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PGCE Secondary History


Initial Teacher Education

PGCE Secondary History
School of Education
Campus or location
Sion Hill
Course length
One year full time.
UCAS codes
Institution Code: B20
Course Code: 37S8
Campus Code: A,BSU

Entry requirements

You’ll need to be well suited to the teaching profession both personally and academically.

See "What we look for in potential students" for more information.

Make a difference to pupils’ lives by becoming a Secondary teacher through our highly regarded teacher training course.

  • Learn from staff who are experts in a range of educational theories – in an institution that has been training outstanding teachers for over 70 years.
  • Become a knowledgeable and resilient education professional who has developed your own resources, techniques and individual teaching style.
  • What you’ll learn has been co-created with our partner schools to meet their needs, placing you in an excellent position for future employment.

Skilled teachers make a difference to the lives of those they teach. This teacher training course is designed to enable you to become a qualified, passionate teacher of History in Secondary schools.

We encourage you to embrace the professional qualities and attributes that successful teachers need, including:

  • the ability to inspire, engage and motivate learners in your subject
  • a commitment to inclusion and your pupils’ wellbeing
  • impeccable personal and professional conduct, and
  • the ability to reflect on your own progress and continue to develop.

With our support, you’ll become an empathetic and skilled teaching professional who is responsive to the needs of all pupils. You’ll have a positive impact on those you teach – from the beginning of your training within schools.

Share your passion for History

Learn how to inspire, engage and motivate learners in History using teaching methods that enable pupils to become successful independent learners, excited and challenged by the possibilities that History brings.

In University subject sessions we model ways to instil a love of learning History, through engaging activities that promote collaboration and discussion, which you'll continue to develop in the classroom. Sessions focus on the importance of both historical knowledge and skills, which are key to promoting quality pupil learning.

These sessions are led not only by academic staff but a wide range of History experts. You’ll engage with History workshops led by the British Museum, National Archives and Holocaust Educational Trust, as well as participating in Museum-based teaching sessions.

What you'll learn


Explore the fundamentals of teaching through an integrated programme that encompasses both university and school-based training.

You’ll develop your understanding and practice through these core components:

  • Subject and curriculum knowledge
  • Behaviour management
  • Assessment of pupils
  • Planning for learning
  • Adaptive teaching and inclusion
  • Professional behaviours and responsibilities
  • How pupils learn
  • Pupil health and wellbeing

We’ll revisit these components to enable you to gain, apply and refine your knowledge and skills throughout the year.

Course components

The PGCE Secondary programme covers all subjects and is studied full-time over one academic year.

Your first school placement begins with familiarisation, where you observe your Training Mentors teaching the classes that you will eventually take over. You’ll teach parts of lessons before assuming responsibility for them. You’ll also learn about the curriculum in your subject, how schools work and how pupils make progress.

Throughout your training you’ll be supported by your Academic Tutor, who is a specialist in your subject. Your Academic Tutor nurtures and develops you as an individual and a professional, while working closely with your Training Mentors and Lead Trainers to provide vital support.

Your PGCE Secondary journey culminates in you developing independence and your own identity as a teacher. You’ll create your own resources, style and techniques for teaching, and build the confidence you need to bring your subject to life.

Throughout the year, you'll track and reflect on your experiences and gain evidence of your suitability to be recommended for Qualified Teacher Status (QTS).

How will I be taught?

Learn through doing – gain practical teaching experience (planning, assessment and the impact of these on pupils’ progress) during your placements in schools. Explore the professional role of a teacher, including safeguarding, working with colleagues and parents, taking responsibility for a tutor group, and extracurricular activities. Your Academic Tutor and Training Mentor will model good practice and provide regular feedback on your progress.

You’ll also learn through seminars, lectures and talks delivered by expert practitioners, with follow up question and answer sessions. You’ll be guided to reflect on your own progress and set targets, to read widely and to develop History subject knowledge. You’ll also learn from your peers – discussing what you’ve learned and sharing ideas with other BSTs as you develop your own identity as a teacher.

To find out more about how we teach and how you'll learn, please read our Learning and Teaching Delivery Statement.

How will I be assessed?

Throughout the programme, you’ll gather examples of practice to reflect your progress at each of the four review points during the course.

Your Training Mentor will observe you regularly during school training, and provide personalised feedback to enable you to succeed as a teacher.

You’ll write reflective reviews; these are designed to help you further your knowledge and skills and to become a reflective practitioner.

Your subject knowledge and fundamental skills in Maths and English will be monitored throughout the programme.

You’ll also submit two subject-focused assignments at Level 7 to gain 60 Master’s-level credits and demonstrate the critical and academic knowledge you’ve gained in your subject.

Course modules

This course offers or includes the following modules. The modules you take will depend on your pathway or course combination (if applicable) as well as any optional or open modules chosen. Please check the programme document for more information.

  • Establishing Positive Classroom Environments
  • How Pupils Learn: Supporting the retrieval of knowledge
  • Adaptive Teaching: Adapting resources to meet the needs of learners
  • Inspiring Learning: Using powerful analogies, illustrations, demonstrations and alternative learning spaces



As a graduate of our PGCE with a recommendation for Qualified Teacher Status (QTS), you can begin your teaching career right away.

During the course, we offer support with applications and interviews so that you can give your teaching career the best possible start.

As an Early Career Teacher, you’ll be supported by your new employing school for a further two years, after which you might work to become a Head of Department, Assistant Head, Deputy or Headteacher, or take on a more pastoral role such as Head of Year.

Adobe Creative Campus

Develop a wealth of indispensable digital skills that you can take into your future career. One of only three Adobe Creative Campuses in the UK, we provide all Bath Spa students with access to the full Adobe Creative Suite, giving you the tools to communicate creatively, whatever your course or chosen professional field.   

Facilities and resources

Where the subject is taught

As a Bath Spa Teacher, you'll learn in a variety of locations within our wide partnership, both at the University and in schools.

Your main campus will be Sion Hill. Teaching will take place in rooms equipped with relevant texts, equipment, training materials, and electronic resources.


You'll have access to a range of facilities, including our Libraries.

Open access computer facilities are available. The University’s Virtual Learning Environment (Ultra) provides remote access to a wide range of resources.


2024 entry
Student Annual tuition fee
UK full time £9,250
International full time £15,750

Interested in applying?

What we look for in potential students

Teachers are role models for their pupils and must act with integrity at all times, while having the highest expectations of themselves and their pupils. They forge positive professional relationships and engage with wider communities.

You’ll need to be suited to the teaching profession both personally and academically. We look for committed individuals with a professional approach and an exceptional work ethic. We value strong communication skills, adaptability and emotional resilience. Having a true passion for your subject will give you the edge.

In your application, you should detail why you want to work with children and young people, and what experience, if any, you have of this.

Academic requirements

In order to apply you'll need to have completed, or be in the final year of a UK degree (or an equivalent qualification). You'll need to have achieved, or be on track to achieve, a 2:2 or above in a single honours History degree. For those taking partial History degrees (over 50% History, post Medieval History) you'll also need to have achieved History A Level (or equivalent) at grade C or above. For those taking an International Politics/Politics degree, you'll need an A Level (or equivalent) at grade C or above.

You'll also need GCSE passes at grade 4/C or above (or recognised equivalents) in English and Mathematics.

If you don’t meet the entry requirements above, we may be able to accept your prior learning or experience from outside of formal education. See our Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL) page to learn more.

Non-academic requirements

Before being allowed to enrol, all teacher training applicants are required to complete a number of compulsory compliance checks, including:

  • Enhanced DBS check
    • The Disclosure and Barring Service check is a legal requirement for anyone coming into contact with children or young people. It usually takes a few weeks but this can be longer in the summer months. Overseas applicants will be requirement to complete a criminal record check.
  • Childrens' Barred List check
    • This check forms part of the Department for Education “Keeping Children Safe in Education” statutory guidance. Requests can sometimes be processed within the same working day. 
  • Prohibition from Teaching
    • The prohibition from teaching check is a requirement for all teaching staff in accordance with DfE guidance. 
  • Fitness to Train to Teach questionnaire
    • This is a compulsory requirement for anyone undertaking teacher training and may take up to eight weeks to clear.

You may also need to enrol in a Subject Knowledge Enhancement course.

How do I apply?

Ready to apply? Click the 'apply now' button in the centre of this page to apply through the Department for Education's application system. If you need more guidance, please head to our how to apply webpages.


Once your application has been received and assessed, and if it is successful in making it to the next stage of the application process, you'll be invited to attend an interview (these are currently held online). At the interview, we'll assess your suitability and passion for teaching. The interview will include a short teaching exercise and a discussion of educational issues. We'll ask you about your experience to-date of working with children and young people.

Contact us

PGCE Admissions Officer: 

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