BA (Hons) / BSc (Hons) Education (Secondary)

Our pioneering approach to professional education and our outstanding teachers gives you time to develop as a secondary school teacher.

Education (Secondary)

Key facts

  • Award BA (Hons), BSc (Hons)
  • Start date September 2024
  • Duration 48 months
  • Mode of study full time
  • Delivery on campus


General Teaching Council for Scotland (GTCS)

GTC Scotland Logo


Choose our BA (Hons) / BSc (Hons) Education (Secondary) degree and learn from world-leading academics and outstanding teachers who have strong partnerships with local schools. This gives you access to cutting-edge practice and research throughout your secondary teaching degree.

Our pioneering approach to professional education gives you time to develop as a secondary school teacher. With our four year teaching degree, you’ll be able to grow in confidence and critically reflect on your skills. The course gives you a more personalised learning experience than the Professional Graduate Diploma in Education (PGDE) route of only one year.

You'll gain a research-informed degree, making you well equipped to enter the world of secondary education from the day you graduate. In the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2021, 100% of our research impact and environment in Education was classed as world leading or internationally excellent.

We also deliver chemistry and physics teaching courses in collaboration with Forth Valley College. 

Top reasons to study with us

Professional accreditation

We’re accredited by the General Teaching Council for Scotland (GTCS), which means that you can apply for provisional registration as a secondary teacher as soon as you graduate.

Entry requirements

Year 1 entry – Four-year honours

Entry requirements for all BA / BSc (Hons) Education courses except Chemistry, Physics and Physical Education:

SQA Highers
ABBB - by the end of S5
AABB - by the end of S6

GCE A-levels

IB Diploma
30 points

BTEC (Level 3)

Physical Education: 

SQA Highers
AAAB - by the end of S5
AAAA - by the end of S6

GCE A-levels

IB Diploma
32 points

BTEC (Level 3)

The following English and Mathematics entry requirements apply:

  • Higher English (B) or GCSE English Language and English Literature (B/6) or Communications 4 and Literature 1
  • Mathematics National 5 (B), Intermediate 2 (C), Standard Grade (2), GCSE (B/6) or equivalent.

There is a preference for a Higher or A Level in the subjects(s) you wish to teach. There are additional requirements for some subjects:

Essential subjects
Column one lists specialisms, column two lists the essential subjects for each specialism

Additional essential subjects

Biology To include SQA Higher (B), A-level (B) or equivalent in Biology, Chemistry, Geology, Mathematics or Physics.
Geography To include SQA Higher (B), A-level (B) or equivalent in Biology, Chemistry, Environmental Science, Geography, Geology, Mathematics or Physics.
French and Spanish (combined) To include SQA Higher (B), A-level (B) or equivalent in one of French or Spanish.
Mathematics To include SQA Higher (B), A-level (B) or equivalent in Mathematics.


BA (Hons) Professional Education (Secondary) with Chemistry
BA (Hons) Professional Education (Secondary) with Physics

These courses are delivered in collaboration with Forth Valley College. See the entry requirements for our science teaching courses.


Widening access students

Widening access students may be eligible for an adjusted offer of entry. To find out if this applies to you go to our widening access pages.

Care-experienced applicants will be guaranteed an offer of a place if they meet the minimum entry requirements.

Other Scottish qualifications

Scottish HNC/HND
Year one minimum entry - Bs in graded units.

Access courses
University of Stirling access course - for mature students only. You must pass the course with 50% or above.

SWAP access course - for mature students only.

Email our Admissions Team for advice about other access courses.

Foundation Apprenticeships
Considered to be equivalent to 1 Higher at Grade B

Essential subjects
As listed in Year 1 entry requirements

Other qualifications

English, Welsh and Northern Irish HNC/HND
Merits and Distinctions

English, Welsh and Northern Irish access courses
Access to Higher Education - 60 credits, minimum 45 at QCF Level 3, pass at 60% or above.

Email our Admissions Team for advice about other access courses.

Essential subjects
As listed in Year 1 entry requirements

International entry requirements

Advanced entry

Advanced entry is not available for this course.

Additional information

Entry to our secondary education courses is provisional until the end of Year 1. It’s also subject to an interview and a criminal record PVG (Protecting Vulnerable Groups) check.

Application procedure

Entry to this degree is highly competitive. Applications received after 15 January won’t normally be considered.

It is important that applicants for education programmes are able to show their suitability for the programme and for the teaching profession. The main focus of this programme is on teaching children and through your personal statement you should be able to demonstrate an aptitude for this. You should demonstrate knowledge of the Curriculum for Excellence, relevant work experience, and explaining your understanding of the teacher's role.

Physical Education

There will be an interview process for the Physical Education programme. We interview 72 candidates each year and if selected for interview you will be taking part in a number of activities during the interview day. These interviews are on fixed dates that applicants would be expected to make themselves available for.

The interview consists of the following:

  • Practical performance assessments - these will assess both your general ability across a wide range of familiar activities such as Dance, Games, Gymnastics and Swimming (candidates are required to pass all components of the interview day) and give you an opportunity to undertake some teaching with the other members in your group.
  • Team building exercises
  • Group interview
  • Personal interview - you will be required to prepare a three minute talk to give at the start of your personal interview under the title of "You should choose me because…"


There are specific professional residence requirements and guidance that apply to Education programmes in order for students to fulfil GTC requirements, as well as those set by the Faculty of Social Sciences at Stirling. All Education students should consult with staff in Education at Stirling for full details of these. Secondary Education students who do not undertake an assistantship must discuss the professional implications with staff in Education as well as consulting French/Spanish Course Director/s in order to ensure that they fulfil our minimum language residence requirement.

English language requirements

If English is not your first language you must have one of the following qualifications as evidence of your English language skills:

  • IELTS Academic or UKVI 6.0 with a minimum of 5.5 in each sub-skill.
  • Pearson Test of English (Academic) 56 overall with a minimum of 51 in each sub-skill.
  • IBT TOEFL 78 overall with a minimum of 17 in listening, 18 in reading, 20 in speaking and 17 in writing.

See our information on English language requirements for more details on the language tests we accept and options to waive these requirements.

Pre-sessional English language courses

If you need to improve your English language skills before you enter this course, our partner INTO University of Stirling offers a range of English language courses. These intensive and flexible courses are designed to improve your English ability for entry to this degree.

Find out more about our pre-sessional English language courses

Course details

You’ll follow a course of eight semesters (four years), to gain an Honours degree in Professional Education (Secondary). Alternatively, seven semesters (three and a half years) leads to either a General degree or to a Bachelors degree in Professional Education. General degree students may only be able to qualify in one teaching subject.

Semesters 1 – 2

You’ll take the following core modules:

  • Education: Purposes, Principles and Practice
  • Education: Learning and Teaching

You can take part in serial days during year 1. These will be organised by the university and will involve spending time in school.

Semesters 3 – 6

You’ll take a range of core and advanced modules in Education, including a range of teaching skills in your chosen subjects. You’ll also go on two school placements, one lasting six weeks and one lasting 10 weeks (with three days in school and two at university), between Semesters 3-4 and 5-6. Physical Education students will take part in an additional four-week placement.

Semesters 7 – 8

Semester 7 includes a 10-12 week placement, as well as supplementary taught classes.

In Semester 8 you’ll complete an Enquiry into Practice that’s closely related to your placement, as well as doing further study in your teaching subject.


The module information below provides an example of the types of course module you may study. The details listed are for the academic year that starts in September 2024. Modules and start dates are regularly reviewed and may be subject to change in future years.

Course details


Our Secondary Education degree is taught through seminars, lectures and workshops. You’ll also have the opportunity to go on school placements to get practical teaching experience.


Fieldwork and learning for sustainability is embedded within the Geography course at Stirling. Students will develop skills and confidence through participation in fieldtrips and work on campus with Grounds for Learning and local school groups. Students gain first-hand experience of the cognitive benefits of fieldwork as well as the equally important social, emotional and health benefits.


Assessment is by continuous assessment. School experience placements are supported by school-based teachers and University of Stirling tutors. There are no examinations in Education.

Work placement opportunities

School work placements are an integral part of this course, culminating in a 10-12 week secondary school experience where you can teach your chosen subjects.

Study abroad

If you intend to teach Modern Languages in a school after you graduate, you must fulfil residence requirements in a country where that language is spoken. For eligible students, this means applying for an English Language Assistantship via the externally-administered British Council scheme. Students should note that this is a competitive scheme and that the British Council is responsible for its eligibility criteria. It is the student’s responsibility to check these criteria (via the British Council website) and to discuss any potential problems both with staff in Education and with the French/Spanish Programme Director. Students should note that taking two languages from Beginners' level where those languages are core to the programme is pedagogically inadvisable. Any student wishing to go down that route will need the written permission of both the French and Spanish Programme Directors or their appointed representative before being allowed to do so.

If your specialism covers other subjects, you’ll also have the option of studying abroad for a semester.

Fees and funding

Fees and costs

Fees and costs for each Secondary Education course
Column one describes course name, column two describes student fee status, column three lists annual fee for 2023-24 entry, column three lists annual fee for 2024-25 entry


 Fee status



Professional Education (Secondary) and:

  • English Studies
  • English Studies and Religion
  • French
  • French with Spanish
  • History
  • History and Politics
  • History and Sociology
  • Mathematics
  • Philosophy and Religion
Scottish students £1,820* £1,820*
Students from England, Wales, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland £9,250** £9,250**
International (including EU) students £16,400 £17,200

Professional Education (Secondary) and:

  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Environmental Geography
  • Physics
  • Sport, Physical Education
Scottish students £1,820* £1,820*
Students from England, Wales, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland £9,250** £9,250**
International (including EU) students £20,300 £21,300

* This tuition fee is set by the Scottish Government and may be subject to change.

** This tuition fee may be subject to change depending on guidance provided by the UK Government.

Scholarships detailed below are not available to students studying the Chemistry or Physics courses.

For all students

You will be charged the annual fee each year when you enrol. Your fees will be held at the same level throughout your course.

If you need to take additional modules or resit modules, you’ll be liable for an additional fee.

For more information on courses invoiced on an annual fee basis, please read our tuition fee policy.

Scottish students

Although you’re liable for annual tuition fees, students domiciled in Scotland will be able to apply to the Student Awards Agency for Scotland (SAAS) to have tuition fees paid by the Scottish government on their behalf. If you’re unsure of your fee status, you can check your eligibility online.

Students from England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland

You can apply for financial assistance, including a loan to cover the full cost of your tuition fees, from your relevant funding body. We also offer additional funding – such as our Honours Year Scholarship – for students from England, Wales, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. See our funding opportunities below for more information.

International (including EU) students

Eligible students will automatically receive a scholarship worth between £8,000-£30,000 over the duration of your course. See our range of generous scholarships for international undergraduate students.

Additional costs

There are some instances where additional fees may apply. Depending on your chosen course, you may need to pay additional costs, for example for field trips. Learn more about additional fees.


See what funding opportunities and loans are available to help you with tuition and living costs.

Students from Scotland

Find funding opportunities for Scottish students.

Students from England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland

Eligible students will automatically receive our Undergraduate Welcome Scholarship, Undergraduate Merit Scholarship, and our Honours Year Scholarship, which are worth between £1,000 and £9,250.

International students

Eligible international students will automatically receive a scholarship worth between £8,000-£30,000 over the duration of your course. Find funding opportunities for international students.

Cost of living

If you’re domiciled in the UK, you can typically apply to your relevant funding body for help with living costs. This usually takes the form of student loans, grants or bursaries, and the amount awarded depends upon your personal circumstances and household income.

International (including EU) students won’t normally be able to claim living support through SAAS or other UK public funding bodies. You should contact the relevant authority in your country to find out if you’re eligible to receive support.

Find out about the cost of living for students at Stirling.

Payment options

We aim to be as flexible as possible, and offer a wide range of payment methods - including the option to pay fees by instalments. Learn more about how to pay.

After you graduate

What can you do with a degree in Secondary Education?

The majority of our Secondary Education graduates enter the Scottish Teacher Induction Scheme (TIS), which guarantees you employment for one year as a newly qualified teacher in a Scottish Local Authority school.

Your teaching degree will also qualify you to enter into a wide variety of other professions, such as corporate training and development, museum and leisure education, educational psychology, translation or media.

Alternatively, you may choose to continue your education with a postgraduate degree, or carry out doctoral research, leading to the award of a PhD.

Teacher Induction Scheme

Participation in the Teacher Induction Scheme (TIS) is not compulsory, and some students may choose to follow the alternative Flexible Route – which is less structured and may better suit their personal circumstances.

Students from Scotland, the rest of the UK and the Republic of Ireland who are studying at a Scottish Higher Education Institution are eligible to join the TIS.
Students from other countries are ineligible for the TIS scheme but can follow the Flexible Route to complete probationary service if they plan to teach in Scotland following their studies.

Read the Scottish Government’s detailed guidance regarding students and the Teacher Induction Scheme.

Companies we work with

We work in close partnership with Local Authorities, schools, Education Scotland and GTCS. This helps to ensure we support you throughout your studies, so you can become an effective educator. A number of teachers are seconded to us from local schools to provide practical and up-to-date experience and knowledge.

Over the past several years we have noticed that the students and probationer teachers coming from the University of Stirling are better and better prepared for their role as teachers. You clearly have an excellent course with excellent lecturers in place.

Deputy Head Teacher Pupil Support, Alloa Academy

Discover Uni

Discover Uni provides official data on each university's undergraduate courses, including satisfaction scores from the National Student Survey, details of graduate jobs and salaries, and other key information for prospective students.

What our students said

Jenni Cook
BA Secondary Education with History and Politics
I am currently teaching history at a secondary school in the Scottish Borders, absolutely loving dream career.
Read Jenni's story
Blair Haldane
Education (Secondary)
The incredibly enjoyable time I had as a University of Stirling student has made me the confident person I am today.
Read Blair's story
Amy Lambert
BSc (Hons) Environmental Geography with Professional Education
Having the opportunity to undertake placements in each of my four years of study has been invaluable, allowing me to put learned theory into practice whilst receiving continued support from University staff.
Read Amy's story

Flexible study

Are you interested in more than one of our courses? You might not have to choose between them. Here at Stirling, we believe in choice and offer more than 170 course combinations.

Education (Secondary) can be combined with any of the following courses:
Course nameUCAS code
Biology UCAS code for this combination: CX11
English Studies UCAS code for this combination: QX31
English Studies and Religion UCAS code for this combination: QXJ1
Geography - Environmental Geography UCAS code for this combination: FX81
French UCAS code for this combination: RX11
French and Spanish and Latin American Studies UCAS code for this combination: RXD1
History and Politics UCAS code for this combination: LX21
History UCAS code for this combination: VX11
History and Sociology UCAS code for this combination: VXD1
Mathematics UCAS code for this combination: GX11
Philosophy and Religion UCAS code for this combination: VX53
Sport UCAS code for this combination: CX61

For a combined honours degree where the two subjects have different entry requirements, you will usually be asked to meet the higher entry requirement.

Find out more about degree flexibility and how you can take combined courses.