The Music PGCE covers the nature and principles of music teaching and learning and the place of music in the school curriculum. We aim to develop expertise in a variety of teaching situations and to equip students to plan meaningful musical experiences for their pupils.
The Music PGCE introduces students to the broad scope of Music as a curriculum subject across the 11-16 age range. The course is designed to support musicians in coming to an understanding of what it means to be an effective and successful music educator. Our priority is to develop your expertise in a variety of teaching situations, by exploring a range of different teaching styles. We will offer a range of perspectives on the principles of syllabus design, evaluation and assessment. We aim to deepen students' theoretical understanding of educational issues through engaging practical music workshops, lectures, seminars and tutorials.
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 practical musicianship tasks, 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 - Music (30 Master's-level credits)
This module serves as a broad introduction to the foundations of Music Education across the secondary school sector. Student teachers will focus on a variety of approaches to planning, teaching and assessment both in the context of their Music classroom and in their extra-curricular work. Students will consolidate, adapt and extend their knowledge of music teaching and learning as appropriate to the range of school students.
For this module, there are a range of tasks, including online group work, a written case study and an arrangement/composition and rehearsal task that require students to reflect upon their work with school ensembles. Throughout this module, students are encouraged to reflect critically on their own experiences as teachers and learners, to engage with recent and relevant theories of teaching and learning and to develop their subject expertise and skills as musicians and music teachers.
- Wider Educational Studies - Music (30 Master's-level credits)
This module enables student teachers to develop an understanding of a range of teaching, learning and assessment methods and to synthesise the findings of their school-based research with recent and relevant theory and policy in the field of Music Education.
Students are given some choice over the focus of this critical inquiry of school-based practice, from the design and proposal of the project through to the data collection and analysis. The project work is to be undertaken in the student teacher's school placement where they are encouraged to reflect critically on their own experiences as teachers and learners and to reconfigure and develop their subject knowledge and subject pedagogy in the context of their professional practice. In addition, students will engage with recent and relevant theories of learning and teaching in the field of Music Education.
- 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
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.
You will spend most of your time (120 days) in schools, working with music mentors who support you through your two school placements. We are fortunate to have a good choice of schools with whom we work, with many outstanding mentors and strong music departments. 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).
A minimum of a lower second-class UK Bachelor’s degree or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard in Music, or other degree subjects will be considered if a high level of musicianship can be displayed.
No specific subjects required.
English Language and Mathematics at grade C or 5.
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 five 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 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, including: classroom music and instrumental teachers, music educators, workshop leaders and consultants in National Music Hubs and local authorities, learning and participation programme leaders for professional orchestras, and resident composers in schools.
Recent career destinations for this programme
- Secondary School Teacher (Music), Latymer Upper School
- Secondary School Teacher (Music), Nower Hill High School
- College Teacher (Music), ELAM (East London Arts & Music)
- Secondary School Teacher (Music), Langley Grammar School
- Secondary School Teacher (Music), The Grey Coat Hospital Church of England Comprehensive Schoo
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 2013–2015 graduating cohorts six months after graduation.
Why study this programme at UCL?
UCL Institute of Education (IOE) offers one of the larger music PGCE programmes in the country, allowing students to benefit from a team of lecturers with a wide range of expertise and interests.
"I can't rate my training highly enough. Not only am I a more confident musician, but I am now equipped to apply all the ideas I've learnt from workshops, lectures and from my research to my teaching. I feel excited and prepared for my future career" (PGCE Music Student Teacher Evaluation, 2016)
Our central London location means that we are able to draw on the world-leading expertise of professional musicians and music educators. For example, a number of subject sessions are arranged in collaboration with expert musicians from The London Sinfonietta, LSO St Luke's (Gamelan) and the Kingdom Choir (Gospel).
While undertaking placements in our network of partner schools, students also benefit from the wealth of expertise on offer in London and the opportunity to teach music in a vibrant and dynamic setting.
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.
You should have a degree in Music, Music technology or a combination of these (normally a minimum of a lower second class Bachelor’s degree).
If your degree is in another subject, you should have substantial work experience relevant to teaching Music and be able to demonstrate a high level of practical musicianship that is equivalent to an undergraduate qualification.
You must demonstrate a commitment to, and enjoyment of, working with children and young people. You will have some previous experience of working with children and young people in mainstream schools and other contexts.
You will be able to communicate clearly and effectively, to be well organised, to be receptive, and to work as part of a team
You will demonstrate adaptability and the ability of to work well under pressure.
For more information see our Applications page.Apply now