Training students to become teachers who are sensitive, confident and adaptable.
The Professional Graduate Diploma in Education PGDE (Primary) is a one year (36 week) programme of study commencing in late August. Its aim is to train students to become teachers who are sensitive, confident and adaptable, enabling them to take their place in a complex and evolving education system.
The programme seeks to train students for all stages of the primary school. It aims to provide a foundation on which they can build during their one year probationary period.
The programme involves traditional study courses in the University interspersed with experiential placement courses undertaken in schools. It follows a chronological sequence in terms of addressing pupil learning and development.
There are three main units of study, each focusing on the needs of learners at specific school stages:
Each unit comprises two courses, A 'Preparing for Teaching' course and a 'Teaching in School' (placement) course.
Preparing for Teaching courses comprise:
The content covered in each Preparing for Teaching course is contextualised in the primary school placement stage it precedes. Over the Programme as a whole, this combination develops the professional, epistemological and pedagogical knowledge base required of beginning teachers.
Placement courses comprise:
Emphasis is placed on both formative and summative assessments with participation in assessments being part of the learning process for students. Students need to satisfy the examiners in the following areas:
Each of the six Programme courses has a summative assessment and earns 20 SCQF credits. Students must achieve a pass grade in all six courses in order to complete the Programme. The three university based courses are assessed at SCQF level 11, while the three placement courses are assessed at SCQF level 10.
On successful completion of the programme students are recommended to the General Teaching Council for Scotland (GTCS) for provisional registration. Full registration is awarded on the completion of one satisfactory year of teaching.
Further information about the GTCS can be found at their website:
Full attendance is expected Monday to Friday 9am -5pm for the duration of the Programme. During school placements, these working hours may be extended. In addition, students undertake extensive reading during their year of study. Most in-faculty learning sessions occur in lecture or workshop groups. There is an emphasis on collaborative and problem-based learning.
Formative and summative assessments are used to enhance learning. Students are assessed on practical teaching ability, as well theoretical and professional understandings. There are oral presentations and written assignment assessments. Some courses involve local fieldwork expeditions.
Students develop knowledge, understanding and practical skills that enable them to plan, manage, organize, teach and assess the learning of pupils aged 3-12. This involves maintaining extensive written records of their professional involvement with placement classes. Additionally students develop educational academic literacy skills that enable them to understand and communicate critical understandings of policy, practice and research. They also develop the skills of practitioner enquiry and an appropriate professional value base for beginning teachers.
The qualifications for admission to the PGDE (Primary) are:
Selection involves a professional interview.
Because of the high number of applicants for this programme who have academic qualifications significantly above the minimum, it is likely that not all qualified applicants will be invited to participate in face-to-face selection.
Applicants can apply from 1st November and there is no longer a set closing date. Early application is therefore advised as the admissions cycle may close at any time.
The University Disability Service provides support for students who may require a Schedule of Adjustments to help them cope with physical or academic demands of the Programme.
Application forms and details on the application procedure are available from UCAS:
The Scottish Government and the General Teaching Council for Scotland organise a guaranteed probationer year for students graduating from a Scottish Higher Education Institution with a teaching qualification whose training has been publicly funded. Students who pay overseas or full fees are not in publicly-funded places and are therefore not eligible to join the scheme.
For further information, please contact:
This article was published on Sep 16, 2013