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

Degree information

This programme has been designed to enable all candidates to demonstrate that they have met the standards across Key Stages 3 and 4 (11–16 age range).

Students will acquire a critical understanding of current debates and issues relating to science education, and we will guide and support them in developing their subject knowledge. We expect students to engage with reading and research in science education and to regularly reflect upon their own progress.

This programme will cover health and safety, management of teaching and learning in laboratories and outdoors, the use of ICT, facilitating small group discussion, meeting pupils' special needs, and assessment. Our facilities include a suite of laboratories and a micro-computing laboratory.

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
-Science Education in the Broader Context (30 Master's-level credits)
-Wider Educational Issues (30 Master's-level credits)
-Professional Practice

Student Teachers undertake at least two placements (totaling 120 days) at a school or college, during which time their teaching practice will be supported by a school subject tutor and mentor. The Professional Practice module is assessed through these placements, associated tasks and a portfolio.

You may teach:
-Key Stage 3: Science (including elements of physics, chemistry and biology)
-Key Stage 4: Science (all areas) and/or chemistry (depending on school placement)
-Key Stage 5: AS/A2 level chemistry

Teaching and learning
The School Direct (Tuition Fee) PGCE 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 lecturers in science education, while others have jobs as school leaders, heads of year and advanced skills teachers. Graduates in this area can also be found working as chemistry teachers, science teachers and heads of department.

Top career destinations for this degree:
-Science Teacher, Unspecified Girls' School
-Laboratory Assistant, BP
-Science Lecturer, Unspecified College
-Chemistry Teacher, Unspecified 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?

This programme prepares students to teach all aspects of science to pupils up to age 16, as well as Chemistry to pupils aged up to 18. We are committed to creative and interactive approaches to teaching science to promote engagement and learning.

Students on the Chemistry PGCE work with a team of expert subject tutors who have all previously been classroom teachers and are actively involved with science education research, curriculum development and consultancy. During teaching practice, student teachers benefit from the support of subject specialist mentors within our network of over 200 schools throughout Greater London and beyond, ensuring each has the opportunity to become a skilled and confident teacher.

The Chemistry PGCE offers unique opportunities including teaching sessions at museums and Kew Gardens, and residential trips, developing students’ understanding of learning science outside the classroom.

Visit the School Direct (Tuition Fee): Chemistry PGCE page on the University College London website for more details!

Entry Requirements

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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