The Higher Certificate in Arts in Montessori Education (QQI Level 6) course prepares you for the task of helping children aged 3-6 and 6-9 years to develop to the fullness of their individual human potential. This 2 year full time Montessori programme provides an opportunity to study, indepth, Montessori pedagogy, practices and child development as well as an interdisciplinary approach to the study of humans, their endeavours and their relationship with the universe.

In light of recent developments in the childcare sector new guidelines regarding qualification requirements for participation in the Free Preschool Scheme require that in addition to meeting the requirements regarding staff ratios, as provided for under the Child Care Regulations, the pre-school year Leader must hold a certification for a Major Award in childcare/early education at a minimum of QQI 5 on the National Framework of Qualifications of Ireland (NFQ) or an equivalent recognised qualification in the childcare/early education field. It is for this reason that Portobello Institute are currently working on introducing this all encompassing course - to give students the necessary qualifications to work in the Montessori environment.

The Montessori Education Higher Certificate in Arts course will provide students with the relevant knowledge and skills to empower them to make a significant contribution within the Montessori sector.

Qualifications Gained

  • Higher Certificate in Arts in Montessori Education (QQI Level 6- after successful completion of Year 2)

Entry Requirements

This course is available on the CAO course application process. It is also available through direct application to the college once entry requirements as set out below have been met.

Any one of the following criteria may be used as an entry requirement:

  • Leaving Certificate or equivalent with a minimum of 6 Passes, including 2 higher level subjects, preferably English and one other.
  • Graduates of the Montessori Teaching Diploma (or holding the current 6 component certificates at QQI Level 6 on the National Framework of Qualifications) may apply directly to Year 2 of this course.
  • *Mature students with documented evidence of experience to date.

*Mature students; A mature student is defined as someone who is 23 years of age, on or before January 1st of the year of entry.  For those mature applicants who wish to be considered on the basis of mature years please apply directly to us. For mature applicants who wish to be considered on the basis of school leaving qualifications, you can apply through the CAO AND directly with us.

Course Structure

This is year 1 of a full time 2 year course. The year is structured between classes and practical placements.

Course Content Modules

  1. Montessori Philosophies and Methodologies (A)
    1. Practical Life
      This will give learners the skills to prepare, demonstrate and guide a child though the learning process of every day life, such as bucking their shoes to pouring and spooning.
    2. Sensorial Development
      This allows learners to lay the foundations for academic learning by developing and refining children's senses through sensorial equipment.
  2. Montessori Philosophy and Methodologies (B)
    1. Language
      Learners will learn how to guide a child through the complexities of reading and writing to the excitement of when a child discovers they can put their thoughts down on paper.
    2. Maths
      Learners will learn though using a variety of Montessori apparatus how not only to teach a child to calculate but also to give them a lifelong understanding of how numbers function.
    3. Culture
      Learners will be introduced to the materials and activities that will help them guide children to gain an appreciation of the world we live in.
  3. Irish: Gaeilge
    Learners will be introduced to the basics of the Irish language and its importance within the Irish culture.
  4. Montessori Practicum and Classroom Management
    Learners will be able to discuss relevant classroom management policies and procedures and promote the benefits of a Montessori education to the general public. Practicum also allows the learner an opportunity to put into practise Aistear's themes.
  5. Inclusive Education
    Learners will have an increased awareness and knowledge with regard to teaching and theories, methods and approaches as well as equipment for those with special educational needs.
  6. Creative Arts
    Learners will understand the value of exploring creative arts activities in the physical, intellectual, social, emotional and linguistic development of children age 0 - 6 years.
  7. Montessori Philosophy & Child Development
  8. Children's Health & Well Being




Employment Opportunities

Employment opportunities upon completion of this 2 year programme are; supervisor in a childcare and/or Montessori setting, Montessori teacher for 3 to 9 year old children, teaching in a Primary Montessori school, special needs assistant. Graduates can also open their own Montessori school.

Assignment Support

We understand the challenge of completing assignments at third level, the new skills and the change in thinking sometimes needed to put on paper, all that you have learned. We offer our students the opportunity to submit a draft assignment for informal feedback before submitting the final version. We care about your success, we want you to achieve the best you can and we offer you the individual support to acquire the skills you need to communicate what you have learned whilst studying with Portobello Institute.



Access, Transfer and Progression

Upon completion of Year 1 and 2 of this programme, students can go directly into Year 2 of a 3 year BA (Hons) Degree in Early Childhood Care and Education awarded by London Metropolitan University.

Back to Education Allowance

If you are currently unemployed and in receipt of a social welfare payment you may be eligible to the Back to Education Allowance which allows you to return to education and still retain your welfare payment  You must be aged 21 or over and be accepted onto an accredited full time course to meet the criteria. Please speak with your local welfare office to discuss your eligibility as there may be an alternative route.


Unfortunately the booking for this course is currently not available, please click on the contact us button below to find out more about this course:

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