The Social Science PGCE prepares students to teach the social sciences across the 14–19 age range in a flexible and exciting way. Tutors are committed to promoting interactive teaching and learning in their sessions; a collaborative ethos is encouraged so that PGCE students share materials, resources and ideas. The programme specialises in sociology and psychology teaching, with some opportunities to teach in other related curriculum subjects.
We draw on current research at UCL Institute of Education and elsewhere to inform a student’s social science teaching, encouraging them to engage with recent debates, literature and policy in the field. Our underlying aim is to develop reflective, inquiring, compassionate social science teachers who are committed to social justice, inclusion and diversity.
Tutors on the Social Science PGCE are skilled classroom practitioners with extensive experience in secondary schools and colleges, as well as in leadership, educational research and consultancy.
At UCL Institute of Education, students participate in a range of lectures, workshops and seminars designed to enhance their development as a teacher. These highly interactive sessions will cover how children learn, assessment, lesson planning, promoting positive behaviour and subject-specific matters.
During their teaching practice placements, students benefit from our partnership with over 200 secondary schools and colleges in Greater London and beyond, which enables each of our students to become a skilled and confident teacher in their chosen subject specialism.
The Secondary PGCE consists of three core modules: two Master’s-level (level 7) modules, which are assessed through written assignments, and the Professional Practice module, which is assessed by the observation of practical teaching in placement schools. The programme is delivered via a programme of ‘Debates in Education’, subject sessions, seminars, workshops, tutorials and directed study days at UCL Institute of Education, as well as time spent in placements. Assessment is by practical teaching, assignments and portfolio tasks.
Students on this programme will spend most of their time (120 days) in schools, working with sociology or psychology mentors who support them through their two school placements. Social Science Student Teachers will teach their main social science subject (usually sociology and/or psychology) at A level. At GCSE, most student teachers teach sociology and some teach psychology. In some placements there are opportunities to contribute to relevant vocational qualifications and Key Stage 3 humanities. Teaching responsibilities will be equivalent to a practicing teacher but on a reduced timetable.