University of Reading: PGCE Secondary History

InstitutionUniversity of Reading
Department Institute of Education
Study type Taught


Do you wish to qualify to teach the 11-18 age group in secondary schools in England and Wales? This Post Graduate Certificate Education (PGCE) Secondary History course leads to the award of Qualified Teacher Status (QTS).

Your tutors are active researchers in matters relating to history education. They are regarded as experts in the field, both nationally and internationally, and have been consulted by a number of national and international organisations, such as the Historical Association, QCA and QCDA, the TDA, Ofqual, the Department for Education and Council of Europe on matters relating to the history curriculum.

Assignments are designed to help you plan your teaching effectively and imaginatively and to evaluate your skills, particularly in terms of the quality of learning achieved by pupils. Tutors weave together personal experience, practice and research into challenging but highly practical and relevant sessions.

You will learn in first-class facilities through a series of practical seminars and workshops, where interactive and discussion-based techniques will encourage you to engage, reflect and challenge. Sessions may include participating in workshop style sessions with your peers; attending presentations by subject experts; working on tasks in groups; having individual tutorials; visits to schools or other education settings; visits to theatres, museums, galleries or sites of educational interest; and writing assignments on aspects of subject teaching and Professional Studies.


Develop the skills and knowledge valued and desired by employers - you will build your confidence in the classroom and gain practical teaching experience. Placements provide you with the opportunity to connect with potential employers and build your professional network. At Secondary level we have strong relationships with around 80 schools in the local and surrounding area. Most schools in Berkshire employ at least one graduate of the Institute of Education.

On your Secondary PGCE course you are required to carry out three placements in two different age groups - ensuring you receive a broad range of experiences. Two placements must be undertaken in a school setting but the third can be taken in a different setting - allowing you to sample teaching in an alternative environment.

We offer our students an unusually flexible and broad range of settings and educational environments- you will have the opportunity to gain experience in special needs schools, Pupil Referral Units, independent schools, museums, and charities.

You will have plenty of opportunities throughout your course to apply your developing skills in real settings. In schools, you will be involved in observation of other teachers; planning and teaching parts of lessons/small groups; planning and teaching lessons and sequences of lessons; reflecting on and evaluating your teaching; receiving feedback on your teaching; and gaining experience of the range of responsibilities of classroom teachers.

School Direct

This subject is also available via School Direct as well as the University-based route. Those students following a School Direct route may be studying for a PGCE or for QTS only. However, all students come together as a subject group in University sessions.

Those taking the PGCE will spend more time in the University than those taking the QTS-only course. The PGCE will involve writing assignments that are designed to help trainees to plan their teaching effectively and imaginatively and to evaluate their developing knowledge and skills, particularly in terms of the quality of learning achieved by pupils. Successful completion will result in 60 Masters-level credits.


The majority of our graduates go into schools and inspire children to develop into happy confident and well-informed individuals. Or you could take your educational skills to the worlds of business, culture, art, healthcare, human resources, adult learning and further varied fields.

Postgraduate Certificate in Education - PGCE

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