• For Entry: August
  • Duration: 36 Weeks
  • School: Education & Social Work
  • Study Mode: Full Time

The PGDE Course at the University of Dundee will prepare you for teaching in the primary or nursery sector and is accredited by the General Teaching Council for Scotland.

Successful participation in this course will enable you to gain provisional registration as a Primary teacher, working with young learners in the 3-12 age group.

You will benefit from a blend of guidance from a range of successful practitioners, peer learning and individual study.

The course consists of 2 on-campus modules (14 weeks in total) and 3 school placements (3 x 6 week placements). Each placement is pre-ceded by time on campus where lectures, tutorials and workshops will form the main programme, in addition to tutor directed tasks and individual study time.

You will be invited to return to campus for a Recall Day during each placement where you will be offered tutorial time and talks from guest speakers relevant to your focus at that point. Each on-campus module is assessed through written assignment which can be attempted at Level 10 or Level 11 and each placement module is assessed by the school and university tutor.

You will be allocated a placement tutor who will work closely with you throughout the course, visiting and assessing you on each of the three placements and supporting on-campus through tutorials and individual meetings where required. This provides consistency and encourages a positive, professional working relationship between you and your tutor.

The course offers a range of elective options in semester two. You’ll be encouraged to engage in at least 2 electives. The electives offer additional guidance in subject areas which may be of particular interest or in areas where you might not feel as confident and may welcome more input. 

You’ll also have the opportunity to attend Maths tutoring sessions (run by the undergraduate Maths students) if you do not feel as confident in your own mathematical skills. There is an Online Maths Assessment and an Online Language Assessment which you will be encouraged to continually engage with to improve your personal skills in these areas.

Who should study this course?

This course is suitable if you have secured a degree and now wish to enter the field of Primary Education, initially as a classroom teacher.

Many elements are shared with students on the PGDE (S) course to increase cross-sector understanding and collaboration, whilst separate elements address sector-specific matters. The course facilitates competence and confidence in relevant areas of the curriculum and professional matters pertaining to teaching, with strong theoretical underpinning and practical applications.

“Through multiple extended placement we have had the opportunity to explore a variety of stages within the primary education sector.”

Jennifer Milner and Shannon Gray

How you will be taught

The on-campus period is made up of the following:

  • Lectures
  • Workshops
  • Tutorials
  • Tutor-directed tasks

Individual study (student-directed time)

You will be associated with three schools (one per semester) in order to capitalise on opportunities to gain deeper understanding and to participate in the wide spectrum of aspects associated with the lives of schools.

We also allow you to develop areas of strengths/expertise and to support you in areas where you may feel less secure. In order to meet the varying needs and to address issues as they are identified, we offer "Module Enhancements". You will be able to choose from a range of learning enhancements which provide enriching experiences, enabling you to personalise your studies. You will thus be able to capitalise on your strengths and develop areas of interest and needs.

We will also introduce you to the many facilities and people available, in order to enrich your own understanding and, in turn, that of your pupils. We therefore provide a series of opportunities whereby guest speakers are invited to join us, to benefit from their insights.

How you will be assessed

Formative assessment and summative assessment are used throughout the course. There are two university-based assessed modules (both written assignments) and three professional practice modules. Professional Practice (Placement) is assessed with reference to the Standard for Provisional Registration by university staff and school partners. Although this course is at graduate entry, there are components (University-based) which are assessed at SCQF Level 10 and Level 11.  Professional Placement is assessed only at SCQF Level 10.

What you will study

Structure and timeline of PGDE Course:

Aug-Sept: 5 week on-campus period (Module 1A)
Sept: 1 week observation in school (Module PP1)
Oct: 2 week on-campus period and one reading week (Module 1A)
Oct-Dec: 5 week placement (Module PP1)
Dec-Jan: 4 week on-campus period (Module 2A)
Jan-Feb: 6 week placement (Module PP2)
Mar: 2 week on-campus period (Module 2A)
Mar-May: 6 week placement (Module PP3)
May-Jun: course completed 

As part of Module 2A, you can choose a minimum of 2 Electives to study. Each placement is followed by a study week. See below for more details regarding the placements. 

PP1: Middle to Upper Stages (P.4-7)
PP2: Nursery/Early Years
PP3: Any stage (P.1-7)

All successful UK and EU participants are guaranteed one year’s employment in a Scottish primary school via the GTCS Teacher Induction Scheme.

The majority of our students go on to enjoy careers as classroom teachers initially.  Thereafter, they may apply for promoted posts within the management teams in schools, or as Principal Teachers.  Some choose to enter other fields, operating as Education Officers within museums etc.  Others undertake further study, to become Educational Psychologists etc.  It is also possible to pursue a wide range of further careers, e.g. within Education Scotland, as Advisors/Directors within Local Education Authorities, within GTCS or in Initial Teacher Education in universities.

Recent participants in this course have gone on to secure permanent posts in a range of settings, both within Scotland and abroad e.g. in International Schools. Some are operating within promoted posts in schools; others are specialising in specific aspects within schools e.g. in promoted posts, Learning Support or Outdoor Education. Others have returned to academic life as lecturers.

Year of Entry: 2016

You need to have all of the following:

  • A UK degree, or a degree of an equivalent standard from outside the United Kingdom
  • SCE Higher grade English at Grade C
    OR GCSE English Language plus GCSE English Literature at Grade C
    OR the National Units in Communication at Higher and Literature 1 at Higher (formerly known as Communication 4 and Literature 1 Modules) or an acceptable equivalent*
  • Standard Grade Mathematics at Credit Level (Grade 1 or 2) OR GCSE Mathematics at Grade A or B or an acceptable equivalent*.
    • We do accept Intermediate 2 Mathematics at Grade C or above as an equivalent to Standard Grade Mathematics at Levels 1 or 2. This qualification can be done at a local Further Education College and consists of 3 modules and an Exam in May.
    • Please note we do not accept Core 4 Mathematics at Intermediate 2 Level.
  • Some recent experience of a primary classroom is normally required and certainly desirable

*Irish Leaving Certificate equivalencies are C2 Higher level English and A2 Ordinary level Mathematics or above. Overseas students should make contact with the Programme Administrator to discuss their Degree, English and Maths qualifications. Applicants will be interviewed prior to final acceptance, and are required to have a satisfactory Disclosure check before commencing the programme.

 EU and International qualifications

English Language Requirement

IELTS Overall 6.5
Listening 5.5
Reading 5.5
Writing 6.0
Speaking 6.0

 Equivalent grades from other test providers


English Language Programmes

We offer Pre-Sessional and Foundation Programme(s) throughout the year. These are designed to prepare you for university study in the UK when you have not yet met the language requirements for direct entry onto a degree programme.

 Discover our English Language Programmes

The fees you pay will depend on your fee status. Your fee status is determined by us using the information you provide on your application.

 Find out more about fee status

Fee statusFees for students starting 2016/17
Scottish and EU students £1820 per year of study
Rest of UK students £9,000 per year of study
Overseas students (non-EU) £12,950 per year of study
Fee statusFees for students starting 2017/18
Scottish and EU students £1,820 per year of study (for Sept 2016 entry). Fees for September 2017 will be confirmed by the Scottish Government in early 2017.
Rest of UK students £9,000 per year of study
Overseas students (non-EU) £14,950 per year of study

Please apply via UCAS

Course Contact

Admissions and Student Recruitment

+44(0)1382 383838