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PGDE (Secondary) Overview

Our Professional Graduate Diploma in Education (PGDE) Secondary course provides the formal teaching qualification for provisional registration with the General Teaching Council for Scotland (GTCS), preparing you for a career in secondary / high school teaching.

The PGDE is carried out in partnership with schools and you will spend half of your time on the course (some 18 weeks), in real school placements. University-based study focuses on: curriculum, methods of teaching, learning and assessment alongside theoretical and practical aspects of professional studies in education. 

PGDE teaching qualifications are offered in the following areas (you may select one or two of the following ten subject areas, depending on your qualifications):

  • Art & Design
  • Biology with Science / Chemistry with Science / Physics with Science
  • English
  • French / German / Spanish
  • Mathematics
  • Physical Education

More Information

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.

Eighteen weeks are spent on school experience placements in at least two schools; a two week introductory placement followed by five weeks in the same school; then six weeks in a second school and a final five week placement in the second school.

Jobs

Most UWS graduates remain in mainstream teaching in the UK or abroad. Others work with children with additional learning support needs, in adult training, educational aspects of charities, science centres, the commercial sector and public sector, and social services.

Frequently Asked Questions

We have compiled a set of answers to FAQs relating to PGDE Secondary which you can download now in pdf format.

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.

Our administration team will be in touch with regards to the process for this please do not contact Disclosure Scotland yourself.

1st

IN UK FOR TEACHING QUALITY*

The Times / The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2020

1st

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

1st

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

Work-Ready Graduate Laughing | Undergraduate Study at UWS | University of the West of Scotland

The School of Education

UWS's School of Education 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.

Student Discussing How to Join UWS as an Exchange Student | University of the West of Scotland

UWS & Education: League tables

  • Education at UWS was ranked 1st in the UK in The Times / The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2020.
  • Education as UWS was ranked 2nd in the UK overall and 1st in Scotland for student satisfaction in the Complete University Guide 2020.
  • Education at UWS was ranked 1st in the UK for satisfaction in the Guardian University Guide 2020.

*this ranking was achieved for our undergraduate course in initial teacher education which our PGDE Secondary staff also teach on.

Inspire the next generation

Interested in a career in secondary teaching? UWS is the place for you! Together we can inspire the next generation to achieve their true potential. Don’t just take our word for it. Our students are always giving us great feedback.

Here's current student Meghan McGookin,  studying PGDE Physics and Maths at our Ayr campus.

UWS is highly-regarded for its initial teacher education provision and we offer PGDE Secondary courses for August entry, including:

  • Art & Design
  • Biology with Science / Chemistry with Science / Physics with Science
  • English
  • French / German / Spanish
  • Mathematics
  • Physical Education

Inspiring students to great careers

Hear from UWS alumni Alan Sloss, who studied at Ayr campus and is now the Principal Teacher of Physical Education at Ayr Academy.

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.

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.

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, or be working towards, 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)

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 2020.

*Acceptable alternative qualifications in English

  • 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 H3, 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
  • Standard Grade award in Mathematics at Credit (Grade 1 or 2)
  • GCSE Mathematics at Grade C, or above
  • Irish Leaving Certificate Ordinary Mathematics at Grade O3, 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).

Applicants are strongly advised to visit the Teaching in Scotland 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.

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

Other interviews outside these dates may be used until the course is full.

More information on Physical Education interviews

 

More information on Art and Design interviews

The PGDE Secondary 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

Teaching qualifications are offered in the following areas*. You will select one or two of the following subjects, depending on qualifications:

  • Art & Design
  • Biology with Science
  • Chemistry with Science
  • English
  • French
  • German
  • Mathematics
  • Physical Education
  • Physics with Science
  • Spanish

Our course currently consists of three compulsory modules, one of which is taught in conjunction with PGDE (Primary) and is offered at both SCQF levels 10 and 11, giving the option of 40 credits of internationally-recognised Master's level study. You will develop an understanding of the curriculum and a range of approaches to teaching, learning and assessment in your chosen subject discipline(s).

* The University reserves the right to withdraw certain subjects, depending on the quotas set by the Scottish Funding Council.

Course Content

Our course currently consists of three compulsory modules, one of which is taught in conjunction with PGDE (Primary) and is offered at both SCQF levels 10 and 11, giving the option of 40 credits of internationally-recognised Master's level study. You will develop an understanding of the curriculum and a range of approaches to teaching, learning and assessment in your chosen subject discipline(s).

There are three 40-credit modules throughout the course focussing on developing the attributes, knowledge and skills encompassed by the following core areas as set out by the Standard for Provisional Registration (GTCS, 2012):

  • Professional Values and Personal Commitment
  • Professional Knowledge and Understanding
  • Professional Skills and Abilities

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

Either

  • PGDE (Secondary) Subject Studies (optional, 40 credits)

or

  • PGDE (Secondary) Subject Studies (Dual) (optional, 40 credits) (Dual Subject Students Only)

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)

and

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

Teaching & Assessment

LEARNING AND TEACHING

A variety of teaching methods will be used throughout the PGDE: Lectures, tutorials, workshops and use of Moodle (the online, Virtual Learning Environment - VLE). These will employ a range of learning and teaching methodologies including group work, problem-based learning, concept visualisation (eg using drawing and collage), walking, student presentations, online tutor/student-led discussions, and resources such as subject-specific equipment, interactive whiteboards, laptops and the outdoors will be used to develop your learning.

In order to enable students from the PGDE (Primary) and PGDE (Secondary) programmes to benefit from working together, the PGDE School & Professional Studies module will be delivered through a blended approach using Moodle and some face-to-face lectures, tutorials and workshops.

Within Moodle, students will make use of e-learning methods such as remotely accessing set and extension readings and other course materials, and online and asynchronous communication with peers, and supported by tutors, to address problem-based learning tasks. The additional eight hours of contact time available for programmes calibrated at SCQF Level 10 will be used in the PGDE (S) School Experience module to introduce students to the concept of Personal Development Planning.

LEARNING AND TEACHING Breakdown

  • Scheduled learning: 30%
  • Independent study: 20%
  • Placement: 50%

ASSESSMENT

Our PGDE Secondary courses are assessed using a variety of assessment methods including:

  • written assignments
  • coursework
  • practical assessment

ASSESSMENT Breakdown

  • Subject Studies Assignment: 33.3%
  • School and Professional Studies Assignment: 33.3%
  • School Experience Tutor and School Assessment 33.3%

Course Structure

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

PGDE (Secondary) Course Structure

PGDE Tuition Fees

PGDE Secondary 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

STEM Teacher Education Bursaries

In the last few years The Scottish Government developed a new bursary scheme for students undertaking a one year Postgraduate Diploma in Education (PGDE) Initial Teacher Education (ITE) programme in Scotland.

The bursary scheme is an initiative to develop and strengthen the number of people that are aspiring to become secondary school teachers in areas such as chemistry, computing science, maths, physics and technical education by changing their current career path.

Bursary Award

Applicants that satisfy the eligibility criteria may be eligible to receive a bursary of £20,000 payable over 10 equal monthly instalments. For more information visit Skills Development Scotland site: www.skillsdevelopmentscotland.co.uk  

How do I apply?

Applications for should be made direct to the STEM Bursary Scotland website

Further Information

You can email info@stembursaryscotland.co.uk or telephone 0141 468 4115 if you have any questions.

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.

PGDE Secondary - Additional Costs

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 MyGov Website for more information

In addition to tuition fees and living expenses, some courses involve extra costs like study materials, field trips, equipment and uniforms. Candidates who enter the PGDE Secondary Physical Education Programme will be required to purchase PE uniform costing £50-£100.

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 Bachelors/undergraduate degree to apply. Clearing opens on 6th July 2020.

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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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.