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Secondary Geography - PGCE

Currently viewing course to start in 2024/25 Entry.

Do you believe that Geography has a key role to play in enabling young people to make sense of, to understand and to make a positive contribution to planet Earth? Are you determined to bring to life the physical and human world that your pupils live in? If so, our PGCE Secondary Geography course will provide you with access to becoming an inspiring teacher.

  • Level Postgraduate Taught
  • Study mode Full Time
  • Location City Centre
  • School School of Education and Social Work
  • Faculty Faculty of Health, Education and Life Sciences

This course is:

Open to International Students

Overview

Do you believe that Geography has a key role to play in enabling young people to make sense of, to understand and to make a positive contribution to planet Earth? Are you determined to bring to life the physical and human world that your pupils live in? If so, our PGCE Secondary Geography course will provide you with access to becoming an inspiring teacher.

This course is open to International students.

What's covered in this course?

If you’re passionate about young people and want to introduce them in an engaging and stimulating manner to the world that they inhabit and to Geography in all its forms – including physical, human and environmental - then we’re excited to train you to ensure you excel as a Geography teacher.

You’ll explore the skills and knowledge that Geography offers at secondary education level and train to become a confident, dynamic and creative teacher with the ability to make Geographical thinking and the Geographical mind accessible to all. You’ll discover how pupils learn and explore ways in which you can plan Geographical activities that will ensure they progress and develop their Geographical minds.

Exploring an inclusive and rich approach towards Geography you’ll discover and learn how to make the Geography curriculum in a way that will promote Geographical thinking; learning how to inspire and enthuse your pupils by taking them on exciting and stimulating Geographical journeys. You will be able to achieve this by developing your knowledge and understanding of a range of Geographical pedagogies. These can be used to help pupils to become more self-confident and critically informed about the planet that they inhabit.

This course has links with key subject associations, the Royal Geographical Society and the Geographical Association.

Another key feature of the course is its fieldwork component which includes an in depth consideration of how to devise and plan local urban fieldwork and residential fieldwork with a rural and physical Geography focus.  

Why Choose Us?

  • We are a key source of new teachers to schools across the West Midlands region; a destinations survey of our 2021/22 Secondary Teaching graduates showed they were employed in nearly 100 West Midlands schools as Early Career Teachers.
  • Our curriculum is designed by research-active subject experts to be integrated between university and school-based training with input from our partnership schools, ensuring you’re equipped to meet the needs of the teaching workforce now and in the future.
  • We have partnerships right across the West Midlands and beyond so you can benefit from training in a range of schools and early years settings, preparing you for work in a wide variety of schools when you qualify. A destinations survey of our 2021/22 Secondary Teaching graduates showed that 76% of their employing schools were from within our BCU partnership.
  • You will complete at least 120 days across a minimum of two placements, in line with Department for Education (DfE) requirements, supported by a subject mentor in your school and a personal development tutor at the University.
  • Should you wish to take your development further, you'll gain Master's level credits gained as part of this course that you can then use towards a full Master's degree.
  • You may be able to obtain financial support to help you during your studies. For more information visit the Department for Education's Get Into Teaching website.

OPEN DAY

Join us on campus where you'll be able to find out more about your course, learn about postgraduate finance and get an insight into studying at BCU. Booking for the next event isn’t open yet. Register your interest below and we’ll email you as soon as booking goes live.

Next Event: 29 June 2024

Register interest

Entry Requirements

UK students
Essential

You must have a good degree (normally a 2:2 or above) in a relevant subject from a UK higher education institution or equivalent.

You must have a GCSE grade 4 (C) or above (or equivalent) in both English (Language or Literature) and mathematics prior to enrolment and if you are offered an interview you will take a written test to assess your standard of English.

Download the GCSE equivalencies for this course  

If you do not already have GCSEs in English and mathematics, or their equivalent, and are not registered to take them, you should visit Equivalency Testing. We also offer our own in-house equivalency tests. If you are successful at interview and need to pass an equivalency test to meet the entry requirements, our Admissions team will refer you to the details of our test. 

It should be noted that applicants taking the equivalency tests need to have passed prior to enrolment.

Selection Interview

The selection interview will assess your subject knowledge and personal qualities such as the potential to relate well to secondary age students, enthusiasm, sensitivity, communication skills and robustness and resilience for teaching.

You will also take a written test to assess your standard of English.

Applicants must meet Department for Education requirements for Initial Teacher Training, which means being medically fit and successfully completing an enhanced disclosure via the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS).

International qualifications

A minimum IELTS score of 7.0 is required with no individual component less than 6.5. Candidates who have undertaken IELTS will also need to successfully pass our GCSE English equivalency test.

Fees & How to Apply

Please select your student status to view fees and apply
  • UK Student
  • International Student

UK students

Annual and modular tuition fees shown are applicable to the first year of study. The University reserves the right to increase fees for subsequent years of study in line with increases in inflation (capped at 5%) or to reflect changes in Government funding policies or changes agreed by Parliament. View fees for continuing students.

Award: PGCE

Starting: Sep 2024

  • Mode
  • Duration
  • Fees
  • Full Time
  • 1 year
  • £9,250 in 2024/25
  • Apply

International students

Annual and modular tuition fees shown are applicable to the first year of study. The University reserves the right to increase fees for subsequent years of study in line with increases in inflation (capped at 5%) or to reflect changes in Government funding policies or changes agreed by Parliament. View fees for continuing students.

Award: PGCE

Starting: Sep 2024

  • Mode
  • Duration
  • Fees
  • Full Time
  • 1 year
  • £16,085 in 2024/25
  • Apply

Access to computer equipment

You will require use of a laptop, and most students do prefer to have their own. However, you can borrow a laptop from the university or use one of our shared computer rooms.

Printing

You will receive £5 print credit in each year of your course, available after enrolment.

Field trips

All essential field trips and associated travel costs will be included in your course fees.

Access to Microsoft Office 365

Every student at the University can download a free copy of Microsoft Office 365 to use whilst at university and for 18 months after graduation.

Key Software

You will be able to download SPSS and Nvivo to your home computer to support with your studies and research.

Key subscriptions

Subscriptions to key journals and websites are available through our library.

DBS check

You will require a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check for this course. Your first DBS check is included in your fees.

Project materials (mandatory)

This course includes project work that requires you to develop and produce a portfolio or collection. You'll be expected to provide the materials for use in your individual major projects; costs will vary depending on the materials selected.

Placement expenses (mandatory)

Placements are a compulsory element of teacher training courses. You'll need to budget for any travel costs you may incur whilst undertaking your placement.

Excess printing (optional)

Once you have spent your £5 credit, additional printing on campus costs from 5p per sheet.

Books (optional)

All module key texts will be in the University library, but in limited numbers. You may choose to purchase a copy.

Field trips (optional)

This course includes the option of additional trips that may enhance your experience, at extra cost.

Subscriptions (optional)

You may wish to purchase subscriptions to additional journals and websites.

Memberships (optional)

You may wish to join a union or professional body related to this course.

Accommodation and living costs

The cost of accommodation and other living costs are not included within your course fees. More information on the cost of accommodation can be found in our accommodation pages.

The way you apply for teacher training has changed. The Department for Education (DfE) has developed a GOV.UK application service for postgraduate teacher training calledApply for teacher training’ which you must use to apply for postgraduate teacher training courses.

Course code: 3CGF

We would like all applicants to make a fully informed decision about joining the teaching profession. As part of that decision making process, spending sometime in a school and considering the role of the teacher will prove to be invaluable.

Personal statement

You’ll need to submit a personal statement as part of your application for this course. This will need to highlight your passion for postgraduate study – and your chosen course – as well as your personal skills and experience, academic success, and any other factors that will support your application for further study.

Not sure what to include? We’re here to help – take a look at our top tips for writing personal statements and download our free postgraduate personal statement guide for further advice and examples from real students.

Course in Depth

Modules

In order to complete this course a student must successfully complete all the following CORE modules (totalling 60 credits):

Download course specification

Download now

You’ll find that the Secondary Geography PGCE is an intensive and demanding course which challenges people who are highly committed to teaching young people. It is an excellent way to prepare for a career within the profession.

We’ll deliver the course using a combination of workshops, lectures and seminar groups, and by encouraging individual study.

The main thrust of the curriculum involves the study of education, pedagogy and professional practice, from both generic professional educational and subject-specific perspectives.

Taught modules, assignments and School Based Training are structured around the development of your Progress Journal which demonstrates your progress against the BCU ITE Core Curriculum. Our ambitious curriculum incorporates the ITT Core Content Framework (DfE, 2019) and the nationally agreed competences - the Teachers’ Standards, which all teachers must meet throughout their career. 

The Progress Journal also maps your development as a subject specialist with reference to identified subject priorities appropriate to the needs of secondary teachers entering the profession. A system of continuous review and assessment of progress within the Progress Journal will support your growing ability to take responsibility for your own professional development and ensure that you approach QTS with a sound understanding of research-informed pedagogies and practices. 

At least two-thirds of this course takes place off campus within schools. This means you have the opportunity to gain valuable ‘hands on’ experience in at least two different schools. In most cases you’ll also have the chance to visit other schools, including a primary school.

Trainee teachers are expected to take significant responsibility for their own progress and development. This type of professional development encourages the development of independent, creative practitioners who will be able to take the lead in the future.

Attendance

120 days across a minimum of two school placements. Placement 1: September to December. Placement 2: January to June.

In September a three week block of daily University based sessions in preparation for school placement 1.

In January a two week block of daily University based sessions in preparation for school placement 2.

Every Monday Subject pedagogy sessions take place from September to January. 

Examples of classroom activities

The course links directly to key Geography priorities including Critical Thinking in Geography, GeoCapabilities, Global Learning, Young People’s Geographies, “I-Use” - statistics in Education, GIS including the Digimaps Ordnance Survey project and the RGS’s data skills in Geography project.

Visiting speakers and their presentations include:  the OS Digimaps project, the Royal Meteorological Society and Geography teachers at KS3 and GCSE. 

Employability

Employability

This is an 11-16 years course, with post-16 enhancement, which offers a high degree of employability within secondary teaching.

The high demand for our trained Geography teachers and our consistently high employability scores mean that trainees who successfully complete the course to a high standard have very good employment prospects.

Placements

Two-thirds of your course takes place in school and we ensure that you are offered a number of placements in a wide range of educational establishments.

You will do work placements in at least two different schools and also visit others – including a primary. This all helps you to see how teachers are working in practice and gives you a wealth of experience.

You will have the opportunity to do serial and block placements and you will also have trained mentors, who will guide and support your studies and provide you with feedback.

More about our placement opportunities

International

Birmingham City University is a vibrant and multicultural university in the heart of a modern and diverse city. We welcome many international students every year – there are currently students from more than 80 countries among our student community.

The University is conveniently placed, with Birmingham International Airport nearby and first-rate transport connections to London and the rest of the UK.

Our international pages contain a wealth of information for international students who are considering applying to study here, including:

Facilities & Staff

University House

Our Facilities

We are constantly investing in our estate and have spent £400 million on new learning facilities.

This course will be based at our City Centre Campus in the newly refurbished University House building.

Our staff

Paul Sanders

Senior Lecturer - Geography

Paul is the PGCE Secondary Geography Subject Leader and Geography Tutor at Birmingham City University. Paul has taught Geography in secondary schools since completing a B.Ed(Hons) in Geography education and has been responsible for developing a range of whole school policies including Teaching and Learning policy as an Assistant Headteacher. He has...

More about Paul