Professional Master of Education (Art & Design)

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 Professional Master of Education (PME) is a two-year masters programme which leads to a professional qualification to teach Art and Design at second level. The award is accredited by the Teaching Council of Ireland. This  Masters programme will enable you as an art or design graduate, to apply your art or design 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, with particular reference to second-level teaching. 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, with specific reference to the requirements of the Irish second-level education system.  The PME aims to facilitate your personal, social, intellectual and practical growth, preparing you for a professional career as a teacher and fostering the necessary skills and dispositions of research, analysis, evaluation and critique to enable you to become a reflective practitioner.


The Change Lab project instils in our student teacher a strong commitment and motivation to teach for social justice and sustainability through the lens of their practice as artist -researchers. Each year the Change Lab consists of the student teachers working in groups of three and four in the NCAD gallery space, for a 2/3-weeks period, to create a body of artwork that critically reflects social injustices and unsustainable practices that define our time. The Change Lab fosters a space where they can explore how their art practice has a social, ethical and cultural dimension as they create work that investigates complex, real world problems. How the students on the PME programme respond, research and create work through the lens of their practice as an artist, researcher and teacher is integral to the methodology of learning and teaching of Visual Art in post primary education.

The Change Lab is designed and led by School of Education staff members in NCAD. Fiona King, Coordinator of the Professional Master of Education programme & Tony Murphy Lecturer in Education in collaboration with Anne Kelly, Programme Curator, NCAD Gallery.

The two-year Professional Master of Education (PME) programme has three interconnected pillars:

School Placement and Foundation Studies
Professional Studies and Subject Discipline
Visual Arts Pedagogy

In year one, you are given both a theoretical and a practical understanding of key processes of teaching and learning. 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 functioning, and you will be encouraged to take up a visible and active role in the full life of the host school. A key requirement in Year 2 is an Action Research project which you will undertake, with college support.

The PME is based in the School of Education NCAD, where a homeroom and workshop facilities are provided.  A feature of the PME is the group collective experience, with peer teaching and learning a prominent element.

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

Some past student comments on completing the postgraduate teacher education programme in NCAD:
“I learnt a huge amount – I thought it was great. …."
“… I loved that I felt more equipped, I felt more of a professional, I felt like someone who could go out and take up a job".
“It’s a different way of thinking and working, a lot of the materials that you have to use, as basic as lino printing, you might never have used them before. There are a lot of practical skills and knowledge, which I thought was brilliant for me”.

Alumni/Recent Graduates

Second Level Art Teachers – in Ireland and across the world
Third Level Art educators,
School Principals, and Deputy-principals,
Museum Curators, Youthreach, Arts officers, Artists in residence in primary and secondary schools, Independent art education consultants, Researchers in Art Education, Politician.

The programme is open to graduates with an honours degree award of 2.2 or higher, or an equivalent academic or professional qualification in a related discipline.
English language: Students who have not been educated through English must show proof of achieving IELTS 6.5 (with a minimum of 6 in the writing section on the academic version) or an equivalent score in another accepted test.

View Entry Requirements and Application Procedure

Programme leader

Professor Dervil Jordan – Head of School of Education

Professor Jordan is the Head of the School of Education, and has been a senior lecturer in Art and Design Education at NCAD, she studied Fine Art painting in NCAD before training as a teacher (PTA). She has a MA in Art Education and a Doctorate in Education from St Patrick’s College Dublin. The focus of her research for her Doctorate was the Dual Identity of the Artist Teacher. She was the national coordinator in Ireland of the Creative Connections European Art and Citizenship project.

Programme Contact

Professor Dervil Jordan