Ask Brian: My daughter wants to teach. What’s the best entry route?

There are lots of options - just be sure your degree meets Teaching Council requirements

My daughter is studying the BA in arts at University of Limerick (her joint honours subjects are Irish and history ) and wants to teach. She’s unsure what’s the best route to qualify as a teacher. Can you advise?

The good news is that Irish and history on the BA (Arts) at UL meet the credits and curriculum requirements as currently set out by the Teaching Council, the regulatory body for the teaching profession.

Just one word of warning: the Teaching Council specifies the number of credits required in particular areas for some disciplines (in Irish, for example, a certain number of literature modules are required). So, your daughter should speak to her course director or personal advisor at UL to ensure she selects the right modules.

It is also important for your daughter to spend time in the Gaeltacht during her degree programme, as this is required by the Teaching Council. Members of staff in Irish can advise her about this.


In addition, an optional module in professional Irish is available to all education students at UL interested in teaching in the Irish-medium sector. This evening module - “An Ghaeilge Ghairmiúil” - is delivered in the autumn semester each year.

In relation to your question relating to the best route to qualify as a teacher, the two-year Professional Master’s of Education (PME) has replaced the old one-year Higher Diploma in Education (H Dip).

It is currently offered in the four National University of Ireland (NUI) universities: (UCD, Maynooth University, UCC and NUI Galway) and is also offered in Trinity College and DCU. Hibernia College, a private provider, offers the PME and its standards are universally recognised as being of the highest order.

UL is also introducing a general entry PME in academic year 2019/20. In other words, the programme will not be discipline specific as heretofore and it will be possible to follow subject pathways in the PME subjects listed above.

UL currently offers a subject-specific PME in languages (French, German, Irish, Japanese, Spanish, and English as a second language); business (accounting, business, and economics); maths; music; physical education; science (agricultural science, biology, chemistry, and physics) and technological education (engineering, technology, construction studies, design and communication graphics).

UL also offers two undergraduate degree programmes which have concurrent teacher education (in other words, initial teacher education in included as part of the degree). These are available in maths and computer science; biology and chemistry/or physics/or agricultural science.