Secondary Science: Physics - PGCE

Course Code:
32XR
Attendance:
Full Time
Starting:
September 2017

This course, which is based at our School of Education and Social Work, on our City South Campus, just outside of Birmingham City Centre, will allow you to work with experienced professionals in secondary education to gain a nationally-recognised qualification.

What's covered in the course?

The programme is one year full time, incorporating at least 120 days on placement which is in line with National College of Teaching and Leadership (NCTL) (PSRB) requirements.  At least two school placements will be offered in order to provide the widest possible experience of appropriate professional practice.  Year plans provide streamlined provision across the partnership such that trainee teachers can work in line with the school year, whether in the context of our core provision or through School Direct or SCITT provision. 

Assignments and school-centred activities are structured around the development of the trainees’ School Experience Progress Journal (SEPJ) that demonstrates their progress against the nationally agreed competences (the Teachers’ Standards) which all teachers must meet throughout their career.  A system of continuous review and assessment of progress in the SEPJ supports trainees in their growing ability to take responsibility for their own development.  Subject mentors in school and university based Personal Development Tutors work together to provide trainees with frameworks that the trainee uses to build their skills and understandings in a way that reflects their own passions for their subject and its teaching. Trainees continue to be supported in their first teaching post once they leave the University through our NQT support programme.

Why Choose Us?

  • We will help you to become a committed, confident, autonomous, creative and reflective teacher
  • Our graduates are highly employable and many take up jobs in the local schools with which we work
  • You will gain real-life experience working with young people from a diverse range of cultural, social and economic backgrounds in a variety of settings

If you have accepted our offer of a teacher training place, you could receive a bursary of up to £1,000 for completing your Skills Tests in Literacy and Numeracy by 4 May 2017. You will receive £1000 for passing both or £600 if you pass one of the tests by 4 May 2017.*

*Conditions apply. Bursaries are paid in the second semester of study and do not apply to School Direct applicants.

Similar Courses

  • PGCE Secondary Chemistry
  • PGCE Secondary Biology
Visit our open day

Postgraduate Open Day

Our next Postgraduate Open Day will be on Wednesday 26 April 2017, between 3 and 8pm. Come along to find out more about our courses and see our facilities.

Book your place now

This course is open to International students

School of Education

Discover the School of Education

We are the top university providing education training in the West Midlands, and 25th in the UK. (Guardian University Guide 2016)

Visit our School site for more student work and extra information.

Visit the School website

Where our students go

Our students have gone on to work with companies such as:

  • Holte School
  • Q3 Academy
  • Heath Park School

And in jobs such as:

  • Head of Science
  • Science Teacher and KS3 Coordinator
  • Science Teacher and KS4 Coordinator

New £10,280 postgraduate loans

You may be able to take advantage of the government’s plans to make loans of up to £10,280 available for postgraduate study.

More about postgraduate loans

Entry Requirements

UK students

Please note: If you are a graduate and wish to train as a Science with Physics teacher but your degree did not provide any or enough physics content for you to gain automatic entry on to a secondary Science with Physics teacher training course, you may be required to complete an appropriate Subject Knowledge Enhancement (SKE) course.

Essential

You must have a good degree (minimum 2:2 but 2:1 or 1st preferred) from a UK higher education institution or equivalent, with a significant physics or physics-related content, for example from engineering disciplines or materials science.

You must have a GCSE grade C or above (or equivalent) in both English language and mathematics prior to enrolment and if you are offered an interview you will take a written test to assess your standard of English.

If you do not already have GCSEs in English language and mathematics, or their equivalent, and are not registered to take them, you should visit Equivalency Testing.

It should be noted that applicants taking the equivalency tests need to have passed prior to enrolment.

For entry onto a teaching course from September 2014 you will also be required to pass the Skills Tests in Literacy and Numeracy

Pre-Interview School Experience

For secondary teacher training there is an expectation that you will have had some general experience of working with secondary age students in a school setting.

In preparation for the selection interview stage of the recruitment process you are required to engage in a teaching episode, observed by an experienced qualified teacher.

It will support your application to undertake this teaching episode prior to enrolment and in advance of your interview.

Please read our guidance document before downloading the Pre-Interview School Experience Report which you will need the qualified teacher observing you to complete.

Selection Interview

The selection interview will assess your subject knowledge and personal qualities such as the potential to relate well to secondary age students, enthusiasm, sensitivity, communication skills and robustness and resilience for teaching.

You will also take a written test to assess your standard of English.

Applicants must meet The National College for Teaching and Leadership requirements for Initial Teacher Training, which means being medically fit and successfully completing an enhanced disclosure via the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS).

International Students

Entry requirements here

UK or EU students

Award Start Mode Duration Fees
PGCE Sep 2017 FT 1 year TBC Apply online now

International Students

Award Start Mode Duration Fees
PGCE Sep 2017 FT 1 year £12,000 Apply online now

The University reserves the right to increase fees broadly in line with increases in inflation, or to reflect changes in government funding policies or changes agreed by Parliament.

Course code: 32XR

All applications for 2017 entry need to be made via the UCAS Teacher Training website. For more information on how to apply for a teacher training course please visit the UCAS how-it-all-works information page. The UCAS Teacher Training helpline number is 0871 468 0 469.

We also offer this programme through School Direct with the following schools:

Portfolio Guidance

You will compile a School Experience Progress Journal during your school placements to evidence your progress towards the achievement of the Teacher Standards. Evidence within your School Experience Progress Journal will come from a range of sources including lesson observation feedback, lesson planning, units of work, examples of learners’ work, resources, etc.

Personal statement

UK / EU students are required to submit a personal statement as part of their application for this course.*

The personal statement gives you a crucial opportunity to say why you’re applying and why the institution should accept you.

Here are the key areas you’ll need to address:

Course choice

Why does this course appeal? What areas are of particular interest?

Career plans

If you have a specific career in mind, say how your chosen course will help you pursue this goal.

Work experience

Mention any work that is relevant to your subject, highlighting the skills and experience gained.

School or college experience

Highlight skills gained at school/college, eg summer schools or mentoring activities.

Non-accredited skills or achievement

eg Duke of Edinburgh Award, Young Enterprise scheme.

You should also mention your future plans – if you’re planning to take a year out, don't forget to give your reasons. Talk about any subjects you’re studying that don’t have a formal assessment and any sponsorships or placements you’ve applied for. And don't be scared to add in details about your social, sports or leisure interests.

Get more information on writing personal statements.

*Non-EU students are not required to submit a personal statement when applying for this course.

Additional costs

We offer a wide range of professionally accredited and vocational courses that require the purchase of, among other things, uniforms, equipment, subscriptions, professional body memberships and DBS checks, and may require you to pay to attend conferences or participate in placements.

The link below provides our estimate of the possible costs associated with key activities on specific courses. Please bear in mind that these are only estimates of costs based on past student experience and feedback. The actual costs to you could vary considerably (either greater or lower than these estimates) depending on your choices as you progress through the course. We set out where we can, based on experience, where these indicative costs are for activities that are optional or compulsory.

All our students are provided with 100 free pages of printing each year to a maximum total value of £15.

Find additional costs for your course

Financial support

You may be able to obtain financial support to help you during your studies. For more information visit the Department for Education's Get Into Teaching website.

This course is not available part-time

Got any questions?

Search our Frequently Asked Questions for a range of information about our courses and studying here.

Financial Support

Although this is a postgraduate course, current PGCE students are eligible for the finance support package available to full-time undergraduates. You may also receive a Teacher Training Bursary of up to £30,000 per year, subject specific.

Find out more

Modules

Professional Studies

Professional Studies provides opportunities for you as a trainee teacher to explore and understand in practical terms the meaning of professionalism in the context of education and being a teacher.  Education is an ever-changing environment and the desire for improvement is strong from all stakeholders.  This module helps you to understand that the best teachers are those who continue to learn themselves and that your continual development can positively impact the learning experience of your students.  You will understand the holistic and positive role of a teacher and the practices and policies of the education framework in which you operate. 

Subject Pedagogy

Subject Pedagogy provides opportunities for you as a trainee teacher to explore the nature of English in the context of learning and teaching in the secondary school.

This module provides a strong philosophical underpinning to your awareness of the importance of your specialist subject in the secondary school curriculum.  By undertaking this module you will be shaping your own rationale for your approach to the teaching of English, and to meeting the needs of the learners as they move through the secondary school phase.

Professional Enquiry

Professional Enquiry forms an introduction to active examination of professional practice in the workplace and a reflective approach to personal development.  It provides a foundation for future study modules and enables you to develop practice-based enquiry skills.

This module provides opportunities for you as a trainee teacher to conduct a structured enquiry into an area of professional practice that is of direct significance to your current and future professional practice.  As well as developing the skills required to undertake this enquiry, in reflecting and disseminating your findings, the intention is that your findings will impact your own and your colleagues’ understanding and practice.

Course structure

Your PGCE Secondary Physics aims to explore, test and develop the links between Science and Physics in education theory and its practice. The University workshops and seminars facilitate a space for learners to conduct this, which is then supported by school placements.

This relationship, between theory and practice, alongside a variety of contrasting school experiences, ensures that you are offered a well-rounded teacher education. We believe that we are training Physics teachers to work in any school setting.  Your course will feature a range of modules and the opportunity to get plenty of hands-on practice in local schools with support from colleagues in the school partnership and experienced University tutors.

Number of hours in the classroom per week

You will be expected to spend two thirds of your course in schools with the other third taking place in a University setting. 

Accreditation or professional associations

As a provider of Initial Teacher Education, you can be reassured that we are regularly inspected by the Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skills (Ofsted).

Ofsted reports directly to Parliament and is independent and impartial. It inspects and regulates services which care for children and young people, and those providing education and skills for learners of all ages.

Ofsted inspections of ITE providers provide an expert and independent assessment of how well a university is performing and the quality of teacher training offered. Information in the inspection report can help you to decide which university best suits your career needs.

In the latest Ofsted Inspection (March 2014) Birmingham City University was awarded a grade 2 rating “Good” for its primary and early years, secondary and post-compulsory education and training provision.

Further Study

You can expect outstanding support from your University tutors, all of whom have worked as exceptional classroom teachers, and from the Secondary Schools which we have signed a Partnership Agreement with. There are more than 200 across the Midlands. 

We encourage our trainees to consider developing their teaching and learning skills further by continuing their studies with a Masters in Teaching and Learning (MTL) also offered at BCU. The PGCE Secondary course provides 60 credits towards the MTL. BCU also offer a Masters in Educational Leadership (MEL) for aspiring leaders in education (the PGCE Secondary course also provides 60 credits towards the MEL).

Student stories Andy Carter

Enhancing Employability Skills

Ofsted inspections have confirmed that our trainees “leave their courses with a wide range of knowledge and skills that make them highly employable.” And that “Their career progression is swift and they make a real difference to the quality of teaching and learning in their schools.” (Ofsted 2014)

We believe that this is due to the strong sense of belonging to a genuine learning community, which results in the development of professional confidence. This is enhanced with our excellent school partnership.

Placements

Two-thirds of your course takes place in school and we ensure that you are offered a number of placements in a wide range of educational establishments.

You will do work placements in at least two different schools and also visit others – including a primary school and or a post-16 setting where appropriate.  This all helps you to see how teachers are working in practice and gives you a wealth of experience.

You will have subject and professional mentors in school who will guide and support your studies and provide you with feedback.

More about our placement opportunities...

OpportUNIty

OpportUNIty Student Ambassador

OpportUNIty: Student Jobs on Campus ensures that our students are given a first opportunity to fill many part-time temporary positions within the University. This allows you to work while you study with us, fitting the job around your course commitments. By taking part in the scheme, you will gain valuable experiences and employability skills, enhancing your prospects in the job market.

It will also allow you to become more involved in University life by delivering, leading and supporting many aspects of the learning experience, from administration to research and mentoring roles.

Postgraduate Jobs

All PGCE Secondary Physics teachers find employment as teachers in a variety of school settings.

Birmingham City University is a vibrant and multicultural university in the heart of a modern and diverse city. We welcome many international students every year – there are currently students from more than 80 countries among our student community.

The University is conveniently placed, with Birmingham International Airport nearby and first-rate transport connections to London and the rest of the UK.

Our international pages contain a wealth of information for international students who are considering applying to study here, including:

Birmingham City University International College (BCUIC)

International students who have a serious interest in studying with us but who perhaps cannot meet the direct entry requirements, academic or English, or who have been out of education for some time, can enter Birmingham City University International College (BCUIC) and begin their degree studies.

BCUIC

BCUIC is part of the global Navitas Group, an internationally recognised education provider, and the partnership allows students to access the University’s facilities and services and move seamlessly through to achieving a Bachelor’s degree from Birmingham City University.

Learn more about BCUIC

Popular home countries

Our students come from around the world but our secondary science with physics course is most popular with international students from:  

Our Facilities

We are constantly investing in our estate and are currently in the process of spending £260 million on new learning facilities.

A fly through of the £41 million expansion of our City South Campus. It will provide specialist laboratories and teaching spaces for the new life sciences courses and a new home for the School of Education.

 
Science education facilities

Our laboratory and Science Education Learning Room have been newly built for the start of the 2015/16 academic year. The Science Education Lab will enable trainees to encounter and explore the latest Science Education pedagogies, and together with the Science Learning Room will facilitate trainees’ transition from “subject expert” to “expert subject teacher”. Trainees will work in a fully hands-on way with the core science education materials to develop excellent subject and pedagogic knowledge - the twin attributes of the outstanding teacher.

Campus

City North is a big, bustling campus, three miles north of Birmingham city centre. It's easy to get to and offers on-site parking. Located 5 minutes from Perry Barr train station, City North Campus is also ideally positioned along major bus routes.

The School of Education will be moving to City South Campus in Edgbaston during the 2017/18 academic year.

City south 1

New developments

Our new development at City South Campus will ensure students have access to the best facilities, including our specially developed replica classrooms with interactive whiteboards, enabling you to experience the classroom environment.

Departments

All our departmental facilities replicate the school learning environment.

  • Art and Design
  • Design and Technology
  • History
  • English
  • Mathematics
  • Religious Education
  • Music
  • Drama

IT Support

Each student has a personal computer user name and server space Specific software for use by teachers and for use in classrooms.

Other items available include:

  • Training and training notes
  • Students can borrow cameras, LCD projector
  • Specialist technician support
  • Dedicated research base for postgraduate research students

Art and Design Department

There are fully equipped art studios suitable for 3D construction, printmaking, drawing and mixed-media. For textile and ceramics specialists, there are sewing machines and facilities for batik work and a large kiln for firing ceramics. The department has an ICT Suite for digital media that includes both Mac and PC computers. There is also access to a bank of Apple iPads for on and off-site digital working including the use of social media.

Design and Technology Department

The department has access to specialist facilities, including a dedicated teaching suite for food and textiles. The textiles area has 10 sewing machines, an overlocker, CAD/CAM embroidery machines, dye sublimation equipment, a felting machine and an electronic microscope that links to the interactive whiteboard. It is also well resourced with surface decoration and construction equipment.

The food area has five electric cookers, combination microwave/ovens, an extensive range of industrial and domestic equipment, eg industrial ice cream makers and electric pasta makers, bench top printer and a CAD/CAM icing printer. The specialist tutor is a Speed Step and basic food hygiene trainer.

There is a specialist room for design and technology teaching and independent work, as well as a well-stocked reference library that contains a wide range of resources that are relevant for undergraduate and postgraduate students.

Other features include a recycling materials area, specialist work benches and a bank of computers linked directly to CAD/CAM equipment.

History Department

There are plenty of replica artefacts in the department and other superb facilities, including a huge library of dedicated subject books and an interactive whiteboard. We also inspire our trainee teachers to bring history to life by offering them opportunities to travel to historic sites.

English Department

The School of Education has two dedicated English teaching rooms that contain a substantial children's collection of works including fiction, non-fiction, poetry, picture books and multicultural text. There is also a selection of phonics teaching materials, puppets and story bags that are used in teaching sessions.

You can explore the links between ICT and literacy through the department's Digital Blue cameras and electronic photo albums.

Mathematics Department

There are two dedicated teaching rooms for mathematics. The rooms make use of Promethean and Smart interactive white boards. Both rooms contain a library of recent and relevant publications as well as a wide range of resources for use while on teaching practice.

Trainees are supplied with the use of a laptop for the duration of the course. The laptops come with Autograph and Geometers Sketchpad software. There are a class set of iPads available for the teaching sessions.

Religious Education Department

This teaching room attempts to bring sacredness in its vicinities and a visitor will find precious collections of artefacts and devotional utilities, audio-visual resources, books, sacred texts and children's books from a range of religious traditions to support learning and teaching.

Early Years Department

As well as enjoying very strong links with local schools and specialist nurseries, we have a specialist teaching room that has a range of story sacks and puppets, an extensive selection of planning resources, copies of key texts, and toys and equipment that are relevant for foundation stage.

Music Department

The music department has two dedicated classrooms and seven practice rooms, five of which contain dedicated computer-based recording/sequencing equipment. There is also a fully equipped sound recording studio and Apple Mac computers for sound manipulation.

Drama Department

There is a fully equipped drama studio with stage lighting.

Staff Introduction

With a vast amount of experience in a variety of school settings, our university Science tutor, Helen, offers exceptional education and training. Helen’s shared ethos and rationale for Science in schools is evident in all she does as she encourages trainee Science teachers to develop their own practice, pedagogy and beliefs.

Helen Thomas BSc, PGCE, PGCert(HE), MA Ed, CPhys, MInstP, FHEA

PGCE Subject Route Leader for the Sciences and Senior Lecturer in Science Education

Helen taught science and physics in particular for 17 years in schools, 6th form college and FE before joining Birmingham City University. Responsibilities included GCSE Science Course Leader and Head of Physics. Helen's move to the University led from catching the research bug whilst completing a Master's degree combined with being responsible for NQT's and trainee teachers whilst a professional mentor in a school.

UK prospective students:

UK enquiry form

+44 (0)121 331 5595

EU / International prospective students:

International enquiry form

+44 (0)121 331 5389

Already applied?

Email the applications team

+44 (0)121 331 6295