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University of Birmingham Masters Degrees in Secondary Education

We have 4 University of Birmingham Masters Degrees in Secondary Education

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Like a Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) the . Post-Graduate Diploma in Secondary Education (PGDipEd).  is a teacher training programme leading to Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) however it has the advantage of offering the equivalent of 120 credits which may be used towards our . Read more

Like a Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) the Post-Graduate Diploma in Secondary Education (PGDipEd) is a teacher training programme leading to Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) however it has the advantage of offering the equivalent of 120 credits which may be used towards our MA in Teaching Studies. Rated outstanding by Ofsted in 2013, this is a unique course which offers high quality training and support as well as excellent employment prospects.

Once you have completed your PGDipEd, you may return to study with us on a part-time basis to complete your Masters in Teaching Studies. Additionally, the School also offers a number of specialised Professional Development programmes which will enable you to further develop your career.

Subject Areas

The Secondary PGDipEd is available in the following subjects:

Additionally, we offer a Subject Knowledge Enhancement (SKE) course in mathematics for those who do not meet subject entrance requirements.  

The School of Education, also offers secondary programmes through the School Direct route. To help you decide which route to take, we have put together a list of Frequently Asked Questions

Course details

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' for the third consecutive time by Ofsted inspectors which reaffirms the University’s status as one of the UK’s leading institutions for excellence in teacher training. 

The Initial Teacher Education course

The PGDipEd course lasts 36 weeks, of which 24 are spent in our partnership schools.

Teaching practice will take several forms: school placements and also team teaching while at the University. You will also get involved in small scale research projects for your assignments so that you can evaluate the theory in practice and integrate this learning into your own teaching.

Equal Opportunities

The School of Education is committed to equal opportunities in the access to and provision of education. For more information please see the following documents: 

Learning and teaching

A variety of teaching styles and approaches to learning are used in the presentation of the themes. These include University-based lectures, small group seminars and workshops, school-based work with pupils and teachers, and work undertaken individually or with other groups of students.

Course Structure

The PGDipEd is divided into five phases: 

  1. Preparation (university-based with some activities in school) 
  2. School Placement 1 (seven week placement in school with tutor visit and one day at the university) 
  3. Development (university-based with some activities in school) 
  4. School Placement 2 (twelve week block placement with tutor visits and two university days);
  5. Completion (two further weeks in your second school and two weeks at the university).

The course includes the following areas of study: 

  • Subject-based teaching methods 
  • School-based work 
  • Whole-school issues

Subject-based teaching methods

You follow one main method programme, each of which occupies at least three half-days a week for five weeks in each of the autumn and spring terms and two weeks in the summer term. In some subjects a field course, involving work with children, may replace a number of single days in the year. Assessment is based on coursework undertaken during the year.  

School-based work  

School-based work is an important part of the programme, with students normally spending 24 weeks in schools. The combination of block practice and other periods of work in schools enables you to benefit from both carefully supported introductory work in different schools and the experience of spending a significant length of time in one school.

The final assessment of teaching is based on the spring/summer term school placement. Assessment is shared between University tutors, staff responsible for students in schools, and external examiners. All aspects of your contribution to the life of the school are taken into account, in particular the teaching of your main subject.

Prior to the start of the autumn term you are expected to undertake a preliminary period of observation in a primary/middle school near your home or lodgings. During the course supervised experience and practice are arranged in schools of various kinds across the 11–18 age range. We are fortunate in being able to work with a wide range of partnership schools, including mixed comprehensives, single-sex schools and sixth-form colleges. Many of the schools offer opportunities to work with pupils from a wide variety of cultural backgrounds.  

Whole-school issues

This area of study is concerned with aspects of education that are of importance to all intending teachers, irrespective of their particular teaching subjects. It is designed to provide you with a breadth of awareness, depth of insight and development of skills through a range of themes studied by all students. Themes currently include Managing Inclusion, Monitoring and Assessment, and Pastoral Care and Citizenship.  

Tutoring and support

You will personally be allocated a university tutor who will guide and support you throughout your PGDipEd (QTS), along with a dedicated school mentor when on placement.

Progression

Once you have completed your PGDipEd (QTS) and successfully passed your induction year you may return to study with us on a part-time basis to complete a 60 credit dissertation and obtain an MA in Teaching Studies

Employability

As a student teacher you will want to learn about and practise the teaching of your own subject. This programme offers you plenty of opportunity for this and also addresses other important issues such as classroom management, equal opportunities, special educational needs and pastoral care. We will help you acquire the knowledge and skills needed to meet the other varied demands that are part of life in school. You will also receive guidance on how to gain a teaching post - our student teachers employment rates are consistently excellent and well above the national average.



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The History PGDipEd (QTS) course has been praised by both Ofsted and the external examiner for its innovative approach, our commitment to supporting student teachers as they develop and our close links with our placement schools. Read more

The History PGDipEd (QTS) course has been praised by both Ofsted and the external examiner for its innovative approach, our commitment to supporting student teachers as they develop and our close links with our placement schools. We are committed to the idea that teaching is more than simple craft knowledge; it is the synthesis of theories about learning and hands on experience in the classroom. Teachers equipped with this will be able to reflect on their experiences and develop as teachers throughout their careers. A bursary of £9,000 is currently available for those with a 1st degree/PhD and £4,000 for a 2:1 degree/Master's.

At the University of Birmingham we believe we should provide student teachers with the highest level of teacher training possible, and this is why we offer a Post-Graduate Diploma in Education (PGDipEd) rather than a Post-Graduate Certificate in Education (PGCE). Both qualifications lead to Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) but the PGDipEd also offers the equivalent of 120 credits at Master’s level (out of 180), which makes it a highly rewarding course by combining both theory and practice.

Following satisfactory completion of the History PGDipEd course, plus a successful induction year in school and references, you can return to complete an MA in Teaching Studies (data collection and a 15,000 word dissertation). Additionally, the School also offers a number of specialised Professional Development programmes which will enable you to further develop your career.

Course details

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' for the third consecutive time by Ofsted inspectors which reaffirms the University’s status as one of the UK’s leading institutions for excellence in teacher training. 

The Initial Teacher Education course

The PGDipEd course lasts 36 weeks, of which 24 are spent in our partnership schools.

Teaching practice will take several forms: school placements and also team teaching while at the University. You will also get involved in small scale research projects for your assignments so that you can evaluate the theory in practice and integrate this learning into your own teaching.

Teaching is an inherently complex activity, and teachers choose their teaching strategies for a variety of reasons. Consequently we will equip you to analyse your ideas about teaching and understand the range of ideas that are behind all talk about teaching. You will be equipped to use the most up to date ideas about teaching but also to appreciate that these will in turn become outdated and replaced by new strategies.

You will teach classes in Key Stage 3 and 4 as well as post-16, and learn to select the most effective teaching methods. Our sessions model different teaching methods so you experience the methods you can use. Our close links with history departments in schools means we are not only able to use the 30 years of teaching experience of the tutors but get teachers in to talk about their experience of teaching too.

Ask our current students and alumni a question

These are experienced postgraduates who have previously studied, or are currently studying, at the University of Birmingham, and they offer help and advice from a student perspective.

Ask Chelsea a question

Equal Opportunities

The School of Education is committed to equal opportunities in the access to and provision of education. For more information please see the following documents:

Details of our other PGDipEd subjects may be found on the Postgraduate Diploma Secondary Education (QTS) course page  

Learning and teaching

A variety of teaching styles and approaches to learning are used in the presentation of the themes. These include University-based lectures, small group seminars and workshops, school-based work with pupils and teachers, and work undertaken individually or with other groups of students.

The course includes the following areas of study: 

  • Subject-based teaching methods 
  • School-based work 
  • Whole-school issues

Subject-based teaching methods

You follow your specialist programme, working with your tutor and with peers in your subject, during University days which make up 12 weeks in total across the year. Assessment is based on coursework undertaken during the year.  

School-based work  

School-based work is an important part of the programme, with students normally spending a total of 24 weeks in schools. During the programme you benefit from both carefully supported introductory work in different schools and the experience of spending a significant length of time in two schools.

The final assessment of teaching is based on the spring/summer term school placement. Assessment is shared between University tutors, staff responsible for students in schools, and external examiners. All aspects of your contribution to the life of the school are taken into account, in particular the teaching of your main subject.

During the course supervised experience and practice are arranged in schools of various kinds across the 11–18 age range. We are fortunate in being able to work with a wide range of partnership schools, including mixed comprehensives, single-sex schools, sixth-form colleges and our own University Training School (http://www.uobschool.org.uk). Many of the schools offer opportunities to work with pupils from a wide variety of cultural backgrounds.   

Whole-school issues

This area of study is concerned with aspects of education that are of importance to all intending teachers, irrespective of their particular teaching subjects. It is designed to provide you with a breadth of awareness, depth of insight and development of skills through a range of themes studied by all students. Themes currently include Managing Inclusion, Monitoring and Assessment, and Pastoral Care and Citizenship.  

Tutoring and support

You will personally be allocated a university tutor who will guide and support you throughout your PGDipEd (QTS), along with a dedicated school mentor when on placements.

Progression

Once you have completed your PGDipEd (QTS) and successfully passed your induction year you may return to study with us on a part-time basis to complete a 60 credit dissertation and obtain an MA in Teaching Studies



Read less
At the University of Birmingham we believe we should provide student teachers with the highest level of teacher training possible, and this is why we offer a Post-Graduate Diploma in Education (PGDipEd) rather than a Post-Graduate Certificate in Education (PGCE). Read more

At the University of Birmingham we believe we should provide student teachers with the highest level of teacher training possible, and this is why we offer a Post-Graduate Diploma in Education (PGDipEd) rather than a Post-Graduate Certificate in Education (PGCE). Both qualifications lead to Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) but the PGDipEd also offers the equivalent of 120 credits at Master’s level (out of 180), which makes it a highly rewarding course by combining both theory and practice. Once student teachers have completed their PGDipEd they may return to study with us on a part-time basis to complete their Master’s in Teaching Studies.

Our PGDipEd (QTS) in Modern Languages (main subject: German/French) is held in very high esteem by all those who work with us: the partnership schools, the Modern Language (ML) teachers, Ofsted and our students who year after year say that they find the challenge exciting and our support outstanding. We aim to help you develop into a well informed, critical teacher so that your own teaching personality can blossom. Our success and employment rates are considerably higher than the national average for ML teacher training courses in England. If you are serious about a career in Modern Language teaching then the University of Birmingham is the place to train.

For further information on this course, please visit our PGDipEd (QTS) in Modern Languages webpage.



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This initial teacher training programme enables lead schools to choose the provider they want to work with. Read more

This initial teacher training programme enables lead schools to choose the provider they want to work with. These schools play a key role in recruiting and selecting trainees and they work with the University to provide a high-quality training programme which leads to the award of the Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) with Qualified Teacher Status at Primary level. Applicants apply direct to a lead school and undertake their placements within the lead school’s partnership. Partnerships may include a mix of primary and special.

Following successful completion of the 60 (level 7) credit PGCE (QTS) year, students may then opt to progress onto the Postgraduate Diploma in Teaching Studies and then the MA in Teaching Studies with the University of Birmingham.

Students who have completed the 120 credit PGDipEd (QTS) year may progress directly onto the MA in Teaching Studies. 

There are two routes currently being offered:

  • School Direct students pay a tuition fee to the University of Birmingham and may be eligible for a bursary or scholarship. 
  • School Direct (salaried) is normally for graduates with at least three years’ work experience. Students are employees of their schools and are paid a salary. The University does not charge fees for this route. 

Course details

Students on School Direct primary routes at schools partnered with the University of Birmingham will normally undertake a Postgraduate Certificate in Education (School Direct) with Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) which will provide 60 credits contributing to Master's level.

Subjects offered

Currently, School Direct with the University of Birmingham’s PGCE (School Direct) is available in the following phases / subjects where an agreement has been put in place with a School Direct school:   

Primary

  • Primary 5-11 General Primary
  • Primary SEN 

Learning and teaching

The primary course is designed in conjunction with our partnership of schools, is founded on our long-standing expertise in teacher education and combines the phase, curriculum and learning and teaching expertise of specialist tutors and seconded teachers at the University with the expertise of school-based colleagues. School Direct combines the best of these elements while developing analytic and reflective practitioners.

The course combines school based learning coordinated by the School Direct ‘Lead School’ with lectures, seminars, workshops, tutorials and practical sessions at the university. Study at the University is largely within the School of Education’s dedicated building which includes specialist facilities, a specialist Education Library, student study areas and online learning support.

Employability

School Direct students enter their training with an expectation that, if they are successful in their training and achieve QTS, they are likely to be employed within the schools in the School Direct training alliance in which they have trained.

School Direct students studying with the University of Birmingham and its School Direct partner schools can expect to be highly employable. Success in finding first teaching posts for students on the university’s postgraduate programmes is very high – and substantially above national averages. In addition to this, teachers educated with University of Birmingham partnerships typically remain in the profession and build excellent careers in teaching with progression on to leadership and management roles in schools where that is their desire. A significant number who follow our postgraduate programmes take up the opportunity to complete Masters study at some point after their induction year, further enhancing their career development. Employability rates for University of Birmingham postgraduate trained teachers are among the highest in the country.

School Direct (Salaried) students will be engaged as unqualified teachers within their School Direct school and therefore are specifically employable in that they have been trained via an ‘employment-based route’.

Many of those who have trained to teach with the University of Birmingham are now in headteacher, head of department and similar roles across the West Midlands, nationally and beyond – and many give up time and expertise to contribute to our programmes. 



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