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Postgraduate Diploma Secondary Education (QTS) - Engineers Teach Physics

Start date
September
Duration
36 weeks
Course Type
Postgraduate, Taught

Inspire the next generation of engineers and physicists by training as a teacher. This specialised programme is specifically for engineers who want to use their skills in the classroom

Are you a recent engineering graduate or considering a change of career? On this tailored training programme which delivers specific subject knowledge and curriculum knowledge, you will develop the skills you need in order to teach physics in secondary schools. The University of Birmingham is running this programme as part of a national project to encourage more engineers to consider teaching secondary physics. Find out more at the Department for Education website

Our programme, which offers high quality training and support, will prepare you to teach in the 11-18 age range. You will be challenged to develop informed and justified decisions about how you approach your teaching, in order to enable you to continue to develop over your career.

You will benefit from our unique collaboration with University of Birmingham School as well as a wide range of partner schools, including mixed comprehensive, single sex, religious and selective schools and sixth form colleges. The diverse communities we serve will enrich your experience as a specialist physics tutor

You may be eligible for bursaries of up to £24,000 (depending on qualifications)  in line with the government’s priority to attract more well qualified Physics teachers or a scholarships of £26,000 in lieu of a bursary from the Institute of Physics. 

On successful completion of your Physics: engineering PGDipEd, you may return to study with us on a part-time basis to complete your Masters in Teaching Studies.

LISTEN: Training the Next Generation of Physics Teachers with Lecturer Dan Cottle 

The School of Education at the University of Birmingham has a long tradition of delivering teacher training courses. Its teaching has been graded as 'outstanding' three times by Ofsted inspectors which affirms the University’s status as one of the UK’s leading institutions for excellence in teacher training. 

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS 

Equal Opportunities

The School of Education and University of Birmingham is committed to equal opportunities in the access to and provision of education. For more information please see the following documents:

You may also be interested in our other three PGDipEd science courses:

 

Fees

Fees for 2022-2023 are:

£9,250 (UK), £20,430 (International).

When you apply for this course, it is important that you also take into account living costs and should ensure that you will have sufficient funds to finance the full duration of your studies. Our PGDipEd programmes include a significant amount of time spent on placements in a variety of schools at different locations, and so when budgeting to study you should also allow for travel to and from placements, as well as textbooks, printing, photocopying and stationery that you may need.

Scholarships 

The Institute of Physics are awarding Teacher Training Scholarships to the most outstanding individuals, worth £26,000. 

Tuition Fee Loan and Maintenance Loan

With or without a bursary, you can also access a  Tuition Fee Loan to cover your tuition fees and a Maintenance Loan for your living costs. The available loans for 2022-2023 are:

  • a Tuition Fee Loan of up to £9,250 to cover your fees
  • a Maintenance Loan of up to £12,382 to support your living costs

Additional financial support

If you have children or a disability, extra funding is available. For instance, you could get:

Find out more information on the  extra financial support available

For further information contact the School directly or visit the Funding, Graduation & Awards Office via online enquiries. 

How To Apply

Apply online through DfE Apply

Course code: H546

The Interview process 

Selection is rigorous and designed to identify candidates with the strongest aptitude. Candidates selected for interview will be invited to:

  • meet course tutors
  • find out more about the course
  • have a one to one interview
  • show GCSE and Degree certificates (where these are available).

We work closely with partner schools to select candidates and applicants will often have the opportunity to meet senior colleagues from partner schools when they join us for interview day.  

Our Standard Requirements

All applicants to the Secondary PGDipEd(QTS) Physics (Engineers Teach Physics) course must hold an undergraduate engineering or material science degree at class 2:2 or above.

If your degree is not engineering or a related subject, please apply to our PGDipEd (QTS) Physics course.

You also need two science A Levels (or equivalent) as well as a GCSE in Mathematics (Grade 4 or above*) or an equivalent qualification which must be attained before you make an application. A GCSE English (Grade 4 or above) or equivalent qualifications will be a condition of any offer, if not already achieved.

If you have any questions about entry requirements, please contact us on ITEadmissions@contacts.bham.ac.uk

You must also:

  • complete an enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check before taking up a place.
  • complete relevant checks to ensure you have the health and physical capacity to teach.
  • agree to abide by the University of Birmingham Code of Professional Conduct and Fitness to Practise.

*Equivalent GCSE grades

International Requirements


The Postgraduate Diploma Secondary Education (QTS) - Engineers Teach Physics programme runs from early September to late June. 

PGDipEd programme information (this is for guidance only and is subject to change).

Number of weeks

Programme of activities

3 weeks (from start of Sept)

Pre-course open access learning (plus school induction for SD students)

7 weeks

School Attachment 1 (4 days in school, 1 day in Uni)

2 weeks

Winter vacation

3 weeks

School Attachment 1 (continues)

1 week

University Enrichment Week (cross-phase experience, learning outside the classroom, fieldwork etc.)

1 week

University Week

8 weeks (includes school half term)

School Attachment 2 (4 days in school, 1 day in Uni)

2 weeks

Spring vacation

9 weeks (includes school half term)

School Attachment 2 (continues) (5 days in school)

1 week

University week

The programme will include the study of subject-based teaching methods as well as the study of broader whole school issues. Recognising that some topics of school curriculum physics are not normal parts of an engineering degree course, you will audit your own knowledge and have opportunity to undertake further learning on the following topics:

  • Atomic and particle physics
  • Wave phenomena and optics
  • Space physics and astronomy
  • Electricity and electromagnetism
  • Forces
  • Energy and thermal physics
  • Problem solving and the role of experiment in physics 

You will also spend time considering how to bring your detailed knowledge of engineering to life for children. 

A variety of teaching styles and approaches to learning will be used in the presentation of the themes. These will 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.

Our Professional Enquiry course provides breadth and depth of insight across key themes such as learning theories, assessment, equalities, inclusion and teacher health and wellbeing. An additional PSHE award is also available to all students.

As science teachers are required to teach across the sciences at Key Stage 3 there is a 'science' component in addition to your subject specialism. Teaching the science content to PGDipEd students is not the primary aim of the course although the generic and specific requirements are addressed through various scientific phenomena.

You will have a personal academic tutor to guide and support you, as well as a dedicated subject mentor in both your placement schools.You will benefit from a specialist programme, working with a subject tutor and peers, developing a professional network which will sustain you into your career. 

There is currently high demand for Physics teachers. Employment rates are consistently high and strong links with partnership schools mean that many students go into employment in the region. Many of our ex-students have been promoted to positions of responsibility, including Advanced Skills Teachers within the first 2 or 3 years.

Comments from former students

Billy

"In a constantly changing educational environment, my PGDipEd course has proved invaluable. In addition to enabling me to teach lessons to engage a wide range of students, I also completed the course with a solid foundation of pedagogy which enables me to adapt to the rapidly evolving educational landscape. The opportunity to explore wider educational issues with trainees and teachers from a broad background has also developed my interest and understanding of many of the issues within education. A strong esprit de corps along with personalised and accessible support made a tough and rigorous training year enjoyable. I strongly recommend the MEd too!"

Ethan

"I thought we were assessed very well, our school mentors were dedicated and were able to comment on us holistically - where colleagues from other universities had to spend half their time in paperwork."

 

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