Post-Compulsory Education and Training - PGCE

Course Code:
Various - see how to apply
Attendance:
Full Time
Starting:
September 2017

Our post compulsory education and training (PGCE) course will give you the opportunity to gain a nationally-recognised teaching qualification. You'll benefit from the strong partnerships we have forged with organisations and colleges outside of the University.

Previous students have praised this course for its approach, its workshops and the superb support offered by their tutors and mentors.

What's covered in the course?

We will match your degree subject (in any subject area) to one of the specialisms that we offer below:

  • Arts, Media and Performance
  • English, Literacy and English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL)
  • Humanities and Social Sciences
  • Mathematics and Numeracy
  • Science and Technology.

You will learn by studying a wide range of modules, which form part of a programme which also offers you at least 150 hours of teaching in your main subject area.
There is no final examination, but your course work, assignments and teaching practice will continually be assessed.

The modules you will study are:

  • Professional Journey of Teaching Practice
  • Effective Teaching, Learning and Assessment in the Classroom
  • Practice Based Enquiry
  • Analysis of Inclusive Practice and Design.

Why Choose Us?

  • We offer you the chance to get a nationally-recognised qualification
  • We have a high reputation for the quality of our teaching and preparing trainees to meet the demands of today's adult education sector
  • Gaining teaching practice is central to this course
  • We have partnership arrangements with most colleges in the West Midlands, as well as prison education units, training agencies and private businesses
  • A high percentage of our trainees gain full-time employment
  • Former trainees come back to share their subject specialism with current trainees
  • A strong focus on developing your subject specialism.
Visit our open day

Postgraduate Open Day

Our next Postgraduate Open Day will be on Wednesday 26 April 2017, between 2pm and 7pm. Come along to find out more about our courses and see our facilities. You can't book your place just yet, but register your interest and we'll send you an email when you can book.

Register your interest

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:

  • Joseph Chamberlain Sixth Form College
  • Halesowen College
  •  Great Barr School
  •  HMP Hewell

And in jobs such as:

  • Teacher
  • Support Worker

Entry Requirements

UK students
Essential

Applicants will have (or expect to achieve before enrolment) a Bachelor's Honours degree, at lower Second Class level or above from a UK higher education institution or a recognised equivalent.

The content of your previous experience and education should provide the necessary foundation for work as a teacher.

At the point of enrolment to the course, it is also necessary to have a GCSE at grade C or above (or its equivalent) in English language and mathematics.

Please note we do not accept Level 2 in numeracy or literacy as an equivalent.

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

UK or EU students

Award Start Mode Duration Fees
PGCE Sep 2017 FT 1 year £9,250 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 codes

  • 2V7X - PCET with specialism in Arts, Media and Perform
  • 2V7Y - PCET with specialism in English, Literacy and English for speakers of other languages (ESOL)
  • 2V83 - PCET with specialism in Humanities and Social Sciences
  • 2V84 - PCET with specialism in Maths and Numeracy
  • 2V85 - PCET with specialism in Science and Technology

All applications 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.

More information on how to apply for a teacher training course.

Your personal statement

Your personal statement is a highly important part of your application. It 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.

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

What's included in your fees

Fees also include a teaching practice placement.

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

All modules across the PGCE PCET course have specific learning outcomes aligned with the module content, teaching, learning methods and assessment methods. This enables you to fully comprehend the requirements of modules and work towards successfully meeting the learning outcomes. Taught sessions are aligned to the learning outcomes for specific modules.

You will be provided with regular and concise feedback to inform formative learning and you should engage in all opportunities the course provides to seek feedback. Assessment expectations are set up at the start of each module, to ensure consistency and parity, via the summative assessment method, learning outcomes, module requirements and marking criteria.

The Professional Standards for the sector are embedded in all aspects of the course, which includes placements (or your practice if you are an in-service trainee), placement documentation, modules and assessments. Failure to meet the Professional Standards will mean that you are unable to pass the programme as a whole.

Modules

This teacher training course is particularly successful at integrating academic studies with the professional competences. In particular, this programme is structured so that you will enjoy working in curriculum groups with other trainee teachers from a similar or related subject area.

This allows you to exchange ideas and share good practice, supporting you with explicit links to the wider education sector. The course will support you to become an outstanding practitioner.

We have partnership arrangements with large further education colleges in the West Midlands, as well as prison education units, a number of training agencies and private providers.

  • You will spend three days each week, between November and May, on placement and you will be supported by your tutor/mentor.
  • Your placement might be within a local school teaching 14-plus students, a local sixth-form teaching post-16 learners or teaching adults in an offender learning department within a prison.

Teaching breakdown

Teaching breakdown

The course embraces technology both for teaching and learning activities, via Moodle and other virtual learning environments (VLEs) and the assessment purposes. Digital literacy skills are enhanced through the production of videos, podcasts, blogs and E posters, which will extend and enhance your technological skills, which are vital for interacting with learners in a range of modes. Flipped learning and social media activities, such as Twitter and Facebook, also form part of teaching and learning strategies, in which you will engage.

Assessment methods

Assessments are made on the basis of coursework assignments, the practice of teaching and related tasks the completion of the Professional and Minimum Core Standards. There is no final examination, however, all parts of the course must be satisfactorily completed before the award of Postgraduate Certificate in Education in Post-Compulsory Education and Training can be made.

These awards do not confer a license to practice but do form a route to Qualified Teacher/Tutor/Trainer Learning and Skills (QTLS). The PGCE PCET does not lead to Qualified Teacher Status which is required for school teaching.

Assessment breakdown

The module assessment methods have been specifically chosen in order to prepare you for effective classroom practice and to develop those skills needed for practice. The assessment methods of this course will enhance and develop your skills in being a creative thinker, using technology, planning for effective teaching and learning and researching your practice; as in practice-based enquiry, which will require you to research your practice or placement. 

We will equip you with the skills to research your practice to further embed the notion of the reflective practitioner who continually seeks to improve and develop their practice.  Personal, critical reflection is a vital component in both the taught sessions and assessments in order to bring about effective changes to your practice.

Student stories

Tobias Scarlett

Tobias Scarlett

The course was very useful in developing my teaching skills for the future. Staff had very high expectations of all the students on the course, which I believe helped me when going into employment. In the future I plan to gain more experience and develop my teaching skills and practice. I would also like to be able to complete a professional qualification to gain my QTLS status.

Ayaz Matloob

What really attracted me to the course was the hands-on experience of teaching my subject specialism in a designated work placement. I had previously completed a Preparing to Teach in the Lifelong Learning Sector (PTLLS) course at Bournville College; the PGCE course, which can be completed within one academic year, will qualify me to teach and apply for appropriate jobs in the very near future.

University's accreditation

As a provider of Initial Teacher Education (ITE), 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 we are performing and the quality of teacher training offered. Information in the inspection report can help prospective trainees decide which providers suit their training 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.

Erasmus scheme

There are opportunities for an Erasmus Programme exchange placements in Europe. In 2015, five of our PGCE PCET students spent 60 days with the University of Duisburg-Essen. Some of that time was spent teaching or supporting teaching in their placement school or colleges in and around Essen.

Further study

After achieving your PCET, we would encourage you to go on and qualify as a QTLS, by studying via the Society for Education and Training.

This course offers 60 credits towards an MA in Education or Masters in Teaching and Learning, which some of our trainees continue on to after completing their PGCE PCET course.

Trips and visits

Over the year, you could have the opportunity to go on trips and visits which are related to your specialist subject.

Student stories - Sanaa Serroukh

Sanaa did her placement at South and City College Birmingham. She said:

"The experience I gained has been nothing but beneficial and had given me a good insight into the teaching work world. What I liked about the university was the lovely campus and great facilities. The School of Education has great resources for teaching and an excellent and dedicated team of lecturers."

Sanaa is now working as a psychology teacher in Saudi Arabia at the Jeddah Knowledge School. In the future she plans on completing a Master’s degree in psychology and progress on to a PhD.

Enhancing your employability skills

This course boosts your chance of finding a job after graduating because the focus and subject specialism is designed to enhance your employment opportunities.

Placements

We have partnership arrangements with large further education colleges in the West Midlands, as well as prison education units, a number of training agencies and private providers.

You will spend three days each week, between November and May, on placement and you will be supported by your tutor/mentor.

Your placement might be within a local school teaching 14-plus students, a local sixth-form teaching post-16 learners or teaching adults in an offender learning department within a prison.

Jemima Wairia

I chose the PGCE Post-Compulsory Education and Training course at Birmingham City University because it offered me a lot of flexibility. I had the option of choosing to teach Prison Education as part of my placement. Coming from a criminology background, the link the University has with the Offender Learning institution was very attractive.

I find the workshops most enjoyable, especially when we have guest speakers. The workshops are all divided according to subject specialisms and are a good way of showing continuous professional development (CPD). I'd recommend you create a good rapport with your mentor whilst on placement – this could be something taken into account if they decide to employ you.

Anisa Khalid

During my time at Birmingham City University, I was given the opportunity to complete several work placements. One of these involved going to Germany as part of the Erasmus programme and teaching there for three months, in two different institutions. My other placement was based at South and City College in Birmingham. These placements were very beneficial and an enlightening experience for me.

I found all of the staff in the education department to be very supportive and engaging. They were very dedicated, and you could see the hard work and preparation that went into lectures. Karen McGrath, the course director, was highly informative and supportive throughout the course. She had a reasonable approach to all issues and was immensely accommodating. Even during my placements, my personal development tutor was supportive and allowed me to overcome any obstacles I had and put my worries at ease.

Read more about Anisa

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.

Qualified Teacher Learning and Skills status (QTLS)

Professional Formation

To gain recognition of your professional status following completion of your PGCE Post-Compulsory Education and Training or Diploma in Education and Training Programme you may wish to gain Qualified Teacher Learning and Skills status (QTLS). This is conferred by the Society for Education and Training Foundation (SET) and is awarded through the successful completion of a process of Professional Formation. Professional Formation is a process that enables you to demonstrate the effective use of your skills and knowledge in your professional practice that is required to achieve QTLS.

To apply for QTLS, you will need to be a member of the Society for Education and Training Foundation, for which there is an annual subscription fee.

What are the benefits of gaining QTLS status?

More than 15,000 teachers in the sector have achieved QTLS status since its introduction in 2008:

  • QTLS status is recognised in law as equal to QTS for teaching in schools at post 14+
  • Career progression: QTLS status demonstrates your commitment, skills and knowledge to employers
  • Recognition of your status as a professional teacher or trainer
  • Valuable continuing professional development (CPD) that builds confidence and enhances your skills
  • Members with can use these initials as a designation.
Eligibility

To apply for QTLS, you need an initial teacher training qualification at at least Level 5; such as the DET PGCE or PGCE PCET.  You are also required to demonstrate numeracy and literacy qualifications at (or above) Level 2.

Costs and commitments

The cost of undertaking professional formation leading to QTLS is £485. You can pay this in two instalments of £100 and £385.

The professional formation process requires you to complete an online workbook in REfLECT+. The time taken to complete this process and achieve QTLS status will be determined by your individual circumstances. For example, level of experience or work commitments. Therefore, the Education and Training Foundation has taken a flexible approach to professional formation with a number of application windows open each year.

However you do need to demonstrate continuing professional development in employment. Therefore you could start the process using your final observation of teaching practice and then build upon that in your practice as a teacher in the post 14 sector.

Further details on QTLS

Graduate jobs

Our trainees have gone on to gain employment in local colleges, schools and sixth forms. Some have taken up jobs abroad.

Graduate success stories

Samina Shafieq

Samina is currently working for the university as a Graduate Student Success Advisor (GSSA) for education. After graduating, she has also completed the PGCert in Education and now has HEA Fellow status. She's now studying on the MA Education and would also like to move onto studying a PhD and specialise in curriculum design, development and digital literacies.

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

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.

Meet our staff

You will benefit from the expertise and support of staff who are specialists in a wide range of subjects. Our team is drawn from staff who have worked in either the post-compulsory or secondary sectors. All are active researchers and academic writers.

Karen McGrath

Programme Director, PGCE Post-Compulsory Education and Training

Karen has extensive experience of teaching and managing GCSE and A Level programmes in FE. She has been instrumental in setting up tutorial systems in FE, applying the concepts of Personal Development Planning (PDP) to these systems. She has assisted Professor Alex Kendall in co-writing I don’t think I’ve ever had discussions about reading, a case study of FE literacy teachers’ conceptualisations of literacy.

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