Postgraduate Diploma Secondary Education (QTS) - Mathematics Subject Knowledge Enhancement route

The Subject Knowledge Enhancement (SKE) course, is a full time, campus-based conversion course for those who wish to teach mathematics but have a degree with relatively little mathematics content. The SKE course helps develop a deep understanding of mathematics at A level and beyond and includes over 5 weeks school based teaching placement. A place on a PGCE or PGDipEd course is not a requirement for admission to this course.

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 Post-Graduate Diploma in Education (PGDipEd) rather than a Post-Graduate Certificate in Education (PGCE). Both qualifications lead to Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) but the PGDipEd also offers 120 credits at Master’s level (out of 180), which makes it a highly rewarding course by combining both theory and practice. The subsequent PGDipEd (QTS) course, currently attracts bursaries of up to £25,000 (depending on qualifications) in line with the government’s priority to attract more well qualified mathematics teachers.

Following satisfactory completion of the PGDipEd course, plus a successful induction year in school, students can return to complete an MEd in Teaching Studies (data collection and a 15,000 word dissertation).

If you are interested in applying for 2015, you will need to complete our online application form for this year and also complete the UCAS application for the PGDipEd (if you are successful, you will be offered a deferred entry for 2016 subject to completion of the SKE).
Further details may be found under the ‘How to Apply’ section.

Course fact file

Type of Course: Taught

Duration: A 2-day induction weekend, plus 36 weeks

Details

Hilary changed her career to enter teaching and has recently completed her SKE.

The SKE course at Birmingham is a highly rated subject knowledge enhancement course for those who wish to teach mathematics but have a degree with relatively little mathematics content. The course will help you to increase your confidence by developing a deep understanding of mathematics at A level and beyond. The subject enhancement course at Birmingham works on two levels: the development of personal mathematics knowledge, and also thinking about teaching and learning issues whilst being a learner of mathematics. We wish to develop you as a thinking teacher who can be aware of choices in how to teach mathematics and make informed decisions about how you work with students. The SKE course is suitable for career changers as well as those who have recently graduated. Former students include those who have worked in law, banking and marketing as well as those who have worked in schools as teaching assistants.

Following the successful completion of the 36 week full-time SKE course, students are automatically eligible to apply for the PGDipEd course.

Please contact one of the course tutors if you require further information.

pdficonsmall Download a summary flier for the Postgraduate Diploma Secondary Education (QTS) - Mathematics Subject Knowledge Enhancement route (PDF, 226KB)

If your degree has the equivalent mathematics content of 50% of a mathematics degree then you might like to consider the one year Postgraduate Diploma Secondary Education (QTS) - Mathematics teaching course instead.

We also offer the Postgraduate Diploma Primary Education (SSPIP) Mathematics course if you are interested in teaching young children.

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)

Disability and Disability Equality Scheme
Race Equality

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

Fees and funding

There are no tuition fees for the Subject Knowledge Enhancement course (SKE). In the PGDipEd(QTS) year, fees will be at 2015/2016 rate: £9,000 UK/EU full-time, £14,140 overseas full-time.

Scholarships and studentships
Students are not eligible for statutory support during their SKE period. Home/EU students will be eligible to apply for statutory support from their relevant funding agency during the PGDipEd year. Please view the Funding for Initial Teacher Education page for more information.

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

Entry requirements

All applicants for the SKE course must hold a degree or equivalent qualification (preferably with some mathematics content).You will need to have at least a Grade B at Higher Level GCSE and either an A-level (or equivalent) in mathematics or experience of working in a mathematics department in a secondary school.

If you wish to discuss your qualifications further, please contact either Mary O'Connor or Linda Caswell.

All candidates also have to:

  • have a GCSE in English (grade C or above) or an equivalent qualification in addition to the mathematics qualification; alternatively they might be advised to take an Equivalency Test. The DfE require us to check the original certificates; you therefore cannot start an SKE course with the intention to progress to a PGDipEd (QTS) course unless you already hold these qualifications. 
  • pass Professional Skills Tests in numeracy and literacy prior to starting the course; 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

To apply for 2015 Mathematics Subject Knowledge Enhancement route for non-specialists:

  1. Please first complete our online application form.
  2. Then apply online through the UCAS Teacher Training portal for 2016 entry to the PGDipEd Mathematics course. We request that you make reference to the SKE year at the beginning of your personal statement. If you are successful, you will be offered a deferred entry for PGDipEd Mathematics 2016, subject to successful completion of the SKE year.

For further information please contact:

Linda Caswell
Telephone +44 (0)121 414 4814
Email l.r.caswell@bham.ac.uk

Mary O'Connor
Telephone +44 (0)121 414 4864
Email m.c.oconnor@bham.ac.uk

Learning and teaching

The Subject Knowledge Enhancement course (SKE) consists of taught sessions in algebra and calculus, geometries, statistics, operations and structure, mechanics and decision mathematics. Other taught sessions include mathematics education, topics sessions and an introduction to using selected mathematics software. You will be part of self-learning groups which will be given the task of learning about further mathematics topics and presenting a taught session to your fellow students. You will also be put into a group to design a display to engage people in mathematical activity.

During the course, you will have the opportunity to teach small groups of pupils from a nearby school within the confines of the School of Education. From February, you will gain experience of teaching in a mathematics department in one of our partnership schools, followed by a four week block teaching placement in the same school in the summer term.

Assessment methods

The SKE course will assess your mathematics knowledge. This will be done through: (a) assignments; (b) a folder of work carried out throughout the year; (c) reflections on teaching and learning issues relating to yourself as a learner on this course; (d) involvement in taught sessions; (e) completion of other requirements for the course, such as successful involvement in group activities as mentioned in the course content above.

Employability

Many local schools have a very high regard for Birmingham mathematics PGDipEd (QTS) students and particularly value students who have completed the SKE course and have been successful on their PGDipEd (QTS) course. 

We have been running this course for over 20 years and have an excellent record of students securing jobs at the end of the course. Many of our ex-students get quickly promoted to more senior roles such as Head of Department and mentor in a partnership school.