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
During your training year, you will focus on learning to teach Physics to 11-18 year olds but you will also have the opportunity to learn about Mathematics teaching. Key Stage 3 Science is sometimes taught by one teacher so you may also wish to gain some experience of teaching biology and chemistry.
This Initial Teacher Education (ITE) course is 36 weeks long of which 24 weeks are spent on placement in partnership schools for both subjects. 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).
This Physics with Mathematics course will enable you to gain skills in both classroom and laboratory environments using a range of teaching styles and techniques. Classroom management, lesson planning and assessing the success of your lessons are some of the areas which will be covered. 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.
Our tutors are very experienced and have all taught in secondary schools and are engaged in research which improves children’s learning experiences.
Download the flier for the Postgraduate Diploma Secondary Education (QTS) - Physics with Mathematics course (PDF, 227KB)
Information on our other PGDipEd(QTS) subjects may be found on the Postgraduate Diploma Secondary Education (QTS)course page.
All students have to complete six modules, five of which require a written assignments. In addition students will need to complete two teaching placements and 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.
- plan for, teach and evaluate learning experiences for small groups;
- understand the place of your subject within national frameworks and initiatives;
- develop an awareness of a least one area related to whole school issues in the context of your subject;
- develop an awareness of some of the research in the whole school issues field in the context of your subject.
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.
- plan for, teach and evaluate learning experiences for whole classes and distinguish success and failure in these.
- demonstrate an understanding of the place of the subject within the school context.
- demonstrate awareness of the needs of learners.
- relate theory and practice through mini research in a learning context.
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.
- plan for and teach whole classes and evaluate learning experiences; distinguish success and failure of learning and offer potential future teaching alternatives.
- demonstrate an understanding of the place of the subject and whole school issues within the school context.
- demonstrate an extended awareness of the needs of learners.
- relate theory and practice of learning through case-study methods.
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.
- plan for and teach whole classes, evaluate learning experiences and know how to adapt teaching to respond to success and failure in learning.
- demonstrate a wider knowledge of teaching /learning situations through another subject or extended main subject studies.
- relate theory and practice of subject specific pedagogy through small-scale research in the learning environment.
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.
- plan for and teach whole classes and evaluate learning experiences (3-11 or 11-18 age range).
- create a majority of successful experiences.
- demonstrate an understanding of the implications of whole school issues and subject content in relation to teaching
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.
- plan for and teach whole classes and evaluate learning experiences (primary/secondary schools).
- demonstrate an understanding of the implications of practice to future development as a teacher.
- demonstrate reflective, analytical and evaluative skills
Fees and funding
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 of up to £25,000 are available depending on your degree classification. The Institute of Physics (IOP) also offer a bursary of up to £25,000 for those who hold a 1st or 2(i) degree, PhD or Masters Degree.
For further information contact the School directly or the Student Funding Office via online enquiries
A degree or equivalent qualification is required. Your honours degree should have significant physics content, at least 50%. Degree subjects which allow direct access to the course include Physics, Civil Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Aeronautical Engineering and Chemical Engineering. If you are unsure about whether your degree contains sufficient Physics content you should contact John Kirkman, Admissions Tutor for the course, who will be able to advise you whether you need to consider a subject knowledge enhancement course before starting at Birmingham. You will also need to demonstrate a breadth of commitment to mathematics, to enable competence across the mathematics curriculum for 11-14 year old children.
All candidates also have to:
- have a GCSE in 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
How to apply