Institutions join forces to bridge the gap for home economics teachers

Robert Gordon University (RGU) and the University of Aberdeen are working together to address the growing need for qualified home economics teachers in the North-east.

Academics from the two institutions have combined their efforts to support prospective students interested in pursuing a career in home economics, but who fall short of the entry criteria for the University of Aberdeen’s Post Graduate Diploma in Education (PGDE).

This has seen the creation of two new nutrition modules at RGU – Food, Culture and Human Nutrition, and Lifespan Nutrition – which have been designed to further develop individuals with related degrees, looking to transition to a teaching career through a PGDE.

The two short courses are also suitable for others who have a wider interest in food and nutrition, with an interest in continuing their professional development.

They will begin in January and May respectively, each being delivered through online learning by RGU’s School of Health Sciences.

Susan Lennie, senior lecturer at the School of Health Sciences, said: “Together with our colleagues across the city, we recognised that there are a significant number of people who hold degrees in areas such as hospitality or textiles, who just fall short of meeting the criteria to move into home economics teaching.

“While previously they would need to complete a second undergraduate degree, these new modules are an excellent opportunity for them to fill in the gaps in their skills and knowledge.”

RGU has been named as the UK’s top destination for Food Science subjects in the 2019 Complete University Guide, while the University of Aberdeen is the Sunday Times Scottish University of the Year.

Upon completion of the modules, students will be eligible to apply for a PDGE at the University of Aberdeen’s School of Education, which can be completed in one year full time, or 18 months via distance learning.

Yvonne Dewhurst, senior lecturer in Education at the University of Aberdeen, said: “This is one of a number of University of Aberdeen initiatives which is helping to bridge the gap for those who have the potential to be great teachers but who have other life commitments that would make it impossible for them to undertake many years of full-time study.

“We are delighted to be working with Robert Gordon University to use our joint expertise to help to address teaching shortages in the north-east and to support Scotland’s teachers of the future.”

Anyone interested in registering for one or both of the new nutrition modules, or looking for more information, should email

Support with funding is also available through the All Saints Educational Trust (ASET), which aims to increase numbers of teachers with specialism in Food/Home Economics related subjects and to improve the skills and qualifications of experienced teachers in these subjects. To find out more about applying for a funding award, click here.

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