This Geography PGCE course combines the development of professional skills needed to teach the subject together with knowledge of contemporary issues in geographical education
- Strong links with both Geographical Association (GA) and Royal Geographical Society (RGS)
- Varied and dynamic fieldwork opportunities including both residential and local visits organised in association with the Field Studies Council
- Strong 'Geography Community' developed with local partnership schools, as identified by external examiner in latest subject report
Our Geography PGCE course aims to prepare you with the practical skills needed to help foster the 'geographical imagination' of young people. This is achieved by teaching this vibrant and exciting subject in an innovative way to support pupil learning. In addition, it explores current debates and research to help understand the purpose of teaching geography and support trainees in their school placements.
Through critical reflection the programme makes links with literacy, citizenship and sustainability, highlighting the importance of geography in helping young people to become more informed global citizens. Geography PGCE trainees are assessed on their ability to teach pupils in the 11-16 age range, but opportunities for A Level teaching is also included in the programme as appropriate.
Why St Mary's
The Geography PGCE programme covers all aspects of geography teaching with an emphasis on developing an enquiry approach to learning using fieldwork and GIS (Geographical Information Systems) to support practical activities and strategies for use in the contemporary classroom. Trainees will be encouraged to use a range of techniques and approaches creatively to teach a wide variety of geographical topics.
Key features include an emphasis on developing the professional skills needed to teach geography in the classroom. The programme covers the theoretical knowledge needed as well as the more practical understanding of contemporary issues in geography education to support curriculum planning to ensure effective learning for all students in the 11–16 age range.
The course focuses on a range of pedagogical content knowledge including the development of fieldwork skills which is undertaken in both London and Somerset. The experienced geography tutor works in close partnership with trainees, the PGCE secondary team and the placement schools, with former St Mary's trainees often becoming School Mentors themselves.
If you wish to study for the Catholic Certificate of Religious Studies you will be able to complete several of the modules during your PGCE year. This certificate is often a requirement for teaching in a Catholic school.
Qualified Teacher Status (QTS)
Our PGCE programmes include Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) and 60 Master’s degree credits. A large part of the programme is spent in assessed school placements that our School Partnership team will arrange for you, based on your home residential address.
QTS is required to teach in all state-maintained schools in England.
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Course content is carefully designed to meet the requirements of the Initial Teacher Training Core Content Framework (ITTCCF) and is underpinned by research-informed practice.
Please note: it is possible that a module listed on the website will not be able to run due to reasons beyond our control. For more information please refer to our course information disclaimer.
We are committed to recruiting trainee teachers who have the 'ability to work in a way that promotes the safety and wellbeing of children and young people.' The interview process will cover the suitability of applicants to work with children and young people.
St Mary's is committed to promoting equality of opportunity and nurturing an inclusive and diverse student population. As such, we welcome applications from all those interested in pursuing an academic programme of study. Throughout the application process and while a student is enrolled at St Mary's, we will ensure that individuals will not be discriminated against based on any of the characteristics protected by the Equality Act 2010.
Geography PGCE applicants are expected to have a good degree in geography (2:2 or above) or a related subject.
Additional requirement information
- Your degree should have a significant proportion of the subject you wish to teach. Subject knowledge enhancement courses may be set as a condition in some cases, particularly when the degree is not clearly ‘in line’ with the subject you are applying to.
- GCSEs in English Language and Mathematics at level 4 (grade C if taken before 2017) or above (or equivalent). At least one of the GCSEs (or equivalent) must be in place at application. GCSE equivalents are offered by St Mary's University.
- By the end of your teacher training programme you will have to demonstrate that you are competent in functional English and mathematics. This is a Department for Education requirement.
- Two appropriate references (from an academic tutor or line manager) supporting your suitability for teaching. All references should be from a professional email address.
- Successful completion of a physical and mental fitness to teach and a satisfactory enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check with barred lists, which shows the same as an enhanced check plus whether the applicant is on the list of people barred from doing the role are required.
- Original certification (or certified copies) of all qualifications will be required as evidence.
- Physical and mental fitness to teach.
At St Mary's, we would like all applicants to have made a fully informed decision about considering joining the teaching profession. As part of that decision making process, spending some time in school(s) observing what teachers do and beginning to give some consideration to how they manage learning can be really insightful and informative.
Your training is most likely to take place in mixed, state comprehensive school environments. If you are choosing to complete some school observation as part of making an informed decision about teaching then we would encourage you to do so in a similar school setting.
Make sure to check our information for candidates applying from Northern Ireland and Ireland.
International students should check our country-specific pages for equivalents. If English is not your first language you will need to achieve an IELTS score of 7 overall with no less than 6.5.
We now accept IELTS Indicator test results as proof of your English language level.
For more information about entry requirements please email email@example.com.
Fees & funding
If you are a Home student joining the PGCE programme you may be eligible for a Government training bursary. The bursary amount is based on the highest previous qualification that you have attained to date.
Information about financing your studies can be found within the Fees & Funding section.
Your tuition fees will cover the cost of all mandatory elements of your programme. Additional costs could be incurred depending on optional modules chosen and other projects undertaken.
A 10% tuition fee discount is available for our alumni (undergraduate and PGCE) planning to study this Master's degree. Those studying for a PGDip of PGCert are not eligible for the discount.
You can check on the UK government website to see if you may be eligible for a loan of up to £12,167 to help with course fees and living costs while you study a postgraduate programme.
Home and international students may also be eligible for external sources of funding. International students should check their eligibility for our International Scholarship.
For more information, please look at our postgraduate funding page.
How the degree is taught
Trainees are recommended for Qualified Teacher Status by successfully meeting the Teachers’ Standards (DfE). Continuous assessment throughout the programme will determine success.
Master's level assignments complement the work in schools and assist in meeting the Teachers’ Standards. These assignments aim to encourage you to be thoughtful and reflective, but also reinforce the evidence-based nature of the course assessment.
Self-assessment is also recognised as a valuable perspective in the evaluation of both school and university-based work.
Other assessments are used to ensure students understand and can apply the knowledge. This is done through a range of methods:
- Practical sessions
- Lesson observations
Assessment is on-going and against the Teachers’ Standards. High standards of attendance, punctuality and participation are requirements of all course elements.
The quality of the provision at St Mary’s is valued by our trainees and schools, resulting in high levels of ECT employment in our partnership schools. Employment rates following the PGCE course are frequently over 90% in teaching roles.
On the programme you will study two Master's' modules leading to 60 credits at postgraduate level. You will have the opportunity to further your postgraduate studies in your career as these credits are transferable.
At the end of the PGCE course, you will have the opportunity to complete a three-week placement in a special education setting. This is highly valued by trainee teachers to broaden their understanding of specific learning needs for some learners.
Make sure to check our step-by-step guide to application process.