NB Application for this course for September 2023 entry is now closed.

Postgraduate Taught

PGDE Secondary (Religious, Moral and Philosophical Studies)

Are you are a graduate in a related degree to religious studies, philosophy, theology, divinity, sociology of religion, anthropology of religion or psychology of religion? Are you looking for an inspiring, challenging and socially empowering career?

Our new one-year PGDE Secondary (Religious, Moral and Philosophical Studies) course will prepare you to teach religious, moral and philosophical Studies in Scottish secondary schools and beyond, providing you with an internationally recognised secondary teaching qualification.

If you are passionate about religious, moral and philosophical studies especially with a social justice, sustainability and health and wellbeing agenda, then there has never been a more important time to learn the necessary skills, knowledge and understanding to enable you to transform young lives and contribute to both community and global wellbeing. As a graduate of our unique course, you will help to prepare young people to face the challenges of 21st century citizenship. 

Why QMU?

  • Guaranteed employment for one year following graduation: Scottish students are guaranteed paid employment for one year in a Scottish secondary school as an RMPS teacher.
  • Historic and current expertise: Study at a university with a 145-year history of teaching for social justice. 
  • Staff expertise: Our staff have subject and professional knowledge based on their expertise from teaching in schools and in initial teacher education in university. Collectively we have many years of experience in supporting students entering the teaching profession.
  • Range of learning experiences: As well as offering you the opportunity to learn how to teach Religious, Moral and Philosophical Studies in a classroom context you will engage creatively with the role of outdoor learning in the school curriculum, gaining experience in our special campus Outdoor Learning space.
  • Make a difference: Learn to teach a subject with the power to shape young persons’ lives and society. As a graduate of this course you will be an advocate for social justice. 
  • Professional accreditation/registration: The course is accredited by the General Teaching Council for Scotland (GTCS). As a graduate you will be eligible to register with the GTCS.

This new course builds on the success of our PGDE Secondary (Home Economics) and shares core modules with that course. You can read some student stories from that course on this page.

Studying PGDE (Religious, Moral and Philosophical Studies)

PGDE Secondary (Religious, Moral and Philosophical Studies): More information and what you will achieve

The PGDE Secondary (Religious, Moral and Philosophical Studies) course will engage you in a critical understanding of contemporary ‘real world’ issues by studying key aspects of religious and philosophical questions, and potential solutions offered by religious and non-religious perspectives. You will learn how to underpin your inclusive practices with the key themes of social justice, sustainability and health and wellbeing to enable all young people to make informed moral decisions enabling them to put their values and beliefs into action to the benefit of others and the environment. You will also learn about the role you can play as a religious, moral and philosophical studies teacher to drive forward the discipline within its contemporary social, cultural, and political contexts.

Professional enquiry is an important aspect of the teacher’s role. On our course we will teach you how to conduct research in your classroom to enable you to make evidence-based decisions in support of pupils’ learning.

How will I be taught?

Structure and exit awards

PGDE (120 credits) with the possibility of 80 credits at Masters’ Level 11.

Teaching, learning and assessment

The course is structured between 18 weeks of teaching at QMU (which is a mixture of mostly face-to-face and some blended learning) and 18 weeks split between two secondary school placements.

Teaching consists of independent and collaborative learning in workshops. You will engage in research and produce three written assignments and one Individual presentation all of which will be either assessed at Levels 11 (Master's degree level) or Level 10. School placements are assessed through observation of your teaching and learning within the secondary School context.

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, and ways and means of providing feedback and feed-forward.

The PGDE shares the pedagogic approach of the other courses in QMU's 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
  • practical upskilling in food and textiles
  • peer/group work
  • enquiry-based learning
  • debate and contention
  • outdoor learning activities


Placements are an invaluable way of building on your theoretical learning and seeing the evidence of how teaching religious, moral and philosophical studies can benefit young people. You will complete an 18-week placement in two different secondary schools in Scotland.

Placements are generated through the GTCS Student Placement System (SPS) and are based on a student’s term time address. Students may be required to travel within a 90 minutes radius to their placement. Under no circumstances should students source their own placement.

Teaching hours and attendance

This is a full-time, demanding course, lasting 36 weeks in total, split into 18 weeks of campus teaching and online learning and 18 weeks on placement.

Class sizes

The expected class size for this PGDE will be up to approximately 20 students.

Teaching staff

You can read more about the teaching staff on this course at the bottom of this page. Please note that teaching staff is subject to change.


  • Reflective and Critical Practice (Placement modules) (40 credits): This module has a particular focus on professional values and the roles and responsibilities required of a teacher in relation to the new 2021 GTCS Standards (SPR).  This Module is Assessed by observation of teaching practice in Schools at SCQF Level 10.
  • Religious, Moral and Philosophical Studies in the 21st Century (40 credits): This module aims to equip you with the skills to teach both the BGE and the senior curriculum within Religious, Moral and Philosophical Studies Departments in a secondary school context and to engage critically with research to inform your approaches to transformative learning in schools. Assignments are research based and one is a Presentation, with the other being a written submission. Both elements must be passed to achieve this module.
  • Education: Theory, Practice & Research (1) (20 credits): This module will develop your critical and reflective skills in the context of classroom-based research and enquiry through building a literature review as a focus for your practice-based research.
  • Education: Theory, Practice & Research (2) (20 credits): This module will develop your critical and reflective skills in the context of classroom-based research and professional enquiry through enabling you to produce a research proposal for your probationary year project.

NB the content on this page was correct at the time of posting (October 2022) but was subject to change following full validation of the course in June 2023. It is likely that there may be some minor changes for entry in September 2023. QMU will seek to use reasonable endeavours to ensure that there is no detrimental impact on students.

Careers and working as a teacher

Scottish students are 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.

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 £28,113 in Scotland. Secondary teachers get an additional £8,000 if they choose to complete their probationary year anywhere in Scotland, and primary teachers get £6,000 extra. Once you are fully registered, this increases incrementally over the first six years from £28,113 to £42,336.

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. Visit In2Teaching's Teacher Induction Scheme Frequently Asked Questions page for more details.

PGDE Secondary (Religious, Moral and Philosophical Studies): Entry requirements and application information

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. The minimum entry requirements are:

  • A degree validated by a higher education institution in the United Kingdom (UK) or a degree of an equivalent standard from an institution outside the UK
  • Applicants must have a minimum of 80 SCQF credit points at SCQF level 7 and above in relevant subject areas, including 40 SCQF credit points at SCQF level 8 or above.

The 80 credit points must come from two of more of the areas listed below:

  • Religious Studies
  • Philosophy
  • Theology
  • Divinity
  • Sociology of Religion
  • Anthropology of Religion
  • Psychology of Religion



  • 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 H4/C2

NB: Higher ESOL is acceptable for entry to PGDE courses 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 4/C or
    - Irish Leaving Certificate Mathematics Ordinary Grade 3/B3

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

International: 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 requirements

  • A satisfactory criminal records check from the Protection of Vulnerable Groups (PVG) Scheme.

Other costs

  • Students are required to pay for any additional expenses that may occur whilst on placement (eg travel or accommodation).
  • The cost of the PVG check is £18 or £59 (depending on the level of clearance required) and is the responsibility of the student. Please note that this cost is subject to change.

Applying for this course

You should apply for this course as part of the UCAS undergraduate scheme before 25 January 2023. 

UCAS code: 0003

So that we can fully consider your application, you will need to provide supporting documents to QMU's Admissions team as soon as you have applied. Failure to provide these means we will be unable to assess your application.

Please contact Admissions 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

Application deadline

Application is now closed.

Terms and Conditions

The delivery of this course is subject to the terms and conditions set out in our 2023/24 Entry - Terms and Conditions (Postgraduate).

More information and QMU contacts

For admissions or eligibility enquiries, please contact Admissions

Alternatively please contact Linda Craig (Programme Leader)

Start Your Application

Course Overview

1 year full-time
Start Date
August 2023
Subject Area
Fees & Funding
SCQF Level

Join us at one of our Postgraduate Open Events 2023

16 or 23 November 2023

We offer a number of online and in-person opportunities to meet with us to find out more about our postgraduate courses and study at QMU. 

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