Postgraduate study
Edinburgh: Extraordinary futures await.

Professional Graduate Diploma in Education (Secondary) PGDE

Awards: PGDE

Funding opportunities

Placements/internships

At Moray House going to conferences and learning together has been especially rewarding. You are shown a world of possibilities for what teachers can do and be.

Tom Bird PGDE Secondary (Physics and Mathematics) 2019
Tom Bird               PGDE Secondary (Physics and Mathematics) 2019

The Professional Graduate Diploma in Education (PGDE) Secondary is for graduates who want to become subject-specialist teachers in the secondary sector. This programme is the Scottish route to qualified teacher status.

This is an intensive programme of study, divided equally between University-based and school-based activities.

We designed the programme 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

You will develop the capacity to become a transformative teacher, making a positive impact on the outcomes of learners, with the capacity to become a future leader in the profession. To this end, we focus on teaching student teachers to use their powerful subject knowledge to create interesting, relevant and progressive teaching.

We currently offer our secondary programme in the following subjects:

  • Art and Design
  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Design and Technology
  • Drama
  • English
  • Geography
  • History
  • Mathematics
  • Language Education (Chinese, French, German)
  • Music
  • Physical Education
  • Physics

Dual Qualification status

Dual qualification means that a teacher is qualified to teach two different subject areas within schools, such as Mathematics and Physics.

We welcome applications for dual subject qualification and can accommodate the following combinations:

  • Geography and History
  • Mathematics and Physics
  • any two science subjects, for example, Physics and Chemistry.
  • and Language Education:

    • Any two from French, German and Chinese
    • French and Spanish
    • German and Spanish
    • Chinese and Spanish
    • French and Italian
    • German and Italian

NB: Spanish and Italian can only be taken as second subjects. Chinese with Italian is not possible.

Applying for dual qualification status

In your UCAS application, simply make your application for the first subject and 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.

Mental health and wellbeing partnership

All initial teacher education programmes include access to our mental health and wellbeing programme.

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

Place2Be at Moray House

This programme is comprised of three blocks. Each block contains a 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.

Professional Placements in schools include observation and analysis of teaching and learning, and teaching practice.

Find out more about compulsory and optional courses

We link to the latest information available. Please note that this may be for a previous academic year and should be considered indicative.*

Award     Duration     Study mode     Indicative programme structure
PGDE     9 Months     Full-time     PGDE Art and Design 2023
PGDE     9 Months     Full-time     PGDE Biology 2023
PGDE     9 Months     Full-time     PGDE Chemistry 2023
PGDE     9 Months     Full-time     PGDE Chinese 2023
PGDE     9 Months     Full-time     PGDE Design and Technology 2023
PGDE     9 Months     Full-time     PGDE Drama 2023
PGDE     9 Months     Full-time     PGDE English 2023
PGDE     9 Months     Full-time     PGDE French 2023
PGDE     9 Months     Full-time     PGDE Geography 2023
PGDE     9 Months     Full-time     PGDE German 2023
PGDE     9 Months     Full-time     PGDE History 2023
PGDE     9 Months     Full-time     PGDE Mathematics 2023
PGDE     9 Months     Full-time     PGDE Music 2023
PGDE     9 Months     Full-time     PGDE Physical Education 2023
PGDE     9 Months     Full-time     PGDE Physics 2023

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.

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 allocated a placement usually within one of six key local authorities.

Graduates from this programme are qualified to teach, and eligible for provisional registration from the General Teaching Council for Scotland (GTCS).

On successful completion of this programme, students are recommended to contact the General Teaching Council for Scotland (GTCS) for provisional registration. Full registration is awarded on the completion of one satisfactory year of teaching the subject(s) for which qualification has been gained through this programme.

Eligibility for Teacher Induction Scheme

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), a guaranteed and paid one-year probationary teaching post, organised by the General Teaching Council for Scotland, or take up a Flexible Route.

GTCS Teacher Induction Scheme eligibility and details

Preference Waiver Payment Scheme

If you join the General Teaching Council’s Preference Waiver Payment Scheme - which means you agree to work in any Scottish local authority for your induction post - in return, you will receive an £8,000 payment made if you complete your Teacher Induction Scheme year in the local authority to which you were allocated.

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 July 2024.

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.

You should also hold the following:

  • SQA Higher English at grade C or GCSE English Language AND GCSE English Literature, both at grade C/4
  • SQA National 5 Mathematics or Applications of Mathematics (formerly Lifeskills Maths) at grade C or GCSE Mathematics at grade C/4

Please contact the admissions office for advice on equivalent qualifications.

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. Selection involves a professional interview.

For subject-specific entry requirements, visit the School website 'How to apply' page:

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 6.5 with at least 6.0 in each component.
  • TOEFL-iBT (including Home Edition): total 92 with at least 20 in each component. We do not accept TOEFL MyBest Score to meet our English language requirements.
  • C1 Advanced (CAE) / C2 Proficiency (CPE): total 176 with at least 169 in each component.
  • Trinity ISE: ISE II with distinctions in all four components.
  • PTE Academic: total 62 with at least 59 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 three and a half years old at the beginning of your programme of study.

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 PGDE is treated in the same way as an undergraduate programme.

Saroj Lal Scholarship

One scholarship will be awarded to an applicant accepted onto a PGDE programme from a Black, Asian or Minority Ethnic (BAME) background.

Tom and Maureen Fairlie Scholarship

Teaching Bursary in Scotland

If you're changing career to teach or if you're currently considering a change, the Teaching Bursary in Scotland can help. The Teaching Bursary is a £20,000 incentive to ease your transition 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

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.

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:

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