ProfMasters Education

Graduate Taught (level 9 nfq, credits 120)

The Professional Master of Education is a two-year, full-time Level 9 programme which is creative, innovative and a leading model in initial teacher training internationally. 
  • The programme pays systematic attention to dispositions, values and beliefs regarding professionalism as public service and commitment to social justice with confidence, competence and appropriate expertise, both disciplinary and pedagogical.  It develops practice-oriented enquiry which is both rigorous and systematic and builds relevant and sustainable synergies between theory and practice.

Curricular information is subject to change

Full Time option suitable for:

Domestic(EEA) applicants: Yes
International (Non EEA) applicants currently residing outside of the EEA Region. No

UCD School of Education is currently offering the following methodology subjects within the PME September 2020 intake.

  • Applied Maths
  • Agriculture
  • Accounting
  • Biology
  • Business Studies
  • Chemistry
  • Classics Studies
  • CSPE
  • Economics
  • English
  • Gaeilge
  • Geography
  • History
  • Maths
  • Modern Languages (French, German, Spanish and Italian)
  • Music
  • Physics
  • Religion
  • Science


Key Principles of The PME Programme

The programme is built on the following commitments to:

  • Cultivate a lifelong disposition towards professional growth and renewal that is informed by:
  • A broadly interpreted and inclusive understanding of evidence-informed practice;
  • Imbue all elements of the programme with a critically reflexive yet constructive disposition;
  • Advocate for education as a public good and for commitment to that ‘calling’ to be a teacher as a pledge to being a public intellectual through civic engagement and professional renewal;
  • Pursue, through that activism, the highest professional standards, underpinned by a commitment to one’s own professional renewal and a spirit of lifelong learning;
  • Demonstrate an on-going commitment to the teaching profession by means of a variety of partnerships within individuals, schools, their communities and managements, professional agencies—local, national and international—a ‘web of commitments’;
  • Advocate through one’s own professional engagement the notion of teacher-researcher within a community of scholars, both national and international, to build systematically and more coherently the knowledge-base of teaching, learning and leading.

Programme Design Principles: 

Linkage between the different components of the programme in Education is fundamental in order to bridge the gap between sound knowledge of educational theory and the development of professional competency as a teacher. As such the programme design principles include:

  • Explicit connections between carefully planned module content, coursework and school placement;
  • The scaffolding of student development as pedagogues --‐ ensuring a praxis orientation to student teachers’ work, understood as phronesis;
  • The sustained and critical exploration of diversity across and between all modules;
  • The design and support of school placement to ensure that it occurs within the context of a collaborative professional community which draws on the strengths of the school, the students and the university;
  • An explicit emphasis on quality pedagogy which facilitates the development of content specific pedagogy which is firmly based on good evidence with solid theoretical foundations;
  • Active and diverse pedagogies which scaffold and enhance student reflection and which lead to conceptual change amongst students in relation to what constitutes and contributes to high quality teaching and learning;

Programme Aims: 

  • Graduate highly educated Newly Qualified Teachers (NQTs) who are/ becoming excellent professionals, who are confident and self--‐ assured; committed to their subject pedagogy and to the teaching profession, and who are engaged in on-going professional renewal and development;
  • Develop expertise (subject matter and pedagogical content knowledge) coupled with a deep understanding of the principles of teaching, learning and assessment;
  • Cultivate a disposition which combines passion with purpose, empathy and understanding with cognitive challenge, resilience and hardiness;
  • Encourage students to invest continuously in their own learning and those of their pupils and colleagues through scholarship, research and capacity built in a collegial and collaborative manner;
  • Over time, through in—school mentoring, induction and collaboration enable graduates to become leaders in their specialisms and to enable them to recognise their leadership role in being ambassadors for their disciplines;
  • Cultivate a deep understanding of the formative role of assessment in learning and exhibit the capacity to deploy a range of assessment strategies which enable learners to build their understanding of key concepts in a principled manner;
  • Recognise the significance of reflection in the development of expertise and innovative practice thus providing curriculum leadership within their disciplines, schools and the wider educational community;
  • Combine respect, understanding and empathy in their professional disposition which is cognisant of diversity, inclusion and the consequent necessity for differentiation, discretion and professional judgment in building trust, promoting equity and justice amongst peers, students, parents and the wider public;
  • Enable student teachers to recognise that being and becoming a professional is a continuous journey characterised by a judicious mix of confidence and uncertainty, capacity to make sophisticated professional judgments in the interest of learners, whilst remaining open to possible alternatives, being committed to the benefits of professional community while being sufficiently self-critical to avoid “group think”;
  • Seek at all times to be mindful of professional responsibilities to learners, community and the profession while being principled and vigilant in the promotion and upholding of the highest professional standards.



The PME at the School of Education, University College Dublin is a two-year, full-time Level 9 programme that aims to be creative, innovative and consistent with good practice internationally, striving to craft a fit for purpose model of teacher education that, although consecutive, builds in progression, development and the cultivation of in-depth knowledge. The programme pays systematic attention to dispositions, values and beliefs regarding professionalism as public service and commitment to social justice with confidence, competence and appropriate expertise, both disciplinary and pedagogical. Explicit connections between carefully planned module content, coursework and school placement is an essential pillar of the programme.In this way student development as pedagogues will be scaffolded‐ ensuring a praxis orientation to their work, understood as phronesis. The use of active and diverse pedagogies (as contrasted with lectures) throughout the programme to promote student reflection that is likely to lead to conceptual change among students in relation to what contributes to high quality teaching and learning. Assessment tasks and marking criteria reflect the emphasis on active and diverse pedagogies.

  • Develop informed opinion and positions: predict and develop positions that might inform practice in relation to issues based on an understanding of their role as teachers, an informed ethics and the Code of Professional Conduct for Teachers.
  • Demonstrate a keen understanding the significance of reflection in the development of expertise and innovative practice thus providing leadership within schools and the wider educational community.
  • Display a sophisticated level of pedagogical content knowledge.
  • Demonstrate a more in-depth knowledge and more critical engagement with the foundational disciplines of education to enhance and enrich the expertise acquired in undergraduate studies and subsequent professional experience.
  • Articulate a well-developed understanding of the limits, contradictions and emerging issues within the professional field.
  • Evidence an enhanced aptitude for continued self-directed learning as well as collaborative learning in professional settings throughout their careers.
  • Critically assess the main theoretical, policy, and practical approaches to education as informed by the cognate disciplines of education and prevailing influences on educational practice.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the distinct and complementary roles of professionals involved in primary or post-primary (as relevant) education provision from within and outside the school.
  • Competently apply theory to practice: illustrate and apply relevant concepts in the disciplines of education and pedagogy with reference to secondary education in Ireland in general and in their own classroom practice and professional development.
  • On completion, the student should 1. Exhibit a well-developed knowledge of the different paradigms of educational research and possess through their engagement with the programme the ability to apply this knowledge to their professional roles.

View All Modules Here

Assessment is a combination of written assignments, reflective practice logs, e-portfolios, poster presentations and oral presentations. School placement is also assessed over the course of both years, by at least two university personnel each year. Typically students can expect at least four visits per year in their school placement. Students must pass the school placement aspect of the programme in Year One in order to progress onto Year 2.



What if I am qualified at primary level to teach only one subject?

UCD requires that applicants must be qualified at primary level to teach at least one methodology subject. However, applicants must select two methodology subjects, as they will be trained to teach two subjects during the PME programme. If you don't have enough credits from your undergraduate degree to qualify you to teach a second subject according to the Teaching Council requirements, we advise applicants to choose CSPE as their second option. However, in this case, the candidate is unlikely to meet with the Teaching Council requirements to teach CSPE. The determining factor for recognition as a post-primary teacher in Ireland is your primary degree.

If an applicant is only short of a few credits to teach a second subject, you may be able to register to a top-up module with the permission of the relevant UCD School. For example, if you require a few credits to teach Chemistry, it may be possible to register to a Chemistry module within UCD School of Science while doing your PME.  If you wish to avail of this option of registering to a top-up module you are responsible for: (1) ensuring that this module will meet with the Teaching Council criteria; (2) checking if any suitable module will be running within the relevant UCD School and that they have no objection to you attending it; (3) ensuring that the module will not clash with your PME timetable.

When are PME students in schools and how many hours teaching will they be required to undertake?
PME students are in schools Monday morning, Tuesday all day, Wednesday morning and Friday morning. (See timetable on PME brochure).
They will be required to undertake a minimum of four and a half hours teaching per week up to a maximum of eight hours in Year One and Year Two, as well as their block placement in Year Two (see further information on Block at point 7 below).

How is this to be split across both of their teaching subjects?
This should be, where possible, equally split across both of their subjects.

Are PME students expected to teach classes on their own? At what point in the year should this occur?
PME students are expected to engage in observation during the first two weeks of their time in schools, making detailed notes on these observations. Ideally, this observation period should include not only classes which they will soon begin teaching, but a broader experience of a range of classes. They will be provided with an observation schedule to aid them with this process, which will be overseen by the School Placement Lecturer. After two weeks, it is expected that they will team teach with their respective co-operating teacher. After four weeks, it is expected that they will teach on their own (with the continued professional support of their co-operating teacher).

How is the school placement aspect of the PME assessed and what role if any does the School have in this?
Students on placement will be assessed by two UCD personnel, a main supervisor and a tutor. The co-operating teacher and Principal will be asked to comment on how the student teacher is doing over the course of the placement, but will not play a role in the evaluation. The placement component of the programme will be managed by a School Placement Lecturer.

How many visits should a student teacher have over the course of the programme?
Students will have a minimum of four visits annually in each year. However in cases where students are in difficulty or a school feels that a student needs additional support, additional visits will be organised. Please see the UCD PME Student Placement Grade Descriptor for further information.

ProfMasters Education (W327) Full Time
EU          fee per year - € 7080
nonEU    fee per year - € 21520

***Fees are subject to change

Applicants must register with the Postgraduate Applications Centre,, and apply online via their website. The final closing date for applications is 31 January 2021.

When applying for a place on the Professional Master of Education, the PME Applicant will be required to make a formal declaration of studies undertaken in at least one post-primary curricular subject area.

He/she will be required to declare that they...

  • Hold an Honours Bachelor Degree NFQ Level 8 (or equivalent) carrying at least 180 ECTS Credits.
  • Have studied the requisite number of ECTS credits in the subject(s) they wish to have recorded on the Register of Teachers e.g. 60/80/90 ECTS credits.
  • Have completed at least 10 ECTS credits at third year degree level or higher
  • Have met all the specific detailed requirements of the Teaching Council in terms of mandatory areas of study

In all cases (a) – (d) the PME Applicant will be required to identify the specific module/course code where requirements have been met.

In the second semester of the first year, the Teaching Council will write to all PME student teachers on its database confirming...

  1. That they meet the requirements for named curricular subject(s) and will be eligible to register on successful completion of the PME. 
  2. That they meet the requirements for at least one curricular subject but do not meet the requirements for one or more subsequent subjects and will be eligible to register on successful completion of the PME. 
  3. That they do not meet the requirements for at least one curricular subject and will therefore not be eligible for registration when they complete the PME.

In the case of number 3 above, the student teacher will be advised to notify their PME Provider who will determine if they can continue on the PME programme. 

Applicants must register with the Postgraduate Applications Centre,, and apply online via their website. 

Please note that applications to our programme can be made by clicking upon the "Professional Master of Education NUI" icon on the PAC website and then hitting the "Apply" button on the top of the page. After you have created an online account with PAC you can start the application process. As you proceed with your application, it will request that you indicate what institution you are applying for, and then you must select UCD from the drop down list.