Become a primary teacher


Become a primary school teacher

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 
  • Technologies
"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."Mark Pitblado – Primary School Teacher at Aberhill Primary School

They also usually work closely with the same group of children across the school year.

Undergraduate routes to becoming a primary school teacher in Scotland

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).
Individual universities set their own entry requirements, and are likely to require four Higher grades (often at AABB). Please double-check the course requirements with the university in question before you apply:

If you don’t have the English or Mathematics qualifications to enter teaching in Scotland, you can join Online Access Courses in English (SCQF Level 6) and Maths (SCQF Level 5). These allow you to work flexibly towards attaining these qualifications.

For the one-year 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.

Find out more about the PGDE courses offered at these universities:

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.

Start your teaching application today

Visit UCAS to start your teaching application.

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