PGCE Computing and ICT
The Computing PGCE equips students to teach the 11-16 age range. During the programme, students will develop the skills required to be a specialist subject teacher capable of designing and delivering excellent lessons in computing.
The programme consists of university-based sessions, school-based sessions and teaching placements. University-based sessions will include the study of the Computing curriculum, lesson planning, effective teaching, classroom management and approaches to assessment. Some of the professional studies elements will be delivered in school.
Students will gain experience of a wide range of approaches to teaching, while working with very experienced mentors who are skilled at providing positive feedback and support.
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 - Computing with ICT (30 Master's-level credits)
This element of the course addresses the core issues of:
- Understanding the curriculum.
- Effective teaching of computing as a school subject.
- The assessment of pupil's learning.
The module will develop your capacity to track pupil progress, measure attainment and use assessment data to improve teaching and use assessment data to improve teaching and learning. The module is assessed by a written assignment addressing the issues above.
- Wider Educational Studies - Computing with ICT (30 Master's-level credits)
In this module we will support you in developing your capacity to apply digital technologies to teaching, learning and assessment. Teachers of computing are often required to lead and support in the development of the use of digital tools and systems for learning and this module will support you in developing your skills and knowledge in this area. The module provides a range of opportunities to gain skills with a variety of digital tools including on-line assessment systems, virtual learning environments and a variety of tools and resources for teaching physical computing.
Through workshops and practical teaching you will learn about the strengths and weaknesses of various technologies and develop a critical understanding of digital technologies in relation to the particular needs of computing as a subject and in relation to the learning needs of different groups of pupils. Not only will this module develop your capacity to apply and use digital technologies but we will provide you with opportunities to design, develop and use systems and digital tools that you have created yourself. This module is assessed by an assignment focussing on the development and use of a particular digital teaching and learning tool which to will use in your practical teaching.
- 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 subject specialist mentors who will 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 computing 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 will also record their progress in a Career Entry and Development Profile statement. 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 any 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 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:
Bursaries of up to £27,500 are available to students who meet the eligibility criteria for the Computing programme. To find out what funding may be available to you, please visit the Department for Education website.
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 computing and ICT teachers, while others have jobs as Heads of Computing/ICT. Graduates in this area can also be found working as senior managers in schools.
Recent career destinations for this degree
- Secondary School Computing Teacher, Unspecified School
- Secondary School ICT and Business Studies Teacher, Unspecified School
- E-Learning Assistant, Unspecified London College
- ICT and Computing Teacher, Unspecified London School
- Special Needs Teacher, Unspecified School
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?
Tutors on the Secondary PGCE are skilled classroom practitioners with extensive experience in secondary schools and colleges, in school leadership, inspection, educational research and consultancy.
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.
Throughout their time on the Computing PGCE ,students will be supported by tutors and specialist subject mentors with many years of experience as classroom teachers, heads of department and subject advisory teachers.
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 a UK maintained (state-funded) 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
Secondary PGCE - Programme overview
Watch PGCE Secondary programme leader David Mitchell