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School Direct (Tuition Fee): Modern Foreign Languages PGCE

Course Description

School Direct (Tuition Fee) is a route into teaching at both primary and secondary levels. Trainees join other student teachers on the established Languages PGCE programme at the UCL Institute of Education (IOE), whilst undertaking their teaching experience at their host school or alliance.

Degree information

This programme enables students to engage critically with a number of approaches and issues relating to languages education, such as the teaching of grammar, the incorporation of literature into lessons, target language use and the monitoring and assessment of pupils' learning. It incorporates a range of approaches to effective, inclusive learning, and develops a student’s professionalism and critical awareness to a high level. Wherever possible, we provide opportunities for trainees to gain experience at Key Stage 5 (post-16 age range).

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).

Four pathways are available: European languages, European language with EAL (English as an Additional Language) enhancement, Mandarin Chinese with a European Language, and Mandarin Chinese with EAL enhancement. There are no optional modules for this programme.

EAL is primarily intended for those students who can offer only one language.

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

You will spend most of your time (120 days) in schools, working with subject specialist mentors who support you through your school placements.

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 placement at the host school or alliance. Assessment is by the observation of practical teaching, assignments and a portfolio (which links into continuing professional development in the induction year).


Graduates of this programme are currently working across a broad range of areas. Some are working as languages teachers and heads of department in schools, while others have jobs using the skills they have developed on the programme. Graduates in this area can also be found working as senior leaders in schools.

Top career destinations for this degree:
-French and Spanish Teacher, Unspecified Secondary School
-Spanish Teacher, Unspecified Secondary School
-French and Spanish Teacher, Unspecified 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 Languages PGCE programme places a strong emphasis on cultural knowledge, use of literature in the languages classroom, pupils' use of target language and broader aspects of language learning. This includes issues related to bilingual learners and English as an additional language and other areas such as information and communications technology and digital, video and multimedia production.

The IOE has well-established partnerships with cultural and educational institutions across London, as well as European and Chinese universities and teacher training institutions. Our 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.

The PGCE is informed by research, including research carried out by PGCE tutors into target language use, the teaching of literature and the storyline approach. The programme includes a number of innovative projects, such as the British Film Institute Film Project and our own Literature Project, which supports the development of materials for classroom practice.

Visit the School Direct (Tuition Fee): Modern Foreign Languages 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 the main language (French/German/Spanish/Mandarin) to be taught. 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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