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Primary Education (PGDE)

Course Description

Why this course?

The Professional Graduate Diploma in Education (PGDE) is a 36-week course for graduates who want to train as primary teachers. It leads to the Teaching Qualification (Primary Education) which allows you to teach in any UK or EU primary school. It’s also recognised and respected in many other parts of the world.

Following a probationary period, the PGDE can provide a starting point for a clearly defined career structure within primary education. The promoted posts in primary schools are Principal Teacher, Depute Head Teacher and Head Teacher.

Some of our former student teachers are now working with local authorities as Curriculum Development Officers, Senior Advisors and Education Officers. Others have become teacher educators in the university system, and a small number have become Her Majesty's Inspectors of Education.

See the website https://www.strath.ac.uk/courses/postgraduatetaught/primaryeducation/


The course is jointly delivered by Strathclyde and partner schools within local authorities. By the end of the course you’re expected to be competent in areas relating to teaching competences as identified by the Scottish Government and the General Teaching Council for Scotland.

Key aims

The key aim of the PGDE course is:
“To support the development of student teachers in attaining the Standards for Provisional Registration within the context of a partnership model of teacher education.”
This aim will be met through teaching and learning processes that encourage active and participative methods.

You’ll study

The programme is made up of three modules:
- Pedagogy & Curriculum – classes include content, teaching approaches and the use of assessment
- Pedagogy & Placement Learning – on-campus teaching and learning, and placement experience in schools
- Educational Studies – you’re encouraged to discuss and to reflect on the principles underlying the work of all teachers

You’re expected to keep a portfolio of progress throughout the course. This prepares you for the continuation of professional development during your professional teaching career.

- School placement
School placements are central to your course and provide a focus for all other course modules.
The National Guidelines for Teacher Education Courses require you to spend a minimum of 18 weeks or equivalent in schools and to show that you meet the benchmarks for the Standards for Provisional Registration.
You’re required to attend the placement school throughout the full working day. You’re also required to attend school on staff in-service days, unless specifically requested by the school not to do so.
The placement school provides opportunities to work with colleagues. Team work is an essential part of that experience.

- Preparation for placement
During the Pedagogy & Placement Learning lectures and tutorials, you’re advised of:
- the requirements for the placement
- the arrangements for assessment
- how final assessment of the placement is made

Preparation days are designed to enable you to:
- be introduced to the placement school and class
- familiarise yourself with school and class policies and procedures
- begin to develop your rapport with the pupils
- begin negotiations with the class teacher for responsibilities during the placement

Entry requirements

As well as academic qualifications, you need to have:
- evidence that you have experience of working with children in a primary school setting or related context
- an understanding of modern primary education
- an ability to relate to people

These are some of the criteria that will be taken into consideration when selecting candidates for the interview stage.


If your application passes the initial selection process, you’ll be invited for interview.

The interviewers will be interested in:
- your personality
- your ability to communicate
- your commitment to and perception of the role of the teacher
- your hobbies and interests
- any previous experience you have of working with children in a primary school or related setting

The aims of the interview are to give you more information about the course, and to determine if you are suited to teaching. Interviews are normally held at the beginning of March.

Pre-Masters preparation course

The Pre-Masters Programme is a preparation course for international students (non EU/UK) who do not meet the entry requirements for a Masters degree at University of Strathclyde. The Pre-Masters programme provides progression to a number of degree options.

To find out more about the courses and opportunities on offer visit isc.strath.ac.uk or call today on +44 (0) 1273 339333 and discuss your education future. You can also complete the online application form, or to ask a question please fill in the enquiry form and talk to one of our multi-lingual Student Enrolment Advisers today.


The PGDE qualification is required for employment as a teacher in a Scottish primary school. Following the probationary period, it can provide a starting point for a clearly defined career structure within primary education. The promoted posts in primary schools are Principal Teacher, Depute Head Teacher and Head Teacher.

- How much will I earn?
As a primary school teacher in Scotland, salaries range from £21,438 to £34,200.*

- Where are they now?
92.9% of our graduates are in work or further study.**

*information is intended only as a guide.
**Based on the results of the national Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education Survey, Graduate statistics 2011/12, 2010/11, (aggregated data)

Find information on Scholarships here http://www.strath.ac.uk/search/scholarships/index.jsp

Visit the Primary Education (PGDE) page on the University of Strathclyde website for more details!

Entry Requirements

You should hold a degree validated by a higher education institution in the UK, or a degree of an equivalent standard from an institution from outside the UK. You also require Higher English at Grade C or above or equivalent and Standard Grade Mathematics at 1 or 2 or equivalent. Additional requirements in course description

Course Fees

2015/16: Scotland/EU £1,820; Rest of UK £1,820; International £12,500

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