Department of Education


Course Leader: Andrew Lowe

What does the Sussex ITE partnership offer?

You can apply directly to the university to study for the Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) specialising in Geography. Alternatively, many schools work in partnership with the University to offer School Direct places which also lead to a Geography PGCE award. Either route will prepare you, as a trainee teacher, to teach Geography at Key Stages 3 and 4 (11-16 years) with enhancement opportunities in the post-16 Geography curriculum.

This course can also be undertaken part-time over two years by suitable candidates. 

Successful trainees will be recommended for Qualified Teacher Status (QTS).

Why is Geography teacher education distinctive at Sussex?

We believe that Geography helps young people make sense of the world: from the fascinating and terrible power of earth-shaping forces, to the contemporary challenges of climate change, food security and energy choices, Geography provides the knowledge, understanding and skills to help pupils navigate their future. The importance of the subject is recognised by its inclusion in the English Baccalaureate, and its popularity evidenced by a continuing rise in Geography exam entries. Here at Sussex, our approach to the subject roots Geography education in real-world enquiry, decision-making and a commitment to out-of-classroom learning through which young people can become more aware of their place within their local, as well as their global, community.

The Sussex PGCE is designed to produce creative and inspiring, as well as highly skilled and rigorous, Geography teachers. The course will introduce you to a range of teaching and learning strategies, including the use of data handling (cartographic, numerical, visual, digital) and analytical skills which help to make Geography students the most employable graduates (Higher Education Careers Service Unit, May 2013).

Sessions taught at the University include opportunities for sharing experiences and classroom resources, as well as for drawing on local and national expertise. Sessions will be taught on campus, and also within partner schools and other off-campus locations. Fieldwork is an important part of this course, including a residential weekend which trainees are expected to participate in.

Teaching, learning and assessment

You will learn to be a Geography teacher through a combination of taught sessions at the University and school-led professional development and classroom practice. You will start your course with a 2-3 week induction at the University in September, which is followed by a programme of lectures, seminars and workshops every Friday. These involve presentations, group work, role play, classroom modelling and peer teaching for which you will explore ideas and approaches and reflect on your own experiences.

Over the course of the acdemic year, you will undertake two periods of professional practice in two different schools (these may vary slightly in length, but will equate to a minimum of 120 working days in total). You will be supported in your professional placements by a Geography specialist who will act as a mentor, offering you tutorial support and developing a programme of practice-based professional studies for you. Your progress will be assessed through observations, feedback and discussion. To this end, you will create and maintain a portfolio of evidence demonstrating how you have met the various Teacher's Standards.

You will engage with the theoretical foundations of classroom practice and demonstrate the depth of your professional knowledge by completing three academic assignments during the course.

Additional entry requirements

To be accepted on this course, you must have a good honours degree (2:2 or above) in Geography (or related subject), and a C or above at Geography A level (or equivalent qualification). Where applicants do not meet the normal requirements but are offered a place on the basis of other qualities - such as experience or skills - Subject Knowledge Enhancement course opportunities are available. 

How to apply

Applications for all Initial Teacher Education courses are made online via the Government's Department for Education websiteSee also our 'Applying' web page for a step-by-step process for how to apply to train to teach at Sussex.

All candidates offered a place on a teacher training course will be required to satisfactorily complete an Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check (formerly known as a CRB check), including a check of all cautions and warnings as well as convictions, before their place can be confirmed. The University will pay the costs of this check on your behalf.


See our Scholarships, fees and living costs web page for information on fees and eligibility for financial support. Specific information on bursaries, financial incentives and other sources of funding for Initial Teacher Education are available on our PGCE & School Direct Trainee Fees & Bursaries: 2023 and from the Department for Education.


See full details of the Secondary Geography PGCE course at Sussex on the Prospectus.

General enquiries about any ITE course, including application queries, should be directed to the ITE admissions team:

Specific course enquiries can be directed to the Course Leader: