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What makes PGCE - Secondary - Geography at Worcester special?

Age phase: 11-16 with post-16 enhancement

We are in a stunning location and able to draw on the geographical resources of the Faithful City, the River Severn and the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty that is the Malvern Hills, all on our doorstep.

We'll explore and develop the key issues in geography including the interactions of physical and human processes, changing landscapes, globalisation, development and sustainability.

At Worcester we encourage you to think in a new way about the world and to develop expertise in teaching directly from the real world. We'll show you how to plan and deliver outside the classroom - and you'll benefit from a range of visits, conferences and experiences.



Key features

  • Explore a wider range of strategies for teaching secondary geography
  • Become familiar with the use of a range of assessment strategies to assess, record and report on the progress of your pupils
  • Develop an awareness of the value of learning outside the classroom and the wider global frameworks for education
  • Develop a professional network through the Worcester Geographical Association.

NB Geography is offered through both Core and School Direct routes.

"The support I have received at the University of Worcester has been fantastic! The tutors' love of the subject is infectious and has encouraged me to become a passionate and enthusiastic teacher."

Hannah Brayne, PGCE Geography graduate

Entry requirements

What qualifications will you need?

Entry requirements

Academic requirements

  • Honours degree normally (2:2) or higher from a United Kingdom higher education institution or equivalent qualification, in a relevant subject area. Applicants with a 3rd class degree will be considered on an individual basis.
  • Grade C/level 4 at GCSE in English Language and Mathematics (or equivalent) (for 2022 entry, applicants must have these qualifications by the start of the course). Alternatively, we offer equivalency Test if you don’t have the required GCSE grade to apply for our courses. Trainees who begin courses before providing evidence of the required GCSE standard (or equivalent) will not be eligible for financial incentives, such as bursaries or grants until they achieve the required standard.

Qualifications not listed? Contact the Admissions Office for advice by email: 

Additional requirements

  • An Enhanced DBS check. You will be sent details of how to apply for your DBS in the summer term. You will need to pay for this.  You may already be part of the DBS update service. Find out about the update service here. As part of the DBS process you will be checked against the Children’s Barred List.
  • A check against the Prohibition List.
  • If you have lived, studied or worked overseas for three months or more in the last five years a Certificate of Good Conduct from the country of residence will be required. Further information and guidance associated with additional costs are available from the Home Office.
  • An online occupational health check. All those on a teacher training programme must be certified as meeting national requirements for physical and mental fitness to teach, as set by the Department for Education.
  • International students: IELTS 6.5 or equivalent

Other information

  • School experience is desirable, but not essential prior to an interview. At interview, we will discuss relevant prior school experience or opportunities applicants have had to work with school-aged children. It is at this point that we would discuss with a candidate whether additional school experience would support an individual in their decision that teaching is right for them.
  • Interviews will be conducted online. Applicants will be contacted directly with more details.

All applications for PGCE should be made via the Government's Find Postgraduate Teacher Training website.

Additional useful information is available on the Government's Get Into Teaching website.

Course content

What will you study?

Our courses are informed by research and current developments in the discipline and feedback from students, external examiners and employers. Modules do therefore change periodically in the interests of keeping the course relevant and reflecting best practice. The most up-to-date information will be available to you once you have accepted a place and registered for the course. If there are insufficient numbers of students interested in an optional module, this might not be offered, but we will advise you as soon as possible and help you choose an alternative. 

Subject Knowledge with a Deep Understanding

  • Enrich your subject knowledge drawing on the expertise of tutors with national and international research profiles in partnership with school mentors with excellent current practice in your specialist area.
  • An excellent teacher requires confident subject knowledge and an understanding about how pupils learn. The majority of your time in university is in subject workshops.

Specialist Subject Opportunities

  • Explore and develop the key issues in Geography including globalisation, global interdependence and how physical and human processes interact to influence and change landscapes, environments and the climate.
  • Develop a way of thinking about the world: view, investigate and understand it in new ways - Thinking Geographically.
  • Develop expertise in teaching directly from the real world: plan and deliver outside the classroom and benefit from a range of visits, conferences and experiences.
  • Begin networking and start the publishing side of your career.


  • Understand and apply theory and research on how children learn and develop.
  • Explore a range of learning and teaching styles, and classroom organisation.
  • Discover how to promote progress through observing, planning, teaching and assessing learning.

Professional Studies

  • Learn the expectations, standards and behaviours which are appropriate to the profession and the wider responsibilities of a teacher.
  • Be informed by the research and evidence about effective teaching at a general level before applying this knowledge to subject-specific approaches.
  • Develop adaptive teaching strategies to respond to the unique needs in a range of contexts, leveraging the diversity inherent in schools.

Enhancement Activities

  • Gain expertise through one of our unique Enhancement Activities: PSHE and Citizenship, Developing a Second Subject, English as an Additional Language, Education in Climate Emergency, Teenage Mental Health, Special Educational Needs and Disabilities, Research in Education or Technology Enhanced Learning.  In addition we also offer an Aspiring Leaders programme 

Your career

  • Become a reflective self-evaluating practitioner.
  • Enjoy great employment prospects; our support takes you from trainee to ECT (Early Career Teacher) and beyond
  • Prepare for leadership and your Masters with 60 credits and a strong research foundation.
Chloe Hackett

Chloe Hackett

"After studying at the University of Worcester for my Undergraduate degree, I was eager to return to the institution after deciding to pursue a career in teaching. I enrolled on the PGCE Secondary Geography course, where highly passionate and enthusiastic course leaders helped to shape my teaching practice. The enthusiasm displayed by the course leaders was infectious and played a huge role in how I foster a love of learning within my Geography classroom. During the course, we were offered several opportunities to develop our practice further, for example; visiting the Geographical Association’s annual conference, completing visit leader training and visiting Preston Montford, along with many more. This helped to form well-rounded individuals, who were able to tackle the challenges of teaching with ease."

"Since completing the course in 2019, I have taken on the role of Head of Department. The PGCE enabled me to think about curriculum design and provided a wealth of insightful conversations about what we should be prioritising for our students. I am looking forward to seeing where my career takes me and am extremely thankful for the University of Worcester’s part within this journey."

Daniel Webb

Daniel Webb

"The course provided a nurturing environment where I was encouraged to reflect on my experiences and challenged to improve as a practitioner.

Professional and Subject Tutors are infectiously enthusiastic, valuable support and expose trainees to a range of pedagogical theories. Two contrasting placements provided valuable practical experience. My development accelerated in my second placement at Ludlow CE School where I received highly effective guidance and support from my mentors and the wider school community.

In my third year of teaching, I took responsibility in the form of a Faculty Coordinator. The course provided many opportunities for further development, of which one was the Aspiring Leader enhancement activity. This was instrumental in my progression to take on responsibility early in my teaching career. I am delighted to have recently moved to my second teaching role which is back at Ludlow CE School where I completed my second placement."

We are pleased that Daniel is now a mentor supporting Geography trainee teachers from the University of Worcester.

Katiey Amey

Katie Amey

"My journey through teacher training and into the classroom has allowed me to achieve more than I ever thought I could. Teacher training sets you up with a great toolkit for professional development, as well as pedagogies and examples you can take into the classroom. The PGCE gives you a great place to start and to teat out your ideas, before you are faced with you first live lesson. The support of the lecturers is incredible at the University of Worcester, and their passion for the subject has inspired me to continue to develop my skills and has taught me that the sky is the limit, for both myself and the pupils."

"Whilst there are some tough moments along the way, there are so many moments of inspiration that help pull you through and remind you of how incredible it is to be a teacher. Each year brings a whole cohort of new opportunities, and some incredible relationships with both pupils and staff. I was incredibly lucky to get a position in a fabulous school, where support for my personal development continues, because the PGCE isn't the end of the road, it's simply the start of a whole new journey."

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Teaching and assessment

How will you be taught?

View of rocky outcrop with sea behind

Teaching approach

  • School experience in a range of settings.
  • Professional Studies sessions in school and at University.
  • University-led workshops, lectures, seminars, fieldwork and guest lectures.
  • Study of key texts and supplementary reading.
  • Participation in high level professional discussion, peer presentations and debate.
  • Directed studies, case studies and problem solving tasks; development of practice-based competence and skills of critical reflection through guided individual mentoring during placements.
  • One-to-one academic and personal tutorial support including access to our first class Firstpoint services


  • Assignments are carefully designed to develop your skills as a teacher.
  • Assessments that move from highly structured to more open briefs as you develop your professional skills.
  • The opportunity to develop skills as a research informed practitioner.

Programme specification

For comprehensive details on the aims and intended learning outcomes of the course, and the means by which these are achieved through learning, teaching and assessment, please download the latest programme specification document.

Meet the team

You will be taught by a teaching team whose expertise and knowledge are closely matched to the content of the modules on the course. 


Elena Lengthorn

Elena is the PGCE secondary subject leader for geography. She spent 15 years teaching secondary geography and science before joining the University of Worcester in 2017. Her experience includes senior leadership in school, as well as leading a Global Learning Partnership Hub and an Eco-Schools Ambassador role.

She was awarded ‘Global Educator of the Year’ in 2016. Her research interests include flood education, Education for Sustainable Development and Climate Emergency. She has presented at BERA, Advance HE, the GA Charney Conference, GA Geography Teacher Educators, the Geographical Association annual conference and RAISE, as well as having work published by the GA, the NAEE, the ASE and the Chartered College of Teaching. Elena is undertaking her doctoral research on educator environmental agency. Elena is an external examiner at Middlesex University and a HEA fellow.


Where could it take you?

PGCE student on placement
  • Great employment prospects
  • Prepare for leadership and your Masters with 60 credits and a strong research foundation
  • Many University of Worcester trainees gain promotion within the first few years of teaching
Two students are walkng next to each other and smiling

Careers and Employability

Our Graduates pursue exciting and diverse careers in a wide variety of employment sectors.

Find out how we can support you to achieve your potential.

How much will it cost?

Full-time tuition fees

UK students

The standard tuition fee for full-time UK students registering in the academic year 2021/22 will be £9,250 per year.

For more details, please visit our course fees page.

International students

The standard tuition fee for full-time international students registering in the academic year 2021/22 will be £14,100 per year.

For more details, please visit our course fees page.

Teacher training funding

You can get help with the costs of teacher training. A student finance package will include a Tuition Fee Loan and a Maintenance Loan. You may also be eligible for extra help if you have children or have a disability.

Some courses are also eligible for a tax-free bursary or scholarship depending on your subject, degree classification or highest academic qualification.

Additional costs

Every course has day-to-day costs for essential books, trips,  stationery, printing and photocopying.

Travel costs for placements vary depending on the location of schools and your mode of transport, sometimes these may be reclaimed depending on your individual circumstances.

We organise day and residential visits to increase subject knowledge, sharing good practice and field work skills. The costs are at your own expense but we do encourage car sharing.

In addition, we encourage you to join subject specific associations. The cost is typically between £25 to £50 for which you benefit from their support, guidance and resources.

The DfE requires all trainee teachers to obtain an Enhanced Disclosure & Barring Service (DBS) check, which you will need to pay for.


Finding the right accommodation is paramount to your university experience. Our halls of residence are home to friendly student communities, making them great places to live and study.

We have over 1,000 rooms across our range of student halls. With rooms to suit every budget and need, from our 'Traditional Hall' at £108 per week to 'En-suite Extra' at £184 per week (2021/22 prices).

For full details visit our accommodation page.

How to apply