PGCE Art and Design
The Art and Design PGCE is a challenging and forward-looking programme which prepares students to teach across the 11–16 age range, encouraging them to relate art, craft and design education to contemporary art practice. It has a strong reputation for promoting innovation in education theory, practice and policy.
This programme aims to inform and inspire, to challenge orthodoxies and encourage a freshness of vision. It provides support and guidance for learning and teaching in art and design, identifying strategies to motivate and engage pupils in making, discussing and evaluating visual and material culture.
Through seminars and studio-based activities, students will study the concepts, processes and skills of art, craft and design, sharing their knowledge and understanding with other student teachers and considering how it relates to the secondary curriculum. Towards the end of the PGCE, students will build on their own practice by initiating a curriculum development project, culminating in the display of their work at a final exhibition that represents their personal philosophy for art and design education.
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).
- Subject Studies - Art and Design (30 Master's-level credits)
This module has been designed as an introduction to learning and teaching art and design. It draws on the subject knowledge and experience that you bring to the course and enables you to translate and extend understanding of Art and Design in the field of visual and material culture to pedagogy.
You are required to reflect critically on your own experience as learners, critique orthodox approaches to secondary art and design and develop strategies to acknowledge contemporary practices in the field of cultural production. Through practice-based research and a critical engagement with recent and relevant texts (including, government policies and recent research in the field), you are asked to reflect on your specialist knowledge and creative practice to identify significant factors that influence your ways of working, gaining deeper insights into creative processes in the field of visual and material culture and the conditions required to support and develop creativity in others.
- Wider Educational Studies - Art and Design (30 Master's-level credits)
This module is designed to introduce you to the cultural/ethical/social issues pertinent to learning and teaching Art and Design in secondary schools. It aims to promote a critical approach to the art and design curriculum and encourages you to reflect on issues, attitudes and values in order that you can make reasoned and informed judgements about your teaching based on an understanding of pupil diversity and how this affects learning.
Throughout the module you are expected to engage critically with recent research, policies and initiatives, you are encouraged to reflect critically on your own experiences in education and engage with recent and relevant theories of learning and teaching as they relate to the field of Art and Design. A series of keynote lectures/seminars will introduce you to a range of issues in relation to Art and Design.
- Professional Practice
The Professional Practice module combines practical experience in schools, where trainees observe and undertake classroom teaching, subject knowledge development through UCL Institute of Education (IOE) sessions as well as pedagogical and professional development in schools and IOE-based sessions. During teaching practice, trainees gain the practical experience they need to meet the Teachers Standards as required for the recommendation for Qualified Teacher Status (QTS). Assessment for this module is undertaken by school-based mentors in collaboration with IOE tutors.
You will spend two-thirds of your time (120 days) in schools, working with art and design 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 art and design 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 also record their progress in an assessment record file (ARF). This will form part of an ongoing portfolio charting the student's continuing professional development.
Note on fees: The tuition fees shown are for the year indicated above. Fees for subsequent years may increase or otherwise vary. Further information on fee status, fee increases and the fee schedule can be viewed on the UCL Current Students website.
Normally a minimum of a lower second-class UK Bachelor’s degree or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard in an Art and Design related subject.
No specific subjects required.
English Language and Mathematics at grade C.
Prospective students must complete a minimum of five days of school experience before they can be enrolled on the Secondary PGCE. 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.
If you are made an offer you will be required to successfully complete Occupational Health and Disclosure Barring Service (DBS) Enhanced Disclosure checks. The total cost of these checks is £125. These checks are required to ensure you meet the Department for Education’s requirements for physical and mental health to teach, as well as assessing your suitability for access to children and vulnerable adults. More details can be found on the Entry requirements page.
All applicants must successfully complete professional skills tests in literacy and numeracy before they can enrol. More information can be found on the Get Into Teaching website.
English Language Requirements
If your education has not been conducted in the English language, you will be expected to demonstrate evidence of an adequate level of English proficiency.
The English language level for this programme is: Good
Further information can be found on our English language requirements page.
Country-specific information, including details of when UCL representatives are visiting your part of the world, can be obtained from the International Students website.
This programme is suitable for international students on a Tier 4 visa - study must be full-time, face-to-face, starting September.
International applicants can find out the equivalent qualification for their country by selecting from the list below.
Select your country:
There are presently no bursaries availale for Art and Design.
For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website.
Graduates of this programme are currently working across a broad range of areas. Some are working as teachers and heads of art and design departments in schools and colleges, while others have jobs as education officers in galleries and museums. Graduates in this area can also be found working as lecturers on art foundation courses.
Recent career destinations for this degree
- Art Teacher, Unspecified Secondary School
- Art Tutor, London College
- Freelance Video Editor/Animator
- Art, Design and Technology Teacher, London School
- Creative Studies Teacher, Unspecified Essex Academy
Graduates of the Secondary PGCE programme are highly employable and sought after by schools and colleges in London and beyond. Almost all graduates secure their first teaching post by the time they finish the PGCE programme. Graduates of the programme also have great career prospects, with many becoming Head of Department or a Head of Year within 2-5 years, often acting, in their schools, as mentors to new PGCE student teachers. Many of our graduates become senior teachers (such as Assistant Headteachers or Head of a Faculty) in 5-8 years of graduating, and some are now Headteachers. Others have developed their careers as subject specialist teachers and educators, both becoming lead teachers in the classroom and researching, writing and advising other teachers themselves. The Secondary PGCE Programme is a springboard into a rewarding career, not just as a skilled teacher, but as an educational leader.
Careers data is taken from the ‘Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education’ survey undertaken by HESA looking at the destinations of UK and EU students in the 2012–2014 graduating cohorts six months after graduation.
Why study this degree at UCL?
The UCL Institute of Education (IOE) provides excellent studio space and facilities for Art and Deisgn, including a computing suite where students will learn about how information and communications technology is used in art and design education. The programme also has strong links with galleries, museums and other sites for learning, which are recognised as an important resource for engaging students in cultural and social issues.
As the leading PGCE in Art and Design in the country, this programme has a strong reputation for promoting innovation in education theory, practice and policy. The tutor team provide a wide range of expertise and interests in contemporary art practices, alternative pedagogies and art histories.
A distinctive feature of the programme is the final exhibition where, using their own creative practice, artist-teachers develop work representing their personal philosophy for art and design education.
Accreditation: Students who successfully complete this programme will be recommended for Qualified Teacher Status (QTS).
Department: Institute of Education
Research Excellence Framework (REF)
The Research Excellence Framework, or REF, is the system for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions. The 2014 REF was carried out by the UK's higher education funding bodies, and the results used to allocate research funding from 2015/16.
The following REF score was awarded to the department: Institute of Education
78% rated 4* (world-leading) or 3* (internationally excellent)
Learn more about the scope of UCL's research, and browse case studies, on our Research Impact website.
Application and next steps
Students are advised to apply as early as possible due to competition for places. Those applying for scholarship funding (particularly overseas applicants) should take note of application deadlines.
Who can apply?
Graduates with a good degree (2.2 and above) in Art & design are invited to apply. This includes degrees in art, craft, design and art history. The Secondary PGCE is suited to those wishing to gain Qualified Teaching Status (QTS) for teaching in a UK Secondary school and who have fulfilled the appropriate entry requirements.
Early application is advised as programmes may close as soon as places are filled.
For more information see our Applications page.Apply now
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An introduction to the Secondary PGCE teacher training programmes by PGCE Secondary programme leader David Mitchell