PGCE Secondary Science Education (11 - 16 years)

Quick links: Entry Requirements | Fees and Funding  | How to apply

Across the globe schools are seeking dynamic and highly qualified teachers to support pupils learning into the future.

Staff within the School of Education have been working closely with the Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA), which is responsible for the growth and quality of education, on the development of this high-quality teacher training programme which leads to the award of the Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) at secondary level. 

The School of Education at the University of Birmingham has a long-standing reputation as a centre of excellence for teacher training and research in a wide range of areas of educational practice and policy. Our one year full-time teacher training programme will prepare you for entry into the teaching profession as a reflective and critically aware practitioner, through a significant emphasis on research-led teacher education. This will include key elements delivered by staff from the University of Birmingham in Dubai supported by senior teachers in schools.

Designed for those who want to teach pupils aged 11–16 (High School level), the programme is based on both the UK and UAE standards.

Further information

View the FAQs which are specific to the PGCE programme in Dubai (PDF).  Alternatively view General FAQs for the University of Birmingham Dubai.

If you are a student or teacher and wish to receive further information and updates about this teacher training programme, please register your interest with Dr Christine Szwed, Strategic Director of Overseas Programmes (Dubai). Email

Mohammad Abdullah

Managing Director of Dubai International Academic City

“As Dubai International Academic City celebrates a decade of excellence, we are honoured to welcome one of the world’s top 100 universities, University of Birmingham, to our vibrant and diverse higher education community. University of Birmingham’s commitment to knowledge transfer through cutting-edge research makes it an ideal partner of choice, contributing to the enhancement of the UAE’s vision of creating innovative and enduring solutions that meet the demands of key sectors of development such as STEM and Education.”

Our Secondary Science Education teacher training programme is designed for those who want to teach pupils aged 11-18. 

It is a full time one year postgraduate course and includes study around teaching methods, school-based work and whole-school issues in a variety of settings. The Secondary Science teacher training course will focus largely on the teaching of general science in the 11-16 age range with additional experience in a science specialism in the post-16 teaching. It will develop skills and abilities in understanding the complexities which surround the teaching and learning of science; the subject knowledge and the pedagogy.

We hope to develop you as a reflective teacher who considers carefully the choices in how to teach Science and makes informed decisions about how you work best with students.

Graduates progress to careers as secondary school teachers of Science and many of our former students hold promoted posts.

Why study this course

  • Achieve a globally recognised teaching qualification that is taught, assessed and accredited by one of top universities in the United Kingdom
  • Develop as a teaching professional while remaining in the UAE
  • Improve your employability by developing a portfolio that demonstrates a wide range of professional competencies
  • Routes to an MA in Teaching Study are available on completion of the course.
  • Work with world-class tutors and educators
  • Develop a global approach to education
  • Our University programmes have been rated ‘Outstanding’ by Ofsted.
  • The programme has been approved by KHDA

Fees and funding

Tuition fee is AED 58,045 (for 2020-21) which can be paid in instalments.


There is no bursary for these courses but there is a chance to apply for a scholarship. Find out more about the scholarships

Entry requirements

To be considered by the University of Birmingham you will need to meet our general entry requirements. 

All applicants  must have:

  • A degree (equivalent a UK Bachelors Degree of at least 2:2 or above) or a recognised equivalent qualification and this will be a condition of any offer where the degree has not already been awarded. The degree must have a significant Science content (likely to be at least  50%)
  • An A level or equivalent in Biology, Chemistry or Physics is preferred together with an additional A level (or equivalent) in Biology, Chemistry, Physics or Maths. However the content of the degree will be taken into account.
  • A minimum of a week’s work experience with children in a school or other recognised setting.

f you are unsure about the equivalences of your qualifications do get in touch with us as Admissions tutors are happy to consider applications on a case by case basis. 

Find out more about international entry requirements 

All shortlisted candidates who meet the criteria will be invited to an interview in either Dubai , Birmingham or by SKYPE.

Additional information:

As part of the admissions process you will need to provide the following information on your application form. 

  • Name and address
  • Date of birth
  • Country of residence
  • A personal statement
  • Evidence of your qualifications
  • References 

Personal Statement

Your personal statement should outline your previous academic achievements and experience of working with children. It should include details of any schools you are already working in or schools you are associated with. You should also include details of what you to gain from the course and how it will help you develop as a teacher (approximately 500 - 700 words). 

Evidence of qualifications

You need to supply evidence or transcripts of your degree in the medium of English as specified by the entry requirements outlined on the course page. This will normally be a minimum of a 2.2 or equivalent. 

You will also need to provide evidence that you achieved 6.5 (5.5 in each subject) in your IELTS test. For those without a first degree studied in the medium of English an IELTS score of 6.5 is required.


Two references will be required one academic and one professional. Your professional reference should preferably be someone who can comment on your suitability for working with children. The references should provide supporting evidence in relation to the personal statement and your suitability for the course. You will therefore need to approach your referees to ensure that you are able to provide current contact details. 

How to apply

To find out more information about our application process please visit our 'How to apply page' before starting your application. Alternatively, start your application for 2019 entry.

Our Primary and Secondary Education teacher training programmes are founded on our long-standing expertise in teacher education and combine the phase, curriculum and learning and teaching expertise of specialist tutors with centre-based teacher training at the University.

A variety of teaching styles and approaches to learning are used in the programmes. These include university-based lectures, small group seminars and workshops, school-based work with pupils and teachers, and work undertaken individually or with other groups of students.

Specialist university tutors are experts in their field and lead dedicated subject programmes. Assessment is based on coursework undertaken during the year.

The ‘whole school issues’ part of the programme 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 a breadth of awareness, depth of insight and development of skills through a range of themes studied by all students.

Your University of Birmingham qualification is evidence of your ability to succeed in a demanding academic environment. Employers target Birmingham students for their drive, diversity, communication and problem-solving skills, their team-working abilities and cultural awareness, and our graduate employment statistics have continued to climb at a rate well above national trends. 

Career progression

Following successful completion of the PGCE year, students have the option to study the Postgraduate Diploma in Teaching Studies.  An MA in Teaching Studies can then be undertaken with includes an additional dissertation.The School also plans to offer postgraduates continuing professional development (CPD) courses for teachers and allied professionals in the near future.

Waqar - Secondary Science


“I chose to train to teach with the University of Birmingham because it has an outstanding reputation for initial teacher education, where the course and alumni are highly valued by employers.” 

Waqar Yousaf,  Alumni, Secondary Education: Science.


Waqar Yousaf now teaches biology at the University of Birmingham School after training to teach at the University of Birmingham. Read more about his experience as a teacher