Here you’ll find information about Initial Teacher Education (ITE) programmes and entry requirements in Scotland.
Relevant to

Routes into teaching

To teach in Scotland, you will need to complete one of the following:

  • A four-year undergraduate course in education.
  • An undergraduate course followed by a one-year PGDE.
  • A recognised equivalent qualification, if you’ve studied outside the UK.

All Scottish teacher training programmes are university-led. There are two routes available to prospective primary and secondary school teachers:

  • A four-year undergraduate programme: If you don’t currently hold an undergraduate degree, on this route you can study for both your undergraduate degree and professional Teaching Qualification (TQ).
  • A one-year Professional Graduate Diploma in Education (PGDE): For PGDE programmes, you’ll need to hold an undergraduate degree awarded by a UK higher education provider, or a recognised equivalent qualification.

Trained outside the UK?

Find more on the Teach In Scotland website.

Each programme combines theoretical understanding with practical school experience, and will lead to a Teaching Qualification (TQ) in primary or secondary education.

'In Scotland, if you successfully complete a PGDE, you are guaranteed a teaching post with a Scottish local authority for your induction year.'

Sandrine Tonini, Orkney

Entry requirements


For entry to an undergraduate degree:

  • If you intend to apply for an undergraduate degree programme, you must have achieved two other National Qualifications at SCQF Level 6 (e.g. Highers), and one other subject at SCQF Level 5 (e.g. Nat 5).

For the one year (or equivalent) PGDE programme:

  • A degree validated by a higher education provider in the UK, or a degree or equivalent from a provider outside the UK.

For entry to either programme:

  • You’ll need to have achieved a standard equivalent to SCQF Level 6 or above in English (e.g. Higher Grade), and SCQF Level 5 in mathematics (e.g. National 5).
  • If you have non-UK qualifications, you will need a Statement of Comparability from NARIC, the national agency for providing information and advice on worldwide qualifications. This can take some time, so we advise you to start the process before you submit your application. Find out more on the NARIC website.
The minimum entry requirements to programmes of Initial Teacher Education (ITE) in Scotland are set by the General Teaching Council for Scotland (GTCS), but university entry requirements may vary. Check with the training provider before applying.

Please note, all queries regarding entry requirements and details of a course should be sent directly to the training provider you are making an application to. 

Further requirements

As teaching involves working with children on a daily basis, there are some non-academic requirements you will also need to meet.

  • If you’re training to be a teacher in Scotland, you are required to be a member of the Protecting Vulnerable Groups (PVG) Scheme. This helps training providers in Scotland to identify potential trainee teachers who are barred from working with children, young people, or vulnerable adults. For more information, go to the Scottish Government website or visit the GTCS In2Teaching website.
  • Some ITE providers may ask for classroom experience before you begin teacher training. You can arrange school experience independently – if you’re not sure where to begin, contact Teach in Scotland to help get you started. While this is not essential, it will help strengthen your application. You can use the experience in your personal statement, showing what you’ve gained from it, and how it has increased your motivation to be a teacher.

Ready to apply?

Whether you’re looking for undergraduate or postgraduate teacher training programmes in Scotland, you must apply through the UCAS Undergraduate scheme.

Find out more on how to apply 

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