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.


Click the Image below to see pictures from Change Lab 2022

The Change Lab is an Ubuntu funded project that was designed as a model of practice to embed Global Citizenship Education (GCE) into the Professional Master of Education (PME) programme in the National College of Art and Design.The Change Lab instils in our student teacher a strong commitment and motivation to teach for social justice and sustainability through the lens of their practice as artists, researchers and teachers. Each year the Change Lab consists of the student artist-teacher working in groups of three and four in the NCAD gallery space, for a 3-weeks period, to create a body of artwork that critically reflects social injustices and unsustainable practices that define our time.

The Change Lab curatorial model activates the gallery as a ‘lab’ space: emerging as a lecture space, research studio, a maker space, a site of production and exhibition. 
Due to our experience of COVID 19 restrictions this year the Change Lab was not open to the public. This necessitated a revision of how to communicate, connect and interact with an audience beyond the parameters of the NCAD gallery walls. In response to this the Change Lab website was created to showcase the students 2021 lab experience and the multiple layers that the project involves.The site also acts as a pedagogical repository and a digital archive for past iterations of the Change Lab experience. The site captures the evolution of the students' working process, their voice and the pedagogical resources they created to present how they research, respond and articulate the visual art curriculum through a GCE lens.

The Change Lab is designed and led by School of Education staff members in NCAD. Fiona King, Programme Leader of the Professional Master of Education programme & Tony Murphy Lecturer in Education.

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

Fiona King 

Programme Contact