School Children

PGDESecondary Education

Why this course?

Teaching is undoubtedly one of the most rewarding careers you can pursue. Secondary teaching gives you the opportunity to share your passion for your favourite subject and 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 19 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 UK & 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.

*Due to the popularity of certain subject areas we can only guarantee students from England, Northern Ireland and Wales a probationary year if they graduate in the following areas:

  • Chemistry
  • Computing
  • English
  • Home Economics
  • Maths
  • Modern Languages
  • Music
  • Physics 
  • Religious Education
  • Technological Education 

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.


You can qualify in one or two particular subjects. The subjects offered are:

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

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

Course content

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.

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

Optional classes

Creative Contexts for Learning in a second Secondary subject
Professional Learning Record

You must keep a personal portfolio of progress throughout the course. This prepares you for the continuation of professional development during your professional teaching career. This isn't a credit-rated class but it's crucial to your development on the course.

Masters Credits

You have the opportunity to achieve up to 80 credits at Masters level which can be used towards further study following the course. This is fully supported by additional input during the programme. 

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.


  • 2017/18 Full-time: £1,820
  • 2017/18 Part-time: £1,100

Rest of UK

  • 2017/18 Full-time: £9,000
  • 2017/18 Part-time: £4,500


  • 2017/18 Full-time: £13,500
  • 2017/18 Part-time: £6,750

How can I fund my course?

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

The Faculty of Humanities & Social Sciences is 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.

The University of Strathclyde is delighted to offer international applicants the opportunity to receive a partial scholarship towards the tuition fees for the Professional Graduate Diploma in Education (Primary and Secondary).

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.


A degree in education will equip you for a range of careers working with children and young people.

Most of our PGDE graduates go on to work as teachers in secondary schools across the country.  

Secondary School Teachers in Scotland use the Curriculum for Excellence framework. They work with their class to develop skills and abilities, and encourage the pupils to expand their knowledge and understanding further.

Typical jobs

Jobs related to this degree include:

  • Secondary Teacher
  • Head Teacher
  • Further Education Lecturer
  • Special Educational Needs Teacher

Working hours

During term time, you'll officially work a 35 hour week but you may have to work more. You'll be in school before the school day starts and stay after the pupils leave. Most teachers take their marking and preparations home to do in the evening.

You'll also participate in parents evening, after school clubs and activities and school trips.


A teacher's total working year is 195 days including five days for in-service training. Every year you'll get 40 days holiday at full pay*.

*Source: Teach in Scotland

Other jobs

There are also many options for those who decide not to go into the classroom. Some alternative job roles are:

  • Charity Adviser
  • Youth Worker
  • Museum Educator
  • Education Liason roles
  • Private Tutor

Skills you'll need

  • excellent communication
  • a good imagination and creativity
  • organisational and time-management skills
  • patience
  • ability to work as part of a team
  • enthusiasm, energy and excitement for what you do


As a secondary school teacher in Scotland, salaries range from £21,867 to £34,887.*

*information intended only as a guide. Source: Prospects 2016. 

Contact us

Your details
Course(s) interested in
  1. Art & Design
    Home Economics
    Modern Languages - French, Spanish, Italian, Mandarin, German
    Modern Studies
    Physical Education
    Religious Education
    Technological Education


Teacher Education Opportunities

We still have secondary school teacher training opportunities to start in August 2017.

To find out if you’re eligible get in touch with an adviser today:

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.

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