Secondary Education, PGDE

Secondary Education, PGDE


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.

Study Information

At a Glance

Learning Mode
On Campus Learning
Degree Qualification
10 months
Study Mode
Full Time
Start Month

If you are interested in embarking on a rewarding and fulfilling career, where you can really make a difference, our PGDE programmes give you the opportunity to get a teaching qualification in just 36 weeks.

The aim of the programme is to produce adaptable, flexible teachers who are able to collaborate and cooperate with other professionals, ready to face challenges of teaching in the 21st century and to commit to the notion of life-long learning. The University of Aberdeen offers an innovative PGDE Secondary programme that brings together students across a wide range of curricular areas, in order to learn together, share common experiences, and debate current issues in secondary education.

The development of the programme aims to produce inclusive practitioners who will be able to face the challenges of the 21st-century classroom, by adopting innovative pedagogies that support all learners and foster collaborative working. The PGDE programme is offered on a full-time basis over 36 weeks with 18 weeks spent on placement in schools in our partner Local Authorities, and the other 18 weeks spent on campus.


The method of applying for the PGDE programme within the School of Education is different from the standard postgraduate application process.

All applications should be made through the main Undergraduate UCAS scheme and not through Teacher Training. This applies to all institutions in Scotland delivering the PGDE, not just Aberdeen.

What You'll Study

Year 1

Compulsory Courses

Depending on the subject the candidate is wishing to teach, there will be an additional 0 credit course that runs across the year. Talk to your programme coordinator for more details.

School Experience 1 and 2 (ED402Q)

60 Credit Points

As part of the PGDE (Secondary) programme, this professional placement provides an opportunity for students to apply their knowledge of issues in Scottish Education and pedagogical theory in a practical context.

Learning and Teaching in Schools: Developing Professional Practice 1&2 (ED402R)

60 Credit Points

As part of the PGDE programme this campus-based course provides a variety of learning experiences which develops, students’ knowledge and understanding of current issues in Scottish Education. Students will engage with pedagogical theory to support the development of professional values and skills in preparation for School Experience.

We will endeavour to make all course options available; however, these may be subject to timetabling and other constraints. Please see our InfoHub pages for further information.

Fee Information

Fee information
Fee category Cost
RUK £9,250
Tuition Fees for 2023/24 Academic Year
EU / International students £20,800
Tuition Fees for 2024/25 Academic Year
Home Students £1,820
Tuition Fees for 2023/24 Academic Year

Additional Fee Information

  • In exceptional circumstances there may be additional fees associated with specialist courses, for example field trips. Any additional fees for a course can be found in our Catalogue of Courses.
  • For more information about tuition fees for this programme, including payment plans and our refund policy, please visit our InfoHub Tuition Fees page.

Funding Opportunities

If you're changing career to teach or if you're currently considering a change, The Teaching Bursary is a £20,000 incentive to ease your transition into Initial Teacher Education.


Self-funded international students enrolling on postgraduate taught (PGT) programmes will receive one of our Aberdeen Global Scholarships, ranging from £3000 to £8,500, depending on your domicile country. Learn more about the Aberdeen Global Scholarships here.

To see our full range of scholarships, visit our Funding Database.

How You'll Study

Learning Methods

  • Lectures
  • Research
  • Tutorials
  • Workshops

Assessment Methods

There are two assessments within the programme, each in two parts, and combining both essays and presentations. The first focuses on the key educational issues of achievement, attainment and inclusion, exploring how these issues can be addressed nationally, at school level and through the student's own practice; the second is a reflective enquiry into an aspect of the student's professional practice.

What Our Students Say

Kieran Smyth, PGDE Secondary - History

Kieran Smyth, PGDE Secondary - History

Kieran Smyth, PGDE Secondary - History

The PGDE course is successful in creating strong foundations that are built on inclusive practices and theoretical knowledge, complemented with the wonderful chance of gathering school experience on placement across different schools in Scotland.

Find out more

Babalola Adioke, PGDE Secondary - Physics

Babalola Adioke, PGDE Secondary - Physics

Babalola Adioke, PGDE Secondary - Physics

My application to the University of Aberdeen was straightforward. I was able to fit the two-day weekly workshops and lectures, which introduced new teaching ideas around my other activities and family commitments.

Find out more

Georgina Pinson, PGDE Secondary - Mathematics

Georgina Pinson, PGDE Secondary - Mathematics

Georgina Pinson, PGDE Secondary - Mathematics

The experience I've had at the University of Aberdeen has been invaluable for my personal development as a new teacher. The programme staff are incredibly supportive and knowledgeable. This course is jam-packed with career-enhancing information.

Find out more

David Steedman, PGDE Secondary - Modern Languages

David Steedman, PGDE Secondary - Modern Languages

David Steedman, PGDE Secondary - Modern Languages

The PGDE is certainly an intensive course, but well worth the effort. I cannot fault UoA and their delivery of the PGDE programme. I would advise anyone thinking of embarking on a career in teaching to start that journey here.

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Stuart Murphy, PGDE Secondary - Geography and Modern Studies

Stuart Murphy, PGDE Secondary - Geography and Modern Studies

Stuart Murphy, PGDE Secondary - Geography and Modern Studies

The PGDE course at the University of Aberdeen is an exciting course. The classes are so inspiring and give you loads of ideas and practices which you can implement in the classroom and on placement.

Find out more

Entry Requirements

Please refer to the PGDE Secondary Key Information Leaflet in the Related Information section of this page for full details.

In addition to the following entry requirements, a PVG (Protection of Vulnerable Group) check through Disclosure Scotland will be conducted by the University prior to final acceptance.


The information below is provided as a guide only and does not guarantee entry to the University of Aberdeen.

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 should minimally contain 80 SCQF credit points relevant to the teaching qualification or qualifications being studied. 40 of the credit points must have been studied at SCQF level 8 or above.

In addition formal qualifications are required in English and Mathematics, please see the information leaflet (linked on this page).

The University of Aberdeen Online Access Courses are suitable to meet the English and Mathematics requirements for this programme.

Please enter your country to view country-specific entry requirements.

English Language Requirements

To study for a Postgraduate Taught degree at the University of Aberdeen it is essential that you can speak, understand, read, and write English fluently. The minimum requirements for this degree are as follows:

IELTS Academic:

OVERALL - 6.5 with: Listening - 5.5; Reading - 5.5; Speaking - 5.5; Writing - 6.0


OVERALL - 90 with: Listening - 17; Reading - 18; Speaking - 20; Writing - 21

PTE Academic:

OVERALL - 62 with: Listening - 59; Reading - 59; Speaking - 59; Writing - 59

Cambridge English B2 First, C1 Advanced, C2 Proficiency:

OVERALL - 176 with: Listening - 162; Reading - 162; Speaking - 162; Writing - 169

Read more about specific English Language requirements here.

Document Requirements

You will be required to supply the following documentation with your application as proof you meet the entry requirements of this degree programme. If you have not yet completed your current programme of study, then you can still apply and you can provide your Degree Certificate at a later date.

Degree Transcript
a full transcript showing all the subjects you studied and the marks you have achieved in your degree(s) (original & official English translation)

Aberdeen Global Scholarship

Eligible self-funded post graduate taught (PGT) students will receive the Aberdeen Global Scholarship. Explore our Global Scholarships, including eligibility details, on our dedicated page.

Aberdeen Global Scholarships


Please see attached PGDE information leaflet for further career information.

Career Opportunities

  • Teacher


General Teaching Council of Scotland

This degree holds accreditation from

Our Experts

Information About Staff Changes

You will be taught by a range of experts including professors, lecturers, teaching fellows and postgraduate tutors. Staff changes will occur from time to time; please see our InfoHub pages for further information.

Get in Touch

Contact Details

Student Recruitment & Admissions
University of Aberdeen
University Office
Regent Walk
AB24 3FX