Postgraduate Diploma in Teaching in Further Education (Teaching Council Recognition)

Postgraduate DiplomaTeaching in Further Education (Part time)

Part Time
Cork Road
18 mths
31 Mar 21

further educationCourse full September 2020:  next intake September 2021

PG Diploma in Teaching in Further Education part-time Postgraduate Diploma in Teaching in Further Education flyer

The Postgraduate Diploma in Teaching in Further Education is a professional teaching qualification and is accredited by the Teaching Council of Ireland.  The programme is designed to provide participants with the skills, knowledge and competencies required to teach in a variety of settings in the Further Education sector. No prior experience of teaching is required.  Graduates of the programme are entitled to register with the Teaching Council of Ireland as Further Education teachers, provided they meet the criteria set down in Regulation 5, Teaching Council (Registration) Regulations 2009.

As a participant on this NFQ Level 9 programme you will complete a number of taught modules which focus on both on the practical skills and the theoretical frameworks that underpin the practice of teaching in post-compulsory education.  Alongside these modules, you will also complete 100 hours of Practice Placement in authentic Further or Adult education settings, allowing you to apply the learning from the taught modules in real world teaching settings.

On successful completion of the programme, you should be able to:

  • Critically evaluate the educational and social context within which adult and further education take place nationally and internationally;

  • Analyse and reflect critically on the particular features of teaching and learning in the adult and further education sectors;

  • Compare and contrast the similarities and differences between the further education sector and other sectors of education in Ireland;

  • Exercise discernment in selecting and applying pedagogical and/or andragogical approaches to teaching, learning and assessment appropriate to different learner groups;

  • Critique an appropriate range of approaches for the teaching and learning of the subject matter, including assessment and feedback, as appropriate to different learner groups;

  • Design a programme, course or module appropriate for the learners, including teaching techniques, assessment and evaluation modes, in accordance with the requirements of the relevant awarding body;

  • Demonstrate successful teaching by initiating and leading purposeful activity in in authentic settings, and respond in a skilful manner within unpredictable contexts;

  • Engage in a committed manner to reflective practice, contribute to and learn from communities of practice, and act as a change agent where deemed appropriate within the profession

  • Appraise existing and emerging technologies suitable for integration into their practice. 

The part time programme is run over three semesters.  Students are usually required to attend WIT for two full days per week during the academic semesters as well as to complete the required Practice Placement hours in their placement setting.   There are no exams on the programme.  A range of methods, including essays, portfolios of work, presentations, participation in online discussions and others, is used to assess the achievement of the learning outcomes in the taught modules.   For the Teaching Practice modules, students are observed as they teach (at least once per module) and are also required to submit a Practice Placement Portfolio as part of the assessment process.

Programme structure for the part time programme

Please click on modules for details

Semester 1

Semester 2

Semester 3

Introduction to Professional Practice

Curriculum and Assessment

Philosophy and Critical Education Theory

Foundations of Effective Teaching in Further Education

Developing Effective Teaching in Further Education

Educational Psychology for Further Education

Sociology of Adult Education

Policy and Perspectives of Further Education


Practice Placement 1

Practice Placement 2

Practice Placement 3


Module information

The programme is made up of a combination of theoretical foundation modules, professional studies modules and practical teaching modules

In order to facilitate the delivery of programmes during the Covid-19 pandemic, module outline and order may change slightly for the academic year 2020/2021.


Entry requirements

Applicants for this programme normally require an NFQ Level 8 qualification in an area that is currently taught in Further and / or Adult Education in Ireland.  Those who meet this requirement are interviewed to assess their overall suitability for the programme.

In order to be offered a place on the programme, applicants must provide proof that they have access to 100 hours of Practice Placement in appropriate Further Education settings.  Practice Placement must be completed within recognised Further Education settings (which include Colleges of Further Education, Adult Education Centres etc) and with groups of six or more learners taking accredited programmes leading to awards at NFQ Levels 1 to 6.

Applicants whose first language is not English must submit evidence of competency in English.  Please see WIT’s English Language Requirements (link here to the relevant webpage) for details.

All applicants require Garda clearance, and will therefore be expected to complete the necessary Garda Vetting forms at the beginning of the programme.  Garda vetting applications are processed for the group through WIT.

Application process

Applications for the programme are made online via the Postgraduate Applications Centre (  The course code for the part time programme is WD569.

Programme fees

Fees for the part time programme are €7500, payable in three instalments of €2500 (one at the beginning of each semester). 

The Irish Further Education and Training sector provides graduates of this programme with a wide range of contexts in which to pursue their teaching careers.  Opportunities for qualified further education teachers are to be found in a variety of settings from Colleges of Further Education to Adult Education Centres, Adult Literacy Services and other settings.  Graduates of this programme have gone on to work on a range of different further education programmes, including Post Leaving Certificate programmes, Youthreach programmes, programmes that are run under the Back to Education Initiative (BTEI )and the Vocational Training Opportunities Scheme (VTOS), as well as in community education contexts and on both accredited and non-accredited adult education programmes.   A number of graduates have also gone on to further study at WIT, including at doctoral level in Education.

Keith Worley, Tutor Waterford Wexford ETB Graduate of Postgraduate Diploma in Teaching in Further Education

I work for Waterford Wexford ETB across a range of fields, BTEI, Community and Literacy and I work in Waterford, Wexford, New Ross and Enniscorthy. 

Prior to completing the course I worked in the field of Social Care and provided staff with Therapeutic Crisis Intervention training.  The Post Graduate Diploma offered me a new career path.  Returning to Education as a mature student one full day a week; allowed me to juggle family life, work life and education.  It highlighted and developed my transferable skill set to utilise in my teaching practice.  The course, as a whole, offered me the opportunity to learn from my fellow students and the lecturers.  The modules covered all the practices required in the profession.  The course offered me the opportunity to evaluate my practice and the practice of teaching across the various positions in the Further Education sector.  Those delivering and running the course were aware of the demands external to the classroom and took these into account when dealing with the group.  The course was not without stress (assignments, due dates, portfolios and group work) but it was a collaborative experience and one that I thoroughly enjoyed.   

My first teaching practice experience was initially daunting. The process of developing schemes of work and lesson plans prepared me for the eventual face to face teaching experience.  The placements allowed me to learn by doing and reflect on my practice to hone a teaching style I was comfortable with.  The practice presented the reality of teaching on a daily basis, preparing me for the workplace practices without doubt.  The feedback and consultation with my supervisors over the three practice placements were insightful and integral to my personal development in a new professional field.  The placements allowed for firsthand experience being new to the teaching profession.”

They say knowledge is power.  The knowledge and professional network I gained from completing the course has without doubt changed my life.  It has offered me a new career path, changed my outlook, my working environment and enhanced my ability to communicate with peers and learners alike.  Professionally, the course allowed me to interpersonally communicate and form working relationships with many Teachers/Tutors with vast experience, which enhanced my teaching practice.  The difference in my personal life is night and day.  I have worked for the past two years teaching across the WWETB and I have not looked back.  The decision to commence the Post Graduate Diploma was not taken lightly but it has proved to be personally rewarding and has set me on a new path professionally.

Keith Worley, Tutor Waterford Wexford ETB Graduate of Postgraduate Diploma in Teaching in Further Education

John Ryan, Q Centre, Mallow. Graduate of Postgraduate Diploma in Teaching in Further Education

I teach Information Technology, Computer Literacy, Word Processing, Personal Effectiveness as well as Basic English Reading and Writing at the Q Centre, Mallow, which is funded by Cork ETB and provides education and training opportunities for adults.

I chose to study the Postgraduate Diploma in Teaching in Further Education because teaching in Further and Adult Education has become more recognised as mainstream and it gave me the opportunity to gain a Teaching Council-approved qualification to teach in the Further Education sector.  This Level 9 course really appealed to me as it opens up further possibilities in academic research and there were some practical benefits including developing a real hands on approach to educating adults, which is very different and distinct from Second Level education.  Furthermore, the academic aspects of adult learning and teaching were delivered in a knowledgeable yet practical fashion which, for me, was easily understood and could be applied to my teaching.  Indeed, this was the case for every module in the course. The lecturers, support staff and all in WIT are so supportive and the material they delivered through lectures and Moodle, not only helped me during the course, but continue to be of benefit to me today.  Along with my own study, the lectures and discussions with the outstanding lecturers in WIT gave me the opportunity to become part of a community of practice. 

At first, Teaching Practice was daunting however, the knowledge and insight it gave me were invaluable.  My various practice placement tutors served to facilitate my own professional development as a teacher by highlighting my strong points as well as identifying areas where I needed to improve upon and further develop.  The learning I gained from Teaching Practice continues to be reflected in my practice. 

I would encourage anyone who is considering teaching in the Further Education sector to talk to the people in WIT.  You will be given an opportunity to learn about the course as well as how you can become part of the community of practice there.

John Ryan, Q Centre, Mallow. Graduate of Postgraduate Diploma in Teaching in Further Education

Margaret Stafford, Tutor Waterford Wexford ETB Graduate of Postgraduate Diploma in Teaching in Further Education

I am currently teaching English as a second or other language (ESOL) in Waterford Wexford ETB.  I work with newcomers from all over the world and I’ve taught a range of levels and course types e.g. portfolio, family learning, refugee programmes.  Currently, I’m working with refugees under the UN resettlement programme - it’s a challenging but extremely rewarding role and never boring!

The Postgraduate Diploma in Teaching in Further Education gave me the confidence to be in an adult classroom and to teach effectively through Teaching Practice and theory.  While I never found it easy to do Teaching Practice, I learnt so much from the advice and practical help given to me by experienced teachers and mentors.  

As a mature student, the course changed my life and career.  Armed with a Teaching Council number, I found a job I love.  The course also provided the practical skills of classroom management, problem-solving, devising lesson plans, timings, learning outcomes and reflective practice.  It also included designing a curriculum for modules within the ETB which I found gave me insights into the world of learning outcomes and portfolios.  I found the support of the teaching co-coordinators to be outstanding, particularly helping me find teaching practice placements. They were so approachable and committed to helping and nothing seemed too much trouble.

I received lots of support and advice from my peers – there is definitely comfort in knowing others are experiencing the same emotions and fears. 

Before I did the course, I was working in a job which gave me very little satisfaction. Now, I have a job which I can’t believe I get paid for.  I truly believe I have changed and grew in knowledge and understanding because of the Postgraduate Diploma in Teaching in Further Education.  I’ve also learned that teaching is a learning process, which means that, once you start the course, you will be, in the truest sense, a lifelong learner!

Margaret Stafford, Tutor Waterford Wexford ETB Graduate of Postgraduate Diploma in Teaching in Further Education

further educationPractice Placement (PP) is a core part of all teacher education programmes and enables the student teacher to practice teaching in authentic settings. It involves student teachers, Practice Placement Tutors, the  Practice Placement Co-ordinator, the Practice Placement Academic Lead and workplace Mentors in Further Education settings. PP provides student teachers with the opportunity to plan and prepare lessons in a professional manner, teach effectively, reflect on their teaching and evaluate how successful this was for their students’ learning.

There are three periods of Practice Placement to be completed, one in each semester of the part time programme. The duration of each Teaching Practice Placement is between 4 and 10 weeks and student teachers will carry out a total 100 hours of Practice Placement over the course of the programme (usually 40 hours in semester 1 and 30 hours in each of semesters 2 and 3).  80 of the 100 hours must be delivered as solo teaching hours, while the remaining 20 can include observation of teaching, co-teaching and other activities.

To satisfy the Teaching Council’s registration requirements, placements must meet a number of criteria: they must be completed within recognised Further Education settings (which include Colleges of Further Education, Adult Education Centres etc); they must involve working with groups of six or more learners; and they must be on accredited programmes leading to awards at NFQ Levels 1 to 6.

Student teachers are responsible for arranging their own Practice Placements.  This generally involves contacting the management of likely partner institutions within the Further Education sector.   Applicants who are currently engaged in a teaching or tutoring capacity within the further education sector may wish to nominate some of their existing classes for their Practice Placements provided they meet the criteria below and provided the placement is approved by their appropriate line manager.

A dedicated Practice Placement Co-ordinator liaises with the student teachers to ensure the practice placement setting meets the programme requirements.  Support documents to assist in arranging placement are provided to applicants once they have successfully completed their interviews.  Proof of access to placement is required before an applicant can officially be offered a place on the programme, but access to placement does not have to be in place at the time of application and interview. 

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