Professional Master of Education


The Professional Master of Education is a full-time programme running for two academic years from the date of first registration for the programme.

Teaching Subjects

Students are normally allowed to teach only those subjects which they have pursued to an advanced level in their degree, and studied a minimum of 60 credits, and for which they have completed and submitted Teaching Council Subject Declaration Forms (SDFs) on application to the PME programme. At least one of these subjects must be approved by the Teaching Council for teacher registration1. Students normally also teach a second subject in which they have some recognised academic attainment and for which they are recognised to teach by the Teaching Council. All students are required to attend pedagogy courses to support the teaching of both their teaching subjects. Students who do not have a second teaching subject will be prepared to teach junior cycle Civic, Social and Personal Education as their second possible teaching subject.

Students should note that only the following post-primary teaching subjects are currently supported on the programme: Business Studies (including Business Studies, Accounting and Economics), Computer Science, Politics and Society/CSPE2, English, French, Gaeilge/Irish, Geography, German, History, Home Economics3, Italian, Maths, Music, Religious Education, Science (including Agricultural Science, Biology, Chemistry and Physics), Spanish.


*Note: To be eligible for appointment to an incremental salaried teaching position in a secondary school, a teacher must be registered. It is the Teaching Council alone which has the authority to determine what constitutes adequate qualifications for registration purposes. See for registration details.


Politics and Society/CSPE: Students presenting with Politics and Society/CSPE must have a second teaching subject.


Only open to graduates of MT 930

Important Note: A minimum number of students is required for the subject-specific modules listed above to run in any given year. Students should note that cross-subject support may be provided if student numbers in any subject area are low.

School Placement

As per Teaching Council guidelines, the programme includes a requirement for two separate mentored and supervised school placements (one in PME Year 1 and one in PME Year 2) in recognised cooperating post-primary schools. School placements are designed to give student teachers opportunities to gain professional practice experience in classrooms and schools, to learn about teaching and learning in a variety of situations, to participate fully in the life of the school and to gain an in-depth understanding of the role of the teacher and the school more generally. In both Years 1 and 2, students must obtain placement teaching hours only in cooperating post-primary schools, which work closely with the UCC PME programme. It is not permitted to complete placement in any school not listed on the approved list of cooperating schools. Note: While most co-operating schools are in the greater Cork City area, some schools on the list will require a considerable amount of travel and may necessitate use of a car or public transport.

On accepting a PME place, PME1 School Placement is normally arranged for students from the list of UCC School of Education PME cooperating schools by the UCC School of Education PME School Placement Committee, in consultation with the partner schools and the student. The UCC School of Education PME programme reserves the right to implement different procedures in respect of arranging PME1 placement, in the event of any exceptional situations and circumstances. Taking up a place on the UCC PME programme is conditional on school placement being finalised. After PME1 placement is confirmed by the PME placement school, students sign a placement form and are contracted until the end of the school year to carry out their teaching placement in the school in question. Students must normally ensure that there is a minimum of twelve students in their placement class groups for supervision purposes.

Each student is expected to have a contrasting school placement experience in a different school context for Year 2. The placement school for Year 2 will be managed and allocated by the School of Education PME Placement Committee. 

Students are required to spend a minimum of 100 hours of personal experience of directly teaching a class or classes in one or more approved subjects (normally 6 x 40 minute periods or 4 x 1 hour periods per week) in Year 1 and 150 hours (normally 9 x 40 minute periods or 6 x 1 hour periods per week) in Year 2. In both years placement must be undertaken on specific days and during specific times for the entire school year from late August until the following June. In both Years 1 and 2, students are required to prepare and maintain a School Placement Teaching Portfolio with evidence of long and short term planning, daily and weekly reflections, resources and other relevant data for all their class groups for the duration of their placements. During both placements, students engage in non-teaching school activities for a specified number of hours required by the Teaching Council. This experience will normally include lesson planning, preparation and reflection, opportunities for some classroom observation of experienced teachers, team teaching, participation in school meetings, and other collaborative work with school staff and the extended school community. During these non-teaching activities, students in Year 1 will also be required to complete a variety of reflective research tasks related to their placement (e.g. pertaining to classroom management, teacher questioning and assessment, ICT, literacy learning theories, supporting students with English as an Additional Language, which all form part of a School Placement Research and Professional Experiences Portfolio. Year 2 students will engage in more school activities commensurate with their evolving school experience and increased time in school and will also conduct research related to their classroom or school context, which will form part of their required Professional Research Paper in Education.

Irish Language Requirement

While the Irish requirement has been removed for the generality of second-level teachers who do not use Irish in their everyday work, teachers of Irish and teachers employed in Gaeltacht schools and in other schools where Irish is the medium of instruction will be required to be fully proficient in Irish. A special course in spoken Irish, run by An Gaeilge Labhartha, UCC, will be available to students during their Professional Master of Education studies.

Programme Requirements

For information about modules, module choice, options and credit weightings, please go to Programme Requirements