Moray House School of Education and Sport

Programme structure

The Professional Graduate Diploma in Education (PGDE) Primary is for graduates who wish to enter the teaching profession at primary school level.

We produce successful, reflective teachers, sensitive to the demands of pupils, responsive to changes within the education system and committed to their own continuing professional development.

During this 9-month programme you will spend 18 weeks on professional placement in schools and around 18 weeks learning on campus at Moray House.

Full attendance is expected Monday to Friday 9am-5pm and students are expected to have a term-time address that will allow them to travel to campus on a regular basis

On-campus learning takes place as:

  • Lectures
  • Workshops

There will also be a limited amount of online learning sessions across the 9-month programme. Self-study, extensive critical reading and collaborative working skills underpin student teachers’ on-campus learning.

We welcome student teachers on the 21st August 2023 - earlier than the rest of our postgraduate programmes.

Compulsory courses

All PGDE Primary students must take and pass six compulsory courses. Each of the courses covers elements of early years, middle primary years, and upper primary years.

  • Professional Placement in schools - nursery years, early years, middle primary years and upper primary years.
  • Dimensions of Teaching - This course examines the social, political, professional and personal dimensions of education and teaching. Students will explore what it means to be a values-led professional and how issues of social justice, inclusion, diversity and sustainability impact their professional practice.
  • Making and Conceptualising Curriculum - This course develops an understanding of how and why curriculum is made with an emphasis on students learning to create appropriate, engaging learning environments for pupils to learn in.
  • Developing pedagogies - This course will focus on developing a critically informed understanding of pedagogy, with a specific focus on pedagogy through cultural, political, and philosophical lenses. Building on the earlier position of learning as a transformational act and process, the students will adopt a critically enquiring stance to engage in an enquiry in practice to further develop their critical understanding and pedagogical practices.

Course descriptions (2023-24)

Please note course names and details are currently under review and may be subject to change for 2023 entry.

Professional Placement

School-based learning takes place in placement schools and this constitutes approximately half of the programme. Professional Placements cover:

  • Classroom knowledge and skills
  • Planning, managing, organising, assessing and evaluating pupil learning
  • Taking on role of a class teacher for increasing periods of time.

All student teacher placements are allocated via the national Student Placement System (SPS) that is hosted and maintained by GTC Scotland. Student teachers are not permitted to arrange their own placements independently. 

Placements in Scotland are matched via SPS using an automated process.  Schools, Local Authorities and Universities work together to complete this process successfully.

Student Placement System (SPS)

Moray House School of Education and Sport has established partnerships with six Local Authorities with:

  • City of Edinburgh
  • East Lothian
  • Fife
  • Midlothian
  • Scottish Borders
  • West Lothian.  

The majority of placements are usually located within the partnership authorities, students may be placed in independent schools and other local authorities across Scotland.

You should not normally be required to travel more than 90 minutes each way for your School placement from your stated term time address.  This means that all student teachers at all ITE institutions must be prepared to travel up to 90 minutes to their placement school, although students will be placed closer wherever possible.   

Key local authorities


Graduates are qualified to teach in Scotland and are eligible for provisional registration from the General Teaching Council for Scotland (GTCS). The qualification is recognised throughout the world. 

Eligible graduates may join the Teacher Induction Scheme, a guaranteed, paid one-year probationary teaching post, or take up a Flexible Route.

The Flexible Route is a way to complete probationary service if graduates:

  • Opt out of the Teacher Induction Scheme
  • Are not eligible to join the Teacher Induction Scheme
  • Can't commit to a full-time post
  • Want to do probationary period out with Scottish state school system

General Teaching Council for Scotland (GTCS)

Place2Be partnership

Place2Be logo

Teachers today are faced with a range of mental health needs in the classroom, and yet traditionally they receive very little training in this area, or support to cope with the emotional impact that the role may have on them. A unique strategic partnership between Moray House School of Education and Sport and children’s mental health charity, Place2Be, provides a unique resource to student teachers at Edinburgh. The approach is informed by Place2Be’s 25 years’ experience supporting the wellbeing of pupils, families and school staff in schools.

Building on a successful two-year pilot – this partnership continues to increase knowledge, understanding and skills around children’s mental health for student teachers and the initial teacher education programmes across Moray House as a whole. As a core element of the partnership, our dedicated Place2Be clinician will provide direct support for student teachers, via a reflective space known as ‘Place2Think’. These sessions aim to build emotional resilience and to promote the need for teacher self-care.

Through this unique partnership, we will equip teachers with the skills they need for a rewarding career and to produce mentally healthy classrooms benefitting everyone’s mental health.

Place2Be at Moray House

Kathleen Forbes

Place2Be Clinician

  • Moray House School of Education and Sport

Contact details


UCAS Programme Link

PGDE Primary - X100