The application process for the 2022–23 Postgraduate Diploma in SEN is now open. The closing date for receipt of completed applications is 11 March 2022.

Application Forms must be downloaded from the Department of Education website. Completed application forms must be emailed to on or before the closing date.

Please see further information and link to download the circular and application forms at Applications and Selections below. A Word version of each of the application forms is also provided for your convenience.

Course Overview

The programme aims to give fully qualified serving teachers working in SEN teaching roles in their schools and other recognised educational services a thorough professional knowledge and understanding of special needs and learning difficulties, and to equip them with the necessary knowledge and skills to support the education of those with special needs and learning difficulties in various contexts. In doing so, the programme also aims to provide enjoyable and rewarding learning experiences and be responsive to learners’ needs.

The programme is supported by the Department of Education and Skills (DES) and provides a recognised qualification for teachers working in the area of special educational needs and learning support in mainstream and special settings. Programme fees are paid by the DES. The programme is delivered by a core team supported by a cohort of associate lecturers with a range of experience and expertise.


Applications and Selections

The circular and application forms are available to download from the Department of Education website at this link. Please read the circular carefully. Importantly, the application forms are at the end of the document.

A Word version of the Primary and Special School application form is available to download here: PDSEN form 1

A Word version of the Post-primary School application form is available here: PDSEN form 2.

  • You need to download the application form for your school sector: primary and special schools or post-primary schools and complete it. You must attach letter of confirmation of your registration or registration certificate which can be downloaded from the Teaching Council website. A renewal of payment slip will not suffice.
  • Completed application forms must be emailed to on or before the closing date.
  • Postal applications to University of Galway will not be accepted.
  • We look forward to receiving your application.
  • Please note that you must be a qualified teacher, registered with the Teaching Council, and working as a Special Education Teacher (SET) or taking up such a role in September 2023 to be eligible to participate in the programme. This is not an initial teacher education programme.

Who Teaches this Course

  • Cohort of lecturers with specific expertise and experience in areas of SEN
Ms Andrea Higgins
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Requirements and Assessment

Assessment is through coursework assignments undertaken during the year and is linked to teachers’ developing practice.

Key Facts

Entry Requirements

To be eligible, applicants must be graduates and qualified teachers registered with the Teaching Council of Ireland and have a designated teaching role in relation to students with special educational needs. Further eligibility criteria are included in the DES circular available at:

Additional Requirements

Garda Vetting/police clearance is required for this programme.

1 year, part-time

Next start date

September 2023

A Level Grades ()

Average intake


QQI/FET FETAC Entry Routes

Closing Date

See DES circular.

NFQ level

Mode of study

ECTS weighting




Course code


Course Outline

The programme consists of five modules:

  • Inclusion: Perspectives and Implications for Practice
  • Assessment, Planning and Applications
  • Curricular Issues for Special Educational Needs
  • Implications of Educational Disability
  • Specialist Study.

The programme involves release from schools/centres for designated block periods of a total of eight weeks over the academic year, with substitute cover provided. In addition, some lectures and workshops take place on Saturdays. The programme also includes supervised work in teachers’ own schools/centres and a four-day placement in a special setting other than their own.

Key to the programme are inclusive approaches to teaching and learning, which are discussed and demonstrated. Teachers are supported in implementing such approaches in their schools. Participants are encouraged to engage with the programme, and emphasis is placed on developing the skills required to become effective, reflective practitioners in the field of special educational needs.

Why Choose This Course?

Career Opportunities

Qualified teachers who graduate from this programme are recognised by the Department of Education and Skills (DES) for positions as special education teachers (SETs) in mainstream and special settings. 

Who’s Suited to This Course

Learning Outcomes

Transferable Skills Employers Value

Work Placement

Study Abroad

Related Student Organisations

Course Fees

Fees: EU

Fees: Tuition

Fees: Student levy

Fees: Non EU

Fees are covered by the DES for eligible participants.

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  • Postgraduate Prospectus 2023

    Postgraduate Prospectus 2023 PDF (20.6MB)