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 primary 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.

Please read our important information about the Protecting Vulnerable Groups (PVG) Scheme. This is for all applicants applying for courses which involve placement opportunities (working with children or vulnerable adults).

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 £6,000 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 (SCQF Level 6) English Grade C or above*
  • National 5 (SCQF Level 5) Mathematics Grade C or above**

*Acceptable alternative qualifications in English

  • Communications 4 and Literature 1
  • GCSE English Language and GCSE English Literature at Grade C or above
  • Irish Leaving Certificate Higher English at Grade C3 or above
  • (SCQF Level 6) English Access Course offered by the University of Aberdeen
  • A Level English Literature or English Language Grade C or above

**Acceptable alternative qualifications in Mathematics

  • Standard Grade 1 or 2 Credit Mathematics
  • Intermediate Level 2 Mathematics at Grade C or above
  • GCSE Mathematics at Grade C or above
  • Irish Leaving Certificate Ordinary Mathematics at Grade B3 or above
  • Irish Leaving Certificate Higher Mathematics at Grade C3 or above
  • National 5 Lifeskills/Applications Mathematics at Grade C or above
  • (SCQF Level 5) Mathematics Access Course offered by the University of Aberdeen
  • A Level Mathematics Grade C or above
  • Discovering Mathematics M123 Open University

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.

Pre-Masters preparation course

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

Upon successful completion, you will be able to progress to this degree course at the University of Strathclyde.

PVG and overseas police check requirements

All applicants who have been offered a place on the PGDE course will be required to complete an application to Join PVG Scheme or an application for Existing PVG Scheme Member prior to starting the course. Students will be required to pay between £18 to £59 depending on the related work they apply to.

If applicable, applicants who have been given an offer will also be required to obtain the relevant oversea(s) certificate(s) of good conduct.

Fees & funding



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

  • tbc
Rest of UK
  • £9,250
  • £14,650


Applicants from England, Wales and Northern Ireland

Faculty of Humanities & Social Sciences: Postgraduate rest of UK Scholarship

We're offering students from England, Wales and Northern Ireland the opportunity of a £2,000 scholarship award towards the cost of tuition fees. This is applicable to the full-time taught programme beginning in September 2017 or January 2018.

International students

Professional Graduate Diploma in Education (PGDE) International Scholarship

The University of Strathclyde is delighted to offer international applicants the opportunity to receive a partial scholarship of between £2,000 and £3,000 towards the tuition fees for the Professional Graduate Diploma in Education (PGDE) for our Primary and Secondary programmes.

Scottish students

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

Scholarship search

Take a look at our scholarship search for more funding opportunities.

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.

Contact us


Scotland/EU/Rest of UK

Apply via UCAS

Applicants from Scotland, the EU and the rest of the UK should apply via the UCAS Undergraduate website.

Please ensure that all parts of the application are completed including details of qualifications which meet the minimum entry requirements. We may be unable to consider incomplete applications. In order for your application to be fully considered, you will be required to send the following supporting documents within 21 days of submitting your application. Please email these documents to

  • Your degree certificate
  • Your academic transcript listing all the modules you have completed
  • Evidence of Higher English (or equivalent) with a grade between A-C
  • Evidence of National 5 Maths (or equivalent) with a grade between A-C

International students

International applicants should apply via the University’s online application system by following the button below. We accept applications from international applicants right up until the course start date in August 2019 but would encourage you to apply in advance of this.

In order for your application to be fully considered, you will be required to upload the following supporting documents within 21 days of submitting your application. Please ensure that you upload all these documents to Pegasus.  

  • Your degree certificate
  • Your academic transcript listing all the modules you have completed
  • Evidence of Higher English (or equivalent) with a grade between A-C
  • Evidence of National 5 Maths (or equivalent) with a grade between A-C

Primary Education

Qualification: PGDE, Start date: Aug 2019, Mode of delivery: attendance, full-time

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