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PGDE (Primary) Overview

The Professional Graduate Diploma in Education (PGDE) Primary course provides the formal teaching qualification for provisional registration with the General Teaching Council for Scotland (GTCS), giving you the skills, knowledge and experience to build a career as a primary school teacher.

You cover a wide range of subjects that feature in the primary school curriculum including English/Literacy, Health and Wellbeing, and Mathematics/Numeracy.

The PGDE enables you to develop core skills in planning, teaching, assessment and evaluation strategies, classroom and behaviour management, and contemporary issues in Scottish education. You can also study one module at Masters' level which can help you in later years work towards a further qualification.

Successful completion of all elements of the course means that you receive the formal teaching qualification necessary for provisional registration with the GTCS, a requirement for entry into the guaranteed one-year Teacher Induction Scheme in Scotland.

 

More Information

Placement Opportunities

Eighteen weeks of school experience placements occur in at least two primary schools/education and childcare settings within local authorities in Scotland. This placements occur in in each school term, with a block of at least four weeks duration taking place towards the end of the PGDE, in early childhood and primary school.

Jobs

Most UWS graduates remain in mainstream teaching in the UK or abroad. Others work in specialist educational areas including working with children with additional learning support needs, adult training, museums, writing and publishing, health education, curriculum development, and social services.

Frequently Asked Questions

Successful applicants who gain a place on this programme are required to register on the Protecting Vulnerable Groups (PVG) Scheme, managed and delivered by Disclosure Scotland.

1st

IN UK FOR TEACHING QUALITY*

The Times / The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2019

1st

in UK for Education in the Guardian University League tables, 2020

1st

in Scotland for Teaching Experience* - The Times / The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2019

UWS School of Education

The School of Education at UWS is recognised as one of the most innovative providers of education degrees in the UK. From early years to adult education, students gain rich experience from our innovative courses and graduate with unrivalled career prospects.

Our research informs our teaching courses, influences policy and contributes to wider research networks across the world. Our work into the nature and causes of youth violence, crime and gang culture has had an international impact.

UWS & Education: League Tables

  • Education at UWS was ranked 2nd in the UK overall, & 1st in the UK for teaching quality and 1st in Scotland for student experience in The Times / The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2019*
  • Education at UWS was ranked 2nd in the UK overall & 1st in Scotland for student satisfaction in the Complete University Guide 2019*
  • Education at UWS was ranked 23rd in the UK & 2nd in Scotland for satisfaction in the Guardian University Guide 2019*

* this ranking was achieved for our undergraduate course in initial teacher training

Entry Requirements

What qualifications do you need?

We welcome Scottish, UK and international students and consider all applicants on an individual basis.

If you are applying with an EU or non-EU qualification, please check our Postgraduate Entry Requirements page which gives more information about country-specific entry requirements.

Interview Preparation

You are advised to visit both the The General Teaching Council for Scotland and Teach in Scotland websites for full information on what is required to become a teacher in Scotland.

You are also advised that recent experience of working/assisting in a Scottish primary school classroom is normally required and is certainly desirable.

Academic Requirements

All applicants should hold a degree validated by a university in the UK or a degree of an equivalent standard from outside the UK. Given that the demand for places significantly exceeds the number of places, priority is given to applicants who have attained a 2.1 or 1st class Honours degree.

All applicants must also have achieved qualifications in both English and Mathematics as follows prior to their application being considered*:

English

  • a minimum of English at SQA Higher Grade C (or equivalent)

Mathematics

  • a Minimum of Mathematics at SQA National 5 Grade C (or equivalent)

Applications will be rejected if these minimum qualifications have not been attained prior to application.

*Acceptable alternative qualifications in English

  • SQA NC (SCQF Level 6) Communications 4 and Literature 1
  • GCSE English Language and GCSE English Literature at Grade C, or above
  • Irish Leaving Certificate Higher English at Grade H4, or above
  • (SCQF Level 6) English Access Course offered by University of Aberdeen

*Acceptable alternative qualifications in Mathematics

  • SQA Intermediate 2 Mathematics at Grade C, or above
  • GCSE Mathematics at Grade B, or above
  • Irish Leaving Certificate Ordinary Mathematics at Grade O3, or above
  • SQA National 5 Mathematics or SQA National 5 Life Skills Mathematics at Grade C, or above
  • Mathematics Access Course (SCQF Level 5) offered by the University of Aberdeen

Note: We will accept alternate International qualifications in English and Mathematics where evidence is provided via NARIC (National Recognition Information Centre).

Attainment of the minimum entry qualifications does not guarantee that the application will progress.

Interviews

An offer of a place on this course is made on the basis of your application and successful interview.

Candidates who meet the academic requirements will be considered for interview. The interview is designed to enable applicants to demonstrate their interpersonal skills; ability to communicate; insight into the role of a teacher; knowledge about current Scottish primary education. Recent experience of a Scottish primary school classroom is normally required and is certainly desirable.

Interviews will be held on the following days: 15 January, 26 February, 4 March, 18 March, and 25 March 2020. Should you be invited to interview, you will be offered a maximum of two interview dates i.e. if you are unable to attend the first date, you will be offered one rescheduled date. Given the interactive and collaborative nature of the interview process, we do not offer interview by Skype. All offers will be communicated by 31 March 2020 at the latest.

The PGDE Primary course begins on 17 August 2020.

Protecting Vulnerable Groups scheme (PVG)

Successful applicants who gain a place on this course will need to register on the PVG Scheme, managed and delivered by Disclosure Scotland. An application form will be sent from the University once you have accepted your offer. The fee for joining the scheme is £59.

Visit the Disclosure Scotland website for more information on the PVG scheme.

English Language Requirements

English language requirements for most courses

For applicants whose first language is not English, the University sets a minimum English Language proficiency level. The qualifications below must have been gained within two years of the start of your course.

General English language requirements at UWS: International English Language Testing System (IELTS) Academic module (not General Training)

  • overall score 6.0
  • no sub-test less than 5.5

Common equivalent English language qualifications

All stated English tests are acceptable for admission for both home/EU and international students for this programme:

  • CAE (Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English): 176 overall; no sub-test less than 169
  • CPE (Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English): 176 overall; no sub-test less than 169
  • Trinity College London Integrated Skills in English: ISEII with the minimum of a Pass in all sub-tests
  • PTE Pearson Academic English: An overall score of 54 with no element below 51 (for programmes that require IELTS 6.0 with no element below 5.5). An overall score 61 with no element below 51 (for programmes that require IELTS 6.5 with no element below 6.0)

 

IELTS Score Exceptions (DBA, Certificate of Higher Education, PhD, etc.)

For our research degrees (MRes, MPhil, PhD, DBA, DProf), applicants are required to have an IELTS score as follows:

  • overall score of 6.5
  • no sub-test less than 6.0

For Health, Nursing & Midwifery courses that lead to professional registration with the Nursing & Midwifery Council, applicants are required to have an IELTS score as follows:

  • overall score of 7.0
  • no sub-test less than 7.0

For our Certificate of Higher Education courses, applicants are required to have an IELTS score as follows:

  • overall score of 5.0
  • no sub-test less than 4.5

 

TOEFL IBT

TOEFL IBT*: 78; no sub-test less than:

  • Reading: 17;
  • Listening: 17;
  • Speaking: 17;
  • Writing: 17

* Please note that TOEFL is still acceptable for admission to this programme for both home/EU and international students.
For international students, the Home Office has confirmed that the University can choose to use TOEFL to make its own assessment of English language ability for visa applications to degree level courses. We therefore still accept TOEFL tests taken in the last two years for admission to this programme.

 

West African Senior School Certificate of Education (WASSCE)

West African Senior School Certificate of Education (WASSCE) including acceptance of WAEC Scratchcard*

  • C6 or above in English

*UWS will accept a WAEC scratchcard confirming that an applicant has achieved C6 or above as evidence of meeting English language requirement from Nigeria if the student graduated within the last 5 years. After 5 years applicants would be required to provide the WAEC Certificate.

 

Pre-sessional courses

Applicants who do not meet the minimum English language requirements have the option to study one of our preparatory and pre-sessional English courses. The UWS courses available are:

  • 10 week pre-sessional - entry criteria UKVI IELTS 5.0 with no element below 4.5.
  • 5 week pre-sessional - entry criteria UKVI IELTS 5.5 with no element below 5.5.
  • English Language for University Study - entry criteria UKVI IELTS with score of 4.0 in all elements (10 month course), or 4.5 with no score below 4.0 (7 month course).

Course Details

You will cover a wide range of subjects that feature in the primary school curriculum.

The PGDE Primary is an intense course, comprising 18 weeks of on-campus teaching and 18 weeks of placement in primary schools. The main pedagogy is interactive lectures and workshops. Collaborative tasks and group learning are integral to the programme. One of the core modules - School and Professional Studies – is taught through a combination of face-to-face classes and online tutorials.

The course comprises three core modules:

  • The Primary Curriculum (core, 40 credits)
  • School Experience (core, 40 credits)
  • School and Professional Studies (core, 40 credits)

All modules are studies at SCQF Level 10. Students have the opportunity to be assessed at Level 11 in School and Professional Studies.

Course Content

For the Professional Graduate Diploma Education (PGDE), you will study three of the following modules:

  • PGDE (Primary) Curriculum (core, 40 credits)

Plus either:

  • PGDE School & Professional Studies (L10) (optional, 40 credits)

or

  • PGDE School & Professional Studies (L11) (optional, 40 credits) (Students who choose to study at Level 11 Only - opting for this module results in the following title being added to your transcript: Critical Self-evaluation and Development)

and

  • PGDE (Primary) School Experience (core, 40 credits)

Teaching & Assessment

The PGDE Primary programme is an intense course, comprising 18 weeks of on-campus teaching and 18 weeks of placement in primary schools.

The main pedagogy is interactive lectures and workshops. Collaborative tasks and group learning are integral to the programme.

One of the core modules - School and Professional Studies – is taught through a combination of face-to-face classes and online tutorials.

ASSESSMENT

The module Primary Curriculum is assessed by both examination and assignment.

The module School Experience is assessed based on the GTCS Standards for Provisional Registration.

The module, School and Professional Studies is assessed by assignment.

Course Structure

Find out more about the structure, learning outcomes, compulsory and optional modules in this course.

PGDE (Primary) Course Structure

Career Prospects

You receive the formal teaching qualification necessary for provisional registration with the GTCS, a requirement for entry into the guaranteed one-year Teacher Induction Scheme.

Most UWS graduates remain in mainstream teaching in the UK or abroad. Others work in specialist educational areas including working with children with additional learning support needs, adult training, museums, writing and publishing, health education, curriculum development, and social services.

PGDE Tuition Fees

PGDE Primary 2019/20

Scottish & EU

£1,820 per year of study

English, Northern Irish & Welsh

£9,250 per year of study

Channel Islands & Isle of Man

£9,250 per year of study

More on Current & Future Tuition Fees

Postgraduate fees for this course 2020/21

Scottish & EU

£1,820 cost of study

English, Northern Irish & Welsh

£9,250 cost of study

Channel Islands & Isle of Man

£9,250 cost of study

International (Non-EU)

£13,000 cost of study

More on current & future tuition fees

PGDE programmes are funded in the same way as undergraduate programmes. You can apply to SAAS to have tuition fees paid. Eligibility conditions apply. Check SAAS for more information.

Additional Costs & Sources of Funding

The cost of attending university is an investment in your future career.

PGDE courses are funded in the same way as undergraduate courses. You can apply to SAAS to have tuition fees paid. Eligibility conditions apply; check SAAS for details.

In addition to tuition fees and living expenses, some courses involve extra costs like study materials, field trips, equipment and uniforms.

Fortunately, there is a great deal of financial support available to help students meet the cost of their study. This ranges from:

  • statutory government loans to pay for tuition fees
  • scholarships for Scottish, EU and International (non-EU) students
  • bursaries to help towards living expenses

The sections below provide details of additional costs that your course may involve along with any financial support that may be available.

You can also find additional information in our Undergraduate Money, Fees & Funding section.

Additional Costs

Students on certain degrees will incur some additional costs not covered by their tuition fees. These could be for things like specialist equipment, study materials, work placements, graduation, membership of relevant organisations or costs related to carrying out fieldwork.

For students on course with an element of fieldwork, there may also be extra costs for travel and accommodation.

Please contact the course leader for details of the additional costs associated with this course.

Tuition Fees* & Living Cost Support

Tuition Fees & Additional Costs

Tuition fees are calculated based on where you are from and what you are studying. Some courses also involve additional costs, such as mandatory field trips, equipment or studying abroad.

Find out how much it will cost you to study at UWS as an undergraduate student.

Funding for Scottish Students

Scottish students studying at undergraduate level at UWS are entitled to various funds and support towards tuition fees and living costs.

Find out more.

Funding for English, Welsh & Northern Irish Students

English, Welsh and Northern Irish students studying at undergraduate level at UWS are entitled to various funds and support towards tuition fees and living costs.

Find out more.

Funding for EU Students

EU students studying at undergraduate level of UWS may be eligible for SAAS funding, as well as support to meet the costs of childcare and various sources of additional funding.

Find our more.

Funding for International Students

There are several scholarship and incentive schemes available to international students studying at undergraduate level at UWS, as well as support to meet the costs of childcare and various sources of additional funding.

Find out more.

Other Financial Support

Discretionary & Childcare Funds

UWS administer a range of discretionary and childcare funds. These are designed to support students who are experiencing financial difficulty or struggling to meet the costs of childcare.

Find out more.

Benefits & Tax Credits

Becoming a student can have an impact on your entitlement to certain benefits. It may mean you are no longer eligible to claim a benefit you have been receiving, or your new income from student funding may affect the amount you are able to receive.

Find out more.

Additional Financial Support

If there isn’t a statutory source of funding for you or your course, or you are in need of additional financial support, you may wish to consider more alternative sources of funding such as trust funds and scholarships.

Find out more.

Money & Debt Advice

Choosing to become a student can have a big impact on your budget and you may need to reassess your spending to account for a reduced income. We’ve put together some guidance to help you manage your money and make the right financial choices for you and your family.

Find out more.

Applying for the PGDE

To apply for the PGDE you must apply through UCAS. All PGDEs in the UK are classified as undergraduate courses for the purposes of application/admissions even though you must have at least a Bachelor's/undergraduate degree to apply.

How to apply

All applicants

All UK, EU and International (non-EU/non-EEA) applicants for this programme should apply through UCAS (Universities and Colleges Admissions Service).

The on-time application deadline for 2020/21 entry is 15 January 2020, 18:00 (UK time). For some courses it may still be possible to apply beyond this period, subject to suitable vacancies remaining. The final deadline for late applications via UCAS is 30 June 2020, 18:00 (UK time). Beyond this deadline, you may be able to apply via ‘UCAS Clearing’ if the course you are interested in has remaining places.

Please refer to our Undergraduate Application Guide for domestic & EU/EEA to find more information on when and how to apply to study at UWS.

Apply on UCAS

 

An ATAS certificate is not required for overseas students applying for this course.

Get in touch

Do you have a question about applying for this course? Get in touch. We are here to help!

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Research at UWS

With cutting edge facilities, specialist knowledge and world-leading and internationally excellent expertise, we aim to develop research outputs that have a tangible, early and positive impact on society across the globe.

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We will always try to make sure that we publish accurate course information but we do not accept responsibility for any mistakes or omissions. We will also try to make sure that we deliver our courses in line with our published information. However, we may not always be able to do so and you can find further information about this in our enrolment terms and conditions.