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School Direct (Tuition Fee): Geography PGCE

Course Description

The School Direct Tuition Fee route is a new path into teaching at both primary and secondary levels. Participating schools, or clusters of schools that join together, are allocated a set number of student-teacher places. Trainees pay a course fee on this route and will join other student teachers on one of the established PGCE courses at UCL Institute of Education (IOE), whilst undertaking their teaching experience in the host school or cluster.

Degree information

This programme consists of university-based sessions, school-based sessions and teaching placements. The university-based sessions will include the study of the geography curriculum, lesson planning, effective teaching, classroom management and approaches to assessment.

The university based element of the course is closely linked to the school based elements of the course and some of the professional studies elements will be delivered in school. There are a small number of lectures but most university-based work is undertaken in a subject specialist group of 20-25 students.

Students undertake two Master’s-level (level 7) 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 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
-Secondary Geography: Developing Teaching and Learning (30 Master's-level credits)
-Secondary Geography: Learning in a Wider Context (30 Master's-level credits)
-Professional Practice

You will spend most of your time (120 days) in schools, working with geography 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 business studies departments.

Teaching and learning
The School Direct (Tuition Fee) PGCE full-time route is delivered via keynote lectures, subject lectures, seminars, workshops, tutorials and directed study days at the Institute of Education as well as time spent in placement schools or colleges. Assessment is by practical teaching, assignments, portfolio tasks and, for some subjects, practical projects. Students will also record their progress in a Career Entry and Development Profile statement. This will form part of a portfolio that links into the induction year (the first year of teaching) and a 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 department in schools and colleges, while others have jobs as headteachers and assistant heads. Graduates in this area can also be found working as mentors of Geography PGCE students.

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's partnership with over 200 secondary schools and colleges in Greater London and beyond enables each of our students to become a skilled and confident teacher in their chosen subject specialism.

Tutors on the School Direct (Tuition Fee) PGCE are skilled classroom practitioners with extensive experience in secondary schools and colleges, in school leadership, inspection, educational research and consultancy.

This programme will help students to explore the purpose of teaching geography, developing their own philosophy for why a geographical education is important for young people.

The programme is designed to foster interest and expertise in geography education beyond the PGCE, and many graduates go on to complete their Geography Education MA in the first year of teaching.

Visit the School Direct (Tuition Fee): Geography PGCE 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 Geography, or a Geography-related degree. Prospective students must complete a minimum of five days of school experience before they can be enrolled on the Secondary PGCE. 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 will be required to successfully complete Occupational Health and Disclosure Barring Service (DBS) Enhanced Disclosure checks.

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