PGCE Secondary Geography

Article

Register for one of our PGCE Information Sessions or contact Admissions to make an appointment to talk about your application.

Read It

Video

Find out more about studying the PGCE Secondary course at UEA

Watch It
“The UEA tutor support system was unrivalled. I found that the inspirational mentors on placements really challenged and stretched my skill base, my confidence grew and I am honoured to have graduated from a university which such great roots in educational research.”

In their words

Catherine Bailey, PGCE Secondary Graduate

Stimulating young minds and watching pupils grow in confidence and achieve their full potential – that’s what secondary education is all about. It can be a challenging profession, but also one of the most rewarding.

Our PGCE Master’s programme closely interweaves school and university-based training. Over 38 weeks, you’ll spend at least 120 days (minimum 24 weeks) on school placement and 60 study days in structured learning at UEA.

Our course will provide you with the opportunity to research and evaluate the latest thinking in good teaching practice, helping you understand the optimum ways pupils learn.

You’ll discover how pupils best learn geography, and how to best support and guide them. You’ll also develop your own strategies to make learning geography a satisfying, engaging and challenging experience.

Overview

Our one-year, full-time Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) Secondary Geography programme will equip you with the skills, experience and knowledge you need to teach geography to pupils aged between 11 and 16 – plus the option of additional experience of A-Level geography teaching. Upon successful completion of your PGCE, you’ll graduate with Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) and 90 Master’s credits.

On this course you will learn the importance of enquiry, creativity, inclusivity, outdoor learning and digital technologies such as GIS in the teaching and learning of geography.

You’ll have the chance to work with and challenge pupils’ current understanding through practical activity and collaborate to develop your understanding and practices in geographical fieldwork and curriculum making with our partnership schools.

And you’ll understand how pupils learn through exploration of ‘powerful geographies’, developing your ability to guide thinking and learning in geographical teaching, as well as devising your own strategies to make learning geography a rewarding, engaging and challenging experience.

Secondary schools are demanding but tremendously rewarding environments to work in. You’ll be teaching pupils as they mature from early adolescence to adulthood. And our programme will teach you how to make an effective contribution to the work of the school beyond your subject.

Course Structure

UEA’s PGCE programme combines university-based learning on our Norwich campus with teaching placements at our partner schools across East Anglia.

During your placements you’ll work at two different schools, so you’ll gain a broad range of experience and greater insight into different types of schools. You’ll also get the chance to work with pupils on practical activities, including field trips with partnership schools.

Your university-based training will include seminars, lectures and practical workshops. You’ll discuss and reflect on your school experiences with your fellow students, while learning more about the theory and practice of teaching.

The course will cover a wide range of geography topics, the importance of enquiry, creativity, differentiation, field work and the use of information technology (including GIS) in the teaching of geography.

You’ll spend time focusing on pupil assessment and progression, then put this into practice by planning and identifying strategies to encourage positive pupil participation and achievement. You’ll also learn how to promote equal opportunity, understand special educational needs and disabilities (SEND), and how to address controversial issues.

Teaching and Learning

We take a collaborative approach to your learning and place an emphasis on ongoing reflection, as well as giving you every opportunity to put theory into practice. You will work closely with both your UEA tutors and your assigned mentors at your placement schools.

You’ll develop a range of teaching strategies and get to grips with the requirements and content of the national curriculum. Our expert tutors will also cover lesson planning, planning schemes of work, ensuring pupils’ progress, and how to assess learning in Geography accurately.

Studying for this professional qualification comes with independent study requirements, both while you’re at UEA and also while on school placement.

You will be expected to prepare for curriculum and professional development sessions. You’ll also study independently throughout the course, researching and writing your Master’s-level assignments.

You’ll also be required to carry out an ‘audit’ of your own subject knowledge, as you work to become familiar with the breadth of national curriculum content.

Assessment

You’ll complete assignments that are designed to prepare you to be an effective teacher. These relate directly to your professional knowledge and understanding, as well as your teaching experience on your school placements.

Throughout your time in schools you’ll benefit from regular observations of your teaching along with a professional dialogue to ensure you’re always learning and developing. Our helpful guidance and constructive feedback will help strengthen the quality of your teaching and improve your pupils’ learning.

All your assessments will be moderated by external examiners from other universities and you will be assed against both the Teachers’ Standards and Master’s-level criteria.

After the course

Our graduates go on to have great success in their careers. Alongside your PGCE, you’ll gain Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) and 90 Master’s credits.

Career opportunities for qualified teachers are more diverse than ever before. Within a few years of joining the profession you could find yourself being promoted into a role with subject leadership and pastoral responsibilities, and progressing into senior leadership roles after experience of middle management.

We are committed to supporting you beyond your training year and work closely with schools and Newly Qualified Teacher (NQT) induction bodies to identify and provide support during your NQT year.

Career destinations

  • Teacher
  • Deputy head teacher
  • Head teacher
  • Management
  • Tutor
  • UK and Overseas teaching opportunities

Course related costs

Please see Additional Course Fees for details of additional course-related costs.

Course Modules 2018/9

PGCE Secondary Course: Teaching Geography

You will understand how pupils learn through geography and learn to guide thinking and learning in geographical teaching. You will develop your own strategies to make learning geography a rewarding, engaging and challenging experience.

You will learn the importance of enquiry, creativity, differentiation, field work and information technology (including GIS) in the teaching and learning of geography. You will also get the chance to work with pupils on practical activities, including several field trips with partnership schools.

You will focus on pupil assessment and progression in learning. Then put this into practice by planning and identifying strategies to encourage positive pupil participation and achievement.

You will learn to overcome barriers of stereotyping and inequality through your teaching. All your work will help you promote equal opportunity, understand special educational needs and disabilities (SEND), and address controversial issues.

Take this course as an opportunity to scrutinise current developments in the school geography curriculum, including the National Curriculum and various pre/post-16 courses.

Disclaimer

Whilst the University will make every effort to offer the modules listed, changes may sometimes be made arising from the annual monitoring, review and update of modules and regular (five-yearly) review of course programmes. Where this activity leads to significant (but not minor) changes to programmes and their constituent modules, there will normally be prior consultation of students and others. It is also possible that the University may not be able to offer a module for reasons outside of its control, such as the illness of a member of staff or sabbatical leave. In some cases optional modules can have limited places available and so you may be asked to make additional module choices in the event you do not gain a place on your first choice. Where this is the case, the University will endeavour to inform students.

Further Reading

  • CLASS ACT

    Every teacher knows that keeping control of the classroom is a tough task. UEA developed the Haydn scale to help teachers create and sustain a better working atmosphere.

    Read it CLASS ACT
  • GREAT LENGTHS

    Without access to adequate facilities and lessons Britain is on course to become a nation of non-swimmers.

    Read it GREAT LENGTHS
  • #ASKUEA

    Your University questions, answered

    Read it #ASKUEA

Entry Requirements

  • Degree Subject Geography or a related subject.
  • Degree Classification 2:2 or above preferred.
  • Special Entry Requirements Please see below.

Entry Requirement

Degree requirements

Applicants are required to have achieved a degree or its equivalent* by the beginning of the PGCE programme in September. A first degree in Geography or a related subject is required. As a general guideline, approximately 50 per cent of the degree should be relevant to the subject you will teach.

GCSE requirements

Before making your application you must have a GCSE pass at Grade C or its equivalent* in English Language and in Mathematics.

*Please note: It is up to the discretion of the individual Initial Teacher Training provider as to whether an appropriate level has been satisfactorily achieved. We therefore strongly urge candidates with equivalent qualifications to check with us that these are acceptable before making their application.

Pre-Application classroom experience

From February 2018, applicants are not required to have gained any prior experience within a school. 

Although not a requirement, time spent in a school could help you to gain valuable insight into the role of a teacher, how teaching and learning takes place within the classroom, and help you to decide whether teaching is the right profession for you. It is recommended, that where possible, you gain some school experience prior to application.

It would be most useful if experience could be gained across the Secondary age range in your chosen subject area.

If you are able to gain classroom experience prior to submitting your application there are a number of ways in which this can be achieved:

Contact Your Local School
Try contacting local schools where you live to see if you are able to arrange a time to observe some lessons, or register with the DfE School Experience Programme to help book school experience through their online portal.

University Career Schemes
Candidates who are currently studying at University may be able to participate in Teaching Schemes organised by the University. UEA offers two such schemes for those looking to teach at Secondary level. Discover Teaching aims to offer support to local schools.  Please contact discover.teaching@uea.ac.uk for further information.

UEA also offers Student Mentoring through the Student Ambassador Scheme, which aims to contribute towards raising the aspirations of year 9 school students, particularly those from backgrounds with no family history of further or higher education. Mentors provide students with academic and personal development support through mentoring sessions, educational activities and visits to UEA. Please contact outreach@uea.ac.uk for further information.

Knowledge of the National Curriculum, key contacts and useful links

Applications are considered on an individual basis and being able to demonstrate a strong level of knowledge about the National Curriculum and current issues affecting teaching is advantageous. These educational links will provide you with some useful points of contact to help to get you started.

Disclosure and Barring Service check (DBS)

Disclosure of Criminal Background for Those with Access to Children
All applicants for the PGCE course will be required to obtain an EnhancedCriminal Records check from the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS). The enhanced disclosure will be used to assess suitability for the programme and information provided may be discussed with the external members of the School's Safeguarding Sub-Committees. Candidates are responsible for payment of the DBS fee. General information about this process can be obtained from the Disclosure and Barring Service Website.

Satisfactory Health Check

You will need to demonstrate your fitness to teach by completing an Occupational Health Questionnaire Form.  You will need to return it to the Occupational Health Service at UEA. This will give us information about any special needs you may have, and enable us to assess whether the University and placement areas will be able to provide support. It is therefore, in your interest to provide full answers to the questions.

Students for whom English is a Foreign Language

We welcome applications from students whose first language is not English. To ensure such students benefit from postgraduate study, we require evidence of proficiency in English. Our usual entry requirements are as follows:

  • IELTS: 6.5 (minimum 6.0 in all components)
  • PTE (Pearson): 62 (minimum 55 in all components)

Test dates should be within two years of the course start date. Other tests such as the Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English are also accepted by the university. Please check with the Admissions Office for further details including the scores or grades required.

Further Information

If you would like to discuss your individual circumstances prior to applying please do contact us:

PGCE Admissions Team
Email: edu.pgce.admiss@uea.ac.uk
Tel: +44 (0)1603 592855

Skills tests

All candidates starting the PGCE are required to pass the numeracy and literacy skills tests as part of the application process before starting the course.

Fees and Funding

Tuition fees

Fees for the PGCE programme will be £9,250 for Home/EU students and £19,000 for International students for entry in September 2018.

Maintenance grants (UK Students Only)

If you are normally resident in England you may be entitled to receive a Maintenance Grant. All candidates from the UK should contact Student Finance England or tel: 0845 300 5090 for full information on Maintenance Grants.

Department for Education Training Bursaries (UK/EU Students) 2018/19

Please contact the Department for Education for information on Bursaries and Funding, including terms and conditions.  

Geography Teacher Training Scholarships

The Royal Geographical Society (with IBG) will be awarding scholarships worth £28,000 to the most gifted candidates training to teach geography. Find out more about this scholarship opportunity.

Living expenses

Approximately £9,135 living expenses will be needed to adequately support yourself.

How to Apply

Making your application

Candidates are required to apply via the UCAS Teacher Training (UCAS). This is the central "clearing house" which deals with all applications for PGCE courses across the country. There is no specified deadline for any of our teacher training courses. However, all candidates are advised to apply as early as possible in the application cycle.

Referees

You are advised to ensure that your referees are available to submit their references immediately upon request (usually electronically via UCAS Teacher Training). Your chosen institution will not receive your application until both referees has submitted their references. Please see the UCAS Teacher Training Referee Guidance for information on selection. NB: Candidates are required to supply an academic referee as their first reference if they have completed their studies in the last 5 years.

Preparing your application

Candidates are encouraged to prepare thoroughly. Application forms should be able to demonstrate not only your depth of subject knowledge but also your enthusiasm and commitment to a career in teaching. We recommend that you familiarise yourself with our PGCE Teacher Training Prospectus and the information available from the Department for Education and related educational establishments. These sources will help you to gain knowledge of the current issues facing teaching, specifically in the subject area for which you are applying. During interview you will be expected to be able to answer questions about these issues, and what has prompted your desire to choose teaching as a career.

Candidates are normally chosen on the basis of their application form, references and an interview.

Equal opportunities

The University of East Anglia operates an equal opportunities admissions policy. We aim to ensure that no applicant receives less favourable consideration on the grounds of gender, marital status, race, colour, nationality, ethnic origin or religious belief. More on equal opportunities...

See also: UEA PGCE Equal Opportunities Document

Students with a Disability (including Dyslexia)
The University welcomes students with disabilities and is working towards the provision of an inclusive environment for all its students, staff and visitors. More on disability support.

Further information

To request further information and to be kept up to date with news and events please use our online enquiry form.

If you would like to discuss your individual circumstances prior to applying please do contact us:

PGCE Admissions Office
Email: edu.pgce.admiss@uea.ac.uk
Tel: +44 (0)1603 592855

International candidates are also encouraged to access the International Students section of our website.

    Next Steps

    We can’t wait to hear from you. Just pop any questions about this course into the form below and our enquiries team will answer as soon as they can.

    Admissions enquiries:
    admissions@uea.ac.uk or
    telephone +44 (0)1603 591515