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Our Accessible Primary Teaching Course

Are you passionate about teaching young children? With a Professional Master of Education (PME) from Hibernia College, you can register to work as a primary teacher with the Teaching Council of Ireland. You’ll learn to nurture the intellectual and personal development of children, and have the opportunity to instil a love of learning that will remain with them their entire lives. Prior teaching experience is not required to apply. 

Our PME programme prepares students to become the best teachers they can be.

Reasons to Study with Us

  • Accessibility

    Study from anywhere in Ireland with our PME in Primary Education programme. Our flexible, blended learning approach only requires travel to face-to-face events, Gaeltacht and school placements.
  • Experience

    With nearly 20 years’ experience in initial teacher education, we are Ireland’s largest provider of primary teacher education. Our 10,000 alumni are working at all levels of the Irish education system and across the world.
  • Support

    Our online and face-to-face tuition comprises dedicated faculty, tutors, administrative and technical support, all of whom are committed to helping students meet their academic and career goals.
  • Faculty

    Our programme is created by teachers, for teachers. Our dedicated and published faculty are educators and active researchers at the forefront of the field of primary education.
  • Learn more about studying with us and our approach to blended learning here.

Primary Teaching Course

The Professional Master of Education (PMEin Primary Education is a 120-credit award at Level 9 delivered over 24 monthsIt is a blended learning programme, combining online and face-to-face delivery to develop professionals positioned to be leaders in the field of primary education. 

The programme consists of a sequence of modules that reflect contemporary issues in education and the skills and knowledge required to be primary school teachers who enable effective student learning. Our emphasis on research ensures that student teachers understand teaching a form of self-critical learning. Student teachers are trained to use evidence-based reflection to continually improve their practice.

What Our Students Say

Hear from former students in our Alumni Profiles. Almuni offer advice to anyone considering the PME programme. They share their own reasons for choosing Hibernia College, prior experience, research during the programme and career plans. 

Key Information

  • Start Dates:

    Spring and Autumn
    (start dates approximately April and September)
  • Duration:

    24 months
  • Next Intakes:

    Autumn 2021, Spring 2022
  • Application Fee:

  • Academic Accreditation:

  • Professional Accreditation:

    The Teaching Council
  • Gaeilge:

    4 weeks in the Gaeltacht
    (e.g. two weeks in each year)
  • School Experience:

    24 weeks in total
  • Tuition Fees:

    ▪ On acceptance of place: €1,000 deposit and €50 Garda Vetting fee
    ▪ 1st instalment (before course begins): €6,500
    ▪ 2nd instalment (approx. 10 months later): €7,500
    ▪ Additional costs include Gaeltacht: €1,500 (total cost for both Gaeltacht terms - €750 to be paid before July of each year)

Programme Structure

  • Online Tutorials

    You should expect to have approximately 3-4 tutorials each week (Mon.-Fri.). Tutorials are 1-1.5 hours in length and occur typically between the hours of 6-9 p.m. Please note that these classes are live and you will be expected to attend at the times stated.
  • Face-to-Face Lectures

    You will meet approximately two Saturdays per month at a regional study centre from 9:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Locations for the centres are determined closer to the start of term as locations are based on where our students are located. There will also be a number of on-site weeks.
  • School Experience

    You will complete 24 weeks school experience in total throughout the programme. Placements are broken down into two 7-week blocks and one 10-week block. Students arrange their own placements, and at least two of the placements must be in different schools.
  • Gaeltacht

    You will be required to spend 4 weeks in the Gaeltacht (e.g. two weeks in each year). Additional costs are incurred for each Gaeltacht stay. All Gaeltacht placements are organised by the College.
  • Assessments

    The course is assessed on a continual basis. Assessments include but are not limited to essays, reflective journals, presentations, practical demonstrations, learning logs, a research project, written exams, portfolio submissions and a mini-thesis of 10,000 words.
  • Required Study and Attendance

    It’s recommended that you set aside approximately 37 hours per week for study, including tutorials and classes. The programme is 24 continuous months with a short break at Christmas and in summer. The programme is full-time, delivered through a blended learning model, and full attendance is required.
  • Additional Programme Details

    Click here for the module breakdown.

Hibernia College is monitoring the changing situation in relation to COVID-19. All School Placement and Gaeltacht arrangements, dates and procedures are regularly reviewed in line with the most recent health and safety advice. The College reserves the right to make any changes as it sees fit.


  • September 2021

    Programme commences
  • September – December 2021

    Online and face-to-face events and assessments
  • October 2021

    1 week of face-to-face classes
  • November 2021

    Foundations Observation
  • January 2022

  • January – March 2022

    Online and face-to-face events and
  • February 2022

    3 days of face-to-face events
  • March – May 2022

    School Placement 1
  • April – June 2022

    Online and face-to-face events and
  • July 2022

    1 week of face-to-face classes
  • July 2022

  • July 2022

    Gaeltacht 1
  • July 2022

  • August – September 2022

    Online and face-to-face events and
  • October – November 2022

    School Placement 2
  • November 2022 – January 2023

    Online and face-to-face events and
  • February – May 2023

    Advanced School Placement
  • June 2023

    Research Project
  • June – July 2023

    Online events
  • July 2023

    Gaeltacht 2
  • July 2023

  • July 2023

    Programme ends
  • September – November 2023



Application Fee

Tuition Fees
▪ On acceptance of place: €1,000 deposit and €50 Garda Vetting fee
▪ 1st instalment (before course begins): €6,500
▪ 2nd instalment (approx. 10 months later): €7,500 
▪ Additional costs include: Gaeltacht (€1,500 – total cost for both Gaeltacht terms – €750 to be paid before July of each year) 

How to Pay Tuition Fees
The application fee is paid online and must be paid in full before an application can be processed. Payment of tuition fees are to be made by bank transfer. 

Loan Facility
INTO Credit Union has formulated a loan facility that may interest you. Please click here for more information.

Tax Relief
Under current Revenue rules, tax relief is available if you are eligible at the standard rate of income tax (20%) for qualifying tuition fees. From September 2017, subject to compliance with Revenue regulations, students who are eligible will be able to claim approximately €800 per year in tax relief over the 2 years of the course, thereby reducing the actual cost of the course to €15,000 – €1,600 = €13,400. For further information, please click here

Please note that the above, provided for information purposes, is of a general nature and is not a substitute for formal advice on taxation matters. We recommend, where necessary, you seek professional advice in relation to taxation matters. 

Enrolled Learner Protection Insurance

Hibernia College has approval, under s.65 (4) (b) of the Qualifications and Quality Assurance (Education and Training) Act 2012, to offer students Learner Protection Insurance. For more details, click here.

Entry Requirements

An undergraduate degree at Level 8 or higher on the National Framework of Qualifications (NFQ) which has an ECTS weighting of at least 180 credits.  

The grade and subject of the degree are not relevant for the purpose of meeting the minimum entry requirements.

Please note that an NFQ Level 8 Higher Diploma on its own does not fulfil this requirement. 

Department of Education and Skills Minimum Leaving Certificate Entry Requirements

Subject Grade
Irish C2 Higher Level H4
English C2 Ordinary Level O4
E Higher Level H7
Maths C2 Ordinary Level O4
E Higher Level H7


GCSE/GCE A Level Requirements

  • Minimum grade C in GCE A level Irish
  • Minimum grade C in GCSE English
  • Minimum grade C in GCSE English Literature
  • Minimum grade D in GCSE Additional Mathematics or
  • Minimum grade C at GCSE level in Mathematics

Alternative Requirements

Alternatives to English, Irish and Mathematics Requirements

  • A pass in a University First Arts exam in the appropriate subject, NFQ Level 8

Alternatives to Irish Requirement

  • Diploma in Arts (Applied Irish) from University College Cork
  • Dioplóma sa Ghaeilge, level B2 from NUI Galway
  • Dioplóma sa Ghaeilge Fheidhmeach from University College Dublin
  • Dioplóma sa Ghaeilge from NUI Maynooth
  • Diploma in Irish from the University of Ulster
  • Teastas Eorpach na Gaeilge (TEG) Leibhéal B2 (Meánleibhéal 2)
  • Minimum grade C in the NUI matriculation exam (pre-1992)

Alternatives to Mathematics Requirement

  • A Pass grade obtained in Mathematics in the Matriculation Examination (which existed up to 1992)
  • A merit grade (65-79%) or distinction grade (80-100%) obtained in QQI Level 5 Mathematics Course (5N 1833)


Please note that the above are the only accepted entry requirements as set by the Department of Education and Skills (DES). As these are DES imposed requirements, unfortunately the College will not be in a position to accept any alternative qualifications. 

Additional Information

Garda Vetting
Hibernia College offers 
programmes of study that require participants to work with children and/or other vulnerable groups. For this reason, successful applicants will be required to complete and sign a Garda Vetting Invitation Form. By completing and signing the Garda Vetting Invitation Form, the applicant is granting permission to Hibernia College to process details of any prosecutions/convictions for the purpose of assessing the candidate’s suitability for the course for which he/she has applied and the completion of work placements associated with the course. 

Primary Degree Level
If you are unsure of the level of your primary degree, contact the conferring college or university
, the awarding body or  the National Qualifications Authority of Ireland at In order to gain entry to the programme, candidates are required to possess a Level 8 award as per the NFQ. While Hibernia College will make every effort at the time of application to check the level of the award and notify applicants if the College believes there may be a concern with their qualification, it is each applicant’s responsibility to check the level of their award. Hibernia College will not be held responsible in the unlikely event a graduate of the PME programme is refused admission to the Register of Teachers. 

Mature Students
Note that there are no concessions for mature students. All applicants must meet the same minimum entry requirements to be considered for admission to the 
programme, and all applicants who meet those requirements will be called for interview. 


All applicants who are deemed to have met the entry requirements and who have submitted a fully completed application form with supporting documentation and have paid the application fee will be invited to interview. 

We strongly encourage applicants to submit their completed application form as early as possible. 


Once your online application has been reviewed and processed, you will be called for an interview. The interview will comprise of a 20-minute general component and approximately 10 minutes of an oral Irish component to determine your language proficiency, including but not limited to conversational fluency including verb usage, vocabulary, grammar and tenses. To improve your Irish language skills, we advise regular practice and completion of an Irish language course that will adequately prepare you for interview.  

Prior to interview, you should be speaking Irish conversationally for at least 30 minutes per day. It is also essential to comprehensively prepare for the general component of the interview, including your motivations for becoming a teacher and up-to-date knowledge of teaching in Ireland. 

Please also note that if you have achieved a minimum of 65% / B1 Teastas Eorpach na Gaeilge (oral) (TEG) this will be accepted in lieu of the Irish interview. 

General Interview

The general interview may focus on elements including but not limited to: 

  • The application form 
  • Communication skills 
  • Ability to demonstrate an excellent command of the English language 
  • The standard of preparation and presentation 
  • Familiarity with the modernday primary school classroom and curriculum 
  • Competencies relating to information technology 
  • Suitability for the programme 
  • Suitability for the profession 

Please note that this list is given as a guide only. 

Irish Interview

Gaeilge is a core subject of the primary curriculum and a good command of the language is necessary in the teaching profession.   

The PMEP is a Level 9 programme with two Gaeilge modules and you will be expected to study the language at that level. At interview, you must demonstrate a level of Gaeilge that proves your ability to teach the language effectively in the classroom.   

Before submitting your application, you should be able to hold a conversation through the Irish language for at least 30 minutes. The interview itself will be a 10-minute, fast-paced conversation assessing your use of tense and grammar and your general level of comfort speaking the language.  

How to prepare for the Irish Interview

Interview Scheduling

Acceptance and entry to the course is by interview. The process is as follows: 

  • Applications that are fully completed, with all supporting documentation, will be acknowledged by email. 
  • Applicants are placed in the queue for processing and will be issued with an invitation to book their interview by email, when interview dates become available. This email should be actioned as soon as possible.  
  • During busy periods, the waiting time for interview may be slightly longer. 
  • The Admissions Team will make contact directly, by phone or email, with any applicant that fails to book their interview within the timeframe specified in their invitation.  
  • Applicants will usually be given a notice period of approximately one week ahead of their allotted interview date and time. 
  • Interviews for Spring 2021 are taking place online, using ZOOM.  
  • Applicants are expected to attend at the scheduled time and date. 
  • Applicants must bring a valid photographic identification with them to the interview; this should be a current passport or driving license. If an applicant fails to present identification, the interview panel cannot proceed with the interview. 
  • Applicants will receive a reminder by email confirming the scheduled interview, meeting link and other important information. 
  • Applicants that fail to attend without prior notification will have their application cancelled automatically.  

Once an interview has been scheduled, in the unlikely event that an applicant has no choice but to cancel, the Admissions Team will 
endeavour to reschedule the interview. However, during busy periods or nearing the start date of the programme, this may not be possible. 

Please note that if you are not able to attend the interview on the date offered, it is important to communicate this to the Admissions Team at the earliest opportunity. 

Interview Outcome

  • The outcome of the interview will be that the applicant is recommended or not recommended for the programme. 
  • The outcome of the interview is communicated via email only and is not given to applicants by phone. 
  • Those who are unsuccessful in their application may only re-apply for a future intake (i.e. an applicant cannot submit more than one application for entry to each specific intake of a programme)This is on the condition that they have not exhausted their four available opportunities to apply.   
  • The maximum number of applications permitted to a programme is capped at four.  Those who are recommended will be made an offer for the next available cohort. To accept an offer, applicants must submit documentation and payment in accordance with the terms of the offer. 
  • Where the College has concerns about any individual failing to show genuine commitment to the commencement and/or completion of the programme following repeated applications/admissions, the College reserves the right to refuse future applications. In addition to this, in instances where an individual demonstrates that they do not have the potential to succeed on the programme and/or in the associated profession, the College reserves the right to refuse a subsequent application. 

How flexible is the programme?

The PME in Primary Education is a flexible programme, but requires a full-time commitment.
The following is a guideline of the commitment required: 

Online Tutorials
You should expect to have approximately 3-4 tutorials each week (Mon.-Fri.). Tutorials are 1-1.5 hours in length and occur typically between the hours of 69 p.m. Please note that these classes are live and you will be expected to attend at the times stated. 

Face-to-Face Lectures
You will meet approximately two Saturdays per month at a regional study centre from 9.30 a.m.-4.30 p.m. Locations for the centres are determined closer to the start of term as locations are based on where our students are located. There will also be a number of on-site weeks. 

School Experience
You will complete 24 weeks school experience in total throughout the programme. Placements are broken down into two 7-week blocks and one 10-week block. Students arrange their own placements, and at least two of the placements must be in different schools. 

You will be required to spend 4 weeks in the Gaeltacht (e.g. two weeks in each year).  

Is this a full-time or a part-time course?

The College does not provide verification that the programme is defined as full-time or part-time for the purposes of third parties, as those third parties have different definitions of these terms.

Do I need previous teaching experience?

No. It is not a requirement to have prior teaching experience to be eligible to apply for this programme. 

When is the next start date?

There are two start dates per year, in the spring and autumn, normally in April and September. 

Are there concessions for mature students?

Noand there is no upper age limit for enrolling on the programme. All applicants must meet the same minimum entry requirements to be considered for admission to the programme, and all applicants who meet those requirements will be called for interview. 

What is blended learning?

Blended learning is best understood as a ‘hybrid’ learning model consisting of online and traditional face-to-face tuition. Hibernia College programmes integrate online collaboration tools, multimedia content and digital communication technology with traditional face-to-face components, such as live tutorials, workshops and classroom practice. While the breakdown differs from programme to programme, it is approximately 45% online and 55% offline. 

Learning in this way with Hibernia College allows students the flexibility of completing a large part of the course from home. The only required travel is to face-to-face lecturesGaeltacht and school placements. 

The key to a successful blended programme is the seamless integration of all course elements and the judicious use of appropriate technologies to make courses accessible, interactive and engaging. With nearly 20 years of experience in the design and delivery of this model, Hibernia College offers effective learning programmes that incorporate the best of both online and traditional teaching methods.

How do I know if my honours degree is Level 8?

If you are unsure of the level of your honours degree, contact the conferring college or universitythe awarding body or Quality and Qualifications Ireland at 

Can I expect to gain employment after I qualify?

While on the programme, student teachers are required to complete School Placement at a minimum of two different schools. This experience allows students to develop connections at various schools to help pave the way for future employment. Though it is not guaranteed that graduates secure employment with a school where they have completed a placement, this has happened with a number of our alumni. Our alumni discuss their own employment experiences after qualifying in our Alumni Profiles. 

As part of an applicant’s research to undertake the Professional Master of Education (PME) programme, we recommend researching employability within the geographic region you plan to teach. Review current job opportunities and discuss your prospects with future employers. Local principals can provide insight or recommend resources. The College cannot guarantee employment for each individual student, but there remains a strong demand both home and abroad for Irish-qualified teachers. 

Is there a limit to the number of times I can apply?

Yes, there is a limit. In the interest of fairness to applicants who are unsuccessful, the College will accept a maximum of four applications per programme 

Other Questions

If you have any additional questions, please email us at

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