Moray House School of Education and Sport

Physical Education - X9C6

Apply now to join us in August 2022!

Programme Structure

On the Professional Graduate Diploma in Education (PGDE) Secondary, we aim to provide a professional learning experience. The programme seeks to ensure that student teachers have both a theoretical and practical knowledge of how to teach, in order to meet the needs and interests of young people. The programme seeks to develop the ability of student teachers to think and act reflectively and reflexively to a high level.

A key focus of the programme is on social justice and what this means for practitioners in terms of how they think about their teacher identity and what and how they teach within and across their subject disciplines.

Combining campus-based courses taught at Moray House and experiential Professional Placements undertaken in schools, this programme provides an excellent foundation for an impactful career in education.

Students will undertake extensive critical reading during their study. On-campus learning occurs as lectures, workshops, online learning and self-study. The development of collaborative working skills in problem-based learning contexts and responsibility for learning through professional enquiry is key. The courses involve learning in the domains of educational theory and practice, ensuring that you are well prepared to take on the professional role of a student teacher on placement. You are expected to build on skills gained in your previous education.

Course description (2021-22)

Professional Placement courses address classroom knowledge and skills; and experience of planning, managing, organising, assessing and evaluating pupil learning and taking on the role of a class teacher for increasing periods of time.

Professional Placements constitute approximately half of the programme, with students being allocated a placement within one of six key local authorities. Moray House has established teacher education partnerships with key local authorities that are closely involved in supporting teacher professional learning provision. This model of partnership is designed to provide high-quality professional development and enhanced qualifications for aspiring and practising teachers in all educational settings.

Key local authorities

Entry requirements

The qualifications for admission to the PGDE (Secondary) are:

  • A UK 2:1 honours degree or its international equivalent, in the subject to be taught is preferred. This qualification should contain at least two graduating courses (80 UK credits) in the relevant subject. Some subjects will consider a broader range of degree content, so please check the subject-specific entry requirements below.
  • SQA Higher English at grade C or above (or equivalent) or GCSE English (Language) and English Literature both at C 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, details of which can be found here: English Language Entry requirements

Subject-specific Entry Requirements

Applicants would normally be expected to have a degree with 80 SCQF credit points coming from:

  • subjects related to physical education and involving a great deal of practical performance, such as sport, dance or outdoor pursuits;
  • subjects involving analysis of the aspects of physical education, including movement analysis, choreography, sports coaching, biomechanics, sports science, exercise physiology, sports psychology, health and fitness, studies in sports or dance or outdoor education, sports development or special needs in movement education.

However, whilst the above outlines the minimum that a degree should contain, in reality only those with full Sports-related degrees will be seriously considered, with Sports and Exercise Science the most commonly accepted degree, provided it contains sufficient practical performance.

Please note that Physiology and Sports Science is not an accepted degree.

Entry to the PGDE Physical Education programme is competitive as it is a popular course and most successful applicants will have full Honours degrees (at 2:1 or above) in a related discipline.

Applicants without Honours degrees may find that their applications do not progress past the initial screening stage but exceptions are made for degrees predating Honours.

BASI qualification (of any number of credits or level) will not meet the degree requirement for entry to our PGDE Physical Education degree. BASI courses do not comprise the equivalent of an undergraduate degree programme and although they provide candidates with an indication of their ability to work and engage with study at degree level, applicants to the programme would need to have a degree in a relevant subject area as indicated by the GTCS and meet the requirements for entry for an initial teacher education programme.

Relevant Experience

The PGDE Secondary programme is a professional graduate diploma and seeks, beyond academic qualifications, candidates who are suitable to join the profession in terms of their disposition towards and their experience of working with children and young people.

Applicants should demonstrate the following in their application:

  • A range of experience related to the teaching and learning of practical activities taught as part of the Physical Education curriculum delivered in Scottish secondary schools.
  • Regularly taking part in appropriate physical activities. 
  • Having experience of teaching, coaching, instruction or leadership.
  • Achieving national governing body awards or the equivalent, or experience of training and performing at a high level.
  • Sustained experience of meaningful interactions with adolescents eg. youth work, sports coaching, volunteering, employment training.
  • Engagement with contemporary schools and teachers, eg. through voluntary or paid activity in school, learning and teaching observation, discussion with serving practitioners.
  • An informed interest in current educational issues & development.
  • Excellent oral, written, interpersonal skills and visual communication skills.

To be successful, applicants will be expected to have subject expertise and enthusiasm, and also be able to provide evidence of wanting to work with young people, and of having given due consideration to a career in secondary education. It is important that candidates can demonstrate that they have gained insights into learning and teaching from this work.


Selection for this programme involves a professional interview. Candidates will be expected to discuss their understanding of the Scottish Curriculum during interview. They should ensure that they have researched this either via their work experience, shadowing, or relevant experience, or online for example on the Education Scotland (Foghlam Alba) website.

Candidates should expect to be asked their informed views on current challenges within teaching and within their subject area (this can be based on their knowledge, understanding and experience of learning and teaching in other parts of the world).

Education Scotland (Foghlam Alba)

UCAS Programme Links

Physical Education - X9C6

Related Links