Becoming a Primary School Teacher in Ireland:

New Graduate

Conditions of Eligibility

Academic requirements: In addition to an approved level 8 third-level degree, applicants must also have secured the following results:

  1. if they sat the Leaving Certificate Examination prior to 1969, Honours in Irish and passes in English and Mathematics
  2. if they sat the Leaving Certificate Examination in 1969 or later, at least grade C in Higher Level Irish, and at least grade D in Mathematics (Ordinary or Higher level), and at least grade C (Ordinary level) or grade D (Higher level) in English.
  3. if they sat the Northern Ireland GCSE and GCE A Level Examinations: a Grade C at GCE A Level Irish; a Grade C at GCSE Level in both English and English Literature, or Grade B at GCSE Level in either; a Grade D at GCSE Level in Additional Mathematics or a Grade A at GCSE Level in Mathematics.

A pass in a University First Arts Examination in Irish, English or Mathematics will be accepted in lieu of Leaving Certificate Examination/GCE/GCSE requirement for that particular subject. In the case of Irish, a Grade C in the Matriculation Examination will also be accepted in lieu of the Leaving Certificate Examination/GCSE requirement. In addition the Dioplóma sa Gaeilge from NUI Maynooth and the Diploma in Arts (Applied Irish) from University College Cork are acceptable. In the case of Mathematics, a pass in that subject in the Matriculation Examination will also be accepted in lieu of the Leaving Certificate Examination/GCSE requirement.

Selection Procedure

Eligible applicants will be required to undergo an Interview and an Oral Irish test. The results of these tests will be graded and allocated points as follows:-

Interview Oral Irish
A 100 A 40
A- 90 B 32
B 80 C 24
B- 70 D 16
C 60 E Fail
C- 50 -
D 40 -
E Fail -

Applicants who get a "fail" grade in either the Interview or oral Irish test will be eliminated from the competition. Qualified applicants will be placed in order of merit determined by the results of the Interview and oral Irish test. Where two or more applicants obtain the same points total, their placement on the order of merit will be determined by random selection. There will be two separate order of merit lists: one common list for all of the Dublin Colleges and a separate list for Mary Immaculate College, Limerick. Each College will fill its places by reference to the relevant order of merit and the College preferences of successful applicants.

The purpose of the Interview is to ascertain the suitability of the applicant for the course of training as primary teacher. Part of the Interview may be conducted through Irish.

The Oral Irish test will comprise:-

  • conversation on everyday topics and on books read by the applicant
  • reading correctly and intelligently a suitable passage of prose or poetry and explaining the matter read.
Applicants should note that a high standard of fluency is required in the Oral Irish test and should prepare for the test accordingly.

Applicants will be advised by the relevant Centre (Dublin or Limerick) of the date, time, venue, etc. of their interview and Oral Irish test and must attend these tests at their own expense. The venue will be either Dublin or Limerick. Currently the only locations you can complete the training are :

More information available from Dept. of Education & Science.