Children at school with a teacher

PGDEPrimary Education

Why this course?

Teaching is undoubtedly one of the most rewarding careers you can pursue - you'll shape the minds of tomorrow!

Worldwide qualification

This course is a professional training course which qualifies you to teach secondary education. The qualification is recognised throughout the world and is regulated by: 

  • the General Teaching Council for Scotland (GTCS)
  • the Scottish Government

What you’ll learn

You’ll learn the theories behind teaching practices and explore these throughout the year. You'll gain the skills necessary to become the best teacher you can be.

You'll also see the relevance of everything you're learning come alive while on placement. Classes are here on campus and you'll carry out three placements in two different schools throughout the year.

You must keep a portfolio of progress throughout the course. This prepares you for the continuation of professional development during your professional teaching career.


As part of the course, you’ll have the opportunity to submit two of your assignments at Masters level.

If you do this, you’ll be almost halfway towards a Masters in Education qualification. If you go on to do the Masters in Education, all you’ll have to do is complete two Masters level classes, a research class and a dissertation.

You can do this on campus or by distance learning. 


You'll spend 18 weeks of the course on placement in a school within Scotland. You'll be continually assessed while there to show you meet the requirements for the Standards for Provisional Registration.

You must attend your placement school throughout the full working day. You must also attend school on staff in-service days, unless told otherwise by your school.

Placement is your chance to put what you're learning into practice. You'll explore your own teaching style, learn new techniques and develop relationships with your pupils.

Guaranteed employment for Scottish & EU students

If you're a Scottish or EU student, you're guaranteed a job for one year in a Scottish school after you graduate.

This is part of the GTCS Teacher Induction Scheme. Following graduation you should contact the GTCS for provisional registration.

Once you complete your probationary year, you'll be awarded full registration.

Work anywhere in Scotland

As a newly qualified teacher, you can receive an additional £8,000 under the Preference Waiver Scheme if you agree to work anywhere in Scotland for your induction scheme.

Course content

Compulsory classes

Placement Learning

This class is taught both on campus and in schools. It'll help you become an effective teacher through learning about pedagogical theory, observing experienced teachers and applying your knowledge through teaching experience during the course.

Creative Contexts for Learning

This class will support you as you develop your approaches to curriculum, planning, learning, teaching and assessment, and includes cross-curricular approaches. 

Educational Perspectives & Policies

This class develops your understanding of key educational issues in a broader intellectual context. It 's taught in a cross- sector way, so that primary and secondary students can share opinions and learn from each other. 

Principles & Policy in Practice

This is the companion class to Educational Perspective and Policies. It shares a focus on critical professional engagement informed by educational research and theory. 

Professional Specialisation

This class gives you the opportunity to gain experience and further study in something you're particularly interested in. You can attend classes on campus, or undertake alternative methods of learning/development based on your area of interest. 


It gives you the opportunity to gain experience

Learning & teaching

The course encourages active and participative styles of learning in order to meet your professional needs, and to promote a commitment to continuing professional development.

The hours for the full-time course are 9am to 5pm. You’re expected to be working on course-related activity during those hours.


To be awarded the Professional Graduate Diploma in Education, you must pass all course modules.

Course work

Each class includes course work that involves group or independent study on specified tasks. This may involve presentations and written reports. Although these are not assessed formally they are essential learning experiences and are course requirements.

Entry requirements

You should hold a degree validated by a higher education institution in the UK, or a degree of an equivalent standard from an institution from outside the UK. You also require Higher English at Grade C or above or equivalent and Standard Grade Mathematics at 1 or 2 or equivalent.

As well as academic qualifications, you need to have:

  • evidence that you have experience of working with children in a primary school setting or related context
  • an understanding of modern primary education
  • an ability to relate to people

These are some of the criteria that will be taken into consideration when selecting candidates for the interview stage.


If your application passes the initial selection process, you’ll be invited for interview.

The interviewers will be interested in:

  • your personality
  • your ability to communicate
  • your commitment to and perception of the role of the teacher
  • your hobbies and interests
  • any previous experience you have of working with children in a primary school or related setting

The aims of the interview are to give you more information about the course, and to determine if you are suited to teaching. Interviews are normally held at the beginning of March.

English language requirements

You're required to have a suitable minimum level of competency in the English language if your first language is not English or if you have not been educated wholly or mainly in the medium of English.

For postgraduate studies, the University of Strathclyde requires a minimum overall score of IELTS 6.5 (no individual test score below 5.5) or equivalent. Tests are valid for two years.

Pre-sessional courses in English are available.

If you’re a national of an English speaking country recognised by UK Visa and Immigrations (please check most up-to-date list on the Home Office website) or you have successfully completed an academic qualification (at least equivalent to a UK bachelor's degree) in any of these countries, then you do not need to present any additional evidence.

If you are from a country not recognised as an English speaking country by the United Kingdom Vis and Immigration (UKVI), please check our English requirements before making your application.

Protecting Vulnerable Groups (PVG Scheme)

Important information for all applicants applying for courses which involve placement opportunities (working with children or vulnerable adults)

EU/International students

Non-UK applicants seeking to be admitted to a course where a placement is part of the curriculum will need to bring with them a Certificate of Good Conduct/Police Certificate from their country of residence to provide assurance as to their good character. This is in addition to becoming a member of the Protection of Vulnerable Groups (PVG) Scheme which will be facilitated by the University prior to placement.

Home/Rest of UK students

For UK applicants seeking to be admitted to a course where a placement is part of the curriculum, if you have lived/worked in any other country for a period of three months or more within the last five years, you'll need to provide a Certificate of Good Conduct/Police Certificate from that country. As these can take some time to obtain after returning to the UK, we advise you to ensure that you have obtained a Certificate while you are resident in that country. This document is obtained from the local police station or embassy/consulate. This is in addition to becoming a member of the Protection of Vulnerable Groups (PVG)

Please note: The PVG Scheme will be facilitated by the University prior to placement. Please direct any enquiries to

Further information is also available on the Disclosure Scotland website.

Pre-Masters preparation course

The Pre-Masters Programme is a preparation course for international students (non EU/UK) who do not meet the entry requirements for a Masters degree at University of Strathclyde. The Pre-Masters programme provides progression to a number of degree options.

To find out more about the courses and opportunities on offer visit or call today on +44 (0) 1273 339333 and discuss your education future. You can also complete the online application form. To ask a question please fill in the enquiry form and talk to one of our multi-lingual Student Enrolment Advisers today.

Fees & funding

How much will my course cost?

All fees quoted are for full-time courses and per academic year unless stated otherwise.


  • 2017/18 Full-time: £1,820

Rest of UK

  • 2017/18 Full-time: £9,000


  • 2017/18 Full-time: £13,500

How can I fund my course?

If you are eligible to register to pay the overseas tuition fees for this course then you may qualify for the Professional Graduate Diploma in Education: International Scholarship.

To recognise academic achievement, the Dean's International Excellence Award offers international students a merit-based scholarship of up to £3,000 for entry onto a full-time Masters programme in the Faculty of Humanities & Social Sciences.

Check our Scholarship Search for more help with fees and funding.

Scottish students

Students living in Scotland can find out more about funding from the Student Awards Agency Scotland.

Please note

The fees shown are annual and may be subject to an increase each year. Find out more about fees.


The PGDE qualification is required for employment as a teacher in a Scottish primary school. Following the probationary period, it can provide a starting point for a clearly defined career structure within primary education. The promoted posts in primary schools are Principal Teacher, Depute Head Teacher and Head Teacher.

How much will I earn?

As a primary school teacher in Scotland, salaries range from £21,438 to £34,200.*

Where are they now?

92.9% of our graduates are in work or further study.**

*information is intended only as a guide. Figures taken from Prospects

**Based on the results of the national Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education Survey, Graduate statistics 2011/12, 2010/11, (aggregated data)

Contact us


Scotland/EU/Rest of UK students

Applications must be made through the UCAS Undergraduate website.

New Barn Lane
Gloucestershire GL52 3LZ

t: 0871 468 0 468

International students

Please apply using the button below.

Primary Education

Qualification: PGDE, Start date: Aug 2017, Mode of delivery: attendance, full-time

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