviews will be on Friday 7th September.

For more information about fees for this programme, please go to the postgraduate fees 2017-18 page – click here

For Course Information: Application Forms: Click here.
Contact the Course Co-ordinator: Margaret O’Keeffe Faculty of Education, MIC South Circular Road, Limerick 061-204526 Margaret.okeeffe@mic.ul.ie Contact the Admissions Office: Lillian Monahan, The Admissions Office MIC South Circular Road, Limerick 061-204348 Email: admissions@mic.ul.ie

Application Form: here.

Mary Immaculate College, South Circular Road, Limerick, Tel:+35361 204300  V94VN26

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