Maths teacher training options

There are two routes into teaching Maths. You can study a four-year combined degree in education and mathematics or take a one-year diploma course following your undergraduate degree in Maths. And if these options don’t quite work for your circumstances, there are some alternative routes to consider.

Bursary for Maths teaching courses in Scotland

There are bursaries available for people who have been working for at least three of the last five years and already have a Maths degree. Find out how to apply here.

Four-year university courses in education

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).

Check the entry requirements with the course provider.

PGDE university courses

Here are the universities you can study for a PDGE in Maths at secondary level. Entry requirements vary so it’s best to check with the course provider.

Alternate routes into teaching

These routes offer a little more flexibility in order to encourage diversity in the profession:

  • Distance Learning Initial Teacher Education PGDE Secondary – University of Aberdeen
  • Supported Induction Route (SIR) with a focus on STEM subjects – University of Dundee
  • MEd Enhanced Practice with Specialism – Middle Years Maths Teachers – University of Glasgow
  • Combined PGDE with integrated Masters & induction year in Secondary STEM subjects – University of Strathclyde

Victoria Wall – Maths Teacher at Wallace High School

“I genuinely love being a teacher. Whether it is developing relationships with staff and pupils, acting as a mentor to young people, or simply sharing my love for Maths, I find that there is a great deal of job satisfaction on offer.

"The job of a teacher is not without its challenges, although I aim to improve pupil performance and implement my behavioural policies which I feel will benefit my students in the long-term.

"Moving forward, my primary aim is to focus on becoming an excellent Maths Teacher. One crucial aspect of this is going to be motivating my pupils so that they are more enthusiastic about STEM subjects. I personally feel that this comes back to the important fundamentals of teaching; we need to shake off the ‘boring’ tag and, for teachers, this starts by reinforcing your own passion, otherwise you are going to find it hard proving them wrong.”

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David Buchanan – Maths Teacher at Airdrie Academy

“After graduating with a Bachelor of Engineering I first worked as project manager in private banking, using my numerical and problem-solving skills. After a short while I decided to retrain as a teacher. I have definitely made the right choice. Due to my experience of the applications of mathematics, I can bring this into the classroom. Being able to draw on examples from engineering helps the students understand principles but also makes lessons more engaging.

“If you’re thinking about a career as a STEM teacher I highly recommend it. There are few careers where you are part of something that is always evolving, with discoveries or breakthroughs. Teaching a STEM subject to students allows you to be part of this evolution and to transfer this excitement and enthusiasm across to the young people in front of you every day.”

Gillian Angus - Maths Teacher at Hazlehead Academy

“I’ve been teaching for 10 years, both in Scotland and abroad. The biggest myth about STEM teaching is that it’s just science. I’ve been a technical teacher, an engineer, I’ve taught science, done experiments… There is a lot of scope to express your creativity. My students often have mixed abilities, so I have to cater for all students. You learn what works and you learn how to develop in order to make your lessons engaging and interesting for students.

"My advice if you’re considering a career as a STEM teacher is just go for it. The kids find it interesting and it’s a great way to show them the relevance of the science and technology and maths and to show them the types of careers they could have. So, just go for it.”

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