Primary school teaching is a fascinating, varied job where you can explore projects and subjects that touch on several areas of the curriculum.

What’s involved?

Primary school teachers deliver lessons in all areas of Curriculum for Excellence including: expressive arts, health and wellbeing, languages, mathematics, religious and moral education, sciences, social studies and technologies. They also usually work closely with the same group of children across the school year.

Undergraduate route options

For the four-year combined degree and other undergraduate degree programmes you must have at least:

  • English and two other National Qualifications at SCQF Level 6 (Higher Grade) AND
  • Mathematics and one other subject at SCQF Level 5 (or an accepted alternative, for example, National 5, Credit Standard Grade or Intermediate 2).

However, individual universities set their own entry requirements and are likely to require four Higher grades (often at AABB), so please double-check actual course requirements with the university in question before applying.

Post-graduate route options

For the one-year (or equivalent) Professional Graduate Diploma in Education (PGDE) programme you must have:

  • an undergraduate degree validated by a higher education institution in the United Kingdom or a degree of an equivalent standard from an institution outside the United Kingdom AND
  • a National Qualification in English at SCQF Level 6 (for example, Higher Grade) or an accepted alternative AND
  • a National Qualification in Mathematics at SCQF Level 5 (for example, National 5, Credit Standard Grade or Intermediate 2) or an accepted alternative.

What you’ll study

Students of primary education explore innovative ways of working with children and learn how to put their pupils at the centre of everything they do.
Your course will cover:

  • professional practice – including placements in schools
  • subject-based academic electives
  • core curriculum content modules
  • electives related to learning and teaching in different curriculum areas.

You’ll be fully supported as you work to achieve the Standard for Full Registration required to enter the teaching profession.

All primary education courses are academically demanding, with a considerable amount of reading and writing at a high intellectual standard. You’ll also be expected to meet tight deadlines for presenting finished work.

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Mark Pitblado – Primary School Teacher at Aberhill Primary School

“I decided to pursue a primary teaching career during high school when I was coaching younger children in sport. I’m glad I chose it as I love teaching and truly enjoy going to work.

"The job is always evolving. I did not anticipate how many changes and opportunities would take place in my career. I have also had a range of responsibilities beyond the classroom. Head teachers and senior leadership members are always keen to hand over responsibility on initiatives in schools to allow teachers to develop.

"I think it is important to have a good sense of humour and be creative in the role. This has helped me plan some fantastic lessons and I know the children appreciate how I make school as entertaining as possible.

"The biggest myth about primary school teaching is that 'you just play all day'. The job is challenging and takes a great amount of planning but it is rewarding."