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PGCE Secondary Education: Science with Physics

Course Description

There is a national shortage of science teachers, and physics 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 Physics 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 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 physics or physics-related content, for example from engineering disciplines 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 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 physical 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 physics, to ensure trainee teachers are fully conversant with curriculum requirements. Science with Physics specialists will teach across science disciplines but with an emphasis on physics 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: F3X2

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

(Student Profile)

Andy Carter

2127.jpg I chose Birmingham City University to study my PGCE in Secondary Science because it is very highly regarded for its teacher training courses and the campus is very friendly. It is also well located for transport links both into the city centre and further afield, and it has a very good connection with local schools. After meeting several faculty members on open days and during my interview I felt sure the University was going to be an excellent place for me to complete my teaching qualification.

The lecturers are fantastic and gave me lots of guidance about the course based on their own practical experiences of teaching. This experience is often drawn upon in lectures and helps to deliver engaging lessons in a whole variety of subjects. The University’s education building also has several fully equipped classrooms so students can learn in an environment similar to what they will be teaching in.

Throughout the course students take part in a number of school placements and they are a really important aspect of the course. The University has many connections to local schools as well as those further afield, and when students are on a placement the faculty are in close contact with both the student and the placement staff to ensure it is all going smoothly.

Birmingham is a great place to live, there’s a thriving music scene with an array of different genres available, lots of restaurants and bars in the centre and on the outskirts, as well as some great galleries and museums for those rainy days. Birmingham has excellent transport links with the rest of the country as it has three train stations, meaning you're only a couple of hours from lots of other big cities like London or Manchester and get can to most of the major cities directly. I love Birmingham and hope to be employed here after I graduate.


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 physics or physics-related content.

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Recipient: Birmingham City University
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