BA in Education, Gaeilge & Business Studies (MI012)
Places Offered: Up to 30
The BA in Education, Gaeilge and Business Studies programme (post-primary) is a four-year, full-time, undergraduate concurrent teacher education degree (Level 8), currently offered at MIC, St Patrick’s Campus, Thurles. Graduates are qualified to teach Irish and Business Studies to honours Leaving Certificate level.
Why study on this programme?
Graduates of the programme will:
- Demonstrate subject knowledge, curriculum process and content, and professional knowledge
- Engage in critical and analytical thinking, problem-solving, reflection and self-evaluation
- Engage in planning, teaching, learning, assessment, classroom management and organisation for the classroom and the school as a learning organisation
- Articulate a commitment to and vision for the development of the uniqueness of the pupil in all its dimensions
- Integrate and apply knowledge skills, attitudes and values in complex and unpredictable educational settings
- Exhibit strong interpersonal skill and a readiness to be leaders and innovators of curriculum change
- Demonstrate a commitment to lifelong personal and professional development and actively participate in professional learning communities
Students are educated in the most current methodologies and technologies available to enhance the teaching of their subject areas at post-primary level. The degree programme includes four years of modules in Irish and Religious Studies. These are taken concurrently with education modules which include theoretical, pedagogical and professional studies along with a number of school placement experiences. The Teaching Council requires Irish language teachers to have spent a minimum of three months on residential placement in a designated Gaeltacht area prior to registering with it. Four weeks of this residential placement will be in the form of a compulsory Cúrsa Gaeltachta organised by the College.
The School Placement element of the programme is designed to meet the Teaching Council’s requirements, and students will spend approximately 21 weeks in schools during the programme. This period will allow students to engage in observation, class-based and whole-school teaching and learning activities. Working in partnership with schools, the placements are designed to enable students experience class levels from junior to senior cycle within a range of school types, where the student is guided and empowered along his/her learning-to-teach journey. The level and range of teaching and learning activities increases from School Placement 1 to School Placement 4 and the student is assisted by the placement tutors and cooperating teachers to ensure that his/her practice is reflective of professional knowledge and his/her own personal commitment to the pupils’ well-being and learning. There is an integrated focus on subject knowledge and also inclusion and differentiation for each placement. Placements occur at four points in the programme:
- Teaching and Learning 1 - Year 1, Semester 2: Students are given the opportunity to observe teaching in practice for one week in a senior primary classroom. This observation placement provides an opportunity for students to gain an insight into the interconnection between primary and post-primary education.
The placement inducts student teachers into the practice of teaching and reflection.
- School Placement 1 - Year 2, Semester 4: The focus for this six-week School Placement is on lesson planning and preparation, scheme planning and developing effective teaching strategies in their subject areas. There is also a strong emphasis on the development of critical and reflective practice, and on developing an understanding of schools as organisations. Both observation and teaching elements are integrated into this placement which is located at Junior Cycle level and /or Transition Year level. This School Placement marks the beginning of their Professional Portfolio, to be completed on an ongoing basis throughout the remainder of the degree programme.
- School Placement 2 - Year 3, Semester 6: In this two week placement, students will work in special settings including the possibility of an international placement. The purpose of this placement is to support the student in becoming an inclusive teacher and to develop their confidence and competence in responding to diverse needs in the classroom.
- School Placement 3 and 4 will run simultaneously over 12 weeks. School Placement 3 addresses the whole school elements of the extended placement beyond the classroom and provides structure to the student’s whole school learning throughout the placement including the continuation of the Professional Portfolio. In School Placement 4 the student teachers will plan, prepare and implement schemes of work and lesson plans in their subject areas at Junior and Senior Cycle level. There will be a strong emphasis on reflective practice throughout these modules.
Students will undertake two Gaeltacht placements (two separate blocks each of two weeks) throughout their programme, normally at the end of Year 1 and at the end of Year 3. This is a compulsory component of the degree programme. On completion of each placement students will undertake a project (Tionscnamh Gaeltachta), on aspects of their learning in the Gaeltacht and this assessment will contribute to the students’ grades in two designated Irish modules. Students will experience two of the principal dialects of Irish during the two placements.
Through immersion in Irish the placement aims to:
- Enhance students’ communicative competence, in the context of their future role as teachers of Irish and of other subjects through the medium of Irish, as well as users of Irish as a living language in the school community. Such competence will be demonstrated by reference to agreed learning outcomes;
- Enhance their knowledge and understanding of the life and culture of the Gaeltacht;
- Be an enjoyable experience, which enhances student teachers’ love of Irish as a language and their confidence in speaking it.
During the placement each week should encompass 35 hours learning activities, of which at least 20 hours will be comprised of formal classes. Formal classes will take place in the morning. Afternoon workshops will allow students to enhance their knowledge and linguistic competence in post-primary school curricular areas.
This programme places great emphasis on teaching and research and as part of their development as research-active teachers, students undertake an Undergraduate Dissertation. The dissertation can be in either education or a subject discipline. Students begin the preparation for the dissertation in Year 3 where they undertake their research methods module.
This programme is accredited by the Teaching Council and has been developed in response to the growing need for excellence in teaching at post-primary level. The programme prepares graduates for their roles in all areas of professional life in education.
The following list demonstrates just some of the careers our graduates have pursued:
- Post-primary teacher
- Retail Management
- Marketing and PR
- Human Resource Management
- Training and Development
- Educational Management
- Irish Language Media
- Irish Language Promotion
Undergraduate Entrance Scholarships
MIC will offer for competition, on the basis of results in the Irish Leaving Certificate Examination, five First Year Undergraduate Entrant Scholarships, to entrants on the MIC, St Patrick’s Campus, Thurles programmes, valued at €2,000 each. Further information available here.