Primary (Gaelic medium) PGDE

UCAS code X103

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 Professional Graduate Diploma in Education (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 must be a fluent Gaelic speaker at the start of this programme and your language proficiency will be assessed at interview. Parts of the programme are delivered through the medium of Gaelic and you will complete the majority of your school practice in classes that provide Gaelic Medium Education.

The course is offered in partnership with Argyll and Bute, Comhairle nan Eilean Siar, Highland, and Perth and Kinross councils, each working with the university through the relevant local campus:

  • Argyll College UHI and Argyll and Bute Council
  • Inverness College UHI and Highland Council
  • Lews Castle College UHI and Comhairle na Eilean Siar
  • Perth College UHI and Perth and Kinross Council

You will be required to have a home or term-time address in the local authority area of your chosen campus. 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 is taught with the PGDE Primary (English medium) and overlaps significantly with the PGDE Secondary to offer a cross-sector perspective.

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
  • 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 SCQF level 11.

Entry requirements

Applicants should hold 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 (C) and English Literature (C) 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.

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.


PDGE Taught Modules

Collaborative Practice (20 credits)

This module will develop teachers who are critically reflective, accomplished and enquiring professionals, able to fully engage with the complexities of education and become key people in shaping educational change. It will enable an understanding of the nature of curriculum and its development, the relevance to the modern world and a changing society. The module will examine how Curriculum for Excellence aims to achieve a transformation in education by providing a more enriched, coherent and flexible curriculum. Students will be equipped with the skills to plan, teach and assess within a curriculum framework where the focus is on themes across learning and working with their class and teaching colleagues as part of the whole school.

Enquiry and Practice (20 credits)

This module is aimed at establishing children and young people’s learning, and their classroom experiences as learners, as the central focus for students’ enquiry into their own practice, as the key driver for all planning, teaching and assessment decisions made. The module is closely linked to the four blocks of Placement experience in Gaelic medium settings, to enhance understanding of learning as a continuum.

 Reflective Practice (20 credits)

The module will equip students with the necessary tools to develop an enquiring and critical approach to their teaching, as part of their own personal and professional resources to ensure continuing growth and development. It aims to ensure that the aspirant teacher will become a reflective professional, embodying the necessary skills to think seriously about the quality of children and young people’s learning and the ways in which their own practice impacts on learning. The module will also give students a critical appreciation of how the key concepts of language understanding and development are integrated into teaching and how they impact on each other. 

Professional Practice (Primary)  (60 credits)

For this module students will develop their teaching practice and professional identity as a teacher in four blocks of school placements in a Gaelic medium setting. These are allocated nationally via the Student Placement System to afford experience of the progressive levels of Curriculum for Excellence:

  • 4 weeks in Nursery and Primary 1, and 4 weeks in Primary 2, 3 or 4 [in school one]
  • 5 weeks in Primary 5, 6 or 7 [in school two]
  • 6 weeks in a Primary class not yet experienced [in school three]

Students will gradually increase the duration and scope of their responsibility for learning, teaching and assessment in their school placement class, culminating in classroom leadership for ten consecutive days during the final 6-week placement.

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

Start date



How much will my course cost?

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

2018-19  Scottish and EURest of UK
PGDE £1,820 £9,000


2017-18  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.


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 university's MEd Critical Enquiry and other UK Masters programmes

Is there more information available online?

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What our students, graduates and staff say

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 (Gaelic medium) PGDE

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

Applications are now open for 2018 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.

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