PME Frequently Asked Questions


  1. What is the UCC Professional Master of Education (PME) programme?
  2. What will I study during the UCC PME?
  3. Am I eligible to apply for the UCC PME?
  4. Where and when do I apply for the UCC PME?
  5. What is the course code for the UCC PME on the PAC website?
  6. How are candidates selected for the UCC PME programme?
  7. When do PAC normally make their first rounds offers for the UCC PME?
  8. Where and when should I organise my School Placement?
  9. How do I organise my School Placement?
  10. How is the UCC PME course structured?
  11. How much will it cost?
  12. Is the UCC PME a full-time course?
  13. Which curriculum subjects are supported on the UCC PME?


 1. What is the UCC Professional Master of Education (PME) programme?

The PME in UCC is a two-year, full-time teacher education course designed to qualify graduates as post-primary secondary school teachers. It is fully recognised and accredited by the Teaching Council of Ireland for the purpose of registration as a post-primary teacher in Ireland and the EU.


 2. What will I study during the UCC PME?

The PME combines two year-long school placements with university lectures and tutorials, which develop student teachers’ requisite professional knowledge, skills, understanding and competences.  Students are introduced to best practice in teaching, learning, assessment and educational research with special emphasis on meeting the diverse needs of learners, on the curriculum and on current issues in education.  Students are supported in their development by experienced teachers in schools and tutored by specialist School of Education staff in nurturing their professional identity as teachers.

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 3.  Am I eligible to apply for the UCC PME?

You must have, or expect to have, by the starting date of the course a Level 8 primary degree (minimum 2H2 grade achieved) that the Teaching Council of Ireland recognises as qualifying you to teach at least one subject in a post-primary school. See the Teaching Council’s Specific Requirements for each Curricular Subject at post-primary level. On applying for a place on the PME, you are required to submit a Subject Declaration Form for your proposed teaching subject(s). We advise all potential applicants to complete these when thinking of applying in order to satisfy themselves that they have the correct subject content covered to fulfil the criteria laid down by the Teaching Council. See Subject Declaration Form(s) for the forms for individual subjects.

Remember you will be self-declaring your eligibility for your degree subject(s) on your Subject Declaration Form(s) at application and you need to be sure that in signing the forms that you meet the stated Teaching Council curriculum subject requirements.

The School of Education cannot deliberate as to whether an individual applicant is eligible to teach the subject or not.

Final year students can apply based on their second (3-year degree) or third year (4-year degree) results, as applicable.

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 4. Where and when do I apply for the UCC PME?

Applications for the UCC PME are made online through the Postgraduate Application Centre (PAC).

Closing date for applications is January 31st.

It is important that applicants take note of all the information contained on the PAC PME website. There is a Frequently Asked Questions section and we recommend that all potential applicants consult it.

As part of the application, you will be asked to complete Teaching Council Subject Declaration Form(s), which confirms your eligibility to register as a teacher of a particular subject. Please click on the link above to check that your degree meets the specific subject requirements set out by the Teaching Council before you complete the form(s).


 5. What is the course code for the UCC PME on the PAC website?

As for 2019/20 entry, a Subject-based application/selection system will be in operation for 2020-2021. Please see the PAC PME page for detailed instructions on the process.

Remember if your choice is to complete the PME in UCC, you should apply for UCC in both of your proposed teaching subjects using the UCC PME programme codes outlined in Q13, with your preferred subject as your first choice and your second subject as your second choice e.g. if your teaching subjects for the UCC PME are French and Religious Education, you should put PECFR as your first choice on the PAC application followed by PECRE as your second choice.

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 6. How are candidates selected for the UCC PME programme?

Entry to the PME programme is competitive and application/selection is subject-based. Applicants will continue to rank PME programmes by University preference. Selection will be based on individual specified programme preferences and teaching subjects.

The standard of the applicants in any one year will determine the points level required. Points are awarded based on the marks in the undergraduate degree, any subsequent academic qualifications, and certain categories of relevant professional work experience. See the PAC Point Scoring System website for details.

For the UCC PME, a PME offer may be accepted but taking up the provisional offer is conditional on the applicant securing a School Placement in one of the schools on the School of Education’s list of co-operating schools.


 7. When do the PAC normally make their first rounds offers for the UCC PME?

PAC normally makes PME offers in early April for the programme commencing the following August/September.

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 8. Where and when should I organise my School Placement?

Once offered a conditional place, students must arrange a first year school placement from the list of co-operating schools provided. Commencing and registering for the programme is dependent on securing a school placement.

Only after a candidate has received an offer of a place on the PME from PAC are they permitted to contact a school.

The school has to be from UCC’s list of co-operating schools.  The School of Education’s cooperating schools have entered into an agreement with UCC to provide an equitable placement experience to all PME students. Students are not permitted to contact any schools outside of this list for their PME placements. The locations of the UCC PME placement schools can range from 5 minutes’ walk from campus to up to 80kms away. 

Students should familiarise themselves with the locations of the schools for placement and factor in the possible costs involved in travelling to and from schools. For some schools, access to a car will be necessary. Please see also Q11 “How much will it cost?”


 9. How do I organise my School Placement?

Securing a school placement is competitive and you may have to try a number of schools from the list and present in person to schools with an up to date CV to be successful.  In most cases, students will undergo interview by schools for placement.  You must prepare as if you are going for a job interview and dress and behave appropriately. On acceptance of a place on UCC’s PME programme, we will provide guidance on this process.

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 10. How is the UCC PME course structured?

The timetable for UCC’s PME is structured as follows:  

PME1 School Placement: Students normally teach 6 lessons per week in their placement schools. These lessons can take place during Mondays and Fridays and the mornings of Tuesday and Thursday. 

PME1 Lectures/Tutorials: These take place on the afternoons of Tuesday and Thursday and all day on Wednesdays (exact timetable on Wednesday will depend on subjects being studied but some students will have a full day).  

PME2 School Placement: Students normally teach 9 lessons per week in their placement schools. These lessons can take place from Tuesday to Friday. 

PME2 Lectures and Tutorials: These take place on Mondays only.


 11. How much will it cost?

Current indicative Student Fees for the UCC PME programme are as follows:

Professional Master of Education (Year One)


Professional Master of Education (Year Two)


N.B. Students also need to be aware of the costs involved in travelling from the placement school to and from campus. Applicants should make themselves aware of the location of schools on the list as not all students will find placement in schools in close proximity to UCC. Please also refer to Q12 with reference to part-time work and the likely restrictions on your capacity to take on a lot of hours.

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 12. Is the UCC PME a full-time course?

The PME is a very full-time course, leading to a Professional teaching qualification. It is extremely busy and demanding due to school placement and college requirements. Students need to be aware of the significant demands which the PME programme makes on their time across both years. The coursework load is very high with much paperwork in connection with both school placement and assignments. You will also be required to reflect on all aspects of your work throughout the year. This information is not meant as a discouragement in any way but potential applicants need to be aware that it may not always be possible to combine the demands of the course with a high part-time workload.

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 13. Which curriculum subjects are supported on the UCC PME?


Course Code









CSPE and Pol & Soc  (Civic, Social and Political Education & Politics and Society) Students presenting with CSPE must have a second subject








Gaeilge / Irish
















Religious Education




Computer Studies / Information and Communications Technology (ICT)


N.B. A minimum number of students is required for subject-specific modules to run each year (cross-subject support may be provided if student numbers are low).

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School of Education

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