• For Entry: January
  • Duration: 52 weeks
  • School: Education & Social Work
  • Study Mode: Full Time

A postgraduate programme with financial support, combining academic study with a mentored placement, qualifying you to teach in a Scottish secondary school.

TEF Gold - Teaching Excellence Framework

With this route into teaching you can study while receiving over £22,500 (gross) in financial support over the duration of the programme.

Running from January to January, it brings together the first two steps in your career as a teacher, the initial teacher education programme and the Teacher Induction Scheme, and you will be fully registered with the General Teaching Council for Scotland (GTCS), allowing you to teach pupils of secondary age in your subject specialism (Chemistry, Computing, Home Economics, Mathematics, Physics) in Scottish schools.

"This innovative and exciting model of Initial Teacher Education has been skilfully designed to maximise students' learning and teaching experience over a one-year period. We have carefully considered that the correct balance of theoretical understanding and practical application is in place, whilst also ensuring that the programme enables students to develop the competence and confidence required to enter the classroom."

If you want to read the full GTCS statement, you can find it on the GTCS website 

Ellen Doherty
GTCS Director of Education and Professional Learning

A distinctive feature of this programme is the opportunity for on-campus time, self-directed and tutor-directed study time, integrated with in-school experience and local authority led learning, throughout the 52 weeks. You will be linked with a school in one of our four partner local authorities (Angus, Dundee, Fife or Perth & Kinross) and will be allocated a supporter, who will mentor and coach you throughout your time in school. The 37-week school experience placement will give you opportunities to develop continuous, close working relationships with your school-based supporter, the school and its community.

You will study in the School of Education & Social Work, in the discipline ranked 3rd in the UK by the Complete University Guide 2019. As well as this, we were also awarded The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide Scottish University of the Year in both 2016 and 2017.


A distinctive feature of this programme is the opportunity for on-campus time integrated with in-school experience.

PGCE students

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


At the start of the course, you will be on campus for three, full-time weeks, to introduce the curricular and professional issues relating to the secondary sector, which will continue to be developed during on-campus days throughout the course.  You will also develop awareness of your responsibility towards pupils’ health and wellbeing as well as developing pupils’ literacy and numeracy skills.

In the summer, you will be on campus for a further two, full-time weeks, continuing to build on your knowledge of the curriculum and develop your skills in, and understanding of, all aspects of assessment within the secondary sector. You will also consider the impact on pupils as they make the transition from primary to secondary school and from secondary to positive destinations.

Throughout the course you will be in school on Monday to Thursday of each placement week. On Fridays, you will be on-campus for face-to-face inputs, doing independent study and reading, completing assessment tasks or preparing for your school-based teaching.  We have spaced the on-campus Fridays to provide you with the most effective learning and support opportunities, and to give you the time to reflect, read and consolidate your learning.

"Through high-quality collaboration between schools, education authorities and the University of Dundee, this innovative programme will prepare you to deliver excellent learning experiences to all pupils." 

Michael Wood
Former Executive Director of Children and Families, Dundee City Council

How you will be taught

This is a demanding course, which gives you the opportunity to meet the Standard for Full Registration in one calendar year. To meet this, you will have around 35% more on-campus face-to-face time, and 50% more tutor-directed learning tasks, than on our traditional PGDE (primary / secondary) route.

You will be learning through:

  • lectures
  • workshops
  • practical classes
  • tutorials
  • MyDundee, a virtual learning environment
  • self and tutor-directed academic study
  • in-school experience
  • local authority-led learning.

The tutor-directed academic study tasks are focused in three identified study weeks of 30 hours each. In addition, for each of the Fridays on which you have face-to-face inputs, additional time is allocated for reflection on your learning. Time is also allocated to other professional learning associated with your placement modules. This includes, for example, attendance at parents’ evenings, departmental and / or whole-school meetings.

During the course, we will also provide opportunities for you to hear from invited guest speakers, and introduce you to the many facilities, resources and people available to enrich your own understanding and, in turn, the learning and teaching you provide for young people. 

How you will be assessed

You will be given formative and summative assessment throughout the course:

  • written assignments for university-based modules assessed at SCQF Level 11 (postgraduate)
  • professional practice placements jointly assessed by university-based tutors and school-based supporters, using the Standard for Provisional Registration and the Standard for Full Registration (GTCS, 2012)
  • professional practice placements assessed at SCQF Level 10

From January to June

Credit rating:30

Assessed at SCQF Level 11 (Masters level)

Runs from February for 18 weeks.

You will be in your allocated school. Each is 30 credits and is assessed at SCQF Level 10

From August to January

Credit rating:30

Modules assessed at SCQF Level 11 (Masters level)

Runs for 19 weeks from August to January

You will be in your allocated school. Each is 30 credits and is assessed at SCQF Level 10

Supported learning and practice in school

Your supporter is an experienced teacher, who has been through a recruitment and selection process within the school and local authority, and has engaged with Masters-level learning in mentoring and coaching at the University of Dundee. He or she is a reflective practitioner who is committed to professional learning and can model highly-effective practice.

In your first 18-weeks in school, you will begin by observing learning and teaching, and challenging your thinking. Similar to a traditional PGDE (secondary) route, which comprises 18 weeks split into three 6-week blocks, you will gradually increase your responsibility for planning learning and teaching for young people, under the close guidance and supervision of your supporter. You will not take on more than the carefully identified and planned class contact time; the time in school is balanced to allow you to engage fully with all aspects of the Standards for Provisional Registration (SPR), to reflect and to engage in appropriate professional reading, giving you the best opportunity to be able to plan effective learning and teaching which meets the needs of all learners with whom you are engaging.

You will meet with your supporter on a weekly basis, to discuss an agreed agenda which supports your reflection and critical evaluation of your progress, helping you to identify next steps and set appropriate targets for development. The SPR specifies what is expected of you at the end of your first 18-week placement period.

Having evidenced that you are meeting the SPR you continue your professional learning journey through  the second placement period of 19 weeks, moving towards attainment of the Standard for Full Registration (SFR). During the second placement period, you will have a maximum class contact time of 18 hours per week, aligning with the Teacher Induction Scheme.

This course has been developed in close collaboration with local authority partners, to produce graduates who meet the needs of schools and local authorities, and is accredited by the General Teaching Council for Scotland (GTCS).

To teach in Scottish secondary schools, you must be fully registered with the GTCS. On successful completion of this 52-week course, you will be a fully-registered teacher, and will be able to apply for teaching posts in secondary schools throughout Scotland.

Graduates from this course will normally begin their teaching careers in their chosen subject. Thereafter, there are a range of possible routes for career progression, including promoted posts as Principal Teachers or Curriculum Leaders, moving into pupil support or guidance roles, or progressing within management teams in schools. Some may choose to enter other related fields, for example in informal learning settings such as museums, science and discovery centres. Others may undertake further study, for example to become education psychologists, or education researchers, to pursue careers with national bodies such as Education Scotland, the Scottish Qualifications Authority or the GTCS, or to progress as advisors or directors within local education authorities.

"Teaching allows me to share my passion for science with young learners and to experience more quality time with my young family than my previous profession. However, leaving employment, and losing my salary, was a big decision to make. This course would have allowed me to undertake my studies without the added financial pressure."

Sarah Henderson
PGDE 2017

You must have an SCE Higher grade pass in English or equivalent, a National Qualification in Mathematics at SCQF Level 5 (for example, National 5 Mathematics or National 5 Applications of Mathematics, Credit Standard Grade, or Intermediate 2) or equivalent, and either an Honours degree from a higher education institution in the United Kingdom, or a degree of an equivalent standard from outside the United Kingdom.

Prior to starting this course you must also be eligible to join the GTCS Teacher Induction Scheme

If you do not have an SCE Higher grade pass in English, please talk to us about acceptable equivalents to allow you to pursue a career in teaching.

The content of your degree must be relevant to the subject you want to teach (Chemistry, Computing, Home Economics, Mathematics, Physics). TSQC is the term given to the parts of your degree which are related to the subject as it is taught in Scottish secondary schools and which qualify you to enter a secondary teaching course As a general rule, a TSQC will represent approximately one third of the total study in one academic year (at least 80 undergraduate credit points of which 40 have to be at Level 8 or above) for the SCQF Framework for higher education.

Your degree must contain passes in at least two Teaching Subject Qualifying Credits (TSQC) in the subject you want to teach. Students are required to have a satisfactory Disclosure check before commencing the course You will also need ready access to the internet to complete the course.

We cannot accept applicants for this course who require a visa to study in the UK. This is due to the working hours of the placement part of this course. Please check your visa?s requirements before application.

 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 2019-20
Scottish and EU students £1,820 per year of study
Rest of UK students £9,250 per year of study
International students (non-EU) £17,275 per year of study
See our scholarships for international applicants
Fee statusFees for students starting 2020-21
Scottish and EU students TBC
Rest of UK students TBC
International students (non-EU) £18,150
See our scholarships for International applicants

Tuition fees for Overseas (non-EU) students will increase by no more than 5% per year for the length of your course.

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.


We cannot accept applicants for this course who require a visa to study in the UK. This is due to the working hours of the placement part of this course. Please check your visa's requirements before application.


You can apply for this course through our Direct Application System, which is free of charge. You can find out more information about making your application when you click Apply Now below.

Apply now Secondary Education with Supported induction Route (Chemistry) PGCE
Apply now Secondary Education with Supported induction Route (Home Economics) PGCE
Apply now Secondary Education with Supported induction Route (Mathematics) PGCE
Apply now Secondary Education with Supported induction Route (Physics) PGCE
Apply now Secondary Education with Supported induction Route (Computing) PGCE

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