Higher Diploma in Montessori Education


Program Description

The St. Nicholas Montessori High Diploma in Montessori Education is Ireland's only conversion course for graduates seeking to begin a career in Montessori Education and Early Years.

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.


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 practises 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.



The Montessori Method of education is a child-centred educational approach based on scientific observations of children from birth to adulthood.

The Higher Diploma in Arts in Early Years Montessori Education is a 120 ECTS programme at Level 8 on the National Framework of Qualifications (NFQ). It is a broad-based modular programme incorporating Montessori philosophy and pedagogy with the core knowledge and skills necessary to work in the early years' sector.

The programme is unique to SNMCI and allows graduates, of any discipline, to transition into a career in Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC) specialising in the Montessori Method of education.

Graduates working in Ireland are eligible for the higher capitation rate of the ECCE scheme run by DCYA.


Year 1

  • Module 1-01: Professional Placement and Development in ECEC
  • Module 1-02: The Creative Child
  • Module 1-03: Developmental Psychology
  • Module 1-04: Social Policy in ECEC
  • Module 1-05: Sociology of Childhood: Spaces and Places
  • Module 1-06: The Child at Play
  • Module 1-07: Active Start
  • Module 1-08: ICT in the Early Years

Year 2

  • Module 2-01: Montessori Early Childhood Education and Care
  • Module 2-02: Montessori Placement
  • Module 2-03: Special Education in the Early Years
  • Module 2-04: Research in Early Childhood Education and Care

Mode of Study

Programmes are delivered in our Dun Laoghaire campus, just a few minutes walk from the DART station and also in Cork, South Mall. Some modules or parts of modules may also be delivered online via web conferencing, or live lectures online.

Placement takes place each year and this can be arranged in schools throughout the country (additional fees may apply for placements in settings outside a 50km radius of Dun Laoghaire).


The full-time programme is delivered Wednesday, Thursday and Friday from 4 pm to 9 pm.


Admission Requirements

  1. A degree in any discipline at level 7/8 on the National Framework of Qualifications (NFQ);
  2. Interview;
  3. Full Garda vetting clearance.

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 Year 1 (see list of year one modules). Where applicants feel that this may apply in their cases, then SNMCI’s RPL policy will detail the procedure to be followed.


  • Full-time fees: €8900 for 18 months.

Newly enrolling students must pay a €500 deposit to secure a place. The deposit will be deducted from the first year’s fees.

Instalment plans are available.

  • Irish Students: This programme is eligible for funding under the SUSI grant scheme.
  • Non-EU/International Students: Full-time fee of €13950 for 18 months must be paid in full in order to meet the criteria for securing a student visa from the Department of Immigration.
Last updated Feb 2020

About the School

The College is Ireland’s leading provider of Montessori and Early Years professionals and unique in that the Level 8 BA Hons in Montessori Education programme enables graduates to register under Route ... Read More

The College is Ireland’s leading provider of Montessori and Early Years professionals and unique in that the Level 8 BA Hons in Montessori Education programme enables graduates to register under Route 4 with the Teaching Council of Ireland. As a result, there are many hundreds of St. Nicholas graduates working throughout the National school system in Ireland. Read less
Dún Laoghaire