Professional Graduate Diploma in Education
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If you’re thinking about teacher training but would find a traditional full-time course difficult, the Open University’s Professional Graduate Diploma in Education (PGDE) could be the answer.
The PGDE is the most popular route into a career in teaching at secondary level in Scotland. Our modular PGDE in secondary mathematics – which leads to a Teaching Qualification (TQ) conferred by the General Teaching Council for Scotland (GTCS) – offers a flexible alternative to conventional university courses.
You can study on a part-time or full-time basis, taking either one or two years. You’ll study the theory of teaching and learning through supported open learning, which you’ll apply in practice during sustained periods of teaching in two partner schools.
The study materials provide a supportive context for teacher training in today’s schools across the secondary age range – introducing you to the ideas and issues that underpin effective teaching and learning. In addition, online forums enable you to take part in discussions about your subject and teaching; exchange resources for classroom teaching; and debate contemporary education issues.
You will study the following 120-credit module:
Professional Graduate Diploma in Education: Mathematics (EXMS880)undergraduate.qualification.pathways.V19-1,module,EXMS880,,1
The full training programme is a progression through three levels. Each level consists of school experience, supported by web-based study modules and audio-visual materials. The three levels are:
- familiarisation, including a five-week secondary school placement
- consolidation, including six weeks in a different partner secondary school and one in a linked primary school
- autonomy, including six weeks in your original partner school.
The PGDE is offered as a one-year full-time or two-year part-time programme. For either option the modular study associated with the qualification can be completed on a part-time basis, but you will need to undertake blocks of full-time school experience.
How to apply
If you would like further information, or to apply, please contact The Open University in Scotland, to request a PGDE application pack: by email: email@example.com, or by phone: +44 (0)131 2263851.
The requirements may change as a result of government decisions. At present you must:
- be able to attend school placements in Scotland
- have a degree from a UK university or an equivalent qualification that is clearly and substantially relevant to the Mathematics PGDE. The minimum entry requirement to qualify to teach a particular subject is 80 SCQF credit points, 60 of which must be as part of your degree, and 40 must be at SCQF Level 8 or above.
You must have (or expect to have by the time you begin the course) one of the following:
- a national qualification in English at SCQF Level 6 or an accepted alternative; Higher in English at band C or above; OR National Qualifications at SCQF level 6 (for example, Higher); OR National Qualifications at Higher in English and Communication at C or above; OR National Units – Communication at Higher and Literature 1 at Higher (see note below). These used to be known as National Certificate Modules Communication 4 and Literature 1; OR Higher in English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL); OR GCSE English Language and English Literature – passes at C or above (England, Wales and Northern Ireland).
- evidence in your application and at interview that you can communicate clearly and grammatically in written and spoken standard English.
If you are not sure whether your degree is appropriate or has adequate subject content
You might consider taking more undergraduate level modules (perhaps with The Open University) or a second degree in the subject you wish to teach. Please call our enquiry line to speak to an adviser.
If you cannot satisfy the English language requirements
Most further education institutions offer courses both during the day and in the evening. Some schools also admit adults to their classes. You can find information about adult education in your local library.
Career relevance and employability
The Professional Graduate Diploma in Education leads to a Teaching Qualification (TQ) conferred by the General Teaching Council for Scotland (GTCS) and equips you with the skills, knowledge and understanding to become a secondary school teacher. It fosters a reflective approach to classroom teaching – bringing together learning from academic study with the practice learning that takes place during school placements; enabling you to establish links and relationships between them; and encouraging you to reflect on how they shape your learning and professional development.
There’s more information about how OU study can improve your employability in the OU’s Employability Statement from our Careers Advisory Service. You can also read or download our publication OU study and your career and look at our subject pages to find out about career opportunities.
The learning outcomes of this qualification are described in four areas:
- Knowledge and understanding
- Cognitive skills
- Practical and professional skills
- Key skills
Read more detailed information about the learning outcomes, and how they are acquired through teaching, learning and assessment methods.
On successful completion you will be awarded a Professional Graduate Diploma in Education in your chosen subject, entitling you to use the letters PGDE (Open) after your name. You will have the opportunity of being presented at a degree ceremony.
As a student of The Open University, you should be aware of the content of the following regulations:
These regulations are also available on our Essential Documents website.
If you have a disability
Choosing the qualification that’s right for you is very important. Depending on your disability, long-term health condition, mental health disability or specific learning difficulty, you may need to consider any challenges posed by:
- the learning objectives: for example, to gain an honours degree in a language you must be physically able to speak the language
- how the modules are taught: for example, some of our science qualifications require that you complete laboratory work
- any work-based competency requirements.
Choosing the right qualification can be a complex mix of the subject requirements and the support you may need. To help you assess whether the qualification you are interested in will work for you, further advice is available from:
You will need a computer with internet access to study for this qualification. For most OU qualifications a Microsoft Windows (new since 2007),
Apple Mac (OS X 10.6 or later) or Linux computer should be adequate. However, some qualifications require more specific IT equipment, in which case you
will need additional software to use an Apple Mac or Linux computer. A detailed technical specification for your modules will be made available when you
register. Please note, technical specifications do change over time to match computer developments and the way we teach.
The Open University is the world’s leading provider of flexible, high quality distance learning. Unlike other universities
we are not campus based. You will study in a flexible way that works for you whether you’re at home, at work or on the move.
As an OU student you’ll be supported throughout your studies – your tutor or study adviser will guide and advise you, offer detailed
feedback on your assignments, and help with any study issues. Tuition might be in face-to-face groups, via online
tutorials, or by phone.
For more information read Distance learning explained.