The School of Education at the University of Birmingham has a long tradition of delivering teaching training courses. It's teaching has recently 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 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
The Initial Teacher Education (ITE) course is 36 weeks long of which 24 weeks are spent on placement in a partnership school. There are five phases: Preparation (university and some school-based activities); School Placement 1 (seven week placement in school); Development (university and one week in your second school); School Placement 2 (12 week block placement and some university days); Completion (two further weeks in second school and two weeks in university).
The PGDipEd(QTS) Geography course is delivered through seminars, lectures, group work, practical school experience, ICT and field studies. It places a clear emphasis on the central role of the learner.
The course provides the necessary skills to organise geography lessons successfully and deal with the daily challenges of teaching in a comprehensive school. Time is spent on the preparation of lessons, teaching strategies, use of equipment and classroom management. The appropriate use of ICT in geography education is stressed.
You will learn about the role of geography education in the secondary school curriculum. Principles of evaluation, assessment, record keeping and reporting in geography education will be investigated. The programme also includes a residential geography fieldcourse with children, undertaken in the summer term in either Shropshire or the Lake District. You will be expected to take a reflective and active stance towards your own development.
Download the flier for the Postgraduate Diploma Secondary Education (QTS) - Geography course (PDF, 61KB)
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:
School Mission Statement (PDF 23KB, opens new window)
Disability and Disability Equality Scheme
Information on our other PGDipEd subjects may be found on the Postgraduate Diploma Secondary Education course page.
All students have to complete six modules, five of which require a written assignments. In addition students need to complete two teaching placements and have to meet the Teachers' Standards for the Award of Qualified Teacher Status (QTS)
School Studies 1:
(20 credits Level M)
This module, which consists of university based seminars and school based practical experience, will offer opportunities for you to develop your understanding and practice of teaching. In particular, the planning and evaluation of learning experiences for small groups, supported by exploration of the place of your subject within national frameworks and initiatives which will include at least one area of cross-curricular concern.
School Studies 2:
(20 credits Level M)
These university based seminars will enable you to develop an understanding of the needs of learners within a subject discipline and in secondary schools. You will also reflect on the teaching placement (School Placement 1) in your school and learn to plan and evaluate teaching experiences which will consider the role of learners.
School Studies 3:
(20 credits Level M)
The university based seminars will enbable you to develop an understanding of the needs of learners within a subject discipline and in schools. You will reflect upon your teaching placement (School Placement 2) in school, and continue to learn to plan and evaluate teaching experiences which consider the role of learners.
There will also be university and school based seminars on whole school issues – e.g. equal opportunities, management of the teaching environment.
School Studies 4:
(20 credits Level M)
During these university based seminars, you will develop an understanding of the needs of learners within your main subject discipline or within an alternative subject and schools.
Teaching Experience 1:
(30 credits Level 3)
You will observe lessons and teach on average half a normal teacher’s timetable, providing relevant documentation for every lesson taught. You will have discussions with tutors, mentors and teachers focus on pupils’ learning and the experience of teaching.
This module is closely linked with the School Studies modules where the theoretical underpinning of the practice is discussed to enable the students to analyse the ideas in practice. Much of the module will depend upon your individual work as a practitioner and reflecting upon practice.
Teaching Experience 2:
(10 credits Level M)
This module will explore your continuing reflective and analytical development as you review your teaching and learning. It is closely linked with the School Studies modules where the theoretical underpinning of the practice is discussed to enable you to analyse the ideas in practice.
The contact time will allow you to develop your theoretical framework and to develop pathways for future personal and professional development.
Fees for 2014–15 are: £9,000 (UK/EU full-time), £13,665 (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.
For further information contact the School directly or the Student Funding Office via online enquiries.
All applicants to the Secondary PGDipEd(QTS) Geography course must hold a degree (normally a minimum 2:2 classification). We will expect your first degree to consist of at least 50% geography (either Physical or Human, but preferably a balance of both). Degrees in Environmental Science, Geology, Geosciences, etc. can be considered, but the university must be certain that such degrees contain at least 50% geography. Candidates will be expected to show a broad base of geographical knowledge (both human and physical) at the interview.
All candidates also have to:
have a GCSE in Maths and English (grade C or above) or an equivalent qualification; alternatively you might be advised to take an Equivalency Test. The DfE require us to check the original certificates; you therefore cannot start a PGDipEd(QTS) course 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