This PGDipEd (QTS) English course is designed to enable you to become a reflective, confident practitioner having acquired a range of skills and expertise, as well as a strong conceptual framework about education, children, English and classroom teaching. The programme has an excellent and proven track record. It is rigorous and challenging, forming an excellent preparation for a successful career in teaching English. A bursary of £9,000 is also currently available for those with a 1st or 2:1 degree.
At the University of Birmingham we believe we should provide student teachers with the highest level of teacher education as 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 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, you can return to complete an MA in Teaching Studies (data collection and a 15,000 word dissertation). Additionally, the School also offers a number of specialised Professional Development programmes which will enable you to further develop your career.
Please note that it is important to make an early application as demand is very high and places fill quickly.
Download our brochure for information on all our teacher education programmes.
The 2013 Ofsted report
“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.”
The School of Education at the University of Birmingham has a long tradition of delivering teaching training courses. Its teaching has 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 Initial Teacher Education (ITE) 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).
Our teaching sessions will be interactive, encouraging your reflection and analysis. You will learn how to frame appropriate learning objectives which meet National Curriculum requirements for Key Stages 3 and 4 and how to plan lessons which engage and motivate pupils.
All key areas of teaching English will be covered, including speaking and listening, reading, writing, grammar, media and drama. Teaching at post 16 level is also taught. Whole school issues such as equal opportunities, catering for Special Educational Needs and Assessment of learning in English fed through the main method course. During your serial practice and two school placements you will apply what you have learned and continue your learning through observing experienced teachers, team teaching with peers and teachers, and supported solo teaching with your own classes.
As the course progresses, you will develop increasing confidence and expertise in selecting from a repertoire of learning activities that are supported by appropriate use of resources and technology. This will maximise the learning outcomes for pupils.
Ask an ex-student a Question
The mentors are experienced postgraduates who have previously studied, or are currently studying, at the University of Birmingham, and they offer help and advice from a student perspective.
Ask Rebecca a question
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:
Details of our other PGDipEd subject areas may be found on the main Postgraduate Diploma Secondary Education course page.
Fees for 2017-2018 are: £9,250 (UK/EU full-time), £15,570 (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) English course must hold a degree (normally a minimum 2:2 classification) or equivalent qualification. At least half your degree should be in English or an English related subject. Graduates with degrees in subjects such as Creative Writing or Journalism are also invited to apply.
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 original certificates; you therefore cannot apply for 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
Apply online through the UCAS Teacher Training portal. Competition for places is high and there is one intake per year. Early application is recommended as the places are normally allocated by the end of January.
UCAS code: Q3X1
The PGDipEd is divided into five phases:
- Preparation (university-based with some activities in school)
- School Placement 1 (seven week placement in school with tutor visit and one day at the university)
- Development (university-based with some activities in school)
- School Placement 2 (twelve week block placement with tutor visits and two university days);
- 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 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.
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 English university tutor who will guide and support you throughout your PGDipEd (QTS), along with a dedicated school mentor when on placement.
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.
All students have to complete six modules, five of which require a written assignment at Masters level. There are a number of Module Tasks that accompany the assignments that must be passed. There are also additional tasks for students who are completing the course in the expected tine-frame and at the expected level. In addition all students complete two teaching placements and have to meet the Teachers' Standards for the Award of Qualified Teacher Status (QTS).
The University of Birmingham English PGDipEd (QTS) course is highly regarded across Birmingham and the West Midlands. 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 gone on to become Heads of Departments, Senior Managers, advisers and University tutors.