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PGDE Teacher EducationPGDE FAQ's

We've pulled together our most Frequently Asked Questions on the Professional Graduate Diploma in Education (PGDE) programme.

Fees and funding

The funding you are eligible for as a PGDE students can be broken into two categories:

Scottish and EU students - can apply to have the cost of their tuition fees paid for by the Scottish Government. Applications should be made online through the Students Award Agency Scotland (SAAS) website, the PGDE course falls under undergraduate study.

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

Full-time students who usually live in Scotland may also be eligible to 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.

International students - The Dean’s International Excellence Award recognises academic achievement. It offers international students a merit-based scholarship of up to £4,000 for entry onto a full-time Masters programme in the Faculty of Humanities & Social Sciences. Check out our Scholarship search for more help with fees and funding.

If you’re coming to us as a new Scottish or EU student, you don’t have to wait until you have an offer from us to apply to SAAS for your funding. Get ahead of the crowd and complete your online funding application when SAAS opens in mid-April.

All applications are for one academic year only, so make sure you apply every year. You must register at Strathclyde and collect your student card before your student loan and bursary will be paid.

If you’re coming to us as a new International student, then you can check out our Scholarship search for more help with fees and funding or complete a Financial Support Funds application and submit this along with your supporting documents to the Funding and Financial Support Team. Find out more information here.

Fees for students domiciled in Scotland and the EU are subject to confirmation by the Scottish Funding Council. All fees are in £ sterling and may be subject to revision. Students on programmes of study of more than one year should be aware that tuition fees are revised annually and may increase in subsequent years of study. Annual increases will generally reflect UK inflation rates and increases to programme delivery costs.

The application process

Applications submitted through UCAS can be submitted from August, but typically applications aren’t considered until October.

The deadline for the majority of courses is January 15th of the next academic year with decisions usually being released by March 31st. If you receive a response on this date, you are expected to reply by May 5th. For a full list of important dates set by UCAS, please visit the UCAS website.

Applications from Scottish, EU, and rest of UK students must submit applications for all PGDE courses through UCAS. Therefore, applications for PGDE will follow the same application deadlines as UCAS. Please ensure that all parts of your 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 e-mail 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

For international students, applicants should apply via the University’s online application system which can be found on the respective course pages. We accept applications from international applicants right up until the August intake but would encourage you 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

The entry requirements for PGDE courses are based on the requirements set by The General Teaching Council for Scotland (GTCS). All applicants must meet the minimum entry requirements before the course starts. The minimum entry requirements that we ask for are a degree validated by a higher education institution in the United Kingdom or a degree of an equivalent standard from an institution outside the United Kingdom. This degree should contain at least 80 credits relevant to the PGDE course you wish to study and you must be able to demonstrate an appropriate knowledge of this area of study. As well as academic qualifications, you will need to demonstrate evidence that you have experience working with children in a primary/secondary school setting or related context, an understanding of modern primary/secondary education, and an ability to relate to people.

It is also important to note that due to limited number of places on certain courses and the high number of applications received for certain subjects, it may be necessary to have the Mathematics and English qualifications in place at the time of application.

The following alternative qualifications in English will be accepted:

  • 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

The following alternative qualifications in Mathematics will be accepted:

  • 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 MU123 Open University

For some subjects it is essential to have your Maths and English qualifications in place prior to applying for the course. You will see this information detailed on the individual course page under the ‘Entry Requirements’ tab. The subjects that this is necessary for include:

  • PGDE Physical Education
  • PGDE Biology
  • PGDE History
  • PGDE Modern Studies

All other subjects do not require for these qualifications in place prior to submitting your application. However, this is subject to change in line with the limited number of places and the high volume of applications received. For certain subjects it may then become necessary to have the Mathematics and English qualifications in place at the time of application.

Your personal statement is an important part of the PGDE application, it gives you the opportunity to stand out from the crowd and highlight why you want to be a teacher. There is a 4000 character limit set by UCAS who provide useful personal statement guidance for PGDE applicants. It is highly recommended that you do your research before you start writing your personal statement and you should aim to read every supporting document that you can find about the PGDE programme.

Getting experience of working with young people not only helps to set you apart from other applicants, giving you something to mention in your personal statement, but it also serves as a taster of the job that you are planning to work towards.

Experience can come in a number of forms such as volunteering at a local school, working at a youth camp or as part of your current job. For certain subjects which are highly competitive and particularly for Primary Education getting this kind of experience is very important.

Yes, this is done in collaboration with the university and if you are already a member of the PVG Scheme your membership number will be used in your application which can speed up the process. Students who receive an offer of a place will be sent information from the universities disclosure department which you should follow carefully.

The interview process

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?
  • Does the candidate have a sufficient interest in teaching?
  • Experience of working with young people?
  • Evidence of good written communication skills?
  • A good statement by their referee?

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.

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 UCAS. UCAS will then communicate the result to you. Should you wish feedback on the selection process, please contact the subject coordinator.

Timetable and placement

The course begins on 19th August 2020 and runs for 36 weeks, half of which is spent on placement.

The part-time course is not running for 2019/20 entry and is currently in accreditation. We are currently awaiting confirmation whether this will still be the case for 2020/21 entry.

We aim to give 2-4 weeks’ notice of placement location. However, unexpected circumstances such as teacher illness, and other issues out with the university’s control can lead to placements changing at short notice.

PGDE placements cannot be completed outside of Scotland.

You are continually assessed jointly by university tutors and teachers in school while on placement and must keep a portfolio of progress. This placement file will form part of the evidence of your meeting the Standards for Provisional Registration and prepares you for career long professional learning.

Full time students will be expected to be available for study five days a week. The professional aspect of the PGDE may entail activities from 9am-5pm.

If you are an offer holder, your full timetable will be available during the August induction week. However, an example timetable usually becomes available for students in June.

Placements are allocated through the Student Placement System (SPS). SPS is automated and is administered by General Teaching Council for Scotland (GTCS) and works on the principle of matching students to schools, based on the information provided by students. You should not normally be required to travel in excess of 90 minutes each way to your school placement from your term time address. Students are not permitted to seek placements independently.  

After you graduate

The Teacher Induction Scheme (TIS) provides a guaranteed one-year training post in a local authority to all Scottish, RUK or EU students graduating from the Strathclyde PGDE (this may be subject to change). The GTCS, in partnership with the Scottish Government, is responsible for the administration of the scheme.

The Teacher Induction Scheme allows probationer teachers to be considered for full registration within one school year (190 teaching days) and offers a number of benefits:

  • A maximum class contact time of 0.8 full-time equivalents (GTCS endorsed)
  • Dedicated time set aside for Professional Learning
  • Access to a teacher for support through the induction year

As part of the TIS, you can indicate in preference order the five local authority areas that you would be willing to work in for your induction year. You must remember that you could be allocated to any of these five areas including your fifth choice.

Alternatively, if you are prepared to work anywhere in Scotland, tick the ‘anywhere’ box and you will receive an additional £6,000 (Primary) or £8,000 (Secondary) less tax and national insurance.

The Strathclyde PGDE is an internationally recognised professional teaching course. The qualification is regulated by both the GTCS and the Scottish Government. Although most of our graduates go on to teach in Scottish state schools, obtaining this qualification opens up opportunities to teach throughout the UK and internationally.

The Teacher Induction Scheme is a scheme whereby eligible applicants are guaranteed a job for a year in a Scottish school. Most PGDE students will be eligible and eligibility is ascertained on a case-by-case basis. Students who successfully complete probation are eligible for full registration status.


We hope that the above answers your question, if not, please feel free to get in touch!