Professional Master in Education (Art & Design) - AD459

The programme deals with the theory and practice of art, craft and design education at post-primary level. It develops the student teacher's understanding of the ways in which art, craft and design experiences can be used to promote the aesthetic, intellectual, personal and social development of young people. The priority deadline for applications to courses starting in Sept 2024 is 29 March 2024.

Join the NCAD Postgrad 2024 webinar on 28 feb 6pm

What to Expect

The Professional Master of Education (PME) is a two year masters programme that leads to a professional qualification to teach Art and Design at second level. The award is professionally accredited by the Teaching Council of Ireland. The masters programme will enable you as an art or design graduate, to apply your practice in a professional teaching context. On completion of the PME you will have developed an integrated understanding and appreciation of the unique qualities of an art and design education. Specifically, you will have achieved the capacity to perform as an educator in a variety of settings and contexts particularly at second-level.

The focus of the PME is on the application of your own art and design practices, insights and modes of learning to the requirements of teaching. The PME aims to facilitate your personal, social, intellectual and practical growth, prepare you for a professional career as a teacher and foster the necessary skills and dispositions of research, analysis, evaluation and critique to enable you to become a reflective practitioner.

The two-year Professional Master of Education (PME) programme has three interconnected pillars: School Placement, Foundation/Professional Studies, and Subject Discipline/Visual Arts Pedagogy. In Year 1 you are given both a theoretical and a practical understanding of key processes of teaching and learning. The School of Education operates on the principle that art teacher education is not centrally concerned with the teaching of art or teaching about art but, rather, is expressly committed to teaching through art. There is a particular emphasis throughout the programme on exploring a range of visual art processes and contemporary art practice through practical workshops in a studio setting.

Over the process of the programme student teachers will critically map their work, as educators and artists, on to the current pedagogical shifts in art and design curriculum reform taking place in post primary education. You are introduced to influential traditions of practice in teaching and classroom management. You also undertake teaching practice in a school where you will develop the knowledge, teaching skills and attitudes needed for effective teaching. This is supported by college tutorials and support teaching. In an extended placement in Year 2, the emphasis is on more autonomous learning, and you will be encouraged to take up a visible and active role in the full life of the host school. Key requirements in Year 2 are an Action Research project and an Arts Based Research project, which you will undertake with college support.

Educational Standard

Applicants for the Professional Master in Education (Art & Design) should hold a degree or equivalent in art and/or design recognised by the Registration Council for Secondary Teachers of the Department of Education and Science in Ireland.

Applicants will also be required to complete Irish Teaching Council Subject Declaration form. The form is included in the link below. More information can be found at the Teaching Council website 

Applicants who do not meet the minimum academic entry requirements may be considered on the basis of prior work or learning experience (RPEL). Candidates may be required to pass a qualifying examination set by the relevant department before being accepted to a Masters degree programme. Attendance at selected undergraduate lecture courses at NCAD, together with related written work may be prescribed. 

You may apply for the programme if you are currently completing your Undergraduate Degree. NCAD will review the rest of your application If necessary, we can make you a Conditional Offer. When your degree is completed and you send us final transcripts we will upgrade this to a Full Offer

Essential Supporting Documents

  • A Statement of Interest

    • Statements should refer to the most enjoyable aspects of your own education.

    • Indicate which aspects of education policy and practice especially interest you and outline your views on current issues on art and design education within second-level schools.

  • A recent CV

  • Certified transcripts of previous programmes followed

  • Certified copies of degree/ certificates and/or other appropriate third level qualifications bearing the official stamp of the institution.

  • Reference 1 (Academic - Head of School/Department preferred)

    • Some referees prefer to submit the reference directly to the college. If this is the case, please instruct your referee to email a standard reference to Please make sure all references contain the letterhead and the institution contact email address for the referee.

  • Reference 2 (Tutor or Current/Recent Employer)

  • Subject Declaration Form-Please complete this form online. Download it as a PDF and add it to your application along with other supporting documents. Alternatively, you can email it as a PDF to Please click here to complete the form

Document Description

When uploading documents please make sure you clearly label them using the Description Box like in the example below 


You will not be asked to supply your portfolio until all of the other documents have been received and have been reviewed. We do not ask you to submit it when making your application. 

Return to the top of the page

English Language Requirements

All programmes in NCAD are taught through English. International Applicants are asked to provide proof of their English Language Proficiency.

Full details of acceptable tests and the standard required can be found at the following link English Language Requirement.

After Your Master’s Degree

Graduates of the programme take up positions as second level art teachers in Ireland and across the world, as third level art educators, as school principals and deputy-principals, as museum curators, youth workers, arts officers, artists in residence in primary and secondary schools, independent art education consultants and as researchers in art education.


For information on tuition fees please follow this Link 

There is an application fee of €55.00*


Step 1: Click on Apply Now button below | Step 2: Fill in your details

Step 3: Upload your Supporting Documents

  • Please submit the PME Subject Declaration form. Please click here to complete the form.

  • Remember, do not submit your portfolio at the application stage. We will request it later. 

  • You can also submit your application even before you upload the necessary documents. 

  • You will not be able to upload new new documents after you have submitted but any additional documents can be sent to and we will upload them on your behalf. 

Step 4: Pay the application fee & submit your application to NCAD*

  • If you are applying for multiple Postgraduate Programmes then you are only obliged to pay the application fee once.

    • Complete your application as far as the fee payment page

    • Click save + exit

    • Email and let us know you are ready to submit and we will submit the application on your behalf. 

  • NCAD Graduates are not required to pay the application fee. 

    • Complete your application as far as the fee payment page

    • Click save + exit 

    • Email and let us know you are ready to submit and we will submit the application on your behalf. 

Admissions Team 

Please contact the Admissions Team with any questions. You can email us at

Programme Team

Fiona King

Fiona King is a Lecturer in Art and Design Education and coordinator of the Professional Master of Education programme at NCAD. She studied Fine Art Print in Crawford College of Art and Design before training as a teacher at NCAD. She completed a Masters in Visual Art Education (MAVA) in 2010. Her research interests are two fold: firstly, examining how art and design pedagogical processes are multidisciplinary and transferable to the wider education sector; secondly, how Development Education provides the student art teachers with a critical space to investigate how social justice and environmental themes can be taught through the lens of Art and Design in Post Primary Curriculum. Fiona King (as researcher) was part of the Creative Connections European Art and Citizenship project in Ireland, involving 6 European partner countries.