Postgraduate Certificate in Education
Secondary Initial Teacher Education Geography
This course is open for applications.
About this course
Page last updated 3 January 2017
The Secondary Postgraduate Certificate in Education is a one academic year (36 week) course that trains graduates to be secondary school teachers of geography.
The PGCE programme has been designed to train teachers to practice as a subject specialist teacher for the secondary age range (11-16). Trainees are assessed against the standards for Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) across the age range. Trainees will also often gain experience of the 16-18 age range, although they will not be formally assessed in this phase.
If you have a passion for geography and enjoy working with young people then this is course for you! At UWE and through working in our partnership schools you will learn to become a teacher of geography who feels equipped to cope with the demands of secondary school teaching today. Secondary school students need teachers who can motivate, inspire and challenge them through a wide range of innovative and creative lessons. The PGCE Secondary Geography course at UWE will support you in becoming a confident and competent teacher of geography.
The course is active and practical allowing trainees to develop professional competence through work undertaken in schools and in the University. Trainees work with young people, develop their expertise in their specialist subject area, share and discuss educational issues and study relevant educational research. The course is just the beginning of what we hope will be a process of continual professional development throughout a challenging and rewarding career.
Find out more about what PGCE Secondary Education at UWE has to offer in terms of teaching quality, staff expertise and your student experience.
Watch: The learning and teaching experience
The course is part of the Department of Education's programme for Initial Teacher Training. Units studied are:
- Enabling Learning
- Meeting Curriculum Challenges
- Becoming a Teacher
These units are studied in both the school and the University-based parts of the course, the work on each site being complementary.
We aim to help you to develop:
- your skills, knowledge and understanding of geography as set out in the National Curriculum, GCSE, AS/A2 and of the contribution of geography to Applied GCSE courses such as Travel and Tourism
- confidence in planning geography activities which are challenging, engaging and relevant to young people
- activities that promote an enquiry-based approach to teaching and learning
- fieldwork and other geographical skills, such as mobile learning with mapwork, the creative use of photographs, GIS and ICT
- creative approaches such as using poetry, creative writing and artistic expression
- an appreciation of the importance of geography in the school curriculum and its contribution to other areas of the curriculum including citizenship and environmental education
- knowledge of teaching and learning approaches in other humanities subjects including history and religious education
- your use of digital and media technology, including active learning techniques with videos, movie-making and animation within a geography context
- your sensitivity to the teaching of the many important and controversial issues that arise in our subject
We offer a course that has access to a wide range of resources to help you plan your school and university-based work. You will have practical teaching experience in two differing schools and will be supported by tutors and mentors from both schools and the University. The course sets out to support trainee teachers make the most of their year working in partnership with the University and our partner schools. Ultimately it is about making our subject stimulating, exciting and relevant to the students of today's classroom. If you share this enthusiasm for geography, then our PGCE course is the one for you.
Hear what our students think about their time at UWE.
The University continually enhances our offer by responding to feedback from our students and other stakeholders, ensuring the curriculum is kept up to date and our graduates are equipped with the knowledge and skills they need for the real world. This may result in changes to the course. If changes to your course are approved we will inform you.
Learning and Teaching
University sessions involve whole cohort lectures, cross subject seminar groups and geography specialist sessions. In geography you will learn through a wide range of teaching and learning styles. Each seminar session involves practical hands on application of theory, learning independently, in pairs and through group work. Activities provide you with the skills and understanding required to plan, resource and teach challenging and effective lessons in schools. All sessions are made available on the university's blackboard system for you to download and revisit. In school your subject mentor and colleagues in the geography department will continue to support you continue to learn what makes an outstanding teacher.
For more details see our glossary of teaching and learning terms.
We recognise that embarking on a new course of study can sometimes be quite a challenging undertaking. Students have three main sources of support and information from the University during the course: firstly, there is the Group Tutor in their subject area. Secondly, each student is allocated a Personal Tutor, and thirdly, any student can get support on a range of issues from the Department Student Adviser.
Study timeDuring the university based part of the course you will have days which are designated study days. These will allow you time to research and write the assignments, undertake medium term planning ready to return to school placements and work together on developing subject knowledge, ideas for lessons and new resources.
In order to pass the course, trainees are required to pass each unit. They are assessed on a number of written assignments and also on classroom practice against the standards specified by the Secretary of State for the award of Qualified Teacher Status (QTS).
For more detail see our full glossary of assessment terms.
24 weeks are spent on placement: a total of eight weeks in one placement during the autumn term and 16 weeks in a second placement during the spring and summer.
As well as teaching, the programme includes contact time with a Senior Professional Tutor and a Subject Mentor, directed study time and personal study time.
There is an opportunity to spend time in a primary school and some students may also visit other institutions, such as special schools or colleges of further education.
Trainees often say that one of the highlights of the PGCE year at UWE is learning in the outdoors. Field trips included a 3-day residential visit to the World Heritage Jurassic Coast of Dorset where coastal fieldwork skills are learnt as well as how to plan and organise trips e.g. carry out a risk assessment. There are other opportunities were you will be learning with pupils outdoors in the last two years these have included: working with Primary Year 5 and Year 6 pupils on river studies using data-loggers, planning a Year 7 visit to Symond's Yat in the Forest of Dean, A level students' exploration of the regeneration of Bristol's harbourside. You will also be able to take advantage of visits to local Geographical Association lectures and conferences, the Natural History museum and other locations which as part of the group you feel would be worthwhile.
The Department of Education provides a pleasant environment in which to study. Its modern, purpose-built facilities provide high quality teaching rooms with state-of-the-art technology available. The School has excellent IT facilities and houses an Open Learning Area with the latest equipment including an interactive whiteboard, CD burners, scanners and a range of equipment that can be booked out and borrowed, including digital cameras and laptops, with friendly staff on hand to help when needed.
Find out more about the facilities and resources UWE has to offer.
Careers / Further study
The Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) programmes now include 40 credits of assessment at Master's Level (Level M). For candidates who opt not to attempt the requisite credit at Level M, a Professional Graduate Certificate in Education will be available as an alternative award.
For further information on your career in teaching, including salary scales and case studies of current trainee teachers, visit www.education.gov.uk/get-into-teaching.
Hear from past UWE students about how studying here has enhanced their career prospects and opened up new opportunities.
Our award-winning careers service helps you develop your employment potential through career coaching, a vacancy service for internships, placements, jobs, global opportunities, volunteering and community activity plus support for entrepreneurial activity, and access to employer events.
Full Time Course
|Home/EU-Full Time-Annual (Per Year) Fee||9250|
|Home/EU-Full Time-Module Fee (15 Credit)||1156|
Supplementary fee information
The PGCE is financed as an undergraduate course. More information on fees can be found on our tuition fees pages.
For funding options, please see funding for PGCE students.
You should typically meet the following criteria:
- A good honours degree (normally 2:1 minimum) or equivalent with at least 50% in a related subject (relating to the subject you want to teach).
- GCSE grade C, or grade 4 under newly reformed GCSE grading, in English Language and Mathematics, or equivalent.*
- Able to demonstrate recent experience of observing or supporting teaching in your subject area. This must be conducted in a comprehensive school (minimum of 10 working days or two weeks equivalent within the last three years).
*If you do not meet the GCSE entry requirements, we will accept equivalency tests that are of a standard equivalent to GCSE grade C or above.
Applicants who do not meet the minimum academic entry requirements, but have significant life and/or work experience will be considered on an individual basis.
Please note that this course starts early in September. We are unable to agree any requests for holiday due to the number of days required to fulfil the course.
Please read through the UCAS Teacher Training pages carefully for guidance on how to apply.
Applicants must pass an initial selection process and short-listed candidates will be interviewed at the Department of Education. All offers will be subject to satisfactory health checks.
Disclosure of Criminal Background. If you are offered a place, you must undergo a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check and will be required to complete a Disclosure Application Form. All information will be treated in confidence and only taken into account when absolutely necessary.
If you would like information regarding issues that could disqualify you from teaching training, please contact us on +44 (0)117 32 83333.
Department for Education Professional Skills Tests
All trainee teachers are required to pass skills tests in numeracy and literacy before they can be recommended for the award of qualified teacher status (QTS) and before starting their course. We recommend that you complete the skills tests in Numeracy and Literacy as soon as possible after you have submitted an application for an Initial Teacher Education programme. If practical, you should take these tests before any interview that you may be invited for, but if this is not possible, you should take them as soon as possible thereafter. If you have not passed the tests at the interview stage, any offer will be conditional until you have passed both tests. You will need to pass both tests by 30 June. Information about the tests can be found at The Department for Education.
Standards and requirements
Following the review of Standards and Requirements for Initial Teacher Training (ITT) by the Secretary of State in 2012 (revised in June 2013), our full-time courses have been designed to be compliant with the latest standards and requirements.
For information about the national curriculum and subjects taught in secondary schools, visit Directgov online.
The Department of Education is not able to approve deferrals under any circumstances. If you are unable to start your programme during the year of application, you will be required to withdraw and reapply the following year.
For further information
- Email: Admissions@uwe.ac.uk
- Telephone: +44(0)117 32 83333