In Ireland, initial teacher education programmes for primary and post-primary teachers are facilitated through a range of concurrent (undergraduate) and consecutive (postgraduate) programmes.
Programmes for primary teachers
There are five state-funded Colleges of Education which offer programmes of teacher education for primary teachers through a concurrent (undergraduate) programme leading to a Bachelor of Education (B.Ed.) degree. Four of the colleges offer a Graduate Diploma in Education (GDE). The latter is also offered by a private college as an online, blended course. Currently, undergraduate programmes for primary teachers are three years in duration, although this will be extended to four years, with effect from September 2012. Post-graduate programmes for primary teaching are currently offered over 18 months, and this will be extended to two years with effect from September 2014. (See below for further information in relation to programme duration).
Programmes for post-primary teachers
For post-primary teachers, the concurrent route to a teaching qualification is offered for a wide range of programmes, typically those with practical, laboratory and workshop elements. The post-primary consecutive route is the professional diploma in education (PDE) and entry requirements include a degree in at least one subject which meets the criteria for registration with The Teaching Council. Currently, such programmes are one year in duration, although this will be extended to two years, with effect from September 2014. (See below for further information in relation to programme duration).
At further education level, a teacher education qualification will be a requirement from 2013, and new programmes are currently being designed to meet the particular needs of that sector.
Changes to duration of programmes of initial teacher education
All teacher education programmes in Ireland that lead to registration must have professional accreditation from the Teaching Council.
A list of accredited programmes of teacher education is available here.
With effect from September 2012, in order to retain their professional accreditation from the Teaching Council, all concurrent (undergraduate) programmes of initial teacher education, must be of four years duration (240 ECTS credits).
With effect from September 2014, all consecutive (postgraduate) programmes of initial teacher education must be of two years duration (120 ECTS credits).
Further details in relation to the review and accreditation of programmes is available here.
Further details in relation to entry requirements is available here.