English with Drama PGCE

This specialist PGCE runs alongside the English PGCE, and will equip you with a range of approaches to teaching English and drama.

You will explore ways in which dramatic activity in the English classroom or drama studio enhances and supports the teaching and learning of English, and look at drama as a separate subject.

As well as reading about the theory of teaching and learning and reflecting on it through discussion, you will be involved in practical teaching and lesson-planning activities. We arrange some activities in collaboration with organisations such as the British Film Institute.

A series of tasks will help you to reflect critically on your own learning, as well as children's learning and development in English, drama and media. A selection of these will make up a portfolio on which you will be assessed.

Placements are in a range of London schools and we hope to be able to offer you experience of teaching the whole ability and age range across your two school placements. Many of our schools offer opportunities to work with pupils who have English as an additional language or special educational needs.

At the end of the PGCE year, you will work with others to produce assessed theatre in education (TiE) presentations for children in partnership schools. This will develop your understanding of how drama and theatre can be applied to teaching and learning.

Teachers of English with drama often work across two departments so you will need to be diplomatic and flexible.

We will need to judge whether, by the end of the programme, you will be able to reach the required standards. These cover professional values and practice ; subject knowledge; knowledge of theory and research; lesson planning and record keeping skills; classroom management; your understanding of assessment and pupil progress; and the ability to reflect critically on your own practice and progress.


This programme has been designed to enable all students to demonstrate that they have met the Teachers' standards across Key Stages 3 and 4 (11–16 age range).

Wherever possible, we provide opportunities for trainees to gain experience at Key Stage 5 (post-16 age range), even where their qualification is for 11 to 16 teaching.


In your placement schools or colleges, your responsibilities will be equivalent to those of a practising teacher, but on a reduced timetable. The working day starts at approximately 8.30am and ends at 5.00pm. Sometimes it is shorter, but you will need to plan your life to reflect the demands of the school day and the school term dates, which may not be the same as the published UCL Institute of Education (IOE) term dates.

Days spent at the Institute include keynote lectures, subject lectures, seminars, workshops, tutorials and directed study days. In addition, time in the evenings and at weekends is needed for further study and planning.


You will be assessed in two ways:

  • on your practical teaching and your progress in achieving the Teachers' Standards at a level consistent with what could reasonably be expected of a student teacher.
  • on assignments, portfolio tasks and, for some subjects, practical projects.

We will monitor your progress throughout the PGCE, and you will record this in a Career Entry and Development Profile statement. This will form part of a portfolio that links into the induction year (your first year of teaching) and your continuing professional development.

Subject entry requirements

  • You should have a degree in English or drama that incorporates elements of language and literature.
  • If your degree is in another subject, you should have substantial work experience relevant to teaching English and drama.
  • All applicants must have practical experience of leading drama with young people
  • Ability to communicate clearly and effectively, to be well organised and receptive, and to work as part of a team
  • An interest in young people and to be able to share your enthusiasm for English and drama
  • Adaptability and the ability to work under pressure.

Where do our students go?

English and Drama PGCE graduates are currently working as:

  • English teachers in schools and heads of English departments and faculties in schools
  • senior leaders in schools
  • mentors of English PGCE students.

Visa Information

This programme is suitable for international students on a Tier 4 visa - study must be full-time, face-to-face, starting September

For more information about visas please see our guide to visas for study (pdf, 0.32mb). You can also contact (by email) the international support team for advice.