A new generation of chemistry teachers is to be produced by the University of Strathclyde, following the introduction of a new undergraduate Masters combining chemistry and initial teacher training.
Accredited as a professional qualification by the Royal Society of Chemistry and General Teaching Council for Scotland, the new five-year course will be delivered jointly by the university's department of pure and applied chemistry and the faculty of education. It will accept a first intake of ten undergraduates.
After taking the postgraduate diploma for education equivalent in the fourth year, students will complete the chemistry course in the fifth year, including a Masters-level research project. This will ensure that graduates are well prepared to play a leading role in the delivery of the Advanced Higher chemistry curriculum and associated project work in schools.
Tom Hamilton, director of educational policy at the General Teaching Council for Scotland, said: "This is an innovative idea for initial teacher education through, in essence, having the PGDE programme as part of the five year Masters programme, rather than being end-on after graduation.
"It will be exciting to see how current chemistry students, deeply immersed in their science, develop this into pedagogic content knowledge relevant to Curriculum for Excellence. The programme will be watched with interest and may ultimately provide a model for other secondary subjects."