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.

Entry Requirements to the PGDE Secondary programme are shaped by the GTCS Memorandum on Entry Requirements for Programmes of ITE and the application procedures of the university. This section details the overarching entry requirements that apply to all secondary subjects, some subjects have additional entry requirements specific to the subject (e.g. Art & Design, English, Languages and PE). Details of these are included in the GTCS Memorandum but are also detailed in our FAQ documentation which is hosted further up this page.

All applicants should hold a degree validated by a university in the UK or a degree of an equivalent standard from outside the UK. This is the minimum with which an applicant can apply. It may be that only applicants with a good Honours degree (Grade 2.2, or above) will be considered depending on how many places we have available.

The degree qualification must contain a minimum of 80 credit points relevant to the teaching qualification that an applicant plans to qualify for in Secondary, with at least 40 of the credit points studied at SCQF Level 8 (RQF Level 5 or EQF Level 5) or above (i.e. around two years full-time study in Higher Education).

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


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


  • a minimum of SQA National 5 Grade C (or equivalent)

Applicants who are working towards these qualifications will also be considered on the condition that the applicant, if successful at interview, has attained these qualifications prior to the start of the course in August 2022.

*Acceptable alternative qualifications in English

  • SQA Higher English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) Grade C (or equivalent)
  • SQA NC (SCQF Level 6) Communications 4 and Literature 1
  • GCSE English Language and GCSE English Literature at Grade B (or above)
  • Irish Leaving Certificate Higher English at Grade H4 (or above)
  • appropriate Higher Education Access Course

*Acceptable alternative qualifications in Mathematics

  • SQA Intermediate 2 Mathematics (Grade C, or above)
  • Standard Grade award in Mathematics at Credit (Grade 1 or 2)
  • GCSE Mathematics (Grade C, or above)
  • Irish Leaving Certificate Ordinary Mathematics (Grade O3, or above)
  • appropriate Higher Education Access course

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

Applicants are strongly advised to visit the GTCS website for full information on what is required to become a teacher in Scotland.

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


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 Secondary education. Recent experience of a Scottish secondary school classroom is normally required and is certainly desirable.

More information on Physical Education interviews

More information on Art and Design interviews


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 IELTS Requirements

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 for some accredited or professionally-recognised courses (see IELTS Score Exceptions section below for more details).

IELTS Score Exceptions (Research degrees, Biomedical Science degrees, Nursing & Midwifery degrees with NMC registration, Paramedic Science and Social Work degrees, Certificate of Higher Education, etc.)

Research Degrees

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

Health & Midwifery Awards

For all our Health, Nursing & Midwifery courses that lead to, or require 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).

Biomedical Degrees

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

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

Paramedic Science

Our BSc Paramedic Science degree leads to professional registration with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC); it has different IELTS requirements than other Health-related courses. Although it is not possible to apply for this degree directly as an international student, for applicants who meet SAAS residency requirements and for whom English is not their first language, then the following IELTS scores are required:

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

Social Work Degrees

Our BA (Hons) Social Work and MSc Social Work degrees are professionally-recognised by the Scottish Social Services Council; applicants are required to have an IELTS score as follows:

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

Certificate of Higher Education

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

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 59 to 64 with no element below 59 (for programmes that require IELTS 6.0 with no element below 5.5). An overall score 65 to 75 with no element below 65 (for programmes that require IELTS 6.5 with no element below 6.0)


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. WAEC Certificates should not be older than 10 years at the time of making the application.


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 language courses.

PGDE Tuition Fees

Academic Session 2022/23 Postgraduate Tuition Fees - Full-time


£1,820 Cost of study (paid by the Scottish Government via SAAS*)

Rest of UK (English, Northern Irish, Welsh)

£9,250 Cost of study

Republic of Ireland

£9,250 Cost of study

International (including EU)

£14,500 Cost of study

Check Your Tuition Fee Status

PGDE Tuition Fees (Academic Session 2023/24)

Undergraduate Tuition Fees - Full-time


£1,820 Cost of study per year (normally paid by the Scottish Government via SAAS)

Rest of UK (English, Northern Irish, Welsh)

£9,250 Cost of study per year (for four years but you will not pay more than £27,750)

Republic of Ireland

£9,250 Cost of study per year (for four years but you will not pay more than £27,750)

International (including EU)

£15,250 Cost per year 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 Bachelors/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 2023/24 entry is 25 January 2023, 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 2023, 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-Secondary):

  • PGDE Secondary (Art and Design) - 222X
  • PGDE Secondary (Biology with Science) - 222Z
  • PGDE Secondary (Chemistry with Science) - 2233
  • PGDE Secondary (English) - 222Y
  • PGDE Secondary (French) - X130
  • PGDE Secondary (German) - X131
  • PGDE Secondary (Mathematics) - 222W
  • PGDE Secondary (Physical Education) - 2232
  • PGDE Secondary (Physics with Science) - 294C
  • PGDE Secondary (Spanish) - X132

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.


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.