The School of Education at the University of Birmingham has a long tradition of delivering teacher training courses. It's 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
This 36-week programme is based in schools and on the University main campus, and includes the following areas of study:
The award of the PGDipEd (QTS) is subject to completion of all areas of study, and to satisfactory assessment of professional studies via six modules, subject-based work and school practice. The course is designated 11–18 so you will work with pupils from Key Stages 3 and 4 of the National Curriculum and with those in the 16-plus age group; from the very able to those with learning difficulties, and in a variety of settings.
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
The Secondary PGDipEd is available in the following subjects:
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 and funding
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 (for the 2 year Mathematics route, Home/EU students receive statutory support for the second year of this course. There is no statutory support for the first year). 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 candidates have to:
have degree or equivalent qualification in a relevant subject. Please view specific subjects for precise details
have a GCSE in Maths and English at grade C or above or an equivalent qualification (on application). For Physics and Physics with Maths the requirement is GCSE in English at grade C or above or equivalent; for Modern Languages the requirement is GCSE English at grade C or above or equivalent. Alternatively, candidates for all courses might be advised to take an Equivalency Test (please check with the subject tutor if you are unsure whether this applies to you).
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. Applications can be made from 21st November 2013 for the following September start and there is one intake per year.
Please view the individual subject pages to find out the UCAS code