Find a Degree Postgraduate Taught Programmes Primary Education

Programme Details

Did you know that it is not too late to apply for some of our PGDE Secondary subject Programmes for August 2015?

36 weeks full-time (August to June)


Accredited by the General Teaching Council for Scotland, this professional qualifying programme provides initial teacher education to meet the latest demands of contemporary primary and nursery schools.

The aim of the programme is to produce adaptable, flexible teachers able to collaborate and cooperate with other professionals, ready to face challenges of teaching in the 21st century and commit to the notion of life-long learning.

The programme is undertaken on a one year (36 weeks) full-time basis.

Contact Information

Please feel free to contact me with any further questions on 01224 272035 or

Cathy Reid
Student Recruitment & Admissions Service


The PGDE programme consists of four compulsory courses of study: two academic campus based courses and two school experience courses split roughly over the two University semesters.

Components of the Learning and Teaching in Schools Courses
The campus-based course, Learning and Teaching in Schools provides opportunity for student teachers to engage with generic issues related to professional development, learning and teaching, and social justice, and placing this in the Primary school and pre-school contexts.

This course will be split equally into two components; Learning and Teaching in Schools: Beginning to Teach will provide opportunities to focus on learning and learners and beginning as a teacher whilst Learning and Teaching in Schools: The Developing Professional will provide opportunities for students to gain a wider and deeper knowledge and understanding of professional issues and developments relevant to the teaching profession.

Students must meet the requirements of the Standard for Initial Teacher Education (SITE) in order to pass the PGDE and gain entry to the Teacher Induction Scheme in Scotland (subject to meeting SAAS funding criteria).

School Experience
Students on the PGDE programme will undertake two nine week school experience placements. The School Experience courses are designed to extend classroom experience and practice and to provide the context for campus based learning.

The range of schools in partnership with the School of Education allows students to benefit from a wide variety of experiences. The School of Education has partnership Local Authorities across the North East of Scotland. Students may be required to carry out some placements in distant schools.


There are two 5000-word in-course assignments within the programme. The first focuses on how children/young people develop and learn and the role of the teacher in the planning and provision of suitable learning opportunities for all. The second focuses on the student’s professional development towards becoming an inclusive practitioner.

A Further Professional Study element with options relevant to current initiatives in education is included in the course with the principal aim of enhancing students’ development in a particular area.

Students are assessed on School Experience courses through a combination of Tutor (after observation visits) and School Reports on their progress.

Please click PGDE Brochure, in the right-hand panel, for full information on the Programme, including full details regarding entry requirements.

1. A degree from a higher education institution in the United Kingdom (including Open University), or a degree of an equivalent standard from an institution outside the United Kingdom.

2. SQA Higher grade award in English at Grade C or above; or National Course award (Higher Still) in English and Communication at Grade C or above; or National Units - Communications (NC) at higher level and Literature 1 at higher level*; or GCSE English Language and English Literature, Grade C or above in both; or Irish Leaving Certificate English at Higher Grade C2 or above. * These used to be known as National Certificate Modules Communication 4 & Literature 1.

3. SQA Standard Grade Credit Level award in Mathematics at Grade 1 or 2; or SCE Ordinary Grade award in Mathematics at Grade A or B; or National Course award Intermediate Level 2 Mathematics at Grade C or above; or GCSE/O Level Mathematics at Grade B or above; or Irish Leaving Certificate Mathematics at Ordinary Grade B or above.

The following are not accepted as a mathematics qualification at the University of Aberdeen: Core Maths 4; Standard Grade 3 or below; GCSE Grade C or below; CSE Grade 1; O Level Grade 3; O Level Grade C.

The University of Aberdeen offers English and Mathematics as part of its Access Course to enable applicants to gain the necessary qualifications to meet the entry requirements in these two subjects.

The Access Course delivers Mathematics 1 and also English from September to December and from January to April.  Classes are held during the week. 

The pass mark for both subjects is set at C3 or better to allow entry to the PGDE Primary programme. Further details on the Access Course can be obtained from Dr Sally Middleton. E-mail:  

Students MUST be interviewed as part of the selection process prior to final acceptance. Students will be required to complete a Protection for Vulnerable Groups (PVG) check prior to final acceptance on the course. Basic ICT skills are highly desirable. Students will normally have had recent experience of working with young children in a variety of settings.

Priority is given to applicants holding the pre-requisite qualifications in English and Maths and experience at the time of application.

For the part-time programme please contact Student Recruitment & Admissions Service.


Full details of tuition fees is available here


Prospective students should visit the University's Postgraduate Funding Database


Related Information

General Information

Student Recruitment & Admissions Service
University of Aberdeen
The Hub
King's College

Tel: +44 (0)1224 272090 / +44 (0)1224 272091
Fax: +44 (0)1224 272576