PGDE Professional Graduate Diploma in Education (Mathematics)

Postgraduate, Full-time

Professional Graduate Diploma in Education (Mathematics) PGDE

Think differently about teaching and stand in the classroom confident, experienced and equipped from day one.


If you want to make a career teaching Maths in secondary schools, this course is for you. Now is your opportunity to inspire young people with your enthusiasm and love of the subject.

This new course is designed to blend knowledge, research and the experiences of successful teachers. This approach will help you grow your motivation, confidence and creativity to help you succeed in the classroom.

We will also explore different teaching approaches and methodologies including interdisciplinary learning classroom research, and using technology for assessment and reflection. As a result, you will work not just with university tutors, but also the wider educational community and experts who will give you holistic advice and support on many issues affecting young people and school communities.

Apply for this course now through UCAS

Image taken from behind Students with their hand up to ask a question during a lecture

Mode of Study:



1 year

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Course details

This is a one-year, full-time course, split into three trimesters.

Starting in August, you will spend a total of 18 weeks in University and 18 weeks in secondary school placements over the duration of your course.


  • Learning & Teaching 1
  • Understanding Learning & Teaching
  • Learning & Teaching 2
  • Professional Enquiry

These four modules will help develop your skills as a dynamic and effective teacher. All modules are SCQF Level 11.

Learning & Teaching 1&2

These modules are related to knowledge of the curriculum and school placements. You will explore effective methodologies, curriculum design, and keep up-to-date with current initiatives from the Scottish Government’s “A Curriculum for Excellence” and “The Attainment Challenge” policies.

Understanding Learning & Teaching

This module will allow you to explore the theory and policy underpinning our educational system. We will explore keys themes such as behaviour management, additional support needs and more, both in theory and practice. Visiting experts will offer professional advice on complex issues.

Professional Enquiry

This module will prepare you to undertake an action research project. The project will be combined with an interdisciplinary project in your later placement, which will give invaluable insights into the complexities of making changes to practice and equip you with research methods.

  • calendar How you’ll be taught

    You will be taught by a team of experienced lecturers who have extensive knowledge of both the Higher Education sector and Secondary schools.

    The University-based work consists of four Modules and is based around the school curriculum and the way it is taught (Curricular Pedagogy and Educational Studies).

    During school placements you will undertake a variety of tasks to help you understand and develop the skills needed to be a professional teacher.

  • note and pen Assessments

    You will be assessed in a variety of ways across four academic modules, from critical reflection to literature reviews.

    On placement, you will also complete formal classroom observations, which will assess your placement time as a whole.

    You will also complete classroom-based research that will contribute to a formal report, and attend a practitioner conference where your projects will be presented.

  • briefcase Work placement Placement opportunities are subject to UK and Scottish Government health and travel advice.


Modules that you will study* as part of this course

Contexts of Learning ( TED11100 )

This modules aims to develop:
a thorough knowledge and critical understanding of contemporary Scottish educational contexts;
essential skills for successfully teaching within this context;
the professional values and personal commitment expected of student teachers set out in the GTCS’ Standards for Provisional Registration;

This module uses lectures, workshops, tasks and reflection on school experience to build a critical understanding of how children learn, the complex and sometimes challenging influences on this learning and the practical skills to successfully teach within such contexts.

Using reading, discussion and reflection, you will be encouraged and supported in developing the professional values and qualities expected of student teachers by the GTCS in their Standards for Provisional Registration. You will develop the essential knowledge and skills to teach with these values through engagement with current policy and legislation (e.g. Standard in Scotland’s Schools etc. Act (2000), Education (Additional Support for Learning) (Scotland) Act 2004 and Getting it Right for Every Child (GIRFEC, 2014)).

Each week is structured around an important theme which will be discussed in the lecture and then further explored in the workshops thereafter. The workshops will comprise a mix of group discussion of pre-reading and activities. This theme will also be a focus for the observation of day-to-day practice of teachers on the six serial school visit days within the duration of this module.

Indicative Content

The following areas have been identified as the main themes for each week of this module:-
Theories and approaches to learning and teaching
Understanding child and adolescent development
Mental health and wellbeing for learners and teachers
Understanding literacy - all teachers have a responsibility for teaching literacy through the curriculum
Understanding numeracy - all teachers also have a responsibility for teaching numeracy
Engaging challenging learners
Inclusive teaching
Learning for Sustainability

Further information

Learning & Teaching 1 ( TED11102 )

Learning and Teaching 1 is designed to explore the professional values, personal commitment, complex pedagogical approaches and subject knowledge required in curricular specialisms. There will be a focus on the Senior Phase of secondary school to allow you to develop your confidence in working with pupils who are working towards enhanced specialist knowledge or who are preparing for assessment and external qualifications. You will develop your skills in planning and delivering lessons, or portions of lessons, that are relevant, challenging and engaging.
In all components, the work will help you better understand the complex environment in which you will be working and develop your professional skills and abilities. The content will dovetail with that in the Contexts of Learning module, to help you understand how theory and policy inform practice.

You will develop your knowledge, understanding, skills and abilities in relation to the curriculum, pedagogy and assessment of your curricular area within the secondary curriculum, with a specific focus on the Senior Phase (S4-6). This is the phase where young people undertake National Qualifications. You will develop your understanding of the different curricula available to students within your subject area, and the standards expected by awarding bodies, principally the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA).
It is important for you to understand the individual pupil journeys through the various courses and assessments within the Senior Phase of secondary education, and positive outcomes that are then achievable.

Literacy, and Numeracy, and Health & Wellbeing across the Curriculum are key features in all of these activities as you not just model the language and numeracy skills but seek opportunities for innovative and supportive practice to develop these aspects of the curriculum that are the responsibility of all teachers.

You will understand the methods and underlying theories for effective teaching and learning and learn how to plan appropriately in order to meet the needs of all learners, across different contexts and experiences.

In developing professional skills and abilities there will be many opportunities offered to develop your presentation and demonstration skills through active learning. With the sciences, laboratory skills will be a key feature and backed by the use of classroom technology and a video portfolio of developing practice. This will also involve health and safety practices.

Lesson planning and all of its complexities is a key skill to be developed and will be introduced early in this module. This will also allow you to explore your curricular specific knowledge and incorporate new learning in terms of the teaching phases, organisation and management, and inclusive pedagogical approaches. It will also allow you to demonstrate a new understanding of assessment and differentiated outcomes. Conceptual development will also be explored as a method to engage curious minds in their learning.

Practical behaviour management will also be part of the recurring theme in that you will develop techniques as you gain experience and are able to blend theory and practice very effectively.

You will develop research informed knowledge and understanding of the principles of assessment and how to use a range of approaches for formative and summative assessment purposes. These will be appropriate to the needs of all learners and the requirements of the curriculum and awarding and accrediting bodies such as the SQA. You will also be exploring practical methods of recording assessments appropriately, and the use of assessment information to review progress, inform and enhance teaching and learning. You will develop analytical skills to identify learners’ strengths and development needs which lead to further learning opportunities, and produce clear, informed and sensitive reports on pupil progress.

Professional qualities and capabilities
The module will enable you to engage in professional dialogue with peers and university staff and to work collaboratively. We will also explore professional values and what they mean to your developing role as a teacher.

Throughout the module, you will be expected to model appropriate levels of literacy and numeracy in learning activities and to reflect on the impact of your personal communication on others. Data literacy will also be explored in relation to assessment and meeting the needs of all learners.

Further information

Learning & Teaching 2 ( TED11103 )

This module will enable you to further explore your professional values and personal commitment. You will deepen your knowledge and understanding and further develop skills and abilities in relation to the curriculum, pedagogy and assessment of your subject area within the secondary curriculum, with a specific focus on Broad General Education (S1-3). You will also start to develop extended knowledge of your particular curricular specialism from within the primary curriculum levels. This will enable the contextualising within specific curricular areas of some of the broader principles explored in the PGDE School Experience module.

The module will develop your knowledge of the S1-3 curriculum. This will include the stages of Broad General Education relating to upper Primary School as well as that normally studied in the first three years of Secondary. You will also examine the points of transition from Primary to Secondary education, and from the BGE to the Senior Phase of Secondary education.

You will cover three main areas whilst studying this module

You will further develop your understanding of the methods and underlying theories for effective teaching and learning and learn how to plan appropriately in order to meet the needs of all learners, across different contexts and experiences. There will also be a focus on differentiated learning and inclusion.

You will further develop your knowledge and understanding of the principles of assessment and how to use a range of approaches for formative and summative assessment purposes. Practical activities will help model these principles and give relevant experience that will work towards the interdisciplinary related tasks that are required as part of the module assessment. These will be appropriate to the needs of all learners and the requirements of the curriculum and awarding and accrediting bodies such as the Scottish Qualifications Agency (SQA).

As well as developing assessment materials you will explore and analyse the outcomes to help determine positive learning opportunities for all pupils. Again, working with partner schools and teachers to help develop your own assessments will enhance the practice as it is based upon real experiences, not just theoretical approaches.

Professional qualities and capabilities
After studying this module you have the confidence to engage in professional dialogue with peers and university staff and work collaboratively in a variety of settings that will include primary and secondary transition.

Throughout the module, you will be expected to model appropriate levels of literacy and numeracy in learning activities and to reflect on the impact of your personal communication on others. With increasing confidence, you will be able to explore more fully your own personal development in professional qualities and skills by exploring further opportunities when out on school placement. Five school serial visits will support this development.

Indicative Content
This content will all have a focus on the Broad General Education (BGE) phase of the Secondary school for this module.

The transition from primary school has a strong influence on pupil confidence and attainment so you will also study the different pedagogies and curriculum related to P4-7, and how this relates to the BGE. It must also be remembered that some of your pupils will be working at levels normally expected in this lower age range and it important in terms of GIRFEC and inclusion that all learner needs are met. Other important features we will be exploring are conceptual development and STEM.

Further information

Professional Enquiry ( TED11101 )

This module is focussed on building your skills in practitioner based enquiry. The module will help you develop this skill through the systematic study of practice. You will learn about teachers’ work and teachers themselves as a basis of research. The skills you will learn will help you develop through reflective practice and, have ownership of your research. Successful enquiry is not just about finding the answer to a question but will deepen understanding by surfacing new questions and ultimately improve learning and teaching.

Practitioner enquiry is one of the key elements in the new GTCS Professional Standards and in Scottish Education policy

2.3.2 Have knowledge and understanding of the importance of research and engagement in professional enquiry, 3.4.1 Read and critically engage with professional literature, educational research and policy.

After completing this module you will have an understanding of how practitioner enquiry can be an integral aspect of the day-to-day practice of teachers. You will gain an appreciation that successful teaching requires regular engagement in practitioner enquiry to support professional growth by challenging or 'disrupting thinking' and 'ingrained habits of mind'. The module will explore practitioner enquiry and its role in helping create a space to stop and look again at existing ways of working. It is argued by McLaughlin et al (2004) that teachers who engage in research have 'better understanding of their practice and ways to improve it'. For some teachers, enquiry may promote levels of critical reflection that are transformative.

This module will help develop the attributes required to successfully build these professional skills by introducing the action – research practitioner research cycle and other methodological approaches so that you can use a range of techniques to inform your own professional practice.

McLaughlin, C. Black-Hawkins, K. and McIntyre, D. (2004) Researching Teachers Researching Schools, Researching Networks: Review of the Literature. University of Cambridge: Routledge Menter, I Elliott, D Hulme, M. Lewin, J Lowden K. (2011) A Guide to Practitioner research in Education. SAGE publishing

Indicative Content
The module content will progressively allow you to explore all the features of professional enquiry and provide a useful toolkit for you to undertake action research.

These will include introduction to professional enquiry and how it can support teachers’ professional development throughout their careers

3.4.2 Engage in reflective practice to develop and advance career-long professional learning and expertise.

We will then introduce models of enquiry to allow you to move from a hunch to developing enquiry questions before studying, and very importantly using, different methods of collecting both quantitative and qualitative evidence. All of these activities will be grounded in the British Education Research Association ethical guidelines relating to educational research. Finally, you will be supported at each stage as you develop your own enquiry based around interdisciplinary learning.

Further information

School Experience ( TED10100 )

This module on School Experience articulates with the development of professional skills and abilities in Teaching and Learning. It represents the 18 weeks when you will be in school and developing your skills to enable you to take responsibility for your timetabled classes. You will have opportunities to demonstrate increasing confidence in your abilities and to inspire the pupils with subject knowledge and use of effective learning and teaching strategies.

During this period you will also be required to gather evidence for future professional recognition by the General Teaching Council Scotland’s Standards for Provisional Registration. This detailed matrix is both aspirational and achievable for you by the end of the 10-month PGDE programme, and as an audit towards the probation (NQT) year ahead.

The assessment at all stages is holistic in nature and will involve both university curricular specialists and school based mentors working with you. This partnership is essential to ensure that professional standards are maintained and that support is offered at every stage of the three school experience placements that you will undertake.

As part of the process you participate in developing three personal development plans that will clearly determine your professional needs and advice on how to realistically achieve these targets. It will also be relevant for engaging in professional discussion with colleagues to gauge how the placement is progressing rather than waiting until the end of each placement for purely summative report.

In preparation for your school experience placements you will also explore professional values and generic aspects of curriculum, pedagogy and assessment, as well as facilitating understanding of the schools as inclusive learning communities in which you will teach and your professional responsibilities within them.

You will know and understand the content of the curriculum in relation to literacy, numeracy and health and wellbeing, and the methods and underlying theories for effective teaching of these cross curricular priorities. A variety of strategies to build relationships with learners, promote positive behaviour and celebrate success will be explored and the importance of applying the school’s behaviour management policy, including strategies for inclusion, emphasised.

Learning activities will encourage reflection and engagement in self-evaluation using the Standard for Registration and relevant educational theory. You will maintain a record of their own professional learning and development, and use the reflective journal as a method of capturing this.

• Education systems and professional responsibilities: You will develop an understanding of the sector and schools in which they will be working, including: the role of education authorities, the organisation and management of schools and resources, improvement planning, professional review and development, and how these connect to teachers’ professional practice. The module will provide a working knowledge of the teacher’s contractual, pastoral and legal responsibilities and enable students to develop an understanding of the legal and professional aspects of a teacher’s position of trust in relation to learners. The roles and responsibilities of various members of staff within learning communities will be explored, including interprofessional practice and child protection.

• Pedagogy: The module will support student understanding of theories of learning and the importance of these in planning, teaching and learning. You will also consider how to plan and provide an inclusive, safe and secure, well organised learning environment; make appropriate use of available space to accommodate whole class lessons, group and individual work and promote independent learning including the use of digital technologies where appropriate. You will also learn to apply health and safety regulations as appropriate to your role and the diverse learners you teach.

• Professional qualities and capabilities: The module will enable students to engage in professional dialogue with peers and university staff and to work collaboratively, at times taking a leading role, in a culture of trust and respect, to share their professional learning and development with others.

Further information

* These are indicative only and reflect the course structure in the current academic year. Some changes may occur between now and the time that you study.


Study modules mentioned above are indicative only. Some changes may occur between now and the time that you study.

Placement and study abroad opportunities are subject to UK and Scottish Government health and travel advice.

Full information is available in our disclaimer.

Entry requirements

The entry requirements for this course are a degree from a UK Higher Education Institution, or degree of an equivalent standard from an institution outside the UK. The degree should be in the subject to be taught and contain at least two graduating courses (80 credits) in the relevant subject. A minimum of 40 credits should be from Year 2 of study.

Ordinary Degrees are also acceptable.

We also require SQA Higher English at Grade C or equivalent as well as a SQA National 5 Mathematics or SQA National 5 Applications of Mathematics at grade C or equivalent.



Most Mathematics-based courses and many Engineering degrees meet the requirements for PGDE Entry in Mathematics.

Accountancy and/or Finance Economics are usually NOT acceptable if Mathematics is not explicitly studied as a distinct course within the degree programme.

English language requirements

If your first language isn't English, you'll normally need to undertake an approved English language test and our minimum English language requirements will apply.

This may not apply if you have completed all your school qualifications in English. Check our country pages to find out if this applies to you.

International students

We welcome applications from students studying a wide range of international qualifications.
Entry requirements by country

Please note that international students are unable to enrol onto the following courses:
  • BN Nursing/MSc Nursing (Pre-registration) (Adult or Mental Health)
  • BM Midwifery/MM Midwifery

Admissions policies

We’re committed to admitting students who have the potential to succeed and benefit from our programmes of study. 

Our admissions policies will help you understand our admissions procedures, and how we use the information you provide us in your application to inform the decisions we make.

Undergraduate admissions policies
Postgraduate admissions policies

Fees & funding

The course fees you'll pay and the funding available to you will depend on a number of factors including your nationality, location, personal circumstances and the course you are studying. We also have a number of bursaries and scholarships available to our students.

Tuition fees
Students from 2021/22 2022/23
Scotland £1,820 tba
England Wales, Northern Ireland, and Republic of Ireland £9,250 tba
Overseas and EU £18,880 tba

Please note tuition fees are subject to an annual review and may increase from one year to the next.
For more information on this and other Tuition Fee matters please see Frequently Asked Questions about Fees

Click this link for Information of Bursaries and Scholarships


Secondary Maths Teacher (Can be in Scotland, UK or most countries of the world.)