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The History PGDipEd (QTS) course has been praised by both Ofsted and the external examiner for its innovative approach, our commitment to supporting student teachers as they develop and our close links with our placement schools. We are committed to the idea that teaching is more than simple craft knowledge; it is the synthesis of theories about learning and hands on experience in the classroom. Teachers equipped with this will be able to reflect on their experiences and develop as teachers throughout their careers. A bursary of £9,000 is currently available for those with a 1st degree/PhD and £4,000 for a 2:1 degree/Master's.
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 teacher 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 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.
Teaching is an inherently complex activity, and teachers choose their teaching strategies for a variety of reasons. Consequently we will equip you to analyse your ideas about teaching and understand the range of ideas that are behind all talk about teaching. You will be equipped to use the most up to date ideas about teaching but also to appreciate that these will in turn become outdated and replaced by new strategies.
You will teach classes in Key Stage 3 and 4 as well as post-16, and learn to select the most effective teaching methods. Our sessions model different teaching methods so you experience the methods you can use. Our close links with history departments in schools means we are not only able to use the 30 years of teaching experience of the tutors but get teachers in to talk about their experience of teaching too.
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These are experienced postgraduates who have previously studied, or are currently studying, at the University of Birmingham, and they offer help and advice from a student perspective.
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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 subjects may be found on the Postgraduate Diploma Secondary Education (QTS) course page
Fees for 2018-2019 are: £9,250 (UK/EU full-time), £16,290 (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 of up to £9,000 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) History course must hold a degree (normally a minimum 2:2 classification) or equivalent. To apply for our course you need 50% of your degree to be history or a closely related subject. We expect an academic reference too - this reference must show us you are capable of studying a new subject, in this case education, at a Masters level.
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 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
New GCSE grades
Apply online through the UCAS Teacher Training portal. We recommend you apply as early as possible as the course is often full by spring.
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 history PGDipEd (QTS) students from the University of Birmingham. Consequently we have former students in departments throughout the area. Many local schools contact us directly when they are seeking an NQT to employ. For 2013-2014 the employabilty rate was 100% and all graduates obtained employment in a teaching role. Many of our ex-students are now becoming Heads of History and many of the mentors in our partnership schools are ex students.