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    Education & Social Work Logo
  • Study Type

    Full time available

  • Subject Areas


  • Start Date


  • Course Duration

    36 Weeks

  • Course Type


  • Course Fees

    Fees for September 2019 entry are subject to confirmation by the UK Government and will be published when confirmed.

  • Last Updated

    14 November 2018

Course content


The course consists of 2 on-campus modules (14 weeks in total) and 3 school placements (3 x 6 week placements). 

Who should study this course?

This course is suitable if you have secured a relevant degree and now wish to enter the field of Secondary Education, as a subject teacher.

School 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.

A range of elective options

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.

Available awards

  • PGDE Secondary Education (Chemistry)
  • PGDE Secondary Education (Home Economics)
  • PGDE Secondary Education (Mathematics)
  • PGDE Secondary Education (Physics)
  • PGDE Secondary Education (Dual Qualification)
  • PGDE Secondary Education (English)

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

Teaching & Assessment

Many elements are shared with students on the PGDE (P) 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.

How you will be taught

This course is comprised of 18 weeks in University plus 18 weeks (a GTCS requirement) and 3 x 6 week placements.

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.

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: Focus on S4-6
  • PP2: Focus on S1-6
  • PP3: Focus on S1-3


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

The majority of our students go on to enjoy careers as subject teachers initially. Thereafter, they may apply for promoted posts within the management teams in schools, or as Principal Teachers/ Curriculum Leaders. 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 have been seconded to Education Scotland or returned to academic life as lecturers.

Your Application

Before being 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 may be helpful.

Work experience

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

To gain some experience in a school, try contacting your local secondary 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 secondary 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 secondary school

Visit the PGDE Secondary Education (and degree combinations) page on the University of Dundee website for more details!




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