Postgraduate Cert/Diploma and Masters in Primary Science Teaching

PG Cert/Diploma in the Teaching of Science in the Primary School


Applications are invited from primary teachers for the above course for the 2014 – 2015 academic year. With the introduction of science into the curriculum of primary schools in Ireland, there is a growing demand from teachers for long term professional development in the area of the teaching of science in the primary school. This course is designed to provide a professional qualification in the teaching of science at primary school level. The overall aim of the course is to equip teachers with the knowledge and skills required to teach the science component of the Primary School Curriculum.

This course was preceded by a pilot project carried out in 2005 – 2006 involving a group of 24 primary school teachers. The pilot project was a regional collaboration between the Education Department UCC and the Teacher Education Section of the Department of Education & Science who were represented locally by the Education Centre in Cork, West Cork, Limerick and Tralee. The development of this pilot project was managed by a steering committee representative of UCC, Education Centres and local primary school teachers. The pilot project was sponsored by Pharmachem Ireland and the Department of Education and Science. Due to the success of the pilot project, the course was developed into this professional qualification Postgraduate Certificate / Diploma in the Teaching of Science in the Primary School accredited by University College Cork.

What are the entry requirements?

Applicants must hold a recognised teaching qualification in primary education. No background knowledge of science is necessary.

How many places are available?

Due to the strong emphasis on science practical work, it is necessary to limit the total number of teachers on the Postgraduate Certificate / Diploma course to 24. Thus, 12 places are available each year on the Postgraduate Certificate course and 12 on the Postgraduate Diploma Course.  Places are allocated to eligible applicants on a first-come-first served basis according to the order in which applications are received in the online application system.

How is the course structured?

This part-time programme is structured around six modules covering the primary science curriculum.  Three modules (10 credits each) are covered each year. Teachers who successfully complete three modules (30 credits) will be eligible for the award of the Postgraduate Certificate in the Teaching of Science in the Primary School. Teachers who successfully complete an additional three modules (30 credits) will be eligible for the award of the Postgraduate Diploma in the Teaching of Science in the Primary School.

Each module consists of 20 hours of lectures, workshops and laboratory work. Normally, each module is taught on six Thursday evenings (7 p.m. – 9 p.m.) and on one Saturday. The academic year for this course runs from November to July. The course is divided into three modules. Lectures begin for module 1 on the first Thursday after the October mid-term break, i.e. Thursday 6 November 2014.  Module 2 takes place Feb –March 2015 and module 3 takes place in the first week of  July 2015.

What will be covered in the course?

The scientific knowledge required to teach a particular strand of the Primary Science curriculum will be covered in each module as well as giving ideas to teach each topic creatively at every level in the Primary School.


How will the course be assessed?

Each module will be assessed by means of a written project (max. 5,000 words).

Where will the course be held?

The course will be based in the Eureka Centre for Inquiry Based Education in Science and Mathematics, UCC.

Masters - MEd Sc(Primary Science Stream)

This programme began in October 2010. Teachers who achieve at least a second class honours grade in the Postgraduate Diploma in the Teaching of Science in the Primary School are eligible to apply for a place on the Masters Degree in Science Education MEd(Sc) which provides a specialist stream in Primary Science.The 60 credits accumulated in thePostgraduate Certificate / Diploma in the Teaching of Science in the Primary Schoolare allowed as credits toward theMasters in Science Education (Primary Science) MEd Sciencedegree, MEd(Sc).

The aim of this programme is to enable teachers of science at primary level to teach science in an effective and inspirational manner by incorporating methodologies informed by current educational research. Teachers will apply the scientific knowledge that they have acquired to plan and discuss schemes of work and teaching approaches to develop scientific concepts throughout the various levels in the primary system.

This two-year programme is part time and takes place over six Saturdays in each year. Attendance on these Saturday sessions is compulsory. Over the two years of this programme, applicants will undertake three modules in UCC:

ED6001: Effective Science Teaching (15 credits)

ED6090: Science Concepts for the Primary School (15 credits).

ED6091: Dissertation on Primary Science Teaching (30 credits)

Thus, a total of 60 credits must be successfully passed before a candidate on the MEd(Sc) Primary Stream is eligible for the award of the degree of MEd (Sc). Modules ED6001 and ED6090 are examined by means of project work. Module ED6091 is examined by means of a dissertation.

The Saturday sessions will consist of lectures, tutorials, workshops, laboratory work, directed study and seminars. In addition, full support is available in the form of tutorials throughout the year.

How do I apply for these courses?

The closing date for applications for the Postgraduate Certificate/Diploma course and MEd in Science Education (Primary Stream) is 31 May 2014. Modules are offered on condition of satisfactory numbers enrolling on each module.

You can apply for the course online at 

The course codes on PAC are:

Postgraduate Certificate / Diploma in Teaching Science in the Primary School is CKB01 (0 is zero)

MEd(Sc) in Primary Science is CKE47.

Further information

If you require any further information or wish to discuss the above programmes please contact:

Dr. Declan Kennedy,

School of Education,UCC. .

Tel: 021-4903469 (office) or 086-1002226 (Mobile)


School of Education

Scoil an Oideachais

Leeholme, O' Donovan's Road, Cork, Ireland