Graduate Diploma in SPHE/RSE

DCU Institute of Education Welcomes the First Group of Post-Primary Teachers to Begin the Graduate Diploma in SPHE/RSE

Today over 30 post-primary teachers begin the Graduate Diploma in Social Personal Health Education (SPHE) and Relationships and Sexuality Education (RSE), marking a historic day for the DCU Institute of Education and Irish education.

This is the first group of teachers to study on the programme, given that this is the only specialist teacher development programme of its kind at post-primary level in Ireland. The Graduate Diploma in SPHE/RSE is underpinned by a rights based and inclusive approach to sexuality education, that followed significant engagement with stakeholders, parents and students alike. 

Commenting on the arrival of the first group of teachers to the programme, Dr. Catherine Maunsell Programme Chair and Associate Professor of Psychology and Education, DCU Institute of Education said,

“This is a wonderful day for the Institute as we are leaders in developing sexuality education in SPHE/RSE, and this has been recognised by the Department of Education. We are the only faculty providing this specialist training for post-primary teachers, and this will equip them to become qualified specialists in this area. We are very proud of being involved in this historic progress in the Irish education system.’ 


This programme is fully funded by the Department of Education (DoE) under an initiative that is seeking to address the gap in teacher education in SPHE/RSE. The programme is open to all teachers who are currently teaching SPHE/RSE in post primary schools recognised by the Department of Education. This reflects the intention to provide pathways for progression for teachers seeking to develop their skills in SPHE/RSE and it provides the opportunity to create leadership within the teaching profession in this area. 

This innovative, one-year, part-time NFQ Level 9 post-graduate programme incorporates three areas of professional learning; personal development, skills and knowledge. Alongside the advancement of specialist subject knowledge, a key focus of the programme is teachers’ own personal development and the adaption of a skill set needed for the teaching of SPHE/RSE in the classroom. For more information on the programme: Graduate Diploma in SPHE RSE