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 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.

Student Story: Ryan Lee

Why QMU?

  • On graduation Scottish students are guaranteed a job for one year in a Scottish secondary school as a home economics teacher.
  • 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 Scotland's young persons.

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 sustainable living and wellbeing and that of others. 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, sustainable lifestyle practices and social justice.

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, in 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 and 11.

Teaching, learning and assessment

This is a blended programme in which you will attend practical and interactive workshops on campus and complete online independent, collaborative and reflective learning tasks. Half of the year
will be spent in schools on teaching placements.

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
  • interprofessional, interdisciplinary
  • 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, and ways and means of providing feedback and feed-forward.

Teaching hours and attendance

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

Class sizes

We have an upper limit of 25 students per course.

Industry links, accreditation and professional 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. 



  • 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).
  • Home Economics in the 21st Century (40 credits): This module aims to equip you with the skills to teach practical food and textiles lessons within Home Economics Departments in a Secondary School context.
  • 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 enquiry through enabling you to engage with the ethical process in conducting your practice based research.

The modules listed are correct at time of publication (August 2021) 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.


You will complete an 18-week placement in two different Secondary schools in Scotland. Placements are an invaluable way of building on your theoretical learning and seeing the evidence of how teaching Home Economics 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 may be required to travel within a 90 minutes radius to their placement and are required to pay for any additional expenses that may occur whilst on placement (e.g. travel or accommodation). Under no circumstances should students source their own placement.


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.

In addition, see the ‘Working as a teacher’ section. At the time of publication, the UK is in the transition period following its exit from the EU. Where policy decisions have been made regarding EU students these are reflected in this publication. There will be areas, however, where
policies are still to be finalised. Therefore, references to EU students in this document should be read in that context where there is not a specific statement regarding the post Brexit policy.

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 £27,498 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 £32,994 to £41,412.

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 (UK) or a degree of an equivalent standard from an institution outside the UK
  • 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 or environmental issues
  • Food Science: food chemistry, composition of foods, processing and manufacturing of foodstuffs, functional properties of foods, biotechnology or microbiology.
  • Health: health promotion, health education, determinants of health, lifestyles and health, environmental issues, or health and food policies.
  • Hospitality: practical food preparation skills, food preparation techniques or food and beverage management.
  • Textile Studies: textile construction, properties, finishes, contemporary developments, production systems, textile futures or design technologies.
  • 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 (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 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: 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.


Application deadline

You must apply for this course as part of the UCAS undergraduate scheme before 15 January 2022. 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

Alternatively please contact Linda Craig Programme Leader (


Course Overview

At QMU (UCAS code 0001)
1 year full-time
Start Date
August 2021
Study Abroad
Fees & Funding
Are you eligible for the Scottish Government's STEM Bursary?