Postgraduate Taught

PGDE Secondary (Home Economics)

The course will prepare home economics teachers of the future to help young people face the challenges of 21st century citizenship. It will explore contemporary issues in home economics such as the correlation between nutrition, wellbeing and cognitive/emotional development and how to build resilient and sustainable communities through a better understanding of the basics of nutrition and health equality.

The course is designed to attract people with a health sciences, food or science related undergraduate degree who have aspirations to work as home economics teachers in Scotland’s secondary schools.  

Please note that this course is currently in development and the information provided here, with the exception of the entry requirements, has not yet been finalised. Please check this page for further updates. The course is subject to accreditation by The General Teaching Council for Scotland (GTCS).



Course overview

The course is designed to attract people with a health sciences, food or science related undergraduate degree who have aspirations to work as home economics teachers in Scotland’s secondary schools.

We aim to attract people to this course who are passionate about helping improve young people’s knowledge of food, nutrition, conservation, consumerism and wellbeing technologies and who can help them develop vital skills that will equip them well as they move into adulthood.

QMU has a history of food education dating back to our inception in 1875. The institution that is now QMU was established as the Edinburgh School of Cookery, emerging in a period that was notable for real economic progress, but also characterised by many social and economic divisions and inequalities, as well as widespread poverty. The original institution’s purpose was to address two key problems facing society at that time: improving educational opportunities for women and the need to bring about an improvement in diets, particularly for working class families from poorer backgrounds. Today QMU has wideranging expertise in food related subjects, with undergraduate degrees in nutrition, dietetics and food science as well as the UK’s first MSc Gastronomy. We are well known for our work in food research, and we host the Scottish Centre for Food Development and Innovation, which is helping provide SMEs and national food organisations with research and development, consumer testing and specialist facilities to help them develop their businesses.

Aside from the food related subjects of health, nutrition, food selection and preparation techniques, this new course will also focus on other important areas of health, wellbeing and lifestyle. Topics such as consumer behaviours, motivations and trends; textile technologies; conservation and sustainability; as well as global perspectives on lifespan wellbeing, will challenge students’  thinking, providing a well rounded learning experience that fits with modern day secondary education and the changing needs of young people.

We are acutely aware that modern day Scotland continues to struggle with problems of poor diet and related lifestyle challenges that directly impact on achievement, health and wellbeing. We also seek to address the current skills shortage relating to home economics within our secondary schools, and,  through this PGDE to nurture some of the next generation of teachers ready to deliver a dynamic and relevant secondary curriculum to our young people.

Through this course you will be able to gain and apply knowledge, skills and understanding in:

  • experimenting with a range of the professional skills, techniques, practices and materials used in current teaching in secondary schools
  • undertaking and analysing a range of research and becoming a researcher-practitioner 
  • planning and executing a significant project of school-based research in an area of your choice and demonstrating originality, criticality and creativity
  • applying theory and practical knowledge of home economics and exploring topics such as health, wellbeing & nutrition; practical food techniques and soil to table understanding; conservation and global food chains; consumer studies/ textile technology, use and consumption.


Exit awards

PGDE (120 credits)


The PGDE Secondary (Home Economics) is one of three new courses launching ITE@QMU, which, in line with other courses in the Division of Psychology, Sociology and Education are based on social scientific enquiry, criticality and reflexivity. The PGDE is modular and has 120 credits. The PGDE is at graduate entry, and there are components (University-based) which are assessed at SCQF Level 10 and Level 11.  The Professional Placement is assessed only at SCQF Level 10.  To be awarded the PGDE students must pass all modules. The PGDE is a 36 week full-time programme including 18 weeks of placement experience in two different schools.

Teaching, learning and assessment

School placements will account for some of the contact hours. You will be required to undertake independent learning tasks and student-led lectures, presentations, debates, seminars and practicums.

The PGDE shares the pedagogic approach of the courses in the Division of Psychology, Sociology and Education, foregrounding:

  • critical thinking;
  • student collaboration;
  • independent learning;
  • involvement with global real-world issues;
  • interprofessional, interdisciplinary learning;
  • practical experience, experiential learning and critical reflection;
  • peer/group work;
  • inquiry-based learning; and
  • debate and contention.

Assessments are designed to:

  • optimise accessibility for students with a range of strengths and abilities;
  • provide variety of opportunity to be challenged and to excel;
  • engage students in the importance of being literate and communicative in a range of formats and media and
  • model and demonstrate assessment procedures for student teachers so that they can incorporate into their own teaching practice, for example:  the importance of assessment; transparency of approaches to assessment;  value of providing a range of assessment formats; and ways and means of providing feedback & feed-forward.

Teaching hours and attendance

The course in currently in development, however delivered full-time, it is likely that you will be in a learning situation for the majority of the ‘working week’. This course is 36 weeks in duration, split between 18 weeks on campus and 18 weeks on placement.

Class sizes

There will be 20 places available on the course each year.

Links with industry/ professional bodies

The course is subject to accreditation by The General Teaching Council for Scotland (GTCS). Following completion, graduates will be eligible to register with the GTCS. See ‘careers’ section.


Exact module names are yet to be confirmed, but you will complete modules in the core specialist subject; research, practical teaching (placement) and a dissertation based on your chosen topic of applied research in the area of secondary home economics teaching and learning. Confirmed module titles will be added to the course entry on our website when available.


Students will complete a total of 18 weeks on placement(s) in secondary schools in Scotland.


Scottish or EU students will be guaranteed a job for one year in a Scottish school following graduation as part of the GTCS Teacher Induction Scheme. After graduating, candidates will register with the GTCS for provisional registration and on successful completion of a probationary teaching year will be awarded full registration. The qualification is recognised throughout the world.

Working as a teacher

When a person successfully completes a teacher education programme at a Scottish university they will receive a teaching qualification (TQ).  

By law they must register with the GTCS before they can be employed as a teacher in a Scottish education authority nursery, primary, secondary or special school. A teacher’s fitness to teach (ie in term of conduct) will be considered at the point of application for registration.

Newly qualified teachers in their probation year currently start on a salary of £22,416 in Scotland.  Secondary teachers get an additional £8,000 if they choose to complete their probationary year anywhere in Scotland, while primary teachers get £6,000 extra.

Once you are fully registered, this increases incrementally over the first five years from £26,895 to £35,763.

The Teacher Induction Scheme offers a guaranteed one-year training post to every eligible student graduating with a teaching qualification from one of Scotland's universities.   

Students from Scotland, other parts of the UK and other Member States of the European Union, who are studying at a Scottish Higher Education Institution are eligible to join the Teacher Induction Scheme (TIS) as they are recruited within the controlled numbers which have been set for teacher workforce planning purposes.

Entry requirements

Successful applicants must, as a minimum, meet the requirements as set by the Memorandum on Entry Requirements to Courses of Initial Teacher Education in Scotland produced by the General Teaching Council for Scotland (GTCS), which specifies general entrance requirements for all applicants and subject specific requirements for Secondary applicants*

Shortlisted applicants will be invited for an interview.

Minimum entry requirements:

  • A 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
  • The degree should normally contain 80 SCQF credit points relevant to the teaching qualification being studied
  • 40 of these credits points must have been studied at SCQF level 8 (or above) from at least two of the following areas: consumer studies, food studies, food or textile technology, nutrition
  • The other 40 credits are needed in any subject relevant to the Home Economics curriculum in Scottish schools (eg family studies, food sciences, health, hospitality or textile studies)


  • A National Qualification in English at SCQF Level 6, for example:
    - Higher English Grade C or;
    - A Level English, Grade D or;
    - GCSE English Language AND English Literature, at 4/C IN BOTH or;
    - Irish Leaving Certificate Higher English at Grade 4/C2.

NB Higher ESOL is acceptable for entry to PGDE Secondary (Home Economics) only. It is not accepted for entry to BA (Hons) Education Studies (Primary).


  • A National Qualification in Mathematics at SCQF Level 5, for example:
    - Standard Grade/Int 2/National 5 Mathematics Grade C or;
    - GCSE Mathematics at 6/B or;
    - Irish Leaving Certificate Mathematics Ordinary Grade 3/B3.

NB National 5 Lifeskills/ Applications Mathematics is accepted in place of National 5 Mathematics.

International: Where your degree has not been studied in English, you will be required to provide evidence of English language competence at no less than IELTS 6.5 with no individual component score less than 6.0.


Application deadline

Applicants must apply for this course as part of the UCAS undergraduate scheme before the 15th January 2019. So that we can fully consider your application, you will need to provide supporting documents to as soon as you have applied. Failure to provide these means we will be unable to assess your application. Please provide the following:

  • Your degree certificate (if already awarded)
  • Your academic transcript listing all the modules you have completed
  • Evidence of Higher English (or equivalent) if already awarded
  • Evidence of National 5 Maths (or equivalent) if already awarded

More information and contacts

Contact Admissions on 0131 474 0000.

Start Your Application

Apply for this Course

Course Overview

At QMU (UCAS code 0001)
36 weeks full time
Start Date
August 2019
Study Abroad
Subject Area
Fees & Funding