Entry requirements

You are normally required to have at least a 2:2 honours degree (or equivalent from a university outside the UK) in a subject that is related to the subject you intend to teach.

IELTS: 6.5 overall with no element less than 5.5.

You will need to have achieved Grade 4 (or C) or above in GCSE Mathematics and English Language or equivalent qualifications.

As part of the application process for this programme, you will be required to attend an interview.

You will also need to demonstrate competence in Fundamental English and mathematics by the end of the course. This is a new DfE requirement which replaces the QTS skills tests in literacy and numeracy.

If you accept an offer with us you will also be required to successfully complete Occupational Health and Disclosure Barring Service (DBS) Enhanced Disclosure checks.

Apply for this course through DfE Apply and select Provider Code R12 and course History (V1X1).

Months of entry


Course content

Our PGCE Secondary Education with History addresses all aspects of secondary history education, and enables you to benefit from tutors whose research directly informs course content.

This Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) Secondary History course leads to the award of Qualified Teacher Status (QTS), qualifying you to teach the 11-18 age group in secondary schools in England and Wales.

Our history programme is designed to develop practitioners so that they can excel in any teaching context. A love of history is at the heart of what we do and is evident in all aspects of the training year.

We ensure that the right space and guidance is there for trainees who arrive with differing experiences of history and education so that everyone can develop the right subject knowledge and pedagogical content knowledge.

Sessions include:

  • how to teach pupils about causation, change and continuity, similarity and difference, and difficult concepts
  • how to develop pupils’ evidential thinking and chronological understanding
  • a clear focus on planning, moving from creation of individual activities, to lessons and sequences of lessons designed to support pupils’ effective learning of history
  • making big decisions about the curriculum, e.g. which period of history to teach and when to teach it. In order to do this, the history tutors team work closely with mentors in schools, including school visits and training to ensure our high professional standards are maintained.

The tutor team are passionate about what they do, have a vast range of experience and have strong national and international reputations for their work, both as classroom history teachers and teacher educators. During the year we draw on our numerous contacts and their expertise; we have leading history teachers contribute to sessions, and often work with organisations such as the UCL Centre for Holocaust Education and the National Archives. This ensures that your thinking and practice is informed by those at the leading edge of the profession.

Furthermore we organise trips to consider history learning in different contexts, as well as the value of local history and leading effective trips. In recent years we have taken our cohorts to Windsor Castle, to work with the Royal Archives there (including an exclusive tour) and we frequently work with the Museum of English Rural Life.

Our course combines research and practice from the very beginning, developed through a huge amount of classroom-based teaching and subsequent reflection.


Placements enable you to develop the skills and knowledge valued and desired by employers - you will build your confidence in the classroom and gain practical teaching experience. Placements also provide you with the opportunity to connect with potential employers and build your professional network.

At Secondary level, we have strong relationships with around 90 schools in the local and surrounding area. It is a testament to the strength of these partnerships and the regard with which our graduates are held, that 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 contexts 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 small groups and whole classes
  • planning and teaching elements of lessons and whole lessons
  • reflecting on and evaluating your teaching
  • receiving feedback on your teaching
  • gaining experience in the range of responsibilities of the classroom teacher.

Climate and sustainability education

At the University of Reading we believe that climate and sustainability education is everyone’s responsibility. This is why we have set out our vision that all initial teacher trainees should be able to access training that empowers them to effectively incorporate climate education within their teaching across all levels and subjects as part of our National Climate Education Action Plan.

Across all of our Initial Teacher Education (ITE) programmes at the Institute of Education, you will learn about:

  • what is happening to our climate, how to help children learn about climate and sustainability in an age-appropriate and accessible way, and how to develop your own positioning as a teacher
  • climate justice, the impact of current and future changes to our environment and climate on ourselves and others and implications for teachers
  • how to translate knowledge and theory into change and personal action through building climate and sustainability education into your planning, teaching, and children’s learning.

Visit Partnering for the Planet to find out more about the University of Reading’s world-leading work in climate science.


98% of our research is of international standing (REF 2021, combining 4*, 3* and 2* submissions – Education).

For more information, please visit the Institute of Education website.

Fees and funding

New UK/Republic of Ireland students: £9,250

New international students: £22,350

Tuition fee information

The fees listed are for full-time study, unless otherwise stated. Fee information will be confirmed in offer letters sent out to successful applicants. You can find further information, including information for part-time study, through our dedicated fees and funding page.

EU student fees

With effect from 1 August 2021, new EU students will pay international tuition fees. For exceptions, please read the UK government’s guidance for EU students.

Additional costs

Some courses will require additional payments for field trips and extra resources. You will also need to budget for your accommodation and living costs. See our information on living costs for more details.

Financial support for your studies

You may be eligible for a scholarship or bursary to help pay for your study. Students from the UK may also be eligible for a student loan to help cover these costs. See our fees and funding information for more information on what's available.

The Department for Education (DfE) also offer a range of scholarships and bursaries. To find out if you may be eligible, visit their bursaries and scholarships webpage.

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

  • PGCE
    full time
    10 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification

Course contact details

Global Recruitment Team