Home » Teacher Training » PGDE Scotland, Teacher Training Postgraduate Qualification

PGDE Scotland, Teacher Training Postgraduate Qualification

PGDE Scotland, Teacher Training Postgraduate Qualification

Teaching in Scotland could provide you with a graduate respected occupation and well defined career progression. First you require qualifying through a postgraduate PGDE Scotland teacher training course or other teacher qualification such as a PGCE, BEd in Education, MEd Masters.

The PGDE qualification is a popular formal study & training course at postgraduate level to becoming a school teacher in Scotland schools, after completing an undergraduate degree.

All teaching courses Scotland are conducted in schools and in conjunction with universities in Scotland.


PGDE Scotland

What is a PGDE Scotland? A Professional Graduate Diploma in Education enabling you to teach in Scotland schools. A post grad teacher training Scotland course that can be completed over one academic year full-time study at university and school placement from August to the following June.

Yes, a way for you to get into teaching Scotland on a graduate teacher course, similar to an English PGCE.

Student teachers can choose between PGDE secondary & PGDE primary route and complete their training at a primary school or at 12-18 years secondary school.

After successfully completing the teaching qualification you go on to become a probationary teacher for one year, then become a fully qualified teacher.


What differentiates a PGDE and PGCE

The difference mainly between as PGDE and a PGCE (Postgraduate Certificate in Education) PGDE is a Diploma with 120 master level credits, PGCE is a certificate providing 60 masters credits.  Also, university PGDE in Scotland students are guaranteed a 12 month probationary teaching post following their course to become fully qualified as a school teacher.

PGCE and PGDE are both accepted in Wales, England (General Teaching Council England) GTC), Northern Ireland and teaching abroad, with resignation as qualified school teachers. 


List of Scottish universities providing teacher training

10 universities in Scotland at present offer primary PGDE or secondary PGDE training:

See Here for the University of Aberdeen Profile       (PGDE Aberdeen)

University of Dundee Teaching Information             

The University of Edinburgh Course Options

University of Glasgow Teacher Training

University of the Highlands and Islands

University of Stirling Teaching Courses                (PGDE Stirling)

University of Strathclyde for Teacher Training

University of the West of Scotland

Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh

Edinburgh Napier University


Secondary school subject areas to choose from

Not all universities offer the same subject specialism to teach, although secondary and primary school teaching courses in Scotland can be in the following:

Art and design                Business                 Science            Design and technology             Drama           English       Geography            History           Mathematics        Modern foreign languages         Music      Physical education        Information technology          Chinese          Home economics          Computing          Gaelic Medium          Technological Education          Religious Moral Education          Psychology          Physics


Students choose one or two subject areas to qualify in, although you can apply for dual status and become qualified to teach 2 subjects.

Additional entry requirements apply.  Of course studying on one of the primary teaching courses mean you will be teaching a number of subject areas to children.

Combined PGDE with integrated Masters Year for STEM subjects at secondary level is possible.


Qualified teacher status

Successfully completing a Professional Graduate Diploma in Education (PGDE) and one-year probationer induction means you will become a qualified teacher in Scotland.

Should you wish to teach overseas or in the UK holders of a PGDE are recognised internationally as qualified school teachers.


Scotland course entry requirements for PGDE

Strict entry criteria for teaching in Scotland are mandated by the General Teaching Council Scotland (GTCS), the regulatory body for school teachers.

In addition, universities set their own entry requirements to be accepted onto a teacher training course. Fitness to practice as a teacher in a Scottish school is what the university looks for in an applicant and the (GTCS), where they look at you as a prospective teacher.

  • Good undergraduate degree  2.2 and above in general
  • No criminal record
  • Secondary teaching: Higher English SCQF level 6 and a credit SCQF level 5 Mathematics. Basically SQA higher grade pass grades A, B or C or equivalent qualifications. England & Wales it would be GCSE grade B for most universities or at least, a C Grade
  • Secondary PGDE: Degree in the subject you wish to teach, with at least 80 credits points from 2 graduating courses in that subject
  • Primary school teacher qualifications Scotland:  English and English literature SQA Higher grade pass of A, B or a C.  Mathematics Credit Level of 1, 2 or GCSE grade B for England & Wales. Science qualification will also be requested as you will be teaching science topics as part of your teaching experience


A prospective student applying for a postgraduate Scotland teacher’s course at primary or secondary level must attend a face to face teacher training interview at the chosen university.

My own experience of a similar interview was that they were trying to find out what commitment I have for the profession and type of person I was.

Previous experience working with children is a great help, basic understanding of the Scottish curriculum and schools in Scotland.

To gain some experience with children a job as a teacher assistant would be a great help and would give you an insight into the teaching profession.

Think about state and independent school sector jobs if you are looking for a short term role to gain experience.

When starting a teaching course you will require signing up and become a Member of PVG Scheme through Disclosure Scotland, a comprehensive criminal background check, and suitability register.


PGDE training course

Full academic year of intensive study and placement where you will undertake training in teaching and learning strategies, assessment curriculum planning and other things related to the subject and age range of the course you choose.

Your chosen university provides a means to learn the basics of teaching and learning and the placement at a school provides the practical teaching experience to complete your training.

School placement, 4 days a week or 5 depending on the course provides the opportunity to work with teachers, practice and develop your teaching skills. 

Each teaching placement helps you develop your teaching skills and allows you to deliver effective teaching and learning to students in your classes.


Scotland PGDE course duration

Full-time PGDE: One academic year.  9 months. 36 weeks split over 3 terms

Part time PGDE: 18 months duration

Distance learning PGDE: 18 month initial teacher education course DLITE (PGDE) for both primary & secondary teaching.


Course assessment for teacher trainee’s in Scotland

To successfully complete a PGDE, university assignments and teaching observations on school placement form part of the course. 

In addition, at the end of the year, you require to submit a portfolio of evidence on your teaching experience and course assignments.


PGDE funding Scotland

Postgraduate training to become a school teacher through a university PGDE in Scotland Funded course, Students Awards Agency Scotland (SAAS) classes a PGDE as “undergraduate” and funding is measured in that way.

Students in Scotland and also resident citizens from European Union countries apply for funding through SAAS. (For undergraduate).

As a PGDE student you receive funding (Full fees paid to the university) for a one year teacher training course at a Scottish university, regardless of previous undergraduate financial support. The funding you apply for and receive is the same as undergraduate students.


Student loans for trainee teachers in Scotland

Studying for a PGDE teacher training qualification you still qualify should you wish to take out a loan for living costs, although requires being paid back starting after you finish the course.  See: Student loans SAAS here for funding information. 

See also SAAS Funding Guidance for Undergraduate Students (PDF)


Fee status for teacher training courses in Scotland

Applicable amount of fee payable depends if you are classified as overseas or home student, known as your tuition fee status.

 ‘Home-Scotland/EU’, ‘Home-Rest of UK’ or an overseas student.

1st August of the course starting year is mainly the date used by universities to set your status as resident for fee calculation. 

Example: Jane lives in Scotland, John live Greece and are both accepted at a Scottish university for a postgraduate course for teaching PGDE. Jane & John would be assessed as Home-Scotland/EU students for fees status.

Funding is available if you have not received previous funding assistance at postgraduate level.


But wait, funding is available regardless of previous study and financial support if you will be teaching any of the following subjects as a full-time student:

  • English
  • Gaelic (or any subject taught through the medium of Gaelic)
  • Physics
  • Home Economics
  • Mathematics
  • Modern Languages (French, German, Italian, Spanish, Chinese)
  • Physical Education
  • Primary Education
  • Technological Education

See the SAAS website and Teachinginscotland.org government website.

Basically classed as teacher shortage or priority subjects by the Scottish Education Department.


Rest of UK

  • Example: Janice lives in Bristol would be assessed for teacher training fee for the course as Home-RUK (Wales, Northern Ireland, and England). She should apply for tuition fee and living cost finance from Student Finance England

Loans and fees funding for Wales and Northern Ireland for teachers in training

Rest of the world students would require paying fees as an overseas student.


Bursary in Scotland for postgraduate teaching courses

You could be eligible for a bursary.

Scotland Stem Education Bursaries at present are available for student teachers who have been employed for at least 3 of the last 5 years and have a degree in stem subjects: Computing, physics, chemistry, technical education or mathematics for secondary and primary school teacher training. This funding availability is subject to change each year.

You would get £20,000 during training and fees paid if you qualify. You do not pay this money back.


Course start date for teacher training

You will find teacher’s training courses for primary and secondary levels start in August for full-time study. Part time and distance learning study mode possible in January each year.


Process for teacher training UCAS application in Scotland

Scottish, UK and European student’s applications

Applying and submitting an application is now through UCAS undergraduate or teacher training, where you can choose up to 5 options.  A small administration fee is payable for UCAS to administer the application.

Website address: http://www.ucas.com/how-it-all-works/teacher-training


International students apply

Overseas students require applying direct to the university of your Choice, such as the University of Strathclyde application.


PGDE graduates in Scotland are eligible to apply for provisional registration with the General Teaching Council Scotland, and go on to complete their induction year.

Once fully qualified with 2 plus years experience you become a valuable prospective teacher for a school in the UK or move overseas at an international school. Teachers find themselves as a classroom teacher or a head of department role.

Plenty jobs in the UK with promotion and career progression in the state sector or private independent school jobs in the UK.


Education Tay - Privacy & Cookie Policy - Terms & Conditions