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PGCE History

Course Description

History, according to the current national curriculum, "should inspire pupils’ curiosity to know more about the past". Our aim is to equip students to do just that, developing their ability to plan meaningful historical experiences for pupils in the 11–16 age range, to teach effectively and to assess their own and their pupils’ achievements.

Degree information

Students will understand why history is taught in schools, how pupils learn and make sense of the past, and how to teach history in an exciting way that develops learners. There are five key themes underpinning the programme: 'diverse histories', 'history for all', 'historical thinking', 'engaging with history' and ‘ becoming a professional history teacher'. These themes reflect our location in the capital, the wide range of schools and students that we work with and our ambition to engage, challenge and enlighten all learners.

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
-History in a Wider Context (30 Master's-level credits)
-Learning, Teaching and Assessing History (30 Master's-level credits)
-Professional Practice

Students spend most of their time (120) days in schools, working with history mentors who support them through two school placements. We are fortunate to have a good choice of schools with whom we work with some outstanding mentors and strong history 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 will also record their progress in a Career Entry and Development Profile statement. 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 history teachers and heads of department in schools, while others have jobs as history educators in museums and archives. Graduates in this area can also be found working as senior leaders in schools.

Top career destinations for this degree:
-History Teacher, Unspecified Girls' School
-History Teacher, Unspecified Public School
-History and Religious Studies Teacher, Unspecified Academy
-History Teacher, Unspecified Boys' School
-Private tutor

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?

Students will be joining the largest History PGCE programme in the country, allowing them to benefit from a team of tutors with a wide range of expertise and interests. Students will also be able to develop strong peer networks across tutor groups and share ideas, resources and advice.

The IOE History PGCE offers students unique opportunities such as placements at museums or other historical sites, in order to develop understanding of learning history outside the classroom.

The IOE has one of the largest groups of university-based history education specialists in the world and hosts the Centre for Holocaust Education and the award winning First World War Centenary Battlefield Tours Programme. The programme draws on this expertise, for example, providing the opportunity to complete a full two-day teachers' programme in Holocaust Education as part of the PGCE.

Visit the PGCE History page on the University College London website for more details!

Entry Requirements

Lower second-class UK Bachelor’s degree or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard with at least 50% History content. 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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