Teacher training in Scotland

Studying to become a teacher in Scotland

As is the case with much of higher education, teacher training in Scotland is slightly different from the rest of the UK. The undergraduate degree is a longer, four year course, and you will still need to complete an induction year after graduation.

Where to find teacher training courses in Scotland

Teacher training courses are offered at eight universities in Scotland:

Qualifications required for teacher training in Scotland

Officially, the minimum qualification for teacher training in Scotland, as an undergraduate, is three Higher Grades at grade C or above, at least one of which must be English. In practice, however, since courses are often vastly oversubscribed, a typical offer is more likely to be four Higher Grades at grade B or above. You will also need maths at Standard Grade 1 or 2 or equivalent.

Other requirements for entry to teacher training courses

Primary education involves much more than academic skills, and so you will also need to also demonstrate a real commitment to working with children. This can be through voluntary work, personal experience or work experience. With huge competition for primary education degree places, this experience will be a crucial part of your application, and you should endeavour to demonstrate this as fully as possible, both in your written application and at interview.

Try and arrange a visit, or better still, a longer placement, at a local primary school, and try to get involved with children out of the academic arena, such as helping out at an after school club or summer play schemes.

How to apply for primary teacher training in Scotland

Applications for teacher training places at Scottish universities are handled by the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS). There is also lots of advice on teacher training and teaching careers in Scotland on the Teach Scotland website and at the General Teaching Council for Scotland website.

Induction year for primary education

After graduation from a teaching degree in Scotland, you will be expected to complete an induction year. This is a paid year of training (currently around £21,500p.a.) in which around 80% of your time is spent on work experience and 20% on professional development. Completing your induction year will qualify you for full registration with the General Teaching Council for Scotland.

Postgraduate teacher training in Scotland

If you choose to follow a career in primary school teaching after completing your first degree, you can study in Scotland for a Professional Graduate Diploma in Education (PGDE) – Primary, which takes one year. To apply you will need an honours degree and be able to demonstrate suitable interest and/or experience in teaching. You can apply for a PGDE course through the Graduate Teacher Training Registry.