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What makes PGCE - Secondary - Geography at Worcester special?

Age phase: 11-16 with post-16 enhancement

Be part of the solution by inspiring a passion for our planet within the next generation. Prepare for a rewarding career in teaching with our PGCE in Secondary Geography.

This PGCE in Secondary Geography is designed to enable you to become a skilled, engaging, and passionate teacher. We are lucky to be based in the heart of an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, with the River Severn and the Malvern Hills all on our doorstop, providing bountiful exploration and geographical resources to enhance your studies. From top quality placement opportunities to involvement in our award-winning Green Impact projects, we will encourage you to see the world in a new perspective and challenge you to become successful and inspiring teachers. On this course, we will show you how to bring meaning to the curriculum by drawing on your own experiences and interaction with the world beyond the classroom to encourage an intellectual curiosity in young people.

Bursaries of up to £25,000 are available for trainee Geography teachers if you’re eligible and starting your course between September 2024 and July 2025. Please see the DfE website for more details.

We are proud that our Secondary PGCE was rated ‘Outstanding’ by Ofsted in March 2023. Ofsted identified that:

Trainees benefit from an exceptional learning experience at the University of Worcester. This experience instils in them a deep-rooted commitment to making a difference to the lives of the children and young adults in the communities they serve.’

Placements, university sessions and mentors will support your development and our trainees are ‘exceptionally well-prepared for their first teaching post’ (Ofsted, 2023)

Overview

Overview

Key features

  • Explore a wider range of strategies for teaching secondary geography
  • Become familiar with the use of a range of assessment strategies to assess, record and report on the progress of your pupils
  • Develop an awareness of the value of learning outside the classroom and the wider global frameworks for education
  • Develop a professional network through collaborative humanities activities and events.
Ofsted Outstanding logo

Ofsted has rated us as "Outstanding" in training Primary and Secondary Teachers 2023.

The University of Worcester’s education of future primary and secondary teachers has been given the highest possible grade with inspectors stating that, along with its partners, the University creates “a learning community that places children at the heart of everyone’s endeavours”.  

Read our full news story

"Leaders pay serious attention to transforming trainees into passionate teachers who are determined to raise the aspirations of the pupils, students and learners they teach."

Ofsted 2023

Entry requirements

Entry requirements

Entry requirements

Please consult individual subject specialism pages for full details of entry requirements, but most specialisms ask for:

Academic requirements

  • Honours degree normally (2:2) or higher from a United Kingdom higher education institution or equivalent qualification, in a relevant subject area. Applicants with a 3rd class degree will be considered on an individual basis.
  • All entrants have achieved a standard equivalent to a grade 4 (formerly grade C) in the GCSE examinations in English Language or English Literature and Mathematics (applicants must have these qualifications by the start of the course). Alternatively, we offer an equivalency test if you don’t have the required GCSE grade to apply for our courses. Trainees who begin courses before providing evidence of the required GCSE standard (or equivalent) will not be eligible for financial incentives, such as bursaries or grants until they achieve the required standard.

Qualifications not listed? Contact the Admissions Office for advice by email: AdmissionsB@worc.ac.uk

Additional requirements

  • An Enhanced DBS check. You will be sent details of how to apply for your DBS in the summer term. You will need to pay for this. You may already be part of the DBS update service. As part of the DBS process, you will be checked against the Children’s Barred List.
  • A check against the Prohibition List.
  • If you have lived, studied or worked overseas for three months or more in the last five years a Certificate of Good Conduct from the country of residence will be required. Further information and guidance associated with additional costs are available from the Home Office.
  • An online occupational health check. All those on a teacher training programme must be certified as meeting national requirements for physical and mental fitness to teach, as set by the Department for Education.
  • International students: IELTS 6.5 or equivalent

Other information

To help you prepare for your interview you can expect questions covering the following:

  • the subject knowledge required for teaching the subject curriculum in school
  • your ability to critically reflect on your prior experiences in relation to your future development as a teacher
  • your understanding of the UK education system and the wider role of a teacher
  • how you have overcome challenges in your life and shown resilience
  • how you plan to meet the academic and teaching demands of the course.

In addition, we are looking for enthusiasm, commitment, and potential. Clear verbal and written communication skills are integral to this which you will have an opportunity to demonstrate throughout the interview.

  • School experience is desirable, but not essential.
  • Interviews will be conducted online. Applicants will be contacted directly with more details.

All applications for PGCE Secondary should be made via the Government's Find Postgraduate Teacher Training website.

Additional useful information is available on the Government's Get Into Teaching website.

Course content

Course content

Our courses are informed by research and current developments in the discipline and feedback from students, external examiners and employers. Modules do therefore change periodically in the interests of keeping the course relevant and reflecting best practice. The most up-to-date information will be available to you once you have accepted a place and registered for the course. If there are insufficient numbers of students interested in an optional module, this might not be offered, but we will advise you as soon as possible and help you choose an alternative. 

Subject Knowledge with a Deep Understanding

  • Enrich your subject knowledge drawing on the expertise of tutors with national and international research profiles in partnership with school mentors with excellent current practice in your specialist area.
  • An excellent teacher requires confident subject knowledge and an understanding about how pupils learn. The majority of your time in university is in subject workshops.

Specialist Subject Opportunities

  • Explore and develop the key issues in Geography including globalisation, global interdependence and how physical and human processes interact to influence and change landscapes, environments and the climate.
  • Develop a way of thinking about the world: view, investigate and understand it in new ways - Thinking Geographically.
  • Develop expertise in teaching directly from the real world: plan and deliver outside the classroom and benefit from a range of visits, conferences and experiences.
  • Begin networking and start the publishing side of your career.
  • Links to subject associations

Pedagogy

  • Understand and apply theory and research on how children learn and develop.
  • Explore a range of learning and teaching styles, and classroom organisation.
  • Discover how to promote progress through observing, planning, teaching and assessing learning.

Professional Studies

  • Learn the expectations, standards and behaviours which are appropriate to the profession and the wider responsibilities of a teacher.
  • Be informed by the research and evidence about effective teaching at a general level before applying this knowledge to subject-specific approaches.
  • Develop adaptive teaching strategies to respond to the unique needs in a range of contexts, leveraging the diversity inherent in schools.

Enhancement Activities

  • Gain expertise through one of our unique Enhancement Activities: PSHE and Citizenship, Careers Education, Education in Climate Emergency, Teenage Mental Health, Special Educational Needs and Disabilities or Technology Enhanced Learning.  In addition, we also offer an Aspiring Leaders programme.

Your career

  • Become a reflective self-evaluating practitioner.
  • Enjoy great employment prospects; our support takes you from trainee to ECT (Early Career Teacher) and beyond
  • Prepare for leadership and your Masters with 60 credits and a strong research foundation.
Chloe Hackett

Chloe Hackett

"After studying at the University of Worcester for my Undergraduate degree, I was eager to return to the institution after deciding to pursue a career in teaching. I enrolled on the PGCE Secondary Geography course, where highly passionate and enthusiastic course leaders helped to shape my teaching practice. The enthusiasm displayed by the course leaders was infectious and played a huge role in how I foster a love of learning within my Geography classroom. During the course, we were offered several opportunities to develop our practice further, for example; visiting the Geographical Association’s annual conference, completing visit leader training and visiting Preston Montford, along with many more. This helped to form well-rounded individuals, who were able to tackle the challenges of teaching with ease."

"Since completing the course in 2019, I have taken on the role of Head of Department. The PGCE enabled me to think about curriculum design and provided a wealth of insightful conversations about what we should be prioritising for our students. I am looking forward to seeing where my career takes me and am extremely thankful for the University of Worcester’s part within this journey."

Daniel Webb

Daniel Webb

"The course provided a nurturing environment where I was encouraged to reflect on my experiences and challenged to improve as a practitioner.

Professional and Subject Tutors are infectiously enthusiastic, valuable support and expose trainees to a range of pedagogical theories. Two contrasting placements provided valuable practical experience. My development accelerated in my second placement at Ludlow CE School where I received highly effective guidance and support from my mentors and the wider school community.

In my third year of teaching, I took responsibility in the form of a Faculty Coordinator. The course provided many opportunities for further development, of which one was the Aspiring Leader enhancement activity. This was instrumental in my progression to take on responsibility early in my teaching career. I am delighted to have recently moved to my second teaching role which is back at Ludlow CE School where I completed my second placement."

We are pleased that Daniel is now a mentor supporting Geography trainee teachers from the University of Worcester.

Katiey Amey

Katie Amey

"My journey through teacher training and into the classroom has allowed me to achieve more than I ever thought I could. Teacher training sets you up with a great toolkit for professional development, as well as pedagogies and examples you can take into the classroom. The PGCE gives you a great place to start and to teat out your ideas, before you are faced with you first live lesson. The support of the lecturers is incredible at the University of Worcester, and their passion for the subject has inspired me to continue to develop my skills and has taught me that the sky is the limit, for both myself and the pupils."

"Whilst there are some tough moments along the way, there are so many moments of inspiration that help pull you through and remind you of how incredible it is to be a teacher. Each year brings a whole cohort of new opportunities, and some incredible relationships with both pupils and staff. I was incredibly lucky to get a position in a fabulous school, where support for my personal development continues, because the PGCE isn't the end of the road, it's simply the start of a whole new journey."

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Teaching and assessment

Teaching and assessment

View of rocky outcrop with sea behind

Teaching approach

  • School experience in a range of settings.
  • Professional Studies sessions in school and at University.
  • University-led workshops, lectures, seminars, fieldwork and guest lectures.
  • Study of key texts and supplementary reading.
  • Participation in high level professional discussion, peer presentations and debate.
  • Directed studies, case studies and problem solving tasks; development of practice-based competence and skills of critical reflection through guided individual mentoring during placements.
  • One-to-one academic and personal tutorial support including access to our first class Firstpoint services

Assessment

  • Assignments are carefully designed to develop your skills as a teacher.
  • Assessments that move from highly structured to more open briefs as you develop your professional skills.
  • The opportunity to develop skills as a research informed practitioner.

Programme specification

For comprehensive details on the aims and intended learning outcomes of the course, and the means by which these are achieved through learning, teaching and assessment, please download the latest programme specification document.

Meet the team

You will be taught by a teaching team whose expertise and knowledge are closely matched to the content of the modules on the course. 

Elena Lengthorn

Elena Lengthorn

Elena is the PGCE Geography subject Lead. She has taught both geography and science education across the primary and secondary centres on undergraduate and postgraduate courses. She leads the Education for Sustainable Futures Special Interest Group (ESF SIG) and contributes sustainability sessions to courses across the School of Education.

She was awarded ‘Global Educator of the Year’ in 2016. Her research interests include Climate Emergency, Sustainable Futures, Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) and flood education. She has presented at BERA, Advance HE, RAISE and Geographical Association conferences, as well as having her work publishing by Discover Sustainability, the NAEE, the ASE and the Chartered College of Teaching. Elena’s 2022 Green Impact Projects, on primary and secondary ESD, were awarded Platinum and Gold Awards and she was recognised with the institutions Sustainability Staff Award. She is Co-Chair of the Our Shared World network, an advisor on the OCR Natural History Strategic Advisory Board and a fellow of the HEA and the Royal Geographical Society.

Careers

Careers

  • Great employment prospects
  • Prepare for leadership and your Masters with 60 credits and a strong research foundation
  • Many University of Worcester trainees gain promotion within the first few years of teaching
Two students are walking next to each other and smiling

Careers and Employability

Our Graduates pursue exciting and diverse careers in a wide variety of employment sectors.

Find out how we can support you to achieve your potential
A female teacher training student in a classroom working on placement as part of her degree to get into teaching.

PGCE Alumni Scholarship

If you are a University of Worcester graduate starting a full-time PGCE in September 2024 then you may be eligible for a £500 Cash Scholarship.

See our scholarships page for more details.
Costs

Fees and funding

Full-time tuition fees

UK and EU students

The standard tuition fee for full-time UK and EU students enrolling on a PGCE in the academic year 2024/25 will be £9,250 per year.*

* Please note that for EU students training as Physics or Languages teachers and in receipt of the UK government bursary/relocation package the fee is £17,400 per year.

For more details, please visit our course fees page.

International students

The standard tuition fee for full-time international students enrolling on a PGCE in the academic year 2024/25 will be £17,400 per year.

For more details, please visit our course fees page.

Teacher training funding

You can get help with the costs of teacher training. A student finance package will include a Tuition Fee Loan and a Maintenance Loan. You may also be eligible for extra help if you have children or have a disability.

Some courses are also eligible for a tax-free bursary or scholarship depending on your subject, degree classification or highest academic qualification.

Additional costs

Every course has day-to-day costs for essential books, trips,  stationery, printing and photocopying.

Travel costs for placements vary depending on the location of schools and your mode of transport, sometimes these may be reclaimed depending on your individual circumstances.

We organise day and residential visits to increase subject knowledge, sharing good practice and field work skills. The costs are at your own expense but we do encourage car sharing.

In addition, we encourage you to join subject specific associations. The cost is typically between £25 to £50 for which you benefit from their support, guidance and resources.

The DfE requires all trainee teachers to obtain an Enhanced Disclosure & Barring Service (DBS) check, which you will need to pay for.

The course includes an essential residential field work experience with the Field Studies Council. This is at an approximate additional cost of £100. There are also potential visits to the Royal Geographical Society (London), the Natural History Museum (London) and the Lapworth Museum (Birmingham), which will require travel costs.

Accommodation

Finding the right accommodation is paramount to your university experience. Our halls of residence are home to friendly student communities, making them great places to live and study.

We have over 1,000 rooms across our range of student halls. With rooms to suit every budget and need, from our 'Traditional Hall' at £131 per week to 'En-suite Premium' at £221 per week (2024/25 prices).

For full details visit our accommodation page.

How to apply