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Postgraduate Places for Primary School Teaching

Posted by Francis O' Toole on March 1, 2011

New Government – the following information may change……

The Government is not cutting back on the number of postgraduate places for primary teacher training, The Irish Independent has learned. Education Minister, Mary Coughlan has given the go-ahead for 200 places on an annual postgraduate course, which starts in February.

The Postgraduate Diploma in Education (PGDE) allows graduates from different disciplines to study for a further 18 months to become primary school teachers.

Education circles had been rife with fears that the current climate would have meant a reduction in the number of places available. Instead the go-ahead for the diploma is being taken as a signal that education may be spared the worst in the Budget..

The PGDE is separate from the traditional four-year BEd, on which there are 1,000 places every year.

Meanwhile, the private, Hibernia College online primary teaching course expects to have an intake of about 350 on its postgraduate programme, starting in February. The figure is in line with current numbers. Dr Nicholas Breakwell, vice-president for academic affairs at Hibernia, said,,: “The demand for places on our higher diploma course is as strong as ever.

At its height, in 2008 and 2009, the number of places approved by the Department of Education for the postgraduate course in the colleges of education rose to 490. That was reduced to 200 for 2010 as part of budgetary cutbacks. There is relief that it has held at that level for 2011


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