Entry to Initial Teacher Education

Minimum entry requirements for programmes of initial teacher education are set by the Minister for Education and Skills, in consultation with the Teaching Council. The current minimum entry requirements and the application process for entry to primary and post-primary programmes are outlined on the website of the Department of Education and Skills.

Primary Entry Requirements

Concurrent (Undergraduate)

Consecutive (Postgraduate)

To be registered with the Teaching Council as a primary teacher, a person must have obtained the qualifications as set out under Route 1: Primary in the Teaching Council Registration Regulations 2016.

Post-primary entry requirements

Post-primary initial teacher education (ITE) is provided through programmes of a consecutive or a concurrent nature. 

The most common route to qualification is the consecutive route, which comprises a suitable degree and a separate teacher education qualification.  A suitable degree is defined as an award from a state-recognised university or similar third-level college, which enables the holder to teach at least one curricular subject to the highest level within the post-primary schools curriculum.  For most subjects, this means to Leaving Certificate Higher Level.

Concurrent (Undergraduate)

  • CAO Application process 2015
  • Mature Applicants – click here for information on the CAO website

Consecutive (Postgraduate)

To be eligible for the Professional Master of Education (post-primary), candidates must have obtained a third-level degree deemed by the Teaching Council to be suitable for the purposes of teaching at post-primary level, to teach at least one curricular subject to the highest level within the post-primary schools curriculum.  For most subjects, this means to Leaving Certificate Higher Level.

Subject Requirements for Post-Primary Registration

Further education entry requirements

Persons applying to register in the Further Education sector must meet the qualification requirements outlined in Route 3: Further Education of the Teaching Council [Registration] Regulations, 2016.  Any person who meets the degree qualification requirements outlined therein is eligible for conditional registration for a period of three years in which time a Council accredited teacher education qualification must be completed.

Entry Requirements Research

The Teaching Council Act, 2001, states that the Council shall “review the standards of education and training appropriate to a person entering a programme of teacher education … and shall advise the Minister and, as it considers appropriate, the institutions concerned”.

A consultation document on entry requirements was published in 2012, setting out proposed revised minimum entry requirements, as well as the suggested timeframe for introduction of these revised requirements. The Council held meetings with key stakeholders, including principals’ bodies, school management bodies, Higher Education Institutions, teacher unions, mentors, student teachers and newly qualified teachers, to present its proposals and hear feedback in relation to same. The Council also invited written feedback in the form of an online survey. The survey closed in Spring 2013 and, following an analysis of all feedback, it was noted that many of the issues raised in the consultation were exceptionally complex and required further research to be carried out so that the Council might provide clear and evidence-informed advice to the Minister.

The ESRI was subsequently commissioned to carry out the research, the final report of which is available here (published 10 November 2016). These findings informed the Council’s deliberations and advice. This advice has been submitted to the Department of Education and Skills, who will make the final decision on the matter.