UCC Postgraduate courses

Education - Post Graduate Diploma in Special Educational Needs

About This Course

Fact File

Course Outline

The Postgraduate Diploma in Special Educational Needs is a full-time programme running for 9 months from the date of first registration for the programme designed for primary and post-primary teachers.  You will be notified by the School of Education, UCC, when to attend your first lecture.

Teachers will be released from their schools for 8 weeks during the academic year to attend lectures and seminars at the University. In addition, teachers will be supervised in their schools during the portion of the academic year when they return to their teaching duties. Teachers will also be required to undertake action research and case study work in their schools, all of which will form an integral part of the programme.

Full details on the programme including APPLICATION DETAILS can be found on the DES site: https://www.education.ie/en/Circulars-and-Forms/Active-Circulars/cl0009_2021.pdf 

Programme Requirements

Attendance: Satisfactory attendance at lectures, workshops and seminars is required.

Examination: In order to be eligible for admission to the University Examination for the Postgraduate Diploma in Special Educational Needs, a candidate must have satisfactorily pursued the prescribed programme of study, and satisfactorily undertaken a supervised school practicum, evaluated by the School of Education staff, on a Pass/Fail basis.

Each module is assessed by continuous assessment (and in ED6201 by supervised school practicum) and candidates must pass each module. Candidates may be required to attend for an oral examination.

Full details and regulations governing Examinations for each programme will be contained in the Marks and Standards 2018 Book and for each module in the Book of Modules.

Students take 60 credits as follows:

  • ED6201 Special Educational Needs - School Organisation and Practice (10 credits)
  • ED6202 Assessment for and of Individual Pupil Learning and Attainment (10 credits)
  • ED6203 Curriculum Provision and Teaching Methodologies for Pupils with Special Educational Needs (10 credits)
  • ED6204 Supporting Pupils with Additional Learning Needs (10 credits)
  • ED6205 Contemporary Issues in Special Educational Needs (10 credits)
  • ED6206 Developing Inclusive Practice and Provision (10 credits)

Further details on the content and modules are available in Calendar - Book of Modules

Entry to the MEd

For candidates who satisfactorily meet the entry requirements of the MEd, and have achieved an honours grade in the Postgraduate Diploma in Special Educational Needs, an exemption of 60 credits of the taught element of the MEd programme will be granted. However, the remaining 60 credits of the MEd programme must include the compulsory dissertation of 30 credits. Places on the MEd are limited each year and there is a competitive selection procedure for places.

Link to MEd prospectus Entry: MEd

Additional Teaching Mode Information

Guidelines for Primary Schools Supporting Pupils with Special Educational Needs in Mainstream Schools

https://www.education.ie/en/The-Education-System/Special-Education/Guidelines-for-Primary-Schools-Supporting-Pupils-with-Special-Educational-Needs-in-Mainstream-Schools.pdf 

Guidelines for Post-Primary Schools Supporting Students with Special Educational Needs in Mainstream Schools

https://www.education.ie/en/The-Education-System/Special-Education/Guidelines-for-Post-Primary-Schools-Supporting-Students-with-Special-Educational-Needs-in-Mainstream-Schools.pdf 

Course Practicalities

The course will run for the academic year September 2021/2022 from September 2021 to May 2022 and involves a total of eight weeks block release from school, four week-ends, distance learning, and supervised work in the teachers' own school. 

Teachers will also be required to undertake action research and case study work in their schools, all of which will form an integral part of the programme.

Assessment

In order to be eligible for admission to the University Examination for the Postgraduate Diploma in Special Educational Needs, a candidate must have satisfactorily pursued the prescribed programme of study, and satisfactorily undertaken a supervised school practicum, evaluated by the School of Education staff, on a Pass/Fail basis.

This programme is open to all serving teachers who are employed in a position funded by the Department of Education and Skills and who provide Special Education Teaching in recognised Primary schools, Post-Primary schools, and other recognised Educational Services. Teachers serving in special schools and special classes are also eligible to apply. The programme is designed specifically to assist teachers in meeting the learning and teaching needs of students with special educational needs. Potential applicants must therefore have a teaching role in relation to students with special educational needs.   Please refer to the circulars listed in Appendix 1 of DES PDSN Circular for information on the qualifications necessary for Special Education Teaching posts at Primary and Post-Primary levels and qualifications necessary to teach in Special Schools.

Please note that all teacher applicants must be registered in accordance with Section 31 of the Teaching Council Act, 2001. Please refer to the Teaching Council www.teachingcouncil.ie for further information.  Evidence of having completed Garda vetting is required for participation in the course.

Please note that in order for teachers to be eligible to take up a place or continue on the course the necessary hours and facilities to enable full participation must be provided in their own school setting. It is particularly important that teachers participating in the Programme are given a work-load which will permit them to benefit fully from the continuing professional development being offered.

Why Choose This Course

Skills and Careers Information

Programme Learning Outcomes for Postgraduate Diploma in Special Educational Needs (NFQ Level 9, Major Award)


On successful completion of this programme, students should be able to:

  • Return to School or Centre, teach and co-ordinate special educational needs provision.
  • Apply course materials in contexts.
  • Function as a resource person for other teachers in advising on learning support/SEN issues.
  • Monitor and appraise developments in the provision of test materials.
  • Act as a liaison between the School and outside agencies in relation to special educational needs provision.

 

Requirements

a) Primary              

Teachers will be required to forward a copy of their Registration Certificate or Confirmation of Registration letter from the Teaching Council when submitting their application form. If the "Education Sector(s)" field is blank, teachers will be required to provide evidence that they have qualifications suitable either to teach in the mainstream primary sector or to teach students with special educational needs.

Applicants from Primary Schools should have successfully completed their probationary period in accordance with the requirements as set out by the Teaching Council in their publication Procedures for Induction and Procedures and Criteria for Probation and hold a position in a sanctioned post in an area of special education or be taking up such posts in September 2021. For the purpose of the course, teachers will need to deliver a range of programmes related to the learning and teaching of students with special educational needs. Teachers’ timetables must also include periods during which they are working with small groups of students. Collaborative practices, such as team-teaching, can also form a part of these arrangements.

b) Post Primary                        

Teachers will be required to forward a copy of their Registration Certificate or Confirmation of Registration letter from the Teaching Council when submitting their application form. If the "Education Sector(s)" field is blank, teachers will be required to provide evidence that they have qualifications suitable either to teach in the mainstream post-primary sector or to teach students with special educational needs in the post-primary sector.

Applicants from Post-Primary Schools should have successfully completed their Induction and Post Qualification Employment (PQE).

Applications are invited from recognised second-level schools/centres that have been allocated special education teaching supports or officially sanctioned special classes. The person nominated must be a teacher eligible to hold a permanent post in recognised second-level schools. In order to be eligible for the programme, teachers must spend a minimum of 11 hours per week including in-class support working with students who have special educational needs. For the purpose of the course, teachers will need to deliver a range of programmes related to the learning and teaching of students with special educational needs. Teachers’ timetables must also include periods during which they are working with small groups of students. Collaborative practices, such as team-teaching, can also form a part of these arrangements. At least four class periods should be allocated to teaching individuals or groups of not more than six students. Additional time should also be made available for consultation with parents/guardians and colleagues. Together with work in numeracy, assigned hours must include at least 4 class periods per week of literacy work (maintaining a focus on developing pupils’ literacy skills related to reading, writing, listening and speaking). 

c) Special Schools 

Teachers will be required to forward a copy of their Registration Certificate or Confirmation of Registration letter from the Teaching Council, when submitting their application form. If the "Education Sector(s)" field is blank teachers will be required to provide evidence that they have qualifications suitable either to teach in the mainstream primary or post-primary sectors or to teach students with special educational needs in the primary or post-primary sector or to teach in special school settings. 

Applicants from Special Schools should have successfully completed their probationary period in accordance with the requirements as set out by the Teaching Council in their publication Procedures for Induction and Procedures and Criteria for Probation and hold a sanctioned post in a Special School or be taking up such posts in the September of the year of course commencement.

d) Other Educational Service 

Teachers will be required to forward a copy of their Registration Certificate or Confirmation of Registration letter from the Teaching Council, when submitting their application form. If the "Education Sector(s)" field is blank teachers will be required to provide evidence that they have qualifications suitable to teach either in the mainstream primary or post-primary sectors or to teach students with special educational needs in the primary or post-primary sectors.

Applicants must have successfully completed their Induction and probationary period/PQE in accordance with Teaching Council requirements and be recognised as being eligible for permanent appointment in a primary, post-primary or special school. Applications are invited from qualified teachers employed by ETBs as literacy and/or numeracy tutors in Youthreach, Community Projects or in the Prison Service and who are assigned to Special Education work for a minimum of 11 hours per week. At least four class periods should be allocated to teaching individuals or groups of not more than six students. Additional time should also be made available for consultation with parents/guardians and colleagues. Together with work in numeracy, assigned Special Education hours must include at least 4 class periods per week of literacy work. 

Fees and Costs

This programme is fully funded by the Department of Education and Skills.

How Do I Apply

APPLICATION DETAILS can be found on the DES site: https://www.education.ie/en/Circulars-and-Forms/Active-Circulars/cl0009_2021.pdf 

Completed application forms must be returned BY POST with, a copy of your Registration Certificate or a letter of confirmation of registration from the Teaching Council, and the relevant section of the form also completed by the School authorities, to the College/University of your choice.

The closing date for applications is 11 March 2021.

Postal Address for applications to University College Cork:

Special Education Department,

School of Education,

Leeholme,

O' Donovan's Road

University College Cork,

Cork.

Applicants should retain evidence of postage of the application. Priority will be given to teachers who meet the criteria and who have not already attended a similar postgraduate programme for Learning Support teachers or, to teachers of students with special educational needs, recognised by the Department of Education and Skills.  It is the policy for only one application per School/Centre to be considered.

Deferrals

Deferrals are not permitted on this course due to the limited availability of places. 

 

For queries regarding course content or timetables please contact

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