University of Cambridge
Geography (F8X1)

PGCE with QTS full time

Financial support
Student finance if you’re eligible
Qualification
PGCE with QTS

A postgraduate certificate in education (PGCE) with qualified teacher status (QTS) will allow you to teach in state schools in England and may allow you to teach in other parts of the UK.

It may also allow you to teach overseas, though you should always check what qualifications are needed in the country you’d like to teach in.

Many PGCE courses include credits that count toward a Master’s degree.

Course length
1 year
Date you can apply from
13 October 2020
Date course starts
September 2021
Website
http://www.educ.cam.ac.uk/pgce/

Contents

About the course

The Geography PGCE course is ‘high challenge: high support’ and aims not only to help trainees to develop teaching strategies and skills so that they can use their enthusiasm about Geography to interest and motivate pupils, but also develop them as geographers. We run a series of subject knowledge workshops, including meteorology training run by the Royal Meteorological Society and a workshop on geology run by colleagues in the Department of Earth Sciences at the University. In addition, a selection of experienced mentors and guest speakers contribute to the course throughout the year; for example, David Lambert, Professor at the London Institute of Education and former Chief Executive of the Geographical Association has visited for several years to work with our trainees.

The first term concentrates primarily on preparation for the basic elements of classroom teaching, and introduces trainees to the wide range of resources and teaching strategies available to geography teachers.

Later we explore a range of subjects including:

  • Urbanisation and the moving image
  • The changing geography curriculum: concepts, processes and knowledge
  • Landforms & processes: focus on explanations and modelling
  • Globalisation & interdependence: fashion, sport and sustainability
  • Citizenship, global citizenship and controversial issues – what is the role of geography?
  • Place and identity: What shape is the world anyway?

Across the course, there is also a focus on new technologies, fieldwork and wider curriculum issues. We look at how GIS can be used to improve geographical learning, and consider the role of emerging technologies, such as blogging and podcasts, in teaching geography.

The Geography course consists of sessions organised in a practical, workshop atmosphere; some sessions are taught by serving teachers from partnership schools.

The training programme has been developed so each week conceptual thinking in Subject Studies sessions in the Faculty is moved forward with discussion and practical activities in school. Trainees are provided with a range of opportunities to engage with geographical field work, both with the Geography subject studies group and with partnership schools.

Interview process

Interviews usually take place at the Faculty of Education and last approximately half a day. However, interviews may need to take place online when the public health situation demands it; this will most probably be the case throughout the autumn (Michaelmas) term of 2020, and possibly beyond.

There are generally 4-6 candidates on each panel, with two interviewers, and the interview is a mixture of group activities/discussion and individual tasks. There are no tests but candidates will be expected to demonstrate their subject knowledge and language capabilities both verbally and in writing.

How school placements work

Trainees spend at least 120 days of the course in Partnership schools, undertaking four block placements (in a minimum of three different schools), across the entire 11-18 age range.

Trainees have the opportunity to work together with experienced mentors to develop their own practical teaching skills and competence. Trainees initially work together in the classroom with other trainees and their subject mentor, before gradually taking on more responsibility for planning and teaching as the year progresses, and to gain experience of many of the important tasks and responsibilities teachers take on outside the classroom, such as pastoral care and parents’ evenings.

In the final placement there is also the opportunity for trainee involvement in a wider range of school activities: for instance, curriculum development and evaluation within their specialist subject(s); work experience and other activities related to careers education and economic and industrial understanding; fieldwork related to environmental education; and other similar activities which seek to extend the experience and education of pupils beyond the conventional classroom context.

Fees

The course fees for UK students in 2021 to 2022 are £9,250

Fees for EU, Islands and Overseas: http://www.educ.cam.ac.uk/courses/pgce/applying/costs/

Financial support

You may also be eligible for a loan while you study – note that you’ll have to apply for undergraduate student finance.

Find out about financial support if you’re from outside the UK.

Requirements

Qualifications

A minimum of a 2.1 (upper second) class honours degree in Geography or in a relevant subject eg. Environmental Sustainability, Geology or International Development.

We may consider applicants with a 2.2 if they have an otherwise strong academic background (eg. a subsequent higher degree qualification) but please contact the PGCE Admissions Office for advice before you apply.

GCSE English Language and Mathematics (minimum grade C/4)

We will consider applicants holding overseas qualifications that are equivalent to those described above.

http://www.educ.cam.ac.uk/courses/pgce/applying/entry/

Personal qualities

  • A desire to teach and enthuse young people
  • Commitment to state education
  • Strong subject-based academic background
  • Good communication skills
  • Experience working with young people
  • Flexibility and humour
  • Energy, perseverance and stamina
  • Ability to work collaboratively
  • Ability to learn and act on advice

Other requirements

Applicants are not required to have prior school experience as long as they have relevant experience with children in other capacities.

However, we do recommend that you spend some time in school to help you decide if teaching is right for you. We look for evidence of commitment to, and enthusiasm for, working with children and young people. You should consider how you might demonstrate this in your personal statement and be prepared to discuss during an interview.

If you are unable to arrange school observation in the current circumstances, please reflect very carefully on your own schooling instead.

About the training provider

The Faculty of Education provides high quality courses in both the Primary and Secondary age-range. Our trainees are always in demand from headteachers and many of our ex-trainees go on to positions of school leadership very quickly.

We consistently receive outstanding feedback from our trainees on course evaluations. We are delighted to be ranked as the number one teacher training provider in England in the 2017 Good Teacher Training Guide.

School colleagues are involved in all aspects of the course from interviewing through to Faculty course teaching.

Our outstanding benefits are:

  • Well-established and diverse school partnerships
  • Exceptional employment rates
  • The stimulation of being a part of a group of high-attaining future leaders in education
  • Expert staff - experienced teachers and research active subject specialists in the Faculty
  • An intellectual and social hub to live in, comprising College life in the dynamic city of Cambridge

The PGCE courses are assessed at Masters level and trainees who successfully complete all examined elements of the Cambridge PGCE course can apply to undertake the part-time Master of Education (MEd) in just one year.

Training with disabilities and other needs

The Faculty is committed to equal opportunities for all and to the provision of support for students with a disability and aims to ensure that no present or prospective student receives less favourable treatment than another on grounds of any condition or status not directly affecting study or work.

The University’s Disability Resource Centre works with the Faculty to provide support to trainees throughout the PGCE course.

Contact details

Email
pgce-admissions@educ.cam.ac.uk
Telephone
01223 767674
Website
http://www.educ.cam.ac.uk/pgce/
Address
Faculty of Education
184 Hills Road
Cambridge
Cambridgeshire
CB2 8PQ

Apply

Apply for this course

Choose a training location

You’ll also need to choose a training location – select the relevant location name on the application form.

Choose a training location - List of locations, vacancies and codes
Location Vacancies Code
Main Site
Faculty of Education, 184 Hills Road, Cambridge, CB2 8PQ
Yes -

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 of charge 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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