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PGCE Secondary Education Science with Chemistry

Course Description

There is a national shortage of science teachers, and chemistry teachers in particular, but we are helping to produce teachers of excellence who can inspire young people in the classroom.

We believe science is an exciting subject and the PGCE Secondary Education: Science with Chemistry course at Birmingham City University enables graduates to develop the skills and knowledge necessary to teach successfully, as well as explore the knowledge, skills and understanding young people need as part of their science education.

As well as taking advantage of the superb facilities at the faculty, which includes top-of-the-range ICT provision, trainees have access to school-based facilities, enabling them to train in the environment in which they will be working.


This is a professional teacher training course that leads to Qualified Teacher Status and it is available at both Level 6 (H) and Level 7 (M).

The National College for Teaching and Leadership bursaries are available for trainees on eligible postgraduate courses in England who are not employed as a teacher. Bursary amounts will vary depending on teaching subject and degree class.

We are justly proud of our very high educational standards and facilities, including teaching rooms with interactive whiteboards, which enable students to get a genuine feel for teaching in a school even before embarking on teaching practice.

In the latest Newly Qualified Teacher (NQT) Survey (2011-13 aggregated data) 95 per cent of Birmingham City University trained newly qualified secondary teachers rated the quality of their training good or very good.

All students are guaranteed outstanding support from both their tutors at the University – all of whom have been exceptional classroom teachers themselves – and from the partnership secondary schools, of which there are more than 200 across the Midlands.

Two thirds of the course takes place in school and we ensure that students are offered a number of placements in a wide range of educational establishments – at least two different schools, plus visits to other schools, including a primary school – so valuable experience is gained in a variety of settings.


You must have a good degree (minimum 2:2 but 2:1 or 1st preferred) from a UK higher education institution or equivalent, with a significant chemistry or chemistry-related content, for example from biochemistry or materials science. You must have a GCSE grade C or above (or equivalent) in both English language and mathematics prior to application and if you are offered an interview you will take a written test to assess your standard of English.

For entry onto a teaching course starting from September 2014 you will also be required to pass the Skills Tests in Literacy and Numeracy. Please visit the Department for Education website for further information.

There is an expectation that you will have had some general experience of working with secondary age students in a school setting. In preparation for the selection interview stage of the recruitment process you are required to engage in a teaching episode, observed by an experienced qualified teacher.

As part of the selection procedure, the interview panel will expect you to demonstrate your knowledge of chemical sciences and will assess personal qualities such as the potential to relate well to secondary age students, enthusiasm, sensitivity, communication skills and robustness and resilience for teaching.

Applicants must also meet The National College for Teaching and Leadership requirements for initial teacher training, which means being medically fit and successfully completing an enhanced disclosure via the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS).

This is an intensive and demanding course, which offers superb preparation for anyone who is committed to educating young people.

Central to the curriculum is the study of education, pedagogy and professional practice from both generic and subject-specific perspectives, which is delivered using a combination of workshops, lectures, seminar groups and individual study.

To complement this is a programme of science subject knowledge that supports the development of subject pedagogy. Specialist subject knowledge of science is up-dated throughout the course, with an emphasis on chemistry, to ensure trainee teachers are fully conversant with curriculum requirements. Science with Chemistry specialist will teach across science disciplines but with an emphasis on chemistry so that they are well prepared to meet the challenges of teaching science in the secondary sector.


Modules are assessed through a range of directed tasks and targeted assignments. Trainee teachers are also required to complete a profile of evidence towards the achievement of the standards required by the National College for Teaching and Leadership for the award of Qualified Teacher Status (QTS). Evidence for the Professional Development Profile is verified by mentors

Our MA Education and Masters in Teaching and Learning (MTL) programmes are designed to serve the continuing professional development (CPD) needs of teachers. Birmingham City University trained teachers with PGCE credits at level 7 benefit from advanced standing on these programmes.


This is an “11-16” course with post-16 enhancement, which offers graduates maximum flexibility when looking for a teaching post.

Employment prospects are excellent based on consistently high employability scores and demand for Birmingham City University trained teachers.

All applications for 2014 entry need to be made via the UCAS Teacher Training website. For more information on how to apply for a teacher training course please visit the UCAS how-it-all-works information page on their website. The UCAS Teacher Training helpline number is 0871 468 0 469.

Course code: F2X1

Visit the PGCE Secondary Education Science with Chemistry page on the Birmingham City University website for more details!

Entry Requirements

You must have a good degree, minimum 2.2 but 2.1 or 1st preferred, from a UK higher education institution or equivalent, with a significant chemistry or chemistry-related content.

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Recipient: Birmingham City University
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