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What makes PGCE Secondary History at Worcester so special?

Unique opportunities to:

  • develop an in-depth understanding of what it means to be an outstanding history teacher
  • be supported by a dedicated and specialist history subject tutor with over 25 years teaching experience
  • receive additional expert training by external organisations, such as, the Centre for Holocaust Education, English Heritage, the Midlands History Forum, The Infirmary and Worcester Cathedral
  • access all the teaching and training resources provided by the Historical Association
  • work collaboratively with fellow trainee history teachers from a wide range of diverse backgrounds.

Key features

  • Helps you develop your own vision about the nature and purpose of a history education
  • Helps you develop your own understanding of how to effectively teach history to 11-18 year-olds.
  • Helps you know how to arouse pupils curiosity about the past and encourage them to care about the people who inhabited it
  • Helps you develop the skills to be a thoughtful and self-reflective classroom practitioner
  • Equips you with the knowledge and skills to have a long and successful career in teaching.

NB: History is offered through both Core and School Direct routes.

I really enjoyed my PGCE year at Worcester; it gave me a very supportive start to my teaching career.

Victoria Honeybourne, PGCE Secondary graduate

Register your interest

Enter your details and we will keep you up to date with all you need to know to apply for a PGCE place:

Entry requirements

What qualifications will you need?

Entry requirements

  • Honours degree (normally 2:2 or higher) from a UK higher education institution or equivalent qualification, in History, or a very closely related subject.
    Applicants with a 3rd class degree will be considered on an individual basis.
  • Grade C/4 at GCSE in English and Mathematics (or equivalent) passed at the time of application
  • 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         

For further information contact

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

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.

You will also be subject to the usual prohibition list and criminal record checks.

Professional skills tests

All applicants for teacher training courses need to take the numeracy and literacy professional skills tests as part of the application process. You will need to ensure you have passed them both before the start of the course.

The tests are required in addition to your mathematics and English GCSEs, and are designed to show that you have the basic levels of literacy and numeracy needed to teach to a national standard. They will not test your knowledge of the curriculum or how to teach.

The first three attempts at taking your skills tests in each subject are provided free of charge.

Support we offer

We offer free skills tests workshops if you have accepted a place on the course. If you are unsuccessful on your first attempt of the skills test then we will also provide one-to-one support in both numeracy and literacy.

Find out more about our skills tests workshops and support.

The PGCE Secondary History course is life changing and the support you receive is awesome.


Book your place at an Open Day

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Our open days are the perfect way to find out.

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Course content

What will you study?

Here is an overview of current modules available on this course. Regular updates may mean that exact module titles may differ.

Subject Knowledge with a Deep Understanding

  • University based subject teaching sessions to equip you with the most up to date, research informed guidance about how to effectively teach history in secondary schools.
  • Individual sessions to focus on how to teach the ‘key concepts’ of history, providing you with practical and engaging ways to help pupils develop a more sophisticated understanding of the nature of history.
  • You will also be fully prepared to teach the National Curriculum at Key Stage 3, GCSE and A-Level History.
  • In school, you will have the opportunity to put many of these ideas into practice, teach across the age and ability range and receive high quality feedback from your subject mentor.

Specialist Subject Opportunities

  • Learn to consider innovative ways to make history memorable and exciting in the classroom.
  • Develop your skills in understanding how to enhance pupils’ learning in the historical environment through a range of opportunities to work with local heritage organisations.
  • Benefit from a one-day course with the Centre for Holocaust Education, sharing the most up to date, research informed training for teaching effectively about the Holocaust


  • Understand and apply theory and research about how children learn – most university teaching sessions will model or demonstrate classroom practice currently used in school.
  • Deepen your understanding of subject specific pedagogy by engaging with literature, much of which is written by practicing history teachers and university tutors.
  • In school, learn by initially observing and then practising the skills of teaching in a safe and supportive environment. Benefit from opportunities to share and learn from your fellow trainee teachers.

Professional Studies

  • Explore a range of practices and wider issues of education.
  • Understand equality and develop inclusive teaching strategies. 
  • Develop your research skills as teachers with these skills are capable of bringing about change.

Enhancement Activities

  • Gain expertise through one of our unique Enhancement Activities: Citizenship – Developing a Second Subject - English as an Additional Language -  Special Educational Needs and Disabilities - Technology Enhanced Learning

School Experience

  • Grow through at least 120 days placement in our strong school network across the counties. Experience at least 2 contrasting schools.
  • Be supported and challenged by our blend of school-based Mentors and Personal Academic Tutors.

Your career

  • Become a reflective self-evaluating practitioner.
  • Enjoy great employment prospects with 100% of history trainees gaining employment in 2015 and 2016.
  • Prepare for future leadership roles and gain 60 credits towards an MA.

The History PGCE not only allows you to develop your teaching craft but encourages you to consider how education should be delivered.


Teaching and Assessment

How will you be taught?

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.

Meet the team

Get to know the academics who will teach you on this course:

  • simon-butler-education-university-worcester

    Simon Butler

    Simon studied for his PGCE at Oxford University in 1988. He subsequently taught for fifteen years in state comprehensive secondary schools in the Midlands. During this time he held a range of posts including Head of History, Head of Year, Head of Humanities and Assistant Headteacher. In 2002 he moved to Devon working for the Local Authority School Improvement team. He was appointed to his current post of Senior Lecturer in Education here at the University of Worcester in 2009.

    Simon has written articles for Teaching History, led workshops at a number of national and regional History Conferences and he has recently written a chapter on the importance of chronological understanding for ‘Debates in History Teaching’. He is also a keen and enthusiastic cricketer and spends much of his free time in the summer coaching youngsters at a local village cricket club.

One of the great benefits of the postgraduate course is the opportunity to reflect on both your personal teaching and the pedagogy of teaching history.



Where could it take you?

Many University of Worcester history trainees gain promotion within their first few years of teaching. Here are just a few of our alumni who have moved their career on:

  • Head of Year - Amena Iqbal (2010)
  • Head of House - Matthew Townsend (2010)
  • Head of Humanities - Natalie Jones (2011
  • Head of Year – Kieran Walker (2011)
  • Head of History – Matthew James (2012)
  • Head of Politics - Laurie Huggett-Wilde (2014)
  • Head of History – Kelly McElroy (2014)
  • Head of Year – Daniel Sherriff (2014)

  • Case study

    Natalie Jones 2010-11

    "My PGCE year was really valuable in laying the foundations for my teaching career. I got to network with people from many different subject areas in my Professional Studies group. This was useful as they had different areas of expertise and it helped me develop my teamwork skills, as I sometimes had to work with people who had very different opinions and values to me. 

    "My school placements were also a great experience, my university tutor really did his research to ensure that I had contrasting placements in terms of the students, staff and working environment. The placements allowed me opportunities to experiment with different learning activities, investigate different aspects of school life and get involved in extra-curricular opportunities such as, school trips. 

    "Attending subject sessions at university was one of the highlights of my course as I made some great friends who I still keep in contact with and Simon, my subject tutor, went out of his way to keep us up to date with new ideas for classroom practice. The assignments were challenging at times but I now see that they were great preparation for the reality of teaching. One thing I wish I had mastered during my PGCE was to find a better ‘work-life’ balance and that ‘me’ time really is essential and it helps you to be a more enthusiastic and reflective practitioner in the classroom.

    "Looking back five years later the PGCE at the University of Worcester fully prepared me for my future teaching career."

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How much will it cost?

Tuition fees

UK and EU students

The standard tuition fee for UK and EU students registering on the PGCE in the academic year 2018/19 is £9,250 per year.

For more details, please visit our course fees page.

International students

The standard annual fee for international (non-EU) students enrolling on the PGCE in the academic year 2018/19 is £12,100 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 are disabled. Most course are also eligible for a tax-free bursary or scholarship depending on your subject, degree classification or highest academic qualification.

Financial incentives for those who train in 2017/18: Up to £9 000 may be available.

Additional costs

Every course has day-to-day costs for essential books, 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 occasional visits to increase subject knowledge. Travel costs are at your own expense but we do encourage car sharing. In addition there is sometimes a fee but this is not normally more than £20 in total.

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. 


Finding the right accommodation is paramount to your university experience, and our welcoming student communities are great places to live and study.

We have over 1,000 rooms across our halls of residence. With rooms to suit every budget and need, from our 'Traditional Hall' at £98 per week to 'En-suite Extra' at £159 per week.

For full details visit our accommodation page.


How do you apply?

Applying through UCAS Teacher Training

UCAS Teacher Training is the central organisation through which applications are processed for entry onto PGCE courses


Read our How to apply pages for more information on applying and to find out what happens to your application.



Apply now via UCAS


Part-time route

You can apply to study this course on a part-time basis.

The part-time route runs for 4 school terms and starts in September each year. You will spend terms 1 and 2 in one school and terms 3 and 4 in a second school. In the first 3 terms you will typically spend 3 days per week on the course, either in school or university. Term 4 will be full time in school.

The bursary will be spread across four terms, and the fees will be the same as the full time route.

For more information get in touch via details below. You can also discuss this route in more detail at interview.

Get in touch

If you have any questions, please get in touch. We're here to help you every step of the way.

Admissions office

01905 855111  

Secondary PGCE Office

Personal Academic Tutor

Simon Butler