Skip to content Exit mobile menu


Distance/blended learning available?


Tier 4 visa


Previous degree required

1 Year


Clive Woolger

Recruitment & Admission Quality Assurance for PGCE Secondary & School Direct

Email | 020 8240 4154

Apply now

Our PGCE History course combines understanding of the place of history in society and the school curriculum, with pedagogy on all aspects of history teaching.

Why study Secondary History?

The History course aims to prepare you with the skills needed to teach this dynamic and exciting subject. In addition, the course explores current debates and research in history education to support you in your school placements. Links are made between history and literacy, history and citizenship and history and media.

Wide use is made of local history and the historic surroundings in South West London, including Strawberry Hill House, which is found on our campus. You are assessed on your ability to teach pupils in the 11-16 age range, but opportunities for A Level teaching are also included in the programme as appropriate.

Why St Mary's?

The programme covers all aspects of history teaching and learning, with an emphasis on an active approach using practical activities and strategies for use in the classroom. Key features include a focus on the use of primary sources and effective planning for the whole ability range to ensure that all pupils are able to make progress.

Our experienced history tutor works in close partnership with you, the PGCE Secondary team and the placement schools.

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.

School Placements

You are prepared for teaching in partnership with schools that are formally linked to St Mary's, providing an excellent framework to develop teaching skills.

During your studies you'll be allocated two school placements during the 36-week course. In total, 24 weeks is spent in school to ensure close links between theory and practice throughout.

Our partnership schools offer a rich and diverse training programme for our trainees. We work with partner schools throughout the London area. During your placements, you will be guided from working with small groups of pupils alongside a subject teacher towards taking responsibility for whole classes.


Teaching methods

The course tutors use a variety of teaching and learning approaches, including lectures, workshop sessions, collaborative and small-group work, paired work, practical activities, with positive use of technology, individual and group student presentations and some self-supported study.

A number of external cross-curricular visits - such as field trips and visits to museums - also take place.

This range of strategies both caters for a range of preferred learning styles and provides good teaching role models for trainees.

Assessment methods

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:

  • Self-assessment
  • Presentations
  • Micro-teaching
  • Essays
  • 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.

Key facts

  • 100% of our 2015/16 Secondary PGCE graduates were in employment within six months (Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education, HESA)
  • Secondary History PGCE is offered as part of our School Direct provision.
  • Partnerships with local schools, outside of the School Placement alliances, for subject specific training activities and micro-teaching
  • Links with and visits to The National Archives in Kew
  • Guest speakers from the Holocaust Educational Trust
  • Experienced tutor with twenty years of teaching experience
  • Engaged tutor is actively involved in the Historical Association
  • Opportunities to promote reflective and shared good practice
  • Developing an understanding of the role of history from undergraduate level to take advantage of Master's level credits in Education

Course content


  • Effective Teaching and Learning 
  • General Professional Studies 
  • History 
  • Investigating Teaching and Learning 
  • Reflective Overview 
  • School Experience One (Foundation) 
  • School Experience Three (Consolidation) 
  • School Experience Two (Development) 
  • Supporting Learners 
Please note: information published on this webpage is subject to change before the programme commences. Please refer to the Programme Specification document (PDF) for an authoritative summary of the programme.

Career opportunities

The quality of the provision at St Mary’s is valued by our trainees and schools, resulting in high levels (over 70%) of NQT employment in our partnership schools. Employment rates following the PGCE course are consistently 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.

The Careers Service has more information on graduate careers and part-time work available during your course.


View all facilities

Fees and funding

Tuition Fees

Home/EU: £9,250
International: £12,240

View all postgraduate tuition fees


If you are a UK or EU student joining the PGCE programme you may be eligible for a Government training bursary. The bursary amount will 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.

Alumni discount

A 10% tuition fee discount is available for our undergraduate and postgraduate alumni planning to study a PGCE.

Additional costs

Your tuition fee 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. For further information about additional costs please contact

Further information