Religious Education PGCE

London, Bloomsbury
Ages 11 - 19 Secondary

The Religious Education PGCE at UCL gives student teachers a cutting edge education with all the benefits of being in the heart of London. You will visit diverse places of worship, learn how to use sacred art in your teaching from our visits to museums and galleries and attend seminars with leading RE professionals and scholars. Alongside this, you will have the opportunity to learn from our expert colleagues working in partnership schools. The RE PGCE supports all student teachers to develop the subject knowledge and skills they need to help young people explore ultimate questions about their own lives and the lives of others across ages 11-18.

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

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.

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.

A levels

No specific subjects required.

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.

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

The PGCE Religious Education at UCL combines the practical and theoretical aspects of becoming an RE teacher. School placements include professional experiences of planning, teaching and reflecting on lessons with a mentor in school and an academic tutor at UCL to provide personal and pastoral support throughout the course. Critical perspectives about why and how RE is taught in schools allow student teachers to develop a deep understanding of the subject and why it is crucial for a just society. Exploring international approaches to the subject prepares student teachers for global outlooks and opportunities.

The PGCE RE team, alumni, visiting speakers and school partners work together to facilitate the development of expert teachers of RE who enable young people to critically engage in a religiously plural world. Students are fully prepared to teach RE at Key Stage 3, Religious Studies and Philosophy at GCSE and A Level through teaching experience and specifically designed seminars with leading experts. There are also opportunities to develop confidence in teaching Citizenship, Sociology, Psychology on placement and through taught seminars.

Our Intensive Teaching and Practice themes bring key practical and theoretical aspects of the course together through taught seminars, observations, activities and experience in school, for student teachers to develop subject expertise and confidence in the classroom. 

These themes are: 

  1. Enacting behavioural rules, routines & responses and establishing a positive learning environment 
  2. Planning and teaching lessons in RE, worldviews, Philosophy and Ethics
  3. Ways of knowing, learning about and from religion and worldviews
  4. Working with communities and organisations to plan innovative RE

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

Current research at UCL informs the RE PGCE curriculum supporting student teachers to engage with contemporary issues, debates and scholarship in this field. Tutors and contributors to the Religious Education PGCE are skilled classroom practitioners with extensive experience in secondary schools and colleges, school leadership, teacher education and research. Students also benefit from developing strong peer networks on the course which last into their careers and provide collegial support throughout the year. There are many opportunities to collaborate across subjects, both on placements and at UCL, to embrace cross-curricular approaches to tackling challenging questions that RE raises, from controversial issues to the significance of worldviews for social justice.

The teacher you want to be

IOE's excellent reputation helps ensure that graduates of the Secondary PGCE programme are highly employable and sought after by schools and colleges in London and further afield. Almost all student teachers secure their first teaching post by the time they complete the programme. Many graduates become a head of department or head of year within 2-5 years, frequently progressing to senior leadership in schools. Several are now headteachers. Others have developed their careers by becoming lead teachers in the classroom, engaging in further study and research or by writing, blogging 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

Employability

Graduates of this programme are currently working in schools across London and around the UK as RE teachers, heads of departments, curriculum leaders and heads of year. Some graduates also teach other subjects alongside RE, such as Citizenship, PSHE, Psychology, Sociology and Humanities. A number of alumni continue with their Masters level study on completion of the PGCE and find funding through the RE Subject Networks that support leadership in postgraduate study.

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, visits to places of worship and museums, 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. You are allocated a UCL personal tutor and school-based mentor for each placement.

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.  

 

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

 

The PGCE Religious Education course is a full-time programme.

During university taught sessions and visits, 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.

Modules

You will undertake two modules at level 7 (Masters level) of 30 credits each and one Professional Practice module at level 6. The level 7 credits 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.

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 Religious Education.

School placements

Student teachers will spend most of their time in schools, working with Religious Education mentors who provide support through the two school placements. We are fortunate to have an excellent choice of partnership schools, with many outstanding mentors and strong Religious Education 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.

IOE, Faculty of Education and Society 20 Bedford Way, London WC1H 0NS, UK - Open day

Teacher Training Open Event

Join us at IOE, UCL's Faculty of Education and Society, Teacher Training Open Event where you can find out more about our PGCEs in Early Years, Primary, Secondary and Further Education. The admissions and funding teams will also be available to give advice on the application process and student funding options.

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 and visits organised by the programme within the London area.

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.

UCL is regulated by the Office for Students.