Postgraduate study

Professional Graduate Diploma in Education (Secondary) PGDE

Awards: PGDE

Funding opportunities

This Professional Graduate Diploma in Education (PGDE) is for graduates wishing to enter the teaching profession in Scotland at secondary level.

The one-year programme is the Scottish route to qualified teacher status. Taught over 36 weeks, the secondary programme is an intensive programme of study, divided equally between University-based and school-based activities.

The programme is designed to prepare you for the range of roles that teachers are expected to play:

  • A competent, reflective classroom practitioner
  • A collaborator who contributes to the wider informal curriculum of the school
  • A subject specialist and a curriculum developer
  • A teacher in society, whether building strong relationships with parents or contributing to national policy debates

We currently offer our secondary programme in the following subjects:

  • Art and Design
  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Design and Technology
  • Drama
  • English
  • Geography
  • History
  • Latin or Latin and Classical Studies*
  • Mathematics
  • Modern Foreign Languages (Chinese, French, German)
  • Music
  • Physical Education
  • Physics

*(Revised 5 April to add in Latin or Latin and Classical Studies as a subject option.)

This 36-week programme, starting in late August, is divided into three blocks, of 16 weeks, 11 weeks and nine weeks. Each block contains an equal balance between University-based and school-based activities.

Campus activities will include lectures and workshops, with a focus on student-centred learning in a multidisciplinary setting. School activities will include observation and analysis of teaching and learning, through to developing and implementing your own teaching practice.

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.

You should also hold SQA Higher English at minimum grade C or equivalent and National 5 Mathematics or Applications of Mathematics at minimum grade B or equivalent. (Revised 8 March 2019 to include National 5 "Applications of Mathematics".)

Please contact the Admissions Office for a list of acceptable equivalent qualifications:

Selection involves a professional interview.

We also expect you to have experience of working with children in formal or informal settings (both employment and volunteering roles will be considered) and an ability to reflect thoughtfully on that experience. You should have some knowledge and understanding of the Scottish curriculum.

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

All applicants are required to have SQA Higher English at grade C or above, or qualifications that are considered the equivalent by the University before commencing the programme, such as:

  • National Units - Communication (formerly Communication 4) AND

  • National Unit - Literature 1

Both are required at passes. These units are available at many colleges throughout Scotland.


  • GCSE English Language AND GCSE English Literature, both passed at grade C/4 or above. NB. If you do not already hold these GCSE qualifications and intend to complete them before commencing the programme, please contact the Admissions Office.*


  • Irish Leaving Certificate Higher English at grade C2/H4 or above


  • Higher in English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL)

For further information on accepted alternative qualifications to meet the English requirement for the PGDE (including international equivalencies), please contact the Admissions Office directly.

*(Revised 8 October 2018 to update terminology for GCSE English requirements.)

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.

Tuition fees

For tuition fee purposes, the PGDE is treated in the same way as an undergraduate programme.

Featured funding

STEM Teacher Education Bursary

Applications are open for a £20,000 incentive for career changers to ease the transition from paid employment into Initial Teacher Education. For eligibility and to apply, visit:

Other funding opportunities

Search for scholarships and funding opportunities:

  • Moray House School of Education and Sport
  • Old Moray House
  • Holyrood Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH8 8AQ

As this programme is for initial teacher education, it is processed by the Undergraduate Admissions Office.

Applications must be made through the UCAS website:

For more information on entry requirements and guidance on writing your personal statement, see our web pages on the Professional Graduate Diploma in Education (Secondary):

We do not accept applications for deferred entry to this programme.

Further information

  • Moray House School of Education and Sport
  • Old Moray House
  • Holyrood Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH8 8AQ