MA/PG Dip (Arts) in Inclusive and Special Education

Our online inclusive and special education programme

This flexible programme in the field of special education has been developed jointly by Hibernia College and the Institute of Child Education and Psychology (ICEP) Europe. Gain the knowledge, skills, values and competencies to provide inclusive education.

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Programme Type: Postgraduate Diploma/ Master of Arts

Next Intakes: September 2024, January 2025

NFQ: Level 9
ECTS: PG Dip (60), MA (90),

each module (15)

Academic Validation: QQI

Duration: Self-paced

About the
MA/PG Dip (Arts) in Inclusive and Special Education

The MA/PG Dip (Arts) in Inclusive and Special Education has been designed in conjunction with ICEP Europe to meet the professional and personal needs of educators working with learners with special and additional learning needs in diverse educational settings.

Our part-time, online programme will empower early years, primary, post-primary and special education teachers with the knowledge, skills, values and competencies to provide an inclusive and quality education for all. It will be of particular interest to special education teachers and those who may wish to take on coordinating or leadership roles in a range of educational contexts relevant to inclusion and special education. It may also be relevant to other professionals involved in the education and support of learners with additional needs.

The programme aims to give educators a thorough professional knowledge and understanding of special educational needs and learning difficulties and is underpinned by the latest national and international research.

The modular structure and online model of delivery make this programme particularly suitable for educators seeking a more flexible postgraduate option due to personal circumstances, work or other commitments.

The programme enables educators to acquire a deep understanding of core issues within the field of inclusive and special education. Educators will develop their skillsets and acquire knowledge and expertise in carrying out educational research relevant to inclusion and learners with diverse, special or additional needs.

Graduates may use the knowledge and skills developed during the programme to expand their career opportunities — to become more specialised lead teachers in their schools, to take on educational leadership or management roles, or to work in the field of education policy and practice. Others may continue their studies to doctorate level.

It also enables educators and others to become change agents within schools, other educational settings and the wider education community by promoting and leading inclusive pedagogy through innovative, evidence-informed practice underpinned by a research culture in inclusive and special education.

The College operates a Recognition of Prior Learning Policy for entry into the programme, and applicants with previous learning in a relevant area may be able to have it formally recognised by the College as part of this programme. Those who may wish to be considered under this policy should email

Once you submit your application, you will receive an offer within 5 days.

Please note that this programme is not a route to a Teaching Council number. If you wish to complete an initial teacher qualification, please refer to our PME programmes.

In conjunction with

Entry Requirements

Applicants must hold a minimum of a Pass, or equivalent, in an honours bachelor’s degree at NFQ Level 8 in a relevant area.

To apply, applicants must provide their official Level 8 transcript (or above), showing their overall result and total ECTS credits awarded.

English Language Proficiency

An applicant whose first language/primary mode of expression is not English will be required to produce evidence of English competence. The required proficiency level is B2+ or higher in the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR).

This blended programme will be delivered mainly online, providing a flexible route to specialist training for educators. It will be offered on a modular, part-time basis for maximum flexibility.

The Postgraduate Diploma in Arts in Inclusive and Special Education comprises four taught modules (15 ECTS each) and can be completed in one year. Students can take longer if they wish.

The Master of Arts in Inclusive and Special Education comprises four taught modules (15 ECTS each) and a Research Methods and Thesis module (30 ECTS). It can be completed in two years or more.

The programme is set up to be flexible, agile and individualised, allowing participants to tailor modules to their own professional specialisation, research areas and personal interests.

Modules are delivered over a 12-week period as distance learning modules, with live classes delivered every second week. Participants will have the opportunity to interact with peers in online class discussions. Modules are based on continuous assessment, and there are no exams.


Inclusive Education and Special Education Needs is a core module (15 ECTS) and must be completed in the first teaching term.

Participants can then choose three of the following elective modules:

  • General Learning Disabilities: Understanding and Best Practice (15 ECTS)
  • Dyslexia and Literacy (15 ECTS)
  • Understanding Autism: Effective Management and Teaching Strategies (15 ECTS)
  • Understanding Behaviour as Communication (15 ECTS)

Those progressing to MA level will also complete a Research Methods and Thesis module (30 ECTS).

Application Fee

€65—paid as part of the online application process

Tuition Fees: Postgraduate Diploma in Arts in Inclusive and Special Education

There are four taught modules (15 ECTS each) and each module costs €1,250.

Fees must be paid in full before the commencement of the modules each term. The total programme fee is €5,000.

Tuition Fees: Master of Arts in Inclusive and Special Education

There are four taught modules (15 ECTS each) and a Research Methods and Thesis module (30 ECTS). Pricing is €1,250 for each of the taught modules, and it is €4,000 for the Research Methods and Thesis module.

Fees must be paid in full before the commencement of the modules each term. The total programme fee is €9,000.

How to Pay Tuition Fees

The application fee is paid online and must be paid in full before an application can be processed. Instalment payment of tuition fees is to be made by bank transfer. Per module payments can be made by credit card.

QQI Certification Fee

A QQI (Quality & Qualifications Ireland) Certification Fee is applicable in the award stage of all QQI programmes. The applicable Certification Fee for the BSc (hons) in Nursing in General Nursing is €200.

Loan Facility

INTO Credit Union and TUI Credit Union have both formulated a loan facility that may interest you. For more information about the INTO Credit Union loan, visit this website. For more information about the TUI Credit Union loan, visit this website.

Tax Relief

Hibernia College is an approved college for the purposes of s.474 of the Taxes Consolidation Act, 1997. For further information, go to the Revenue website.

Teacher Refund Scheme

If you are registered with The Teaching Council, you may also be eligible for the Teacher Refund Scheme. To find out more, read about it on the Department of Education website.

If you have any questions, please contact our Enrolment team at +353 (0)1 661 0168 (press 2) between 9 AM and 5 PM Monday to Friday. You are also welcome to email

Student Support

Support for Students

Administrative and technical support teams, faculty and tutors are committed to helping students meet academic and career goals while having a positive experience. Students can draw from a range of available support to navigate big and small questions.

Learn More About ICEP Europe

This programme has been developed jointly with the Institute of Child Education and Psychology (ICEP) Europe. Learn more about the partnership and programme in our interview with Dr Deirdre MacIntyre, Founding Director of ICEP Europe.

Student Experiences

Are you curious about studying at Hibernia College? Alumni Overall Student Prize 23, Aislinn Dillon shares her reasons for choosing Hibernia College, her prior experience, research and careers. ‘The first compulsory module on inclusion, focusing on legislation and practice, was my favourite. It engagingly traced the path from segregation to meaningful inclusion, highlighting the importance of equity, diversity, and social justice in the Irish context.’ –Aislinn Dillon

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