PGCE (Secondary): Mathematics

London secondary schools need good Mathematics teachers: the job is challenging, demanding and rewarding. This programme prepares you particularly for the demands of multi-ethnic London comprehensive schools.

1 year full-time.
UCAS Teacher Training code


Financial Support
See our tuition fees.
Many trainees are offered appointments in their teaching practice school, and promotion prospects are good.

The programmes have a good range of materials including textbooks, workcards, reference texts, practical resources, and ICT

Contact the Department
Contact Patricia Alexander +44 (0)20 7919 7071.
About the department
Educational Studies
Application enquiries
UK and EU students admissions or call +44 (0)20 7919 7766. International (non-EU) students or call +44 (0)20 7919 7702.
Visit us
Find out about how you can visit Goldsmiths at one of our open days or come on a campus tour.

You need to be well-organised, a good manager of your own time, and able to set priorities and meet deadlines.

You need to be resilient, tolerant and understanding of the attitudes of today’s teenagers, and with a commitment to young people as well as your subject.

Experience of working with teenagers, such as running a youth group, could be an advantage. You should visit a secondary school before interview.

What you study

In the autumn term the emphasis is on getting to know the different parts of the school Mathematics curriculum and possible teaching approaches. You review your maths experience, identify any gaps and begin to do something about them.

We look at the possibilities of using Information Technology in teaching Mathematics, and explore different approaches to assessing pupils.

An important feature of the term is developing your skills in posing questions, and this is followed through in the first assignment, which is built round pupils working investigatively.

Early in the first term you are based mainly in College, but with at least one day a week in school. After half term you spend most of your time in school, with one day a week back in College.

Following the Christmas break, you spend almost all your time in a second school, as you develop your skills in planning, teaching and managing whole classes, taking responsibility for them over a sustained period of time.

This includes aspects of assessing, recording and reporting on pupils’ attainment, and catering for a range of achievement levels.

You learn about ‘whole-school’ issues as well as Mathematics teaching, and are expected to contribute to the pastoral life of the school. You do an assessed project on a whole-school or cross-curricular theme.

Later, Mathematics sessions at College focus on broadening your knowledge of resources for teaching, longer term planning, and the post-16 curriculum, though you may already have done some sixth form teaching if it was available in your first school placement.

Additional costs

You will have to cover your travel costs to your school placements.

We produce reading packs electronically and in hard copy format. There’s a small charge for the hard copy reading packs. You may also be asked to contribute towards trips and some materials for your modules.

How to Apply

Further Information

Click for further information on:


Home/EU students
+44 (0)20 7919 7766 

International (non-EU) students
+44 (0)20 7919 7702

You can apply for PGCE programmes through UCAS Teacher Training.

Our institution code is G56 GOLD.

When to apply

There’s no closing date for applications, but we recommend you apply early to make sure your application is considered.

Please note: the Department of Educational Studies belongs to a European teacher training group. If you have A-level-equivalent qualifications from a country other than the UK (Baccalauréat, Abitur etc), providing a breakdown of your marks for each subject on the UCAS Teacher Training form will speed up the processing of your application. 

International (non-EU) students 

As an international (non-EU) student you apply through the UCAS Teacher Training in the same way as home and EU students. As well as UK qualifications, we accept many equivalent overseas qualifications.

To check to see if your qualifications are of an equivalent standard to the UK academic entry requirements for this PGCE programme, we recommend you contact UK NARIC.

You are also required to provide scanned copies of your qualifications (alongside official translations where original documents are not in English) within 14 days of being requested.

Please note: International students who are applying need to bear in mind that they are required to be in the UK to attend interviews, sit Professional Skills Tests and complete work experience (for PGCE Primary Programmes).  Please plan ahead to reduce your travel time and expenses.

International students are also not eligible to apply for School Direct Routes. We suggest they contact if they have any questions.


Entrance requirements

Goldsmiths will only accept as passes Grades A, B and C at GCSE, conducted by an approved examination board. 

As well as UK qualifications, we accept many equivalent overseas qualifications. To check to see if your qualifications are of an equivalent standard to the UK academic entry requirements for this PGCE programme we recommend that you contact UK NARIC.

You'll need to enter the details of your relevant qualifications on your PGCE application form.  You are also required to provide scanned copies of your qualifications (alongside official translations where original documents are not in English) within 14 days of being requested. 

If English isn’t your first language you will also be required to have a recognised qualification in English Language Proficiency.

If you don’t have a first degree awarded by a generally recognised institution in the UK, please note that the award of the PGCE and QTS does not in itself confer graduate status for the purposes of salary. Salaries in such cases are determined by employing authorities and not by the College or by the relevant government department. 

Please note, this course attracts applicants of a strong calibre. Consequently competition for places is very high. Students lacking a good honours degree in a relevant subject, significant experience both in the industry and in schools need to be aware that they may not be called to interview.

Programme specific entrance requirements

The extent of mathematical understanding you bring to the programme is important. You should have a degree in Mathematics or a related subject. Engineers can generally offer enough Mathematics, as can actuaries and physicists. Those with qualifications in Business, Accounting or Computing need to be able to show a substantial amount of Mathematics in their degree. It is also important that you have some knowledge and experience of UK secondary schools. Some applicants may be referred to a TDA subject enhancement course.

Student and graduate profiles


"As well as being one of the hardest things I have ever done, it has also been one of the most life expanding and rewarding. It is amazing to look back now to the beginning of the course and see how far I have come in terms of my teaching knowledge and skills, and most importantly in terms of my own confidence in standing in front of a class of up to 30 children to teach them about the world."


"I am currently training to be a primary school teacher. Having just finished my first placement, coming back to Goldsmiths for lectures felt like coming home. Once qualified, I hope to teach in the local area and to be able to continue to promote a love for learning that Goldsmiths has instilled in me."


"The flexible route gives two main benefits: the chance to select my own speed of study, and the chance to do most of the academic work on a self-study/correspondence basis. And this is all supported by a personalised course tutor and a programme of college-based workshops and tutorials. The school experience is a testing leap into the unknown for which I am glad I have the support of the experienced staff at Goldsmiths."


"Before starting at Goldsmiths, I was working in a special needs school for children with Asperger’s and autism. I always knew that I wanted to be a drama teacher, and Goldsmiths offered the course that I wanted to do, in a place that I had always wanted to work. The PGCE course is very intense and requires a lot of hard work, but I am very pleased to have done it. It was the best decision I have ever made. I have lived in halls whilst completing my PGCE and have made some good friends for life."


"I always felt that there was a focus on my personal development rather than just the skills and knowledge required for the profession. There was a unified process in which you could scaffold, experiment and analyse various situations, which I feel truly prepared me for the educational environment. This was crucial in my development as a practitioner and has allowed me to confidently explore, deliver and reflect on my practice both in and outside the classroom."


"While I was doing my PGCE, I was a single parent and had an array of posts which included EAL teaching, Panjabi teaching and interpreting for local councils. Despite this I still managed to do my PGCE and I believe with the amount of time I had, if I can do it then anyone can! Finally having a recognised degree and qualified occupation gives me a sense of confidence, security and achievement along with greater financial benefit."


"This PGCE has been one of the most challenging things I have done in my life – it is fulfilling but not easy. I have taken a slightly unusual path and Goldsmiths have truly excelled themselves in ensuring that I have been able to focus on this challenge with no unnecessary complications in order that I could give it my best and achieve my goals. I cannot praise Goldsmiths enough for being so understanding and for their practical approach towards creating a route of study that allows people to become qualified teachers while maintaining their busy personal lives."

Programme specification

To find out more about this degree, including details about the ways you'll be assessed and information about our marking criteria, you can download the programme specification.

Content last modified: 19 Sep 2014

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