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UCC Postgraduate courses

Professional Master of Education (Art & Design) (Jointly offered with MTU-CCAD)

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Course Fact File
Duration2 Years Full-time
Teaching ModeFull-time
NFQ LevelLevel 9
Closing Date2 February 2024
Non-EU Closing Date2 February 2024
Start Date2 September 2024

Course Outline

Our Professional Master of Education in Art & Design is a new two-year full-time professional teacher education programme offered jointly by UCC's School of Education and the Munster Technological University (MTU) Crawford College of Art & Design (CCAD).

This Professional Master of Education (PME) leads to a professional qualification as a post-primary teacher of Art and Design. It is recognised and accredited by the Teaching Council of Ireland for the purpose of registration as a post-primary teacher of Art and Design in both Ireland and the EU.

The programme integrates three strands of study:

  • The practice of teaching Art and Design through two school placements - one per year of the programme;
  • Workshop attendance to broaden subject knowledge and meet the demands of the post-primary Art and Design curricula along with exploring Art and Design Pedagogy;
  • Lecture and tutorial attendance, at MTU, CCAD, and UCC. These lectures develop the requisite professional knowledge, skills, understanding and competencies of the student-teacher.

During the two-year PME (Art & Design) programme, you will be introduced to best practice in teaching, learning and educational research with special emphasis placed on meeting the diverse needs of learners, on the curriculum and on current issues in education. 

Students are encouraged to integrate educational theory and practice through extensive reflection on their own professional classroom practice. They are supported in their development by experienced teachers in schools and tutored by specialist MTU, CCAD, and UCC staff in nurturing their professional identity as teachers.

Placement Information

The PME-Art and Design programme is organised in partnership with second-level schools, normally located within a 50 km (30 miles) radius of Cork city. Please note given its nature this programme is subject to the University's Fitness to Practise Policy.

As part of their University programme, some students are required to undertake placement and training that involve dealing directly with patients, clients or service users.

  • Year 1

In Year 1 the responsibility for securing a placement school rests with the student. A school placement should not be secured until students have been offered a place on the programme. After an interview by the school, students are contracted until the end of the school year to carry out their teaching placement in the school where their school placement forms were signed. Students must ensure that there is a minimum of twelve students in their placement class groups for supervision purposes.

  • Year 2

To proceed to School Placement in Year 2 students must have passed the Year 1 placement. Each student in expected to have a contrasting placement experience in a different school context for Year 2. The placement school for Year 2 will again be selected by the student but the choice will be mediated and approved by the Head of Arts in Health and Education (MTU). 

Course Content

Year 1 Core Modules (60 credits):

 School Placement-Related Activity 

  • ED6322 School Placement I (20 credits) 
  • ED6331 School Placement: Research and Professional Experiences Portfolio A (5 credits)
  • ED6332 School Placement: Research and Professional experiences Portfolio B (5 credits)

Practice, Curriculum, and Pedagogy of Art & Design 

  • ED6323 The Teaching of Art and Design (5 credits)
  • ED6324 Curriculum-related Art and Design Practice (5 credits)

 Foundation Studies   

  • ED6301 Philosophy and History of Education (5 credits),
  • ED6302 Introduction to Psychology and Sociology of Education (5 credits);
  • ED6303 Curriculum and Assessment (5 credits)
  • ED6306 Inclusion-Special Educational Needs and Multicultural Education (5 credits)

 Year 2 Core Modules (60 credits):

 School Placement-Related Activity 

  • ED6358 School Placement II  (30 credits)
  • ED6341 Collaborative Seminar: Contemporary Issues in Irish Schools (5 credits)
  • ED6354 Literacy and Numeracy Development in the Post-Primary Classroom (5 credits)
  • ED6362 Designing Curriculum and Assessment for the Contemporary Classroom (5 credits)

Research in Art & Design Education

  • ED6359 PME Professional Research Paper (10 credits)

Critical Art and Design Pedagogy 

  • ED6353 The Teaching of Art and Design II (5 credits)

Academic Programme Catalogue

See the Academic Programme Catalogue where you can search for the complete and up-to-date content for this course. Note that the modules for all courses are subject to change from year to year. For complete descriptions of individual modules, see the Book of Modules.

Why Choose This Course

By the end of the programme, you will have acquired the professional knowledge, the diverse subject knowledge, the understanding and the skills that you need to teach Art and Design in a secondary-level school. You will have gained practical experience in two contrasting school settings and will have developed your ability to respond flexibly to the diverse and changing needs of students aged from 12 to 18 years.

This is a transformative programme that will challenge, encourage, and invite you to question your beliefs and assumptions about the purpose of education. It is an opportunity to truly consider the nature of teaching and learning, and your role as a teacher in the 21st century. 

Placement or Study Abroad Information

The course includes teaching placements under supervision in cooperating post-primary schools. All candidates, therefore, must obtain teaching placements in one of the School of Education’s and Department of Arts in Health and Education’s recognised second-level schools (see Programme Requirements below for further details on School Placement).

As per Teaching Council guidelines, the programme includes a requirement for two separate mentored and supervised school placements (one in Year 1 and one in Year 2) in recognised cooperating post-primary schools.

School placements are designed to give student teachers opportunities to gain professional 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 teaching hours in cooperating second-level schools normally within a 50km radius of Cork City, which will facilitate their attendance at the required lectures, workshops and other commitments on campus on specific days and times during the teaching week. The list of approved cooperating schools for the PME (Art & Design) placement will be sent to successful applicants when they formally accept their place on the programme.


Candidates must have as a minimum requirement a Second Class Honours Grade II in a primary honours degree (NFQ, Level 8) in a Fine Art or Design discipline(s) that is recognised by the Teaching Council of Ireland for the teaching of art in a post-primary school. Eligible applicants will also be interviewed. 


You can get further relevant information from the Teaching Council at by emailing

See also The Teaching Council Subject Registration Requirements.

In the case of overseas applicants, you will need to get clarification from Quality and Qualifications Ireland (formerly NQAI) regarding your degree.

Teaching Subjects have discipline-specific requirements and prospective applicants are advised to check the requirements for a specific subject area by consulting the following:

  • Curricular Subject Requirements Registration: Registration.
  • Subject Declaration Forms Link (including a self-assessment checklist of whether you meet the requirements for your subject area): Subject Forms.

Please be advised the Teaching Council does not pre-assess qualifications for individuals who are applying for the PME Art & Design and it is up to applicants to self-assess their qualifications to ensure they meet the requirements for the PME Art & Design providers and the Teaching Council.  

Please fully complete each section of the Subject Declaration Form and upload it as part of your application process.

For more information on the application process, please read the PME Art and Design Checklist.


Eligible applicants will also be interviewed, which includes the viewing of a portfolio. The details of the portfolio requirements will be sent out with the interview invitation. For more information, please read the PME Art and Design Interview Guidelines.

Garda Vetting

Please note that as part of this programme students will require Garda Vetting as they will take part in a placement or UCC related activity where they will be working in an unsupervised capacity with children and/or vulnerable adults. For more information on this process please read the UCC Student Garda Vetting Policy.

Fitness to Practise

This programme is subject to the University's Fitness to Practise Policy - full details may be found here.

Applicants wishing to pursue the PME are now eligible to apply for the Back to Education Allowance (BTEA) from the Department of Social Protection. See Department of Social Welfare - Back to Education.

For Applicants with Qualifications Completed Outside of Ireland

Applicants must meet the required entry academic grade, equivalent to Irish requirements. For more information see our Qualification Comparison page.

International/Non-EU Applicants

For full details of the non-EU application procedure visit our how to apply pages for international students.

  • In UCC, we use the term programme and course interchangeably to describe what a person has registered to study in UCC and its constituent colleges, schools, and departments.
  • Note that not all courses are open to international/non-EU applicants, please check the fact file above. For more information contact the International Office.
English Language Requirements

Applicants who are non-native speakers of the English language must meet the university-approved English language requirements. Visit our PG English Language Requirements page for more information.

Fees and Costs

Postgraduate EU and International Fees 2024/2025

See our Postgraduate EU and Non-EU (International) Fee Schedule for the latest information.


If your course requires a deposit, that figure will be deducted from your second-semester fee payment in January.

Fee payment 

Fees are payable in two equal instalments. First payment is at registration and the balance usually by the end of January.

How can I pay? 

See different options on our How Do I Pay My Fees? page.

Any questions? See the 'Contact Us' section on the Fees Office page.

How To Apply

1. Check dates

Check the opening and closing dates for the application process in the fact file boxes at the top of the page.

2. Gather documents

Scanned copies of supporting documents have to be uploaded to the UCC online application portal and include:

  • Original qualification documents listed on your application including transcripts of results from institutions other than UCC.
  • Any supplementary items requested for your course if required.

3. Apply online

Apply online via the UCC online application portal. Note the majority of our courses have a non-refundable €50 application fee.

Any questions? Use our web enquiry form to contact us.

Additional Requirements (All Applicants)

Please note you will be required to provide additional information as part of the online application process for this programme. This will include the following questions:

  • You may enter the details of professional or voluntary positions held. We strongly encourage you to complete this section with all relevant work experiences that will support your application.
  • In addition to your previously declared qualifications, please outline any additional academic courses, self-learning and professional training relevant to this programme.
  • Please describe your motivation and readiness for this programme.
  • You will be requested to provide the details of one academic referee and one professional referee (this can be from a voluntary role). Both referees will be contacted at shortlisting stage by the review panel.

Please note that the application for the Professional Master of Education (PME) programme is made through the PAC website at (Code: PEC01).


Deferrals are not permitted on this programme.

The closing date for non-EU applications is 2 February 2024

Apply Now

For queries regarding course content or timetables please contact