Update on the recognition of teaching qualifications in the EEA

As a result of the UK leaving the European Union the automatic recognition of UK teaching qualifications in the EEA will no longer apply for qualifications obtained after 31 December 2020. This means that UK nationals wishing to teach in the EEA and EEA citizens with a UK teaching qualifications will require to have their qualification recognised in the EEA country in which they intend to work. The rules and process for this recognition of third country qualifications/third-country nationals will vary and any student interested in working in the EEA after qualifying should check the relevant requirements in each member state.

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.

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*:


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


  • 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.


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.

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 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

Exceptions to this level of IELTS scoring exist fro some accredited or professionally-recognised courses (see section below for more details).


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 (Research degrees, Biomedical Science degrees, Nursing & Midwifery degrees with NMC registration, Certificate of Higher Education, etc.)

For our research degrees (MRes, MPhil, PhD, DBA, DProf) and our MSc Advanced Biomedical Science, 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 or Occupational English Test (OET)*.

For such courses, the IELTS score is as follows:

  • overall score of 7.0
  • score of at least 7.0 in reading, listening and speaking and no less than 6.5 in writing

* Note that the Occupational English Test (OET) will now be accepted in addition to IELTS as proof of a Nurse's English Language Competence (Nursing & Midwifery Council, 2019).

For our BSc (Hons) Applied Biomedical Science and BSc (Hons) Biomedical Science programmes, applicants are required to have an IELTS score as follows:

  • overall score of 7.0
  • no sub-test less than 6.5

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*: 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).

Find out more about our English lanaguage Courses.

PGDE 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

Academic Session 2021/22 PGDE Tuition Fees - Full-time


£1,820 Cost of study

Rest of UK (English, Northern Irish, Welsh)

£9,250 Cost of study

Republic of Ireland

£9,250 Cost of study

International (including EU)

£13,325 Cost of study

Check Your Tuition Fee Status

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 2021/22 entry is 29 January 2021, 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 2021, 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.

UCAS codes for Initial Teacher Training PGDE (Primary):

  • PGDE Primary - 222V

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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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.