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Postgraduate Certificate Secondary Education (QTS) - Science: Physics

Start date
September
Duration
36 weeks
Course Type
Postgraduate, Taught
Manish Patel, Alumni, Initial Teacher Education

Our Postgraduate Certificate in Education (Science: Physics) leads to Qualified Teacher Status (QTS). Our programme, which offers high quality training and support, will prepare you to teach in the 11-18 age range and is run in close partnership with schools.

Please note that this programme is now closed for applications. It will reopen later in the year.

On the Science (Physics) Postgraduate Diploma Secondary Education course, 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 on the PGDipEd Physics course. If you are a recent engineering graduate or considering a change of career, you may be interested in our specialist programme Postgraduate Certificate Secondary Education (QTS) - Engineers Teach Physics.

You may be eligible for bursaries of up to £28,000, depending on qualifications (for 2024 entry) in line with the government’s priority to attract more well qualified Physics teachers or a scholarships of £30,000 in lieu of a bursary.

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

The School of Education at the University of Birmingham in the West Midlands, 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. 

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 two PGCE science courses:

 

Fees

Fees for 2024-2025 are:

£9,250 (UK), £24,120 (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 PGCE 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 £30,000 (for 2024 entry). 

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 2024-2025 are:

  • a Tuition Fee Loan of up to £9,250 to cover your fees
  • a Maintenance Loan of up to £10,227 (out of London) 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. An early application gives more time for remediation if there are concerns about the quality of your application. 

Course code: F3X1

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 PGCE (QTS) Science: Physics course must hold a degree from a UK Higher Education Institution or an equivalent qualification in a relevant subject. 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. Your degree should normally have at least 50% Physics content which is relevant to the National Curriculum. Graduates with degrees in Engineering or Materials Science may wish to consider applying for the alternative PGCE (QTS) course offered by the University of Birmingham called Engineers Teach Physics. Engineers Teach Physics includes specific learning to support the subject and curriculum knowledge of engineers and allows you to use your particular professional skills to enrich your teaching of physics.

You also need two science A Levels (or equivalent), normally including one in Physics. You must also have GCSE Maths and English (Grade 4/C or above) or equivalent qualifications which will be a condition of any offer, if not already achieved. Equivalency tests will be accepted but only from equivalency testing

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.

International Requirements



International Students

English Language requirements

IELTS 6.5 with no less than 6.0 in any band
PTE Academic 67 with no less than 64 in all four skills
TOEFL - 88 IBT overall with no less than 20 in Listening, 21 in Reading, 22 in Speaking and 21 in Writing
Cambridge English Advanced: 176 overall with 169 in each component

 

The Postgraduate Certificate of Education (QTS) Physics programme will include the study of subject-based teaching methods as well as the study of broader professional issues.  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, substantial 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.

Our modules are designed to follow a coherent and cohesive trajectory that will prepare you for your first teaching post. These include modules that focus on working with expert teachers who provide opportunities to practise and receive targeted feedback on core skills, as well as academic assignments that involve making links between practice and recent relevant research.

You will have a personal academic tutor to guide and support you, as well as mentoring 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."