Photo of Áine Murphy

Alumni profile

Áine Murphy

PME in Post-Primary Education



Currently on maternity leave


Bachelor of Arts in Finance and Accounting in Maynooth University, ACCA qualified


Hibernia College Research Prize

Why did you choose teaching and why Hibernia College? 

I wanted to work in a career where I felt I was making a positive difference to other people and where I could demonstrate my passion for my subject areas, so teaching was always there in the back of my mind. My Mam was an adult literacy teacher, and I grew up seeing the genuine difference she was able to make as part of her career. The Covid-19 pandemic gave me the push I needed to seriously look into a career in teaching, and Hibernia College offered the flexibility I needed to complete the course while working and looking after my young family.

What field of work or study were you in before you started your PME? 

I initially completed a Bachelor of Arts in Finance and Accounting in Maynooth University and went on to qualify as an accountant with the ACCA. At the time of completing my degree, I worked in a local tax consultant’s office, which instilled my passion for working with numbers. I then went on to work in practice in Dublin before moving to industry, where, as well as my accountancy work itself, I enjoyed training new staff and helping others in the workplace. This further inspired me to look into the prospect of teaching.

Can you tell us a bit about your research project and why you focused on this area? 

My research project focused on improving numeracy as I found from my school placement experiences that a number of students found everyday numeracy concepts difficult. Life skills such as numeracy were also something that were oftentimes lacking in the workplace, and I wanted my research to make a difference and to be applicable to my teaching subjects as well as students’ everyday lives. We live in a world surrounded by technology, which has so many advantages, but, unfortunately, the downside to this is the automation and reliance factors that technology also creates. So, I also wanted to study ways in which technology could be used positively when incorporating numeracy in my lessons.

Now that you have graduated, what are your plans? 

I hope to secure a teaching contract in the next academic year so that I can then put into practice the concepts I researched to further develop effective ways of incorporating numeracy and improving students’ numeracy skills. I hope to further my studies; I have looked into a professional diploma in mathematics for teaching, but also, once I have gained sufficient teaching experience, I would like to look into the prospect of guidance counselling.

What piece of advice would you give to any person considering starting a PME?

Completing the PME is hard work but worth it. Try to stay ahead of yourself and try not to leave assignments to the last minute. Dedicate the time needed and you will reap the benefits. Organisation is key; plan your lessons and create your resources — this not only helps you, but your students will also appreciate your efforts. The completion of the course might appear daunting at first, but it is manageable; I was able to continue part-time working while also having a small family to care for, so if I can do it, anyone can.

Take the next step