Languages PGCE

London, Bloomsbury
Ages 11 - 16 Secondary

The Languages PGCE explores languages teaching and learning by combining theory and practice to promote innovative, inspiring and effective pedagogy. Students develop the professional knowledge and skills they need to teach all pupils in the 11-16 range. Students are also supported to develop their knowledge and understanding of teaching Languages at A-Level. We are committed to creative and interactive approaches to teaching to promote engagement and learning.

UK students International students
Study mode
Full-time
UK tuition fees (2024/25)
£9,250
Overseas tuition fees (2024/25)
£25,900
Duration
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

Skills


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.

Support


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

Experience


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 the main language (French/German/Spanish/Mandarin) to be taught. The degree must contain at least 50% of the language if it is a combined degree. If a candidate does not have a degree in that language, then they should be a native speaker and have a degree in a related subject. For Mandarin, HSK level 6 may be acceptable along with a degree in a related subject. Italian (whether degree or native speaker) may only be offered in conjunction with main French. Italian with main Spanish may be possible if the candidate also has some French.

Subject Knowledge Enhancement (SKE) tests

We may wish to discuss options available to you to improve your second language skills, including subject knowledge enhancement (SKE) courses.

A levels

All candidates for the European languages of main Spanish and German should normally have French A level at grade C or the equivalent as a minimum. However, we are sometimes able to consider applications for combinations of languages not including French but places are extremely limited and early application is necessary.

GCSEs

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 www.equivalencytesting.com 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.

*Should you experience any issues with the drop-down below, try de-selecting the country and re-selecting it. If this doesn't work, then you may refer to this page which may help you find the same equivalencies - check the Entry requirements above beforehand. Please note the table is indicative only, revisiting when the dropdown is working to confirm is recommended.

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


This programme enables student teachers to engage critically with a number of approaches and issues relating to second languages education, such as the teaching of grammar, the incorporation of literature and film into lessons, target language use, and the monitoring and assessment of pupils' learning. It incorporates a range of approaches to ensure effective, inclusive teaching and learning, and develops a student teacher's professionalism and critical awareness to a high level.

We offer an EAL (English as an Additional Language) enhancement to our Mandarin Chinese Student Teachers who may not offer a second mainstream language (usually French, German or Spanish) and to those on the European language pathways who have experience and/or a particular interest in the area. The EAL teaching group size is limited, so those without a second language are given priority.

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 a UK maintained (state-funded) school and who have fulfilled the appropriate entry requirements.

What this course will give you

The Languages PGCE programme is informed by research. It places a strong emphasis on cultural knowledge, the use of literature and film in the languages classroom, pupil use of target language and broader aspects of second language learning.  We promote inclusive practice and consider ways in which teachers can meet the needs of all learners, including those with SEND. We also look at how languages teachers can capitalise upon the skills of bilingual learners and those with EAL (English as an additional language) in their teaching. We promote creative and innovative practice and include sessions that focus on the effective use of digital technology and multimedia.

IOE, UCL's Faculty of Education and Society, has well-established partnerships with cultural and educational institutions across London, as well as European and Chinese universities and teacher training institutions. Our partnership with over 200 secondary schools and colleges in Greater London and beyond enables our students to become skilled and confident teachers in their chosen subject specialism.

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.

The Secondary PGCE Programme is a springboard into a rewarding career, not just as a skilled subject specialist teacher, but as an 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

Employability

Graduates of this programme are currently working across a broad range of areas. Many are pursuing teaching careers as languages teachers and heads of department in schools, in the UK and abroad, while others have jobs using the transferable skills they have developed on the programme. Many of our graduates build on their early career success to become senior leaders in schools. 

Accreditation

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

Structure

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.  

During the 124 days of school experience, students will work closely with subject-specialist mentors to build on the knowledge and understanding they have gained from University sessions and readings, putting this into practice with a range of learners and classes. They will be expected to maintain high levels of professionalism, working as part of busy Languages departments and across the school community.

Assessment is by practical teaching, assignments and portfolio tasks.

 

The PGCE Languages course is a full-time programme. During University taught periods, students are expected to be present Monday-Wednesday all day, and Thursdays and Fridays for directed study, some of which will include visits and other activities arranged by tutors. 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.

It is fantastic to be surrounded by people who have the same goal as you and come from all over the world. You will definitely come out stronger and learn so much in such a short space of time.

Emma Costard, PGCE student

Emma Costard

Languages PGCE

Modules

You will undertake two modules at level 7 (Masters level written assignments) of 30 credits each and one Professional Practice module at level 6. The level 7 credits can be carried forward to some full Masters programmes at IOE (check individual programme requirements).

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

Throughout the year, you will also participate in specific activities at IOE and in school that focus on important areas of our curriculum. These activities (totalling 20 days with at least 4 days in school) will help you to better understand links between theory and practice. They will also involve feedback from experts so that your progress is supported in these pivotal areas. These days form part of your 124 days on placement.

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 Languages.

School placements

You will spend most of your time in schools, working with subject specialist 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 Languages departments.

The Professional Practice module is assessed through these placements, associated tasks and a portfolio.

During placement periods you should be prepared to travel to and from each school placement. It should be noted that there is variation in how accessible schools are, and whether they have parking facilities. However, if you let us know of any particular accessibility needs you have, we will endeavour to accommodate them.

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.

Accessibility

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 and Wellbeing team.

Where you'll study

Department of Culture, Communication and Media

The Department of Culture, Communication and Media is committed to excellence in research and teaching in the areas of Art, Design and Museology, Academic writing, English education, Applied Linguistics, Music Education, Learning with Digital Technologies and teacher professional development.

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: ucl.ac.uk/students/fees.

Additional costs

Students are responsible for funding their travel to and from placements.

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

Students may be eligible to receive a training bursary for living costs. For Secondary, the amount depends on your PGCE subject and your degree classification or highest relevant academic qualification.

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.

UCL is regulated by the Office for Students.