Postgraduate Diploma Secondary Education (QTS) - Science: Chemistry

Postgraduate Diploma Secondary Education (QTS) - Science: Chemistry

The PGDipEd (QTS) Science: Chemistry course is noted for the support that it provides, and the quality of the partnership between schools and the University. This high status extends into the early years of teaching, where demand for trainees from Birmingham is high, and trainees stay in the job for longer than average. The course tries to develop an understanding of issues and complexities which surround the teaching and learning of Science and Chemistry. We wish to develop you as a thinking teacher who can be aware of choices in how to teach Science and Chemistry and make informed decisions about how you work with learners. This course attracts bursaries of up to £25,000 (depending on qualifications) in line with the government’s priority to attract more well qualified chemistry teachers.

At the University of Birmingham we believe we should provide student teachers with the highest level of teacher training possible, and this is why we offer a Postgraduate Diploma in Education (PGDipEd) rather than a Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE). Both qualifications lead to Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) but the PGDipEd also offers the equivalent of 120 credits at Master’s level (out of 180), which makes it a highly rewarding course by combining both theory and practice. Following satisfactory completion of this course, plus a successful induction year in school and references, students can return to complete an MA in Teaching Studies (data collection and a 15,000 word dissertation).

Come along to one of our open evenings to find out more about teacher training opportunities at Birmingham.

Course fact file

Type of Course: Taught

UCAS code: F1X1

Study Options: Full time

Duration: 36 weeks

Start date: September

Details

The School of Education at the University of Birmingham has a long tradition of delivering teaching training courses. Its 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 teaching and learning of science is complex and an effective teacher needs to be able understand how children learn and how a range of approaches enables this to happen. This course aims to equip you to be able to do this through a carefully designed programme of workshops, seminars and practical sessions which will let you experience the methods and resources you can use. You will explore the place of science in the school curriculum, what students are required to learn, the difficulties and misconceptions they have and the strategies that can facilitate their learning. Through this you will learn how to plan effective lessons, assess the success of those lessons and manage the children that you will work with. You will also learn how to critically reflect on your own practice to ensure your own professional development.

As science teachers are required to teach across the sciences at Key Stage 3 there is a 'science' component in addition to your subject specialism. Teaching the science content to PGDipEd students is not the primary aim of the course although the generic and specific requirements are addressed through various scientific phenomena.

pdficonsmall Download a summary document for the Postgraduate Diploma Secondary Education (QTS) - Science: Chemistry course (PDF, 60KB)

Equal Opportunities

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:

pdficonsmallSchool Mission Statement(PDF 23KB, opens new window)

Disabilityand Equality Scheme
Race Equality

You may also be interested in our other two PGDipEd Science courses:

Information on all our PGDipEd (QTS) secondary subjects may be found on the Postgraduate Diploma Secondary Education (QTS)course page.

Modules

Fees and funding

Fees for 2015–16 are: £9,000 (UK/EU full-time), £14,140 (overseas full-time). This course attracts Government bursaries of up to £25,000 (depending on qualifications) in line with the government’s priorities to increase the number of Chemistry teachers.

Scholarships and studentships

The Royal Society of Chemistry are awarding Teacher Training Scholarships to the most outstanding individuals, worth £25,000. There are a series of application deadlines throughout the year.

Home/EU students will be eligible to apply for statutory support from their relevant funding agency. International students can often gain funding through overseas research scholarships, Commonwealth scholarships or their home government.

Learn more about fees and funding

For further information contact the School directly or the Student Funding Office via online enquiries.

Entry requirements

All applicants to the Secondary PGDipEd(QTS) Science: Chemistry course must hold a degree or equivalent qualification. We will expect at least of 50% your degree to be chemistry related and require a good A-level equivalent in a science other than chemistry.

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 

How to apply

Apply online through the UCAS Teacher Training portal

UCAS code: F1X1

Learning and teaching

Course Structure

The PGDipEd is divided into five phases: 

  1. Preparation (university-based with some activities in school) 
  2. School Placement 1 (seven week placement in school with tutor visit and one day at the university) 
  3. Development (university-based with some activities in school) 
  4. School Placement 2 (twelve week block placement with tutor visits and two university days);
  5. Completion (two further weeks in your second school and two weeks at the university).

The course includes the following areas of study: 

  • Subject-based teaching methods 
  • School-based work 
  • Whole-school issues

Subject-based teaching methods

You follow one main method programme, each of which occupies at least three half-days a week for five weeks in each of the autumn and spring terms and two weeks in the summer term. In some subjects a field course, involving work with children, may replace a number of single days in the year. Assessment is based on coursework undertaken during the year.  

School-based work  

School-based work is an important part of the programme, with students normally spending 24 weeks in schools. The combination of block practice and other periods of work in schools enables you to benefit from both carefully supported introductory work in different schools and the experience of spending a significant length of time in one school.

The final assessment of teaching is based on the spring/summer term school placement. Assessment is shared between University tutors, staff responsible for students in schools, and external examiners. All aspects of your contribution to the life of the school are taken into account, in particular the teaching of your main subject.

Prior to the start of the autumn term you are expected to undertake a preliminary period of observation in a primary/middle school near your home or lodgings. During the course supervised experience and practice are arranged in schools of various kinds across the 11–18 age range. We are fortunate in being able to work with a wide range of partnership schools, including mixed comprehensives, single-sex schools and sixth-form colleges. Many of the schools offer opportunities to work with pupils from a wide variety of cultural backgrounds.  

Whole-school issues

This area of study is concerned with aspects of education that are of importance to all intending teachers, irrespective of their particular teaching subjects. It is designed to provide you with a breadth of awareness, depth of insight and development of skills through a range of themes studied by all students. Themes currently include Managing Inclusion, Monitoring and Assessment, and Pastoral Care and Citizenship.  

Tutoring and support

You will personally be allocated an Chemistry university tutor who will guide and support you throughout your PGDipEd (QTS), along with a dedicated school mentor when on placement.

Progression

Once you have completed your PGDipEd (QTS) and successfully passed your induction year you may return to study with us on a part-time basis to complete a 60 credit dissertation and obtain an MA in Teaching Studies

Assessment methods

All students have to complete six modules, five of which require a written assignments, and pass the Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) tests in Numeracy, Literacy and Information and Communication Technology. In addition all students complete two teaching placements and have to meet the Teachers' Standards for the Award of Qualified Teacher Status (QTS).

Employability

Many local schools have a high regard for Birmingham Science: Chemistry PGDipEd (QTS) students and we have an excellent record of students gaining jobs at the end of the course. For 2013-2014 the employabilty rate was 100% and all graduates obtained employment in a teaching role. Many of our ex-students have been promoted to positions of responsibility, including Advanced Skills Teachers.