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

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

TEF Gold - Teaching Excellence Framework

Our course is demanding, meaning you need to be enthusiastic, creative and hardworking. With a mix of studying and placements over a thirty-week academic year, it requires time and effort.

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.

Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF)

The University of Dundee has been given a Gold award – the highest possible rating – in the 2017 Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF).

Read more about the Teaching Excellence Framework

TEF Gold - Teaching Excellence Framework

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 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-Oct: 7 week on-campus period (Module 1)
Oct: 2 study weeks (Module 1)
Oct-Nov: 6 week placement (Module PP1)
Dec-Jan: 4 week on-campus period (Module 2
Jan: 1 study week (Module 2)
Jan-Mar: 6 week placement (Module PP2)
Mar: 3 week on-campus period (Module 2A)
Mar: 1 study week (Module 2)
Apr-May: 6 week placement (Module PP3)
Jun: course completed

As part of Module 2, you can choose a minimum of 2 Electives to study. 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.

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), National 5 Mathematics or National 5 Applications of Mathematics at Grade C 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.
    • 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 Course 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 course.

We also accept The University of Aberdeen's Online Access Courses in English (SCQF Level 6) and Mathematics (SCQF Level 5).

 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 academic year 2019-20
Scottish and EU students Fees for September 2019 will be confirmed by the Scottish Government in early 2019.
Rest of UK students Fees for September 2019 entry are subject to confirmation by the UK Governement and will be published when confirmed.
Overseas students (non-EU) £17,275 per year of study
See our scholarships for International applicants

Additional costs

You may incur additional costs in the course of your education at the University over and above tuition fees in an academic year.

Examples of additional costs:

One off costOngoing costIncidental cost
Graduation feeStudio feeField trips

*these are examples only and are not exhaustive.

Additional costs:

  • may be mandatory or optional expenses
  • may be one off, ongoing or incidental charges and certain costs may be payable annually for each year of your programme of study
  • vary depending on your programme of study
  • are payable by you and are non-refundable and non-transferable

Unfortunately, failure to pay additional costs may result in limitations on your student experience.

For additional costs specific to your course please speak to our Enquiry Team.

Before being finally accepted, a PVG Scheme Disclosure Scotland check will be conducted.

Personal statement

Your UCAS personal statement is important in terms of showing evidence of voluntary work and non-academic personal achievement. If you are unsure what to include, UCAS have some tips that you may find helpful. The UCAS course code to reference is X100.

Work experience

Having some experience of working within a school setting, in a teaching capacity, is something we would normally expect. The longer and more varied your experience is, the better.

Examples of experience:

  • Employment/volunteering as a classroom assistant
  • Evidence that you have volunteered within a primary school
  • Experience of working with children in Guides, Scouts or similar (however, this is insufficient without experience in a school setting)

To gain some experience in a school, try contacting your local primary school. Contacting schools (this link searches schools in Scotland) directly is also something you might want to consider. Your local authority website usually has a list of schools available.

Application Reference

  • To be considered for a place on this programme we do require a reference. We would request that this ideally be from someone who can provide a detailed reference in relation to your work experience with children in a school setting.  


If your application passes the initial selection process, you will then be invited to an interview. Interviews are held from January until March. The interview consists of three elements, in the form of a group task, a short presentation and a group discussion.

The Panel look for:

  • Confidence, enthusiasm , commitment and maturity
  • The ability to communicate effectively
  • A realistic understanding of the job
  • An up-to-date knowledge of education and experience with in a primary school

Apply through UCAS Undergraduate

The UCAS course code to reference is X100. Deadline is 15 January 2019 

Course Contact

Admissions and Student Recruitment

+44 (0)1382 383838

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