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PGCE Art & Design

Course Description

The Art and Design PGCE is a challenging and forward-looking programme which prepares students to teach across the 11–18 age range, encouraging them to relate art, craft and design education to contemporary art practice. It has a strong reputation for promoting innovation in education theory, practice and policy.

Degree information

This programme aims to inform and inspire, to challenge orthodoxies and encourage a freshness of vision. It provides support and guidance for learning and teaching in art and design, identifying strategies to motivate and engage pupils in making, discussing and evaluating visual and material culture.

Through seminars and studio-based activities, students will study the concepts, processes and skills of art, craft and design, sharing their knowledge and understanding with other student teachers and considering how it relates to the secondary curriculum. Towards the end of the PGCE, students will build on their own practice by initiating a curriculum development project, culminating in the display of their work at a final exhibition that represents their personal philosophy for art and design education.

Students undertake two level 7 (Master’s-level) modules of 30 credits each, totaling 60 credits. These can be carried forward onto full Master’s programmes at the IOE.

The Secondary PGCE consists of three core modules: two Master’s-level (level 7) modules, which are assessed through written assignments, and the Professional Practice module, which is assessed by the observation of practical teaching in placement schools.

Completion of the Professional Practice module and the two level 7 (Master’s level) modules (60 credits) will result in the award of a Postgraduate Certificate of Education (PGCE). Completion of the Professional Practice module and one or two level 6 (undergraduate/Bachelor’s level) modules, will lead to the Professional Graduate Certificate of Education (PgCE). There are no optional modules for this programme.

Core modules
-Subject Studies (30 Master's-level credits)
-Wider Educational Studies (30 Master's-level credits)
-Professional Practice

You will spend two-thirds of your time (120 days) in schools, working with art and design mentors who support you through your two school placements. We are fortunate to have a good choice of schools with whom we work, with some outstanding mentors and strong art and design departments. The Professional Practice module is assessed through these placements, associated tasks and a portfolio.

Teaching and learning
The programme is delivered via keynote lectures, subject lectures, seminars, workshops, tutorials and directed study days at the IOE, as well as time spent in placements. Assessment is by practical teaching, assignments and portfolio tasks. Students also record their progress in an assessment record file (ARF). This will form part of an ongoing portfolio charting the student's continuing professional development.


Graduates of this programme are currently working across a broad range of areas. Some are working as teachers and heads of art and design departments in schools and colleges, while others have jobs as education officers in galleries and museums. Graduates in this area can also be found working as lecturers on art foundation courses.

Top career destinations for this degree:
-Art Teacher, Unspecified Secondary School
-Art Tutor, London College
-Freelance Video Editor/Animator
-Art, Design and Technology Teacher, London School
-Creative Studies Teacher, Unspecified Essex Academy

A PGCE from the IOE carries considerable currency in schools which, alongside the quality of training you receive, puts you in a strong position in the employment market. Last year, all those students who sought employment in a school were successful. We expect 100% success rate in gaining a post in a school by the end of the year.

Why study this degree at UCL?

The UCL Institute of Education (IOE) provides excellent studio space and facilities for Art and Deisgn, including a computing suite where students will learn about how information and communications technology is used in art and design education. The programme also has strong links with galleries, museums and other sites for learning, which are recognised as an important resource for engaging students in cultural and social issues.

As the leading PGCE in Art and Design in the country, this programme has a strong reputation for promoting innovation in education theory, practice and policy. The tutor team provide a wide range of expertise and interests in contemporary art practices, alternative pedagogies and art histories.

A distinctive feature of the programme is the final exhibition where, using their own creative practice, artist-teachers develop work representing their personal philosophy for art and design education.

Visit the PGCE Art & Design page on the University College London website for more details!

Entry Requirements

Lower second-class UK Bachelor’s degree or an equivalent overseas qualification in an Art and Design related subject. Prospective students must complete a minimum of five days of school experience. This may involve observations, work experience (e.g. as a teaching assistant or cover supervisor), or voluntary work. Applicants must ensure that their school experience is relevant in helping them to prepare for the Secondary PGCE, during which Student Teachers are placed in a wide range of schools across London and the South East. You must successfully complete the Occupational Health and Disclosure Barring Service (DBS) Enhanced Disclosure checks.

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