This page outlines the qualification requirements and courses available to become a primary or post primary teacher in Ireland.
In Ireland, the system of teacher training differs between primary and post primary school teachers. (Primary School children are generally aged 4 -12 and Post Primary are 12-18)
Initial teacher education programmes for primary and post-primary teachers are facilitated through a range of concurrent (undergraduate) and consecutive (postgraduate) programmes.
All initial teacher education programmes (primary, post-primary and further education) in Ireland that lead to registration must have professional accreditation from the Teaching Council.
A full list of accredited programme providers in Ireland, and details regarding how to apply are available here:
A list of all accredited programmes of initial teacher education are available here:
Bachelor of Education Programmes - Primary:
Primary school teachers in Ireland receive training at one of the colleges of education. The Bachelor of Education degree (B.Ed.) is awarded on successful completion of an undergraduate degree lasting 4 years.
Applications for concurrent (undergraduate) programmes are made through the Central Applications Office (CAO) and selection is based on the CAO points system. Mature applicants should check with the relevant college/university regarding application procedures.
The Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) which offer programmes of primary initial teacher education accredited by the Teaching Council for primary teaching are as follows:
- Mary Immaculate College, Limerick (A College of the University of Limerick)
- Maynooth University Froebel Department of Primary and Early Childhood Education
- DCU Institute of Education, Dublin
- The Marino Institute of Education (an associated college of Trinity College, the University of Dublin)
- Hibernia College (postgraduate only- see below)
Professional master’s in education (PME) Primary Teaching:
Consecutive (postgraduate) programmes in primary teacher education are advertised in the national media with details of closing dates and application procedures. Places on the programme are awarded on the basis of qualifications, an interview and an oral examination in Irish.
The four state HEIs above offer a two-year Professional master’s in education (PME) (Primary Teaching) programme.
A Professional master’s in education in Primary Teaching is also provided by Hibernia College.
Hibernia College is a privately-owned non state-funded company. This blended learning programme which takes place over 2 years and is accredited by the Teaching Council for primary teaching.
Minimum entry requirements for programmes of initial teacher education are set by the Minister for Education and Skills, in consultation with the Teaching Council. The current minimum entry requirements and the application process for entry to primary and post-primary programmes are outlined on the website of the Department of Education and Skills.
Entry Requirements- Concurrent (Undergraduate) - see:
Entry Requirements- Professional Master of Education/Professional Masters in Education- Consecutive (Postgraduate) - see:
Post Primary Teaching
Post-primary initial teacher education (ITE) is provided through programmes of a consecutive (postgraduate) or a concurrent (undergraduate) nature.
Undergraduate Post Primary Initial Teacher Education Programmes
In concurrent (undergraduate) programmes, academic subjects are taught collectively with education and school placement components. Application is made through the Central Applications Office (CAO) and selection is based on the CAO points system.
Further information regarding courses can be obtained through the links below
- Dublin City University
- Galway Mayo Institute of Technology
- Mary Immaculate College
- Maynooth University
- National College of Art and Design
- NUI Galway
- St Angela's College, Sligo
- Trinity College Dublin
- University College Cork
- University College Dublin
- University of Limerick
Post Primary Professional Master of Education (PME)
The most common route to qualification is the consecutive route (postgraduate), which comprises a suitable degree and a separate teacher education qualification
To be eligible for the Professional Master of Education (post-primary), candidates must have obtained a third-level degree deemed by the Teaching Council to be suitable for the purposes of teaching at post-primary level, to teach at least one curricular subject to the highest level within the post-primary schools curriculum. If you intend to teach at post-primary level, you must ensure that the subjects you have chosen at undergraduate level are recognised for teaching purposes. For most subjects, this means to Leaving Certificate Higher Level.
For Subject Requirements for Post-Primary Registration see: https://www.teachingcouncil.ie/en/Publications/Registration/Documents/Curricular-Subject-Requirments-after-January-2017.pdf
Applications for consecutive (postgraduate) programmes are made through the Postgraduate Applications Centre (PAC), the central application system for NUI colleges and Dublin City University. For other institutions, application is made directly to the individual institution.
Postgraduate programmes in Education for post-primary teaching are available in:
National University of Ireland, Galway,
University College Cork,
University College Dublin, Dublin,
Trinity College Dublin
Dublin City University
The Teaching Council
All teachers in Ireland must register their qualifications with the Teaching Council.
The Teaching Council is the professional standards body for the teaching profession, which promotes and regulates professional standards in teaching.
To ensure your chosen course has teaching council recognition or for further information on requirements to teach in Ireland, contact:
The Teaching Council of Ireland www.teachingcouncil.ie