This one year Physical Education PGDipEd (QTS) course is considered to be a high quality course as identified by the Ofsted subject inspection. The course tries to develop a deep understanding of issues and complexities which surround the teaching and learning of Physical Education. We wish to develop you as a thinking teacher who can be aware of choices in how to teach Physical Education and make informed decisions about how you work with pupils.
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 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.
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 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 course will aim to develop your teaching ability to ensure that you can facilitate learning in the pupils in your care. Our sessions will explore different aspects of teaching and will involve a balance of theoretical and practical activities. We will help you become aware of issues related to teaching including planning units of work and lessons, assessment strategies and teaching and learning styles. We will cover the six activity areas of the National Curriculum as well as the examination and vocational opportunities in Physical Education. We will support your development as a teacher and guide you to recognise and correct pupils' common misconceptions. We will introduce you to a range of equipment, resources and technology which you can utilise to maximise learning opportunities. We will spend some time on residential activities and where possible we will host nationally recognised teaching, leading or coaching courses.
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:
Information on our other PGDipEd (QTS) subjects may be found on the Postgraduate Diploma Secondary Education (QTS)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.
For further information contact the School directly or the Student Funding Office via online enquiries.
All applicants to the Secondary PGDipEd(QTS) Physical Education course must hold a degree (a minimum 2:2 classification) or equivalent qualification. We will expect the components of your degree to be at least 50% Physical Education or sport related. We recommend you hold at least three further qualifications in teaching, leading or coaching in activities which are relevant to the National Curriculum. Experience in state Physical Education departments is also recommended.
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
Apply online through the UCAS Teacher Training portal. Our course is very popular and we recommend you apply early as possible. We also advise you to use an academic reference first to avoid delay and disappointment.
UCAS code: X9C6
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 a 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. In addition all students complete two teaching placements and have to meet the Teachers' Standards for the Award of Qualified Teacher Status (QTS).
Many local schools have a high regard for Birmingham Physical Education PGDipEd (QTS) trainees and we have an excellent record of trainees gaining jobs upon completion 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 are now Directors of Sport, Heads of Departments or SSCO's in our partnership schools and beyond.
'Nothing could have better prepared me to enter the world of teaching. As a result of the great support and guidance given throughout the PGDipEd, I am confident in my own ability to be an outstanding practitioner of Physical Education. I look back on the course with so many fond memories and experiences which I will treasure for the rest of my life. I feel truly lucky to have been given the opportunity to train to teach at the University of Birmingham and would thoroughly recommend it to anybody who wishes to enter this fantastic profession.'
‘This is an excellent course that has prepared me perfectly for my role as subject leader of PE. The large amount of practical sessions is exactly what is needed for our subject. The course staff worked really hard to equip us for all we would need to succeed in our careers.’