ECTS = 60
to December 2021
Mode of Study
Must have Level 7 Degree or higher
Cork available pending viable cohort
(€520 deposit, then 12 instalments of €550 from Jan 21)
SUSI grant available
Tax rebate (20%) eligible
International: €11,160 (payment plans available)
The Higher Diploma (Level 8) in Arts in Early Years Montessori Education is designed for graduates who wish to embark on a career in pre-school education. This programme provides a broad understanding of the field of Early Childhood Education and Care in Ireland and internationally. It also provides a firm pedagogical foundation in Montessori philosophy and practice while embracing the core competence, skills and knowledge for working with children within the National frameworks of Síolta and Aistear.
Learners are required to complete a significant practicum, in relevant settings.
Applications are via direct application.
Please be sure to submit evidence of your existing degree within your application.
For further information contact firstname.lastname@example.org Please state the name and location of the course you are seeking information on in the subject of the email.
Applications from interntational learners are very welcome. Please register your interest and we will be in touch with next steps.
- A degree in any discipline at level 7/8 on the National Framework of Qualifications (NFQ).
- Full Garda vetting clearance
- International students must also provide evidence of English language, certificate level 6 or above
Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL): The College recognises that many graduate applicants may have substantial cognate learning acquired through other programmes of study in Early Childhood Education and Care. In such cases, under the College’s RPL policy, it will be possible to complete the programme within a shorter timeframe. The College’s RPL policy may similarly facilitate graduates with other cognate ELEMENTS acquired through degrees in e.g.Nursing, Sociology, Social Care, Teaching, Psychology etc. Graduates of these disciplines may apply for RPL for individual modules in Stage 1. Where applicants feel that this may apply in their cases, then SNMCI’s RPL policy will detail the procedure to be followed.
MODULE 1-01: Professional Placement and Development in ECEC
The field of ECEC has dimensions that extend beyond the classroom. This module aims to extend the professional development of learners by giving them a variety of experiences related to other pedagogical philosophies, policy, community- based delivery and administrative aspects of ECEC. This experience will allow learners to reflect critically on issues of quality, delivery, diversity, special needs, curriculum, policy and administrative practice. The module will further explore the concepts of professionalism, ethical practice and continuing professional development, enabling learners to develop knowledge, skills and attitudes for dealing with issues both personal and professional.
MODULE 1-02: The Creative Child
The primary objective of this module is to inspire learners to construct safe, active and respectful learning environments where children can engage with storytelling, music, art and drama in positive, creative and imaginative ways. Research on the impact of all areas of the arts on children’s physical, psychological and cognitive development will be explored. Learners will investigate the open-ended possibilities of these media as expressive and creative tools for young children. The learner will examine these aspects in relation to the psychological development of the child, including psycho-social and psycho-motor development. The module will provide learners with a wide range of skills, tools and ideas for use with young children. Learners will create and deliver imaginative schemes for children and evaluate and reflect on their effectiveness.
MODULE 1-03: Developmental Psychology
The primary objective of this module is to enable learners to demonstrate a detailed knowledge and understanding of the theory, concepts and ideas underpinning the developmental psychology of Infancy and Early Childhood. In particular learners will gain knowledge and insight into key developmental issues related to the child in ECEC. Learners will also be encouraged to reflect on learning across this module and to articulate in a critical manner how this learning transfers to their professional lives.
MODULE 1-04: Social Policy in ECEC
The module will introduce the learner to the critical examination of education and care services in Ireland within the context of a broader comparative analysis of other international systems. Learners will evaluate current Irish ECEC policy and provision with reference to models of ECEC in other OECD countries. Children First: National Guidance for the Protection and Welfare of Children and the move to place elements of Children First on a statutory footing (2014) will be studied in detail. Other aspects of ECEC legislation will also be considered to allow learners to reflect on their roles and responsibilities as ECEC practitioners, working as part of a multi-disciplinary and inter-agency team. Finally learners will add to the developing discourse on the professionalization of a growing sector.
MODULE 1-05: Sociology of Childhood: Spaces and Places
The primary objective of this module is to encourage learners to engage with their ‘sociological imagination’ to understand the relationship between children and the social, economic and cultural structures in which they are embedded. In particular learners will explore how children’s lives are shaped by culture, home, family, school and recreational spaces. They will differentiate between private and public, rural and urban environments and explore the significance of indoor A term coined by C.W. Mills (1959) in The Sociological Imagination. and outdoor spaces for play and learning. Current policies regarding changes in children’s play spaces will be explored along with the growing commercialisation of children’s worlds both private and public.
MODULE 1-06: The Child at Play
This module will focus on the role of the adult as a ‘playful practitioner’, i.e. one who supports, plans, facilitates and evaluate children’s play. Learners will explore the theories, nature and characteristics of play, in particular the concept of ‘play as pedagogy’. The module will enable the learner to identify the benefits of play and to demonstrate ways and means of structuring, supporting, and sustaining play with young children. Learners will discover the important role of play in meeting the child’s need for creativity, affiliation, risk-taking, and sociability.
MODULE 1-07: Active Start
This module aims to enable learners to analyse and explore the relationship between nutrition, physical activity and a child’s well-being and development. It will equip learners to take responsibility for issues related to health, nutrition and physical activity in an Early Years setting. Learners will examine the public health agenda and reflect upon current legislation, policy and the socio-political and cultural influences that may impact on the health and wellbeing of children. The importance of physical activity will be examined and learners will investigate ways to facilitate maximum participation opportunities for children in Early Years settings. The module will further emphasise the importance of a partnership approach in relation to promoting children’s health in the early years.
MODULE 1-08: ICT in the Early Years
Early childhood educators are increasingly faced with the challenge of integrating technology into early years classrooms in developmentally appropriate ways to support children’s learning. The primary objective of this module is to introduce learners to the role of ICT in the lives of young children (birth to six years) and to develop learners’ own skills in implementing and reflecting on ICT’s for teaching and learning in an early years setting. Learners will critically evaluate and reflect on both the positive and negative implications of use of ICT’s, and examine how children interact with a range of media. Learners will investigate ICT as a support to their own creative processes as educators and as a support to children’s creativity.
MODULE 2-01: Montessori Early Childhood Education and Care
Maria Montessori was a pioneer in many areas of life, medicine, engineering, science, women’s role in society and education. This module enables the learner to study her life and work and to critique her contribution to ECEC. Learners will use an in-depth knowledge of Montessori developmental theory to create concrete, active learning environments for children from birth to six years. A further objective of this module is to allow learners to map Montessori philosophy and practice against the Aistear curriculum framework highlighting the Montessori influences evident in Aistear and the compatibility of the method in meeting the aspirations of the national framework.
MODULE 2-02: Montessori Placement
The principle aim of this module is to allow the learner to integrate theoretical and practical concepts in Montessori ECEC settings aligning theory with real world experience. It seeks to provide the learner with the skills to be an observer and recorder, using data to plan and support the child’s and children’s learning and to implement an emergent curriculum based on ‘the voice of the child’. It will enable the learner to analyse the topics of classroom management and ‘duty of care’ in a Montessori environment in particular taking note of continuity of experience for the child. Learners will see first-hand how transitions impact on children’s wellbeing and their sense of belonging and consider how partnerships with parents allow children to handle transitions and changes well. It will further allow the learner to identify and evaluate his/her personal communication style and to communicate effectively with children, peers, family and colleagues. The learner will also develop reflective abilities which will enable him/her to become an adaptive practitioner.
MODULE 2-03: Special Education in the Early Years
The primary objective of this module is to facilitate learners in becoming knowledgeable inclusive practitioners in the area of early years care and education. It will equip learners with the knowledge and skills required to recognise, support and be an advocate40 for children with additional and special educational needs. It will familiarise learners with a range of complex needs which can present in the early years and emphasise the importance of early recognition and intervention. Learners will gain knowledge of a broad range of common difficulties and, in partnership with families other professionals and the wider community, devise strategies to provide support at the critical early stages of children’s development. Learners will also explore the application of Montessori philosophy and the use of Montessori materials in the promotion of early numeracy and literacy.
MODULE 2-04: Research in Early Childhood Education and Care
The College recognises that many learners may have already engaged in research at undergraduate and even postgraduate level. Mindful of this, an option is provided for learners to pursue different routes through dissertation by research or dissertation by practice. The overall objectives of this capstone module are to provide learners with the opportunity to delve deeper into their own research, educational or creative interests in the early years; to develop the insights, knowledge, skills and reflective ability to conduct research specific to early years education and care; to make them aware of the specific complexities of such research and to embed research in practice. Learners will explore the planning and process of research with emphasis on research tools for use in early educational settings. They will delve deeper into an area of particular interest to them, arising from learning in other modules, reflecting the ethos and content of the programme.
The Module Learning Outcomes may be achieved through one of the following routes: –
Route A: Learners will produce an Academic or Written Dissertation of 10,000 words approximately. This work will demonstrate the learner’s achievement of the module and programme learning outcomes, and his/her ability to integrate research to inform practice.
Route B: Learners will complete a Dissertation by Practice (e.g. produce a product, artefact, bespoke educational material and or programme). This project will have practical and written elements and will demonstrate the learner’s achievement of the module and programme learning outcomes. It will further demonstrate the learners’ ability to be dynamic and creative innovators in the field of ECEC. Examples of such an artefact might be an illustrated children’s book; an original CD for musical activities; an original DVD for children; a learning tool for the classroom (quiz, jigsaw or ICT activity); a learning tool for language development – including second language acquisition; etc.
Full time (Blended Learning) fees: €7,120 for the entire programme
Newly enrolling students must pay a €520 deposit to secure a place. The deposit will be deducted from the first year’s fees.
Instalment plans are available.
For example, pay over 12 instalments of €550 from January 2021.
Irish Students: This programme is eligible for funding under the SUSI grant scheme.
Non-EU/International Students: Full time fee of €11,160. €6,000 must be paid in full and upfront in order to meet the criteria for securing a student visa from the Department of Immigration.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are my career opportunities?
Graduates of the H.Dip in Montessori Education find employment as advanced practitioners in Early Childhood in the following roles:
- Owner/managers in privately owned Montessori Early Childhood settings
- Teachers in Montessori Early Childhood care or educational settings
- Members of a work-force in ECEC settings, which include direct work with children, and supervision and management roles.
- Community and voluntary based managers and inspectors
- Managers, administrators in City and County Childcare Committees, Family Resource Centres and HSE specialist ECEC services
- Managers or teachers in Naionraí
Why St Nicholas Montessori College?
We have been preparing Ireland’s leading Montessori teachers and early years practitioners since 1970. We are accredited by QQI and we are a founder member of the Irish Montessori Education Board (IMEB) and of the Higher Education College Association (HECA).
Is this the course that is recognized by the Teaching Council under Route 4?
No. This course is not recognised by the Teaching Council under Route 4. The course recognised by the Teaching Council is the current L8 BA Honours in Montessori Education, in which students with Early Years or Montessori degrees can apply for the Bridging Programme until Spring 2021 or Stage 3 of the B.A. by September 2020.
Can I apply for Advanced Entry or Exemptions in this course?
Yes. Those with previous degrees and certificates at Level 7 NFQ or above can apply for Advanced Entry to Year 2 of the Higher Diploma via the RPL Application found on the Application Form. Please be sure to include your transcripts and degrees in your application under the RPL section.
Can I apply for a SUSI grant for this programme?
Yes. This programme is eligible for SUSI grant funding for Full Time learners. For students paying their own fees, instalment plans are available and tax relief is available for tax payers (including parents of students).