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Course content

This course helps you to become a geography teacher who is passionately committed to the subject and able to teach confidently, meaningfully and creatively to secondary school and students.

Teaching is shared between the University and partner schools across the region. University subject training is not lecture-based learning theory, but instead allows you to creatively explore practice in supportive small group settings. University trained school-based mentors support you in school placements to complement your two school-based training placements. Your learning is practical and you have opportunities to critically reflect on your developing classroom practice with fellow trainee teachers.

On the course you

  • learn how to plan, teach and assess geography across key stages three and four in an engaging way
  • learn how to plan individual lessons and sequences of lessons
  • understand and critically evaluate different approaches to teaching and learning, approaches to behaviour management, assessment, differentiation and challenge to meet the needs of different students
  • assess student learning and progress in individual lessons and over time
  • gain up to date knowledge of the key stage three National Curriculum, GCSE and A Level examination specifications and requirements
  • further develop an understanding of how geographic information systems (GIS) can be incorporated into lessons
  • develop an understanding of the wider role of teachers in school
  • gain knowledge and understanding about different types of schools within the wider education system
  • have the opportunity to participate in a weekend residential field trip to the Cranedale Field Study Centre in North Yorkshire to develop your knowledge and understanding of leading purposeful fieldwork. Many trainee teachers also have the opportunity to participate in fieldwork organised through school placements during the training year

We help you develop the skills and knowledge to become a successful teacher of students of all abilities. You build your enthusiasm and interest to develop the confidence, knowledge and skills to successfully teach geography in an interesting and engaging way.

You also gain self-evaluation and critical reflection skills and complete a Newly Qualified Teacher (NQT) development plan. This supports your transition into the NQT year in school on successful completion of the course.

School placements are an integral part of the course. You will complete two teaching placements – one between late September and December and the second longer placement from mid-January to early June. During this time you are supported by a university-trained mentor who will hold weekly meetings with you and observe you in order to provide regular developmental feedback. You are also supported by your university-based academic tutor throughout the year.

By the end of two school-based training placements you will be able to show how you meet the Teachers’ Standards, a requirement of this course in order to enter the teaching profession. We have strong partnerships with secondary schools and colleges across the region.

Your placements are complemented by university and academic based study that includes teaching sessions, seminars, group study and tutorials. The course is assessed by a combination of two written academic assignments and successful completion of school based placements.

On successful completion of the course you gain either the Post Graduate Certificate of Education (PGCE) or the Professional Graduate Certificate in Education (ProfGCE). Both qualifications allow you to achieve QTS, with the PGCE also giving you 60 masters level credits, which you can use towards completing a Masters Degree.

Course structure


  • developing and reflecting on subject knowledge and subject pedagogy in geography education
  • developing and reflecting on professional practice
  • school based training placements

We support your work in schools with a programme of preparation and support. You experience various school placements, including at least two continuous blocks of time on teaching practice. These are in two different schools and usually require some travelling within the region.


  • two written assignments of 4000 words each
  • formal classroom observations
  • completion of the professional development portfolio and professional studies tasks


After graduating you have excellent career prospects. Over 96 per cent of our PGCE graduates are teaching or in further study within six months of graduating.

Some graduates choose to continue with further study or find alternative employment in education-related fields.

Visit the Secondary Geography with QTS PGCE page on the Sheffield Hallam University website for more details!




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