Moray House School of Education and Sport

How to apply for the PGDE Secondary

Applications to the Professional Graduate Diploma in Education (Secondary) must be made through UCAS. The following outlines entry requirements including subject-specific requirements, UCAS links for each secondary subject, further guidance on your personal statement and what to expect after applying.

Admissions overview

In this video, our PGDE Admissions staff explain the application process for the PGDE Secondary programme. 

Video: PGDE Secondary Admissions overview
PGDE Admissions Officer gives an overview of the application process for aplying to the PGDE Secondary programme. Video recorded September 2022.

Entry requirements

  • A UK undergraduate degree, or its international equivalent. This qualification should contain at least two graduating courses (80 UK credits) in the relevant subject. Please contact the admissions office for further advice.
  • SQA Higher English at grade C or above (or equivalent) or GCSE English (Language) and English Literature both at C/4 or above.
  • SQA National 5 Mathematics or Applications of Mathematics (formerly Lifeskills Maths) at grade C or above, GCSE Mathematics at grade C/4 or above, or equivalent.
  • All applicants must also meet the University of Edinburgh English language requirement – we accept a wide range of qualifications, detailed on the programme Degree Finder page.

Degree Finder: English language entry requirements

Subject-specific entry requirements

Dual Qualification

In your UCAS application please state your second subject in your personal statement. At the same time as submitting your UCAS application please inform Admissions of your stated preference via futurestudents@ed.ac.uk.

You must have an additional 80 credits in the second subject area and meet the GTCS requirements for teaching this subject.

How to Apply 

Applications are submitted through UCAS. Information on how to apply is also available on the UCAS website. Apply through UCAS:

Art and Design - W1X1

Biology - C1X1

Chemistry - F1X1

Design and Technology - J9X1

Drama - W4X1

English - Q3X1

Geography - F8X1

History - V1X1

Language Education: French - R1X1

Language Education: German - R2X1

Language Education: Chinese - T1X1 

Mathematics - G1X1

Music - W3X1

Physical Education - X9C6

Physics - F3X1

Writing your Personal Statement*

As part of your UCAS application, you will submit a personal statement outlining your commitment, motivation and suitability. The information in your personal statement will be considered alongside all the other information you supply in your application. It is important you evidence the following:

1. Why you are applying

Explain why you want to be a teacher and why you think you are suited to the teaching profession. Be specific about why you have chosen your particular primary/secondary subject area.

2. Relevant work experience with children

Detail this in chronological order, including dates stating the number of hours spent per week over the number of weeks/months, and list the school(s) you worked. Also include any other work experience you have done with children, e.g. nursery, after-school clubs, youth work, sports coaching, volunteering, employment training

3. Reflection on working with children

Comment and reflect on what you learned during your school work experience; specifically the skills, attributes and understanding that you gained from this.

4. Understanding of the role of a teacher

Explain what you understand the role of a teacher to be. You can use examples of your experience to reinforce this section.

5. Knowledge of the Scottish Curriculum for Excellence

Elaborate on your knowledge of the education system in Scotland and of the Scottish Curriculum for Excellence.

6. Transferrable skills and outside interests

Give an indication of your work/life balance by including any long-term hobbies or interests you have; e.g. playing a musical instrument, drama, sports, Duke of Edinburgh award or any voluntary work you do. Explain why this enhances your application to your chosen course.

*This list is taken from the following UCAS resource: UCAS Personal statement guidance for Teacher Education applicants

After you apply

After you apply, we will be in touch with an initial decision either via UCAS Track or an email from our admissions team.

If successful at the first stage of application you will be invited to interview. This is an opportunity for you to showcase your passion for teaching and your subject, and for you to meet tutors. Candidates will also be expected to discuss their understanding of the Scottish Curriculum. Further information about what to expect at the interview will be included in the invite to interview email.

We will be in touch as soon as possible after interview with a decision.