History, according to the current national curriculum, "should inspire pupils’ curiosity to know more about the past". Our aim is to equip students to do just that, developing their ability to plan meaningful historical experiences for pupils in the 11–16 age range, to teach effectively and to assess their own and their pupils’ achievements.
Students will understand why history is taught in schools, how pupils learn and make sense of the past, and how to teach history in an exciting way that develops learners. There are five key themes underpinning the programme: 'diverse histories', 'history for all', 'historical thinking', 'engaging with history' and ‘ becoming a professional history teacher'. These themes reflect our location in the capital, the wide range of schools and students that we work with and our ambition to engage, challenge and enlighten all learners.
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).
- History in a Wider Context (30 Master's-level credits)
This module enables students to explore and critique a generic teaching strategy or theory by planning, teaching and evaluating an enquiry of between four and six lessons. The assignment requires you to select one generic teaching focus (you will be provided with a list but it will include, for example, assessment for learning, Blooms Taxonomy, metacognition and setting) and to embed this into an enquiry that you plan, teach and evaluate. This will enable you to examine the generic focus critically how far and in what ways does it help you to teach history more effectively and what are the advantages and disadvantages of applying it in a history classroom setting?
The purpose behind this is a simple one: as a qualified teacher you will be bombarded with a plethora of new (or rediscovered) theories and strategies about teaching. Some will be a passing trend and no more, some will be based on rigorous evidence and some will not, others may work for some subjects but not others. How can you test out such theories and strategies in your own practice in order to reach a measured and informed view of their value?
- Learning, Teaching and Assessing History (30 Master's-level credits)
This module aims to develop your ability to plan, teach and evaluate a series of between four and six lessons that constitute an engaging enquiry into an aspect of the history curriculum in your placement school, with a focus on one of the key concepts of the History National Curriculum. The module includes consideration of the curriculum as it is presented within National Curriculum documentation and public exam specifications, and the importance of the key concepts that define the nature of the discipline and the ways in which these are interpreted and prioritised by schools. It examines the development of an enquiry-based pedagogy, both within history education and with reference to wider understandings of how children learn, in order to establish secure principles for effective lesson planning.
The focus on pedagogy includes exploration of a wide range of teaching strategies with careful consideration of the diversity of young people and an appreciation of their perspectives, intended to support the creation of inclusive and productive classroom environments for all learners. Different conceptions of progression in relation to historical knowledge and understanding will be examined to establish criteria for evaluation and assessment of students learning, with a strong emphasis on the use of formative assessment to inform interactive classroom decisions and future planning.
- 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.
Teaching and Learning
Teaching at UCL-IOE is mostly through seminars and workshops in your teaching base group of about twenty trainee teachers, with additional keynote and subject lectures, tutorials and directed study days, 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.
Students spend most of their time (120) days in schools, working with history mentors who support them through two school placements. We are fortunate to have a good choice of schools to work with, within our regions inside the London Orbital Motorway (M25). The Professional Practice module is assessed through these placements, associated tasks and a portfolio.
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.
Students who successfully complete this programme will be recommended for Qualified Teacher Status (QTS).
Normally a minimum of a lower second-class UK Bachelor’s degree or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard with at least 50% History content.
No specific subjects required.
English Language and Mathematics at grade C.
Prospective students must complete a minimum of five days of school experience in the state sector 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. Please note that many applicants have more school experience than this however which can be an advantage at interview. 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 are available for some subject programmes to students who meet the eligibility criteria. To find out what funding may be available to you, please visit the Department for Education funding page.
For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the UCL Scholarships and Funding website.
Graduates of this programme are currently working across a broad range of areas. Some are working as history teachers and heads of department in schools, while others have jobs as history educators in museums and archives. Graduates in this area can also be found working as senior leaders in schools.
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.
Why study this programme at UCL?
Students will be joining the largest History PGCE programme in the country, allowing them to benefit from a team of tutors with a wide range of expertise and interests. Students will also be able to develop strong peer networks across tutor groups and share ideas, resources and advice.
The IOE History PGCE offers students unique opportunities such as placements at museums or other historical sites, in order to develop understanding of learning history outside the classroom.
The IOE also hosts the Centre for Holocaust Education and the First World War Centenary Battlefield Tours Programme and we provide the opportunity to complete a full two-day teachers' programme in Holocaust Education as part of the PGCE. Moreover, we have strong links with the history department at UCL and their specialist units like the Centre for the Study of the Legacies of British Slave-ownership.
Students who successfully complete this programme will be recommended for Qualified Teacher Status (QTS).
Department: Institute of Education
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.
- All applicants
- 27 July 2018
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