Primary Teaching PGDE

What is special about this course?

This course will prepare you for life as a primary teacher, with the skills and knowledge, to influence the lives of children you teach.

The PGDE consists of 18 weeks study at the university, plus 19 weeks in professional practice in schools. The placements in schools are arranged nationally and you will be placed in schools within travelling distance of your home or term-time address. You will be able to choose from two pathways, English and Gaelic.

If you wish to apply for the Gaelic pathway you must be a fluent Gaelic speaker, your language proficiency will be assessed at interview. On this pathway, parts of the course are delivered through the medium of Gaelic and you will complete the majority of your school practice in a Gaelic setting.

Graduates of the course will hold provisional registration as a primary teacher with the General Teaching Council for Scotland.

You will benefit from studying in small, locally-based groups while collaborating remotely with other student teachers and tutors across the university’s network of colleges. The programme overlaps significantly with the PGDE Secondary to offer a cross-sector

A three-day residential induction is held at the start of the course with a further one in March which focuses on outdoor learning. Each local cohort will also organise a showcase event at the end of the course, as part of developing leadership.

Further information about studying on our PGDE programmes.

Special features

  • Opportunity to follow a teacher education programme across the Highlands and Islands
  • Gaelic pathway available at Argyll College UHI, Oban; Inverness College UHI; Lews Castle College UHI, Stornoway for fluent Gaelic speakers
  • The course will prepare you for life as a reflective professional, supporting high quality learning for the children you teach
  • The course also offers the option of gaining 40 masters level credits by submission of three assignments at level 11.

Entry requirements

A degree at undergraduate level or above, preference will be given to those possessing a degree at Honours level, though consideration will also be given to those holding ordinary degrees,PLUS:


  • Scottish Higher level grade C or above, OR
  • A level at grade D, OR
  • GCSE English Language (B) and English Literature (B) or equivalent, AND

Maths or Lifeskills Maths: 

  • National 5 at grade C or above, OR
  • SQA Intermediate 2 or Standard grade Credit OR
  • GCSE Mathematics (Grade B or above) or equivalent

Applicants with Ordinary degrees must provide a transcript of their degree and this needs to evidence their capacity to work at the academic level of the programme which sits across Honours and Masters levels

The personal statement needs to evidence recent voluntary or paid work in a Primary context - this is one of the selection criteria we use when inviting for interview.

Interviews are usually held at the end of February / early March.

Applicants for the Gaelic pathway must be fluent Gaelic speakers

Successful applicants will be required to complete a PVG Disclosure Check and become PVG Scheme Members in order to undertake this course

Applications for the PGDE in Primary Education must be made through the main UCAS scheme in the same way as undergraduate programmes, and not through UCAS Teacher Training. This applies to all institutions in Scotland delivering the PGDE. Please note that this course does not accept applications for deferred entry. Applicants must provide details of their degree, English and Maths qualifications within the application, failure to do so will lead to automatic rejection. Application deadlines include submission of references. It is the applicant's responsibility to ensure that referees are aware of the deadlines and that the application is submitted fully prior to the relevant deadline.


Taught modules:

  • The critical and enquiring professional
  • Children, Young people and their curriculum
  • Children, Young people and their learning

Plus professional practice (60 credits, four placements) in schools in Argyll and Bute, Comhairle nan Eilean Siar, Highland, Moray, Orkney, Perth and Kinross and Shetland.

All modules are compulsory, There is the option to submit three assignments at level 11 to gain 40 Masters level credits.

How will I study my course?

Full Time

  • For the taught element of the course, you will study through a combination of face-to-face and video conference lectures, and online study via the university’s virtual learning environment (VLE)
  • The practice element takes place in schools

How long will my course last?

Full Time: 1 year

Where can I study my course?

Start date


How much will my course cost?


How much will my course cost?

The following fees apply to our PGDE for 2017-18:

 Scottish and EURest of UK
PGDE £1,820 £8,000

The following fees apply to our PGDE for 2016-17:

 Scottish and EURest of UK
PGDE £1,820 £8,000

There are a number of funding options available to UK and EU students to help you pay for your studies and your cost of living whilst studying. Students who are resident and studying in Scotland can apply for their fees to be paid by the Student Awards Agency for Scotland (SAAS). SAAS will determine eligibility.

What funding can I apply for?

External scholarships and financial support may be available. Contact the relevant university partner college for more information.

What can I do on completion of my course?

Graduates will hold provisional registration as a primary teacher with the General Teaching Council for Scotland (GTC Scotland). This qualifies students to apply for GTC Scotland’s induction year, which can then allow teachers to qualify for the status of full registration.

Can I progress into further study?

Graduates can progress to the UHI MEd Critical Enquiry and other UK Masters programmes

Is there more information available online?

You can use the above QR code to connect directly to the course details.

What our students are saying

The balance of theory and practice – with placements in local primary schools alongside taught modules in college and some distance learning - allows students to build up their teaching experience while undertaking the core learning. There is a strong focus on independent study, with an emphasis on encouraging students to develop their own areas of interest and identify their strengths and areas for development from a very early stage.

Learning is linked to the Standard for Provisional Registration with the General Teaching Council for Scotland and students are encouraged from the outset to develop and extend their learning in line with these standards. This very much reflects the teaching year that newly qualified graduates carry out on completion of their course.

As Emily wanted to continue working and living in Moray, location was an important factor in her choosing the course. She is now undertaking her probationary year as a newly qualified teacher at Burghead Primary School.

All of the lecturers were extremely supportive and always available to speak to at any time of the day or night. They took a lot of time to get to know each student personally and I hope to keep in touch with them in the future.

Amanda MacDonald, graduate, PGDE (Primary).

Apply for Primary Teaching PGDE

You must apply through the main UCAS scheme using UHI code H49 for this programme.

Please note: Applications for 2017 entry to the PGDE Primary Teaching (English Pathway) are now closed for all campuses. The PGDE Primary Teaching (Gaelic Pathway) still has vacancies and remains open for 2017 entry.

International applicants should apply using the UHI International application form. Please download and print the form, complete and return using the address indicated. More information is available for international applicants at our international student page

We are delighted that you are thinking about studying at the University of the Highlands and Islands (UHI). UHI operates a fair and open admissions system committed to equality of opportunity and non-discrimination. We consider all applications on merit and on the basis of ability to achieve, without discrimination on grounds of gender, age, disability, ethnicity and socio-economic background. We welcome applications from all prospective students and aim to provide appropriate and efficient services to students with disabilities.

Search again