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PGCE Secondary History

(11-16 and including post 16 enhancement)

Gain qualified teacher status (QTS) as a teacher of history with experience of teaching across Key Stages 3 and 4, and support in preparing to teach in Key Stage 5. Through university-based sessions, independent study and two teaching placements, you develop the skills and knowledge to teach pupils of all abilities in a range of secondary school and college settings. Depending on your degree and classification you may be eligible for a bursary of up to £9,000.

Course description

On this course you can
• gain the qualified teacher status (QTS) needed to teach history in secondary education contexts
• gain a Postgraduate Certificate (PGCE) equivalent to 60 masters level points based on academic submissions
• apply for a bursary to help with course fees (UK and EU students only).

About this course
This course prepares you to become a qualified history teacher committed to the subject and able to teach it confidently to 11-18 year olds in secondary school and college settings. Your teaching and support is shared between the University its partner schools across the Yorkshire, Derbyshire and Humberside region.

You attend University based subject training days focused on teaching history, led by experienced history practitioners. These are spread over the year and help you prepare for your teaching placements.

You also focus on teaching humanities subjects RE, geography and citizenship, which broaden you skills and knowledge for a wider range of teaching in schools. Input from national providers such as UK Parliament Education Service, Holocaust Education Trust and English Heritage develops your awareness of the wider opportunities, resources and support for creative teaching. As part of this you spend a full day exploring approaches to teaching outside the classroom at Conisburgh Castle.

Through taught subject sessions and access to the University library resources, you are supported in producing two academic assignments to gain the QTS award. During the course you complete either the PGCE or the professional graduate certificate in education (ProfGCE). Both qualifications include QTS, but the PGCE also gives you 60 masters level credits, which you can use towards a full masters degree (180 credits).

Subject sessions are also very practical and you are introduced to a variety of resources, ideas and teaching techniques appropriate to the history classroom in Key Stages 3, 4 and 5. Working with other trainees gives you the opportunity to share teaching ideas and strategies. We build a shared bank of ideas and resources for teaching pupils of different ages and abilities, which can then be trialled during placement and used in your future career.

In University sessions, we help you develop the knowledge and skills to be a successful teacher of history, then with our partner schools we support you in deploying these in the classroom, building your confidence and professional autonomy.

School placements are central to the course, and we have strong partnerships with secondary schools and colleges in the Yorkshire, Derbyshire and Humberside area. You complete two teaching placements, one in the autumn term between October and December and the second from January to June. During this time you are supported by a University-trained mentor in school, helping you develop your classroom pedagogy through advice on planning, regular classroom observation, and regular meetings to discuss progress and next steps. Mentors provide support for your wider thinking, not just about the subject but the wider role of the teacher and about teacher professionalism. As well as one-to-one support, you usually engage in school-based training activities alongside other trainees, NQTs or more experienced teachers.

School-based mentors also support you in completing school-based professional studies tasks and online tracking document known as the professional development portfolio (PDP). By the end of your placements you can provide evidence showing how you meet the qualified teacher status standards required by the course. Your course tutor also visits you during your placements to observe and discuss your progress, keeping in touch with your school-based mentor throughout.

On the PGCE History course you learn how to
• plan and teach history across Key Stages 3 and 4 in the active and creative ways needed to motivate pupils
• recognise and plan for progression in subject specific knowledge, skills and concepts, both in individual lessons and across sequences of lessons
• assess student learning and progress in individual lessons and over time
• appreciate and critically evaluate different approaches to teaching and learning, behaviour management, assessment and differentiation to meet the needs of different students
• plan to meet the requirements of the current Key Stage 3 National Curriculum and GCSE syllabi
• plan to meet the requirements of current A level syllabi, with some support in planning to teach at A level
• prepare to meet some of the wider aspects of the role of teachers in school.

Further information
For more information regarding our routes into teaching, including funding, placements, QTS skills tests and career prospects visit our teach site.

Entry requirements

2017 entry requirements

All applicants need GCSE mathematics and English language at grade C or above or equivalent*. We will consider applicants who are in the process of obtaining the relevant GCSEs.

You must also

• hold an honours degree (normally 2.2 or above) or equivalent, which includes substantial elements of history

• successfully complete QTS skills tests in numeracy and literacy as designated by the National College for Teaching and Leadership

• complete a declaration of criminal convictions and health check forms

You are encouraged to gain experience of schools through direct observation of teaching and learning and/or by working with young people in history studies-related or other educational activities.

If you are shortlisted, we will invite you to a selection event, and you should bring a passport or photo driving license with you. You can bring other forms of photo ID for the selection event, but if you do, you will still need to present valid identity documents required by the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) at your pre-course day. View our selection event guidance to ensure you understand the selection process.

If English is not your first language you must have an IELTS score of 7.0 with a minimum of 6.5 in all skills or equivalent. For equivalents see our English language entry requirements web page.

We welcome applications from people seeking a career change, and we actively encourage applications from those groups under-represented in teacher education, in order to ensure that the teaching profession represents the diverse nature of contemporary UK society. You may also be able to claim credit points which can reduce the amount of time it takes to complete your qualification at Sheffield Hallam. Find out more

* GCSE mathematics and English equivalents are

• 12 level 2 credits from an Access course

• equivalency test from www.equivalencytesting.co.uk

Course structure

Full-time – one year
Starts September

Typical modules may include


• developing and reflecting on professional practice in secondary history education • developing and reflecting on professional practice • school based 'block' placements

We prepare you for your work in schools with a programme of support and training in the University. Your two block placements take place in two different schools and usually require some travelling within the region.

  • two written assignments of 4000 words each
  • formal classroom observations
  • professional development portfolio (PDP)
  • professional studies tasks


After graduating you have excellent career prospects. Over 96 per cent of our PGCE graduates are teaching or in further study within six months of graduating. All history trainees who applied for teaching posts in 2014/15 were successful in gaining one.

Some graduates may choose to continue with further study or find alternative employment in education-related fields.


Home / EU student

Please note tuition fees may increase in each subsequent academic year of your course, subject to government regulations on fee increases and in line with inflation. More information can be found in the ‘Tuition Fee Increases’ section of our Fees Regulations (PDF, 2.10 MB)

2016/17 academic year

Typically £9,000 for the course

For the course fee and further information on scholarships please visit our fees and funding pages.

2017/18 academic year

Typically £9,250 for the course

International student

Additional course costs

This link allows you to view estimated costs associated with the main activities on specific courses. These are estimates and, as such, are only an indication of additional course costs. Actual costs can vary greatly depending on the choices you make during your course.

Additional costs information

How to apply

To apply for this course visit UCAS Teacher Train

Any offer of a place to study is subject to your acceptance of the University’s Terms and Conditions and student Regulations.

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