Skilled graduates to be offered new route into teaching

University partnership to deliver teacher training in rural schools.

A new route into teaching for highly-qualified graduates and career changers specialising in science and technology-related subjects will be run by the University of Dundee and the University of the Highlands and Islands.

The universities will work with rural schools in areas of high deprivation to support between 30 and 50 students in qualifying for a Masters-level diploma in teaching.

The course, which will run from December 2018 to June 2020, will be open to graduates with a minimum 2:1 honours degree in chemistry, physics, home economics, maths and engineering.

The university partnership was chosen as the successful bidder following a procurement exercise by the Scottish Government. This involved Education Scotland and the General Teaching Council for Scotland in the assessment of the bids.

Deputy First Minister and Education Secretary, John Swinney, said:

“Teachers are the foundation of Scotland’s education system and are crucial to our aspiration of closing the poverty-related attainment gap.

“We know that some areas face challenges in recruiting teachers in certain subject areas and this means that we need to think differently about how we attract new recruits into the classroom.

“This innovative proposal is designed to broaden the range of people entering the profession – providing a challenging, yet extremely rewarding, opportunity to train in rural schools within areas of high deprivation.

“Crucially, this route maintains the traditionally high standard of teaching in Scotland and I am pleased to support it with a quarter of million pounds from the Attainment Scotland Fund.”

GTCS Chief Executive Kenneth Muir said:

“This new route into teaching is a welcome addition to the range of opportunities that exist to support people to become high quality teachers. It offers additional flexibility while maintaining the strength and quality of input from Scottish Initial Teacher Education Universities.

“Society is changing at an unprecedented speed and the way we train and register teachers must reflect those changes. We believe this route into teaching does that and GTCS is ready to start the process of accrediting this new programme as soon as possible.

“It is important to remember, as the Cabinet Secretary and GTCS Council have stressed all along, any new routes into teaching must meet the high quality benchmark of the GTCS Standards for Registration in order to ensure our children and young people receive the best possible learning experiences.”

Professor Teresa R Moran, Depute Dean, Discipline Lead (Education) at the University Of Dundee said:

“The Universities of Dundee and the Highlands and Islands are delighted to be working together to provide this new route into initial teacher education for STEM subjects. Working in partnership with several rural local authorities we are looking to recruit high calibre candidates to enhance leaners’ experiences in a number of STEM subjects.”

Dr Morag Redford, Head of Teacher Education, University of the Highlands and Islands, said:

“This new programme provides an exciting opportunity for high quality graduates to join the teaching profession in rural schools.”


The University of Dundee and the University of the Highland and Islands will work with schools in Aberdeenshire, Argyll & Bute, Borders and Highlands Councils.

As part of the specifications set out during the Scottish Government’s procurement exercise, the successful provider has to meet the following requirements:

  • The development of an innovative programme for high quality graduates that will provide them with an opportunity to develop their leadership skills.
  • Recruitment of graduates with a 2:1 (honours) degree at SCQF level 10
  • A programme that will provide an academic qualification at Scottish Credit and Qualifications’ Framework (SCQF) level 11;
  • A programme that will provide a teaching qualification accredited by the GTCS;
  • Deployment of students/probationers to schools with high levels of pupils living in areas of multiple deprivation;

The course will complement eleven new routes into teaching previously announced by the Deputy First Minister. 


Media enquiries

Back to top