Entry Requirements for Initial Teacher Education in Scotland

GTCS's Revised Memorandum on Entry Requirements for Initial Teacher Education programmes in Scotland

By Richard Fraser, Editor

Following a national consultation, the General Teaching Council for Scotland (GTCS) has published a revised Memorandum on Entry Requirements to Programmes of Initial Teacher Education in Scotland (pdf).

The Memorandum sets out the minimum qualifications and expectations required for students’ entry into initial teacher education (ITE) in Scotland.

The revised Memorandum will be used by admissions teams within universities when assessing applications to ITE programmes beginning in the academic year 2020.


The key change to the Memorandum is that it now reflects the wider array of qualifications that students can have when applying to enter an ITE programme. The changes offer further flexibility in recruitment while ensuring that the high standards expected for entry to the teaching profession are maintained.

Applicants for ITE programmes in both primary and secondary education will continue to require, amongst other qualifications, skills, experiences and attributes:

  • a National Qualification in English at SCQF Level 6 (for example Higher Grade) or an accepted equivalent; and
  • a National Qualification in Mathematics at SCQF Level 5 (for example National 5) or an accepted equivalent.

For entry to four-year undergraduate degree programmes in primary education, applicants must now have four rather than three National Qualifications at SCQF Level 6 (one of which must be English).

Specific requirements for some secondary subjects have been updated to reflect changes in the qualifications offered in different subject areas and the skills expected of teachers.

The new Memorandum came into force on 3 September 2019.

Further information

Becoming a teacher in Scotland (GTCS)


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