Course Details

This BA (Hons) Inclusive Education Practice degree, designed for accelerated delivery through full-time study. Completed over 3 academic years, this course starts October ’23.

Fee
€5,395.00 Per academic year
Start Date
2nd October 2023
Qualification
Level 8 Honours Degree
Level
Undergraduate
Location(s)
Portobello Institute
Course Duration
3 years

Overview

This degree BA (Hons) Inclusive Education Practice explores how the learning and behaviour of children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) can be supported by you for these children to fulfil their potential. The knowledge, skills and practical experience delivered during the 3 years of this programme develop competence and confidence in you, to enhance your learning and to approach challenging behaviours from a reflexive, professional and restorative approach.

The emphasis throughout the modules of this degree is on practical application in an inclusive environment with the main perspectives of behaviour explored. We seek to equip you, with the ability to de-centre behaviour from the child and support the child to achieve positive regulation skills.

You are required to undertake a practical placement in each year of the 3 academic years of this programme. The placement can be completed in an ELC setting which is availing of the level 7 AIM support, in a special education early year setting, in a primary or secondary school. The placement hours (100 hours each academic year) are integrated in to the academic schedule however there is flexibility to accommodate your needs if you are combining work and studies. If you are employed in an inclusive support role, you can do the placement at your place of work.

The personal and professional development achieved during this programme equips you to reflect on how you transfer knowledge, skills and abilities considering the individual needs of children, promoting their well-being, and learning, while working collaboratively with parents and other professionals in an inclusive educational environment.

Further Study Pathways

Portobello Institute also offers the opportunity to continue to Masters level with an MA Inclusive Education and SEND, available through blended learning.

Here are some reasons to choose to study with Portobello:

  • Career focused qualifications – our courses lead to awards that offer you the opportunity to immediately advance your career.
  • Individualised support – we fit your learning model with support available when you need it throughout your learning journey.
  • Industry expert tutors – our tutors are all experienced in the field of inclusive education and special education needs connecting research and theory with practice throughout their lectures.
  • Recognition of Prior Learning – module exemptions if you hold QQI level 6 in Special Needs Assisting or QQI Level 6 Early Childhood Care and Education
  • Condensed scheduling – we value your time by ensuring your timetable is optimised for delivery, helping you maintain a work/life/study balance.
  • Flexible delivery – we deliver theory sessions online whilst also recording the session simultaneously offering you a choice of when and how you learn.
  • Affordable payment options – all our courses offer you the option to choose an easy payment plan supporting you to spread the cost out over your learning journey.

Why should I study this course?

The inclusive education sector is developing and undergoing professionalisation with new posts for inclusive practitioners created each year, and special needs assistants working in early years and specialised settings, primary and secondary schools are interested in obtaining qualifications which will recognise them as professionals working alongside teachers and at the same time provide them with specialised skills and knowledge which they can put into practice in their work-based contexts. Engagement with employers, both in the special early education and primary/secondary school sector also makes it clear that they prefer to hire degree graduates rather than students who hold further education qualifications. This programme offers a realistic and flexible route for inclusive practitioners and new entrants to the sector to enhance their personal and professional development and gain professional recognition with opportunities to progress level 9 programmes.

You can gain this BA (Hons) Inclusive Education Practice degree in 3 academic years whilst you are working. You can join the large network of educators working in the area of special educational needs, early years, and inclusive education on this learning journey. There is an easy payment plan designed to make this degree affordable. These factors, together with the one to one tutorial support, offer you a BA (Hons) Inclusive Education Practice degree that is accessible, affordable and achievable.

Study Pathways

If you hold a QQI Level 5 or 6 award in Special Needs Assisting and are looking to further your qualifications, we have designed this BA (Hons) Inclusive Education Practice for you. It offers you a path of progression through to a level 9 MA in Inclusive Education and SEND. There are module exemptions available if you hold QQI Level 6 Special Needs assisting or QQI Level 6 Early Childhood Care and Education.

As a graduate, working as an educator within early years setting, primary and secondary schools is a natural career progression. There will also be more diverse roles available to you such as a specialist for the Better Start programme which coordinates AIM, roles in community and charity organisations as well as government bodies.

Gain employment through our strong network of connections

Gaining employment in Inclusive Education is the objective of this degree and it is important students have the opportunity to gain practical experience and build a network of contacts within the sector.

Portobello Institute has an established network of connections with many of the employers in this area. The work experience programme for this programme affords students the opportunity to gain practical working experience and engage with some of the leading schools and educators in Ireland and to leverage those connections to advance their careers. Companies participating in our work experience programme invest considerable time in our students and recruit directly from this placement programme.

Accessible, affordable, achievable

There is an easy payment plan designed to make this degree affordable for you. These factors, together with the one to one tutorial support, offer you the opportunity to access a career in inclusive education, with a qualification that is accessible, affordable and achievable.

 

Who will recognise my qualification?

Upon successful completion of this programme, you will be awarded a BA (Hons) in Inclusive Education Practice from the University of Essex This award is mapped and aligns at level 8 on the National Framework of Qualifications.

You will be registered as an undergraduate student with University of Essex for the duration of your studies.

Qualifications Frameworks in Ireland and the UK

The Irish and UK qualifications authorities have collaborated on initiatives that promote the transparency, recognition and mobility of qualifications between our respective jurisdictions. The qualifications authorities in the UK and Ireland have agreed the qualifications frameworks in operation, Brexit will not impact this agreement. Further guidance on this framework is available here.

 

What will I study during this New – BA (Hons) Inclusive Education Practice FT – October ’23 course?

This programme will provide you with specialised knowledge and skills to respond to challenges of high quality provision in a context increasing diversity in early childhood education settings, primary, post-primary schools and community care settings. You will reflect on the complex nature of inclusion and engage with philosophical, political, cultural and ethical aspect of education for learners who are vulnerable to exclusion and underachievement due to special education needs and disability.

You will consider a range of local and international perspectives including children’s rights, children’s health and well-being, pedagogical and curriculum approaches, diversity, and inclusion and disability in society.

You will explore a range of disciplines such as psychology, sociology and social policy, education, and health. Learning the links between theory and practice is key to your development as a professional Inclusive Educator.

  • Promoting Holistic Development of Children (0-12 yrs)

    This module emphasises the integrated nature of children’s learning and development and considers application of a range of developmental perspectives to inform understanding. Throughout this module, students will explore the theoretical underpinnings of children’s development across all domains; personal, social, emotional, physical and language development. This module also centres on the importance of understanding children’s temperaments, different learning dispositions and transitions, which are pivotal in providing quality care and education experiences in early years settings.

    The module aims to enable students to:

    1. Enhance their knowledge about the main theoretical perspectives that explain how children learn and develop.
    2. Recognise integrated nature of children’s learning.
    3. Reflect on influences and experiences in the setting which can impact on children’s personal, emotional, social, cognitive, linguistic and physical development and consider how these can be connected to theoretical perspectives.
    4. Develop skills and competencies to design effective strategies to support development and learning.
    5. Engage in peer learning and further develop team working skills.
  • Becoming an Educator, Academic & Professional Skills

    This module provides orientation for students transitioning from further education to higher education level of study (HE). The student will gain an understanding of academic principles. The module considers differences of academic rigour and expectations at higher education. The student will obtain an understanding of various types of assessment, their format and structure, alongside the importance of referencing and how to use the Harvard referencing style. They will learn to use the library service to search for relevant materials, note-take and manage information.

    The module aims to enable students to:

    1. Understand the complexities of studying at a degree level and acknowledge challenges of combining study with responsibilities of work/work placement and family commitments.
    2. Become aware of their emotional experiences and challenges as students.
    3. Develop realistic strategies in terms of time management and target setting.
    4. Understand conventions of academic study and academic writing.
    5. Recognise importance of evidence-based practice rooted in research.
    6. Become familiar with basic research methodology and tools and be able to use these tools to enhance practice.
    7. Reflect on their professional values and standards and consider the impact of continuous learning and professional development on their professional identity.
  • Understanding Professional Practice – Placement Portfolio

    The module focuses on personal and professional development of students in a work-based context and equips students with tools to construct knowledge about themselves as professionals in the area of inclusive education and SEND. The students will reflect on how they transfer knowledge, skills and abilities to consider individual needs of children to promote their well-being and learning while working collaboratively with parents and other professionals.

    The module will require students to undertake placement of a minimum 100 hours. The placement can be completed in in an ELC setting which is availing of the level 7 AIM support, in a special education early years setting, in a primary or secondary school. Placement can be taken as a block or on a weekly basis to suit the needs of students who are combining work and studies. Students who are employed in an inclusive support role can do the placement at their place of work.

    The module aims to enable students to:

    1. Further develop their critical reflection skills.
    2. Enhance and extend their understanding of effective inclusive practice.
    3. Evaluate their practice in relation to professional guidance, standards and regulation.
    4. Make critical connections between learning across modules and apply their knowledge to professional contexts.
    5. Set professional goals and plan for personal growth and development.
  • Safeguarding Health, Well-being & Rights of Children
  • Development in Middle Childhood & Adolescence

    This module builds on the content studied in module Promoting Holistic Development of Children 0-8 and explores how various development perspectives can be applied to understanding children’s growth and learning in middle childhood and adolescence. There is a focus on supporting children with additional needs attending a range of educational settings.

    The key theories of middle childhood and adolescence will be explored in tandem with the unique challenges and experiences that arise for young people with disabilities. The impact of transitionary periods in school life, family life and body maturation will be examined, and the role of the inclusive school environment will be considered. This will enable students to effectively plan in line with the requirements of educational authorities and compose individual behaviour plans, individual education plans and personal pupil plans. The implementation of same will also be reviewed considering the theoretical perspectives and best practice guidelines.

    The module aims to enable students to:

    1. Study major theoretical perspectives on development in a period known as middle childhood and adolescence.
    2. Explore the concepts of functional age and maturation with regard to learning and understand how they impact teaching in the special education context.
    3. Understand the impact of transitionary periods in children’s lives.
    4. Consolidate ability to critique current strategies and plan for differentiated care and teaching.
    5. Explore the influence of relationships on development of children in middle age and adolescence.
    6. Understand how development of independent living skills can be supported in partnership with children’s families.
  • Leadership Skills for Inclusive Practice

    This module focuses on evaluation and development of practice through the lens of inclusion and social justice. It emphasises legal rights to equality for practitioners and children within the workplace context of educational and care settings and fosters development of skills to demonstrate, model and lead anti-discriminatory practice. The benefits and challenges of working in diverse environments will be examined.  Students will explore national and international legislation and official guidance that nurtures equality and inclusion. Students will learn about the impact of inequalities on children’s life prospects and will be introduced to practical strategies for inclusion within their settings such as learning how to implement a listening culture in the classroom and modelling inclusion and anti-bias approaches.

    The module aims to enable students to:

    1. Extend their knowledge of legislation and professional guidance related to equality and inclusive provision.
    2. Understand the impact of inequality and exclusion on children’s development, sense of identity and life prospects.
    3. Evaluate practice and provision through the lens of inclusion and social justice.
    4. Acknowledge their role as an agent of change and examine their own beliefs, attitudes and values.
    5. Plan for improvements to enhance inclusive practice and provision in their setting.

     

  • Disability in Society

    This module considers historical, cultural, philosophical and theoretical perspectives on disability and examines disability as a socially constructed phenomenon and a human rights issue. It explores the influence of dominant ideas about disability on policy, practice and representations of disability and special educational needs, including those in literature and the media.

    This module examines disability through a historical and cultural lens within the remit of the sociology of disability. Furthermore, the module considers the philosophical and theoretical perspectives on disability. The social constructions of disability are explored with respect to the historical development of the main models of disability. This links to the legislative context which is examined alongside the human rights perspective on disability. The implications of such on the lives of children and young people with disabilities is critically explored. The module will employ the critical evaluations of these concepts and perspectives to examine the representation of disability in popular and social media. Additionally, the cyclical element of social representations and social experiences will be considered. The term ‘representation’ will be explored and applied to the sociological concepts of disability.

    This module aims to enable students to:

    1. Examine disability through a sociological lens.
    2. Explore disability as a human rights issue and reflect on dilemmas about their implementation.
    3. Consolidate knowledge on international documents that ascertain rights of children and young people with disabilities.
    4. Develop an awareness of interrelationship between political, economic, cultural and ideological contexts in the lives of children and young people with disabilities with respect to the past, present and implications for the future.
    5. Critically evaluate how children with disabilities are represented in the popular media (TV, online, radio, social media) and discuss the impact of media on policy and practice.
    6. Investigate how media can create challenges and opportunities for perceptions of people with disability in society.
    7. Develop critical literacy skills and learn how to create representative digital content.
  • Leading & Managing Services for Children

    The quality of leadership is directly corelated with the quality of provision. The module explores the complexities of leading and managing a setting within the system consisting of different layers: children, parents and practitioners, professionals from external agencies and legislators.  The module provides an overview of a range of theories and perspectives on leadership and explores distinctive features of leadership within the sector. Students are encouraged to evaluate their own role in leading and developing effective practice and reflect on their own leadership style. Their practical capacity to lead and manage organisations providing services for children and families will be fostered through in-depth study of the legislative and regulatory requirements in Ireland, both sector specific and those of general application.

    The module aims to enable students to:

    1. Appreciate the importance of good leadership and management for provision of quality services for children and families across all aspects of practice.
    2. Develop professional knowledge for increased responsibility and accountability to all stakeholders.
    3. Develop an in-depth knowledge of legislative and regulatory requirements in Ireland, both sector specific and those of general application and be able to comply with relevant reporting and inspection regimes.
    4. Study the network of organisations involved in monitoring and supporting quality of services in Ireland and work effectively with their representatives.
    5. Explore alternative tools for assessment of quality for self-evaluation and improvement of practice and provision.
    6. Examine theories of leadership and management and reflect on their own leadership style.
    7. Explore underpinning theory and practical knowledge for supporting individual staff members and teams.
  • Approaches to Inclusive Education

    The module considers inclusion from a theoretical and practical point of view. Theoretically the module explores the philosophy of inclusion and inclusive environments while providing knowledge and understanding in relation to practical approaches, frameworks, and models for current and future inclusive education provision. The module examines the term “additional needs” and learning needs arising from different areas of disability are explored and implications of legislation and policy for practice are analysed.

    The focus of the module is on critical examination of the theoretical underpinnings of inclusion in the early years, primary and secondary school curricula and evaluation of the practical implications for inclusive education.  This includes methodologies, pedagogies and best practice guidelines and their impact on planning, differentiation, and teaching.

    The module aims to enable students to:

     

    1. Develop awareness and understanding of various special educational needs and disabilities.
    2. Understand how the principles and values of inclusive provision for children with SEND developed historically.
    3. Study the legal background for inclusive educational provision with respect to national and international policy.
    4. Explore key curriculum guidance documents in Ireland with respect to CARPET PATCH differentiation and pedagogical practices.
      1. Aistear, The National Curriculum Framework
      2. Primary School Curriculum
      3. Secondary School Curriculum
    5. Explore the key theoretical, pedagogical and best practice models, approaches and frameworks which influence curriculum design and delivery in context of special education.
    6. Understand the need to draw on theory and research when planning for inclusive provision and when engaging in reflective practice.
    7. Examine the role of other professionals working to provide services for children with SEND with specific reference to the multi-disciplinary team and the processes and products of inclusive education.
    8. Understand and appreciate the role of the child’s voice and choice within inclusive education provision and the ethics of child agency.
  • Psychology of Learning and Behaviour

    The module explores how learning and behaviour of children with SEND can be supported through the knowledge of applied psychology. It provides students with theoretical knowledge and practical skills to develop competence and confidence in their ability to scaffold learning within a variety of contexts and for a variety of capabilities, and approach challenging behaviours from a reflexive, professional and restorative approach.

    The main perspectives on behaviour are explored with an emphasis on practical application in the inclusive environment. Students will explore the theoretical underpinnings of behaviour as communication. The module seeks to equip students with the ability to de-centre the behaviour from the child, and thus support the child to achieve positive regulation skills. Socio-emotional strategies to support positive behaviour regulation such as the growth mindset perspective, restorative approaches, differentiated curricula and reflexivity will be examined. Gained knowledge and skills will develop students’ competence to plan and implement interventions.

    The module aims to enable students to:

    1. Develop critical awareness of theories of learning and behaviour. Explore the dominant behavioural perspectives.
    2. Explore theories of motivation and understand how they shape instructional design and underpin behavioural interventions in the special education context.
    3. Consolidate their knowledge of behaviour regulation strategies as practitioners and as education professionals.
    4. Understand functions of behaviour and enhance their knowledge of ways to support positive behaviour. Understand all behaviour as communication.
    5. Explore the impact of SEND on socio-emotional development and well-being and how these developmental domains may be supported by the behaviour regulation strategies.
    6. Work collaboratively with the stakeholders to plan and deliver differentiated curricula which meet individual needs of learners.
  • Research Methods for Evidence-based Practice: Dissertation

    The module focuses on facilitating the students to draw on research in their practice and contribute to development of research base for the sector. Students’ practical research skills are fostered as they learn to plan, deliver and collate an individual research project relating to an area of their particular interest.

    Aims

    The module aims to enable students to:

    1. Develop further professionally by pursuing a line of enquiry arising from their personal or professional interest.
    2. Develop a critical understanding of the relationship between research and practice.
    3. Exercise autonomy and judgement in applying professional knowledge and skills in context of professional practice and study.
    4. Develop knowledge about research theory and research methodology relevant to educational research.
    5. Develop an understanding of stages involved in the research process and be prepared to deal with uncertainties and ambiguities of research.
    6. Consider ethical frameworks and challenges when designing a piece of research and apply ethics throughout the research process.
    7. Gain a practical experience in designing a piece of research, selecting appropriate methodology and research tools, gathering and analysing data.
    8. Prepare for entry to post-graduate programmes.

    Learning Outcomes

    1. Formulate research questions and set clear and realistic research aims related to the context of children and childhood.
    2. Apply ethical frameworks throughout the research process and act as an advocate for children and families.
    3. Describe, analyse and constructively critique research, theoretical perspectives. historical, social, political, cultural and philosophical context related to the research question(s) drawing on a wide range of approipriate sources.
    4. Demonstrate competence in research skills through selecting appropriate tools of data gathering consistent with the chosen research methodology.
    5. Discuss research findings using theory to analyse data and develop credible arguments.
    6. Demonstrate an ability to communicate and share knowledge by structuring and presenting content effectively.

     

     

  • Professional Development: Sharing the Learning New or revised

    The module encourages further extension of professional competence by focusing on interactions between adults and emphasising importance of sharing knowledge and empowering others within the sector to promote quality of provision for children and families.

    Aims

    The module aims to enable students to:

    1. Understand the concept of mentorship in educational and care settings.
    2. Use the opportunities to draw on their knowledge, skills and competence in context of reflective thinking and practice in order to support their colleagues.
    3. Promote good practice and shared values.
    4. Develop practical skills of structuring and presenting content in order share to knowledge.
    5. Evaluate their effectiveness by reflecting on feedback and making judgements about their choices and decisions.

    Learning Outcomes

    1. Critically reflect on implications of mentorship for their own and other educators’ practice and professional development.
    2. Reflect on their role and responsibility to share knowledge, skills and values in order to link theoretical models and philosophical approaches to practice and present solutions for professional challenges.
    3. Work collaboratively with the research supervisor and peer learners and use feedback to evaluate progress and plan improvements.
    4. Produce an e-Portofolio as a tool to support personal and professional development throughout the programme and beyond.

Who will I learn from?

Programme Manager

Marguerita Magennis

Position: Course Coordinator Masters in Early Childhood Studies & Lead Lecturer BA Hons degree Early Childhood Studies

About Marguerita

“Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire,” – William Butler Yeats

My early career started in law, but after having my own children, I decided to leave this sector and move into early education and special needs. Having worked and managed my own pre-school for some years, I embarked on the road of educational psychology, and I work for several years in the primary education sector with children who needed that little bit more support.

I have over 20 years’ experience of working in education and higher education as a lecturer and researcher, and work as an International External Authenticator/Standards Verifier for numerous awarding bodies in Ireland and the UK.  I am a registered member of the British Psychological Society (BPS) and have a small psychology service, which in recent years I have extended to offer counselling and psychotherapy to younger members of society on a voluntary basis.

There are lots of experiences and students who will always stand out, students who continue to contact you after they have completed their degree to ask advice and students who will email you a draft of a personal statement to have a read of, as they apply for their master’s qualification, students sending you photos of their baby which they delivered days after submitting an assignment on time; or students who send a video of their wedding day after they graduate. These are the moments which stand out and make it all worthwhile.  Knowing you have helped these people become the person they strive to be.

I started working for Portobello over nine years ago and it is like a home from home, the support and comradery that is shared within the college. It was throughout this role that I felt I had found my niche, working with adults who had come back to education bringing with them a wealth of knowledge and experience, but needing the certification to go with that. I think this resonates with me most, having come a similar route myself, and after leaving law; embarking on my academic career with Queen’s University, subsequently completing Bachelor of Arts Honours, Master’s and PhD level education, for which I was awarded the Post Grad award for Doctoral Research.

Throughout my career I have had the pleasure of meeting and working with some fantastic and renowned authors and researchers in the field of early education.

Dr Barbara McConnell my supervisor at master’s level, and a good friend since that time; Dr Colette Gray, Mary Maloney a good friend, and past colleague, Professor Jim Deegan, the most intellectual gentleman I have had the pleasure to chat with on numerous occasions, and whose most memorable saying is “go for it!”, a sentiment which has driven my own research career for some years.  David Whitebread, who I met while studying my PhD, and who has since then shared some insightful thinking’s about Vygotsky and play.  Dr. Zsuzsa Millei, a friend and mentor and editor of our book, Childhood and Nation.  John Siraj Blatchford and Prof Bob Stake, both helped me refine my research throughout the years; and Prof Judith Green, California who I met at a conference many years ago, the most enlightening person I have ever had the pleasure to encounter, and at the ripe age of 79 was still deeply engrossed in research and teaching.  She has become a very good friend, and mentor.  All of whom have greatly influenced me in my career and research.

Marguerita’s Teaching Philosophy 

As a lecturer it is important to make conscious decisions around the module content and pedagogy with the students experience in mind, as I believe our students possess knowledge skills, values and experiences which help them deal with their different employment opportunities.

I believe part of my role is to help them understand through the engagement with these courses, who they are and what they can contribute to the heterogeneity that they will encounter in their vocation to work with and educate young children. They are the advocates for the sector, ambassadors for early education in Ireland. And as such I think it is vital that we more than anything else help them develop skills like critical thinking, intellectual curiosity, analytical reasoning, reflexivity and communication skills, becoming leaders in their field, involved in research to further and benefit the sector in it’s entirety. I don’t believe it is my role to teach my students the practical aspects of early education, as it is they who bring that knowledge and experience with them; but rather it is my role to encourage them to apply the theoretical underpinnings to those practical skills.

As a philosophical stance on adult education, it is important to realise that understanding is not something that is transferrable from one person to another; rather understanding is constructed by each student, based on their prior knowledge and experiences; it is my philosophical stance that the role of the lecturer is to nurture, challenge and extend that knowledge.

As a lecturer it is vital to listen to the student’s voice, engage with them and support them, scaffolding the pathways to further learning. In order to achieve this it is important to encourage the students to engage and interact during tutorial sessions, as we all learn from each other, and in adult education the student is as vital to that learning experience as the lecturer. Discussion and debate are key, therefore I expect my students to respond, contribute and critique so that the understanding becomes deeply rooted.

It is also important to keep abreast of changes in the sector and up to date with up and coming research. I try to achieve this by engaging in research topics every 12/18 months if possible, and have had some of these contributions published to date. Attendance at conferences is a beneficial means of networking, raising awareness of current debates and issues in the sector, which are vital to ensuring the learning experience for the student is relevant and reflective of their own experiences.

As a reviewer for several journals, SAGE, Contemporary Issues, Global Childhood Studies and Early Childhood studies, I help to ensure that publications are peer reviewed and of the highest standard, and subscribing to these journals ensure that I always have access to suitable reading materials to supplement the course materials for my students.

Research Interests and contributions:

  • Special Educational Needs
  • Autism
  • ICT in Early Education
  • Wellbeing in Early Education
  • Curriculum Design and Leadership
  • Conceptual Development
  • Innovation and Diversities in Early Edcuation
  • Outdoor environments
  • Forest Schools
  • Risky Play in Early Education

Research / Industry Participation

  • SELB (2008) Autism Awareness Report
  • SELB (2010) Autism Intervention Support
  • Queens University Belfast (2010) Workshop Presentation: Research in the early years (Sole presenter)
  • Mary Immaculate College (2013) Workshop Presentation: Observation in Research: complementary methods (Co-presenter)
  • University of Limerick (2013) Workshop Presentation: Developmental Psychology; theory to practice (Sole Presenter)
  • Magennis, M. (2013) Digital Natives and Cultural Tools, Paper presented at Diversities in Literacy, Maynooth: Ireland (Conference Paper)
  • IRMSS – International Research Methods Conference (2014) MIC – Presented paper – June 2014.
  • Magennis, M. (2014) “Developing Leadership for a sustainable future: Enhancing ICT in the Curriculum” (conference paper)
  • OMEP International Conference (2014) UCC “Cross-border perspectives on digital technologies as a catalyst for creative learning and innovative teaching in early education”
  • Magennis, M. (2015) “National Symbols and Practices in the Everyday of Irish Education”, in Millei, Z. & Imre, R. (2015)
  • Magennis, M. (2015) Enhancing Literacy Concepts: Digital Natives and Cultural Tools.
  • BORDERS V111 Conference on Cultural Studies, Oulu Finland, 3-4 December 2015, Book Launch  – Virtual Presentation and Workshop.
  • Magennis, M. (forthcoming) “outdoor environments and Risky Play – Early educational strategies”
  • Dr. M’s Thoughts blog: https://childhoodmentalhealth.com/

Personal Academic Tutor

Each student is assigned a personal academic tutor to support you throughout your learning journey. They are available to offer you telephone and email support at any time. You can arrange to meet them for further one to one guidance at a time convenient to you.

Many of our past graduates have found it is the opportunity to ask a simple question, seek direction and submit a draft of their assessment that supported them most to successful completion. Emailing your tutor at any stage during your programme to ask a query or submit a draft of your assessment supports you to achieve your personal best throughout your studies with Portobello.

This level of one to one support is a particular benefit to choosing Portobello as your Institute of choice to complete your studies.

Samantha Cooney

Position: SNA lecturer

This quote from Haim Ginott is the basis of my work with children of all ages and backgrounds. “I’ve come to a frightening conclusion that I am the decisive element in the classroom. It’s my personal approach that creates the climate. It’s my daily mood that makes the weather. As a teacher, I possess a tremendous power to make a child’s life miserable or joyous. I can be a tool of torture or an instrument of inspiration. I can humiliate or heal. In all situations, it is my response that decides whether a crisis will be escalated or de-escalated and a child humanized or dehumanized.”

About Samantha 

I have a BA in Early Years and Childhood Studies and an MA in Sociology from University College Cork. Additionally, I am just about to complete a P.M.E in Primary Education from Hibernia College. Throughout my academic studies and career to date, my research has been focused on cultural hybridity in primary schools and collaborative learning methodologies for inclusion and special educational needs. I have worked in advocacy roles within community engagement initiatives and organisations such as Barnardos Ireland and Amnesty International. Over the past 10 years I have worked in the early years’ sector, special needs settings, primary schools and as an intervention home tutor with the Department of Education. I work primarily with students with Autistic Spectrum Disorders and language delay.

Samantha’s Teaching Philosophy 

As a teacher I advocate for multi-sensory learning that builds on children’s own lived experiences. As a lecturer, I teach exactly the same way! It can be intimidating to return to education, change career or take your first steps into further education. I strive to teach in a way that helps the adult learning identify their existing knowledge, strengths and weaknesses. Everyone learns differently, and I endeavour to teach using a multitude of strategies to support that including; class discussions, online materials, working through different scenarios, practical skills and examples from my own professional practice.

Qualifications

  • First Class Honours BA Level 8 Degree in Early Years and Childhood Studies
  • First Class Honours MA Level 9 Degree in Sociology
  • First Class Honours PME Level 9 Degree in Primary Education

Research Areas

  • Cultural Hybridity
  • Collaborative Learning Strategies

Industry Roles

  • Advocacy Roles
  • Early Intervention
  • Special Needs Assisting
  • Primary Teaching
  • Lecturing

Find Samantha Online

 

Denise Baker

“Nobody ever finished up where they started – you are never too old to realise your full potential”

About Denise

Working in the Early Years sector is like a second life for me.  I worked in the sales industry for years and always knew there had to be something more fulfilling for me out there.  In 2005 I took that chance through a FETAC level 5 course in Early Childhood Studies, and you could say I caught the bug.  So here I am 15 years later with a Level 5, 6, and 8.  Two level nines – one in Public health and health promotion and one in Early Years Education, level 10 is the next step.

I have vast experience built up over the past 15 years working in this area from preschool practitioner to lecturer.  I work with Cork Institute of Technology as an Early Years Placement Supervisor also at present and have done so for the past 5 years.  I began my journey with Portobello 3 years ago after a change meeting with Iryna on the train from an Early Childhood Ireland conference in Dublin, and the rest they say is history.   Working with Portobello is a great experience the team are so supportive and welcoming.  The best interests of the students are always to the forefront and immense work always goes on behind the scenes to ensure this.

Denise’s Teaching Philosophy

My approach is that all students realise the importance of their place in a child’s learning.  The first 6 years of a child’s life are perhaps the most important.  It is a time when the seeds are set so it is important that they are watered appropriately.  Early Years Practitioners are at the centre of a child’s early years, with the family and peers they are the most influential, therefore it is vital that they are aware of all areas pertained to early years care and education.  I lead the Debating children and Childhood module, and this is an area that I love to teach.  The policy, practice and ideas of childhood that have shaped our views of the constructions of childhood are fascinating and it is an area that continues to change with more people and governments becoming aware of how inequality and poverty effects the child’s life chances.

Just as children learn differently, I am aware that this is the same for adults.  No two people are the same and no two people learn the same.  It is therefore my role to ensure that I am there to support all students in the learning experience making it a positive one for them.  I believe in being available for queries, questions, supports and anxieties at all times.  I am aware of the life constraints on the students as many are juggling work, family and study so therefore being available for students in the evenings as well as during the day is important to me.  I love to see students both young and not so young getting excited about the module and engaging fully with the supports provided by Portobello.

Qualifications

Master’s degree in Public Health (Health Promotion Pathway)

Master’s degree in Early Years Education

BA (Hons) Early Childhood Studies

FETAC level 5 Early Childhood Care and Education

FETAC level 6 Preschool Management

Industry Participation:

Placement Supervisor with Cork Institute of Technology’s Early Childhood Education and Care degree course.

Community Health and education Development Worker with the Traveller Community in North Cork.

National Treasurer of OMEP Ireland – early years research network.

Assisted with the inclusion of Traveller culture in the audit of Aistear in conjunction with NCCA

Jacinta Murphy

Position: Early Years Lecturer

“When I returned to education in 2000 to study Montessori Teaching, I knew I had found my life’s passion. I am passionate about my job and I want to instil in others what has been given to me.”

About Jacinta 

I began working in early education in 1994, and to be honest, did not know what I was taking on, but the times of work fitted with my family! Little did I know that I would find my life’s passion. I was fascinated by these young people and the fact that the sector was unregulated and basically providers could do what they liked. I began to read on the subject and improve my practice and returned to education in 2000 to study the Montessori Method. Since then, I have not stopped learning, through study, through working with children and families, through my role as a manager/lead practitioner in rural, urban, affluent, and disadvantaged areas.  My experiences provide me with vast industry insight as I have experienced vast changes within our sector, frameworks, legislative and other.  In a setting, each year brings a different group dynamic, therefore it is essential to have the ability reflect upon and amend provision and practice to meet the needs of children, families, and staff.  I hope that by bringing my practical experiences in the setting into my tutorials allows students to link theory and practice.

In 2004, I became a tutor at Portobello Institute on a part-time basis. Currently I work fulltime for the Institute supporting full-time QQI Level 6 students in Child Development, Early Childhood Curriculum, Social, Legal and Health Studies and Personal and Professional Development. I am part of a vital, vibrant team who support Level 7 Early Childhood Studies Degree students studying through a blended approach. I lead modules such as Children’s Rights in Today’s World, Enquiry Based Learning and Communicating in Multilingual Contexts.

Jacinta’s Teaching Philosophy 

My approach is that all students have something to give and to learn, true learning is a two-way process, I love to see students discussing their life experiences to make sense of theory. Many of the students are experienced practitioners and their practical knowledge should be valued.  Just as no two children learn the same, similar could be said of adults, people learn in different ways and therefore I try to use a variety of approaches to suit the needs of the group in question.  I also understand the pressure of completing study with work, families, and other commitments, as I have been there, and can offer some practical tips.

My greatest achievements as a tutor are to see students who are returning to education with little confidence in themselves and their ability, blossom and grow both as students and practitioners.

Key valuable graduate attributes are, of course, knowledge required to be an early year’s practitioner and the ability to apply that knowledge in their setting. However, there are other equally vital tools, such as compassion, to be able to look at situations from various perspectives to gain understanding and allow for appropriate planning. The ability to reach, support and work with all children, families, and staff in the setting is fundamental to quality provision.  Building respectful, reciprocal relationships is essential to providing quality experiences which benefit children’s learning and development. I hope to instil the ability to reflect critically, without criticizing, to examine attributes, bias, and areas for improvement and to plan accordingly.

Qualifications 

  • BA (Hons) Early Childhood Studies

Industry Participation 

  • Teacher providing July Provision, a home-based programme for children with complex needs.
  • Assisted the set up a Homework Club, Mother and Toddler Group and Woman’s Group in a disadvantaged area through government funding. This group won a Millennium Award for their efforts, it was a proud day to receive this award in Dublin Castle with 2 others.
  • HETAC Montessori Course Liaison
  • Child Protection Course facilitator

 

Maeve Nolan

Position: Personal Development Advisor & Senior Early Years Lecturer

About Maeve

Moving to Germany after I completed my degree at The University of Limerick was exciting, but certainly very challenging as I was working in a truly multicultural/ educational environment.  At this time, I was studying in Berlin for my Masters and also working to support myself and doing both through German. Either activity would have been a fulltime role, but doing both certainly improved my time management and prioritisation skills. I have seen the benefit of these key skills throughout my career. I remained in Germany for 10 years and living in such a dynamic multicultural environment benefitted me in so many ways from education to social understanding and self-awareness. My interest in the area of education drove me to open, develop and run my own child care facility for 10 years before moving in to the current phase of my career supporting the education and development of educators.

Maeve’s Teaching Philosophy 

The part of my tutoring role that I find most rewarding is watching the students succeed both in the courses which I deliver, and onwards into their careers. I often receive a note of acknowledgment from a past student, who has just landed the job they trained for, or opened their own facility. I am always delighted with this kind of feedback, which shows me the value in what I do, and how I have in a small way enabled them to fulfil their ambitions. For me education is so much more than an exchange of knowledge, through involvement and participation, it enables a passion for true learning.

Qualifications

  • BA Montessori Education
  • MA International Politics (Through German / Diplom Politologin)
  • BA European Studies

Research / Industry Participation

  • St. Nicholas Montessori College, Dublin
  • The Otto Suhr Institute, Free University (FU) Berlin, Germany
  • University of Limerick (UL)

Modules Taught by Maeve

  • Leading Practice with children, families and professionals – BA (Ord) in Early Childhood Studies

Quality of early year’s settings is characterized by strong leadership. In Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC) settings children learn, grow and thrive when those settings are characterized by high-quality interactions and relationships. Leadership is one of the single most important drivers of organisational performance, quality improvement and innovation. This suggests that effective leadership is important and necessary in ECEC settings. While the evidence about ECEC leadership is still limited, there is a growing interest in gaining a better understanding about what ECEC leadership looks like across diverse settings and contexts, and how ECEC leadership can positively impact quality.

  • Approaches to Pedagogy & Curriculum in the Early Years – BA (Ord) in Early Childhood Studies

This module gives students an insight to Curriculum and Pedagogy within the Early Years Setting. Pedagogy and Curriculum are often spoken of as one, however they are two separate entities, Pedagogy is how we teach whereas curriculum is what we teach. In the early years setting in Ireland, we see the children as ‘active agents’ in their own learning and a child-led approach is taken. Practitioners are becoming highly educated and are more open-minded to different pedagogies than they would have had historically.

Various curriculum models and perspectives in childhood education such as: Aistear, Reggio Emilia, EYFS, Forest Schools, Te Whariki, Steiner and Montessori are introduced. Pioneers/ theorists, such as Froebel, Steiner, Montessori, Margaret Mc Millan, Malaguzzi. Froebel, Piaget, Vygotsky, are considered & how they have influenced these models and perspectives. The objective here is to assist students (practitioners) to draw on their ideas when developing the framework within their settings, and incorporate such into their curriculum both indoors and outdoors.

  • Enquiry Based Learning (EBL) – BA (Ord) in Early Childhood Studies

Enquiry based learning is particularly useful within early childhood education as it allows students of early childhood education to find information through inquiring and solving problems through constructive, critical thinking and also through reflection. Inquiry-based learning emphasizes the child’s role in the learning process. Rather than the teacher telling children what they need to know, children are encouraged to explore the material, ask questions, and share ideas. It helps children to develop their questioning, research and communication skills, collaborate outside the classroom, solve problems, create solutions, and tackle real-life questions and issues. As enquiry based learning continues, educators and children will become competent in building their own knowledge and how they understand the world through seeking and gaining information, developing their cognitive skills as the information is gained.

 

Rachel Dunne

Position: Early Years Lecturer

“I am part of a fantastic team here in Portobello Institute. The range of modules from Children’s Rights to Challenging Inequalities provides students with extensive knowledge that can be effectively implemented into their daily practice. The wonderful students we have here seem to really enjoy the variety of modules making the BA in Early Childhood Studies a unique and useful degree.”

About Rachel

I started my journey in the Early Years sector back in 2012. After three fantastic years and a wonderful adventure at IT Carlow, I graduated with a BA (Hons) in Early Childhood Education and Care. Working in the sector thereafter, I was room leader of the preschool room and worked with children in afterschool club for a few years. As much as I loved these roles, I wanted to build on my knowledge and found my Masters Degree. I moved to Wales and completed the MA in Developmental and Therapeutic Play from Swansea University. As challenging as this was, I thoroughly enjoyed every minute. Back working in the sector, I started to work with Portobello Institute in October 2018 and have not looked back since!

Rachel’s Teaching Philosophy 

With the knowledge I have gained from both degrees and my experience in the sector, I approach lectures with students in a manner in which everyone is encouraged to contribute and reflect. We learn so much from each other as professionals and the ever changing sector means we never stop learning. There is no such thing as a silly question! In regards to students projects my own dissertations were based on children friendships for my BA and children’s pretend play and gender for my MA. As such, I would supervise any projects in the areas of play, gender, and child development.

The early years sector values committed and confident early years professionals who are able to adapt and thrive in this ever changing sector. I encourage my students to strive in their studies and support them in recognising their capabilities and potential. No one day in an early years environment will be the exact same and I encourage students to explore and implement different strategies using their new knowledge, to their daily practice.

Qualifications

  • BA (HONS) Early Childhood Education and Care – IT Carlow
  • MA Developmental and Therapeutic Play- Swansea University

Modules Taught by Rachel

  • Challenging Inequalities

This module is of utmost importance for everyone working in the Early Years. Apart from the importance of learning how to implement an anti-bias approach, students also learn about the impact of inequality on children, families and staff. Students will also explore their own attitudes to equality which is critical for both personal and professional growth

  • Pedagogy and Curriculum

This module shows how far we have come in regards to supporting children’s learning and development. The module explores different curriculum models and approaches used around the world. Students find this module very useful as ideas and concepts from theoretical figures and pioneers of early education can be implemented into their own daily practice.

  • Children’s Rights

This module explores how children and childhood are viewed in both majority and minority countries. Emphasis is placed on the United Nations Convention of the Rights of the Child and how legislation and government agencies protect the rights of children in Ireland and around the world. Students learn about the role of the practitioner in advocating for children’s rights and how they ensure children’s voices are heard and respected in practice.

 

How will I learn?

Delivery Mode

This programme is delivered full-time; in third level education this means 12- 16 hours of lectures per week. Portobello ensures scheduling of course timetables is considerate of students travel and accommodation arrangements, part-time working and study-life balance. The course timetable is condensed to be delivered with onsite classes 2-3 days per week over 2 semesters. Examinations are held at the end of each semester.

Practical classes are delivered in a fully equipped therapy training room with theory classes taking place in one of the many theory rooms within Portobello Institute.

The Difference between Blended Learning and Full Time Delivery Modes

There are two delivery mode options for this degree available in Portobello Institute giving you the freedom to choose how you will learn and making education accessible around work and life commitments.

Full-Time delivery offers you the opportunity to study with a more traditional schedule with lectures delivered on-site in Portobello during weekdays. Typically, those lectures are generally scheduled between Tuesday and Thursday. Monday’s lectures are delivered online.

Blended Learning is essentially the same, with a blend of online and on-site lectures taking place at the weekends. This makes it easier for you to study while working full-time. It also makes studying for a degree more accessible if you live outside of Dublin.

With both delivery modes, there will be lectures you need to attend on-site due to the nature of the content – practical skills etc. All online only lectures are recorded for you to catch up later. Where lectures are delivered onsite – these will simultaneously be delivered online and will also be recorded so you can customise your learning journey – attend on-site, online, or catch-up later.

Having the flexibility to choose whether you attend a lecture as it is taking place or to catch up later means you can seamlessly access and fit education into your life whilst still continuing with your everyday life.

Tutor Support

You can email your tutor at any stage during the module to ask a simple query and there will be scheduled opportunities to submit a draft of your assignment. Our programme management team are always available to meet you or offer you telephone and email support. For more information about our team, click here. Many of our past graduates have found it is the opportunity to ask a simple question, seek direction and submit a draft of their assessment that supported them most to successful completion.

This level of one-to-one support is unique and is a particular benefit to choosing Portobello Institute. We have invested in a team of programme managers and tutors who are experienced in the field of inclusive education as well as knowledgeable educators. They are available to assist you at every stage of this programme and support you to achieve your personal best.

Online Learning Portal – ePortobello

During the induction seminar, we will show you how to navigate and find what you need with all of the information you need to complete this programme uploaded on to ePortobello. The content of this programme is set out in an easy to follow format with a combination of notes, articles, podcasts and other materials that will help you to understand the subject and complete your assessments.

Other delivery modes available

Blended Learning

New – BA (Hons) Inclusive Education Practice – Feb ’23

Location(s)
Portobello Institute
Start Date
7th February 2023

Course Structure

Students take five modules in Year 1 and six modules in Year 2, including one placement-based module each year. During the final year, you will complete a research project on a subject of interest related to inclusive education practice. The semester structure will ensure you can focus on a small number of modules per term while also working on your professional practice portfolio.

The course will open with a module which will help you to develop the skills which you will need to achieve success at a degree level, such as sourcing credible information, academic writing, referencing, computer skills, basic research methods, time management and planning, emotional aspects of studying and at higher education level and student well-being.  Completing the module will build a solid base for your further professional and academic development throughout the programme.

Online Learning Portal – ePortobello

During the induction seminar, we will show you how to navigate and find what you need with all of the information you need to complete this programme uploaded on to ePortobello. The content of this programme is set out in an easy to follow format with a combination of notes, articles, podcasts and other materials that will help you to understand the subject and complete your assessment.

The Academic Calendar

The first academic year of this course runs from 02/10/2023 – 25/05/2024.

Classes are generally delivered 2-3 days per week and are scheduled mid-week where possible.

The second and third academic years of this course will run on a similar schedule in 2024 and 2025.

How will I be assessed?

SMART assessments – we use a range of assessments for each module designed to support a broad range of learning styles, giving you the opportunity to excel.

Assessments for this degree are not exam based. Instead, the assessments vary from essays which will demonstrate your knowledge of theory to practice-focused assignments such as child studies and observations, audits, development plans, presentations showcasing your practical skills.

We will encourage you to explore and support you to complete several innovative assessment formats such as presentations, posters, portfolios, podcasts, blogs, which further support development of your creative and digital skills and will give you confidence to share your knowledge with colleagues, parents, and other professionals.

Group assignments will add another dimension to your learning experience – they will help you to break up the isolation of studying online and will provide you with benefits of peer learning.

All these methods are seeking to support you to combine theory with scenario-based learning and encourage implementation into your everyday practice.

Career prospects

The career opportunities upon completion of the BA (Hons) Inclusive Education are broad and diverse.  

The course itself will prepare you to work with children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SENDs) in a variety of settings.

Additionally, this programme will equip the graduate with the skills and adaptability require in this rapidly changing sector.

A degree in inclusive education will allow the graduate to work with children and young people that experience a variety of educational, emotional, behaviour and care-based needs.

The knowledge, skills, and practical experience developed throughout this programme will develop existing competence and confidence in experienced practitioners.

Additionally, those new to the sector will benefit from an experienced team of tutors, engaging and practical content, and advanced start to their career as an inclusive practitioner.

This degree will challenge and support you in enhancing your learning, develop new skills and strategies, and learn to approach behavioural regulation support in a reflexive, professional and restorative manner. 

The versatility of this degree will enable the graduate to work in a variety of professional sectors. This includes early years settings, and primary and secondary schools as Special Needs Assistants.  

Further progression in study can lead to graduates obtaining primary and secondary teaching degrees with a focus on inclusive education. 

Existing practitioners will find the programme supports progression to more diverse.  

For example, as a specialist for the Better Start programme which coordinates AIM, roles in community and charity organisations, as well as government bodies such as the National Council for Special Education 

Graduates of this programme may also transition into education policy via the Irish Civil Service. Additionally, many practitioners branch into private and residential care supporting children, teenagers and their families in invaluable ways. 

The area that you go to work in can depend on your interests or perhaps what you specialised in while carrying out your degree.

For more information read What are the Career Opportunities for a BA (Ord) Inclusive Education Graduate?

Further Study Pathways

Portobello Institute also offers the opportunity to continue to Masters level with an MA Inclusive Education and SEND, also available through blended learning.

Related Courses

Blended Learning

New – BA (Hons) Inclusive Education Practice – Feb ’23

This BA (Hons) Inclusive Education Practice degree, designed for accelerated delivery through blended learning. Completed over 3 academic years, this course starts Feb ’23.

Location(s)
Portobello Institute
Start Date
7th February 2023
Blended Learning

New – MA Inclusive Education and SEN – Feb ’23

Delivered through blended learning, you can work full-time and study this innovative Masters in Inclusive Education and SEN. You will build a comprehensive understanding and critical professional approach to working with children and families with additional physical or intellectual needs and what it means to succeed in terms of equality and inclusion provision.

Location(s)
Portobello Institute
Start Date
11th February 2023

Speak to an expert

Choosing a course that will lead you to your career of choice is a significant decision. Understanding the delivery modes, supports available, career opportunities and further study options are all key considerations when making your choice.

Our course adviser team are experts in the courses Portobello offers, the employment prospects and possible progression routes to Masters programmes – they will guide you through the detail and support you with any queries you may have.

It is important you make the right choice for you and choose the Institute and course that will best suit your needs.

Your Consultant

How do I apply?

Entry to this course is by direct application to the college.

We have developed a flexible system of entry points and exemptions to recognise our applicants’ prior qualifications.

Exemptions for Recognised Prior Learning

Applicants who hold a minor award at QQI level 6 in Special Needs Assisting will get an exemption from this module;

  • Understanding Professional Practice in Year 1.

Applicants who hold a major award at QQI level 6 in Early Childhood Care and Education will get an exemption from the following modules:

  • Promoting Holistic Development of Children 0-12 – Year 1
  • Safeguarding Health, Well-being and Rights of Children – Year 1
  • Understanding Professional Practice – Year 1
Requirements

With a Leaving Certificate

The applicants must have a Leaving Certificate with six recognised subjects at a pass level or equivalent.

Sitting the Leaving Certificate in 2023

Students may apply and be granted a “Conditional Offer” prior to completing the Leaving Certificate.

Step 1 – Submit application

Step 2 – Review of application and confirmation of eligibility criteria and entry requirements

Step 3 – Conditional Offer issued on the basis of successful achievement of LC requirements

Step 4 – Confirm acceptance of a place and pay deposit as detailed

Places cannot be held open for applicants awaiting leaving certificate results, however, should a student accept a place and then choose not to progress with this course having received a CAO offer, a refund of 75% of fees paid will be made. Refunds must be requested in writing within 48 hours after the first-round offers have been made. This will only be accepted by emailing refunds@portobelloinstitute.com. Evidence of CAO offer acceptance must be provided along in order to apply for a refund.

Applicants who have previously completed the Leaving Certificate;

Minimum of grade C or O6 in 6 subjects.

Without a Leaving Certificate

Applicants must meet one of the following criteria;

  • QQI level 5 major award preferably but not essentially in early years care and education or a social science discipline.
  • Alternative early years or social science discipline qualification.
  • An undergraduate degree in another subject.
  • Experiential Learning in SEND or related field with QQI Level 5 & 6 SNA awards.
  • Mature entry at 21 years. Mature student applications are reviewed on a case by case basis and entry is via interview. Those who do not meet any of the above criteria, must complete a QQI Level 5 Special Needs Assistant or equivalent course to confirm academic capability. The QQI Level 5 Special Needs assistant course is available through Portobello Institute and is delivered frequently through various modes of study.
Application Process

Step 1

Complete the online booking form.

Apply Now

Step 2

Applicants will be contacted for confirmation of entry requirements and personal details.

Step 3

Applicants will be offered a place on the course upon successful review of their application.

Please note places are only confirmed once tuition fees have been received.

Fees & Payment Options

  • Year 1 Fees & Payment Options

    Fees (Year1)

    Course Price

    Per academic year.

    €5,395.00

    Exam Body Reg. Fee

    Per academic year - due at start of academic year.

    €335.00

    Full Payment

    Total amount payable (Year 1).

    €5,730.00

    Easy Payment Plan

    Deposit of 40%. Balance paid in full on 1st October, or in 6 instalments commencing 1st October. All additional fees such as exam registration fees etc are included in the Easy Payment Plan.

    Deposit + 1 Instalment

    40% deposit payment, due on application of your course (€2,292.00).

    Settle final balance (€3,438.00) by 1st October 2023.

    Deposit + 6 Instalments

    Deposit payment (€2,410.00), followed by 6 scheduled payments every 1 month(s). Includes one off instalment fee of €295.00.


    • €602.50 due on 1st October 2023.
    • €602.50 due on 1st November 2023.
    • €602.50 due on 1st December 2023.
    • €602.50 due on 1st January 2024.
    • €602.50 due on 1st February 2024.
    • €602.50 due on 1st March 2024.
  • Year 2 Fees & Payment Options

    Fees (Year2)

    Course Price

    Per academic year.

    €5,395.00

    Exam Body Reg. Fee

    Per academic year - due at start of academic year.

    €335.00

    Full Payment

    Total amount payable (Year 2).

    €5,730.00

    Easy Payment Plan

    Deposit of 40%. Balance paid in full on 1st October, or in 6 instalments commencing 1st October. All additional fees such as exam registration fees etc are included in the Easy Payment Plan.

    Deposit + 1 Instalment

    40% deposit payment, due on application of your course (€2,292.00).

    Settle final balance (€3,438.00) by 1st November 2023.

    Deposit + 6 Instalments

    Deposit payment (€2,410.00), followed by 6 scheduled payments every 1 month(s). Includes one off instalment fee of €295.00.


    • €602.50 due on 1st November 2023.
    • €602.50 due on 1st December 2023.
    • €602.50 due on 1st January 2024.
    • €602.50 due on 1st February 2024.
    • €602.50 due on 1st March 2024.
    • €602.50 due on 1st April 2024.
  • Year 3 Fees & Payment Options

    Fees (Year3)

    Course Price

    Per academic year.

    €5,395.00

    Exam Body Reg. Fee

    Per academic year - due at start of academic year.

    €335.00

    Full Payment

    Total amount payable (Year 3).

    €5,730.00

    Easy Payment Plan

    Deposit of 40%. Balance paid in full on 1st October, or in 6 instalments commencing 1st October. All additional fees such as exam registration fees etc are included in the Easy Payment Plan.

    Deposit + 1 Instalment

    40% deposit payment, due on application of your course (€2,292.00).

    Settle final balance (€3,438.00) by 1st November 2023.

    Deposit + 6 Instalments

    Deposit payment (€2,410.00), followed by 6 scheduled payments every 1 month(s). Includes one off instalment fee of €295.00.


    • €602.50 due on 1st November 2023.
    • €602.50 due on 1st December 2023.
    • €602.50 due on 1st January 2024.
    • €602.50 due on 1st February 2024.
    • €602.50 due on 1st March 2024.
    • €602.50 due on 1st April 2024.