Professional Diploma in Education (Business)
Department of Education and Professional Studies,
Faculty of Education and Health Sciences,
University of Limerick.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs). Seven Pages.
1 What kind of degree is required for purposes of eligibility of consideration for
entry onto the Professional Diploma in Education (Business)?
A primary level 8 degree which has at least one business subject (Accounting,
Business or Economics) taken throughout the duration of the degree and which is
recognised by the Teaching Council as acceptable for the teaching of any designated
business subject(s) i.e. Accounting, Business, Economics to Leaving Certificate level.
It is the applicant’s responsibility to ensure that his/her primary degree is recognised
by the Teaching Council of Ireland for the purposes of Teaching Council recognition
for the teaching of a business subject or business subjects (i.e. Accounting, Business
reesrecognisedforregistrationpurposes You will need to check this list to find out if
your own primary degree programme is included and the specific subjects for which
it is recognised subject to the individual having taken the requisite subject options
within the degree course of study.
This listing is subject to qualification (in that your subject must have been studied
throughout each year of the degree programme and must have comprised at least 30%
of your studies and in the case of a second subject must also comprise 30% of your
If your primary degree programme is not included on the listing, you will need to
make an individual qualification assessment application for recognition, with full
details of your degree programme including transcript of results and details of subject
content. Once the Teaching Council has received full documentation, the assessment
process takes approximately up to two months. If you are in this situation, you are
advised to immediately clarify your degree standing with the Teaching Council. This
must be established at the point of application. If not established, you will not be
invited to interview. Details of this application process are on the above Teaching
Council website. Click the link: Application Forms. An application fee is required
to be submitted with this form. The amount in question was €200 per subject
(Business or Accounting or Economics) at one stage.
2 What suggestions would be helpful to an applicant candidate for the GDE
Any exposure to preliminary teaching/learning experiences (this doesn’t mean
teaching, it means shadowing or observation) or school exposure experiences would
be helpful to any candidate who wishes to dedicate him/herself to a professional life
as a teacher. There is no requirement or expectation that an unqualified applicant
would have undertaken direct teaching duties of any kind. No points at application
assessment or interview are awarded for undertaking direct teaching duties in any
This can happen formally (by observation in primary school, second level school, or
in adult/community education) or informally (through pupil mentoring, helping with
homework, homework club, local youth club or social/sporting organisations). The
possession of it doesn’t guarantee an advantage. But it does impact on the
understanding of the nature of the role one is applying for. It does provide an
opportunity to ground discussion of teaching and learning issues and helps provide
the applicant with an informed understanding and discussion of the issues at
3 When do applications have to be submitted by? When do interviews take
place? Is a successful interview a guarantee of a place on the course?
For admission application and details, contact the Postgraduate Admissions Office.
Foundation Building. University of Limerick. Plassey, Limerick. Ireland.
Tel. +353 61 234377 or 233729. Fax +353 61 233287. You might like to view
information on the web at www.graduateschool.ul.ie
You may wish to consult the UL website at www.ul.ie, go to www.ul.ie click Future
Students, click Postgraduate Courses, click Education and Health Sciences, click
Business (FT) Grad Dip Ed You can then make an online application. There is a
small fee required in making any application submission.
The closing date for formal application is the 31st January in any given calendar
year. As all applications are online, there is a direct record of application
submission date and time. It is possible to maintain an online check on your
application progress as it goes through processing from its uploading, shortlisting,
interviewing and decision making following interview (offer of a place, placement on
waiting list or unsuccessful result arising from an interview). At the time of
application, applicants are advised to include a reliable postal address to which
correspondence can be sent and, additionally, to advise the Post Graduate Admissions
office of any change of postal address following initial application
Short-listing of applicants for interview takes place each year. Interviews are
conducted somewhere in the period between mid-February and very early March at
the latest. The interview process will be conducted by two experienced interviewers.
You are required to have personal attendance at the interview. If you apply by
the deadline, you are advised to check when the interviews will take place as ability
to attend for interview is your responsibility. Successful candidates at interview (i.e.
successful in passing the first phase of the selection process) are points rank listed.
There are five criteria under which each applicant is assessed at interview: (a)
Qualifications – 50%; and (b) Motivation; Communication; Interpersonal Skills and
Experiences/Talents – 50%.
Places are later offered to the top points ranked candidates at interview. A minimum
of thirty places is offered, sometimes more. If anyone declines a place, the next
points ranked candidate is offered a place. Successful completion of the Garda
vetting application process is required for all prospective students and is a condition
of acceptance onto the course.
There is no quota of places for mature students. All applications are assessed on an
individual basis. The onus is on the individual applicant to provide full and
comprehensive information as requested on the online application form. Appropriate
attachments may be included with your online application. The onus is on the
applicant to accurately complete the process and include all relevant information. It
is on the basis of information provided on the online application that the shortlisting
process is undertaken:
If you are not called for interview, you will be advised by letter and online status
If you are called for interview, you will be advised by letter as to the date, time and
location of interview. If you didn’t receive a letter, you can check with the online
notification system what your status is.
If having attended an interview and were successful, you will be advised of that
outcome and offered a place for the forthcoming academic year subject to the normal
conditions attached to the offer of a place. No deferments are offered. You may
reapply again the following year. You may receive a letter indicating that you have
been placed on the waiting list for entry onto the course.
If having attended an interview and were unsuccessful, you will be advised of that
outcome by letter.
If having been invited to interview you fail to show up on the day in question, your
non-attendance will be deemed to have been a withdrawal of your application. No
letter will be sent to you in that instance.
Remember you can check your status of application anytime on the online application
system and this will record receipt and status of application; whether invited to
interview or not; outcome of interview (offer of a place, placement on waiting list or
unsuccessful outcome of interview or withdrawal following failure to attend
4 What are the academic fees for the year ?
For the academic year, 2012/2013, the fees level for an EU student is €5,182 and for a
non-EU student, €12,035. The deposit to be paid when offered a place is €250. The
fees can be paid as one lump sum or in two instalments. Should any difficulty arise
here about payment schedule, you are advised to consult the course director. The fees
level is under annual review. Please check with the Fees Office of the university. See
5 How long is the course ?
In AY 2012/2013, the course is a full time one year programme and will remain so in
the following academic year, AY 2013/2014.
From AY 2014/2015 onwards, students will be entering a two year full time
programme. This will apply across the board in all Irish third level teacher education
institutions. All such institutions both now and will in the future offer the
Professional Diploma in Education award. There is no longer a Higher Diploma in
Education (H. Dip. Ed.) award nor a Postgraduate Diploma in Education (P.G.D.E.)
6 Are there any skills tests administered prior to entry onto the course.
No such tests are required. Some years ago, there were skills tests in word processing
and shorthand. These were replaced by a sophisticated range of ICT multi-media
skills appropriate to a modern portfolio of requirements for the business teacher.
All participants on the course are required to advance their ICT and keyboard skills to
a professional level.
7 How is School Placement organised ?
School Placement is a very significant component of the PDE course. The Teaching
Practice Office of the University of Limerick will arrange locations of available
schools for teaching practice. Every effort is made to secure a location close to one’s
home or sometimes closer to the university. However, some distance may be
involved in travelling to school as not all schools participate in making school
The Teaching Practice Office of the University of Limerick initiates all contact on
behalf of students with a school in any given area. Teaching Practice takes place in
two phases. In semester one, every Monday from the end of September or early
October to the end of November or early December is the teaching practice period. In
the second semester, the first six weeks of the semester (from the end of January to
early March) is allocated to teaching practice on a Monday to Friday basis and in a
very small number of schools a Monday to Saturday basis. In these six weeks, you
will spend five weeks teaching as the school mid-term break of one week occurs
within this six week block.
Normally a professional diploma student doesn’t take up teaching practice in their
former second level school. With whatever school is assigned to the student, it is
envisaged that the professional diploma student will undertake teaching practice in
that same school over the two periods of teaching practice. In the event of some
justifiable reason requiring it, a change may be made for the second period of
teaching practice. This rarely happens.
8 Is it possible to do this course on a part-time basis?
No, it is not possible to do this on a part-time basis. The course is very intensive and
requires full availability for school placement hours, lectures, tutorials, seminars,
laboratory and recording work as well as the normal study and reading requirements,
essay work, oral presentations, group work and other course requirements. Students
are required to make themselves available between 0900hrs and 1800hrs each college
day in any semester. Additionally, flexibility is required in undertaking some
fluctuating teaching hours from week to week.
There is approximately up to 22 hours class contact in university over a four day
period in semester one and up to 18 hours class contact in semester two.
9 Do all graduates of the course go into second level teaching positions?
Normally yes. The range of job opportunities is expanding. Graduates are moving
into a diverse portfolio of career positions including the further education sector
(PLCs, Colleges of Further Education, Post Leaving Certificate Courses, and Adult
Education), community education and other educational initiatives. The PDE
Business qualification upon acceptance by the Teaching Council confers upon the
graduate the recognition to teach both in the second level education sector as well as
the further education sector. But it is true to say that the sizeable majority of
graduates take up positions in the second level teaching sector and have done so
consistently over the last thirty years.
10 Is there any material available that I can read up on with regard to this
Please check the website of the University of Limerick at www.ul.ie
11 Is Garda clearance required for participation on this programme?
Please note that Garda Clearance will be required of applicants on this professional
diploma programme where placements involve working with children and/or
vulnerable adults. Applicants will be asked to complete an additional form that will
be forwarded by the Postgraduate Admissions Office to the Garda Central Vetting
Unit for vetting. The Garda clearance process can take approximately up to eight
weeks to complete (and up to twelve weeks or more during the summer months). In
cases where any issues arise around Garda vetting, they will be referred, in
confidence, to the Designated Officer of the University who will make contact with
Candidates are advised that they must successfully complete the Garda vetting
application form in good time to enable all the conditions of entry onto the course be
met. A request to make a Garda Vetting application is not an offer of a place on the
course and is not to be so construed.
12 When does the course begin each year ?
Classes commence usually in the first week of September. You can check these dates
out on www.ul.ie/academiccalendar
College Induction and Enrolment usually happens on a day in the preceeding week,
usually a Friday. A three day course induction usually happens in the three days
leading into a Friday, i.e. Tuesday to Thursday, 0900hrs to 1700hrs.
For some individual students but not all, a host school involved with school
placement may require the prospective student teacher to be available to attend the
annual school induction day as part of its understanding in taking on a student
teacher. If such is required, a student will need to make him/herself available around
25th/26th/27th August for attendance in that host school.
13 What are the modules covered over the course ?
EN5191 Business Teaching 1 (including ICT)
EN5021 Subject Pedagogics (Business, Accounting and Economics)
EN5171 Learning, Relationships and Communication.
EN5181 Preparation for School Placement
EN5011 School Placement 1
EN5272 Business Teaching 2 (including ICT)
EN5242 Curriculum, Policy and Reform Studies.
EN5252 Education History, Policy and Contemporary Issues.
EN5262 Teacher as a Professional.
EN5012 School Placement 2.
14 If I have other questions surrounding the course who can I contact?
You are welcome to address your questions to:
Course Director by email at email@example.com or by post to:
Course Director PDE Business.
Department of Education and Professional Studies, SR 2006.
University of Limerick,
It is preferable that you convey such questions, at least initially, either by email or
letter. Verbal clarifications over the phone are best done having gone through this
Hope you found this helpful. If you would like to discuss matters further, you are
more than welcome to get in touch. All inquirers about the course are asked to
include their email address, mobile phone number and postal address.
Professional Diploma in Education (Business)
Department of Education and Professional Studies,
University of Limerick,
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Tel. 00 353 61 202813
The above information is issued purely as a guide and is not to be construed as part of a
legal contract of any kind. The information contained therein is subject to change. The
onus is on any prospective candidate for the course to inform him/herself on all details
pertaining to the course and the application deadline and interview dates. This
information is valid at time of writing 31st August 2012. E & O E. Version 33.