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Course content

The University of Sunderland is the longest established provider of IT and Computer Science Education.

Course overview

The PGCE Computer Science equips you to share your interest in computer science with young people and inspire them to realise their potential. A growing number of pupils are choosing to take computer science at GCSE and A Level, which means there is a rising demand for great computer science teachers.

Sunderland has a heritage of teacher training which dates back to 1908. The course prepares you for Qualified Teacher Status (QTS), which is an essential qualification for teaching in state-maintained schools.

This programme is also offered as part of our School Direct route.

Given the current shortage of computer science teachers, the Government is offering extra incentives to attract more graduates into teaching the subject. Financial incentives are available for those who train in 2016/17, go to The Department for Education website for more information.

The course has two strands. The first strand is based at the University and provides a solid grounding in theory and practical issues. The second strand is based in partner schools where you will undertake practical teaching experience.

In addition to Government bursaries, students on this course are also eligible for many of the University of Sunderland scholarships. Full details of the Sunderland scholarships available to you can be found on the Entry requirements tab of this course.

Course content

This course blends academic studies at the University with hands-on experience at our partner schools.

PGCE Course content
September – January
-Full-time teaching practice placement (school or college)
-Master's Module 1: Development of Learning: A Case Study – you will identify an educational intervention and explore its use, impact and influence upon the learning of one or more pupils
-Subject Studies related module

January – June
-Full-time teaching practice placement (school or college)
-Master's Module 2: Negotiated Individual Study in Education – you will undertake a piece of action research into an educational issue
-Subject Studies related module

Facilities & location

The University of Sunderland has excellent facilities on-campus and strong links with schools and colleges in the area.

Course location
This course is based on the banks of the River Wear at The Sir Tom Cowie Campus at St Peter’s. When it comes to IT provision you can take your pick from over a hundred PCs in the St Peter’s Library, three computer laboratories, and wireless access zones. If you have any problems, just ask the friendly helpdesk team.

Secondary partnership
The University of Sunderland forms part of a secondary partnership that includes more than 230 schools and colleges. This means that there are wide opportunities for placements during the professional year.

Sunderland’s outstanding IT facilities include the David Goldman Informatics Centre, which has hundreds of computers so it’s easy to find a free workstation with the software you need. In addition, the Remote Global Desktop Service allows access to our software whether you're using the WiFi in our halls of residence or you're at home.

We host high-performance computing platforms, including a Beowulf cluster and a grid distributed system, for concurrent processing of complex computational tasks. We also have the equipment and licenses for our own public mobile cellular network.
-We are the longest established provider of IT and Computer Science Education both at Undergraduate level and Postgraduate level in the North East
-Although we offer both PGCE and School Direct courses, we offer the only non-School Direct PGCE within the North East
-If you need to undertake a Subject Knowledge Enhancement courses we offer one which provides seamless transition onto our Programmes (we are the only North East provider)
-We have good links to Sunderland Software City which helps to inform our Trainee Teachers about the Employment opportunities available in Computing for the pupils they will teach

University Library Services
We’ve got thousands of books and e-books on education and computing topics, with many more titles available through the inter-library loan service. We also subscribe to a comprehensive range of print and electronic journals. Resources include the EBSCO Professional Development Collection, which is a specialised collection of over 500 education journals.

Employment & careers

Everyone who wants to teach in a state-maintained school in England and Wales needs Qualified Teacher Status (QTS). This course leads to QTS and, on successful completion, you will become a Newly Qualified Teacher (NQT). The starting salary of an NQT is over £22,000, with extra if you work in London. Teachers see their salaries rise by an average of 30 per cent after their first four years in the job.

Visit the Computer Science - PGCE page on the University of Sunderland website for more details!

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