The PGDipEd course lasts 36 weeks, of which 24 are spent on placement in partnership schools. There are five phases:
Preparation (university, some school-based activities including some primary teaching)
School Placement 1 (seven week placement in school with tutor visit and one day at the university)
Development (university, some activities such as teaching on an intensive post-16 day, one week in your second school)
School Placement 2 (twelve week block placement with tutor visits and some university days);
Completion (two further weeks in your second school and two weeks at the university).
Teaching practice will take several forms: school placements and also team teaching while at the university. You will also get involved in small scale research projects for your assignments so that you can evaluate the theory in practice and integrate this learning into your own practice.
The course is assessed through 6 modules in total (see details below).
Download the flier for the Postgraduate Diploma Secondary Education (QTS) – French/Spanish/German programme (PDF, 2.03MB)
If you are interested in our other secondary subject courses please view the general Secondary PGDipEd course page.
Farhat Mustaq was born in Pakistan and lived for 10 years in France before moving to the UK where she completed her degree studies. She successfully completed her teacher training in Modern Languages with us and was awarded the The Elaine Hurman Prize for her excellent work on developing her pupils’ use of the target language in class. Two years into her teaching career she has been promoted to head of department in her school and is about to start studying for an MEd in Teaching Studies (Listen to Farhat discussing the PGDipEd course in her video above)
What students say about the course
‘I really enjoyed doing my PGDipEd with the University of Birmingham. I received good support from both my university tutors and have learnt a lot particularly through small group work. All the topics discussed and learnt have been very useful and interesting. It’s been a hard but very rich experience!.’ Rachma Salim, student teacher, 2010-11
‘The PGDipEd in MFL was a challenging and rewarding course which laid the foundations for excellent teaching practice. I was given continual support both at university and at my school placements. The Masters level assignments allowed us to gain an academic understanding of teaching and I am keen to return to gain a Masters in Education in a few years.’ Stephanie Seal, student teacher, 2010-11
‘I have just finished my PGDipED at the University of Birmingham. Being French, I thought it could have been very challenging to pass this course but it is absolutely possible for a non English speaking person. The MFL sessions were very useful and helped me in my teaching development.This was a tough year, but I am very glad I did it at the University of Birmingham.’ Marine Masson, student teacher, 2010-11
Alumni Jean-Yves Riviere came to the UK when he was 21 having been educated and done his national service in France. He says there were times when he felt 'it is like being on an emotional rollercoaster, but there is always great support from the course tutors.'
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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)
Assessment for this module is through an assignment on teachers’ use of the target language in Modern Languages classes, pre-placement school-based lesson planning and evaluation, and the student teacher’s reflection on their own progress during the autumn term.
School Studies 2:
(20 credits Level M)
Assessment for this module is through practical research on grammar teaching in Modern Languages, the first school placement teaching file (e.g. lesson plans, observation notes), and the student teacher’s Learning Development Profile.
School Studies 3:
(20 credits Level M)
Assessment for this module focuses on developing learner autonomy in Modern Languages, and the student teacher’s reflection on their own progress during the spring term. There are also 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)
Assessment for this module is through an open-choice assignment (negotiated with the tutor and the mentor in school), the student teacher’s reflection on their own progress during the summer term, and their Career Entry Development Profile.
Teaching Experience 1:
(30 credits Level 3)
Student teachers observe lessons and teach on average half a normal teacher’s timetable, providing relevant documentation for every lesson taught. They have discussions with tutors, mentors and teachers focusing 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 depends upon the student teacher’s individual work as a practitioner and reflection upon practice. The second placement file and Teaching Progress Report Form (for QTS) are key elements in the assessment of this module.
Teaching Experience 2:
(10 credits Level M)
This module is assessed through a two-part assignment on the student teacher’s developing practice in monitoring and assessment of pupil progress.
Fees for 2013–14 are: £9,000 (UK/EU full-time), £13,200 (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.
Ideally we expect candidates to:
either hold a good honours degree with at least 50% of it in the language they wish to teach (French/German/Spanish) OR be native speakers of French/German/Spanish and hold a good honours degree in that language or another subject;
have a grade C or above in GCSE Maths and English, or in an equivalent qualification. Alternatively they might be advised to take an equivalency test
offer a second foreign language if possible (at a lower level than their main one is ok). All linguists are encouraged to offer a second foreign language (for greater employability), however it is a course requirement that Spanish specialists should also be able to offer French
have spent a substantial amount of time in a country where their main foreign language (French/German/Spanish) is spoken and be familiar with the English education system.
We will consider applications on their own merits, so if your profile is not quite in line with the above requirements this should not put you off applying but you will need to show in your application form how you would make a good candidate.
All candidates will also have to:
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
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.