Postgraduate study
Edinburgh: Extraordinary futures await.

Transformative Learning and Teaching MSc

Awards: MSc

Study modes: Full-time


Funding opportunities


It was my hope that I would be joining a teacher education programme that was political, critical, passionate and proactive about education. I have not once been disappointed. MSc Transformative Learning and Teaching is full to the brim with a diverse range of students, lecturers and practitioners who share their values and experiences to extend everyone's capacity to contribute towards meaningful practice in schools and communities. Through lecture content, Site-Based Learning (SBL) and the programme assessment principles, the programme offers so many opportunities for personalisation and deep engagement with the topics you feel passionate about.

Kathryn Brack MSc Transformative Learning and Teaching 2019

This two-year Masters programme is for graduates who want a teaching qualification designed to make an explicit difference to the lives of children and young people: it will support you in becoming a beginning teacher with a transformative orientation.

The MSc in Transformative Learning and Teaching programme provides an in-depth and integrated learning experience, with time spent in both University and school sites throughout the two years, allowing you to develop your skills as a beginning teacher over a longer period of time than would be the case in a Professional Graduate Diploma in Education (PGDE) programme. You will also graduate from this programme with a full masters degree, something that is increasingly seen as desirable for the Scottish teacher workforce as a whole, together with a teaching qualification which will allow you to work across the primary/secondary transition.

This programme is future-oriented, drawing on cutting-edge research, and is designed to prepare new teachers for a career in teaching in an ever-changing world. It has a particular focus on:

  • social justice
  • sustainability
  • global perspectives
  • digital and statistical literacy
  • professional inquiry skills


The programme has a central focus on transformative practice, and, uniquely, will entitle graduates to teach across the primary/secondary transition phase. You will be able to choose from one of the following pathways:

  • Nursery - Secondary 3 Pathway
  • Primary 5 - Secondary 6 Pathway in a specific subject.

    • Subject specialisms offered are: Computing Science, English, Languages, and Mathematics.

Mental health and well-being partnership

All initial teacher education programmes include access to our mental health and well-being programme.

This is provided through our unique partnership with children’s mental health charity Place2Be which helps you to support mental well-being in your classrooms and in yourself.


Graduates are qualified to teach and eligible for provisional registration from the General Teaching Council for Scotland (GTCS). Eligible graduates may join the Teacher Induction Scheme, a guaranteed, paid one-year probationary teaching post, or take up a Flexible Route.

This programme is subject to reaccreditation with the General Teaching Council for Scotland (GTCS) in 2023.

Throughout the duration of the programme, students will engage in both university-based learning and site-based learning in schools, with groups of students being placed in school clusters: one cluster in Year 1 and a different cluster in Year 2.

A cluster will typically be one secondary school together with associated primary and nursery provision. Placing you in groups will facilitate collaborative learning and support.

Compulsory courses include:

  • Assessing what matters
  • Children and young people
  • Developing teacher professionalism
  • Digital and Data Education
  • Literacy, learners and learning
  • Numeracy, learners and learning
  • Teacher literacies
  • Understanding the nature of knowledge and curriculum
  • Your subject specialism

In Year 2 of the programme, all students choose a 20-credit Outdoor Environmental Education course.

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

Throughout the duration of the programme, students will engage in both university-based learning and site-based learning, with groups of students being placed in school clusters: one cluster in Year 1 and a different cluster in Year 2. A cluster will typically be one secondary school together with associated primary and nursery provision.

On successful completion of this programme you will:

  • have substantive pedagogical breadth and depth of subject knowledge in either a secondary subject or in nursery/primary education, together with the ability to teach across the Primary 5 - Secondary 3 transition phase
  • have specialised knowledge in teaching literacy and numeracy
  • understand the politically contested notions of social justice and sustainability, and be able to draw on this knowledge in complex professional settings
  • employ systematic, evidence-based practice in your teaching, demonstrating an ability to inquire creatively into your own and others' practices in order to impact positively on learners' development and attainment
  • be digitally and statistically literate, demonstrating an ability to use these skills to enhance pedagogical practice and communication with pupils, parents, colleagues and other professionals
  • have the ability to lead on innovative practice in your chosen field, adopting an activist orientation to teaching
  • be global in outlook, demonstrating critical awareness of international perspectives on education and schooling

Successful completion of the MSc in Transformative Learning and Teaching will confer professional registration with the General Teaching Council for Scotland (GTCS), a necessary requirement for teachers in all state schools and most independent schools in Scotland.

Professional registration with the GTCS is also recognised as an indicator of high quality in many countries outside of Scotland but you should seek guidance from the education authority in countries outside of the UK to determine whether this MSc will enable you to teach there.

Graduates of this programme will hold a masters degree in Transformative Learning and Teaching, as well as professional registration which will enable them to work across the primary/secondary transition, thereby enhancing their employability both within Scotland and beyond.

Students from Scotland and other parts of the UK (RUK), who are studying at a Scottish Higher Education Institution are eligible to join the Teacher Induction Scheme (TIS). This is a guaranteed and paid one-year probationary teaching post with reduced class contact time and support from a school mentor, organised by the General Teaching Council for Scotland. Participation in the TIS is not compulsory and some may choose to follow the alternative Flexible Route which is less structured and may better suit their personal circumstances.

Students from non-EU overseas countries who attend Teacher Education Programmes at Scottish Universities can also follow the alternative Flexible Route to complete probationary service if they are able to remain in Scotland on completion of their studies.

Graduates will also be equipped to enter a range of professions related to school teaching, for example:

  • informal education
  • education development
  • education policy

These entry requirements are for the 2024/25 academic year and requirements for future academic years may differ. Entry requirements for the 2025/26 academic year will be published on 1 Oct 2024.

A UK undergraduate degree or its international equivalent in a relevant discipline.

We may also consider your application if you have other academic or professional qualifications or considerable relevant experience; please contact us to check before you apply.

On entry to the degree, you must have achieved a level of competence in English and Mathematics which is approved by the General Teaching Council for Scotland (GTCS). This would normally be:

  • SQA Higher English at grade C or above or GCSE English Language AND GCSE English Literature both at grade C/4 or above, or equivalent*.

  • 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.

*The current General Teaching Council for Scotland (GTCS) requirement stipulates that this should be achieved on entry to the programme. However, for students for whom English is not their first language, we will allow entry onto the programme (excluding the English Specialism Pathway) provided you make provision to achieve the qualification on exit from the programme. You must still provide evidence of competence in English language as per the requirements stipulated below.

You should be able to demonstrate previous commitment to, and experience of, working with children and/or young people in formal or informal settings. You should also be able to demonstrate an awareness of the powerful impact of education and teachers on young people's lives.

Selection involves a professional interview.

Nursery - Secondary 3 pathway

It is desirable for candidates applying to the Nursery - Secondary 3 pathway to hold a qualification at SCQF level 6 (Higher or equivalent) in a Modern Language and/or a Science.

Primary 5 - Secondary 6 pathway in a specific subject

You will specialise in either Computing Science, English, Languages or Mathematics. Your first degree should contain at least two graduating courses (80 UK credits) in the relevant subject.

Subject-specific entry requirements

Subject-specific entry requirements are stipulated by the GTCS: Memorandum on Entry Requirements to Programmes of Initial Teacher Education in Scotland (2019)

Further details relating to each subject pathway are as follows:

P5 - S6 Computing Science

A degree including at least 80 credit points in Computing courses, including 40 credit points at SCQF Level 8 (or above) from at least two of: computer systems, software development, databases or information systems. The other 40 credits are required in any computing area relevant to the computing curriculum in Scottish schools.

P5 - S6 English

A degree including at least 80 credits in English Literature - however, the majority of candidates will likely have full degrees in English Literature. Degrees in English and Scottish Literature are suitable - full degrees in English Language are NOT acceptable.

P5 - S6 Languages

A degree in the language(s) to be taught. We will also consider applicants with degrees in other subjects but who have a minimum of 80 credits in the language(s) to be taught. Candidates must have lived for six months in a country where the language is spoken before starting the course; this can be from your university year abroad.

Native speakers of a language (other than English) who have finished a degree in a language-based subject which meets the requirements above may train to teach their native language. For example, a French student with a degree in German can train to teach German and French in Scotland, presuming the candidate meets the residency requirements for both languages.

Candidates interested in dual study should contact the Undergraduate Admissions Office for further guidance.

P5 - S6 Mathematics

A degree including at least 80 SCQF credits, or equivalent, in Mathematics courses. The contributing courses within the degree must be recognised Mathematics courses that are explicitly titled as such rather than anything embedded within other disciplines, however numerate or mathematical those may appear to be. As a guide, the 80 SCQF credits are equivalent to 2 full courses of study where three subjects are studied in any one academic year (working on the basis of 120 Credits in one year). This is usually demonstrated through two 40-credit mathematics courses across years 1 and 2 of a degree programme, with at least 40 of those credits studied at SCQF level 8 or equivalent. Course content should be related and relevant to parts of the secondary school curriculum, including the study of statistics where possible given that branch of Mathematics is now very firmly located within national qualifications. The following degrees are usually NOT suitable if Mathematics is not explicitly studied as a distinct course within the degree programme:

  • Accountancy and/or Finance
  • Economics

Engineering degrees are considered on an individual basis – please include a full transcript of degree courses to demonstrate depth and breadth of Mathematics studied within the programme.

Students from China

This degree is Band C.

Protecting Vulnerable Groups

All successful applicants will be required to join Disclosure Scotland's Protecting Vulnerable Groups (PVG) Scheme before starting the programme. In addition, all applicants who don't live in the UK, or who have spent more than a year abroad, will need to provide equivalent verification from the relevant national authority.

International qualifications

Check whether your international qualifications meet our general entry requirements:

English language requirements

Regardless of your nationality or country of residence, you must demonstrate a level of English language competency at a level that will enable you to succeed in your studies.

English language tests

We accept the following English language qualifications at the grades specified:

  • IELTS Academic: total 7.0 with at least 7.0 in each component. We do not accept IELTS One Skill Retake to meet our English language requirements.
  • TOEFL-iBT (including Home Edition): total 100 with at least 25 in each component. We do not accept TOEFL MyBest Score to meet our English language requirements.
  • C1 Advanced (CAE) / C2 Proficiency (CPE): total 185 with at least 185 in each component.
  • Trinity ISE: ISE III with passes in all four components.
  • PTE Academic: total 70 with at least 70 in each component

Your English language qualification must be no more than three and a half years old from the start date of the programme you are applying to study, unless you are using IELTS, TOEFL, Trinity ISE or PTE, in which case it must be no more than two years old.

Degrees taught and assessed in English

We also accept an undergraduate or postgraduate degree that has been taught and assessed in English in a majority English speaking country, as defined by UK Visas and Immigration:

We also accept a degree that has been taught and assessed in English from a university on our list of approved universities in non-majority English speaking countries (non-MESC).

If you are not a national of a majority English speaking country, then your degree must be no more than five years old* at the beginning of your programme of study. (*Revised 05 March 2024 to extend degree validity to five years.)

Find out more about our language requirements:

Tuition fee status

Tuition fees for eligible students from Scotland or a non-UK European Union country are paid by Student Awards Agency For Scotland (SAAS). Check your fee status to see whether you are eligible.

Living costs

You will be responsible for covering living costs for the duration of your studies.

Tuition fees

For tuition fee purposes, the MSc Transformative Learning and Teaching, like the PGDE, is treated in the same way as an undergraduate programme.

Saroj Lal Scholarship

One scholarship will be awarded to an applicant accepted onto the MSc Transformative Learning and Teaching programme from a Black, Asian or Minority Ethnic (BAME) background.

Other funding opportunities

Search for scholarships and funding opportunities:

  • Programme Director, Dr ML White
  • Phone: +44 (0)131 651 6331
  • Contact:
  • Moray House School of Education and Sport
  • Old Moray House
  • Holyrood Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH8 8AQ

We encourage you to apply at least one month prior to entry so that we have enough time to process your application. If you are also applying for funding or will require a visa then we strongly recommend you apply as early as possible.

Find out more about the general application process for postgraduate programmes:

Further information

  • Programme Director, Dr ML White
  • Phone: +44 (0)131 651 6331
  • Contact:
  • Moray House School of Education and Sport
  • Old Moray House
  • Holyrood Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH8 8AQ