Postgraduate Diploma Secondary Education (QTS) – Modern Languages

(French/Spanish/German)

Start date
September
Duration
36 weeks
Course Type
Postgraduate, Taught

The Postgraduate Diploma in Education (Modern Languages) leads to Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) and offers 120 credits towards our MA Teaching Studies. Our specialist programme offers high quality training and support, which will prepare you to teach in the 11-18 age range and is run in close partnership with schools.

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. 

The Modern Languages teacher training course is held in very high esteem by all those who work with us: partnership schools, languages teachers, and our students who year after year say that they find the challenge exciting and our support outstanding. We aim to help you to develop into a well informed, critical and adaptable teacher so that your own teaching personality can blossom. We welcome applications from excellent and committed linguists who wish to train to teach French, German or Spanish and make a positive difference to language learning and children’s lives. 

The School of Education benefits from our unique collaboration with the University of Birmingham School as well as a wide range of partners, including mixed comprehensive, single sex, religious and selective schools and sixth form colleges. The diverse communities we serve will enrich your experience on the programme.

You may be eligible for bursaries of up to £26,000 (depending on qualifications) in line with the government’s priority to attract more well qualified Modern Language teachers or a scholarships of £28,000 in lieu of a bursary from the British Council. You could also benefit from additional early career payments of up to £6,000.

If you are serious about a career in Modern Languages teaching then the University of Birmingham is the place to train.

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:

If you are interested in our other secondary subject courses please view the general Secondary PGDipEd course page

Download our Teacher Education brochure (PDF)

Dubai Campus

Study for a PGCE at the University of Birmingham Dubai campus

Our programmes have been approved by the KHDA and follow teaching standards within the U.A.E

FIND OUT MORE ABOUT OUR COURSES IN DUBAI

 

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 2013 Ofsted report

Fees

Fees for 2020-2021 are:

£9,250 (UK/EU full-time), £18,450 (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.

This course attracts tax-free bursaries of up to £26,000 (depending on qualifications) in line with the government’s priorities to increase the number of Modern Language teachers.

Scholarships

The British Council are awarding Teacher Training Scholarships to the most outstanding individuals, worth £28,000. If you're eligible for a scholarship, you could also receive early-career payments totalling £6,000.

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 are:

  • a Tuition Fee Loan of up to £9,250 to cover your fees
  • a Maintenance Loan of up to £11,672 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

Learn more about fees and funding

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


For students applying for the 2020/21 academic year

The UK Government has confirmed that EU students will continue to be eligible for 'home fee status' for entry in September 2020, and will continue to have access to eligible financial support for the duration of their course. For more information visit the gov.uk website.

You can also visit our EU Referendum information page for more information and updates.

How To Apply

Apply online through the UCAS Teacher Training portal. The course is often full by spring so we recommend you apply as early as possible.

UCAS codes

French (alone or with Spanish or German): R1X1
German (alone or with French or Spanish): R2X1
Spanish with French: RX41

The Interview process 

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

  • meet course tutors
  • find out more about the course
  • complete a written task
  • 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 Modern Languages Postgraduate Diploma in Secondary Education must hold a degree from a UK Higher Education Institution or an equivalent qualification. You must hold a degree with at least 50% French, German or Spanish OR be a native speaker of French, German or Spanish with another degree subject. You must also be able to offer a second foreign language (at a lower level than their main language is acceptable) as being able to offer two mainstream languages greatly increases employability. 

You need to have a GCSE in Maths and English (*Grade 4 or above) or an equivalent qualification. 

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.


*New GCSE grades

International Requirements


The PGDipEd programme runs from early September to late June. You will undertake two substantial placements in schools – one in term one and one in terms two and three. Approximately two thirds of the year will be spent in school and one third in University.

The programme will include the study of subject-based teaching methods as well as the study of broader whole school issues. A variety of teaching styles and approaches to learning will be 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.

You will benefit from a specialist programme, working with a subject tutor and peers, developing a professional network which will sustain you into yourr career. Our whole-school issues course will provide you with breadth and depth of insight across a number of themes, including safeguarding, mental health, relationships and sex education, pastoral care and inclusion. An additional PSHE award is also available.

You will complete six modules, five of which will require a written assignment. For the final module, University tutors and school-based mentors will share the assessment against the Teachers’ Standards for the award of QTS. You will have a personal academic tutor to guide and support you, as well as a dedicated subject mentor in both placement schools. 

Two-year Master FLE

The Université Paris Nanterre offers a two-year Master FLE route where the second year is spent undertaking a PGCE or PGDipEd in Britain. The credits acquired as part of the PGDipEd are taken into consideration when awarding the Master FLE (rather than count toward the MA in Teaching Studies). The Master FLE is a popular route and every year we welcome a number of Nanterre students on the PGDipEd course. 

Living and Studying in Birmingham

Vibrant and diverse, Birmingham is a European centre for retail, commerce and culture. Appropriately, its civic motto is ‘Forward’, and it is its driving ambition and attitude which makes Birmingham a great place to study, work and live.

The Elaine Hurman Prize

Established by John Hurman in memory of his wife, a former student and teacher of Modern Languages, a prize of £200 is awarded annually to a student teacher in Modern Languages for demonstrating particular expertise in eliciting oral responses in the target language in class. Eligible students are nominated by mentors and the successful candidate will be recommended for the prize as a result of their classroom proficiency in the above areas.

Our PGDipEd in Modern Languages is highly regarded locally and nationally. We have an excellent record of student teachers gaining jobs at the end of the course and many of them chose to stay in the region.

Our employment rate is very high, and a number of our student teachers go on to become heads of department, lead practitioners or mentors working in partnership with us.

Once you have completed the PGDipEd and 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

Alumni profile

Farhat Mustaq, Teacher Training in Secondary Modern Languages

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 has just completed her an MA in Teaching Studies 

What students say about the course

‘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

"I chose to study at the University of Birmingham for my PGDipEd, because of the quality of the course. I felt it would offer me the training and support I would need to grow into a good teacher. It did meet my expectations, and beyond them." Kevin Perrault

‘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