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Each year more than 4,000 choose NUI Galway as their University of choice. Find out what life at NUI Galway is all about here.
About NUI Galway
About NUI Galway
Since 1845, NUI Galway has been sharing the highest quality teaching and research with Ireland and the world. Find out what makes our University so special – from our distinguished history to the latest news and campus developments.
Colleges & Schools
Colleges & Schools
NUI Galway has earned international recognition as a research-led university with a commitment to top quality teaching across a range of key areas of expertise.
- Research & Innovation
- Business & Industry
- Alumni, Friends & Supporters
At NUI Galway, we believe that the best learning takes place when you apply what you learn in a real world context. That's why many of our courses include work placements or community projects.
Special Educational Needs (PDip)
The programme aims to give teachers a thorough professional knowledge and understanding of special needs and learning difficulties, and to equip them with the necessary knowledge and skills to support the education of those with special needs and learning difficulties in various contexts. In doing so, the programme also aims to provide enjoyable and rewarding learning experiences and be responsive to learners’ needs.
The programme is supported by the Department of Education and Skills (DES) and provides a recognised qualification for teachers working in the area of special educational needs and learning support in mainstream and special settings. Programme fees are paid by the DES. The programme is delivered by a core team supported by a cohort of associate lecturers with a range of experience and expertise.
Find out about our Postgraduate Scholarships here.
Applications and Selections
Application Forms for the Postgraduate Diploma in Special Educational Needs 2020–2021 are now available to download from the Department of Education and Skills website via Circular 0008/2020 at
Who Teaches this Course
- Andrea Higgins, Course Director
- Michael Lally
- Cohort of associate lecturers
Requirements and Assessment
Assessment is through coursework assignments undertaken during the year and is linked to teachers’ developing practice.
To be eligible, applicants must be graduates and qualified teachers registered with the Teaching Council of Ireland. Further eligibility criteria are included in the DES circular.
1 year, part-time
Next start date
A Level Grades ()
The closing date for completed applications to the programme is given on the DES circular.
Mode of study
The programme consists of five modules:
- Inclusion: Perspectives and Implications for Practice
- Assessment, Planning and Applications
- Curricular Issues for Special Educational Needs
- Implications of Educational Disability
- Specialist Study.
The programme involves release from schools/centres for designated block periods of a total of eight weeks over the academic year, with substitute cover provided. In addition, some lectures and workshops take place on Saturdays. The programme also includes supervised work in teachers’ own schools/centres and a four-day placement in a special setting other than their own.
Key to the programme are inclusive approaches to teaching and learning, which are discussed and demonstrated. Teachers are supported in implementing such approaches in their schools. Participants are encouraged to engage with the programme, and emphasis is placed on developing the skills required to become effective, reflective practitioners in the field of special educational needs.
Modules for 2014-15Curriculum information relates to the current academic year (in most cases).
Course and module offerings and details may be subject to change.
Glossary of Terms
- You must earn a defined number of credits (aka ECTS) to complete each year of your course. You do this by taking all of its required modules as well as the correct number of optional modules to obtain that year's total number of credits.
- A module you may choose to study.
- A module that you must study if you choose this course (or subject).
- Most courses have 2 semesters (aka terms) per year.
Why Choose This Course?
Graduates are recognised by the DES for positions as learning support and special education teachers in mainstream and special settings.
Who’s Suited to This Course
Related Student Organisations
Fees: Student levy
Fees: Non EU
Fees are covered by the DES for eligible participants.