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PGCE Music

Course Description

The Music PGCE covers the nature and principles of music teaching and learning and the place of music in the school curriculum. We aim to develop expertise in a variety of teaching situations and to equip students to plan meaningful musical experiences for their pupils.

Degree information

Our aim is to develop students as reflective and highly skilled music teachers. As well as developing subject expertise, students will understand why music is taught in schools, how pupils learn and how to teach music in a way that develops, challenges and inspires young people. In our partner schools students learn to teach pupils within the 11-16 range. There is also an opportunity to observe or to teach at post-16 level.

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 most of your time (120 days) in schools, working with music mentors who support you through your two school placements. We are fortunate to have a good choice of schools with whom we work, with many outstanding mentors and strong music 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, including: classroom music and instrumental teachers, music educators, workshop leaders and consultants in National Music Hubs and local authorities, learning and participation programme leaders for professional orchestras, and resident composers in schools.

Top career destinations for this degree:
-Music Teacher, Unspecified Girls' School
-Music Teacher, Unspecified Grammar School
-Music and Mathematics Teacher, Unspecified Secondary School
-Music Teacher, Unspecified Academy
-Music Teacher, Unspecified Boys' School

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) offers one of the larger music PGCE programmes in the country, allowing students to benefit from a team of lecturers with a wide range of expertise and interests.

Our central London location means that we are able to draw on the world-leading expertise of professional musicians and music educators. For example, a number of subject sessions are arranged in collaboration with the London Sinfonietta, LSO St Luke's (Gamelan) and the Kingdom Choir (Gospel).

While undertaking placements in our network of partner schools, students also benefit from the wealth of expertise on offer in London and the opportunity to teach music in a vibrant and dynamic setting.

Visit the PGCE Music 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 in Music. 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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