28 September, 2023 | Posted by Jenny Smith

Educational Pathways to Becoming a PE Teacher in Ireland

Beyond the exhilarating rush of the games and the vibrancy of the field lies a journey of dedication, education and passion for anyone who wants to become a PE Teacher. In Ireland, becoming a PE teacher is more than just a career choice; it's a calling. Let's explore the multifaceted pathways you can use to follow your passion and fulfil your potential as a PE teacher. 

1. Undergraduate Degrees in Physical Education

A popular starting point for many prospective PE teachers is to pursue an undergraduate degree specifically in Physical Education. These programmes provide comprehensive insights into both the theory and practice of physical education. Core subjects often include human movement, sports psychology, anatomy, and teaching methodologies. Portobello Institute offers a BA (Hons) in Physical Education.

2. Concurrent Teacher Education Programme

Some Irish institutions offer concurrent programmes where students can simultaneously study Physical Education and teacher training. This integrated approach enables students to graduate ready to step into the classroom without requiring additional postgraduate qualifications. 

3. Postgraduate Studies in Education 

If you've pursued an undergraduate degree in a field other than education, don't fret! Many PE professionals in Ireland opt for postgraduate studies in education, such as the Professional Master of Education (PME). Other options include gaining a Graduate Diploma in Physical Education which allows you to progress on to a Postgraduate Certificate in Education Internation (PGCEi) combined with an MSc in Physical Education. This pathway allows graduates from diverse disciplines to acquire the necessary teaching credentials, with a special focus on physical education.

4. Specialised Courses & Certifications

In addition to formal degree programmes, Ireland offers numerous specialised courses and certifications. Whether it's coaching credentials for specific sports, courses in adapted physical activity, or certifications in health and wellness, these add-ons can significantly bolster a PE teacher's repertoire.

5. Continuous Professional Development (CPD)

The learning doesn't stop once you become a PE teacher. The ever-evolving landscape of sports science, health studies, and pedagogy necessitates continuous learning. Ireland boasts a plethora of CPD opportunities, workshops, and seminars designed to keep PE teachers at the pinnacle of their profession.

6. Building Experience: Practical Placements & Internships

Most educational pathways in Ireland incorporate practical experiences. These placements, often in schools or community settings, provide budding PE teachers with invaluable hands-on experience, mentoring opportunities, and a chance to apply theoretical knowledge in real-world scenarios. 

Embarking on a journey to become a PE teacher in Ireland is both structured and versatile, with myriad pathways catering to diverse backgrounds and interests. As physical and mental well-being become increasingly emphasised, PE teachers stand as pillars in this mission. Whether you're a recent school leaver, a graduate from a different discipline, or an international educator looking to teach in Ireland, the pathways are clear and promise a career filled with impact and fulfilment.

Portobello Institute graduate, Dylan Prendergast, gained his Postgraduate Diploma in Physical Education at Portobello Institute.

“My time with Portobello has been very enjoyable. It has completely blown my expectations. This time last year I did not know what I wanted to do, but I have now nearly completed this post-grad and I have got accepted onto the PME in Physical Education at the University of Limerick, starting in September 2023," he said. 

Interested in PE Teaching?

Portobello Institute offers a pathway to PE Teaching without the need for CAO points.

Visit our sports department or course pages:

You can also watch our Pathways to PE webinar:


Read More: Discover PE Teaching as a Rewarding and Active Career 

If you are interested in any of our sports courses or have any questions you can book a consultation call with our expert sports advisor Jason Lester, email jason.lester@portobelloinstitute.com or call 01 892 0029. 

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