PGCE Secondary School Direct (Geography)
Year of entry: 2024
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- Degree awarded
- Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE)
- 1 year
- How to apply
- Become an outstanding Geography teacher with Qualified Teacher Status (QTS).
- Benefit from selection and training by a specific school in Greater Manchester.
- Enjoy extended periods of career-boosting on-the-job experience.
Look at our virtual open day content to help you learn more about the University.
You will be able to watch videos about the University, including accommodation, student finance and course-specific sessions.
We'll update our website once plans for PGCE-specific 2022 recruitment events are confirmed.
We also attend the Department for Education's virtual Train to Teach events .
Policy on additional costs
All students should normally be able to complete their programme of study without incurring additional study costs over and above the tuition fee for that programme. Any unavoidable additional compulsory costs totalling more than 1% of the annual home undergraduate fee per annum, regardless of whether the programme in question is undergraduate or postgraduate taught, will be made clear to you at the point of application. Further information can be found in the University's Policy on additional costs incurred by students on undergraduate and postgraduate taught programmes (PDF document, 91KB).
There are two types of government funding available for Geography teacher training:
- tuition fee loan and maintenance loan;
- extra financial support if you're a parent or have an adult dependant or a disability.
Depending on your circumstances you could receive both. Find out more at the Department for Education website .
You can find out more about the scholarships and bursaries on our funding page .
In addition, a £1,000 fee reduction is available to University of Manchester graduates who achieved a first-class honours degree. Those applying will need to apply within three years of receiving their degree.
You do not need to apply separately; you will be automatically considered based on your application for the course.
Courses in related subject areas
Use the links below to view lists of courses in related subject areas.
Other international entry requirements
If you have followed a non-standard educational route and have been, for example, educated at home, your application will be considered against the standard entry criteria of the course to which you applied. You will be required to demonstrate that you meet the academic entry requirements as specified for the course. We will also require a reference which should be written by somebody who knows you well enough, in an official capacity, to write about you and your suitability for higher education. Please refer to the DfE Apply website for further information.
Academic entry qualification overview
- Minimum 2:2 honours degree in geography or a related subject (e.g. environmental management, environmental sciences, geology, or planning and development). If you are unsure, please contact us to discuss your qualifications.
- 104 UCAS points at A-level. In addition, applicants who do not have a geography degree must have a B in geography at A-level.
- Minimum grade C or 4 at GCSE (or equivalent) in English language and mathematics.
In addition to a grade of C at GCSE in English Language, applicants whose first language is not English are required to meet the following language requirements:
- IELTS 6.5 overall, 6.5 in writing, no sub-section below 6.0, or
- TOEFL iBT overall score of 90 with a minimum score of 22 in writing and 20 in the other sub-sections, or
- Pearson PTE overall score of 62 with a minimum score of 62 in writing and 59 in the other sub-sections, or
- Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English (CAE) or Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE) overall score of 176 or above, with 176 in writing and no sub-section below 169.
English language test validity
Application and selection
How to apply
Advice to applicants
We work with numerous schools in Greater Manchester to offer the School Direct route into teaching; all routes involve the joint selection of candidates by schools and tutors at The University of Manchester.
When choosing a School Direct route, you should identify the arrangement that the School Direct lead school has made for delivery of School Direct with The University of Manchester, as this will determine your pattern of training.
You should also clarify the 'expectations' to employ by the lead school - while schools can offer you a permanent role at the end of the training, there is no guarantee of employment.
You must apply through DfE Apply .
Applications or CVs sent directly to the University will not be considered.
You must submit the following with your completed application form:
- contact details for two referees who can provide a written reference supporting your suitability for teaching
- a personal statement (2 sections: maximum 600 words for the 1 st question; maximum 400 words for the 2 nd question) detailing your commitment to and enthusiasm for teaching, your rationale for applying to be a teacher in your subject, an awareness of the role and responsibilities of the teacher, relevant experience suggesting suitability for the role, and a good standard of written English.
We recommend that you submit your application as soon as you are able to, once applications open. It is possible that we may need further evidence of qualifications in order to make a decision on your application, so please ensure that all relevant documents are available on request.
Before submitting your DfE application, please make sure that the information you enter regarding your qualifications is correct and accurate. We have the right to cancel your application if we determine (having carried out any necessary checks), or have reasonable belief, that your application contains false information. If you have any reason to believe that the information we hold about you is untrue, incomplete or inaccurate, you must tell us immediately.
How your application is considered
The University and the lead school will review your application jointly.
The lead school will advise you if you are invited for an online interview. If successful at interview, a formal offer would then be made by the University.
Overseas (non-UK) applicants
Aptitude test requirement
The Government is replacing the professional skills tests with a new system of provider-led assurance in relation to trainees' fundamental knowledge in English and Mathematics. Under this new approach you will not be required to pass professional skills tests prior to commencing your PGCE, but you will need to demonstrate your fundamental knowledge by the end of the programme.
Fitness to practise / health requirements
If your application is successful, we will require you to comply with a confidential health screening check as advised by the Department for Education.
Health screening will be undertaken by the Student Occupational Health Service, who will advise on any follow-up vaccinations or other intervention which may be indicated.
Disclosure and Barring Service check
If your application is successful, we will require you to comply with an enhanced check through the Disclosure and Barring Service as advised by the Department for Education.
You must also meet the University's suitability requirements for the safeguarding of children.
If you applied in the previous year and your application was not successful you may apply again. Your application will be considered against the standard course entry criteria for that year of entry.
In your new application, you should demonstrate how your application has improved. We may draw upon all information from your previous applications or any previous registrations at the University as a student when assessing your suitability for your chosen course.
Compared with Core PGCE teacher trainees, you will benefit from additional time in school before the PGCE starts and follow a modified version of the course. Throughout, you will focus on the 11 to 16, 11 to 18, or 14 to 19 age ranges to gain Qualified Teacher Status (QTS), learning to teach the National Curriculum and related national strategies surrounding GCSE, AS and A2-level study.
The majority of the course focuses upon practical training in teaching and learning-related skills. You will enjoy extended periods of school experience, which will provide opportunities to work in a primary setting and to teach in at least two different secondary schools. In total, 25 weeks of your PGCE will be spent experiencing and working in different types of school.
This practical training is underpinned by the development of your knowledge and understanding of educational theories, ideas and concepts, including current issues and developments.
We work with numerous schools in Greater Manchester to offer the School Direct route into teaching.
School Direct allows schools to recruit and select their own trainees, with the expectation that they will go on to work within the school, or group of schools, in which they were trained (although there is no guarantee of employment).
School Direct closely follows the PGCE course structure but on a modified timetable including increased contact with the School Direct school.
Trainees who complete their course will be recommended for the qualification of PGCE School Direct and recommended for qualified teacher status (QTS).
The PGCE Geography course is designed to provide trainees with a balanced approach to learning how to teach Geography in the secondary school, drawing on a range of expertise from The University of Manchester tutor team, teachers within partnership schools and experts within the field of Geography education.
Trainees will gain experience teaching KS3, KS4 and KS5 Geography and are awarded the 11 to 18 PGCE with QTS at the end of the course. The PGCE Geography course focuses on many diverse aspects of Geography teaching, such as:
- Developing subject and curriculum knowledge in Geography;
- Developing planning and pedagogy in the classroom;
- Teaching inclusive and representative Geography;
- Understanding how to address barriers to learning in Geography;
- Understanding how students learn in Geography;
- Assessing progress in Geography and understanding how to check what students know, think and understand;
- Engaging and creative Geography teaching;
- Securing your first job as a Geography teacher;
You will spend around 130 days in your School Direct placement schools, guided by trained mentors who will support your progress and give advice on all aspects of the role.
All our PGCE courses aim to provide contrasting placements to give trainees a rich and diverse experience.
- Our PGCEs are rated 'Outstanding' by Ofsted (2019), and we have been judged best university provider of initial teacher training in the North of England (Good Teacher Training Guide 2017).
- We have links with more than 200 schools, academies and colleges, and you will benefit from significant school-based teaching experience.
- Our leading experts in education have trained more than 5,000 teachers in the last 15 years.
- Our students come from all over the globe and a variety of backgrounds - from recent graduates to mature learners.
- Our research improves the quality of education across the world, with 78% of our activity defined as 'world-leading' or 'internationally excellent' (Research Excellence Framework 2014).
Teaching and learning
The structure of our PGCEs includes both school-based and university-based learning.
On our secondary PGCEs, around two-thirds of your time will be spent in secondary schools, academies and colleges on placements.
When on placement, you will observe and teach classes under the guidance of an experienced teacher. You will also have a mentor to help you to plan lessons, deal with marking and assessment, and improve your teaching skills.
Peer observations of lessons will enable you to participate actively in your own and your fellow students' development as teachers. You will be provided with a significant amount of responsibility to develop your own teaching style, set targets, take your own initiatives and evaluate your own work in planning, teaching and assessing.
Your remaining time will be spent at the University, for example in lectures and seminars, and in subject-specific groups.
We will support your training to become a secondary school teacher by providing:
- a quality teaching experience in our partner schools and colleges;
- a study of current, challenging educational issues;
- careers planning and early professional development;
- guidance and support from experienced tutors and mentors;
- opportunities for reflective practice and research.
As a guide, you should anticipate that time in university-based learning combined with school-based placements will roughly equate to the time commitment of a full-time job, with additional time required in evenings and weekends for background reading, lesson planning and completing written assignments.
Coursework and assessment
Your school and University experiences are formally assessed. Both your mentors and tutors will help you to record your achievements and set targets from week to week and from placement to placement.
During each placement, a University tutor will observe you teach and discuss your progress with you and your mentor.
At the end of each school experience, you will receive a progress report from your mentor. The report will provide clear feedback and targets in the following areas:
- subject and curriculum knowledge;
- planning and teaching;
- wider professional responsibilities.
These reports, together with your record of achievement and development (RoAD), facilitate your progression as a teacher.
The written assignments will allow you to gain a maximum of 60 master's-level credits, and guidance and support to complete these assignments will be available from your University tutors.
At the end of the course, your lead school may offer you a permanent role.
The course is taught by the Manchester Institute of Education (MIE), with most PGCE University days based there in University's Ellen Wilkinson building, centrally located on the University's Oxford Road campus, close to the Main Library, Alan Gilbert Learning Commons and the Students Union.
Practical support and advice for current students and applicants is available from the Disability Advisory and Support Service.
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Completing a PGCE is one route to becoming a fully qualified teacher. This form of teacher training is recommended for anyone with an undergraduate degree who is looking to gain Qualified Teacher Status (QTS).
You need QTS to teach in a state-maintained or special school in England and Wales. While other routes to gain QTS exist, they do not all come with the postgraduate qualification of a PGCE. A PGCE from The University of Manchester is a valued qualification regionally, nationally and internationally.
When you study a PGCE with us, we help you prepare for a successful career in education. You will be given clear direction, advice and support when making applications for teaching posts and our employment rates are consistently high.
In addition to this, a PGCE qualification can count as 60 of the 180 credits required for a master's degree, and The University of Manchester offers a range of postgraduate Education courses should you wish to continue your professional development by completing a master's as you progress further in your career.
View careers and employability for more information.
The University has its own dedicated Careers Service that you would have full access to as a student and for two years after you graduate.
At Manchester you will have access to a number of opportunities to help boost your employability .