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PGDE Primary Education

Course Description

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.

Masters level study

The programme 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.

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.

"I have been amazed by how much I have learned. I have found the course to be very inspirational and am thoroughly looking forward to entering a truly fantastic profession. I would like to highlight the great work of the staff and feel each member brings their own element and area of expertise to the course."
Student comment in Online Programme Evaluation, June 2012.

How you will be taught

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.

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.

What you will study

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.

How you will be assessed

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.

"The large input on Curriculum for Excellence has been very useful in my career. As tough as it was to stomach at the time, I feel a step ahead of the game now, and I'm reaping the benefits."
PGDE graduate

Visit the PGDE Primary Education page on the University of Dundee website for more details!

Student Profiles

5% discount on advance payment of tuition fees - 20+ Awards

5% discount on tuition fees is applicable for international applicants who pay the full amount (for the year), in advance, by a given deadline.

Value of Scholarship(s)

5% discount on tuition fees


For international applicants who pay the full fee amount (for the year), in advance, by a given deadline.

Application Procedure

You must pay the tuition fees due in advance, the full amount must be in the University of Dundee's bank account by the relevant date:Courses starting in September - full payment by 1st July.
Courses starting in January - full payment by 15th Novmber.

Further Information


Entry Requirements

A UK degree, or an equivalent standardSCE Higher grade English at Grade C OR GSCE English Language plus GCSE English Literature at Grade C OR Communication 4 plus Literature 1 ModuleStandard 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.Some recent experience of a primary classroom is normally required and certainly desirable. IELTS of 6.5 or equivalent if first language is not English.

Course Fees

Scot/RUK/EU 2016-2017 £1,820; OS 2016-2017 £12,950

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