Institute of Education

Professional Master of Education (Post Primary Education)

Course Code:
Course Type:
NFQ Level:
Delivery Mode:
+353 (0) 1
700 9161

The Professional Master of Education (Post Primary) is a full-time teacher education qualification delivered through evening and flexible learning modes for those who hold an approved undergraduate degree and wish to become a teacher in a post primary school. 

The PME programme in DCU provides graduates with the knowledge and skills required for twenty first century classrooms. The programme prepares teachers to respond to current curricular developments at second level and promotes teacher autonomy and collegiality in the design, delivery and assessment of curriculum. A wide range of teaching strategies and methodologies are used to encourage an equitable, student-centred and creative approach to teaching and learning. 

The DCU Institute of Education is home to leading global research centres in the areas of Assessment, Evaluation, Citizenship and Human Rights Education and Anti-Bullying. Students will benefit from the expertise in these centres to develop knowledge, skills and opportunities. DCU promotes a spirit of leadership, inquiry, reflection and evaluation as students develop professional practice and recognise the importance of their own lifelong learning.  

Dates for 2021 Applications are as follows:
Application Opening Date Monday 9 November 2020
Application Closing Date Friday 12 February 2021
Documentation Closing Date (Uploading only allowed) 26 February 2021

In line with the current government campaign to increase the supply of teachers in subjects of national priority, additional places will be reserved for applicants who meet the requirements for the priority subjects listed below:  

Mathematics, Applied Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, Irish, German, French, Italian and Spanish.

Frequently Asked Questions

The Professional Master of Education (PME) programme starts in late August each year. Students are required to complete a Placement Induction Programme which runs in advance of formal lectures. During this induction period students complete systematic observations in their host school. Formal lectures begin in September and are held in DCU St. Patrick's Campus, Drumcondra on Tuesday and Wednesday from 4pm to 8pm. Students will participate in lectures, seminars, tutorials and online components.

School Placement

The programme includes two school placements. Students complete placement in one school in Year 1 and in a different school in Year 2. Placements can occur in a variety of school settings including Voluntary Secondary Schools, Educate Together Secondary Schools, Community Colleges, Community Schools and Comprehensive Schools.

Students must secure their own placements in a recognised post-primary school within the Republic of Ireland. Only the first placement needs to be secured at the time of application.

Placement Hours Required: Over the course of two years all students must engage in a minimum number of hours of direct teaching, placement related activities and observation as outlined in the table below.

Activity Year 1 (Sept to June) Year 2 (Sept to June)
Direct Teaching 4 hours per week 4 hours per week
Placement Related Activities 4 hours per week 4 hours per week
Observation 24 classes 24 classes

Please see information on Getting a School Placement.

View the current course structure

Expertise and Excellence

The DCU Institute of Education is the largest provider of education and training in Ireland with more than 150 academic staff with expertise in education and over 4000 students. We take a modern, innovative and creative approach to teaching and learning. 

Choice and Flexibility

Our two year full time flexible delivery PME programme addresses the need for a flexible teacher education qualification for individuals who wish to work in second-level schools but who are not in a position to engage in a traditional day-time programme of study.


DCU Graduate Teachers experience high employment success rates. Our school partnerships and professional development initiatives for in-service teachers ensure continued commitment to our students and beyond.

Career Areas
Adult Education
Government Departments
Post Primary Education

Career Prospects

While most of our graduates will work as teachers in post-primary schools, others will pursue further studies in education and related fields, such as guidance, pastoral care, school leadership and management. Others again will work in Further Education, Higher Education, government departments and other education and training settings.


General Entry Requirements
  • Applications open on PAC from Monday 9th November 2020
  • Closing Date for EU applications is Friday 12th February 2021
  • Closing Date for non EU applications is Friday 12th February 2021

In order to obtain information about the DCU PME programme, candidates should consult these pages and the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's) in advance of contacting DCU.

Applicants will normally hold at least a primary honours degree (NFQ Level 8) that complies with the Teaching Council's Curricular Subject Requirements for at least one subject from the second-level school's curriculum.

International Applications:

International candidates are expected to have educational qualifications of a standard equivalent to those outlined above. In addition, where such candidates are non-native speakers of the English language they must satisfy the University of their competency in the English language. For further information on international applications click here.



Full time

EU Status Fee
Year 1 €4,500 - Year 2 €5,200
Non EU Fee
Year 1 €9,000 - Year 2 €9,173

Next Steps

Make an Application

 All Applicants must apply through the Postgraduate Applications Centre, -  however applications for 2021/22 are now closed, and applications for 2022/23 will open in November 2021.


Please note that as part of the application process you will be required to complete   Subject Self-Declaration Form(s) for the curricular subject(s) you intend to teach on completion of the PME. These form(s) must be completed in full during the application process, as it is not possible to update form(s) once the application is submitted.

Required Documentation

Please note applications close on Friday 12th February 2021. Documents outlined below must be uploaded to PAC by 26th February 2021. PAC will not accept any documents sent by email or by post.

1. Certified Copies of Transcripts

Certified copies of original transcripts of results for each year of study at undergraduate/postgraduate must be uploaded to PAC. Please note portal/web page printouts are NOT acceptable.

2. DCU Subject Specialisms Form

3. School Placement Form

Applicants should secure a school placement prior to application. In exceptional circumstances where an applicant has not secured a placement by the time of application, the School Placement Form must be submitted by 16th July 2021. If an applicant has not secured a placement by 16th July 2021 their offer will be withdrawn. Only students with a secured placement can register with DCU for the programme.

4. Employer Reference

Only required if claiming work experience for points purposes (must be signed by employer).

5. Copy of a valid passport


An email from PAC will alert applicants to check their application status. Please ensure that the email address provided in the online application is active. Applicants who receive an offer should confirm acceptance by the specified date in order to secure a place.

Please note that canvassing of any kind will disqualify an applicant. Applications will not be discussed with third parties.

Closing Dates

Application Closing Date: Friday 12th February 2021, apply to PAC - PAC code DC905

Documentation Closing Date (Uploading only allowed): Friday 26th February 2021

Certified Copies of Transcripts | DCU Subject Specialisms | School Placement Form | Employer Reference | Copy of a valid passport

All entry requirements should be met before the commencement of the programme.

Additional Dates to Note

School Placement Form: Closing Date: 16th July 2021 (5.00pm)
In exceptional circumstances where an applicant has not secured a placement the date of submission has been extended to 16th July 2021.  Please note applicants who have not secured a placement by 16th July 2021 will have their offer withdrawn.

Final Year Certified Transcripts: Closing Date: 16th July 2021 (5.00pm)
Applicants in final year of study must submit a certified copy of final transcript confirming overall result for verification purposes by 16th July 2021 (portal page/web printouts are not acceptable).

Applications are updated in accordance with the information provided.  

Queries on completed applications

Queries on applications may be emailed to

Commencement of Programme

The programme commences in September 2021.


Deferrals are not permitted on the DC905 PME programme.