What qualifications are required to register as a Post-primary teacher (Irish qualified)?

All teachers employed in State-funded teaching positions in recognised schools in Ireland must be registered with the Teaching Council in order to be paid a salary by the Department of Education and Skills or an Education and Training Board (ETB).

The requirements for entry onto the Register of Teachers are set out in the Teaching Council [Registration] Regulations 2016 . Route 2 deals specifically with the qualifications required for registration as a post-primary teacher.

This regulation confirms that applicants must 

  • Hold an Honours Bachelor Degree (NFQ Level 8) or equivalent which is deemed by the Teaching Council to be suitable for the purposes of teaching at least one curricular subject at post-primary level

AND

  • Hold a Teaching Council accredited initial teacher education qualification directed towards first to sixth years (typically students in the 12 to 18 year age range);

OR

  • Hold a Teaching Council accredited concurrent degree qualification in post-primary initial teacher education which combines the study of one or more curricular subjects with teacher education studies directed towards first to sixth years (typically students in the 12 to 18 year age range).

How to apply for registration

  1. If you are currently undertaking studies and/or intend to apply for registration on or after 1 January 2017, please read more information here.
  2. If you are making an application for registration now or intend to apply on/or before 31 December 2016, please read more information  here.

Registration is subject to Evidence of Character requirements including Garda Vetting/Overseas Police clearance. A Garda vetting form can be downloaded and printed from here

More detailed information about teacher registration can be found here.

I qualified as a teacher overseas (In an EU Country). How do I apply for registration?

All teachers employed in State-funded teaching positions in recognised schools in Ireland must be registered with the Teaching Council in order to be paid a salary by the Department of Education and Skills (DES) or an Education and Training Board (ETB).

The Teaching Council welcomes applications for registration from teachers who qualified outside of Ireland in an EU/EEA member state, provided they are fully qualified and recognised under the terms of the EU Directive 2005/36/EC in the state in which they qualified as a teacher.

Following an assessment of your qualifications by the Teaching Council, registration may be granted subject to conditions, e.g. qualification shortfalls.

Click here for further information about the EU Directive, the requirements for registration in Ireland and how to apply for registration.

Registration is subject to Evidence of Character requirements, including Garda Vetting/Overseas Police clearance. A Garda vetting form can be downloaded and printed here.

I qualified as a teacher overseas (outside of the EU). How do I apply for Registration?

All teachers employed in State-funded teaching positions in recognised schools in Ireland must be registered with the Teaching Council in order to be paid a salary by the Department of Education and Skills or an Education and Training Board (ETB).

The Teaching Council welcomes applications for registration from teachers who qualified outside of Ireland provided they are fully qualified and registered / hold a full teaching licence (with no conditions attached) in the country in which they qualified as a teacher.

Following an assessment of your qualifications by the Teaching Council, registration may be granted subject to conditions, e.g. qualification shortfalls.

Click here to view the requirements for registration in Ireland and how to apply for registration.

Registration is subject to Evidence of Character requirements, including Garda Vetting/Overseas Police clearance. A Garda vetting form can be downloaded and printed here.

More detailed information about teacher registration can be found here.

I have a Level 7 degree. Can I complete further studies to make my degree eligible for registration?

In order to register as a post-primary teacher, you must hold an Honours Bachelor Degree (NFQ Level 8 or equivalent), which enables you to teach at least one post-primary curricular subject. The requirements for all subjects are set out at A and B below. Please select an option based on when you intend to apply for registration.

If you hold an Ordinary Bachelor Degree (NFQ Level 7) you can top up your existing studies by following one of the following pathways:

  1.  Complete an additional one year’s study leading to the award of an Honours Bachelor Degree (NFQ Level 8).
  1.  If at undergraduate degree level you have studied at least 10 ECTS credits relating to a curricular subject, you can combine this with a postgraduate award, e.g.  a Masters, Higher Diploma, Postgraduate Diploma,  or PhD carrying at least 60 ECTS credits in the same curricular subject.
  1.  If you have not studied a curricular subject at undergraduate degree level, you can complete postgraduate studies in that curricular area, e.g.  a Masters, Higher Diploma, Postgraduate Diploma, or PhD carrying at least 60 ECTS credits and complete an additional 10 ECTS credits at undergraduate degree level. 
  1.  If you have studied at least 10 ECTS credits relating to a curricular subject at undergraduate degree level, you can complete and pass examinations in further studies at first, second and third year undergraduate level in that subject area carrying at least 60 ECTS credits at the end of your studies.

In all four cases above your combined studies must demonstrate that you have met the requirements for at least one curricular subject, set out in Option A or Option B below.

Click here for further information on the requirements for registration in Ireland and how to apply.

How do I go about applying for entry onto a Professional Masters of Education Programme?

Entry onto a Professional Masters of Education (PME) is determined by the provider of the programme and applications should be made directly to the Higher Education Institution (HEI) concerned and not the Teaching Council.

In the case of the PME in University College Dublin, National University of Ireland Galway, Maynooth University, University College Cork and Dublin City University applications are processed centrally by the Postgraduate Applications Centre (PAC) in Galway www.pac.ie.  All other applications can be made directly to the HEI concerned.

Click here for a list of programmes accredited by the Teaching Council.

In all cases the minimum requirement is a Level 8 degree on the Irish National Framework of Qualifications (or equivalent) which meets the Teaching Council registration requirements for at least one post-primary curricular subject. Click here for details of all curricular subject requirements.

When you apply for the PME, the HEI concerned will ask you to complete a declaration form outlining where you have met all the requirements, clearly setting out the number of ECTS credits you have completed and that all mandatory areas of study have been covered. Click here for examples of declaration forms. An accurate completion of the declaration form should clarify if you meet the subject requirements.   

The details provided in the subject declaration(s) will be considered by the PME providers when determining offers of places. Once you have commenced your PME, at the end of the first Semester, your declaration form(s) will be forwarded to the Teaching Council, who will confirm if you meet the requirements for registration and what subject(s) will be recorded on the Register of Teachers. It is therefore vitally important that you make an accurate declaration, if necessary seeking guidance from your undergraduate (degree) provider with regard to the content/learning outcomes of individual modules. Any declarations made by you in terms of ECTS credits and/or topics studied should be reflected on your transcripts of results.

Which curricular subjects require you to complete a specific methodology/elective in the subject as part of your initial teacher education programme?

While the Teaching Council would expect that student teachers would complete a teaching methodology course in their teaching subject as part of their teacher education qualification, this may not be possible in some cases. There are however a number of subjects where it is compulsory. They are:  Art, CSPE, Music, Religious Education, Physical Education, Engineering (Metalwork - Junior Cert), Technology, Technical Drawing, Home Economics and Construction Studies.

For teachers registering after 1 January 2017 a teaching methodology will also be compulsory for the following subjects: Mathematics, Applied Mathematics, Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Physics & Chemistry and Agricultural Science. 

I am already registered as a Post-primary teacher but wish to know how to go about qualifying to teach an additional curricular subject?

As a registered post-primary teacher, you have met the registration requirement to hold qualifications which enable you to teach at least one post-primary curricular subject.  Deployment within schools to teach all subjects is a matter for individual school authorities. It is not a registration requirement to be recognised for additional subjects.

If however, you wish to have an additional curricular subject recorded on the Register of Teachers you must demonstrate that you have completed a course of study at level 8 and/or level 9 on the National Framework of Qualifications (NFQ) that meets the criteria for the subject.  A subject specific methodology must also be completed for curricular subjects where it has been specified as a requirement. Please click here to view the curricular subject requirements.

What are ECTS Credits and how do I know how many I completed in my degree?

European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System (ECTS) is a standard for comparing the study attainment and performance of students of higher education across the European Union and other collaborating European countries. For successfully completed studies, ECTS credits are awarded. One academic year corresponds to 60 ECTS credits that are equivalent to 1500–1800 hours of study in all countries respective of standard or qualification type and is used to facilitate transfer and progression throughout the Union.

A three year honours degree is therefore equivalent to 180 ECTS, and a four year degree equivalent to 240 ECTS.  Thereafter it is a matter for Higher Education Institutions to confirm for applicants if all modules are of equal weighting or indeed have varying weightings (this information is usually indicated on an applicant’s transcripts of results) e.g. 10 equally weighted modules per year equates to 6 ECTS credits per module, or 6 modules per year equates to 10 ECTS credits per module etc.

I am already registered but would like my qualification(s) assessed to determine if it/ they meet registration requirements for an additional subject(s)

Route 2 of the Teaching Council [Registration] Regulations 2016 sets out the registration requirements for post-primary teaching. It stipulates that applicants must hold qualifications which enable the holder to teach at least one post-primary curricular subject.

Since you have already met this requirement it is not a registration requirement to be recognised for an additional subject(s). 

If requested to do so, the Council can carry out an assessment of your qualification(s) to determine if it / they meet the requirements for additional subjects. Assessments will be based on subject requirements set out in each of the two options below:

If you would like to be assessed for an additional subject you should complete application form PPQA-02

An assessment fee of €200 applies. 

I am thinking of completing a PGCE in the UK/overseas. Will I be able to register if I return to Ireland?

The Teaching Council welcomes applications from fully qualified teachers who qualified outside Ireland. If you are intending to travel overseas to another EU/EEA state to complete a teacher education qualification and intend to return to Ireland to register with the Teaching Council, you will be entitled to do so under the terms EU Directive 2005/36/EC.

In many EU states, including the UK, recognition under the EU directive is only confirmed if a period of post qualification induction (usually one school year) is completed after you complete your initial teacher education qualification.

In the case of teachers who qualify outside the EU /EEA, they must provide evidence that they are fully qualified and registered / hold a full teaching licence (no conditions attached) in the country in which they qualified as a teacher.

Once evidence of recognition under the Directive or from the relevant regulatory authorities/Ministry of Education has been provided, qualifications will be assessed by the Teaching Council with reference to the Teaching Council [Registration] Regulations 2016.

Regulation Four relates to post-primary registration and is broken down into two parts (a) Degree Requirements and (b) Teacher Education Requirements.

Degree Requirements

Your degree qualification should meet the requirements for at least one curricular subject. New requirements were published in September 2013 and will apply to persons applying for registration after 1 January 2017. Details of the new and existing requirements are set out below:

  1. If you are currently undertaking studies, and/or intend to apply for registration on or after 1 January 2017, please read more information here.
  2. If you are making an application for registration now or intend to apply on/or before 31 December 2016, please read more information here.

Teacher Education Requirements

With effect from 2014 the teacher education requirements for registration have changed and applicants from overseas are being assessed with reference to these new enhanced requirements.

The new criteria include a requirement that a postgraduate teaching qualification (e.g. P.G.C.E.) must have the equivalent of 120 European Credit Transfer System (ECTS) credits (note: this is the equivalent of 240 CATS on the UK Credit System). A concurrent teaching qualification (e.g. Bachelor of Education) must have the equivalent of 240 ECTS credits) (note: this is equivalent to 480 CATS on the UK Credit System).

If, following assessment of the qualifications, significant differences are identified, these will be applied as conditions to a teacher’s registration, which must be addressed within a specific timeframe, not exceeding 3 years.

Important Notice - Update on assessment of teacher education qualifications obtained outside of Ireland

The Teaching Council as the competent authority for the recognition of teacher education qualifications obtained in EU/EEA Member States in accordance with the EU Directive 2013/55/EU and states outside the EU/EEA, published this notice in 2013 to highlight the fact that the Council's updated requirements for initial teacher education programmes would apply to all persons commencing initial teacher education programmes outside of the State from 1 January 2014.

The updated requirements for teacher education programmes accredited by the Teaching Council were published in Initial Teacher Education: Criteria and Guidelines for Programme Providers in 2011.

The Council is developing an updated qualifications assessment system, including a range of aptitude test and adaptation period options, in order to take account of the updated ITE requirements. It is anticipated that this updated system will be in place in early 2017. In the interim, the Council is maintaining its current system during the transition phase.