**Coming Soon** Early Learning and Care –
QQI Level 7 Major Award*

  • This course is delivered fully online and can be started anytime. Single module options available.
  • Choose to sign up with a deposit on our Instalment Plan option
  • 34 Weeks Access
  • Online Anytime

Coming Soon

The Special Purpose Award in Special Education is aimed at those already working in education or considering working in education whether as teachers, educators, tutors, lecturers, leadership, support workers, or as Special Needs Assistants (SNA) to help support student engagement with their education, learning, and care needs.

The course will also significantly benefit those in the social care sector who can benefit from the principles and practices required to navigate in this field. It will enhance the professionals ability to understand and put into practice the key theories and ideas in the work environment.

The award will suit professionals working, or aiming to work, in each sector of the education system including but not limited to:

  • Early Childhood Education and Care
  • Primary School
  • Secondary School
  • Further Education, Community, and Training
  • Third Level College or University
  • Special Schools
  • Autism Classes

*Pending QQI validation

Each module aims to equip future and current educators and student support professionals with the tools to navigate the landscape of special education provision in Ireland; the tools and dispositions to provide the best practice and care for the children and students they engage with, and to think critically about their roles as professionals within the communities in which they will work. Using Bronfenbrenner’s theory of ecological systems as the theoretical underpinning for this programme keeps the student at the heart of the training, practice, and professionalism.  In every module a combination of core special education and care competencies and skills to support children, adolescents, and adults with special education needs and physical or intellectual disabilities in any educational setting.

The programme is designed to arc back on itself to allow the learner to deepen and apply critical thinking and skills to concepts, theories, and techniques already encountered in the previous module(s).

Module One: Introduction to Special Education – This module gives the learner an introduction to Special Education to include the current political, policy, and practice landscape of Special Education in Ireland, and Internationally. Learners will also examine their own understandings of inclusion, equality, disability, and accessibility and their role as an Educator, Special Needs Assistant, or Student Support Professional. The medical and social models of disability are examined as well as effective communications and building relationships.

Module Two: Identifying & Navigating Educational Obligations – This module will give learners a broad overview of different categories of disabilities, conditions, and educational or medical needs and identify methods, techniques, and aids in the classroom or educational setting to help the student engage in a way that is strengths-based and recognises the person first. This module looks across the lifespan of the student and considers the impacts of transitions, supports, biological factors such as puberty, old age etc., as well as the intersection of gender, cultural, and societal factors. Learners will be introduced to medical assessments and how to interpret them accordingly.

Module Three: Effectively Supporting Students in an Education Setting. This module gives the learners the skills and competencies to effectively assess, analyse, plan, and communicate with students with education and care needs. Learners are taught how children, adolescents, and adults learn and how to break down tasks to small, concrete manageable steps to support the students in their learning, social, and care needs. Assistive technologies will be introduced and used as part of the module to illustrate the universal accessibility available.

QQI Level 7 “Special Purpose Award” in Special Education

Learners can be enrolled directly onto the ELC Level 6 programme, subject to having completed the Level 5 option (either with Progressive or with another College).  They will also have the option of enrolling on the L6 Programme via RPL.

Work Placement

For Level 6 programme, learner’s will be required to spend 150 hours, in two early learning and care settings, divided as follows:

  • Learner’s must spend a minimum of 50 hours working with children between the ages of 0 – 2.8 years
  • Learner’s must spend a minimum of 50 hours working with children between the ages of 2.8 – 6 years
  • Learners can spend the remaining 50 hours working with children across both age groups, however you must spend a minimum of 30 hours in the second service.

Please note:  If the service does not cater to children between the ages of 0 – 2.8 years, then learners must spend a minimum of 50 hours in the second service.


Garda Vetting is a legal requirement under the National Vetting Bureau (Children and Vulnerable Persons) Acts 2012 to 2016 for the vetting of persons carrying out work with children or vulnerable persons.

Students must complete the Garda Vetting process before commencing work placement.

Students who have spent more than 6 months living outside of Ireland will need to provide a copy of their Police Clearance Certification for all international addresses that they have lived at, before starting placement.

Special Purpose Award in Education Enquiry Form

Corporate Training

In addition to our scheduled Professional Diploma courses, City Colleges can provide bespoke training over 3 – 4 days, please contact kevin.coyne@citygroup.ie for further details.

Course Award

QQI Level 7 “Special Purpose Award” in Special Education

Why Progressive College?

Online/Blended Learning

All courses are delivered online/blended learning method

Classroom/Face-To-Face Classes

All courses are delivered in a classroom and part-time setting

QQI Accredited

QQI Accredited Online Course delivered either Online, In-Class, or Blended

Payment Plans Available

Choose to pay in full or sign up with with our available instalment plans


Deliver extensively for Educational Training Boards

International Partnerships

Benefit from one of our many international partnerships