Find a Degree Postgraduate Taught Programmes Secondary Education

Programme Details

PGDE(S) 36 weeks full-time (August to June)


The Professional Graduate Diploma in Education (Secondary) is a one year (36 weeks) full-time course of professional training accredited by the General Teaching Council for Scotland.

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 lifelong learning.

The following subjects are available:
Biology with Science; Business Studies; Chemistry with Science; Drama; English; Geography; Home Economics; History; Mathematics; Modern Languages; Modern Studies; Physics with Science; Religious Education; .

Students on the programme normally study one subject only. Certain combinations of subjects may also be available. These are normally restricted to cognate subject combinations for example Geography and Modern Studies.

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 context within different curriculum areas. 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. The degree content must satisfy the Memorandum of Entry Requirements as set by the Scottish Government.

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 Communication (NC) at higher level and Literature 1 at higher level *; or GCSE/O Level English Language and English Literature. Grade C or above in both; or A Level English at Grade D or above; or Irish Leaving Certificate English at Higher Grade C2 or above. * Previously 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 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 Secondary programme. Further details on the Access Course can be obtained from Dr Sally Middleton. E-mail:  

All candidates who are selected for interview are required to attend the School of Education for the interview which is normally conducted jointly by University staff and field specialists. Students will be required to complete a Protection for Vulnerable Groups (PVG) check prior to final acceptance on the course.

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