Postgraduate Taught

PGDE Secondary (Home Economics)

Are you are a health sciences, food or science-related graduate looking for an inspiring, challenging and socially empowering career? This new one-year course will give you an internationally recognised qualification to become a secondary school home economics teacher.

The course will take you way beyond the kitchen to explore vital contemporary issues in home economics such as the correlation between nutrition, wellbeing and cognitive/emotional development. You’ll learn how to help build resilient and sustainable communities through a better understanding of the basics of nutrition and health equality. As a graduate of this unique course you will have gained the practical skills and research-driven knowledge you need to help young people face the challenges of 21st century citizenship.

PDGE Secondary (Home Economics) - Induction will begin on 24th August with teaching commencing on 7th September.

Student Story: Ryan Lee

Why QMU?

  • On graduation you will be guaranteed a job for one year in a Scottish secondary school as a home economics teacher (Scottish or EU students).
    Study at a university with an unrivalled 145-year history of teaching in this field.
  • QMU is well known for its work in food research, and hosts the Scottish Centre for Food Development and Innovation.
  • Learn to teach a subject with the power to shape individuals’ private lives and society’s public health.
  • As a graduate of this course you will be a standard bearer for good food and health, vital to the happiness and wellbeing of students.

Course overview

Are you passionate about helping young people build a better future? This course will prepare you as a teacher to inspire students to care about their own wellbeing and that of ­others. This is about more than reinventing how young ­people learn to cook. Through practical classroom experience and research-driven academic learning you will learn how to help young people become ­citizens of a planet in which food security is under threat, resources are finite and health challenges persist.

The curriculum aims to develop knowledgeable consumers with an awareness of global citizenship and its responsibilities. The world needs people who are able to make sound judgements, appreciating the impact that developments in technology, materials and resources have on their choices and wellbeing. You will be encouraged to interrogate prevailing assumptions, practices and policy. You will explore interconnected topics including food poverty, body image, eating disorders and social media, and debate issues such as the impact of food bank use on people and their communities and how we can understand the obesity-poverty paradox.

The course will collaborate with local organisations and charities so you can gain hands-on experience and real-world knowledge. School counsellors, school nurses and other health ­specialists will run workshops on topics including cyber bullying, child exploitation, neglect, welfare and rights.

You will be studying at a university that has an unrivalled history of teaching this subject – the institution that is now QMU was established in 1875 as the Edinburgh School of Cookery. Its original 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. We were progressive and inclusive then and we are proud to still be so today.

At QMU we also offer courses in health sciences, ­gastronomy and nutrition, and on this interdisciplinary PGDE course you will learn additional skills from our experts in these fields. 

Exit awards

PGDE (120 credits)


To obtain a specific postgraduate award at QMU you must complete a number of credit-bearing modules. For this PGDE you will normally complete 120 credits at SCQF levels 10 & 11.

Teaching, learning and assessment

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

The PGDE shares the pedagogic approach of the other 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
  • Enquiry-based learning
  • 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
  • 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
    • Ways and means of providing feedback and feed-forward.

Teaching hours and attendance

This is a full-time course, so you will be in a learning situation for the majority of the ‘working week’. The course lasts 36 weeks in total, split into 18 weeks on campus and 18 weeks on placement.

Class sizes

We have an upper limit of 20 students per course.

Links with industry/ professional bodies

The course is accredited by the General Teaching Council for Scotland (GTCS). As a graduate you will be eligible to register with the GTCS. See ‘Careers’ section below.


  • Reflective and Critical Practice (Placement Modules) (40 credits)
  • Home Economics in the 21st Century (40 credits)
  • Education: Theory, Practice and Research 1 (20 credits)
  • Education: Theory, Practice and Research 2 (20 credits)

The modules listed are correct at time of posting (September 2019) but are subject to change. In the event that modules are changed, QMU will seek to use reasonable endeavours to ensure that there is no detrimental impact on students.


You will complete an 18-week placement in two different schools in Scotland. Placements are an invaluable way of building on your theoretical learning and seeing the evidence of how it can benefit young people. Placements are generated through the GTCS Student Placement System (SPS) and are based on a  student’s term time address. Students could be required to travel no more than 90 minutes to their placement and are required to pay for any additional expenses which may occur whilst on placement (eg travel, accommodation). Under no circumstances should students source their own placement. 


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 register with the GTCS for provisional registration and on successful completion of a probationary teaching year will be awarded full registration.


Working as a teacher

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

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 terms 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 £22,866 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 £27,438 to £36,480

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. See

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

Applicants must have a degree with 80 SCQF credit points including 40 SCQF credit points at SCQF Level 8 (or above) from at least two of:

  • Consumer studies
  • Food studies
  • Food technology
  • Textile technology
  • Nutrition

The other 40 credits can come from the above or any of the other relevant areas outlined below:

  • Family Studies — Parenting; childhood studies; family lifestyles; socioeconomic influences; environmental issues
  • Food Science — Food chemistry; composition of foods, processing and manufacturing of foodstuffs; functional properties of foods; biotechnology; microbiology.
  • Health — Health promotion; health education; determinants of health, lifestyles and health; environmental issues; health and food policies.
  • Hospitality — Practical food preparation skills; food preparation techniques; food and beverage management.
  • Textile Studies — Textile construction; properties; finishes; contemporary developments; production systems; textile futures; design technologies.

PLUS A National Qualification in English at SCQF Level 6, for example:

  • Higher English Grade C
  • A Level English, Grade D
  • GCSE English Language AND English Literature, at 4/C IN BOTH
  • Irish Leaving Certificate Higher English at Grade 4/C2.

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

AND A National Qualification in Mathematics at SCQF Level 5, for example:

  • Standard Grade/Int 2/National 5 Mathematics Grade C
  • GCSE Mathematics at 4/C
  • 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.

Accreditation of prior learning: You may be granted exemption from studying a module or modules up to a maximum of 60 credit points, provided you can demonstrate successful achievement of all the learning outcomes. 

Other: A satisfactory criminal records check is also required. 

Application deadline

You must apply for this course as part of the UCAS undergraduate scheme before 15 January 2020. 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

For admissions or eligibility enquiries, please contact and for any course enquiries please contact

Alternatively contact Linda Craig Programme Leader

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Course Overview

At QMU (UCAS code 0001)
1 year full-time
Start Date
August 2020
Study Abroad
Fees & Funding
Are you eligible for the Scottish Government's STEM Bursary?