Institute of Education


Teacher training

The UCL Institute of Education has been ranked 1st in the world for education for eight years running in the QS World University Subject Rankings.

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We are for the curious. For the questioners.

We are for those who know that to become a great teacher, you also need to become a big thinker. A leader.

We are for those who never stop asking why – and want to share it with the next generation.

For those who want to be the best teacher they can be.

We’ve got one question for you. When can you start?

Frequently asked questions

How do I apply?

Applications for PGCE Primary and Secondary programmes are made via UCAS. Applications for our PGCE in Early Years Initial Teacher Training (EYITT) programmes are made directly to UCL and there is no application fee. Please see the relevant programme page for the link to the correct application system.

The application cycle for our PGCE programmes opens in October each year and applications are considered on a rolling basis, therefore you are encouraged to apply as early as possible, as programmes may close as soon as places are filled.

What are the entry requirements for a PGCE?

To train to teach through the PGCE route, you will usually need a Bachelor’s degree at grade 2:2 or higher. 

Most PGCE courses for secondary education (ages 11-16) require a Bachelor’s degree in a related subject. 

More information:

Is funding available for a PGCE?

The UK government provides various funding sources to support you through your teacher training programme. It’s not guaranteed, but there are different options you may be entitled to depending on the route you’ve chosen, the subject you want to teach, your previous qualification and your personal circumstances. 

PGCE students can apply for tuition fee and maintenance loans, even if you’ve taken out an undergraduate student loan before. 

More information: 

What does a PGCE involve?

A Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) course at the UCL Institute of Education (IOE) will prepare you for your career as a teacher, through a combination of university sessions and hands-on experience in teaching placements. 

You will become a reflective practitioner, informed by an in-depth knowledge of teaching and learning, benefitting from the UK’s leading researchers in education. You will learn how to support learner development in your phase/subject area and will develop the relevant skills and understanding to meet professional teaching standards for your phase. Our primary and secondary programmes will prepare you to gain Qualified Teacher Status (QTS).

You will spend two-thirds of your programme in placement settings, where you will learn to teach well by combining practice with what you learn from research and theory. You’ll receive regular feedback and have discussions with your mentor to develop your knowledge and skills as a teacher.

How do teaching placements work?

As part of your PGCE programme, you will gain extensive practical classroom experience through teaching placements. Each year we organise thousands of placements in partnership with more than 500 schools, early years settings and colleges across the capital.

The number of hours you spend on practical teaching depends on your PGCE programme but all of them require at least two-thirds of your time to be spent in teaching placements. See the relevant programme page for more information.

We believe gradual immersion into the classroom is the best way to prepare for your teaching career, followed by a steady increase in teaching responsibilities. You might start by co-teaching with your mentor or by teaching a few learners, then a group, and then a whole class. This gradual increase in teaching will help you gain the knowledge, skills and confidence to manage, guide and inspire those you teach.

How long does it take to become a teacher?

With a PGCE from the IOE, you can complete your teacher training in just one year. It will give you the skills and experience you need to land your first job as a teacher. 

Once you have successfully completed your PGCE course, you will become an Early Career Teacher (ECT). If you qualify to teach in the primary or secondary phase you will then have a two-year period of induction to teach in a state school.

Your next steps

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Find your stage

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Attend an open day

Meet with programme teams and admissions staff, attend talks and presentations and chat with current students and newly qualified teachers.

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Stay in touch

Register interest in your chosen subjects and be the first to know about our open days, events and more.


Admissions enquiries

Are you interested in applying for a teacher training programme at UCL?

Find out more and get in touch with us

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