School Children

PGDESecondary Education

Why this course?

The PGDE course is a professional training course. The course is regulated by the General Teaching Council for Scotland and the Scottish Government.

The PGDE qualifies graduates to teach in secondary education.

The PGDE course can be taken as a one year (36 week) full-time programme and also as a two year part-time programme.

The course provides you with the theoretical and practical starting point to your career. You’ll learn the skills, attitudes and competences to communicate your subject in the classroom.

This course recruits graduates from a range of secondary teaching subjects and has UK, EU and International students. It’s a recognised qualification throughout the world.

During the course, attendance, participation and commitment are key elements. The on-campus programme provides you with the theory for the teaching that you’ll carry out during school placements. The demands on you will increase as the course progresses.


The course is jointly delivered by Strathclyde and partner schools within local authorities. By the end of the course you’re expected to be competent in areas relating to teaching competences as identified by the Scottish Government and the General Teaching Council for Scotland.

Key aims

The key aim of the PGDE course is:

“To support the development of student teachers in attaining the Standards for Provisional Registration within the context of a partnership model of teacher education.”

This aim will be met through teaching and learning processes that encourage active and participative methods.

Which subjects can I teach?

A teaching qualification can be awarded in one or two particular subjects. The subjects offered are:

Subjects available

  • Art & Design
  • Biology
  • Business
  • Chemistry
  • Computing
  • English
  • Gaelic
  • Geography
  • History
  • Home Economics
  • Mathematics
  • Modem Languages - French, German, Italian, Spanish
  • Modern Studies
  • Music
  • Physical Education
  • Physics
  • Religious Education
  • Technological Education

Please note that not all subjects may be available each year. Some subjects may be available only in conjunction with other subjects.

You’ll study

The programme is made up of three modules:

  • Pedagogy & Curriculum – classes include content, teaching approaches and the use of assessment
  • Pedagogy & Placement Learning – on-campus teaching and learning, and placement experience in schools
  • Educational Studies – you’re encouraged to discuss and to reflect on the principles underlying the work of all teachers

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

School placement

School placements are central to your course and provide a focus for all other course modules.

The National Guidelines for Teacher Education Courses require you to spend a minimum of 18 weeks or equivalent in schools and to show that you meet the benchmarks for the Standards for Provisional Registration.

You’re required to attend the placement school throughout the full working day. You’re also required to attend school on staff in-service days, unless specifically requested by the school not to do so.

The placement school provides opportunities to work with colleagues. Team work is an essential part of that experience.

Course content

Compulsory classes

Pedagogy & Curriculum

Classes include content, teaching approaches and the use of assessment.

Educational Studies

You’re encouraged to discuss and to reflect on the principles underlying the work of all teachers.

Pedagogy & Placement Learning

Includes on-campus teaching and learning, and placement experience in schools.

Learning & teaching

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

Full-time course

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

Part-time course

Detailed information on the week-by-week timetable for each year will be provided at the first meeting of part-time students.


To be awarded the PGDE 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're essential learning experiences and are course requirements.

Entry requirements

Minimum of first degree or equivalent, normally containing passes in at least two years’ progressive study in the subject(s) you want to teach. You also require Higher English (A-C) or equivalent.

You also require Standard Grade Mathematics Credit Level (SCQF level 5 ), Intermediate 2 A-C (or equivalent) or National 5 Lifeskills Maths A-C. Acceptable equivalent qualifications are GCSE Mathematics at B or above, SCE Standard Grade Mathematics, Credit Level 1 or 2, or SCE Intermediate 2 Mathematics (three modules and a pass in the examination at A-C)

There are additional entrance qualifications for subjects detailed below:

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.

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.


  • Full-time: £1,820
  • Part-time: £1,100

Rest of UK

  • Full-time: £9,000
  • Part-time: £4,500


  • Full-time: £12,500
  • Part-time: £6,500

How can I fund my course?

Some Scottish and EU students can apply to the Students Award Agency Scotland (SAAS) to have tuition fees paid for the PGDE course by the Scottish Government.

If you've already had funding for a postgraduate course from SAAS you'll only receive funding if you're applying for one of the following shortage subjects:

  • English
  • Physics
  • Mathematics
  • Technological Education

Both young and mature students studying full-time can apply to SAAS for a loan, bursary and living-cost grants. Living-cost grants include the Lone Parents’ Grants, and the Disabled Students’ Allowance. The exact amount you can get depends on your household income. 

Check the SAAS website for more details.

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.

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

Please note

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


How much will I earn?

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

Where are they now?

94% 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)


Full-time application

Scotland/EU/Rest of UK students

Applications must be made through the UCAS Undergraduate website.

Interview selection

We select those candidates who best meet the following criteria:

Does the candidate have:

  • evidence that they are suitably qualified?
  • evidence of a suitable breadth of knowledge in their degree to cover the Secondary Curriculum?
  • sufficient interest in teaching?
  • experience of working with young people?
  • evidence of good written communication skills?
  • a good statement by their referee?
Interview process

If selected you’ll be asked to an interview with a number of other candidates who have applied for places either in your own subject or that are taught in the same division as your chosen subject.

A typical morning interview schedule is shown below:

9.15 - 9.30 Introduction to course
9.30 - 10.00 Presentation Groups
10.00 - 10.35 Coffee break
10.45 - 12.45 Individual interviews with subject panel (about 15 mins each)
Interview result

After the interview a panel will collate the grades from your presentation and the individual interview.

They will then make a decision as to your suitability for the course.

The possible results of the interview are:

    • Unconditional offer
    • Conditional offer (you still need to satisfy the entry qualifications in some way)
    • A rejection of your application

The subject coordinator will send the results to Registry who will in turn communicate the results to the UCAS.

UCAS will then communicate the result to you.

Should you wish feedback on the selection process please contact the appropriate subject coordinator.

International students

You must apply using the apply button below.

Part-time application

Applications for the part-time course must be made using the link below.

Secondary Education

Qualification: PGDE, Start date: Aug 2016, Mode of delivery: attendance, full-time

Secondary Education

Qualification: PGDE, Start date: Aug 2016, Mode of delivery: attendance, part-time

Secondary Education

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

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