Well-qualified mathematics teachers are in high demand in London, the UK and across the world. The Mathematics PGCE programme at the IOE is rigorously informed by research, including developments internationally. Students learn how to make mathematics meaningful, interesting and fun and how to analyse their own and their pupils’ development.
The Mathematics PGCE provides an understanding of the nature of mathematics and why it is taught in schools, how pupils learn to think and reason mathematically and how to teach mathematics in such a way that learners enjoy it and choose to study it. Students will learn how to implement research and evidence informed teaching and how to conduct small scale research of your own. The programme comprises established knowledge in mathematics education, as well as the more up-to-date, developing ideas. It prepares maths student teachers to teach the 11-16 age range.
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).
- Mathematics, Curriculum and Pedagogy (30 Master's-level credits)
Practical matters such as the national curriculum, planning lessons, schemes of work and examination specifications are explored as well as aims of mathematics education. This module introduces key ideas in teaching mathematics with critical analysis of research and theory. It provides an opportunity for students develop an understanding of the value of research as well as the scope and limitations of theory. Students are encouraged to interrogate their own assumptions about teaching and learning and those of others through reflection and detailed analysis.
Students will be expected to develop a deep, theoretically informed understanding of learning processes; a good foundation of knowledge of research in mathematics education; and to be able to apply their knowledge and understanding in their teaching. Learning is supported through workshops, lectures, seminars, tutorials; independent reading and research, and on school placements.
- Mathematics Curriculum in a Wider Context (30 Master's-level credits)
This module enables students to widen their educational studies and to engage with diversity in Mathematics classrooms in London schools. It addresses the place of Mathematics education within the wider experience of individuals and within the school curriculum as a whole, enabling students to reflect critically on the purposes of Mathematics education and its roles in society as well as on the practical implications for curriculum design. The module draws on the range and variety of the subject knowledge that students bring with them onto the course and enables students to reconfigure this knowledge in the context of their developing experience of teaching and learning in London secondary classrooms.
Throughout the module, students are encouraged to reflect critically on their own experiences as learners and teachers, to engage with recent research and relevant theories of learning and teaching as they relate to the field of Mathematics and to engage critically and constructively with policy contexts and initiatives.
- 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.
Student Teachers undertake at least two placements (totaling 120 days) at a school or college, during which time their teaching practice is supported by a school subject tutor and mentor. The Professional Practice module is assessed through these placements, associated tasks and a portfolio. We are fortunate to have a good choice of schools with whom we work, with many outstanding mentors and strong mathematics departments.
Teaching and Learning
The Mathematics PGCE is delivered via keynote lectures, subject lectures, seminars, workshops, tutorials and directed study days at the IOE, as well as time spent in placement schools or colleges. Assessment is by the observation of practical teaching, assignments and a portfolio (which links with continuing professional development in the induction year).
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 Mathematics, or mathematical content of 50% or more.
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 and scholarships of up to £27,500 are available to students who meet the eligibility criteria for the Mathematics PGCE. 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 advisers and consultants in continuing professional development, while others have jobs as mathematics teachers, heads of department and school leaders. Graduates in this area can also be found working as lecturers and researchers in mathematics education.
Recent career destinations for this degree
- Mathematics Teacher, Unspecified Grammar School
- Mathematics Teacher, Unspecified Girls' School
- Mathematics Teacher, Unspecified Secondary School
- Mathematics Teacher, Unspecified Sixth Form College
- Mathematics Teacher, Unspecified Community College
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?
In partnership with London schools, we support all routes into mathematics teaching, allowing students to benefit from a team of tutors with a wide range of expertise. Students will also be able to develop strong peer networks to share ideas, resources and advice.
Tutors are skilled classroom practitioners with extensive experience of teaching and leadership in secondary schools, and are all active researchers working with schools and government on policy development in the UK and overseas.
Our joint conference in June brings together nearly 200 Mathematics PGCE students from across all routes to work together with tutors and visiting experts to wrestle with policy issues in mathematics 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.
What our students and staff say
"So much of what was covered in lectures has helped to make for interesting starters and plenaries. I really do appreciate what the tutors did for all us PGCE students. We all unequivocally believe that PGCE Mathematics is run by the best and most supportive lecturers at IOE."
Fatima AhmedPGCE Mathematics
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