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BEd - Education with Gaeilge &/or Modern Languages

CAO Code
CAO Point Range 2022
Length of Course:
Typical Class Size:
4 Years

Are you interested in studying to be a teacher of modern languages and/or an Ghaeilge at post-primary level? Are you passionate about teaching young people and making a positive impact on their lives?

This innovative teacher education course prepares high quality language teachers to teach, inspire and lead across the Irish education system. As Brazilian education philosopher Paulo Freire states: “Education does not change the world. Education changes people. People change the world.”

This course blends language learning and initial teacher education to prepare you to work as a language teacher in post-primary schools in the Irish education system. You can choose to study two languages from modern languages (French, Spanish, German or Italian) and/or an Ghaeilge. Alternatively, you can choose to major in an Ghaeilge alone. You will engage in modules to develop your language proficiency skills, building your linguistic competencies while also learning about the culture and literature of the language(s) through an interrogation of key texts. You will also develop your skills as a teacher as you progress through the course, undertaking modules in foundation disciplines (history/sociology/psychology/philosophy of education, curriculum studies) and professional studies (communication skills, digital learning, research) while also engaging in school placement (in both primary and post-primary schools). A key aspect of the course is to prepare you for working with a diverse range of students and personnel across the education system, with particular emphasis on the school as a learning community.

First Year
You can study two languages (French, Spanish, German, Italian, an Ghaeilge) or an Ghaeilge solely. Language modules will focus on developing your language proficiency while also introducing you to the associated culture and literature. Education modules include:

  • Irish Childhoods
  • Socio-Historic Perspectives on Education
  • Education for a Sustainable Future
  • Creative Pedagogy & Wellbeing
  • Communication
  • Skills & Language Pedagogy.
  • Placement in this year will be undertaken in a primary school.

Second Year

You will continue to build your language proficiency engaging in modules focused on developing your skills and confidence in the language(s) you are studying as well as continuing with your cultural studies. Education modules include:

  • Education for Democracy
  • Inclusive Education for Learners with Additional Learning Needs (ALN)
  • Curriculum, Assessment & Language Pedogogy
  • Placement will be undertaken in a post-primary school.

Third Year

The immersive study abroad or in the Gaeltacht forms an integral part of this year to apply your language learning in a language placement. If studying two modern languages, placement will be undertaken in trimester two and three (Summer trimester) of the third year. If studying an Ghaeilge and a modern language, language placement will be undertaken in trimester one (the Gaeltacht) and two (Erasmus) of the course. If studying an Ghaeilge alone, language placement will be undertaken in trimester one of the course. Education modules will be taken online to include research methods in preparation for the research project in year four of the course and digital technologies & language pedagogy.

Fourth Year

The final year of the course will prepare students for the intensive block placement experience to be undertaken in post-primary schools over two trimesters. Students will also engage in a research project, working with your Treoraí (co-operating teacher) to identify a relevant topic and to undertake the research study over the course of your placement. Education modules include:

  • Professional Placement
  • Portfolio & Methods (Trimester 1 & 2)
  • Research Project

Students will also engage in the final language modules required to ensure you meet the required standards for language proficiency.


Assessments will include essay format as well as written examinations, oral andaural examinations, in-class individual presentations, group project work, reflective diaries, translation tasks, and a research project in the final year. Placement will be assessed by a school placement supervisor and tutor. Students will also develop a learning portfolio of work (Taisce) over the duration of the course, which you will use as you transition into the teaching profession as a qualified post-primary school teacher.

This concurrent initial teacher education (ITE) course has been recognised and accredited by The Teaching Council of Ireland. For further information www.teachingcouncil. ie/en/ If students fulfil all elements and requirements of the course, you will be eligible to apply for registration as a postprimary school teacher with the Teaching Council of Ireland.

The BEd in Education, Gaeilge and/or Modern Languages qualifies you to teach in post-primary school. It does not qualify you to teach at primary school level.

Leaving Cert Subject Entry Requirements:

O6/H7 in English, Irish, a third language and three other recognised subjects

Special Entry Recommendations:

BEd Education, Gaeilge and Modern Languages – To study this option, we strongly recommend that you have at least a Grade H4 in Gaeilge and a Grade H4 in the Modern Language studied to Leaving Certificate (or equivalent).

BEd Education and Modern Languages – To study this option, we strongly recommend that you have at least a Grade H4 in one or more Modern Language(s) studied to Leaving Certificate (or equivalent). Two languages will be studied as part of this degree option. Both can be taken at non-beginners level or one of German, Italian, Spanish or Portuguese can be taken at beginners level.

BEd Education and Gaeilge – To study this option, we strongly recommend that you have at least a Grade H4 in Gaeilge in Leaving Certificate (or equivalent).

Other School Leaving Requirements:

Please visit our website www.ucd.ie/admissions

“This new teacher education course affords students the opportunity to study languages (French, Spanish, German, Italian, an Ghaeilge) while also engaging in foundational education modules to prepare for teaching in post-primary schools. Students will study language proficiency skills to a high standard, explore the culture of their chosen languages and undertake school placements (in both primary and postprimary schools). This course places particular emphasis on preparing teachers who can respond to the educational needs of students in an increasingly diverse and dynamic education system using creative and innovative approaches.”

Deirdre McGillicuddy, Assistant Professor, UCD School of Education

UCD School of Education
Roebuck Offices
Dublin 4

Email: BEd@ucd.ie

For more information, please see the following resources below:

Deirdre McGillicuddy photo

Dr Deirdre McGillicuddy

‘Teaching is an expression of self’: 10 reasons why I’m a teacher
The role demands the ability to think on your feet and respond to challenges and opportunities

Teaching is, paradoxically, one of the most intellectually, physically and emotionally challenging and rewarding professions. It is dynamic, underpinned by an air of anticipation about what is to come and excitement about the limitless possibilities for teachers and their pupils/students...

Link to the article here

School of Education

University College Dublin Belfield Dublin 4 Ireland
T: +353 1 716 7777