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Masters Degrees in Secondary Teacher Training

We have 413 Masters Degrees in Secondary Teacher Training

Postgraduate degrees in Secondary Teacher Training provide the skills to work as an educational professional in secondary or 'high school' settings.

Initial Teacher Training (ITT) courses such as the UK PGCE (Postgraduate Certificate in Education) degrees are typical for the field, though shorter Postgraduate Certificate and Diploma courses are also available.

Entry requirements normally include an undergraduate degree in the subject you wish to teach in. You are also required to hold a minimum Grade C in English, Maths and Science. Work experience may also be a requirement in some cases.

Why study a Masters in Secondary Teacher Training?

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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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Secondary school teachers don't just educate, they shape the futures of young adults. The quality of teacher training in Secondary education was rated as "Good" in Ofsted report for Initial Teacher Education 2016. Read more

Secondary school teachers don't just educate, they shape the futures of young adults.

The quality of teacher training in Secondary education was rated as "Good" in Ofsted report for Initial Teacher Education 2016. "The strong pastoral role demonstrated by subject leaders and the accessibility and responsiveness to the needs of trainees. This results in confident NQTs who are well prepared to teach" the report found.

School Direct is a route into teaching which involves schools working in partnership with accredited teacher training institutions, to devise a training programme. We have a successful track-record of working with schools

to offer School Direct training routes to Qualified Teacher Status. Collectively we are committed to the development of outstanding teachers who have a transformative impact on learners' lives.

Places on our School Direct programme are open to all graduates and support the following subjects: Mathematics; Physics; Chemistry; Biology; Music; Physical Education and French.

Programme Options

School Direct offers two types of training places; the School Direct Non-salaried programme and the School Salaried Direct programme.

School Direct Non-salaried programme

Our Non-salaried School Direct programme is a combination of school-based training and university-based courses. This fully comprehensive route into teaching involves schools working in partnership with an accredited teacher training institution, like ours, to devise a training programme. 

School Direct is a route into teaching which involves schools working in partnership with accredited teacher training institutions, such as ours, to devise a training programme. We have a successful track-record of working with schools to offer School Direct training routes to Qualified Teacher Status. Collectively we are committed to the development of outstanding teachers who have a transformative impact on learners' lives.

There are excellent employment opportunities with 9 out of 10 of our newly qualified teachers gaining employment within six months of completion.

During your training, you will develop the professional values and practice required to meet the broad demands of teaching. We help you build your practical knowledge and theoretical understanding of working with secondary school students. You will also develop a vital understanding of the National Curriculum and the learning needs of young adults.

School Direct Salaried programme

Our School Direct Training (Salaried) programme is open to graduates with three or more years' career experience (not necessarily in education). Trainees will be employed as an unqualified teacher with a salary subsidised by the National College for Teaching and Leadership. This programme replaces the Graduate Teacher Programme (GTP).

Our Partners

We are currently working in partnership with the following schools for secondary School Direct training places.

All School Direct places will lead to a recommendation for qualified teacher status (QTS), and in the case of the School Direct Training programme a PGCE.

How to apply

Candidates apply directly to our partnership schools via UCAS Teacher Training for both programmes. For more details visit the Department for Education website. Although applications should be made via UCAS Teacher Training to a specific school, all successful candidates will be registered as students of the university.

Full time

Year 1

Students are required to study the following compulsory courses.

Assessment

Continuous assessment of classroom skills and teaching effectiveness builds towards a professional development portfolio. There are also academic assignments for the PGCE.

Professional recognition

All School Direct places will lead to recommendation for qualified teacher status (QTS), and in the case of the nonsalaried School Direct Training programme a PGCE.

Careers

Graduates for this programme can pursue a teaching career in secondary schools.



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This course will provide you with excellent employment prospects. official figures show that 99% of our graduates are in work or further study within six months of graduating (Destinations of Leavers of Higher Education 2017 results). Read more
  • This course will provide you with excellent employment prospects: official figures show that 99% of our graduates are in work or further study within six months of graduating (Destinations of Leavers of Higher Education 2017 results).
  • We offer a wide range of subject specialisms.
  • Successful completion of this degree will provide you with Qualified Teacher Status (QTS).

Summary

Do you want to inspire young people and help change lives? Would you like to enjoy a great starting salary and a rewarding career?

Teaching offers all of this. Being able to educate and inspire future generations, seeing young people grow and develop with your help is unlike any other job.

As one of the UK’s leading and longest-running providers of teacher education, we can offer you the best foundation for a successful career in the profession. Completion of this Postgraduate Certificate in Education will provide you with Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) from one of the highest rated providers in the country.

If you study PGCE Secondary at Roehampton you will be taught by a supportive, passionate and driven team of academic staff. Our experienced team strive to ensure you receive the best education and will encourage you to become a confident and successful teacher. Your placement will be confirmed before the start of term, and your mentors in schools are trained to ensure you achieve your full potential. In addition to our academic staff, we also have a range of support departments to help you with everything from dealing with money matters, to support with your studies.

PGCE Secondary at Roehampton gives you a Masters qualification. This postgraduate qualification gives you the tools to build a successful career in teaching while providing a holistic view of the profession; you will look at the child, curriculum and teacher. We offer a wide range of subjects that you can specialise in:

In addition to your subject modules, you will also study a module which will hone your expertise and effectiveness as a teacher. You will learn how to manage a classroom, how planning and preparation contribute to the effectiveness of your teaching, how best to work with parents and other adults, and gain an understanding of children’s behaviour.

Our subject rooms are set up to resemble classrooms, ensuring that from your first day at university you will be in a school environment. This is important for your full immersion into the school environment and familiarity with the way classrooms are structured, and the type of resources teachers need on a daily basis.

Your placements at our partner schools will provide you with invaluable hands-on work experience giving you the confidence you need for your future career and a better understanding of how teaching works in practice.

All our academic staff have extensive teaching experience in schools, and many have served in local authorities or subject associations as advisory teachers, as Ofsted inspectors or as consultants. This means that our programmes are based on the reality of the classroom and the education system. Many work at the cutting edge of research in teacher education, which has a positive impact on the quality of provision for all of our students.

Content

This one year qualification will build your confidence in the classroom, your understanding of the wider role a teacher plays and provide you with all the subject knowledge to effectively teach your specialist subject to all age groups of secondary school children.

You will select a subject that you would like to specialise in and over the course of the year complete two modules in this subject. You will be introduced to a range of theories, practice, pedagogy, current research and literature relevant to that subject. Your learning will require you to reflect on your experiences in your school placements with a consideration of current issues and research. These reflections will then allow you to review and adjust your teaching methods to improve your own practice.

You will undertake two blocks of school experience. The Foundation placement for 6 weeks in one school, and a 12-week Development and Consolidation placement in a contrasting school.

Modules

You will take two subject specialism modules, as well as the below core modules:

Compulsory and Required modules

Compulsory and/or required modules may change when we review and update programmes. Above is a list of modules offered this academic year.

Optional modules

Optional modules, when offered as part of a programme, may vary from year to year and are subject to viability.

Career options

This degree will qualify you to teach a specialist subject across the secondary sector. Besides teaching and school responsibilities, a number of our graduates go on to management and leadership roles within schools and other education settings. Graduates also follow careers in consultancy, sector communications, publishing, training, charity, policy, advocacy, government, national assessment and curriculum development roles. Others go on to further academic study, for example our MA in Education.



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The Institute of Education is a leading centre for teacher education in Europe and one of the the largest teacher training providers in London. Read more
The Institute of Education is a leading centre for teacher education in Europe and one of the the largest teacher training providers in London. We have a wide range of teacher training programmes for those wanting to qualify to teach in primary and secondary schools, and in further and adult education colleges.

See the website http://www.ucl.ac.uk/prospective-students/graduate/taught/degrees

If you’re thinking about becoming a secondary teacher, we offer the following PGCEs:

• PGCE Secondary Art & Design
• PGCE Secondary Business & Economics Education
• PGCE Secondary Citizenship
• PGCE Secondary Computer Science with ICT
• PGCE Secondary Information and Communications Techology (ICT)
• PGCE Secondary English
• PGCE Secondary English with Drama
• PGCE Secondary Geography
• PGCE Secondary History
• PGCE Secondary Mathematics
• PGCE Secondary Modern Languages
• PGCE Secondary Music
• PGCE Secondary Physics with Mathematics
• PGCE Secondary Religious Education
• PGCE Secondary Science – Biology, Chemistry or Physics
• PGCE Secondary Social Science

Applicants may be eligible for government-funded bursaries of up to £20,000, plus tuition fee loans and grants.

We also offer the new School Direct route in conjunction with a number of schools, where you apply directly to the school in which you wish to undertake your training.

All of our programmes are modular and you can use IOE PGCE credits to contribute towards a Masters qualification in education. The IOE was recognised by Ofsted as outstanding or good with some outstanding features following their latest visit for its “high quality” teacher training that inspire its students “to want to be outstanding teachers”. In the Training and Development Agency for Schools Newly Qualified Teacher Survey (2010), 83 per cent of our NQTs rated the overall
quality of their training as good or very good.

If you're interested in teaching at Primary level, we offer Primary PGCE Full-time and Part-time programmes and French and Spanish specialisms. Alternatively, if you'd like to teach adults and young people aged 16+, we also offer Post-Compulsory PGCEs including specialist options for teaching English as a second or other language (ESOL) and Literacy, or Mathematics with Numeracy.

For more information and to apply, visit http://www.ioe.ac.uk/teach

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Take the School Direct route into secondary teaching with Liverpool John Moores University and gain Qualified Teacher Status. This school-centric teacher training programme offers invaluable classroom experience. Read more

Take the School Direct route into secondary teaching with Liverpool John Moores University and gain Qualified Teacher Status. This school-centric teacher training programme offers invaluable classroom experience.

  • Train to teach from within a school setting and be involved in school life from the first day of term
  • Follow a curriculum developed and delivered in partnership with outstanding local schools
  • Learn from expert teachers
  • Prepare for a career as an innovative and creative teacher in one of the excellent schools across Merseyside
  • Gain experience of teaching in the 11-16 range with enhancement opportunities Post 16

This intensive, full time programme leads to Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) alongside your academic award.

Although you will spend the majority of time in school, the School Direct programmes at LJMU include University-based training sessions which take place at the IM Marsh campus. These include: a week long summer school at the end of August, weekly campus sessions and a number of conference days or full weeks of training. Additional training and professional development programmes are organised in school by the Lead School. Two of our School Direct programmes at Knutsford and Turton are delivered off site at the schools by LJMU staff. Trainees on these programmes are still expected to attend the Summer School.

As this is a postgraduate course, you should expect to undertake a significant amount of independent study and preparation, not only to support your course assignments, but also your school-based work.

This intense programme is tightly focused on providing you with the skills and knowledge required. Tutorial support is an important part of the process and you will receive a personalised service that will enable you to set targets and achieve to your highest potential.

Your personal tutor will meet with you to monitor your progress, provide guidance and advice and set targets for your development.

You will also be allocated a teacher mentor who will organise and supervise your school-based training. Your mentor will be supported by an LJMU tutor who will visit school several times during the year to monitor your progress.

The following Secondary programmes are available for School Direct (tuition fee) but details of available subjects can be found via UCAS:

  • Art and Design
  • Biology
  • Business Studies
  • Chemistry
  • Computer Science
  • Design and Technology
  • English
  • Geography
  • History
  • Maths
  • Modern Languages
  • Music
  • Performing Arts - Dance
  • Performing Arts - Drama
  • Psychology
  • Physical Education
  • Physics
  • Religious Education
  • Social Sciences

LJMU has Secondary School Direct partnerships with:

  • Cheshire Vale Teaching School Alliance
  • Knutsford Academy, Cheshire
  • The Heath School, Runcorn
  • Turton Secondary School, Manchester
  • Weatherhead Teaching School Alliance, Wirral​

You can search all subjects offered through LJMU School Direct routes via the UCAS Teacher Training search pages.

The University element of the programme is based around modules focusing on:

  • developing your subject and pedagogical knowledge in order to support you in becoming a reflective, skilled and effective practitioner
  • critiquing effective approaches to learning, teaching and assessment in your subject and/or age phase
  • promoting your ability to design inclusive, engaging and impactful sequences of lessons to meet the diverse needs of all learners
  • informed and deliberate use of educational research to improve pupils' learning

Further guidance

The information listed in the section entitled ‘What you will study’ is an overview of the academic content of the programme that will take the form of either core or option modules. Modules are designated as core or option in accordance with professional body requirements and internal Academic Framework review, so may be subject to change. Students will be required to undertake modules that the University designates as core and will have a choice of designated option modules. Additionally, option modules may be offered subject to meeting minimum student numbers.

Academic Framework reviews are conducted by LJMU from time to time to ensure that academic standards continue to be maintained.

Please email if you require further guidance or clarification.



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Our Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) in Secondary Education provides a high standard of training for those preparing to take up a teaching post in the secondary school sector. Read more

Our Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) in Secondary Education provides a high standard of training for those preparing to take up a teaching post in the secondary school sector. The course complies with the statutory guidance from the National College for Teaching and Leadership for Initial Teacher Training courses.

Computing is an exciting secondary school curriculum subject. It covers topics such as algorithms, programming, computational thinking, communication and data. As a trainee you will learn how to teach computing to pupils in the 11-16 age range within the secondary age phase, with additional primary and post-16 enhancements. You will learn how to develop skills, knowledge and understanding for teaching computing through a combination of university-led and school-led training.

This course is designed to meet the NCTL Teaching Standards which assesses all trainees working towards Qualified Teacher Status (QTS).

This postgraduate qualification offers 60 Masters-level credits that can be used towards our Masters degrees in the field of education.

This Computing route sits within an exciting range of Secondary Education subjects we offer within the Institute of Education.

SECONDARY EDUCATION Frequently Asked Questions

This is NOT an appropriate training course for applicants who wish to teach in Primary schools or Post Compulsory Education establishments.

What happens on the course?

Over the one year course, you will undertake learning at University and other educational settings. You will spend 120 days divided between at least two different school placements across the 11-16 age range within the Secondary age phase.

Your University tutor team is available to assist you throughout your training, supporting development of reflection. Every effort is made to ensure that high-quality school placements are provided to you, facilitating learning through observing, co-teaching and being observed by experienced teachers in the classroom.

All course modules provide examples of good practice in pedagogy which you will reflect upon as you develop your own teaching style - you will be expected to actively participate in your own learning and development.

Teaching on the course comprises a variety of methodologies that will prepare you for life in the classroom including teacher-led discussions, pupil-led exploration, peer-group discovery, problem based learning, e-learning and the provision of individual targets.

You will be assessed in a variety of ways including written assignments; classroom based investigation and other school-based activities, and appraisal of practical teaching skills.

Typical activities may include:

  • Observation of teaching, before undertaking ‘sheltered’ teaching activities, for example teaching parts of lessons or small groups of pupils within a class
  • Progression to teaching single or short sequences of lessons
  • Further development through reflection on planned classroom activities
  • Development of teaching skills as you move to sustained sequences of lessons
  • Research that takes place in both University and school settings on selected aspects of your practice.

PGCE: Programme Structure

The PGCE course takes place over 180 days, and 120 of those days are spent in a school. You will have one school attachment during the autumn term and another (in a different school) in the spring/summer terms.

One of our strengths is that we have a vast network of high quality partnership schools in which to place you for the extended school placements. We ensure that you receive high quality school-based training by selecting schools with highly trained mentors and a proven track record of excellent trainee outcomes. We will also take other factors into consideration when placing you, such as your geographical location and transportation, to provide you with the best possible experience in a convenient and suitable setting.

The University-led elements of the course take place at our Walsall Campus. Our PGCE starts in early September and ends in June, and it is an intensive academic and professional training course that effectively prepares you for your first teaching post and beyond.

The course comprises of a two day professional placement in mixed subject groups, two extended school placements in your subject specialism and two periods of University-based teaching – September to October and January to February. The programme also includes a short Primary school placement and additional opportunities for a range of enhancements to your course; for example, experience of teaching pupils with special educational needs, teaching pupils at post-16 level or teaching pupils for whom English is an additional language.

Career path

Successful completion of the PGCE Secondary Education course leads to recommendation to NCTL for qualified teacher status (QTS) and will then allow you to take up a teaching post within a secondary school.

In secondary schools you could be considered for a Teaching and Learning Responsibility (TLR), which may comprise any of the following:

  • Leading a particular subject as head of department, faculty or curriculum
  • Leading the achievement of a particular age group as head of year or key stage coordinator
  • Leading a particular area such as special education needs or pastoral care (i.e. personal guidance)

Later, you could progress to a senior leadership position such as a deputy or assistant head and head teacher - at which point you will have overall responsibility for the leadership and management of a school and the education its students receive.

  • Following successful completion of this award, you could also use your 60 Masters-level credits towards any of our Masters degrees in the field of education which can be continued within your NQT year.

Find out more about further study that can be taken after completing this PGCE award.

Who accredits this course?

The University will award students with the PGCE in Secondary Education with 60 credits at Master’s level.

All students who have fully met the Teachers’ Standards as set by the National College for Teaching & Leadership will be recommended for the award of Qualified Teacher Status (QTS).

The award of QTS is essential to teach in a maintained school in the United Kingdom and, upon gaining this award, the student becomes a qualified teacher.



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The . Science. Physics one-year PGDipEd (QTS) course.  is structured to develop a deep understanding of the pedagogy and didactics of Physics, grounded in practical competence in classrooms. Read more

The Science: Physics one-year PGDipEd (QTS) course is structured to develop a deep understanding of the pedagogy and didactics of Physics, grounded in practical competence in classrooms. 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. You will be expected to develop these insights, although in less depth, across all facets of the sciences. 

Students may be eligible for a bursary of up to £26,000 (depending on qualifications) in line with the government’s priorities to increase the number of Physics teachers or a scholarship of £28,000 in lieu of a bursary from the Institute of Physics.

We offer a Postgraduate Diploma in Education (PGDipEd) rather than a Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) at the University of Birmingham, as we believe we should provide student teachers with the highest level of teacher training possible. 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 you have completed your PGDipEd and successfully passed your induction year, 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.

If you are a graduate Engineer or Physicist who would prefer to teach Physics with Mathematics, our Postgraduate Diploma Secondary Education (QTS) - Physics with Mathematics course offers this opportunity.

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. 

There is currently high demand for teachers of Science who have expertise in Physics and there are substantial bursaries associated with training in the subject.

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.

Activity is central to learning how to teach physics and science as you need to learn how to act for yourself. This activity will include a good deal of exemplification of teaching, personal practice and collaborative hard thinking. Through this you will become better at planning lessons, assessing the success of your lessons and managing children within those lessons. You will also find out what children find hard about certain topics, how to vary your approach to minimise these difficulties, and so develop a range of teaching strategies, deploying many different technologies. As an essential part of this you will find yourself coming to grips with the national requirements and strategies, as well as engaging in the pleasure of doing some physics.

You may also be interested in our other two PGDipEd science courses:

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: 

Information on all our PGDipEd(QTS) secondary subjects may be found on the Postgraduate Diploma Secondary Education (QTS) course page.  

Employability

Extensive career support is available to and the majority of students obtain employement before they have completed their course. Many schools have a high regard for Birmingham Science: Physics PGDipEd (QTS) students and we have an excellent record of students gaining jobs at the end of the course. For 2013-2014 the employabilty rate was 100% and all graduates obtained employment in a teaching role. Many of our ex-students have been promoted to positions of responsibility, including Advanced Skills Teachers within the first 2 or 3 years.



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If you have an interest in planet’s people, places, landscapes, processes and natural history, then our geography course will suit you. Read more

If you have an interest in planet’s people, places, landscapes, processes and natural history, then our geography course will suit you.

Our Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) in Secondary Education provides a high standard of training for those preparing to take up a teaching post in the secondary school sector. The course complies with the statutory guidance from the National College for Teaching and Leadership for Initial Teacher Training courses.

As a trainee you will learn how to teach geography to pupils in the 11-16 age range within the secondary age phase, with additional primary and post-16 enhancements. You will learn how to develop skills, knowledge and understanding for teaching geography through a combination of university-led and school-led training.

This course is designed to meet the NCTL Teaching Standards which assesses all trainees working towards Qualified Teacher Status (QTS).

This postgraduate qualification offers 60 Masters-level credits that can be used towards our Masters degrees in the field of education.

This Biology route sits within an exciting range of Secondary Education subjects we offer within the Institute of Education.

SECONDARY EDUCATION Frequently Asked Questions

This is NOT an appropriate training course for applicants who wish to teach in Primary schools or Post Compulsory Education establishments.

What happens on the course?

Over the one year course, you will undertake learning at University and other educational settings. You will spend 120 days divided between at least two different school placements across the 11-16 age range within the Secondary age phase.

Your University tutor team is available to assist you throughout your training, supporting development of reflection. Every effort is made to ensure that high-quality school placements are provided to you, facilitating learning through observing, co-teaching and being observed by experienced teachers in the classroom.

All course modules provide examples of good practice in pedagogy which you will reflect upon as you develop your own teaching style - you will be expected to actively participate in your own learning and development.

Teaching on the course comprises a variety of methodologies that will prepare you for life in the classroom including teacher-led discussions, pupil-led exploration, peer-group discovery, problem based learning, e-learning and the provision of individual targets.

You will be assessed in a variety of ways including written assignments; classroom based investigation and other school-based activities, and appraisal of practical teaching skills.

Typical activities may include:

  • Observation of teaching, before undertaking ‘sheltered’ teaching activities, for example teaching parts of lessons or small groups of pupils within a class
  • Progression to teaching single or short sequences of lessons
  • Further development through reflection on planned classroom activities
  • Development of teaching skills as you move to sustained sequences of lessons
  • Research that takes place in both University and school settings on selected aspects of your practice.

PGCE: Programme Structure

The PGCE course takes place over 180 days, and 120 of those days are spent in a school. You will have one school attachment during the autumn term and another (in a different school) in the spring/summer terms.

One of our strengths is that we have a vast network of high quality partnership schools in which to place you for the extended school placements. We ensure that you receive high quality school-based training by selecting schools with highly trained mentors and a proven track record of excellent trainee outcomes. We will also take other factors into consideration when placing you, such as your geographical location and transportation, to provide you with the best possible experience in a convenient and suitable setting.

The University-led elements of the course take place at our Walsall Campus. Our PGCE starts in early September and ends in June, and it is an intensive academic and professional training course that effectively prepares you for your first teaching post and beyond.

The course comprises of a two day professional placement in mixed subject groups, two extended school placements in your subject specialism and two periods of University-based teaching – September to October and January to February. The programme also includes a short Primary school placement and additional opportunities for a range of enhancements to your course; for example, experience of teaching pupils with special educational needs, teaching pupils at post-16 level or teaching pupils for whom English is an additional language.

Career path

Successful completion of the PGCE Secondary Education course leads to recommendation to NCTL for qualified teacher status (QTS) and will then allow you to take up a teaching post within a secondary school.

In secondary schools you could be considered for a Teaching and Learning Responsibility (TLR), which may comprise any of the following:

  • Leading a particular subject as head of department, faculty or curriculum
  • Leading the achievement of a particular age group as head of year or key stage coordinator
  • Leading a particular area such as special education needs or pastoral care (i.e. personal guidance)

Later, you could progress to a senior leadership position such as a deputy or assistant head and head teacher - at which point you will have overall responsibility for the leadership and management of a school and the education its students receive.

Following successful completion of this award, you could also use your 60 Masters-level credits towards any of our Masters degrees in the field of education which can be continued within your NQT year.

Find out more about further study that can be taken after completing this PGCE award.

Who accredits this course?

The University will award students with the PGCE in Secondary Education with 60 credits at Master’s level.

All students who have fully met the Teachers’ Standards as set by the National College for Teaching & Leadership will be recommended for the award of Qualified Teacher Status (QTS).

The award of QTS is essential to teach in a maintained school in the United Kingdom and, upon gaining this award, the student becomes a qualified teacher.



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If you have a passion for british and global history – from the events that shaped civilisations, to the historical figures that made them happen and wish to communicate your enthusiasm with young people, this course will prepare you to do this effectively. Read more

If you have a passion for british and global history – from the events that shaped civilisations, to the historical figures that made them happen and wish to communicate your enthusiasm with young people, this course will prepare you to do this effectively.

Our Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) in Secondary Education provides a high standard of training for those preparing to take up a teaching post in the secondary school sector. The course complies with the statutory guidance from the National College for Teaching and Leadership for Initial Teacher Training courses.

This course looks at the key ideas which underpin the teaching of science in schools today and the way children's understanding of concepts develops. As a trainee you will learn how to teach chemistry to pupils in the 11-16 age range within the secondary age phase, with additional primary and post-16 enhancements. You will learn how to develop skills, knowledge and understanding for teaching chemistry through a combination of university-led and school-led training.

This course is designed to meet the NCTL Teaching Standards which assesses all trainees working towards Qualified Teacher Status (QTS).

This postgraduate qualification offers 60 Masters-level credits that can be used towards our Masters degrees in the field of education.

This Chemistry route sits within an exciting range of Secondary Education subjects we offer within the Institute of Education.

SECONDARY EDUCATION Frequently Asked Questions

This is NOT an appropriate training course for applicants who wish to teach in Primary schools or Post Compulsory Education establishments.

What happens on the course?

Over the one year course, you undertake two periods of University-based learning at Walsall Campus, and you spend at least 120 days divided between two different schools across the 11-16 age range within the Secondary age phase.

  • Your University tutor is available to assist you throughout your training, and every effort is made to ensure you have a high-quality school placement, where you can learn from experienced teachers
  • All course modules provide examples of good practice in teaching which you will reflect upon as you develop your own teaching style. You will be expected to participate actively in your own learning and development
  • Teaching on the course reflects a variety of methods that will prepare you for life in the classroom including teacher-led debates, pupil-led exploration, peer-group discovery and the provision of individual targets. You will be assessed in a variety of ways including written assignments; classroom based investigation and other school-based activities and appraisal of practical teaching skills. The majority teaching sessions will be alongside trainees from the other the science routes.
  • Typical modules may include:
  • Observation of teaching, before undertaking ‘sheltered’ teaching activities, for example teaching parts of lessons or groups of pupils within a class
  • Progression to teaching single or short sequences of lessons
  • Further development through planned classroom activities
  • Development of teaching skills as you move to sustained sequences of lessons
  • Research in the University and school on the use of ICT in the teaching of your subject

PGCE: programme structure

  • Starting in September and ending in June the full-time PGCE is the fastest and most condensed way for non-experienced trainees to qualify.
  • The course comprises of two school placements and two periods of University-based teaching September to October; January to February.
  • 120 days (24 weeks) of the 36 week PGCE course will be spent in schools. You will have one school attachment during the autumn term and another (in a different school) in the spring/summer terms. During the second attachment a proportion of your teaching at key stage 4 will be focussed on your chosen specialist area.

We try to take your geographical location into account when placing you in schools but our first concern is to ensure that you have a high quality school placement that can provide a range of experiences. Additional training will therefore take place in partner schools other than your 'attachment' schools. Support is available from your University Tutor throughout your training, plus from experienced teachers accredited by the University as school based tutors.

Career path

Successful completion of the PGCE Secondary Education course leads to recommendation to NCTL for qualified teacher status (QTS) and will then allow you to take up a teaching post within a secondary school.

In secondary schools you could be considered for a Teaching and Learning Responsibility (TLR), which may comprise any of the following:

  • Leading a particular subject as head of department, faculty or curriculum
  • Leading the achievement of a particular age group as head of year or key stage coordinator
  • Leading a particular area such as special education needs or pastoral care (i.e. personal guidance)

Later, you could progress to a senior leadership position such as a deputy or assistant head and head teacher - at which point you will have overall responsibility for the leadership and management of a school and the education its students receive.

Following successful completion of this award, you could also use your 60 Masters-level credits towards any of our Masters degrees in the field of education which can be continued within your NQT year.

Find out more about further study that can be taken after completing this PGCE award.

Who accredits this course?

The University will award students with the PGCE in Secondary Education with 60 credits at Master’s level.

All students who have fully met the Teachers’ Standards as set by the National College for Teaching & Leadership will be recommended for the award of Qualified Teacher Status (QTS).

The award of QTS is essential to teach in a maintained school in the United Kingdom and, upon gaining this award, the student becomes a qualified teacher.



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This . Science. Biology one-year PGDipEd (QTS) course.  prepares you for life as a science teacher, with a specialism in biology. Read more

This Science: Biology one-year PGDipEd (QTS) course prepares you for life as a science teacher, with a specialism in biology. The course develops your skills and abilities in understanding the complexities which surround the teaching and learning of science; the subject knowledge and the pedagogy. We hope to develop you as a reflective teacher who considers carefully the choices in how to teach Science: Biology and makes informed decisions about how you work best with students. For those students who are eligible, bursaries of £26,000 may be available for this subject.

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 Postgraduate Diploma in Education (PGDipEd) rather than a Postgraduate 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 this 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.

The course is essentially one of professional training combined with academic study appropriate to a course at Masters’ level. Much of the work of the first term is a direct attempt to prepare you for teaching situations that you may face on school placements. It should give you opportunities for developing your own thinking which can be trialled when practising those facets of teaching which are most directly related to the classroom and the laboratory situation. Time will be given to, for example: the preparation of: lesson materials; the organisation of laboratory work; and the use of demonstrations. These are only a sample of the techniques to manage and engage classes. Some are general skills that all teachers must develop regardless of their subject; others will be specific to the sciences.

The curriculum work is also concerned with broader and longer term aims. Students will wish to familiarise themselves with current developments arising from and linked to the National Curriculum and various government initiatives. It is impossible to isolate the teaching of science from broader educational issues such as increasing awareness of the need for education to be connected to the remainder of pupils’ lives, to the concerns of society as a whole and to the world of work and leisure beyond school.

So, on this course you will find that we have tried to integrate the theory and the practice and to ensure that you have a sound theoretical understanding on which your practice is based. We aim then to prepare you to become a science teacher by helping you to develop both personally and professionally. We believe that an education through science should generate a sense of curiosity, promote creative thinking and enable pupils to develop into reflective citizens ready to play a full part in a democratic society.

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 will offer help and advice from a student perspective.

Ask Alice a question

Ask Lori a question

Ask Waqar a question

You may also be interested in our other two PGDipEd Science courses:

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:

Information on all our PGDipEd (QTS) secondary subjects may be found on the Postgraduate Diploma Secondary Education (QTS) course page. 



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If you have a passion for Art and Design and wish to communicate your enthusiasm with young people, this course will prepare you to do this effectively. Read more

If you have a passion for Art and Design and wish to communicate your enthusiasm with young people, this course will prepare you to do this effectively. The aim of the course is to develop reflective teachers who care about pupils’ development in art, craft and design, and who understand how to ensure pupil progression. You will be encouraged to develop effective and inspirational practical teaching skills underpinned by a sound grasp of theoretical concepts.

The Postgraduate Certificate in Education Secondary Education offers initial teacher education to develop reflective teachers who care about pupils’ development in art, craft and design, and who understand how to ensure pupil progression. You will be encouraged to develop effective and inspirational practical teaching skills underpinned by a sound grasp of theoretical concepts.

This course is designed to meet the NCTL Teaching Standards which assesses all trainees working towards Qualified Teacher Status (QTS).

This Art and Design route sits within an exciting range of Secondary Education subjects we offer within the Institute of Education.

This postgraduate qualification offers 60 Masters-level credits that can be used towards our Masters degrees in the field of education.

SECONDARY EDUCATION Frequently Asked Questions

This is NOT an appropriate training course for applicants who wish to teach in Primary schools or Post Compulsory Education establishments.

What happens on the course?

Over the one year course, you undertake two periods of University-based learning at Walsall Campus, and you spend at least 120 days divided between two different schools across the 11-16 age range within the Secondary age phase.

  • Your University tutor is available to assist you throughout your training, and every effort is made to ensure you have a high-quality school placement, where you can learn from experienced teachers
  • All course modules provide examples of good practice in teaching which you will reflect upon as you develop your own teaching style. You will be expected to participate actively in your own learning and development
  • Teaching on the course reflects a variety of methods that will prepare you for life in the classroom including teacher-led debates, pupil-led exploration, peer-group discovery and the provision of individual targets. You will be assessed in a variety of ways including written assignments; classroom based investigation and other school-based activities and appraisal of practical teaching skills. The majority teaching sessions will be alongside trainees from the other the science routes.
  • Typical modules may include:
  • Observation of teaching, before undertaking ‘sheltered’ teaching activities, for example teaching parts of lessons or groups of pupils within a class
  • Progression to teaching single or short sequences of lessons
  • Further development through planned classroom activities
  • Development of teaching skills as you move to sustained sequences of lessons
  • Research in the University and school on the use of ICT in the teaching of your subject

PGCE: programme structure

  • Starting in September and ending in June the full-time PGCE is the fastest and most condensed way for non-experienced trainees to qualify.
  • The course comprises of two school placements and two periods of University-based teaching September to October; January to February.
  • 120 days (24 weeks) of the 36 week PGCE course will be spent in schools. You will have one school attachment during the autumn term and another (in a different school) in the spring/summer terms. During the second attachment a proportion of your teaching at key stage 4 will be focussed on your chosen specialist area.

We try to take your geographical location into account when placing you in schools but our first concern is to ensure that you have a high quality school placement that can provide a range of experiences. Additional training will therefore take place in partner schools other than your 'attachment' schools. Support is available from your University Tutor throughout your training, plus from experienced teachers accredited by the University as school based tutors.

Career path

Successful completion of the PGCE Secondary Education course leads to recommendation to NCTL for qualified teacher status (QTS) and will then allow you to take up a teaching post within a secondary school.

  • In secondary schools you could move up and across the management structure to gain responsibility for:
  • a particular subject as head of department, faculty or curriculum
  • a particular age group as head of year or key stage coordinator
  • a particular area such as special education needs or pastoral care (i.e. personal guidance)
  • Ultimately, you could progress to a senior management position such as a deputy or assistant head and, of course, headteacher - at which point you will have overall responsibility for the management of a school and the education its pupils receive
  • A national survey conducted by the Centre for Education and Employment Research has ranked Wolverhampton as the second most successful UK Higher Education Institute for graduate teacher training employment
  • Following successful completion of this award, you could also use your 60 Masters-level credits towards any of our Masters degrees in the field of education which can be continued within your NQT year.

What skills will you gain?

Successful completion of the PGCE Secondary Education course leads to recommendation to NCTL for qualified teacher status (QTS) and will then allow you to take up a teaching post within a secondary school. You will be prepared to teach pupils in the 11-16 age range within the secondary age phase with primary and post-16 enhancement.

This course will provide you with an excellent start to your teaching career as you experience teaching your subject in two separate secondary schools, working with trained school-based tutors to aid your development.

You will become a critical reflective teacher with high levels of subject knowledge and a wide understanding of educational theory and practice.

Professional skills required to achieve Outstanding results in relation to student progress including data analysis, communication, lesson planning and assessment methods.

Find out more about further study that can be taken after completing this PGCE award.



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North and Mid Wales Centre of Teacher Education. Aberystwyth and Bangor Universities together provide Initial Teacher Education and Training in an exciting partnership forming the North and Mid Wales Centre of Teacher Education, one of three national Centres in Wales training primary and secondary teachers. Read more
North and Mid Wales Centre of Teacher Education
Aberystwyth and Bangor Universities together provide Initial Teacher Education and Training in an exciting partnership forming the North and Mid Wales Centre of Teacher Education, one of three national Centres in Wales training primary and secondary teachers. The North and Mid Wales Centre is a collaboration between two traditional institutions, both with excellent and long-standing records in providing training for prospective teachers but also very much in touch with current trends in education. The Centre works with and develops partnerships with primary and secondary schools across the regions, and provides the best possible start for trainee teachers. It offers first rate higher education in two of Britain’s most beautiful locations. The atmosphere at the Centre, whether based in Aberystwyth or Bangor, is welcoming and friendly and trainee teachers will receive a high standard of training and support.

Why do your PGCE Course at Aber?

At Aberystwyth, we can offer you:

An environment which postgraduate students find attractive, congenial and friendly.

A School of Education and Lifelong Learning which prides itself on taking a personal interest in both the welfare and the professional development of its students.

A University which has a long tradition of courses of training for prospective teachers but is also very much in touch with recent and current trends in education.

Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) and teaching in the UK and abroad

QTS gained at institutions in Wales is fully equivalent to that for England. All trainees gaining QTS in Aberystwyth will be qualified to teach all over the UK as well as in many other countries. Students gaining QTS in Wales are able to undertake their induction year in England and other parts of the UK.

Subjects
At Aberystwyth:

• English
• Drama
• Geography
• History
• Information Communication Technology
• Modern Foreign Languages
• Science (Biology, Chemistry, Physics)
• Welsh

Bangor University also offer PGCE Secondary subjects in Art & Design, Mathematics, Music, Outdoor Activities, Physical Education, Religious Education, Science (Biology, Chemistry, Physics) & Welsh.

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The . School Direct Tuition PGCE route.  is for high quality graduates who are looking to secure training and final employment at a specific partnership school whilst following a PGCE programme. Read more

The School Direct Tuition PGCE route is for high quality graduates who are looking to secure training and final employment at a specific partnership school whilst following a PGCE programme. This route allows you to apply to one of our partnership schools for your main training placement and provides University and school-based training along with 60 Masters level credits leading to the award of a PGCE at the end of the programme. Trainees are responsible for tuition fees and may be entitled to bursaries and student loans.

If you want to become a physical education teacher then this course will prepare you to work in schools and to deliver high quality lessons for all pupils. The aim of the physical education course is to develop thoughtful teachers who can respond effectively to the learning needs of young people in school by providing a balanced physical education programme. Completion of the course will award Qualified Teacher Status along with 60 credits towards a Masters.

You will learn to draw on the theoretical principles underpinning physical education, and how to use this knowledge in your teaching. You will contribute to the teaching of traditional activity areas of the wider range and content of the National Curriculum for Physical Education key stage 3 strategy as well as traditional examination PE courses within the 11-16 programme. We aim to provide a range of experiences, including post 16 teaching.

What happens on the course?

Over the one year course, you will undertake up to 60 days of University-based learning at Walsall Campus, and you will spend at least 120 days training in schools.

Your University tutor will be available to assist you throughout your training, and your lead SD school will ensure that you have high-quality school placements where you will learn from experienced teachers.

Teaching on the course will model a range of teaching strategies that will prepare you for life in the classroom including teacher-led debates, pupil-led exploration, peer-group discovery and personalised learning. You will be assessed in a variety of ways including written assignments, classroom based investigations, other school-based activities and appraisal of practical teaching skills.

All University-based elements of the course take place at the Walsall Campus where we have state-of-the-art learning facilities.

Typical modules may include

  • Observation of teaching, before undertaking ‘collaborative’ teaching activities, for example teaching parts of lessons or groups of pupils within a class
  • Progression to teaching single or short sequences of lessons
  • Further development through planned classroom activities
  • Development of teaching skills as you move to sustained sequences of lessons
  • Research in the University and school on the use of Information Technologies in the teaching of your subject

PGCE: programme structure

Starting in September and ending in June the full-time PGCE is the fastest and most condensed way for non-experienced trainees to qualify.

The course comprises of main and second school placements together with periods of University-based tuition. 24 weeks of the 36 week PGCE course will be spent in schools.

Additional training will take place in partner schools other than your SD 'placement' schools such as a Primary school experience and enhancement opportunities in special school settings. Support is available throughout your training from your university tutors and from a team of experienced teachers accredited by the University as your School Direct tutors.

Career path

The PGCE in Secondary School Teaching leads to qualified teacher status (QTS), and allows you to take up a teaching post within a secondary school. As a School Direct trainee you will move into employment with your lead school or you will be supported to find a teaching position within their alliance or within the much wider Wolverhampton partnership.

In secondary schools you could move up and across the management structure to gain responsibility for:

  • a particular subject as head of department, faculty or curriculum
  • a particular age group as head of year or key stage coordinator
  • a particular area such as special education needs or pastoral care (i.e. personal guidance)

You could progress to a senior management position such as a deputy or assistant head and, of course, headteacher - at which point you will have overall responsibility for the management of a school and the education its pupils receive.

Following successful completion of this PGCE award, you could also use your 60 Masters-level credits towards any of our Masters degrees in the field of education.

What skills will you gain?

If you are successful you will be awarded PGCE with Qualified Teacher Status and you will be prepared to teach pupils in the 11-16 age phase.

The course will provide you with an excellent start to your teaching career as you experience teaching in at least two separate secondary schools, working with trained school-based tutors to aid your development.

Who accredits this course?

This course leads to the academic award of PGCE and the professional qualification of QTS – Qualified Teacher Status. The University will recommend students who have demonstrated competence in the Teachers’ Standards to the National College of Teaching and Leadership (NCTL) for the award of QTS.

The award of QTS is essential to work as a qualified teacher in a school in the United Kingdom.



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Our Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) in Secondary Education provides a high standard of training for those preparing to take up a teaching post in the secondary school sector. Read more

Our Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) in Secondary Education provides a high standard of training for those preparing to take up a teaching post in the secondary school sector. The course complies with the statutory guidance from the National College for Teaching and Leadership for Initial Teacher Training courses.

Social Sciences is an exciting secondary school curriculum subject area. It covers topics such as: sociology(socialisation, culture, identity, social differentiation, power, stratification, education, family, health, work, poverty, welfare religion, globalisation, media, crime, research methods); health and social care (human growth and development, communication and values, positive care environments, social aspects and lifestyle choices, activities for health and well-being, public health, meeting individual needs, promoting health and well-being, investigating disease, using and understanding research, social issues and welfare needs, understanding human behaviour); and personal, social, health and economic education. As a trainee you will learn how to teach social sciences to pupils in the 14-19 age range within the secondary age phase, with additional experience in the 11-14 age range and primary enhancements. You will learn how to develop skills, knowledge and understanding for teaching social sciences through a combination of university-led and school-led training.

This course is designed to meet the NCTL Teaching Standards which assesses all trainees working towards Qualified Teacher Status (QTS).

This postgraduate qualification offers 60 Masters-level credits that can be used towards our Masters degrees in the field of education.

This Social Sciences route sits within an exciting range of Secondary Education subjects we offer within the Institute of Education.

SECONDARY EDUCATION Frequently Asked Questions

This is NOT an appropriate training course for applicants who wish to teach in Primary schools or Post Compulsory Education establishments.

What happens on the course?

Over the one year course, you will undertake learning at University and other educational settings. You will spend 120 days divided between at least two different school placements across the 14-19 age range within the Secondary age phase.

Your University tutor team is available to assist you throughout your training, supporting development of reflection. Every effort is made to ensure that high-quality school placements are provided to you, facilitating learning through observing, co-teaching and being observed by experienced teachers in the classroom.

All course modules provide examples of good practice in pedagogy which you will reflect upon as you develop your own teaching style - you will be expected to actively participate in your own learning and development.

Teaching on the course comprises a variety of methodologies that will prepare you for life in the classroom including teacher-led discussions, pupil-led exploration, peer-group discovery, problem based learning, e-learning and the provision of individual targets.

You will be assessed in a variety of ways including written assignments; classroom based investigation and other school-based activities, and appraisal of practical teaching skills.

Typical activities may include:

  • Observation of teaching, before undertaking ‘sheltered’ teaching activities, for example teaching parts of lessons or small groups of pupils within a class
  • Progression to teaching single or short sequences of lessons
  • Further development through reflection on planned classroom activities
  • Development of teaching skills as you move to sustained sequences of lessons
  • Research that takes place in both University and school settings on selected aspects of your practice.

PGCE: Programme Structure

The PGCE course takes place over 180 days, and 120 of those days are spent in a school. You will have one school attachment during the autumn term and another (in a different school) in the spring/summer terms.

One of our strengths is that we have a vast network of high quality partnership schools in which to place you for the extended school placements. We ensure that you receive high quality school-based training by selecting schools with highly trained mentors and a proven track record of excellent trainee outcomes. We will also take other factors into consideration when placing you, such as your geographical location and transportation, to provide you with the best possible experience in a convenient and suitable setting.

The University-led elements of the course take place at our Walsall Campus. Our PGCE starts in early September and ends in June, and it is an intensive academic and professional training course that effectively prepares you for your first teaching post and beyond.

The course comprises of a two day professional placement in mixed subject groups, two extended school placements in your subject specialism and two periods of University-based teaching – September to October and January to February. The programme also includes a short Primary school placement and additional opportunities for a range of enhancements to your course; for example, experience of teaching pupils with special educational needs, teaching pupils at post-16 level or teaching pupils for whom English is an additional language.

Career path

Successful completion of the PGCE Secondary Education course leads to recommendation to NCTL for qualified teacher status (QTS) and will then allow you to take up a teaching post within a secondary school.

In secondary schools you could be considered for a Teaching and Learning Responsibility (TLR), which may comprise any of the following:

  • Leading a particular subject as head of department, faculty or curriculum
  • Leading the achievement of a particular age group as head of year or key stage coordinator
  • Leading a particular area such as special education needs or pastoral care (i.e. personal guidance)

Later, you could progress to a senior leadership position such as a deputy or assistant head and head teacher - at which point you will have overall responsibility for the leadership and management of a school and the education its students receive.

Following successful completion of this award, you could also use your 60 Masters-level credits towards any of our Masters degrees in the field of education which can be continued within your NQT year.

Find out more about further study that can be taken after completing this PGCE award.



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The . PGDipEd (QTS) Science. Chemistry course.  is noted for the support that it provides, and the quality of the partnership between schools and the University. Read more

The PGDipEd (QTS) Science: Chemistry course is noted for the support that it provides, and the quality of the partnership between schools and the University. This high status extends into the early years of teaching, where demand for trainees from Birmingham is high, and trainees stay in the job for longer than average. The course tries to develop an understanding of issues and complexities which surround the teaching and learning of Science and Chemistry. We wish to develop you as a thinking teacher who can be aware of choices in how to teach Science and Chemistry and make informed decisions about how you work with learners. 

Students may be eligible for bursaries of up to £26,000 (depending on qualifications) in line with the government’s priority to attract more well qualified chemistry teachers or a scholarships of £28,000 in lieu of a bursary from the Royal Society of Chemistry.

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 Postgraduate Diploma in Education (PGDipEd) rather than a Postgraduate 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 this 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 teaching 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.

The teaching and learning of science is complex and an effective teacher needs to be able understand how children learn and how a range of approaches enables this to happen. This course aims to equip you to be able to do this through a carefully designed programme of workshops, seminars and practical sessions which will let you experience the methods and resources you can use. You will explore the place of science in the school curriculum, what students are required to learn, the difficulties and misconceptions they have and the strategies that can facilitate their learning. Through this you will learn how to plan effective lessons, assess the success of those lessons and manage the children that you will work with. You will also learn how to critically reflect on your own practice to ensure your own professional development.

As science teachers are required to teach across the sciences at Key Stage 3 there is a 'science' component in addition to your subject specialism. Teaching the science content to PGDipEd students is not the primary aim of the course although the generic and specific requirements are addressed through various scientific phenomena.

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 will offer help and advice from a student perspective.

Ask Thomas 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:

You may also be interested in our other two PGDipEd Science courses:

Information on all our PGDipEd (QTS) secondary subjects may be found on the Postgraduate Diploma Secondary Education (QTS)course page.

Employability

Many local schools have a high regard for Birmingham Science: Chemistry PGDipEd (QTS) students and we have an excellent record of students gaining jobs at the end of the course. For 2013-2014 the employabilty rate was 100% and all graduates obtained employment in a teaching role. Many of our ex-students have been promoted to positions of responsibility, including Advanced Skills Teachers.

Alumni

Former student Adam Whitaker now works as a science teacher and received a double pay rise after his first year of teaching. Read his full profile



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