The Citizenship PGCE offers students the opportunity to be trained at the leading edge of citizenship education for the 11–16 age range, becoming one of the next generation of specialist teachers of Citizenship and associated subjects such as Government and Politics, Humanities, Social Sciences, Law and PSHE.
You will learn how to really engage students in Citizenship lessons, how to plan for compelling learning in Citizenship, how to support and challenge students to make maximal progress, how to build strong class boundaries and relationships, how to develop and utilise specialist subject knowledge, and how to plan memorable active Citizenship projects.
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 - Citizenship (30 Master's-level credits)
This module will explore the key areas of teaching, learning and assessment in relation to citizenship education such as: the teaching of controversial issues; developing skills of active citizenship; oracy and debate; assessment in citizenship; the development of subject knowledge and citizenship and ICT.
Most of the subject studies sessions of the citizenship PGCE course will contribute towards the taught element of this module. The reflection and comparison of experiences with your cohort will also play a key role. This discourse will enable the development of a broader understanding of the subject which will allow for a greater critical relationship with the relevant literature.
- Wider Educational Studies - Citizenship (30 Master's-level credits)
This module will explore the history and development of citizenship education. The module will briefly engage with historical and international realisations of citizenship education, however the prime focus will be an analysis of the development of citizenship education in England since 1997. Subject sessions will cover areas such as: the history and development of citizenship education; the aims of the subject; the choices and challenges facing schools; the concept of political literacy; NFER, OFSTED and the evaluation of citizenship education.
The aims and ambitions for the subject will be critically analysed and compared to reality of the subject in schools. You will be encouraged to draw on your own experiences and critically relate this to a range of the theoretical and empirical research.
- 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 most of your time (120 days) in schools, working with Citizenship mentors who support you through your two school placements. We are fortunate to have an exceptionally strong choice of schools with whom we work, with many outstanding mentors and strong citizenship departments. The Professional Practice module is assessed through these placements, associated tasks and a portfolio.
Teaching and Learning
The Secondary 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 and portfolio tasks.
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 a related subject.
Not required (depending on degree experience) but A levels in one or more of the following are useful: Politics, Law, Sociology, Citizenship Studies, Psychology, History, Geography, Religious Studies, Economics, Business Studies, Anthropology.
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 have a minimum of one day's school experience before interview; some subjects will be looking for significantly more than this. 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:
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. Most graduate to become teachers of Citizenship and related subjects, such as RE, Politics, Humanities, Psychology, Sociology, Philosophy, PHSE, Health and Social Care, Media Studies and Law. Graduates in this area can also be found working as education officers for charities and museums, local authority education advisers and as researchers and writers. The upward career trajectory within schools is often rapid for Citizenship graduates, with many working as heads of department, heads of faculty, heads of year or as part of schools’ senior leadership teams.
Recent career destinations for this degree
- Secondary School Teacher, Unspecified Bedfordshire School
- Secondary SEN Teacher, Unspecified London School
- Secondary Religious Education Teacher, Unspecified Enfield School
- Secondary School History and Politics Teacher, Unspecified Surrey School
- Teacher of Humanities, 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 programme is led by an Ofsted outstanding-rated Citizenship teacher and we partner with some of the very best schools for Citizenship in the country, with many mentors previous alumni of the Citizenship PGCE.
Our partner schools guarantee at least 50% of students’ teaching timetables is Citizenship and GCSE Citizenship Studies features in one or both placement schools. Most students will also gain experience of teaching at A level.
We train teachers in a dynamic, relevant way using current affairs, controversial issues and community action – a pedagogy which can be successfully applied to the range of subjects graduates can go on to teach.
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?
The Secondary PGCE full-time programme is suited to those wishing to gain Qualified Teaching Status (QTS) for teaching in UK maintained schools. All applicants are educated to at least first degree level and have backgrounds in areas such as youth work, teaching assistant work, TEFL, NGO/charity work, campaigning and activism.
Early application is advised as programmes may close as soon as places are filled.
For more information see our Applications page.Apply now
Secondary PGCE - Programme overview
Watch PGCE Secondary programme leader David Mitchell