• For Entry: September
  • Duration: 4 years
  • Award: MA (Hons)
  • Study Abroad: Yes
  • Study Mode: Full Time

Our combination of primary curriculum content, practical school experience and educational theory will prepare you to teach in both nursery and primary schools.

TEF Gold - Teaching Excellence Framework

Thinking of a career in teaching? Discover what is involved, the skills and experience required and whether it is the right career for you by visiting the Education Scotland Website

Our course at the University of Dundee will prepare you to teach children in 3-12 years age range both in Scotland and in many other countries throughout the world.

The course is very well regarded by our students. It is highly rated consistently in the annual National Student Survey. Students feel that they are particularly well-supported by our course tutors.


Education MA

The course is the first in Scotland to be accredited by the International Baccalaureate Organisation

Our MA (Hons) Education leads to a qualification to teach children in the 3-12 years age range (nursery and primary schools). This course, developed in response to recent national recommendations and other developments in teacher education in Scotland, replaces the old traditional BEd Primary Education course.

Teaching is an exciting and rewarding occupation, requiring a variety of professional skills in communication, management and organisation. Teachers must be able to relate well to other people, exercise a considerable degree of understanding and patience, and rise to the physical, social and emotional demands that the job brings.

Nurturing a vibrant, dynamic, international and inter-disciplinary community is at the heart of what we do. The MA (Hons) Education course draws upon modules from across the University as well as offering shared interactive learning with students preparing for careers in social work and community learning and development. This is excellent preparation for collaboration with people from other professions later in your career as a teacher.

Professional Experience

We have significant periods of professional practice in all years of the course. These extensive placements will give you experience in a range of different settings including nursery, primary, secondary schools and other welfare settings.

A strength of our course is the opportunity to undertake a placement in a location other than a school. This might, for example, be in a local ranger service, a community learning and development project or indeed a placement abroad. You will have the opportunity to plan this yourself.

Professional Accreditation

This course is accredited by the General Teaching Council for Scotland (GTCS)

The International Baccalaureate (IB) pathway on the course is accredited by the International Baccalaureate Organisation. This means that students who choose to follow the IB pathway, involving a school placement in an IB Primary Years course school in second year, are entitled to gain the IB Certificate in Teaching and Learning (Primary Years course). This certificate provides the first required qualification for teaching in IB schools all over the world.

Student Support

We currently have a 'Buddy System' in which students from other years team up with first year groups to help them settle into the campus and the course.

You will be assigned a personal tutor / Advisor of Studies, who will play a part in helping you to settle into the course, the School, and student life.

Who should study MA (Hons) Education?

Successful students are well-rounded, enthusiastic individuals who care about the individuals they work with, both children and adults.

To be successful on this course it is expected that you will have particular current strengths in numeracy, mathematics, reading and writing as these are key elements of a teacher’s job.  You should also be prepared to lead and support all aspects of the school curriculum.

This is a demanding course in terms of time and effort, involving in-university work and placements, normally over a thirty-week academic year. In addition to classroom-based work, you will be expected to participate fully in drama, physical education and fieldwork.

The staff on the primary education course are exceptional, and really understand what it takes to create the next generation of teachers. I feel that I have not just acquired knowledge, but also deepened my understanding of the role of teachers. This course is about more than learning the skills to transfer knowledge to the next generation. It is about understanding the past, evaluating the present and planning for the future. Through module elements, such as the learning from life placement, there are also opportunities to personalise your educational experience. I thoroughly enjoyed my time working for an outdoor provider and look forward to taking my newly learned outdoor skills into the classroom.


Jonny Laing
MA Education, 2016


Students on the MA Education course take part in an outdoor learning experience

YouTube Poster Image (Cached)

The following are the minimum, up-to-date entry requirements.

Courses starting 2018 and 2019
Qualification Level 1 Entry Advanced Entry to Level 2
SQA Higher/Advanced Higher ABBB at Higher which must include English at B and mathematics (Standard Grade at 2 or Intermediate2/National 5 at B or Lifeskills Maths at B or Applications of Mathematics at B) Level 2 entry is not possible for this degree
GCE A-Level BBC at A-Level, plus GCSE English Language and Literature at grade B / 6 and GCSE mathematics at grade B / 6 Level 2 entry is not possible for this degree
BTEC A relevant BTEC Extended Diploma with DMM plus GCSE English Language and Literature at grade B / 6 and GCSE mathematics at grade B / 6 Level 2 Entry is not possible for this degree
International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma 30 points at Higher Level grades 5, 5, 5 which must include Higher Level English at grade 5 or 6, plus Standard Level mathematics at grade 5.
A combination of IB Certificate plus other qualifications, such as A-Levels, Advanced Placement Tests or the International Baccalaureate Career-related Programme (IBCP), will also be considered.
Level 2 entry is not possible for this degree
Irish Leaving Certificate (ILC) H2H3H3H3 at Higher Level, which must include English at H3, plus Ordinary Level mathematics at grade O2 Level 2 entry is not possible for this degree
Graduate Entry
SQA Higher National (HNC/HND) A relevant HNC and English. Higher English at grade B is recommended, however other qualifications maybe considered. Also Maths (Standard Grade at 2 or Intermediate2/National 5 at B or Lifeskills Maths at grade B) Level 2 entry is not possible for this degree
Scottish Baccalaureate Pass with CC at Advanced Higher with English at Higher B or above plus Mathematics at Standard Grade 2 or Intermediate 2/National 5 at B. Level 2 entry is not possible for this degree
SWAP Access Relevant subjects with ABB grades to include English Literature/Language at SCQF Level 6 and Mathematics at Intermediate 2/National 5 grade B. Level 2 Entry is not possible for this degree
Advanced Diploma Grade B with an A-Level in a literate subject at B. Plus English Language and Literature and Mathematics GCSE at B Level 2 Entry is not possible for this degree
Welsh Baccalaureate Pass with BB at A-Level including one literate subject. Plus English Language and Literature and Mathematics GCSE at B Level 2 Entry is not possible for this degree
European Baccalaureate
Other Qualifications Relevant Access courses are considered individually.
Notes Applicants with relevant qualifications and experience may be considered for advanced entry on an individual basis

 EU and International qualifications

English Language Requirement

For non EU students

IELTS Overall6.5
Listening 5.5
Reading 5.5
Writing 6.0
Speaking 6.0

 English Language Requirements

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

The MA (Hons) Education leads to a qualification to teach children from age 3 to age 12, (from nursery to the end of primary school). There are four major elements to the course:

  • professional practice
  • primary curriculum content modules
  • theory and practice of education (pedagogy modules and education studies modules)
  • academic modules from the wider University

How you will be taught

The course consists of 22 modules over four years. These are student-centred and contain workshops, lectures, seminars, tutorials, open-learning elements as well as practical experience in the classroom. The course is delivered by university tutors who have years of experience as classroom teachers.

Professional Practice

Professional practice is gained through blocks of time, (between two and ten weeks) throughout the four years. In Year 1 you have the opportunity to spend six weeks in primary schools thus allowing you to gain a really in-depth awareness and understanding of working in a primary school classroom very early in your course. In Year 2 you will have the opportunity to undertake a non-school based placement of your own choosing. This can be in another country if you wish. For students following the International Baccalaureate (IB) pathway, six weeks are spent in an IB Primary Years course school. In Year 3 of your course you will have the opportunity to work with children in nursery and early years settings. Finally in Year 4 you will have the opportunity to choose the stage of the primary school that you would most like to teach in.

From time to time children are invited in to the University to meet with and work with our students.

Primary curriculum content modules

The core curriculum content modules cover all subjects that are required to be taught in Scottish primary schools: languages and literacy; mathematics and numeracy; social studies; science, technologies; expressive arts; religious and moral education; health and wellbeing as well as pedagogical studies, which links together the practical and theoretical aspects of learning and teaching.

Modules from other areas of the University

You will have the ability to choose modules from other subjects within the University thus enabling you to both broaden and deepen your knowledge and understanding of key areas of the Primary Curriculum. You may choose from a range of subjects including mathematics, science, psychology, humanities subjects, or modern languages.

In addition you will study in some depth, aspects of educational studies including the history and philosophy of education together with developmental psychology and comparative education. Education studies modules are delivered by our own tutors from within our School.

Student Support

The course team prides itself on the high level of pastoral support offered to our students. All students are allocated an Advisor of Studies who will work with you over the four years of your course. There is always help at hand if you need it.

How you will be assessed

A range of different methods is used to assess student progress including written and oral examinations, electronic portfolios and written assignments. Your teaching in the classroom will also be assessed on each Professional Practice by both University and school staff.

What you will study

Typical Degree Course

Level 1

  • Values: self, society and the professions (shared School module)
  • Working together (shared School module)
  • An elective module from the wider University
  • Pedagogical Studies 1 (Middle and Upper stages)
  • Teaching Across the Primary Curriculum
  • Observation/Professional Practice (Primary 4-7)

Level 2

  • Educational Studies: philosophy & history/child development
  • Curriculum module focusing on languages
  • An elective module from the wider university. (IB pathway students will study a module exploring the principles and practices of the IB)
  • Curriculum module focusing on Mathematics & Science
  • Pedagogical Studies 2 (Early Years)
  • Learning from Life (a placement with personal choice including the possibility of a placement abroad) (IB pathway students will undertake a Practicum in an IB school)

Level 3

  • Curriculum: general curriculum module
  • Permeating matters (themes applicable across the curriculum such as health and wellbeing, literacy, numeracy, digital literacy and inclusion)
  • Professional Practice (Nursery & Primary 1-3)
  • Curriculum: the integrated curriculum
  • Research and the Teacher
  • Education Studies: global education and childhood

Level 4

  • Current issues in teaching
  • Research and the Teacher (The Thesis) (Double Module)
  • Pedagogical Studies 3
  • Professional Practice (Choice of stages including either a nursery or secondary school element) (Double Module)

The number of students selected for Initial Teacher Education courses in Scotland reflects anticipated national requirements, so employment prospects are good. Your employment prospects are increased further if you are willing to move out of your home area, to schools throughout Scotland and the rest of the UK. We work in partnership with Scottish Local Authorities and schools and our graduates are working right across the UK. Every year some of our graduates choose to work abroad. A teaching qualification from a Scottish university is widely valued internationally.

The year following your graduation you will be given a guaranteed salaried induction post which enables you to develop further the skills, knowledge and understanding required for success in the classroom.

Eligibility for a salaried induction post is normally restricted to those students graduating from a Scottish Higher Education Institution with a Teaching Qualification, whose training has been publicly funded. This includes students from other parts of the UK and the EU, provided they have been assessed as eligible for Home Fees. This is regardless of how these fees are funded, i.e. through SAAS, Local Education Authorities, self-funded, Northern Ireland Education and Library Boards, etc. Students who pay overseas or full fees are not in publicly-funded places and are therefore not eligible to join the Scottish Induction Scheme. All students who graduate from our course, however, are entitled to undertake the ‘flexible route’ to achieve full registration by the General Teaching Council for Scotland. The General Teaching Council for Scotland now regards teaching experience abroad as eligible for full registration. Those students who are not able to join the Scottish Induction Scheme may wish to consider this as a way of gaining full registration.

If you want to teach children with special needs, you have to qualify as a primary teacher first, then after some teaching experience you can study for an additional specialist qualification. Additional Support Needs and Inclusive Practice are, however, integral parts of our MA (Education) Hons course.

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

Fees for students starting 2019-20

Fee categoryFees for students starting 2019-20
Scottish and EU students £1,820 per year of study
Rest of UK students £9,250 per year, for a maximum of 3 years, even if you are studying a four year degree. See our scholarships for rest of UK applicants.
Overseas students (non-EU) £17,275 per year of study

Scottish and EU students can apply to the Students Award Agency for Scotland (SAAS) to have tuition fees paid by the Scottish Government.

Rest of the UK students can apply for financial assistance, including a loan to cover the full cost of the tuition fees, from the Student Loans Company.

Tuition fees for Overseas (non-EU) students are guaranteed not to increase by more than 3% 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.

What skills, qualities and experience do I need?

Since most of our applicants meet the academic requirements for entry, selection procedures also focus on non-academic aspects of the application. The selectors are particularly interested in the UCAS personal statements including evidence of non-academic personal achievement and voluntary work.

We would normally expect you to have some experience of working with children in a teaching capacity in a primary school - the longer and more varied that experience the better. Examples of the sort of experience that candidates often give are:

  • employment as a classroom assistant
  • work-experience during your secondary school years, preferably recent
  • experience of working with children in Guides, Scouts, or camps is also valuable but is insufficient without recent experience in a primary school.

It is important that students have an understanding of what primary teaching actually is before embarking upon the course.

Independent learning skills - As well as the university attendance and assessed placement periods, you will also need to spend some time on assignments, reading and set activities. How much time you spend on this will depend on your experience, ability and commitment.

ICT skills (essential) - A knowledge of ICT, or a willingness to develop new ICT skills, is essential as this forms part of the primary curriculum. ICT inputs in the course focus more on pedagogy than basic skill development.

Recent study skills - You will need effective study skills to benefit from the course and would normally need to show that you have studied for a qualification in the last two years. If you've not been in education for a while it can be hard getting back into the discipline of studying, but we can advise you on suitable preparation. In particular, it is extremely important that you do some background reading on primary teaching.

Ability to work and study under pressure - As a MA Education student you are not only working towards an academic qualification but also towards gaining your teaching qualification and registration with the GTCS. The amount of study time that is needed will vary from student to student but you will need to be able to balance the demands of studying with periods of placement - and hopefully retain a social life too!

You may already possess a number of these skills, but if not, we will help you to develop them throughout the course.

A breadth of other interests, hobbies, sports and pastimes that you can bring to your teaching is also of benefit.

Prior to final acceptance an enhanced PVG Scheme Disclosure Scotland check will also be conducted.

Unistats data set (formerly the Key Information Set (KIS) Unistats data set - formerly the Key Information Set (KIS)

  Degree UCAS Code Unistats Data
Apply NowEducation MA (Hons)X120