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The Postgraduate Diploma in Education (Religious Education) leads to Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) and offers 120 credits towards our MA Teaching Studies. Our programme offers high quality training and support, which will prepare you to teach in the 11-18 age range and is run in close partnership with schools.

The School of Education at the University of Birmingham has a long tradition of delivering teacher training courses. Its teaching has been graded as 'outstanding' three times by Ofsted inspectors which affirms the University’s status as one of the UK’s leading institutions for excellence in teacher training. 

On our Postgraduate Diploma Secondary Education (Religious Education) programme you will be challenged to develop informed and justified decisions about how you approach your teaching, in order to enable you to continue to develop over your career. On successful completion of your PGDipEd and your NQT year, you may return to study with us on a part-time basis to complete your Masters in Teaching Studies

On the course you will develop a deep understanding of issues and complexities which surround the teaching and learning of religious education, religious studies and philosophy education. We wish to develop you as a thinking teacher who can be aware of a variety of effective ways to teach Religious Education and make informed decisions about how you work with students. The programme was cited as an example of good practice by the PSHE Association as it embeds whole school issues into its curriculum. 

The School of Education benefits from our unique collaboration with the University of Birmingham School as well as a wide range of partners, including mixed comprehensive, single sex, religious and selective schools and sixth form colleges. The diverse communities we serve will enrich your experience on the programme.

You may be eligible for bursaries of up to £9,000 (depending on qualifications) in line with the government’s priority to attract more well qualified Religious Education teachers.

Why teach religious education?

Find out more about the Beyond the Ordinary national campaign which highlights the benefits of a career in teaching religious education. On the My Future. My Career. My RE. website, you will also find a number of real life stories from individuals each have a different take on the knowledge and skills they gained through religious education.

Course details

At the University of Birmingham, our PGDipEd students undertake some pre-course study in the week before they start their academic sessions here on campus. This is so that students can be prepared for Post-Graduate University teaching and learning and start to engage in, and understand, the wider educational background linked to their chosen subject area. The link for the 2019-2020 RE PGDipED pre-course will show some of the tasks you might be asked to complete if you were accepted onto the PGDipED RE pathway. 

At the University of Birmingham we pride ourselves on supporting and nurturing the best Religious Education teachers, to make a real impact and difference to young learners lives. We believe that allowing you some time at the start of the course to complete independent study enables your development as engaged, reflective and driven student teachers.

The Initial Teacher Education course

The PGDipEd programme runs from early September to late June. You will undertake two substantial placements in schools – one in term one and one in terms two and three. Approximately two thirds of the year is spent in school and one third in University.

You will complete six modules, five of which require a written assignment. For the final module, University tutors and school-based mentors will share the assessment against the Teachers’ Standards for the award of QTS.

The programme includes the study of subject-based teaching methods as well as the study of broader whole school issues. The course will not pretend that teaching Religious Education is straightforward, because it is not! Our sessions will rarely be of the form of a lecture, instead we use activities and discussion as the main way of working. We will help you become aware of issues relating to planning lessons, assessment, the difference between telling students information and teaching students, how to provide learning experiences which meet the needs of students with different learning styles, how different approaches to teaching a topic can change the learning experience for students, how choice of teaching methods, resources and technology can change the sort of religious education with which students engage. Along the way we will, of course, also introduce you to the National Framework and local agreed syllabuses for religious education and you will have some opportunities to experience religion at first hand!

You will also get an opportunity to plan, resource and delivering a 6th form conference at the university of Birmingham for over 100 Year 12 and 13 pupils from local schools. This is a unique opportunity and experience and ensures you will leave your training year not only fully equipped to plan, resource and teach A Level but also with the skills of team work, planning for diversity and inclusion and the skills of conference management. 


Many local schools have a high regard for Birmingham Religious Education PGDipEd (QTS) students and we have an excellent record of students gaining jobs at the end of the course. Many of our ex-students are now Heads of Departments in our partnership schools. 

Visit the Secondary Education: Religious Education (QTS) - PGDip page on the University of Birmingham website for more details!




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