We expect that the application form and guiding information for the Postgraduate Diploma in SEN, 2022–23 will issue on the DES website in January 2022 and subsequently on this web-page. Please see further information at Applications and Selection below.

Course Overview

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.


Applications and Selections

  •  We expect that the application form for the Postgraduate Diploma in SEN, 2022–2023 will be released by the DES via their website in January 2022. From then the application form will also be available on this web-page with details of how to complete it and send it to us. We advise that you check this web-page regularly from early January 2022.
  • We look forward to receiving your application in due course.
  • Please note that you must be a qualified teacher, registered with the Teaching Council, and working as a Special Education Teacher (SET) to be eligible to participate in the programme. This is not an initial teacher education programme.


Who Teaches this Course

  • Dr Andrea Higgins, Course Director
  • Cohort of lecturers with specific expertise and experience in areas of SEN

Requirements and Assessment

Assessment is through coursework assignments undertaken during the year and is linked to teachers’ developing practice.

Key Facts

Entry Requirements

To be eligible, applicants must be graduates and qualified teachers registered with the Teaching Council of Ireland. Further eligibility criteria for 2022–23 will be included in the DES circular that is expected to issue on the DES website in Jan/Feb 2022.

Additional Requirements

Garda Vetting/police clearance is required for this programme.

1 year, part-time

Next start date

September 2022

A Level Grades ()

Average intake


QQI/FET FETAC Entry Routes

Closing Date

The closing date for completed applications to the programme is given on the DES circular.

NFQ level

Mode of study

ECTS weighting




Course code


Course Outline

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.

Why Choose This Course?

Career Opportunities

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

Learning Outcomes


Work Placement

Study Abroad

Related Student Organisations

Course Fees

Fees: EU

Fees: Tuition

Fees: Student levy

Fees: Non EU

Fees are covered by the DES for eligible participants.

Find out More

Ms Andrea Higgins
T: +353 91 495 136
E: andrea.higgins@nuigalway.ie

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  • Postgraduate Taught Prospectus 2022

    Postgraduate Taught Prospectus 2022 PDF (14.3MB)