Return to Site


The Professional Master of Education Primary (PMEP) programme, is one of a suite of education programmes within Hibernia College’s School of Education and complements other educational programme provision.

It is a 120-credit award at level 9 and the duration of the programme is two years (24 months). It is a flexibly delivered blended learning programme, combining online content, virtual learning environments and face-to-face delivery to develop professionals and experts who are positioned to be leaders in the field of primary education.

The PMEP consists of a sequence of modules that reflect the contemporary issues faced by teachers today and the skills and knowledge required of them in order to be expert teachers who enable effective pupil learning. In particular, it recognises the importance of ensuring that student teachers consider that teaching itself is understood and practised as a form of self-critical learning by them; learning that is driven by inquiry, reflection and improvements based on evidence.

Minimum Intended Programme Learning Outcomes

The following Minimum Intended Programme Learning Outcomes (MIPLOs) identify the knowledge and skills and dispositions that students must demonstrate in order to successfully graduate from the programme:

Synthesise the professional knowledge, understanding, pedagogical skills and competences required to be an effective primary teacher in an ever-changing, ill-defined, complex society, including ability to comply with standards of behaviour and performance that evidences commitment to the required standards of professional conduct and practice as set out in the Teaching Council’s Code of Professional Conduct for Teachers (2012) and thus seek registration with the Teaching Council of Ireland.

Use research-based evidence to improve the effectiveness of practice through continuous reflection on that practice; seeking, accepting and acting on constructive advice and thus demonstrate ability to be a reflective and reflexive practitioner.

Analyse critically the theoretical and conceptual principles of the primary school curriculum and apply these principles to ensure that effective assessment, teaching and learning strategies provide a creative and enriching learning experience for all pupils that takes account of the potentially complex and ill-defined contexts in which they operate.

Evaluate critically the factors that promote and hinder effective learning and apply this knowledge to develop creative, pedagogically sound assessment, teaching and learning strategies that provide for the potential, individual and holistic development of each child.

Evaluate critically and assess the reliability of qualitative and quantitative research methods to adopt a research-based evidence approach in designing an independent, critical and reflective professional investigation.

Assess critically the suitability of classroom management strategies to determine the appropriateness of their application to lead and support differentiated learning in a safe, interactive and challenging environment across a range of classroom situations.

Synthesise and reflect critically on the pedagogical relevance of the theoretical foundations of education and the social and policy contexts in which the aims of education are defined and implemented: designing learning experiences for primary school children that take account of the integrated nature of learning across and within subjects.

Informed by current research literature at the forefront of the field of primary education, demonstrate systematic knowledge, pedagogical competence, linguistic ability and numeracy skills to teach all subjects of the primary school curriculum.

Design, implement and evaluate critically lessons that take account of the religious and ethical ethos of particular schools as appropriate.

Analyse critically the role of teachers as active partners with school management, parents/guardians and the community and evaluate the most effective strategies in the development of a positive and effective teaching and learning environment in the primary school classroom; demonstrating ability to provide inclusive education for pupils with multiple and diverse needs.

Take significant responsibility for the work of individuals and groups through participation in and implementation of school policies and structures, including communication with pupils, colleagues and members of the wider school community demonstrating competent, reflective and reflexive practice in a variety of contexts.

Programme Composition

The 120-credit programme comprises ten credit-bearing modules

1Teaching Foundations (PME_TF)15
2Nua-Ghaeilge 1 (PME_NGH1)5
3Nua-Ghaeilge 2 (PME_NGH2)5
4School Experience: Research and Evidence-Based Practice (PME_SERBP)20
5Advanced School Experience (PME_ADVSE)20
6Research Methods (PME_RM)10
7Pedagogy 1: Ethical / Religious, Social, Personal and Early Childhood Education (PME_PED1)10
8Pedagogy 2: Language, Literacy, Numeracy and ICT (PME_PED2)15
9Pedagogy 3: Physical, Arts and Inclusive Education (PME_PED3)10
10Pedagogy 4: Social, Scientific and Development Education10

The Student Learning Experience

The teaching and learning environment at Hibernia College is designed so that students engage with the programme content, with their tutors and with each other across virtual and physical learning spaces. Hours spent in direct contact with tutors – as synchronous tutorials, webinars or face-to-face classes – are specifically accountable, as are the hours designated for school placements. Independent learning time is necessary as each student will vary as to the time they need to spend on their own individual research and reading.

Students at Hibernia College interact with four main forms of content on a weekly basis.


Face-to-face tuition

Student teachers receive face-to-face tuition to complement and enhance the on-demand content. The face to face teaching will occur in block periods during student’s holidays and on some Fridays across the 2-year programme. Typically, they are from 9.30am to 4.30pm.


Programme Balance

Subject DisciplineFace-to-face Year 1Face-to-face Year 2Total
Foundations of Education and Pedagogy Modules15 days15 days30 days
School Placement70 days50 days120 days
Gaeltacht Placement14 days14 days28 days
Total99 days79 days178 days


On-demand content

This fully interactive content represents the main lecture material and can be studied online, downloaded for viewing offline or downloaded as a podcast. It can consist of text, audio, animations and video. Student teachers also enjoy access to a world-class online library offering full-text peer-reviewed journal articles.


Live virtual classes via Blackboard Collaborate tutorials

On-demand lesson content will be accompanied by scheduled live classes facilitated through Blackboard Collaborate where students and tutors interact in the virtual classroom.
In the virtual classroom, the tutor presents material on a whiteboard and facilitates discussions on this material. Small group work and larger group work sessions are facilitated in these live tutorial sessions. All students can communicate (by voice and text) with the group or privately with the tutor.


Learner communities

Each week, students are asked to reflect on that week’s material in the course discussion forum or through a personal learning diary. Fellow students will comment on each other’s’ experiences and post their own comments. Students are also able to build groups of friends and send messages to their peers.

School Placement

Students complete 24 weeks of School Placement across the 2 years divided in the following way;

School Placement Block 1: 7 weeks’ full-time attendance in school
• 1 week of Placement as part of Foundation of Education Module
• 5 weeks (3 lessons will be assessed each day)
• 1 week of structured reflection

School Placement Block 2: 7 weeks’ full-time attendance in school
• 1 week as part of Special Needs Module
• 5 weeks (4 lessons will be assessed each day)
• 1 week of structured reflection

Advanced School Placement: 10 weeks’ full-time teaching
• 10 weeks of assessed full-time teaching in Ireland with Hibernia College