Course Overview

The Professional Master of Education (PME) at University of Galway is a recognised postgraduate qualification for teaching (post-primary) and provides the professional knowledge, understanding and pedagogical skills required to become a post-primary teacher.

The PME is a two-year, full-time programme for graduates and is accredited by the Teaching Council of Ireland for the purposes of registration as a post-primary teacher (pupils aged 12–18 years) in Ireland and the EU, as well as other English-speaking countries.

To enable students to adopt an evidence-based approach to their professional practice and to respond to the complexity of teaching and learning within the modern day classroom, the design and approach to the programme is research-driven and research-based. Students will engage with contemporary research literature as well as policy at international and local level. The University context with its vibrant research culture provides an excellent location for teacher education programmes that are research driven and develop teachers as professional and critical practitioners.

All elements of the PME programmes are, whilst being theoretically informed, relevant to the real world of teaching and learning, to the challenges facing Ireland in the current economic and social context, and to the needs of our young people, building their capacity as active, engaged and responsible citizens.

At University of Galway, it is our mission to prepare knowledgeable, passionate, innovative and caring teachers who embrace diversity, change and uncertainty, and who ask critical questions about education and schooling.

Consequent to the above mission, the PME programme aims to:

  • enable students to integrate theory and practice so as to support creative teaching and learning;
  • build students’ awareness of as well as competence and skills in enacting current and emerging national priorities such as literacy, numeracy and inclusion;
  • support student teachers in the practical teaching programme and provide an understanding of their ethical and legal obligations;
  • engage student teachers in reflecting in and developing their personal and professional identities, enabling them to become responsible, ethical, collaborative, effective and reflective practitioners;
  • support students as they develop and explore their emerging professional identity as a teacher;
  • enable students to develop their capacity as inquiry-based practitioners;
  • promote and develop student teachers’ appreciation of active research and its potential role in lifelong learning and development of professional practice.

Here is the provisional PME Academic Calendar 2023–24

Please note that we also provide this course through Irish

Scholarships available
Find out about our Postgraduate Scholarships here.


Applications and Selections

All applications for the Professional Master of Education (PME) are made through the Postgraduate Applications Centre (PAC). Applications for entry 2024 open on 1 October 2023.

Prior to entry into the PME, all applicants must complete a subject declaration form for return to the Teaching Council for each subject. The completed forms are to be submitted with a candidate’s application through the Postgraduate Applications Centre.

Post-qualification with the PME graduates’ registration as a teacher in the post-primary school system in the Republic of Ireland is regulated by the Teaching Council of Ireland.

Who Teaches this Course

Dr Paul Flynn
PhD, BEng, BA
Lecturer Above The Bar
School of Education
University of Galway
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Dr Brenda Gallagher
BA., H.Dip.Ed., DBS, Ph.D.
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Prof Anthony Hall
B.A., M.I.T., Ph.D.
Co-Founder of T-REX: Teachers' Research Exchange
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Dr Manuela Heinz
M.A., M.Sc., Ph.D
Associate Professor, Head of Discipline of Education
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Ms Andrea Higgins
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Dr Elaine Keane
B.A., H.Dip.Ed.M.Ed., PhD.
Senior Lecturer
School of Education
Room 6
14 University Road
University of Galway
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B.Ed., M.Ed., PhD
Established Professor, Head of School
School of Education
Nuns Island
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Dr Veronica McCauley
Ph.D, B.Sc
Senior Lecturer
Education Department
NUI, Galway
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Dr Clíona Murray
Lecturer Above The Bar
School of Education
University of Galway
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Ms Maria Silke
B.Comm, H.D.E, M.Ed

M: 00353872391104
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Ms Rose Cahill
School of Education
Nun's Island
NUI Galway
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Dr Niamh Flynn
BA., PhD., MA.EP
Lab In Educational Psychology
School of Education
University of Galway
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Mrs Rachel Konisberry
School of Education
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Dr Ian Munday
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Requirements and Assessment

Continuous assessment through written assignments, collaborative and research projects.

Key Facts

Entry Requirements

The minimum requirement is a primary degree, Level 8 (or equivalent international qualification) deemed eligible by the Teaching Council for the purposes of registration as a post- primary teacher. More information:

Additional Requirements

School Placement
Throughout each of the two years of the programme students have two school placements (one per year).
Students are responsible for securing their own school placement for PME Year 1 prior to registration on the programme. The requirements for the PME Year 1 placement are outlined in the FAQs document (see ‘Find Out More’ link). Please note: All students registering on the PME will be subject to Garda Vetting in compliance with the University's policy.

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)


2 years, full-time

Next start date

September 2024

A Level Grades ()

Average intake


QQI/FET FETAC Entry Routes

Closing Date

31 January 2024

NFQ level

Mode of study

ECTS weighting




Course code

Visit for relevant PAC application codes

Course Outline

PME Year 1 modules


Area of study


Educational Sciences


Psychology  of Teaching and Learning 

Education, Diversity and Social Justice

History,  Structure & Context of Irish Education

Philosophy of Education


Professional Studies

Teaching & Learning

Curriculum & Assessment

Catering for Diversity

Literacy and Numeracy

Technology Enhanced Learning (TEL)


Teaching Methodology 1A

Subject Methodology


Teaching Methodology 1B

Subject Methodology or Specialist Methodology


Professional Practice/School Placement

Practical Teaching

Teacher as Professional

Involvement in extracurricular activities

Reflective Practice

Technology Enhanced Learning



PME Year 2 modules 

Year 2: Modules

Area of study


Practitioner Based Research


Research methodologies and research ethics

Conducting and writing a literature review

Identifying a research focus, research questions, designing and conducting a practitioner research study

Collaborative review and critical exploration of research design, research process and research findings



Educational Sciences 2

Same areas of study as Year 1 with focus on linking theory and policy with practice and application in schools


Teaching Methodology 2A

Subject Methodology


Teaching Methodology 2B

Subject Methodology


Professional  Practice/School Placement

Practical Teaching

Teacher as Professional

Involvement in extracurricular activities

Reflective Practice

Technology Enhanced Learning



Why Choose This Course?

Career Opportunities

Potential students who have an interest in becoming a secondary school teacher in Ireland or the EU, who have an interest in teaching and learning, and making a change in the lives of children and young people. Those who are passionate about their teaching subject(s). People who are good at listening, explaining, and interested in building respectful and supportive relationships with young people and colleagues. 

  • Would you like to work with children and young people and make a difference to their lives?
  • Are you passionate about (and competent in) your subjects and do you want to share your passion with young people?
  • Are you patient, good at listening, good at explaining—can you build respectful and supportive relationships with young people and colleagues?
  • Can you see yourself inspiring young people to learn and work hard?
  • Can you see yourself enjoying and coping in a work environment where you have different (and often unexpected) experiences every day, where you can be creative and where you have to be well organised, committed and professional?

Who’s Suited to This Course

Learning Outcomes

Transferable Skills Employers Value

Work Placement

Study Abroad

Related Student Organisations

Course Fees

Fees: EU

€6,390 p.a. (including levy) 2024/25

Fees: Tuition

€6,250 p.a. 2024/25

Fees: Student levy

€140 p.a. 2024/25

Fees: Non EU

€18,000 p.a. (€18,140 including levy) 2024/25

Postgraduate students in receipt of a SUSI grant—please note an F4 grant is where SUSI will pay €4,000 towards your tuition (2024/25).  You will be liable for the remainder of the total fee.  A P1 grant is where SUSI will pay tuition up to a maximum of €6,270. SUSI will not cover the student levy of €140.

The Professional Master of Education is a two year, full-time programme.  EU fees for each year of this programme are €6,390 for 2024/25.  You may have paid €260 deposit to PAC to accept your place for year 1. Once you register this will become part payment against your fees due and you will be liable for the balance. 


Louise Creaven |   PME Graduate

I completed the PME in 2020, fulfilling my dream to become a secondary school teacher and to share my passion for both my teaching subjects of Gaeilge and Geography. The PME is well structured and prepares all student teachers to the highest degree for the complexities of the modern classroom and school environment. School placement really gives you a sense of the day to day ongoings of a school and allows you to become involved in various aspects of school life. Coming from a strong sporting background, I found it extremely rewarding to get involved with the extra-curricular activities offered at school. To be somewhat a part of seeing students reach their full capabilities is rewarding and makes teaching all the more worthwhile. I truly benefitted from my time at NUI Galway. The staff of the School of Education are enthusiastic and supportive in every aspect of the programme. The people who I have met along my journey in becoming a teacher have undoubtedly shaped my professional development. I would highly recommend the PME at NUI Galway.

Tino Tenda Nzvaura |   Graduate

I always wanted to be a teacher and was very excited to get into the PME course. I found the course really well organized and structured. What I enjoyed most was putting theory into practice in the classroom – the excitement of seeing students learn and progress. The course really helped me to understand the learning process. We were encouraged to try out different approaches and I learnt how to engage different students through lesson hooks and a wide range of subject-specific methodologies. I would definitely recommend the PME programme at NUIG – for me it has been very influential, not only professionally but also personally. If you come into this course you will learn a lot about yourself. You’ll be challenged to come out of your shell and you will do things you might have never done before. I would definitely recommend the PME programme at NUI Galway.

Daniela Donghi |   Graduate, PME

I finished the PME at NUI Galway in 2018. I really enjoyed the course. It is a very well-balanced mix of practical and theoretical subjects, which provides future teachers with the skills needed to be successful in the classroom. I very much benefited from the time spent in teaching practice, since it helped me build confidence and develop the ability to tackle the daily challenges of the teaching profession. In our second year we were also involved in action research, which I particularly enjoyed since it made me appreciate the importance of research in education. Lecturers and tutors are enthusiastic, passionate, and very helpful. They encourage group work and peer feedback, which are crucial in the actual teaching setting. I was awarded the NUI Scholarship in Education 2018, and I believe that this would have never been possible without the supportive and inspiring words of the team of the School of Education. Finally, I also made new friends in college and in teaching practice, whom I am looking forward to working with in the near future!

Luke O'Donnell |   PME Graduate

NUI Galway’s PME course is a teacher training programme first and foremost, but it’s a far cry from boot camp. PME candidates are in schools within six weeks of commencing studies and this kind of professional immersion is invaluable. You mightn’t know if you’ll be any good at teaching at that stage, but you’ll know if it’s not your caper. From the sixth week to the last, the programme focuses on preparing new teachers to perform in class as close to ‘career-teacher’ calibre as possible. Theirs is a philosophy of care, completion, quality and achievement, much more than deadlines and sanctions. It’s an infectious philosophy which always encouraged me to produce quality material, whether in the classroom or on campus. When you find yourself looking forward to placement tutor visits, you’re either a couple of paperclips short of a pencil case or you’re on the right track. I firmly believe teaching to be a noble profession with no shortage of perks and I shall recall fondly my own experience at NUI Galway among them.
Mary Ann

Mary Ann Melville |   Graduate

My PME experience has been both challenging and very rewarding. I decided to review my career path, and this led me to the PME programme in NUIG. The course was very engaging and focused on a very practical approach to teaching and learning. This practical approach to learning helps build a very student focused programme. The course is built around supporting “us” the teachers of tomorrow, to promote and build students’ abilities and interests in our subjects within the classroom. There is a strong emphasis on collaborative learning. The lecturers are extremely supportive and are always available to alleviate any worries that may arise. I have three children and sometimes, especially in the beginning, I felt overwhelmed. However, I always felt supported by the lecturers. The support and encouragement I received from them helped me to complete the course. The relationships formed throughout the course are very rewarding. I have enjoyed the course immensely and would highly recommend the course to anyone who is thinking of a change in career, you won’t regret it!

Javier Ruiz Gomez |   PME Graduate

I completed the PME at NUI Galway in 2020. It has been an enjoyable learning process which has led me to a job right away. I am the type of person that enjoys talking about history and literature, and the PME has allowed me to do this in a creative manner. The course has the perfect balance between theory and teaching practice, and it has never lost its goal: training the teachers of tomorrow. The lecturers are experts in their fields and they were always willing to help us every step of the way, supporting students’ professional development as well as their wellbeing. On the PME you will meet and connect with new people from across the country and further afield, and you will likely stay in touch with many of them after you graduate. NUI Galway PME students have always being envied by students from other colleges because instead of focusing on tons of paperwork we focused on the quality of teaching and the learning of our students. Choosing NUI Galway's PME has provided me with a strong foundation to transition to a full-time teaching career, "and that [as Robert Frost would have said] has made all the difference.

Alan Kinsella |   Principal, Dominican College, Galway

We have taken PME students from the School of Education (SOE) NUIG since 2014. Our experience of the programme & the students we have taken has, for the most part, been excellent. We are selective in terms of taking students & interview each applicant to ensure they will be a good match for our school and that we will be a good match for them. We have found the PME students to be very well prepared for their work, particularly the Year 2 students & have found them to be an asset to the school in terms of their classroom work, & to the extras they have brought such as their involvement in leading extra-curricular activities & assisting in the school when required. The support we have received from the university staff has been excellent. On the rare occasions when we have had any concerns about a PME student, we have found the SOE staff to be very supportive of both the school & the student with a focus on improvement. They have worked with the school to ensure that we are satisfied with the quality of teaching & learning taking place in the classroom, while also providing as much assistance and guidance as needed to ensure that the student benefits from their placement experience.

Nuala O'Halloran |   PME Co-ordinator, Saint Joseph's College, 'The Bish', Galway

The links between NUI Galway and the 'Bish' are very strong. The Bish has for many years been in the top five feeder schools to the university. In the Bish we take care of our NUI Galway PME students as we see them as a wonderful addition to our staff and school community. To ensure a high standard of teaching and learning, our school has a full-time PME co-ordinator who selects suitable student teachers with management, and co-ordinates their year in our school. Each PME student is assigned a mentor teacher who supports them, observes their teaching and gives feedback on their progress. Mentor teachers also get an opportunity to give feedback to NUI Galway tutors when they visit the school. Thanks to the two-year PME programme, our school benefits from skills and ideas PME2 student teachers acquire in their first year teaching elsewhere. PME students get involved in all areas of Bish life—establishing lunchtime homework clubs, coaching teams, team teaching, upskilling our teachers at lunchtime on the latest educational technology tools, and so on. We are proud to be involved at the start of their career path and many of the NUIG PMEs have become permanent members of our staff.

2023 QS Subject Rankings: Top 250

Education QS Subject Award Badge

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