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Professional Master of Education (Primary Teaching)

Applications are closed. Please read the important notice on the 'How to Apply' Section, with updated information on the PME.
  • Programme Overview
  • Programme Content
  • Entry Requirements
  • How to Apply
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  • Programme Overview

    The Professional Master of Education (Primary Teaching) is a two-year, full-time Level 9 postgraduate professional teacher education programme designed to qualify graduates as primary teachers. A key element of the PME is practice-oriented inquiry where students interrogate experiences and forge new understandings, integrating educational theory and practice through structured reflection and research applications. The programme is designed to equip student teachers with the cognitions and competencies necessary to develop creative and flexible approaches to teaching in different contexts and settings embracing pupils with diverse and often complex needs.

    Key Features

    Thematic in nature, the programme focuses iteratively on students’ role as learner, teacher, researcher and leader. In addition to the established broad range of curriculum and foundation studies areas studied traditionally within ITE programmes at MIC, this programme contains a strong spine of three research methods modules which culminate in the Reporting Educational Research module. The research modules provide students with a critical introduction to the principal methods in educational research; identify educational research issues and questions, and consider appropriate methods of investigating them.

    This course provides students with the opportunity to spend two Tréimhse Foghlama sa Ghaeltacht across their two years.

    A range of assessment modes are employed across the two year programme, comprising written examinations and course work including group presentations and Blended Learning; summer modules such as ‘Leadership and Policy’ are undertaken by the students in an online format.

    Professional Placement & Career Opportunities

    The students have the opportunity to undertake a number of school placement experiences across a range of classes over the course of the two years and assessment and mentoring supports the student during this process. Assessment of school placement and micro-teaching is also a core component of this programme.

    On successful completion of the course, graduates are qualified to teach all classes in the primary school


    Dr Margaret Nohilly

    T: +353 61 774744


    MIC Admissions Office


    Programme Content

    Programme Aims

    The Professional Master of Education (PME) seeks to foster in graduate teacher education students a spirit of justice and compassion in the service of others and the creation of a democratic setting where all have the freedom and opportunity to achieve their full potential. The PME aims to develop graduate students' knowledge, skills, beliefs, and values in ways that support the development of professionals who:

    • Promote and maintain a strong commitment to education and teaching and to the quality of the educational experiences of their pupils
    • Respect and value childhood and help children to unlock and realise their potential.
    • Value their identity as learners, teachers, researchers and future leaders
    • Recognise the dignity of the individual graduate student of education who brings her/his own unique identity, prior experience and expertise to the teaching profession
    • Comprehensively understand, respect, question and think critically about knowledge and who can adapt this knowledge within the complexities of their educational research and practice
    • Are committed to promoting rich, innovative, flexible, creative learner-centred environments
    • Seek to develop their personal and professional qualities including creativity, enthusiasm, risk-taking, commitment, responsibility and innovation, all of which equip teachers to actively contribute and respond positively to change in Irish society in the twenty-first century
    • Promote the vision of the teacher as researcher and critically reflective practitioner who engages with inquiry-based examination and consideration of all aspects of professional practice, linked to a commitment of the teacher
    • Challenge and confront social injustice and inequality as they see them in the class, playground and in the community, thus helping them to become agents of change.
    • Are empowered to recognise, appreciate and accommodate difference
    • Understand, recognise and imbue the pivotal contribution of educational research to teacher formation
    • Recognise leadership as an intrinsic component of teacher education

    Year 1:
    Semester 1 provides a strong foundation in many curricular areas, foundation disciplines and research methods as well as introducing students to School Placement. Blending subject-specific pedagogies with modules which interrogate contemporary issues in education in a context of campus-based and school-based learning opportunities, students will be enabled to achieve deep insights into teaching and learning early in the programme.

    Semester 2 builds on and extends the knowledge, skills and understanding gained in Semester 1. Semester 2 culminates in a prolonged school placement offering students an opportunity to apply learning in practice.

    A summer school programme is an integral part of the first year of this master’s programme. This summer school includes a Tréimhse Foghlama sa Ghaeltacht and students return to campus following their period in the Gaeltacht to complete an oral Irish examination. In addition, students complete two on-line modules; in the Leadership and Policy module provides an intensive immersion experience into the field of educational research where students explore fundamental theories and enduring questions in the field of educational leadership and policy. Within the Research Methods 2 module research principles, theories and approaches are explored leading to the completion of students’ research ethics application. 

    Year 2:
    Semester 3 builds on the knowledge, skills and attitudes gained during Year 1 through curricular areas, foundation disciplines and research methods. Inclusive and Special Education is a discrete focus of this Semester through both a taught module and a specific school placement. Students will develop their research proposal during this Semester and engage in data collection and analysis. A significant element of Semester 3 will be the parallel focus of teaching, learning and research highlighting the multi-faceted nature of the role of the teacher and the teaching profession. Students work individually with allocated supervisors with significant expertise in the students’ chosen field. Students will submit their educational research report during Semester 4.

    Semester 4 is primarily devoted to prolonged school placement and the application of knowledge, skills and attitudes acquired through Semesters 1, 2 and 3. A key feature of Semester 4 is the completion and presentation of a professional portfolio which will provide an opportunity to link practice with theory, to engage deeply with subject matter and pedagogical content and to participate in reflective dialogue about teaching and learning. It will provide a structure for documenting and reflecting on students’ assumptions, understandings, experiences and achievements during their teacher education programme.
    This Summer School programme includes the second Tréimhse Foghlama sa Ghaeltacht.

    Entry Requirements

    The Department of Education and Skills has approved the Professional Master of Education (Primary Teaching) programme to run again in September 2020. There will be 60 places available at Mary Immaculate College. Closing date for receipt of completed applications was 5pm on Monday 30 March 2020. Interview dates are subject to review following ongoing developments with COVID-19.

    For 2020, the Leaving Certificate minimum requirements for the PME are as follows:

    • Irish - H5
    • English - H7 or O5
    • Maths - H7 or O6

    For Leaving Certificate Grading Schemes (1992-2016 Scheme and New Scheme 2017), click here.

    For Department of Education and Skills Requirements for Entry 2020 click here.

    Note: The Oral Irish Exam requirements were changed in 2019, and the requirements for 2020 are detailed below:-

    Oral Irish Exam for 2020

    For 2020, candidates wishing to apply for the PME Programme will be required to take an Oral Irish exam before applying to MIC for the programme.

    Applicants will be required to take the Teastas Eorpach Gaeilge (TEG) Level B1 Oral Irish Examination. Full details on the exam are on the website: Registration is now open, and the closing date for TEG online applications is 12 noon on Wednesday 8 January 2020.  The closing date for application for the additional TEG exam in late February is Friday 14th February 2020.

    TEG Exam Dates: 24/25 January 2020 and 7/8 February 2020.

    Extra TEG Exam Date: 29th February 2020 in Maynooth only

    Candidates can appeal their TEG result up to 16 March 2020, and finalised marks will be issued on 23 March 2020.

    A minimum of 65% must be obtained in the TEG exam to be eligible to apply for the PME Programme. Applicants for the PME must achieve the 65% or higher prior to the closing date for PME applications (30 March 2020) to satisfy the entry requirements.

    Candidates must include their results from TEG Level B1 Oral Irish exam as part of their application to MIC for the PME programme. Applicants who are successful in TEG and who meet all other entry requirements will be required to take a general interview as part of the entrance process.

    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% in the TEG oral exam in the last two years are eligible to apply.

    The following TEG certificates from 2018 and 2019 will be accepted:-

    TEG Meánleibhéal 1 (B1) with a mark of 65% or higher/a pass or higher at TEG Meánleibhéal 2 (B2)/a pass or higher at TEG Ardleibhéal 1 (C1)

    Additional marks are awarded for students who complete the TEG Oral Examination at a high Level.

    • Up to 10 additional marks may be awarded for students who successfully complete the TEG oral examination at a high level and these marks will be added to their interview score. Candidates achieving from 90-100% receive 10 additional marks, candidates achieving from 80-89% receive 5 additional marks.
    • Candidates who complete the TEG oral examination and obtain 65-79% receive no additional marks, but are deemed to have passed the test and are eligible for the programme.
    • Candidates who have passed higher levels of TEG (B2, C1 and C2) receive 10 additional marks.

    These marks can only be added to the scores of candidates who have completed the higher level of TEG prior to the closing date for applications.

    How to Apply

    Applications are closed. Interview dates are subject to review following ongoing developments with COVID-19.


    We would like to inform you that all applications received for the PME have been acknowledged by email.  If there is any outstanding documentation to follow your application such as certified leaving cert or degree results, we would ask you to email them to  Please do not post them in as staff are now working remotely from home.  Please note that applications received without documentation will be fully processed, and it will not affect your application in any way.

    Please keep an eye on this section of the website for any further developments.

    Autumn 2020/21 semester begins on Monday 28 September. Please note: This date is subject to change based on Government COVID-19 guidelines.

    Fees: Click here.

    For any queries on the PME application process, please email the Admissions Office at with the subject heading PME.

    Interview Form (used to assess each candidate at interview) click here.

    MIC Admissions Office

    Ask a Question

  • Programme Overview
  • Programme Content
  • Entry Requirements
  • How to Apply
  • Ask a Question