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Institute of Education

Professional Diploma in Inclusive and Special Education

Course Code:
DC979
Course Type:
Postgraduate
NFQ Level:
Delivery Modes
Part-Time
Duration
2 Years
call programme contact
+353 (0) 1
700 9062

Ireland's ratification of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities has increased expectations around the creation of more inclusive schools and systems. In addition, the Teaching Council has identified Inclusion as a key learning area in Cosán -  Framework for Teachers' Learning. The Professional Diploma in Inclusive and Special Education (ISE) has been developed by DCU to support teachers to meet the needs of all learners in an inclusive classroom. This fully online programme provides continuing professional development in a structured and sustained way at convenient times, in an easily accessible manner regardless of location, to support the practical application of skills learned at classroom level. It is a Level 9 programme on the National Framework of Qualifications (NFQ).

The overall aim of this programme is to support primary and post-primary mainstream subject/class teachers, and special education teachers to develop inclusive practice. In particular, the programme aims to provide an opportunity for teachers to develop knowledge, skills and competencies in key areas of inclusive and special educational provision and planning at school and class level. It also aims to create a community of learners who will communicate and collaborate with each other in support of the teaching and learning of all learners , including those with special educational needs.  

On successful completion of the three Certificate modules, students may choose to exit with the Certificate award or to continue to Year 2, which involves completion of the Diploma module: Individually Relevant Learning. Students who wish to complete the Diploma module must be working in a teaching role as it involves the development of assessment skills in order to accurately identify an individual learner's current level of performance, strengths and areas for development and to plan appropriately to meet those areas for development in varying contexts and school settings.

Certificate: The programme includes three Certificate modules in Year 1: Si420 Inclusion and Special Educational Needs (10 credits), Si421 Understanding Dyslexia (5 credits), Si422 Understanding Autism (5 credits), Total: 20 credits, minimum study time: 1 year.

Diploma: completion of 3 Certificate modules plus one year long Diploma module: Si902A Individually Relevant Learning (10 credits), Total: 30 credits, minimum study time: 2 years.

Dublin City University is widely recognised as a dynamic and innovative institution that is distinguished both by the quality and impact of its graduates and by its focus on the translation of knowledge into societal and economic benefit.
The DCU Institute of Education is the newest faculty of Dublin City University. Established through the incorporation of St Patrick’s College, Drumcondra, Mater Dei Institute of Education, Church of Ireland College of Education and the DCU School of Education Studies, With a staff of more than 125 full-time academics and a student body in excess of 4,000, DCU Institute of Education is a recognised centre of excellence in teacher education nationally and internationally, and has  a distinguished record in providing continuing professional development offering a range of taught and research programmes to masters and doctoral  level. 

DCU students have access to two extensive libraries that include a vast array of educational resources and diverse study spaces for both collaborative and independent work. Remote access to journals and eBooks enable and enhance study at a distance.

The ISE programme is a fully online course that facilitates access regardless of geographical or other constraints. The online flexibility of this programme is enhanced by engagement with your peers, engagement with the content through responding to online learning activities, and by reflecting on your own experiences and practice.

Support for course fee payment can be applied for through the Teacher Refund Scheme administered through the Marino Institute of Education. Tax relief is available for postgraduate study through Revenue.ie

On successful completion of the three Certificate modules, students can exit with the Certificate award or continue to the Diploma module.

On successful completion of the Diploma module, students are eligible to exit with the Diploma award.

Requirements

Application is open to qualified teachers, at primary and post-primary level, who hold a recognised qualification, Level 8 Pass Degree / Third Class degree, from an awarding institution in Ireland or elsewhere.

 

Consideration will also be given to Graduates with a level 8 degree (with experience of working in an educational, training or education-related professional context).

 

Candidates must submit the following:

       · Certified academic transcripts for each and every year of study

       · Personal statement of 250 words outlining your reasons for applying

 

Due to the specialist nature of this programme, additional criteria may be used to assess suitability to undertake this programme. For further information, please contact the Programme Chair using the contact details above.

Qualification
Professional Diploma

Fees

Part time

EU Status Fee Part-time
Yr. 1 €2,600 - Yr. 2 €1,300
Non EU Fee Part time
Yr. 1 €5,450 - Yr. 2 €2,650

When does the programme commence?

This programme commences in September in line with the DCU Academic Calendar Semester 1 start date.

What level is this programme according to the Irish National Framework for Qualifications?

This is a NFQ level 9 programme (both Certificate and Diploma).

How will this online programme help me in working with learners with special educational needs?

Through a combination of background reading, online learning and interactive activities, including live class sessions, this programme strives to give practical support to teachers in meeting the diverse learning needs of learners with special educational needs.

What is the aim of this programme?

The programme aims:

  • To offer professional development to individual teachers in the areas of inclusive and special education.
  • To develop teachers’ knowledge, skills and competencies in relation to inclusive and special education.
  • To create a community of learners, who will communicate and collaborate with each other in support of the teaching and learning of pupils with special and additional learning needs.
  • To enrich the special educational knowledge, skills and competencies of other Graduates (non-teachers) or those holding equivalent qualifications with significant experience of working in an educational, training or educational-related professional context.

What qualifications do I need to apply for the course?

  • Application is open to qualified teachers, at primary and post-primary level, who hold a recognised qualification, Level 8 Pass Degree / Third Class degree, from an awarding institution in Ireland or elsewhere.
  • Consideration will also be given to Graduates with a level 8 degree (with experience of working in an educational, training or education-related professional context). 

Do I have to be in full time employment in order to qualify for a place?

No, you do not have to be currently employed as a teacher in order to qualify for a place. However, you should hold qualifications as outlined above. Students who wish to complete the Diploma module must be in a teaching role at that time. 

How long does it take?

The Diploma takes 2 years to complete. However, students can request to exit with the Certificate award after completion of year 1  i.e. successful completion of three taught modules taught over 1 academic year. 

How is the programme organised?

It is a 2 year programme with an option to exit after successfully completing the Certificate (Year 1) or to continue to the Diploma module (Year 2). Students must be working in a teaching role in order to engage in the Diploma module. Please see the module information below:

Module Code

Module Title

Credit

Semester

SI420

Inclusion and Special Educational Needs

10

Semester 1, Year 1

SI421

Understanding Autism

5

Semester 2, Year 1

SI422

Understanding Dyslexia

5

Semester 2, year 1

SI902A

Individually Relevant Learning

10

Year 2 – Year long module

What is the time commitment?

This online programme expects students to actively engage with classmates and course content through responding to learning activities by reflecting on your own experiences and practice. There will be a small number of synchronous (live) lectures in each module. These will be scheduled in the evening time. In addition, you are expected to communicate and collaborate with your colleagues in support of the development of a community of learners.

What IT skills do I need to participate in this programme?

In order to participate in the programme, you will need access to a computer, with headset and microphone, and Internet access. Broadband access is strongly recommended. Familiarity with the Internet and email is an expected requirement. Live classes take place via the DCU Zoom platform. 

Is the course delivered entirely online or will I have to travel to DCU St Patrick's Campus?

It is delivered fully online.

How many online classroom sessions per module are there?

There will be a small number of synchronous (live) lectures in each module. These will be scheduled in the evening time.

If I have a problem, who will help me?

Each group is assigned a tutor who will offer continuous support and advice throughout the duration of the module. There are also a number os supports for DCU students including IT support, academic support and counselling services: Student Support & Development 

Will I have access to library facilities?

As a registered student of DCU you will have access to all library facilities and services, both online and on-campus.

What will I be awarded, upon completing the course?

On successful completion of the three Certificate modules, students can exit with the Certificate award or continue to the Diploma module.

On successful completion of the Diploma module, students are eligible to exit with the Diploma award or they may apply to the following masters’ programmes with certain module exemptions. These awards are accredited and classified by Dublin City University.

How can I use the credits?

On successful completion of the Diploma module, students are eligible to exit with the Diploma award or they may apply to the following MEd programme with certain module exemptions:

Master of Education in Autism (MEdA) with an exemption from two modules: Understanding Autism SI601A (5 credits) and Autism: Assessment, Profiling and Planning SI602A (10 credits).

Does this course qualify me for the role of a Special Education Teacher (formerly known as Learning Support/Resource Teacher)?

No, this programme is not a teaching qualification and there is no special/inclusive initial teacher education (ITE) qualification in Ireland. The Professional Diploma in ISE is usually undertaken by teachers or those working in educational contexts (e.g. special needs assistants, those working in early childhood education settings and elsewhere) to develop professional learning in the area. An initial teacher education qualification, i.e. Bachelor of Education or a Professional Master of Education Primary, is required to teach in primary schools and special schools. Similarly an initial teacher post-primary teaching qualification is required to teach in post-primary schools. For more on ITE programmes please visit: Undergraduate Courses

I am a qualified teacher. Does this programme carry Teaching Council recognition?

No. This programme does not carry Teaching Council recognition as a special education qualification to teach at primary/post primary level. This course was designed to provide continuous professional development for teachers in a mainstream setting in the area of inclusive and special education. Notwithstanding the above, many teachers find the qualification helpful in securing and in working in support positions. There is only one postgraduate special education qualification recognised by the Teaching Council which is offered across a number of universities in Ireland, including DCU IoE. The Graduate Diploma in Inclusive and Special Education (GDISE) qualification is funded by the Department of Education for teachers who work in the following roles: Special Education Teacher, Teacher in a Special School, Teacher in a Special Class. For further details please see:  Postgraduate Programmes

For Further Information:

Professional Diploma in Inclusive and Special Education 
School of Inclusive and Special Education
DCU Institute of Education
DCU St Patrick’s Campus
Drumcondra
DC09 DC00
Telephone: 01 7009062
Email: ioe.ise@dcu.ie

Next Steps

To apply for this programme:

 

All Applicants must apply through DCU's Student Application Portal which is available here.  Here's a quick step by step guide if you need help with your application. All Applicants must submit·

 

• Evidence of Teaching Council Registration / a reference from current employer for those working in other educational contexts

• Certified academic transcripts for each and every year of study

• Letter of Recommendation (see application portal)

• Personal statement of 250 words outlining your reasons for applying

• Non Native English Speakers must submit evidence of competence in the English language as per DCU entry requirements see link http://www.dcu.ie/registry/english.shtml

• Non-EU Applicants who require a study visa for the purposes of gaining entry into Ireland are ineligible to apply for this programme.

Application Queries

For EU applicant queries, please visit https://www.dcu.ie/registry/eu-postgraduate-taught-admissions or email postgraduateadmissions@dcu.ie

For non EU applicant queries, please visit https://www.dcu.ie/registry/international-admissions-undergraduate-and-postgraduate or email internationaladmissions@dcu.ie

 

Applications Closing Dates:

Applications will be accepted until the programme is full. 

EU Applicants: 28th June 2024

Non EU Applicants: 1st July 2024

 

For more details, please refer to the FAQs