The School of Education at the University of Birmingham has a long tradition of delivering teacher training courses. Its teaching has been recently 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 Ofsted report states that “such is the confidence of schools that trainees from the University of Birmingham are of high quality, employment rates for both primary and secondary phases exceed national averages by some margin. Trainees display excellent professional qualities: they are clear that good teaching leads to pupils who are interested in their work, enjoy learning and behave well.”
The Initial Teacher Education course
Our aim is to develop analytic and reflective Primary Mathematics Specialists who are aware of the influences on learning and teaching. We are one of the few universities that awards the equivalent of 120 credits for successful completion of our teacher training courses, which we award at Master’s level. For those who successfully complete their induction year there is an opportunity to transfer credits to the MA Teaching Studies course, which is awarded on completion of a 60 credit dissertation.
The Primary Mathematics Specialist course has two parts and is designed and delivered in partnership with local schools, including our outstanding partnership Teaching School. The university part develops your understanding of theoretical and practical issues inherent in the teaching of Mathematics and whole school issues within the primary curriculum. Your school based practice enables you to apply what you have learned in the classroom.
You will undertake three main areas of study; Professional Studies, Core Mathematics and Specialist Mathematics. In addition, you will be introduced to the other core subjects of English and Science, to help you gain an understanding of the wider primary curriculum.
Our school-based placements enable you to put into practice what you have learned and to develop and refine your teaching skills. You will have the opportunity to teach Mathematics and to experience the wider primary curriculum in two different schools. You will teach Mathematics to more than one class on each placement, and over the year this will include both Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2. You are fully supported while on teaching practice by school mentors and our university tutors. You will also undertake short special interest placements in the Early Years Foundation Stage and Key Stage 3. This will develop your understanding of progression in children’s mathematical learning.
Our partnership schools vary in size, phase and context, giving you the opportunity to broaden your teaching experience. By the end of the course you will have the necessary experience and support to begin your career as a primary teacher and a mathematics ‘champion.’
Download a summary of the Postgraduate Diploma Primary Education (SSPIP) Mathematics course (PDF, opens new window)
If you are interested in teaching young children, but would prefer to train as a generalist rather than a specialist, information on our General Primary and Early Years courses can be found on the Postgraduate Diploma in Primary Education course page. If you are interested in Mathematics, but would prefer to teach older pupils, information on our Secondary courses can be found on the Postgraduate Diploma Secondary Education course page.
All students have to complete six modules, five of which require a written assignment and several school-based tasks. All written work is required to achieve a pass mark or above for satisfactory completion of the course. All students are required to pass their teaching practice which is assessed and moderated towards the end of term 3. In addition all students have to meet the Teachers’ Standards for the Award of Qualified Teacher Status (QTS).
Fees for 2015–16 are: £9,000 (UK/EU full-time), £14,140 (overseas full-time).
Learn more about fees and funding
Scholarships and studentships
Home/EU students will be eligible to apply for statutory support from their relevant funding agency. Government training bursaries may be available depending on your subject and degree classification. Trainee teachers on primary maths courses, with a relevant degree and at least a B at A level in maths (or equivalent) will be eligible for a bursary.
For further information contact the School directly or the Student Funding Office via online enquiries.
We require graduates who have achieved their first degree, normally at 2.1 level or higher. Evidence of strong mathematics subject knowledge is required, and we would normally expect candidates to have a grade A or B in A-level Mathematics (which will qualify trainees for an extra £3,000 bursary). We will also consider candidates who have engaged in advanced study of mathematics and who have undertaken degrees with demonstrable mathematical content, such as Psychology or Engineering. For further guidance, or if you have any questions about entry requirements, please contact Kirsty Wilson on 0121 415 8225, or firstname.lastname@example.org
In addition to this it is essential that you have spent a minimum of one week in a maintained primary school, working alongside and/or observing classroom teaching of mathematics and the wider curriculum at the time of applying.
Candidates have to also:
have a GCSE in Maths, English and Science (grade C or above) or an equivalent qualification; alternatively you might be advised to take an Equivalency Test
. The DfE require us to check original certificates; you therefore cannot start teacher training unless you already hold these qualifications
pass Professional Skills Tests in numeracy and literacy; please see the Professional Skills Tests section
of the Department for Education web site for more information on the core skills required by trainee teachers
provide a satisfactory medical form
complete an enhanced DBS/police check
complete a Declaration of Suitability to Teach
adhere to a Code of Professional Conduct and Fitness to Practise
Please note that for the Primary Mathematics Specialist initial teacher education course at the University of Birmingham we prefer applicants to have passed the Skills tests prior to attending an interview.