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School Direct (Tuition Fee): Religious Education 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 Religious Education PGCE programme at the UCL Institute of Education (IOE), whilst undertaking their teaching experience at their host school or alliance.

Degree information

This programme provides an understanding of why religious education is taught in schools and allows student teachers the chance to research how the subject has evolved and thus is just as relevant as part of the English curriculum today as it always has been. The Religious Education PGCE / School Direct (non-salaried) course also enables students to reflect upon the aims of religious education and how different pedagogies can support learners to develop key religious education skills and be challenged and excited by the world today.

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
-Learning, Teaching and Assessing Religious Education (30 Master's-level credits)
-The Philosophy of Religious Education (30 Master's-level credits)
-Professional Practice

You will spend most of your time (120 days) in schools, working with religious education mentors who support you through your school placements. 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 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 schools in London and around the UK as teachers, heads of departments and heads of year. Some graduates decide to pursue an academic science education route by pursuing Master's or doctoral level study.

Top career destinations for this degree:
-Religious Education Teacher, Unspecified Secondary School
-Religious Education Teacher, Unspecified Girls' School
-Religious Education 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?

This course offers students unique opportunities such as visits to places of worship, national galleries and museums, as well as the chance to discuss religion with leading philosophers and people of faith and consider the impact of religion on society today. Current research at the IOE and elsewhere is drawn upon to inform a student's religious education teaching and encourage them to engage with recent debates and literature in the field.

Tutors on the Religious Education PGCE are skilled classroom practitioners with extensive experience in secondary schools and colleges as well as in school leadership, inspection, educational research and consultancy. Students also benefit from the opportunity to develop strong peer networks both within the IOE and with religious education student teachers from other London providers to share ideas and resources.

Visit the School Direct (Tuition Fee): Religious Education 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. 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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