St Mary’s University, Twickenham
Geography (F8X1)

PGCE with QTS full time

Financial support
Scholarship, bursary or student finance if you’re eligible

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
8 October 2019
Date course starts
September 2020


About the course

This course combines the development of professional skills needed to teach Geography in the classroom, together with a more theoretical knowledge of contemporary issues in geographical education, and an understanding of how pupils learn best.

The course prepares trainees with the practical skills and subject specific pedagogical knowledge needed for good curriculum design and development, to help foster a ‘geographical imagination’ in young people to become more informed global citizens. It explores current debates in educational research to understand effective ways of teaching Geography. Trainees complete two contrasting school placements of at least 120 days, supported by an experienced school mentor, who works in close partnership with the St Mary’s Geography tutor.

Through critical reflection the programme makes links with literacy, citizenship and sustainability, highlighting the importance of geography in helping young people to become more informed global citizens. The trainees are assessed on their ability to teach pupils in the 11-16 age range, with additional opportunities for A Level teaching available. Trainees also undertake two 30 credit Master’s - level modules, with an additional optional 30 credit module available, totalling a possible 90 credits, which can be carried forward onto the full Master’s programme at St Mary’s.

Distinctive features of the course include;

  • Innovative and imaginative use of ICT is encouraged, including GIS (Geographical Information Systems) and the use of free apps for fieldwork supported by university sessions run by experts.
  • Varied and dynamic fieldwork opportunities including a local visit to NE London and a residential trip organised in association with the Field Studies Council to Somerset, with an emphasis on developing an enquiry approach.
  • Strong ‘Geography Community’ developed with local partnership schools, linked to the Twickenham GA branch.
  • Significant teaching input by successful subject specialists and local Geography teachers.
  • Close links with both the Geographical Association (GA) and Royal Geographical Society (RGS).
  • Strong focus on subject knowledge development with dedicated top-up sessions
  • Opportunity to teach in Ghana, complete a two week SEND placement and attend an academic reading club.
  • Meaningful and practical links with Primary Geography courses at St Mary’s.
  • An on-line 8 and 16 week ‘St Mary’s Subject Knowledge Enhancement’ course available to prepare applicants for the PGCE.

St. Mary’s University has been graded “Outstanding” by Ofsted for the Secondary Initial Teacher Education programmes. For further details please click here, and come to meet us -

Interview process

Once we are confident you have met the course entry requirements, we carefully examine your personal statement. This is your opportunity to convince us that you have seriously thought through your journey into teaching in terms of motivation and a genuine understanding of what being a teacher really means.

You will almost certainly find it helpful to refer to prior learning and classroom experiences and reflect on the implication of what you saw, heard or experienced.

Within your statement, it is often helpful to connect your prior academic and/or work experiences to the skills and attitudes required for teaching.

On the interview day - we want to get to know you a little better and for you to get to know us.

The components that make up the day include : -

  • English writing activity
  • Subject knowledge assessment
  • Small group discussion activity
  • 3 minute presentation justify why your subject is part of the curriculum
  • Interview

The Admissions Tutor will host the day and explain the structure of the course, school placements, the Enhancement placement, Masters Modules and assessments.

We look forward to meeting you and supporting you to become an outstanding teacher of children.

How school placements work

St. Mary’s University is in partnership with over 150 schools - many of our trainees go on to become NQT’s in these partner schools.

You will gain experience in TWO different school settings through the course. You will be school-based for a minimum of 120 days.

We take into account your personal accommodation postcode when looking at placements. Students with declared disabilities will have these taken into account when allocating school placements.

Across your training you will have experience of working in Key Stage 3 and 4. There is usually the opportunity to experience post 16.

An experienced teacher acts as mentor during the school placement and contributes to your overall assessment as a new teacher.

We have the strongest commitment to student teacher support, regularly visiting student teachers in school over the duration of the course to quality assure the placements.

We see tutors retaining contact with student teachers while they are school-based, away from University as a major factor in our support success. The consistent support available for students has been recognised by Ofsted in 2011 and again in 2019 as outstanding.


The course fees for 2020 to 2021 are as follows:
Student type Fees to pay
UK students £9,250
EU students £9,250
International students £12,730

Home/EU Tuition Fee of £9250 is subject to change based on approved Fee changes. For further details - please visit the University website pages on Fees and Student Finance:


Financial support

You could be eligible for either:

  • a scholarship of £17,000
  • a bursary of £15,000

To qualify for a scholarship you’ll need a degree of 2:1 or above in Geography or a related subject. For a bursary you’ll need a 2:2 or above in any subject.

You can’t claim both a bursary and a scholarship - you can only claim one.

Find out how to apply for a scholarship. You don’t need to apply for a bursary - if you’re eligible, you’ll automatically start receiving it once you begin your course. Find out how you’ll be paid.

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.

Financial support from the training provider

St. Mary’s University Alumni are able to receive a discount on the PGCE Tuition fee:


International students may be able to apply for a St. Mary’s University International Scholarship: (



GCSEs or their standard equivalent:

GCSE grade C / 4 (or standard equivalent) in Mathematics and English

If you do not meet the above entry requirements - we are able to offer candidates the opportunity to sit the St. Mary’s University GCSE Equivalency Test, but we do not accept Equivalency Tests from any other organisation.

Degree requirement (or equivalent qualification) : 2:2 degree classification and above will allow you to access the government bursary.

Demonstrate that you have made a fully informed decision

Further details of entry requirements:

Personal qualities

During the interview and selection process, you will take part in a variety of tasks that will allow you to evidence that you have thought carefully about your motives for becoming a teacher and can demonstrate that you have some emerging capability to reflect on what being a teacher means.

We are looking for candidates who can demonstrate a genuine passion for teaching, working with and supporting children and an understanding of the resilience needed for teaching.

Other requirements

School observation

At St Mary’s University, we would like all applicants to have made a fully informed decision about considering joining the teaching profession. As part of that decision making process, spending some time in school(s) observing what teachers do and beginning to give some consideration to how they manage learning, can be really insightful and informative.

DBS check

Successful completion of a physical and mental fitness to teach and a Satisfactory Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check are also required for teacher training.

About the training provider

St. Mary’s University is graded “Outstanding” by Ofsted for both Primary and Secondary teacher training. We would love to meet you!.

For further details: ( )

Where to find us: ( Student Life: (

Teaching students at St Mary’s have very high employment statistics, with many securing jobs in in our partnership schools.

Student feedback and our recent Ofsted report regularly highlights the quality of the pastoral care provided through their training programmes and the support offered by partner schools.

St. Mary’s University is situated in Strawberry Hill, Twickenham - a leafy part of Greater London (5 minute walk from Strawberry Hill mainline from London Waterloo) and good local bus links for other central London connections.

Public Transport:

We have recently celebrated 165 years in Education in south west London. St Mary’s is London’s second largest teacher training course provider, with a significant proportion of our 6,000 students training to teach on primary and secondary initial teacher training courses.

Key Facts Close partnership between the University and partner schools in all aspects of the course Educational theory closely related to practical reality of the classroom Bespoke personal tutor support Strong focus on subject knowledge development Support for those with an area of interest in SEND and EAL High employability rates for PGCE Trainee Teachers Ongoing support into your NQT year and your career beyond Ongoing Masters study opportunities at discounted rates

Training with disabilities and other needs

St. Mary’s University has a fully supportive and well-resourced Student Wellbeing service to support trainees with disabilities and other needs.

At interview, we encourage candidates to disclose any additional needs requiring support so that early support can be in place for the PGCE course.

For further information on Disability Access: (

Contact details

020 8240 2394
Waldegrave Road
Strawberry Hill, Twickenham
Richmond upon Thames


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Support and advice

For questions about this course you should contact the training provider using the contact details above.

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