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Our 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 £15,000 is also currently available for those with a 1st/PhD, ar 2:1 or 2.2 degree (2018).
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.
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 PGDipEd course lasts 36 weeks, of which 24 are spent in our partnership schools.
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 teaching.
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.
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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 2018-2019 are: £9,250 (UK/EU full-time), £16,290 (overseas full-time).
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.
More information about the tuition fee and maintenance loans is available here:
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 visit the Funding, Graduation & Awards 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, Media, Drama or Journalism are also invited to apply.
All candidates also have to:
have a GCSE in Maths and English (grade 4 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
New GCSE grades
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
A variety of teaching styles and approaches to learning are used in the presentation of the themes. 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.
The course includes the following areas of study:
- Subject-based teaching methods
- School-based work
- Whole-school issues
Subject-based teaching methods
You follow your specialist programme, working with your tutor and with peers in your subject, during University days which make up 12 weeks in total across 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 a total of 24 weeks in schools. During the programme you benefit from both carefully supported introductory work in different schools and the experience of spending a significant length of time in two schools.
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.
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, sixth-form colleges and our own University Training School (www.uobschool.org.uk). 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 placements.
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.