Geography PGCE

This one year programme leads to a PGCE, recommendation for QTS and 60 credits at Master's level.

Programme overview

There are many visions of Geography that are debated, including what should be part of the Geography National Curriculum.

You’ll engage with these debates and develop your own clear vision of Geography. This process is an essential element in your professional development and will help you to establish confidence and competence.

By the end of the programme you’ll be confident and creative, able to teach geography to 11-19 year olds. The programme will also prepare you for playing an active and innovative leadership role in a Geography department.

What you will learn

First stage

You’ll build confidence in what being a geography teacher involves. University sessions include lesson planning, learning theories and young people’s geographies.

You’ll also have guided lesson observations in schools. A variety of effective classroom practices are modelled in these sessions with practical applications in schools always at the forefront. There are opportunities for collaborative working with other student teachers and practitioners in schools.

Middle stage

The focus of the middle stage of the course is on deepening your understanding of issues of learning including:

  • meeting the needs of different learners
  • developing a meaningful geography curriculum.

You’ll undertake a second, longer, placement which allows you to use and develop the ‘building blocks’ from the first stage.

Final stage

In the final stages there are opportunities for you to develop wider perspectives on your work as a geography teacher. You’ll consider how the subject plays an important part in educational debates and developments. These will allow you to develop your own geographical interests in more depth.


Opportunities may include: 

  • A residential field trip dealing with practical aspects of running a school trip.

Experiences in school


There will be a short primary school experience during the PGCE year. This work allows you to understand the child's experience before they go into secondary school. 

Placement one

During the first term, you begin with preliminary visits to a secondary school. These visits will help prepare you for a shorter placement in that school.

Placement two

In the spring term, you will be on placement in a different secondary school. This placement will last the duration of the spring term.

Placement three

You will have another placement in the third term, possibly in a different school again.


You will benefit greatly from having your placements spread across different schools. They will provide you with the opportunity to:

  • compare and contrast your experiences
  • face different challenges and achieve different triumphs
  • see different teaching styles
  • learn how you can adapt to different situations.

By the end of your third teaching placement, you will have developed into a confident teacher with your own teaching style.

We will support you throughout your teaching experiences and you have a mentor in school. These specially trained teachers are committed to developing your practice in the classroom.

Contact us

Due to the COVID19 pandemic and in line with government policy, some of our PGCE team are working remotely so are not contactable by telephone.  Please contact us by email so we can assist.

Initial Teacher Education (PGCE and School Direct) Office
Phone: +44 (0) 117 331 4492

School of Education 

University of Bristol 
35 Berkeley Square 
Bristol, BS8 1JA

More contact details


Find out about available funding to help you get into teaching

Your tutors

The tutor for Geography are Dr Nicola Warren-Lee and Ms Celia Tidmarsh

Who this course is for

If you are passionate about the world and the people within it and want to inspire young people then this is the course for you. 

If you do not have a degree in Geography, we will still consider you if you have a degree that is at least 50% geographical in nature and is backed up by a strong grade in A-level Geography. 

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