About the course
This Post Graduate Certificate Education (PGCE) Secondary Geography course leads to the award of Qualified Teacher Status (QTS), qualifying you to teach the 11-18 age group in secondary schools in England and Wales.
Your tutors are a diverse and incredibly experienced community of academics. You will be taught by those with national reputations as experts in the field of geography in education.
You will examine a range of pedagogical approaches to geography teaching and address all aspects of secondary geography including specialist expertise in areas such as physical, human, environmental geography, and fieldwork or ecosystems, meteorology and climatology, economic and political geography, map work and geographic information system (GIS), and fieldwork.
Our course has links with the Geographical Association, the Geological Society, the Ordnance Survey and the Royal Geographical Society, who all provide guest speakers to our sessions, in addition to local Heads of Department, teachers and school mentors.
One focus of the programme is fieldwork and we undertake a residential trip to Nettlecombe Court FSC in Somerset, to allow the students to reflect on how to facilitate high quality learning outside of the classroom.
We pride ourselves on cutting-edge Geography and ensure that we maintain up to date knowledge of technology in teaching, such as ArcGIS and Digimaps. This software is used on the course and is then applied in lessons in schools.
Teaching is through a series of seminars and workshops in a well-resourced campus environment as well as in the field. Interactive and discussion-based techniques will encourage you to engage, reflect and challenge.
Your learning may include:
- participating in workshop style sessions with your peers
- attending presentations by subject experts
- working on tasks in groups
- having individual tutorials
- visits to schools or other education settings
- visits to theatres, museums, galleries or sites of educational interest
- writing assignments on aspects of subject teaching and Professional Studies.
These learning activities will help you to develop a toolkit of knowledge and skills, ensuring you are well prepared to tackle challenges and opportunities throughout your training and your career.
Alongside the University tutors, you will be taught and guided by a team of committed and experienced University-trained school mentors.
More information about the course
You will be interviewed by the Course Leader in a process that involves a number of activities, which are shared in advance to allow for preparation.
There will be opportunities to ask questions to make sure the course is right for you.
How school placements work
Placements enable you to develop the skills and knowledge valued and desired by employers - you will build your confidence in the classroom and gain practical teaching experience. Placements also provide you with the opportunity to connect with potential employers and build your professional network.
At Secondary level we have strong relationships with around 80 schools in the local and surrounding area. It is a testament to the strength of these partnerships and the regard with which our graduates are held, that most schools in Berkshire employ at least one graduate of the Institute of Education.
On your Secondary PGCE course you are required to carry out three placements in two different age groups - ensuring you receive a broad range of experiences. Two placements must be undertaken in a school setting but the third can be taken in a different setting - allowing you to sample teaching in an alternative environment.
We offer our students an unusually flexible and broad range of settings and educational environments - you will have the opportunity to gain experience in special needs schools, Pupil Referral Units, independent schools, museums, and charities.
You will have plenty of opportunities throughout your course to apply your developing skills in real settings. In schools, you will be involved in:
- observation of other teachers
- planning and teaching parts of lessons/small groups
- planning and teaching lessons and sequences of lessons
- reflecting on and evaluating your teaching
- receiving feedback on your teaching
- gaining experience of the range of responsibilities of classroom teachers.
The course fees for 2020/2021 are as follows:
You could be eligible for either:
- a scholarship of £17,000
- a bursary of £15,000
To qualify for a scholarship you’ll need a degree of 2:1 or above in Geography or a related subject. For a bursary you’ll need a 2:2 or above in any subject.
You can’t claim both a bursary and a scholarship - you can only claim one.
Find out how to apply for a scholarship. You don’t need to apply for a bursary - if you’re eligible, you’ll automatically start receiving it once you begin your course. Find out about eligibility for bursaries and how you’ll be paid.
You may also be eligible for a loan while you study.
Find out about financial support if you’re from outside the UK.
Financial support from the training provider
Students who have previously graduated from an undergraduate course at the University of Reading will be eligible for an alumni discount amounting to 10% of the tuition fee (up to a maximum of £1,000) for Home/EU students or £1,000 for International fee-paying students.
This discount will also be available to Reading alumnus undertaking a non-salaried School Direct with PGCE course with one of our school partners.
We would normally expect you to have a 1st, 2:1 or 2:2 honours degree (or equivalent from a university outside the UK) in a subject that is related to the subject that you intend to teach. You will also need to have achieved Grade 4 (or C) or above in GCSE Mathematics and English Language or equivalent qualifications.
You will also be required to pass the QTS skills tests in numeracy and literacy.
If you are passionate about and committed to children's education and would like a a career in which you can make a difference, then apply to the University of Reading. We welcome applications from prospective students who have an understanding of and insight into the role of the teacher, the classroom environment and the processes involved in learning and teaching.
If you accept an offer with us you will also be required to successfully complete Occupational Health and Disclosure Barring Service (DBS) Enhanced Disclosure checks.
These checks are required to ensure you meet the Department for Education’s requirements for physical and mental fitness to teach, as well as assessing your suitability for working with children.
About the training provider
The Institute of Education (IoE) at the University of Reading is an established provider of high-quality teacher training and research in education. The impact of our research and the breadth of our experience feeds directly into everything we do and the world around us.
Train with us and have a direct and positive impact on the lives of young people. We offer teacher training courses in primary, secondary and early years. In our latest Ofsted inspection in 2016 all our teacher training courses were rated 'Good'. We are currently ranked 12th in the UK for Education in the Guardian University League Tables 2020.
Our networks and the impact of our work are both local and global. Locally, we have well-established partnerships with over 400 schools, who we work closely with to train the next generation of outstanding teachers. Globally, our research, consultancy and other projects extend to countries as varied as China, Jamaica, the USA and Singapore.
In the latest national assessment, the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014, 80% of our research outputs were rated world leading or internationally excellent, positively impacting educational policy and practice.
At the Institute of Education we have the research, the expertise and the passion to help others grow into engaged and active citizens; individuals with resilience and the confidence to tackle challenges.
Training with disabilities and other needs
The University of Reading welcomes disabled students and has a dedicated Disability Advisory Service. The service offers advice and guidance to students with any disability, mental health condition, or specific learning difficulty (SpLD).
If you have not yet told the University about your disability, or have not disclosed it on your application, you can discuss the implications of a disclosure in complete confidence, with one of our disability advisers.
We offer support, advice and guidance with:
- physical disabilities e.g. mobility
- sensory disabilities e.g. visual impairments
- mental health difficulties e.g. anxiety
- medical conditions e.g. Irritable Bowel Syndrome, diabetes
- autism/Asperger Syndrome
- SpLDs e.g. dyslexia, dyspraxia
DAS may be able to assist in study related support in the following ways:
- Disability Advisory Service (DAS) may assess the impact of your disability on your studies and recommend any reasonable adjustments required
- Provide information on funding for study support, including the Disabled Students Allowance and how to apply.
- Liaise with your Department/Schools/Hubs including Senior Tutors and Disability Representative on reasonable adjustments, including extensions to deadlines and alternative modes of assessment where appropriate.
- Flag students (with permission) in order that tutors are made aware of individual requirements.
- The Disability Advisory Service can provide assistance on arranging non- medical helpers e.g. one to one support arrangements such as mentors and specialist study skills.
- Liaising with the exams office re special exam arrangements
Referral and signposting to other services
Apply on the UCAS website. You’ll need to register with UCAS before you can apply.
Visit Get into Teaching for guidance on applying for teacher training.
When you apply you’ll need these codes for the Choices section of your application form:
Training provider code:
Training programme code:
Choose a training location
You’ll also need to choose a training location – select the relevant location name on the application form.
Institute of Education, University of Reading
London Road Campus, 4 Redlands Road, Reading, Berkshire RG1 5EX
Support and advice
For questions about this course you should contact the training provider using the contact details above.
Get support and advice about teaching
Register with Get into Teaching, the Department for Education’s free support and advice service, for personalised guidance from teaching experts. They can help you to prepare your application, book school experience, and access exclusive teaching events. You can also call them free on 0800 389 2500, or speak to an adviser using their online chat service, from 8am to 8pm, Monday to Friday.
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