UCC Adult courses

Further, Adult and Community Education - PG Dip

Course Fact File
Duration18 months
Teaching ModePart-Time
QualificationsPG Dip
NFQ LevelLevel 9
FeesYear 1 - 5000 Euro, Year 2 - 2500 Euro See Fees and Costs for full details.
Closing Date30 June 2024
Next IntakeSeptember 2024

Blended learning – a mix of whole class face-to-face and online teaching.

Start DateSeptember 2024

Course Outline

Are you interested in a teacher qualification in Further, Adult and Community Education?

Further, Adult and Community Education programmes are designed for learners over the age 16 and not in post-primary (secondary school) education. The sector caters for all age groups from early school leavers to people upskilling in a new area or returning to education after a break away from it. Adult learners are a diverse cohort with different needs that vary according to where each student or class is along their journey of lifelong learning. This means that Further, Adult and Community Educators must be responsive to the needs of their students and adapt to the range of educational tools that best suit adult learners.

The Postgraduate Diploma in Further, Adult and Community Education is custom built for teachers in this sector to enable them to meet the needs of their students. This course is aimed at:

  • practising teachers in this sector that have teaching experience but do not have a formal Further Educational Training, or an Adult and Community education qualification.
  • those wishing to enter the sector i.e. those with little or no teaching experience and who seek to specialise in Further, Adult and Community Education.

The programme provides a professional qualification for teaching in the Further and Adult and Community Education Sector in accordance with Section 38 of the Teaching Council Act, 2001 and Regulation Five of the Teaching Council (Registration) Regulations 2009. Further details about the Teaching Council can be found at this webpage: https://www.teachingcouncil.ie/en/

The Postgraduate Diploma in Further, Adult and Community Education will equipe students with the knowledge, skills and professional attitudes and values required to teach in a variety of settings in the Further Education sector such as Youthreach, PLC programmes, Further Education Colleges, Training Centres, Private Training Companies and broader Adult and Community Education settings. The programme promotes and maintains the professional standard expected of teachers in these sectors.

This programme was professionally accredited by the Teaching Council in July 2023. 

Please click for details on the Modules for the Course.



Course Practicalities

The programme will be completed over three semesters, part-time and carries a total of 60 ECTS credits. This is a blended learning programme comprising face-to-face classes and online lectures and tutorials.

Classes are scheduled on Friday afternoons and Saturdays running throughout the academic year. Most classes will take place in UCC. Some weekend classes will take place online. A class timetable with the full location schedule will be issued during the first week of the course.

A variety of assessment modes such as teaching placement portfolios, online reflective journals, group and individual research projects, peer presentations / school events and written assignments will be set as assignments for students.

Students will undertake a teaching placement in the delivery of QQI modules between NFQ Levels 1-7. The practical teaching element of the programme will consist of a total of 100 hours of teaching with an additional 30 hours of observation conducted in Year 1 of the programme. This ordinarily includes (but it is not an essential requirement, in order to facilitate present practising FET practitioners) two different placements in Further Education and Adult and Community settings. An observation and four assessed teaching placement visits (two visits in both Year 1 and Year 2) will take place during the placement modules as part of the assessment’s strategy for the course.   

Canvas (UCC’s Learning Management System) is utilised for central communication and resource supports.

No prior experience of teaching will be required for entry, the programme will facilitate the training of new sector entrants to the teaching profession. Practising teachers who wish to gain a teaching qualification in thus sector are encouraged to apply for the course as well.

Please click for details on the Teaching Placement Overview

Why Choose This Course

A 2020 national target set a new Lifelong Learning rate of 10% and the figure is now set at 18% by the Irish Government for 2025. With the inevitable expansion of Further Education and Adult and Community Education, there is a great need for more qualified teachers in this sector. This is your opportunity to become fully engaged with an innovative professional educational community that is committed to the advancement of younger and older adults’ continuous educational journey.

This programme provides a professional qualification for teaching in the Further and Adult and Community Education Sector in accordance with Section 38 of the Teaching Council Act, 2001 and Regulation Five of the Teaching Council (Registration) Regulations 2009. From the 1st January 2019, in line with the Teaching Council (Registration) Regulations 2016 and Teaching Council (Registration) (Amendment) Regulations 2016, all applicants for registration under Route 3 Further Education will be required to hold an appropriate Council accredited teacher education qualification.

Subject to Teaching Council approval of accreditation, students on the programme will be entitled to register with the Teaching Council of Ireland as Further Education teachers. 


  • Applicants must have a Second-Class Honours Grade 2 in a primary honours degree (NFQ, Level 8) in a subject area that is currently taught in Further and/or Adult Community Education in Ireland.
  • No prior experience of teaching/tutoring is required.
  • Candidates with a Level 7 NFQ which has a ECTS credit weighting of at least 180 credits degree and a minimum of three years senior professional experience in a related field such as educational leadership and instruction in FET and/or Community Education settings will be considered under Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) in accordance with UCC’s Recognition of Prior Learning policy for applicants who have successfully demonstrated outstanding achievement.


See https://www.ucc.ie/en/media/support/ovptl/documents/RecognitionofPriorLearningPolicy.pdf

  • Certified accreditation of prior learning based on a minimum of three years’ experience in a workplace or instructional setting which is relevant to the candidate’s qualifications such as may be recognised by the Council as suitable for the purpose of registration as a teacher under this route.
  • Applicants will need to provide an up-to-date CV (including an outline of any additional academic courses, self-learning and professional training relevant to this programme), references from existing or previous employers and separate details of related teaching/tutoring duties in FET.
  • An interview may also be required.

It is the primary responsibility of candidates to ensure that their qualifications are acceptable for the purposes of registration as a Further Education teacher with the Teaching Council. Applicants are advised to review (prior to programme entry) the Teaching Council Regulations with specific reference to registration requirements and the education, training and qualifications criteria that apply. They are also advised to contact the Further Education section (www.teachingcouncil.ie) to fully determine if they meet the criteria set down in Regulation 5 of the Teaching Council (Registration) Regulations, 2009.

Garda Vetting

Students, or applicants in receipt of an offer on this programme will be subject to Garda Vetting as relevant. Students will be prohibited from engaging in a relevant work placement unless the vetting process has been cleared. Click here: (http://www.ucc.ie/en/study/undergrad/admissionspolicies/) to view UCC's Student Garda Vetting Policy.

Fitness to Practise

This programme will be subject to the University's Fitness to Practise Policy - full details may be found at


Minimum English language requirements

All applicants whose first language is not English must have attained:

  • IELTS: 6.5 minimum overall score, with a minimum of no less than 6.0 in any single section
  • TOEFL (Paper based test): 585
  • TOEFL (Internet based test): 95
  • PTE (Pearson): 62

Fees and Costs

The total fee for this 18-month (3-semester) part-time programme is set at 7,500 euros.  This is broken down by yearly costs:

Year 1 – 5,000 euros

Year 2 – 2,500 euros

50% of the tuition fees must be paid at the time of application for your application to be processed

Funding to cover partial costs of fees is available from Leading Healthcare Providers Skillnet for educators working in the Healthcare Industry. Please contact riona.doolan@ucc.ie for more information. 

Current employees of Further, Adult and Community Education sectors may be eligible for sponsorship from their employers towards the costs of fees. Please contact your line manager to enquire about this. 

For further information on fees and financial supports please click here.

How To Apply

Applications will NOT be assessed until all supporting documentation has been fully received. Please ensure that you have all relevant documentation available at the time of application.

Applicants need to be aware of the IT student checklist below before applying:

  • You will need access to a laptop or desktop computer running a modern supported operating system with all software updates.
  • Some of UCC’s services (e.g. the Canvas Virtual Learning Environment) link to an external site and also have mobile apps for iOS and Android Devices that you may wish to use as part of your studies. However, we recommend using your desktop web browser for submission of assessments.
  • You should always use the most current version of your preferred browser. In general, we recommend the Chrome Web browser (Important Note: Internet Explorer will not work with Canvas).
  • We recommend a reliable broadband connection with at least 2Mbps or more.
  • You will require an Office suite of software (Microsoft Office or equivalent) and a PDF reader. You should always use the latest version of this software. All UCC students will have access to Office 365 which includes software such as Word/Excel/PowerPoint etc. once registered.

To Apply for this course please follow the steps below:

When you log into the Application Portal:

Click Apply Online

Select Start a new Adult & Continuing Education Application 

On the 2nd tab Academic Level 

Select the following options:

Academic Level: Adult Continuing Education (ACE at UCC)

Course Type:  ACE Part-time Courses

Academic Programme: The course title you are applying for.

During your online application you will be required to upload the following documents:

  • Motivation Statement
  • Birth Cert or Passport
  • Passport Photograph 
  • Work experience confirmation and details
  • Curriculum Vitae
  • English Language Test Report [if applicable]
  • Transcripts [if applicable]

All applications will be reviewed after the closing date has passed. 50% of the tuition fees must be paid at the time of application for your application to be processed.

Apply Now

Year 1 Modules

Year 2 Modules

Year 3 Modules

Year 4 Modules

For queries regarding course content or timetables please contact