Institute of Education


PGCE Geography

Geographical knowledge is dynamic and the world is constantly changing. As a geography teacher, you will take responsibility for introducing children to the ideas and methods of geography, helping them to investigate people, places and processes. You will support children to better understand the complexities and wonders of the Earth, enabling them in both their education and their everyday lives.

Key information

Programme starts

September 2021

Modes and duration

Full time: 1 year

Application dates

All applicants
Open: 13 October 2020
Close: 6 August 2021
Early application is advised as programmes may close as soon as places are filled. Applicants should check the government website for the latest vacancy information.

Tuition fees (2021/22)

£9,250 (FT)
£21,600 (FT)

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 Students website: ucl.ac.uk/students/fees.

Level: Secondary
Age range: 11–16


Students who successfully complete this programme will be recommended for Qualified Teacher Status (QTS).

Location: London, Bloomsbury

Entry requirements

First degree

A minimum of a lower second-class UK Bachelor's degree or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard in Geography, or a Geography-related degree.

A levels

Geography at grade C required if the first degree subject is not Geography.


English Language and Mathematics at grade C or 5. We do not accept "applied" or "additional" GCSE subjects. Applicants who do not offer a GCSE in English Language or Mathematics may demonstrate an equivalent standard by completing a test via Equivalency Testing or A Star Equivalency and achieving at least a grade 5. For Mathematics, equivalency tests in Mathematics Foundation or Mathematics Higher with grade 5 are accepted. BTEC, Functional Skills or Access course qualifications are not accepted in place of GCSEs.

School experience

We recommend that you aim to gain some experience in a classroom prior to interview.

DBS and Occupational Health

If you are made an offer you will be required to successfully complete Occupational Health and Disclosure Barring Service (DBS) Enhanced Disclosure checks. The Occupational Health Check is £77, and depending on your DBS requirements, there may be an additional fee of £12.75 if you can submit your DBS Enhanced Disclosure check via a UK Post Office. 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.

Skills tests

Trainees will be assured against a set of fundamental Mathematics and English skills by the end of their teacher training.

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.

International students

Country-specific information, including details of when UCL representatives are visiting your part of the world, can be obtained from the International Students website.

Visa information

This programme is suitable for international students on a Student visa - study must be full-time, starting September.

International applicants can find out the equivalent qualification for their country by selecting from the list below.

Select your country:

About this programme

On completion of the course, you will gain a PGCE and QTS (Qualified Teacher Status), equipping you to teach geography in secondary schools. During the PGCE, you will be supported to tackle the at once practical and conceptual questions of who are the children I teach? Why teach geography? and what geography should I teach and how should I teach it?

Students undertake two level 7 (Master’s-level) modules of 30 credits each, totalling 60 credits. These credits can be carried forward onto some Master’s programmes at the IOE (check individual programme requirements).

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.

Upon successful completion of 60 credits, you will be awarded a PGCE.

Please note that the list of modules given here is indicative. This information is published a long time in advance of enrolment and module content and availability is subject to change.

Compulsory modules

Subject Studies - Geography
Wider Educational Studies - Geography
Secondary - Professional Practice


Students will spend most of their time in two placement schools, working with geography mentors who provide strong support. We are fortunate to have a superb range of excellent schools with whom we work, across the region, with many outstanding mentors and strong geography departments.

Teaching and learning

The programme is delivered via keynote lectures, subject lectures, seminars, workshops, tutorials, fieldwork and directed study days at the IOE. Assessment is by practical teaching, assignments and portfolio tasks. The majority of the course is spent practicing teaching in supported school placements.

Additional costs

Fieldwork £120 approx. (one off)

For more information on additional costs for prospective students please go to our estimated cost of essential expenditure at Accommodation and living costs.


Details of the accessibility of UCL buildings can be obtained from AccessAble accessable.co.uk. Further information can also be obtained from the UCL Student Support & Wellbeing team.


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.

Scholarships are also available through the Royal Geographical Society. 

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.


The majority of PGCE graduates go on to become geography teachers. Graduates also go on to become heads of department in schools and colleges, as well as school leaders – including headteachers. Graduates of the PGCE also regularly mentor student teachers and work in teacher education.


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 aims to provide a springboard into a rewarding career as a skilled teacher and future educational leader.

Why study this programme at UCL?

Studying the Geography PGCE at UCL Institute of Education (IOE) means working in one of the most vibrant, diverse and exciting cities in the world. You will practice teaching in two placements selected from our partnership of schools who welcome you and are committed to supporting you. You will be mentored by experienced geography teachers in school, and tutored by experienced academics who are researching and teaching in geography education at the IOE. This course is distinctive in helping you engage in current debates, issues and ideas as well as practical strategies for school geography teaching, so you can develop critical-thinking and leadership as geography teacher who can shape change in a curriculum for the future.

The course is an exciting mix of teaching practice in two school placements, and university sessions, based at UCL in Bloomsbury, a vibrant and beautiful part of central London. Variety is key to how you learn on the course. The majority of your time is spent in school, planning, teaching lessons, observing and meeting with other teachers. University teaching includes debates, lectures, seminars, workshops, your own presentations, tutorials, structured independent tasks and a mix of online and face to face teaching, including fieldwork in London and the Lake District and teaching with GIS. Throughout you have excellent support to succeed from your school mentors and university tutor.

The course assessment is developmental for you. There is no written exam but you will undertake two Master’s level modules. These assignments draw on your practice giving scope for you to be creative, choose the exact focus, follow your interests in geography, education and tailor the work to the classes you teach on placements. The assignments help your reflection and evaluation of practice become critical and informed. In this way, you learn not just ‘what works’ in teaching in a particular school, but to understand how to apply your knowledge and skills to different schools, and classrooms. This makes you a deeper thinking, more independent and resilient teacher.


Students who successfully complete this programme will be recommended for Qualified Teacher Status (QTS).

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 course will appeal to anyone who is interested in geography, teaching and young people’s education. We welcome applicants from a range of academic, professional backgrounds and prior experience. You will need a degree in geography or a related subject, and demonstrate interest in young people’s education.

Application deadlines

All applicants
6 August 2021

Early application is advised as programmes may close as soon as places are filled. Applicants should check the government website for the latest vacancy information.

For more information see our Applications page.

Apply now

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Page last modified on 28 August 2021