Moray House School of Education and Sport

Programme structure: PGDE Secondary

The Professional Graduate Diploma in Education (PGDE) Secondary, provides aspiring teachers with the theoretical and practical expertise to meet the needs of teaching in the 21st Century.

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 each August - earlier than the rest of our postgraduate programmes. The expected start date for 2024 is 19 August.

Compulsory courses

All PGDE secondary students must take six compulsory courses:

  • Placement in schools - Three blocks of around six-week period.
  • Curriculum and Pedagogy – the objective of this course is to develop critically informed and confident teachers to meet the needs of our children and young people. Students are organised in subject discipline strands and undertake most of their learning through subject-specific tutorial groups.
  • Professional Studies – the objective of this course is to develop student teachers as agents of change, committed to improvement and development in education.
  • Curriculum Plus course - students will be allocated one Curriculum Plus course dependent on their subject specialism:
    • Curriculum Plus 1 - The course is designed to enable student teachers to deliver high-quality Expressive Arts or Physical Education provision within the Scottish school sector.
    • Curriculum Plus 2 - The four strands of this course (Critical Literacy; Teaching in Multiliterate Classrooms; Learning in the Outdoors and Philosophy with Children) have been designed to engage PGDE students in aspects of learning and teaching. Students must choose one of the four options available.
    • Curriculum Plus 3 This course is designed to enable students with a science-related degree to engage with cutting-edge thinking on particular issues within science education.

Professional Placement

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

  • Classroom knowledge and skills
  • Planning, managing, organising, assessing and evaluating pupil learning
  • Taking on the 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:

  • 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

Dual Qualification Status

We are one of the few institutions that offer dual qualification status. This means that a teacher is qualified to teach two different subject areas within schools.

Dual Subjects Available

We welcome applications for dual qualification in the following subjects:

  • Sciences: Any two from biology, chemistry, and physics
  • Geography and history
  • Physics and mathematics
  • Languages Education:
    • Any two from French, German and Chinese
    • French and Spanish
    • German and Spanish
    • Mandarin and Spanish
    • French and Italian
    • German and Italian
      • Note: Spanish and Italian can only be taken as second subjects. Chinese with Italian is not possible.

Note: PGDE Design and Technology is already considered a double subject in Scotland.

How to apply for dual qualification 

Subjects available

(The University reserves the right to withdraw certain subjects, depending on the quotas set by the Scottish Funding Council: Further information)


Graduates are qualified to teach and 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
  • Cannot commit to a full-time post
  • Want to do their probationary period out with the 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