The Economics PGCE prepares students to teach Economics across the 14–19 age range. Tutors promote interactive teaching and learning and a collaborative ethos is encouraged. We draw on current research at the UCL Institute of Education (IOE) and elsewhere to inform our teaching and encourage students to engage with recent debates and literature in the field.
We draw on current research at the Institute of Education and elsewhere to inform our economics teaching and encourage students to engage with recent debates and literature in the field. Our underlying aim is for students to develop as reflective and highly skilled teachers.
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 - Economics (30 Master's-level credits)
The module examines the distinctive qualities and conceptual underpinnings of economics education and the implications of these for teaching, learning, and assessment of the subject. Assessment is through a 5,000 word essay which comprises of three parts: a critique of two academic papers; an evaluation of a teaching episode focusing on pupils learning of a concept; and a critical reflection of pupils learning with reference to the educational arguments of the two papers.
- Wider Educational Studies - Economics (30 Master's-level credits)
This module builds on the previous one and examines the wider educational context in which economics education is located. Students will use methods of marking and assessment relevant to exam requirements and apply wherever possible the principles of assessment for learning.
The sessions aim wherever possible to bring together practice, research and educational theory. Assessment is through a 5,000 word essay which reports on an educational issue of the students choice. It should be focused upon economics teaching but requires reading beyond that of the economics education curriculum and with reference to wider perspectives.
- 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.
Students 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. Economics PGCE students will teach Economics to A level, and are likely to teach a second subject at GCSE or Key Stage 3. The Professional Practice module is assessed through these placements, associated tasks and a portfolio.
Teaching and Learning
The Secondary PGCE 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 an Economics-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 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. Some are working as teachers of economics and/or business, while others have jobs as middle and senior managers in schools. Graduates in this area can also be found working as education officers, teachers in international schools and as entrepreneurs running businesses offering consultancy in schools.
Recent career destinations for this degree
- Secondary School Business Studies and Economics Teacher, Middlesex School
- NQT Teacher, London School
- Business BTEC Teacher, Unspecified 6th Form College
- Secondary School Business and IT Teacher, Unspecified Secondary School
- Economics and Politics 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?
Teaching on the Economics PGCE is delivered by skilled classroom practitioners who have extensive experience in teaching economics and business, as well as in school leadership, educational research and consultancy and practical experience from industry.
Students participate in lectures and seminars designed to enhance their development as teachers. These interactive sessions will cover how children learn, assessment, lesson planning, behaviour management and subject-specific pedagogy.
We offer placements through our partnership with over 200 secondary schools and colleges in Greater London and beyond, which enable each of our students to become a skilled and confident teacher.
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. More information is available in the FAQs for 2016/17 entry.
For more information see our Applications page.Apply now
Secondary PGCE - Programme overview
Watch PGCE Secondary programme leader David Mitchell