Qualifications for Geography Teachers

Chartered Geographer (Teacher)

Led by the Royal Geographical Society (with IGB), Chartered Geographer (Teacher) is the only ongoing professional accreditation linked to CPD in Geography and is relevant to the TDA framework of professional and occupational standards for teachers. CGeog (Teacher) can support your application for a leadership or Advanced Teacher role and enhances your career portfolio and employability.

If you have a geography degree or equivalent, have been teaching geography for at least six years, have an ongoing commitment to CPD and embed your professional development in your teaching, you are an ideal candidate for Chartered Geographer (Teacher). For further information visit the RGS-IBG website or contact Claire Wheeler at cgeogteacher@rgs.org.

MA in Geography Education

Run by the Institute of Education, University of London, this is the only dedicated Masters degree for geography educators. It is available to anyone with an interest in geography education and many students are practicing teachers or involved in geography education. The course can be taken entirely online, or in combination with face-to-face sessions, and takes one year full-time or two years part-time.

For further information including course content, eligibility and fees, visit the IOE website.

Master of Arts in Applied Professional Studies in Education (MA APSE)

The Sheffield University MA in Applied Professional Studies in Education is an exciting new programme which is run in partnership with nine subject associations (including the GA) and local authorities. It is supported by the Training and Development Agency for Schools as part of its Postgraduate Professional Development (PPD) programme.

All students on the APSE course are entitled to free GA membership. Find out more about the MA on the University of Sheffield website.

SSAT CPD in collaboration with the GA

There is a strong synergy between the SSAT Lead Practitioner (LP) award and the GA’s Quality Mark (QM). Both awards recognise teaching quality and educational leadership and require evidence of impact on other professionals and learners. At secondary level the QM is awarded to a school with a geography department that places emphasis on quality of curriculum, teaching, pupil outcomes and team leadership. The LP is awarded to the individual and places emphasis on leadership processes, reflections upon these and impacts upon others, including beyond the department or school. Together they are a powerful force for supporting high quality leadership and outstanding geography.

More information here

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M. Bosworth Guest

Dear Sirs,

Would a geography teacher who has qualified and taught geography in India be accepted as a geography teacher in the U.K.?

I look forward to hearing from you.

Yours faithfully,

M. P. Bosworth.

John Lyon

John Lyon GA Staff

Dear M.P. Bosworth
In England, it could be appropriate for you to join an Overseas Trained Teacher Programme (OTTP). As you have qualified as a teacher overseas, and outside the European Economic Area (EEA), you may be eligible to work in England as a temporary, unqualified teacher for up to four years while you achieve qualified teacher status (QTS). Currently, this programme is only available in England. When you have found a teaching position in a school, the Overseas Trained Teacher Programme (OTTP) will provide you with an individual training and assessment programme. This will ultimately lead to your qualification to teach in England permanently. A link to find out more is to be found at the following link;

This TDA website is a good place to start for advice. It's certainly worth checking out their website if you haven't been there already. It is general advice rather than geography specific but gives lots of detail, especially about the various routes you can take into teaching. You could try this link where you can call someone for specific advice


Or there is also this one which is more general


So, that's a bit of a quick start guide -have a look see what you think and get back to me if you need more info.


hannah Guest

I want to become a geography teacher when i'm older, what qualifications do I need? gcse and a level please.

John Lyon

John Lyon GA Staff

Hi Hannah

You ask about wanting to become a geography teacher when you are older. As teaching is a graduate profession you will need to think about the requirements you need to get to the university of your choice. That generally means minimum grade B’s at GCSE in at least five subjects, but ideally A or A* in your key subjects and then high enough grades at A level to get into university. Entry requirements differ depending on the course you want to do. I think the best place to go to look at Universities is the Royal Geographical Society website for their Directory of universities. It is the essential guide to Geography in Higher Education in the UK. http://www.rgs.org/OurWork/Study Geography/Study/Directory of University Geography Courses.htm

To be a geography teacher you will need to consider the degree you are going to take. Whether you take a pure geography degree or not depends on the route you take into teaching and there are a number of different ones, as you’ll see eg PGCE, GTP and a range of others (which the Department for Education site explains). The government are looking to make changes so the picture is potentially quite changeable at present. Unfortunately there isn’t funding support for any PGCE course so lust as you do with a degree you will need to take a loan.

Just as an example this Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU) link begins to explain the funding situation.

PGCE entry requirements for MMU are listed here

With regard to the type of degree you need to access a PGCE course, some universities are very specific about needed a geography degree Sheffield University for instance) while others, such as MMU, do not require a straight geography degree as a requirement for the course. Something like Environmental studies is perfectly acceptable. I would advise you to check each provider individually for their requirements. As another example the Institute of Education (London) website cites Environmental Science as a suitable qualifying degree - see

Once you have a degree you will then need to decide on the route into teaching which suits your circumstances. I've said before that the best place to start is the Department for Education website. Although the advice is general rather than related to geography it does have lots of detail, especially about the various routes you can take into teaching. Follow this to the ‘Get into teaching’ page

This link gives various options http://www.education.gov.uk/get-into-teaching/teacher-training-options.aspx

Or you could try this link where you can call someone for specific advice

Check this lot out Hannah, see if it's of any use and get back if you want more info



Ali Guest

i didn't find what i was looking for a as student wanting to be a geography teacher

GA Member

Hi Ali

You might find our Become a Teacher area more useful...

Good luck!



Emily Guest

I am a trained teacher but am interested in being able to offer a new subject. Geography was always of interest to me in school - are there any subject enhancement courses available?


James Guest

Hi there! I will be attending College as of September and am currently looking at degrees and am wondering if a BA in City and Regional Planning would allow me to be able to do a PGCE?

Kindest Regards,

Milan Recknagel

Milan Recknagel GA Staff

Hi James,

Yes it will just remember you need teaching experience too to enter a PGCE course, so see if you can do a placement at a local school. It will be better to have experience in two schools (this would be unpaid).



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