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This one year Physical Education PGDipEd (QTS) course is considered to be a high quality course as identified by the Ofsted subject inspection. The course tries to develop a deep understanding of issues and complexities which surround the teaching and learning of Physical Education. We wish to develop you as a thinking teacher who can be aware of choices in how to teach Physical Education and make informed decisions about how you work with pupils.
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 also known as a PGDE) 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 towards a masters level (out of 180 credits), 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 Teacher Education brochure (PDF)
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 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.
The course will aim to develop your teaching ability to ensure that you can facilitate learning in the pupils in your care. Our sessions will explore different aspects of teaching and will involve a balance of theoretical and practical activities. We will help you become aware of issues related to teaching including planning units of work and lessons, assessment strategies and teaching and learning styles. We will cover the six activity areas of the National Curriculum as well as the examination and vocational opportunities in Physical Education. We will support your development as a teacher and guide you to recognise and correct pupils' common misconceptions. We will introduce you to a range of equipment, resources and technology which you can utilise to maximise learning opportunities.
The School of Education collaborates with the University of Birmingham School to offer a number of activities designed to enhance pupil experiences of learning Physical Education and your experience of learning to teach Physical Education. Examples of these activities include field trips, master classes and small group teaching.
The Physical Education PGDipEd (QTS) operates a ‘Course Enhancement’ programme which includes residential activity and some certificated courses, it is expected that student teachers will make a financial contribution.
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:
Information on our other PGDipEd (QTS) secondary subjects may be found on the Postgraduate Diploma Secondary Education (QTS) course page.
Find out more about all our teacher training programmes.
Fees for 2019-2020 are: £9,250 (UK/EU full-time), £16,995 (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.
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.
All applicants to the Secondary PGDipEd(QTS) Physical Education course must hold a degree from a UK Higher Institution Institution. This will normally be a minimum 2:2 classification or equivalent qualification and this will be a condition of any offer where the degree has not already been awarded. We will expect your degree to be at least 50% Physical Education or have sport components. You should hold at least three further qualifications relevant to teaching Physical Education. Experience in state Physical Education departments is also recommended.
All candidates also have to:
- have a GCSE in Maths and English (grade 4 or above) or an equivalent qualification must be attained before making your application.
New GCSE grades
Apply online through the UCAS Teacher Training portal. Our course is very popular and we recommend you apply early as possible. We also advise you to use an academic reference first to avoid delay and disappointment.
UCAS code: X9C6
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.
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 Safeguarding, Mental Health, Relationships and Sex education, PSHE, Pastoral Care and Inclusion.
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 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. 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 Birmingham Physical Education PGDipEd (QTS) trainees and we have an excellent record of trainees gaining jobs upon completion of the course. Many of our ex-students are now Directors of Sport, Heads of Departments or SSCO's in our partnership schools and beyond.
'Nothing could have better prepared me to enter the world of teaching. As a result of the great support and guidance given throughout the PGDipEd, I am confident in my own ability to be an outstanding practitioner of Physical Education. I look back on the course with so many fond memories and experiences which I will treasure for the rest of my life. I feel truly lucky to have been given the opportunity to train to teach at the University of Birmingham and would thoroughly recommend it to anybody who wishes to enter this fantastic profession.'
‘This is an excellent course that has prepared me perfectly for my role as subject leader of PE. The large amount of practical sessions is exactly what is needed for our subject. The course staff worked really hard to equip us for all we would need to succeed in our careers.’