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Programme Structure

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Programme Structure

Course Outline


The PGDE is outcomes- and inquiry-based, encouraging students to draw upon evidence and educational theory to reflect upon their own practice and make informed analyses of how theory is applied in a wide range of educational contexts. The programme employs an approach, which emphasizes theory-practice integration of all credit-bearing components. Supporting this structure is a blended approach to technology-enhanced learning using enabling technologies not only to support face-to-face and self-directed student learning but also to model classroom pedagogies using effective information and communications technology (ICT).

The full-time programme (one year) is primarily intended for graduates without formal teaching experience. The part-time programme (two years) is primarily designed for serving teachers.

The following are the major components of the programme:

For full-time students:

  • Pedagogical Content Knowledge (18 credits)
    • Methods (12 credits)
    • Collaborative Lesson Inquiry (6 credits)
  • Integrated Inquiry (18 credits)
    • Educational Inquiry (18 credits)
    • School Experience
  • Experiential Learning (18 credits)
    • Experiential Learning (Placement) (6 credits)
    • Professional Practicum (12 credits) 
  • Elective (6 credits)
  • Capstone (non-credit bearing)

For part-time students:

  • Pedagogical Content Knowledge (18 credits) 
    • Methods (12 credits)
    • Collaborative Lesson Inquiry (6 credits)
  • Integrated Inquiry (18 credits)
    • Educational Inquiry (18 credits)
    • School Experience
  • Professional Practicum (12 credits) (In-service teachers will be observed in the normal course of their teaching) 
  • Elective (12 credits)
  • Capstone (non-credit bearing)

Distinctive Features

Pedagogical Content Knowledge includes examination of methods of teaching and collaborative lesson inquiry sessions. Students will go to schools with set goals interweave the theory they learn at HKU with the day-to-day practicum (for full-time students) and daily classroom teaching (for part-time students). Their practice-based learning will relate to lesson design, implementation and reflection. Tasks will be planned collaboratively, with groups of students trying out lesson plans with school student classes.

Integrated Inquiry is one of the main characteristics of this inquiry-based programme, which aims to integrate the theoretical and practical sides of teacher preparation from the start, thereby providing a more balanced approach than courses with a less well integrated school practice. Full-time students will begin "School Experience" from the beginning of their course, enabling them to learn about all aspects of school life, not only classroom-based teaching.

Experiential Learning (Placement) is compulsory for full-time students and optional for part-time students to enroll as an elective. 

The experiential placement enables more holistic understanding of the relationships between the social and policy aspects of formal schooling and other educational contexts in or outside Hong Kong. It also provides hands-on experience with learners at different developmental stages.


For full-time students, the experiential placement normally lasts for around six weeks. Students majoring in Chinese and English Language Education are required to participate in a compulsory six-week Experiential Learning (EL) non-local immersion programme in a Putonghua or English speaking context respectively, during Semester One, for a mixture of school experience, language study and cultural activities. Non-language majors will undertake an EL placement arranged with support from the Faculty of Education EL Team.


For part-time students, EL may take the form of new professional learning experiences in or outside Hong Kong. EL projects and opportunities will be provided by the EL team and advertised on the Faculty EL website. 

The Professional Practicum is a professional requirement that enables students to develop teaching competencies within a school environment. Students are required to integrate theory and practice in four domains – Learning and Teaching, Student Development, School Development, and the Professional Community.  For full-time students, School Experience/Professional Practicum schools will be assigned by the Methods Tutors with reference to the list of offering schools negotiated by the Faculty’s School-University Partnerships Office. It will NOT be possible to entertain students’ requests regarding e.g. school location or banding.  For part-time students, the practicum normally extends over the whole period of the curriculum or for a shorter period as determined by the Board of Examiners. Part-time students are normally expected to have a teaching responsibility in a school to allow the University tutors to assess their teaching. 

New electives are proposed annually, in response to changing school environments and teacher preparation needs. Topics range from current educational issues in the HKSAR to in-depth methods of teaching in specialism or for a second subject. 

Students are required to present a synthesis of their professional learning and progress towards achieving the PGDE “Concept of a teacher” in a Capstone event. The capstone is a hurdle requirement for graduation. 

Key Learning Areas / Major:

Applications are invited for the following Majors for 2024 intake:

1 English is used as the medium of instruction in all courses except Chinese Methods courses, which are taught in Chinese.

2 Applicants can refer to the Recommendations of the Standing Committee on Language Education and Research on Language Teacher Education and Qualifications. PGDE students majoring in relevant language subjects are recognised by the Standing Committee on Language Education and Research (SCOLAR) as having fulfilled the “Language Major Teacher Training” requirement.

3 English as a Second Language

4 The Scholarship for Prospective English Teachers is set up by the Education Bureau (EDB) to attract persons proficient in English to pursue relevant teacher training programmes which will qualify them to become English teachers on graduation. For details, please refer to EDB's website.

5 Graduates of the PGDE (Major in Early Childhood Education) programme can apply for registration as kindergarten (KG) teachers with the Education Bureau (EDB), and as child care workers and child care supervisors with the Social Welfare Department. Moreover, the EDB considers that a locally recognised Bachelor Degree plus a locally recognised Postgraduate Diploma in ECE (PGDE[ECE]) or C(ECE) as having met the required BEd(ECE) requirement for new KG principal appointment. 

6 Special Education major is offered in part-time mode only. In-service teachers and/or professionals teaching and providing services to students with special educational needs primarily in either special or mainstream schools in Hong Kong are eligible to apply.