This course is still open for entry in September 2024 – please visit our Clearing and Late Application page.

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, with a focus on social justice: Study at a university with a 145-year history of teaching  with a particular focus on advancing 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. we will enable you to  engage creatively with the role of outdoor learning in the school curriculum, gaining experience in our special campus Outdoor Learning Hub.
  • 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.

Studying PGDE (Religious, Moral and Philosophical Studies) - a short film

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 (face-to-face with 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 two written assignments and two presentations all of which will be either assessed at Levels 11 (Master's degree level). School placements are assessed through observation of your teaching and learning within the secondary School context at Level 10.

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 to incorporate into their own teaching practice.  

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. Students are responsible for funding their travel costs.

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 becoming a teacher in relation to the Standard for Provisional Registration (2021). 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 skills in classroom research. You will produce a research proposal and present this to a live audience.

NB The modules listed are correct at time of posting (October 2023) but may be subject to change. In the event that modules change, 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 local authority school.

Newly qualified teachers in their probation year currently start on a salary of £32,217 in Scotland. Secondary teachers get an additional £8,000 if they choose to complete their probationary year anywhere in Scotland. Once you are fully registered, this increases incrementally over the first six years from £32,217 to £48,516.

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 webpages for more information.

Watch a short film in which an RMPS teacher talks about why he finds his job fulfilling.


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

  • The additional costs associated with placement travel and accommodation are the responsibility of the student.
  • The cost of the PVG check is the responsibility of the student. Please see PG 2024 fees page on our website.

Disability/health conditions

If you have a disability, long-term physical or mental health condition, or learning disability, it should not stand in the way of your studying at QMU. However, if you are not sure whether your disability might be a barrier in your studies or in relation to the professional standards, please contact the disability service who will be able to have a conversation with you about reasonable adjustments and supports available to you.

Applying for this course

You should apply for this course as part of the UCAS undergraduate scheme before 31 January 2024. Late applications may be accepted if space remains, please  contact Admissions to check.

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

This course is still open for an August 2024 start.

Terms and Conditions

The delivery of this course is subject to the terms and conditions set out in our 2024/25 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)

Course Overview

On campus at QMU and on placement
1 year full time
Start Date
August 2024
Subject Area
Fees & Funding
SCQF Level

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