Primary Education PGDE

  • For Entry: September
  • UCAS Code: X100
  • Duration: 1 year
  • College: Arts & Social Sciences
  • School: Education, Social Work and Community Education

Successful participation in this programme enables students 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.

Why study Primary Education at Dundee?

You will work alongside tutors with a wealth of experience to share with you and the ability to help you to develop the skills, knowledge and understanding you will need to fulfil the role of a primary teacher. We offer excellent resources and facilities and a high level of support. You will benefit from placements in two schools, so that you may hone these skills further. We liaise closely with school colleagues, so that they are in a strong position to afford you the experiences you need to make the most of your placements.

Students have the opportunity to work alongside students who will become Secondary teachers, thus building mutual respect and understanding. This will stand you in good stead for future cross-sector work, for example when contributing to Cluster Group working parties.

Masters level study

The programme also offers students the opportunity to have their non-practice placement assignments assessed at Masters Level (SCQF Level 11) and so accrue a total of 60M credits whist they complete their programme of study. These credits can then be used towards future Masters study, representing a considerable saving in both time and cost in relation to the usual Masters study arrangements. We are working closely with the M Ed team within the School to ensure a smooth transition to the Masters programme for those who wish to pursue this possibility.

Professional accreditation

The resulting award of PGDE(P) for all successful participants is recognised by the General Teaching Council for Scotland (GTCS)General Teaching Council for Scotland (GTCS)

and widely outside Scotland, thus widening employment opportunities.

Who should study this course?

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

This programme is delivered to those who wish to become teachers in the nursery/primary sector. Many elements are shared with students on the PGDE (S) programme to increase cross-sector understanding and collaboration, whilst separate elements address sector-specific matters. The Programme facilitates competence and confidence in relevant areas of the curriculum and professional matters pertaining to teaching, with strong theoretical underpinning and practical applications.

Students are associated with two 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 students to develop their areas of strengths/expertise and to support them in areas where they feel less secure. In order to meet the varying needs of students and to address issues as they are identified, we offer "Module Enhancements". Students will be able to choose from a range of learning enhancements which provide enriching experiences for the students, enabling them to personalise their studies. Students will thus be able to capitalise on their strengths and develop areas of interest and need.

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

There will be a blended learning approach, whereby students' ability to self-direct their studies will be utilised in tandem with tutor-directed and tutor-delivered activities.

This approach will utilise workshops, lectures, seminars, tutorials and independent (guided and "free choice") study. Students will also benefit from insights and expertise shared by visiting speakers and from visits to a variety of locations. Students can benefit from the close links we have with colleagues in Social Work and Community Learning, in order to gain a firm understanding of proactive collaborative approaches which benefit pupils and the wider community.

There are four modules: two university-based modules prepare students for their ensuing Professional Practice placements in schools, in Upper Primary and Nursery/Early Years respectively.  All four modules (2 university-based and 2 school-based) are compulsory.  Students may opt in to an Elective and also participate in a range of Enhanced Learning opportunities, whereby their understanding of educational practice may be furthered, whilst undertaking the university-based modules.

Curricular Studies - The programme covers all aspects of Curriculum for Excellence (CfE).  The programme develops students’ understanding of how young learners learn and explores strategies for effective teaching and learning.
Professional Studies - The programme will support and develop students’ awareness and understanding of: inter-agency working, working with parents, meeting the needs of all learners, assessment, classroom management and strategies for promoting a positive ethos for learning, including strategies to support positive behaviour management.
Educational Studies -  Students are introduced to the History of Scottish Education, Comparative Education (education systems in other countries) and Learning Theory.
Professional Practice (Placement) - 18 weeks working with 3-12 year olds in two/three settings.

Formative assessment and summative assessment are used throughout the programme. There are two university-based assessed modules (one by essay, the other by ePortfolio) and two professional practice placement modules. Professional Practice (Placement) is assessed with reference to the Standard for Initial Teacher Education by university staff and school partners. Although this programme 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.

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 programme 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: 2015

Entry Requirements: You need to have all the following: A UK degree, or an equivalent standard from outside the United Kingdom SCE Higher grade English at Grade C OR GSCE English Language plus GCSE English Literature at Grade C OR Communication 4 plus Literature 1 Modules (or an acceptable equivalent*) Standard Grade Mathematics Credit Level Grade 1 or 2 OR GCSE Mathematics 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 desirabl *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

English Language Requirement

IELTS of 6.5 (or equivalent), if your first language is not English.

Please check our English language requirements page for details of equivalent grades from other test providers, and information about the University of Dundee English language courses.

EU and International students visit our EU and International webpages for entry requirements tailored to your home country.

English Language Pre-Sessional Programmes

We offer Pre-Sessional programmes throughout the year and Foundation Programme(s) for both undergraduate and postgraduate students which start at the beginning of the academic year.  These programmes are all 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.  Successful completion of these programmes guarantees progression to various degrees at the University of Dundee as long as you hold a relevant offer.

The 30 week (one Academic Year) Foundation Programme(s) allow applicants who have not met our typical academic entry requirements, and require additional English Language support by up to 1.0 IELTS, to gain the necessary qualifications to enter the University of Dundee degree programmes in the following year.

The 24 week Pre-Sessional programme (March – August) provides additional English Language tuition for students who do not meet our minimum English Language requirements by up to 1.0 IELTS and the 10 week Pre-Sessional programme  (June – August) (October – December) provides specialist English Language tuition for students who are 0.5 IELTS below the requirement for their degree programme.

There have been many changes to the arrangements for funding students entering higher education in recent years, yet a degree from the University of Dundee, with its high rate of employment success, remains a cost-effective option.

The fees you pay will, in most cases, depend on your current country of residence.

The fee shown is annual, and may be subject to an increase each year.

Fee categoryFees for students starting September 2015
Scottish students £1,820 per year of study (for Sept 2014 entry). Fees for September 2015 will be confirmed by the Scottish Government in early 2015.
Rest of UK students £9,000 per year of study.
EU students £1,820 per year of study (for Sept 2014 entry). Fees for September 2015 will be confirmed by the Scottish Government in early 2015.
Overseas students (non-EU) Fee to be confirmed for 2015/16.

Please apply via UCAS