Citizenship PGCE

London, Bloomsbury
Ages 11 - 16 Secondary

The Citizenship PGCE offers students the opportunity to learn to teach at the leading edge of Citizenship education for the 11-16 age range, and to develop their knowledge and understanding of teaching a range of associated subjects at A-level/post-16. Students can become one of the next generation of specialist teachers of Citizenship and related subjects such as Government and Politics, Humanities, Social Sciences, Law and PSHE.

UK students International students
Study mode
UK tuition fees (2024/25)
Overseas tuition fees (2024/25)
1 academic year
Programme starts
September 2024
Applications accepted
All applicants: 09 Oct 2023 – 02 Aug 2024
Applications close at 5pm UK time

Applications open

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.


This course will give you everything you need to face the classroom, both the pedagogical theory and the practical skills to be an inspiring teacher.


Our gradual immersion approach will introduce you to the classroom progressively, from one pupil to the whole class.


Placement in very diverse, carefully chosen schools will allow you to learn from different contexts and be prepared to teach in any school.

Start teaching

With a PGCE you can start teaching as soon as you complete the course and are recommended for Qualified Teacher Status.

IOE, UCL’s Faculty of Education and Society, has been ranked 1st for Education in the QS World University Rankings by Subject for the past decade (2014–2023).

Entry requirements

First degree

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

A levels

Not required (depending on degree experience) but A levels in one or more of the following are useful: Politics, Law, Sociology, Citizenship Studies, Psychology, History, Geography, Religious Studies, Economics, Business Studies, Anthropology.


English Language and Mathematics at grade C or 4. 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 4. For Mathematics, equivalency tests in Mathematics Foundation or Mathematics Higher with grade 4 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.

Skills tests

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

Equivalent standard

Applicants who do not offer a GCSE in English Language or Mathematics may demonstrate an equivalent standard by completing a test at or A Star Equivalency.

Relevant experience and background

Applicants whose degree qualifications are lower than 2:2 standard may be admitted if they can demonstrate an appropriate academic background at master's level and above and/or significant postgraduate experience in the relevant field.

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

International applicants can find out the equivalent qualification for their country by selecting from the list below. Please note that the equivalency will correspond to the broad UK degree classification stated on this page (e.g. upper second-class). Where a specific overall percentage is required in the UK qualification, the international equivalency will be higher than that stated below. Please contact Graduate Admissions should you require further advice.

The English language level for this programme is: Level 2

Further information can be found on our English language requirements page.

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

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 £90, and depending on your DBS requirements, there may be an additional fee of £15.00 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.

About this course

PGCE Citizenship offers students the opportunity to learn to teach at the leading edge of Citizenship education for the 11-16 age range, and to develop their knowledge and understanding of teaching a range of associated subjects at A-level/post-16.

PGCE Citizenship supports you to teach young people about the knowledge, skills and concepts that they need to be a democratic and participatory citizen in society. You will learn how to teach children and young people about political, legal, economic and media literacy and inspire them to think about the changing world around them including about rights, climate, sustainability, equality, diversity and inclusion. You will learn how to build criticality in young people so that they can develop clear evidence-based viewpoints bringing in intersectional and diverse ideas. You will learn how to effectively engage students in Citizenship lessons, how to plan for compelling learning in Citizenship education and how to support and challenge students to progress. You will learn how to build strong class boundaries and relationships, how to develop and utilise specialist Citizenship education subject knowledge, including planning active Citizenship projects.

The Citizenship programme will feature four ‘Intensive Teaching & Practice’ (ITAP) sequences designed to establish and develop students’ Citizenship teaching through the year. Closely linking theory and practice, and enabling students to observe, deconstruct, plan, practice and progress in specific areas of teaching, these focus on:

  1. Behavioural expectations and establishing a positive learning environment
  2. Planning and sequencing Citizenship knowledge, concepts and skills,
  3. Oracy and debate; complex discussions in a Citizenship classroom
  4. Developing Active Citizenship

Who this course is for

The Secondary PGCE full-time programme is suited to those wishing to gain Qualified Teaching Status (QTS) for teaching in UK maintained schools and who have fulfilled the appropriate entry requirements. Backgrounds in areas such as youth work, teaching assistant work, TEFL, NGO/charity work, campaigning and activism are advantageous.

What this course will give you

Our course is led by an experienced and innovative Citizenship educator, Hans Svennevig, who has taught in Citizenship education for 20+ years and is involved in a range of Citizenship education activities. We partner with some of the best schools for Citizenship, with many of our mentors previous alumni of IOE's PGCE Citizenship programme. Our partner schools guarantee at least 50% of a student teacher timetable are citizenship topics. We also provide opportunities to teach GCSE Citizenship in one or both schools and some schools have opportunities to teach A-Level or to have other post-16 experiences.

We educate teachers in a dynamic, creative and innovative way, drawing in experts across the Citizenship field to explore current affairs, controversial and sensitive issues and community action. All of these pedagogies can be successfully applied to the range of subjects graduates can go on to teach. Our approach to ITAP is proudly subject-specific. Our ITAP sequences are embedded through the Citizenship programme and will give students the opportunity to build their practice and confidence in pivotal areas of Citizenship pedagogy.

We have significant links with the subject association - the Association for Citizenship Teaching - and this helps to connect you to high quality resources and CPD.

All students who complete this course go on to get a job or further study in their chosen field. 100% of students rate our course good-outstanding for satisfaction each year (IOE Secondary PGCE student teacher survey, 2021-23).

The teacher you want to be

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. Our graduates also have great career prospects in the long term. Many become Head of Department or Head of Year within 2-5 years, often acting, in their schools, as mentors to new PGCE student teachers and later becoming senior leaders and indeed 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.

Overall, the Secondary PGCE Programme aims to provide a springboard into a rewarding career as a skilled subject specialist teacher and future educational leader.

The tools of a great educator

  • Understanding of theory and subject or phase pedagogy
  • Creating a successful climate for learning, including behaviour management
  • Planning and teaching classes that engage pupils
  • Using assessment to inform planning
  • Working with the wider school community, including parents


Graduates of this programme are currently working across a broad range of areas. Most graduates become teachers of Citizenship and related subjects, such as RE, Politics, Humanities, Psychology, Sociology, Philosophy, PSHE, Health and Social Care, Media Studies, Law, personal development and Cultural Studies. Graduates in this area can also be found working as education officers for charities and museums, local authority education advisers and as researchers and writers. The upward career trajectory within schools is often rapid for Citizenship graduates, with many working as heads of department, heads of faculty, heads of year or as part of senior leadership teams in schools.


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


The programme is taught through a mix of face-to-face and online sessions, (including keynote lectures and debates, presentations, discussions, and classroom group tasks), and a practical teaching element based in two schools. Students are required to read widely and to carry out written assignments in their own time. 

Students will also take part in specific activities that provide the opportunity to focus on specific, pivotal areas of our curriculum. These opportunities (totalling 20 days of ITAP) will strengthen the link between theory and practice and provide students with specific feedback to support their progress in these pivotal areas. 

We have identified four placement days for ITAP. The remaining 16 days for ITAP will take place during IOE timetabled time.

The programme typically has around 20 student teachers each year. Keynote lectures and debates include opportunities to discuss with, and meet, other secondary PGCE programme student teachers.

Assessment is by practical teaching, written assignments and portfolio tasks.

The PGCE Citizenship course is a full-time programme.

During university taught sessions, students are expected to be present all day. Students spend a minimum of 124 days on school placement and will be required to attend for full and entire school days, including pre- and post-teaching sessions as expected of a normal, full-time teacher at their placement school.

Studying at IOE was a transformative experience. Knowing that you are at the most recognisable institute for teacher training in the world gives you the confidence to know you will have the expertise to help you succeed in this challenging profession.

UCL Portico building with welcome sign between columns.

Luke Jenner

Citizenship PGCE


Three compulsory modules: You will undertake two modules at level 7 and one Professional Practice module at level 6. The level 7 modules can be carried forward onto some full Masters programmes at IOE (check individual programme requirements).

When you are not undertaking face-to-face teaching at IOE, you will be undertaking at least 124 days of teaching practice in various Partnership Schools.

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 are subject to change. Modules that are in use for the current academic year are linked for further information. Where no link is present, further information is not yet available.

Upon successful completion of 60 credits and the Professional Practice module, you will be awarded a PGCE in Citizenship.


We aim to take part in trips on the programme including to Parliament, and other dynamic centres of learning. This helps you learn how to develop and later lead school trips of your own. These trips are within the London area so, other than expenses for travel and refreshments, there are no additional costs.

School placements

You will spend most of your time in schools, working with Citizenship mentors who support you through your two school placements. We are fortunate to have an exceptionally strong choice of schools with whom we work, with many outstanding mentors and strong citizenship departments. The Professional Practice module is assessed through these placements, associated tasks and an online portfolio.

We ensure your placement will provide fulfilling and valuable experiences through:

  • A dedicated team who will identify the best schools for your placements
  • Support and guidance from your university tutor and your school-based mentor
  • School experience that allows you to progress at an appropriate pace for you
  • Reasonable travel times from your home to your school

Making the most of your placement

Teaching is a demanding profession and student teachers can feel nervous about school placements or anxious about the workload. Your tutor and school-based mentor will help you navigate your school experience, ensuring that you have the input you need. Empathetic feedback and discussion about your developing professional practice will support you to be successful.


Details of the accessibility of UCL buildings can be obtained from AccessAble Further information can also be obtained from the UCL Student Support and Wellbeing team.

Online - Open day

Graduate Open Events: PGCE Secondary Teacher Training

Are you interested in a career in teaching? Join our virtual events to find out more about Teacher Training at UCL, including admissions and student funding information.

Online - Open day

Graduate Open Events: Student Funding for Teacher Training

Are you interested in a career in teaching? Join our virtual events to find out more about Teacher Training at UCL, including admissions and student funding information.

Fees and funding

Fees for this course

UK students International students
Fee description Full-time
Tuition fees (2024/25) £9,250
Tuition fees (2024/25) £25,900

The tuition fees shown are for the year indicated above. Fees for subsequent years may increase or otherwise vary. Where the programme is offered on a flexible/modular basis, fees are charged pro-rata to the appropriate full-time Master's fee taken in an academic session. Further information on fee status, fee increases and the fee schedule can be viewed on the UCL Students website:

Additional costs

Each year we typically secure an arrangement with the Association for Citizenship Teaching for our student teachers. We therefore recommend that you do not join the association until you start the programme.

Students are responsible for funding their travel to and from placements and for trips organised by the programme.

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

Funding your studies

Bursaries and Scholarships may be available for some subjects, subject to eligibility. Visit the Department for Education website for information.

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.

IOE-Clarke Scholarships

Deadline: 3 May 2024
Value: Tuition fees, return flights and stipend (1 year)
Criteria Based on both academic merit and financial need
Eligibility: EU, Overseas

IOE-ISH Centenary Masters Scholarships

Deadline: 3 May 2024
Value: Tuition fees and accommodation (1 year)
Criteria Based on both academic merit and financial need
Eligibility: EU, Overseas

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.

When applying make sure to express in your personal statement why you wish to teach Citizenship education in particular.

Do get in touch with the subject lead - Hans Svennevig if you have any questions in advance of your application.

UCL is regulated by the Office for Students.