University of Sheffield

University of Sheffield

Secondary Education (Geography)

Geography is an important and dynamic subject and has an important role in educating young people to live successfully in a diverse society and a changing world. This course will help you to develop teaching strategies and skills so that you can use your enthusiasm to interest and motivate pupils. It is important to make learning enjoyable and to inform and hopefully inspire those you teach.

Sheffield offers excellent opportunities for Geography PGDE student teachers. The Geography PGDE course is regarded very highly both locally and nationally. The course is planned to promote teaching as a research-based profession in which critical understanding is developed alongside practical competence. Alongside this, several of the schools supporting Geography student teachers have been in the forefront of geographical education in this country for many years, and many are involved in innovative approaches to education.

You’ll learn through seminars, group work, tutorials, individual consultations, practical activities. You’ll spend 24 of the 36 weeks in schools.

As well as a PGDE qualification and Qualified Teacher Status, you’ll gain 120 credits at Masters level if you successfully complete the course. You can put these towards study for an MA Applied Professional Studies in Education.

Entry requirements

A good honours degree (minimum 2:2) in one of our teaching subjects or with a strong element of a teaching subject. You also need grade C in English Language and Mathematics at GCSE, or the equivalent. You need to pass the professional skills tests before the start of the course.

We are looking to recruit student teachers with a Geography degree or a joint degree where Geography is at least 50%. This is an academic course and we look at degree classification and also take into account A-level grades. It is essential for applicants to have a real enthusiasm for Geography and some experience of working with young people in the 11-19 age group. We expect applicants to have spent time in a secondary school either working, volunteering or as a visitor and to have spent some time with the Geography department if possible. We look favourably on people who have taken the opportunity to travel either before University or after graduating.

Course modules

The Geography curriculum course aims to develop student teachers´ confidence to enable them to teach in a wide variety of situations. In some university-based sessions the emphasis is on developing strategies for whole class teaching. In other sessions alternative teaching and learning strategies are introduced including the use of group work, simulation games and role-play exercises. There is emphasis in the course on pupils´ active engagement in the learning of Geography and reference to the needs of pupils aged 11-19 at all levels of attainment. The course takes into account the requirements of examination specifications at GCSE and A Level and the Geography National Curriculum, and enables student teachers to develop a critical understanding of recent developments. The theoretical foundations which underlie approaches to teaching and learning are considered, particularly with regard to how these relate to Geography teaching in schools.

The use and application of digital technology is a major feature of the work of teachers and there will be opportunities for student teachers to gain practical experience in this area.The course will also help student teachers to develop expertise in fieldwork activities and working with pupils outside the classroom. All students will have the opportunity to attend a weekend course at Cranedale Field Studies centre in Yorkshire to find out more about teaching Geography in the field. Some student teachers will also have the opportunity to participate in field trips organised by schools.

Geographically, Sheffield and its surroundings provide an interesting area for local studies and field-work. The border of the Peak District National Park is within five miles of the University of Sheffield and the towns and cities of South Yorkshire provide good examples of urban renewal and redevelopment. Furthermore, the national headquarters of the Geographical Association (GA) is in Sheffield and students are expected to become active members of the GA.

Assessment methods



Please note the fees for 2018/19 are still being confirmed. The fees below for 2017/18 should be used as a guide.


Qualification Study mode Start month Fee Course duration
PGCE Full-time September 2018 £ 9,250 per Academic year (Home)
PGCE Full-time September 2018 £ 16,000 per Academic year (International)

Campus details

Campus name Town Postcode Region Main campus Campus Partner
Main Site Sheffield S10 2TN Yorkshire and the Humber

Get in touch

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Key information

Reception, School of Education
Telephone number: 
0114 222 8080/8081