Two additional universities to offer Teacher Education

£1.3m for new courses.

Queen Margaret University and Edinburgh Napier University will offer Initial Teacher Education courses for the first time next year, Deputy First Minister, John Swinney has announced.

Supported by a £1.3 million investment from the Scottish Government, the courses will start in August 2019 and create hundreds more opportunities in the Edinburgh area for people to qualify as teachers.

Edinburgh Napier University will initially offer a total of 30 places on PGDE courses with a focus on Maths and Sciences (Biology, Chemistry and Physics). From there they plan to expand provision into other subject areas such as English and Computing to a maximum of 150 places after an initial three year period.

Queen Margaret University will offer an undergraduate primary course with capacity for 120 students as well as a Professional Graduate Diploma in Education (Home Economics) with 20 places available.

Deputy First Minister John Swinney said:

“Teachers have a key role to play in helping us raise standards and close the attainment gap. That is why we are doing everything we can to attract talented and enthusiastic people to the profession.

“We recognise that, in common with many other countries, it is hard to recruit teachers in the numbers we need, particularly in certain specialist subjects. Adding two additional universities to the institutions that offer Initial Teacher Education, supported by £1.3 million investment from the Scottish Government, means we can not only recruit additional teachers to take up post within the next two years but build capacity within teacher education.

“The two new teacher training courses offer more choice and flexibility for anyone considering teaching as a career, especially in the specialist Home Economic and STEM subjects where we know there are shortages at the moment.

“I look forward to welcoming the new cohort of students next year and seeing the lasting difference they will make on the profession as well as our young people.”

Kenneth Muir, Chief Executive and Registrar, General Teaching Council for Scotland said:

“This announcement of two new providers is a landmark development in the provision of Initial Teacher Education in Scotland. We must continue to adapt to ensure we do not miss out to other professions on new, high quality teaching talent.

“It is important that high standards are maintained and we will ensure the courses offered by QMU and Napier Universities satisfy fully our accreditation criteria.”

Alistair Sambell, Vice Principal and Deputy Vice Chancellor, Edinburgh Napier University said: “Our new teacher education programme will be designed by teachers, for teachers. As a University we have an applied approach to learning, and student placements in schools will be underpinned by practice-based learning in class, supported by practicing teachers. 

“By offering STEM subjects such as Science and Maths we are aiming to support the Scottish Government in addressing teacher shortages in these priority areas. Students will benefit from our specialist subject expertise and graduate confident and fully prepared to join the workforce and inspire children across Scotland.”

Professor Petra Wend, Principal of Queen Margaret University, who was Chair of National Implementation Board for Teaching Scotland’s Future, said: “Our new teacher education programmes  align strongly with QMU’s values, experience and strategy of delivering a portfolio of professionally relevant programmes that serve the needs of society.

“Teacher education at QMU will offer research informed, practice-based programmes developed in collaboration with professionals from the sector and inspired by the needs of Scottish children and schools today."


Courses will begin at Edinburgh Napier University in August 2019 and Queen Margaret University in September 2019. The Scottish Government will provide £1.28 million over the next three financial years to support initial setup.



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