Becoming a Teacher in Scotland in Working

Have you been considering a job in teaching in Scotland? Or want to know a bit more about what you’d need to do to become a teacher?

GTCS (General Teaching Council for Scotland) have provided us with loads of useful and handy information for aspiring teachers.

GTCS is the independent professional registration body and regulator for all teachers in Scotland, think of them as a ‘one-stop-shop’ for all teachers and those thinking about getting into teaching in Scotland.

Why should you become a teacher?

What are some of the reasons to go into primary or secondary school teaching? We’ve outlined a few below:

You can either teach in primary school – which is for 3-12 year olds and involves teaching a range of subjects. Or you could teach in secondary school – which is for 12 to 18 year olds, and involves teaching a specialist subject.

How do you become a teacher?

There are a few different routes into teaching, the grid below shows you the basics:

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To do a PDGE – i.e. a one-year degree on top of an undergraduate degree, the following requirements will apply:

How do I make an application for teaching?

To make an application for a teaching course at University, you’ll need to apply online at UCAS – you can search “Education” under undergraduate options to find the courses available. 

It is useful to have some voluntary work experience working with children or in a school when you apply.

As part of your course you will also become fully registered with GTCS so that you can take up your first teaching post when you finish your studies. This will allow you to take part in the Teacher Induction Scheme (TIS) which every eligible student graduating with a teaching qualification from a Scottish university is entitled to. The TIS provides:

-          One year teaching post in a local authority

-          A maximum class contact time of 0.8 full-time equivalent

-          Dedicated time set aside for professional learning

-          Access to a teacher for support during the year.

TIS is not compulsory and you can choose to follow the ‘Flexible Route’ instead. Find out more here.

How much will it cost?

Tuition fees will depend on the provider of the course and vary depending on your nationality and country where you live. Tuition fees for eligible students from Scotland are paid by the Student Awards Agency for Scotland (SAAS). You can check what funding you might be eligible for by visiting the SAAS website

Some PGDE programmes include a bursary for applicants who are career changers with a relevant employment background. Eligible subjects are Mathematics, Computing Science, Technical Education and Physics. The level of bursary is £20,000 per student – you can find out more about the bursary here.  

Where can I study?

The following higher education institutions in Scotland offer teacher education programmes:

Royal Conservatoire of Scotland

University of Aberdeen

University of Dundee 

University of Edinburgh

University of Glasgow  

University of the Highlands and Islands  

University of Stirling 

University of Strathclyde 

University of the West of Scotland  

The following will start to offer teacher education programmes in August 2019:

Queen Margaret University - Degree in Primary Education (4 years full time) PGDE (Secondary Education) Home Economics

Edinburgh Napier University  PGDE (Secondary Education) available in STEM subjects and Computing.

Have you qualified as a teacher outside of Scotland?

If you qualified as a teacher outside of Scotland you are welcome to teach in Scotland if the following applies:

-          You register with GTCS

-          You meet the same requirements as Scottish teachers and hold an acceptable degree or equivalent qualification in teaching (link to qualified outside Scotland section of GTCS)

-          Register for a Protection of Vulnerable Groups (PVG), this will happen during your registration with GTCS

Useful contacts

Education Scotland
T. 0131 244 4330
E. enquiries@educationscotland.gsi.gov.uk
www.education.gov.scot

General Teaching Council for Scotland
T. 0131 314 6000
E. gtcs@gtcs.org.uk www.gtcs.org.uk

Scottish Council of Independent Schools
www.scis.org.uk

Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework
www.scqf.org.uk

Student Awards Agency for Scotland
www.saas.gov.uk

Teach in Scotland (‘Teaching Makes People’ recruitment campaign)
T. 0845 345 4745
E. teachinscotland@gtcs.org.uk
www.teachinscotland.scot

UCAS
www.ucas.com

University of Aberdeen
www.abdn.ac.uk

University of Dundee
www.dundee.ac.uk

University of Edinburgh
www.ed.ac.uk

Edinburgh Napier University
 www.napier.ac.uk

University of Glasgow
 www.gla.ac.uk

 University of the Highlands and Islands
www.uhi.ac.uk

Queen Margaret University
 www.qmu.ac.uk

 Royal Conservatoire of Scotland
www.rcs.ac.uk

University of Strathclyde
www.strath.ac.uk

 University of Stirling
www.stir.ac.uk

University of the West of Scotland
www.uws.ac.uk