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PGDE Scotland, Teacher Training Postgraduate Qualification

PGDE Scotland, Teacher Training Postgraduate QualificationTeaching in Scotland could provide you with a graduate, respected occupation and well defined career progression. First you require to qualify through a postgraduate PGDE Scotland teacher training course.

This qualification is the formal study & training to becoming a school teacher, after completing an undergraduate degree.

All teaching courses Scotland are conducted in schools and in conjunction with the 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 secondary & primary route and complete their training at a primary school or at 12-18 years secondary school.

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


Teacher training courses Scotland universities

A select few 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 subject areas to choose from

Not all universities offer the same subject specialism to teach, although secondary and primary school teaching courses 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


Students choose 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 in Scotland mean you will be teaching a number of subject areas to children.


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 Scotland are recognised internationally as qualified school teachers.


Scotland Entry Requirements for PGDE

Strict entry criteria for teaching in Scotland is 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 in Scotland 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.


Course Duration

Full-time: One academic year.  9 months.



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

Funding is not straight forward; all depends on your level of previous study and location.  Students Awards Agency Scotland (SAAS) now classes a PGDE as “undergraduate” and funding is measured in that way.

Students in Scotland apply for funding through SAAS. (For undergraduate). As a PGDE student the funding you apply for and receive is the same as undergraduate students.


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

Scottish resident students applying for a PGDE course should not require paying fees in Scotland, as your fees are paid by SAAS/Scottish Government.

See the SAAS website and Teachinginscotland.org government website.

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


Studying on a PGDE teacher training Scotland course you still qualify should you wish to take out a loan to pay fees and receive a grant that requires to be paid back.  See here for funding information. 

As always terms and conditions apply.


Bursaries for teacher training in Scotland

Scotland Stem Education Bursaries are available now each year for subjects of: Physics, Chemistry. Maths, Computing, & Technical Education for secondary and primary school teacher training. You would get £20,000 during training and fees paid if you qualify.  You do not pay this money back.


Start date:  You will find teacher’s training courses for primary and secondary levels start in August for full-time study.


Process for teacher training Scotland UCAS application

Scottish students

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.


UK and European students

Applications are required to be submitted through UCAS Teacher Training

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


International students

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

Graduates of the PGDE 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.


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