Secondary Computer Science and IT - PGCE

Course Code:
33RN
Attendance:
Full Time
Starting:
September 2018
Campus:

Are you committed to becoming a passionate teacher who can inspire pupils to realise the potential of this important and far-reaching subject? If so, then we're looking to train you on our PGCE Secondary in Computer Science and IT! Our aim is to develop you into a teacher who enables pupils to use computational thinking and creativity to understand and change the world.

What's covered in the course?

You’ll be a key component of this core curriculum area, encouraging pupils in their ability to problem solve using a variety of powerful modelling techniques. Your impact will be far-reaching, ensuring your pupils become creators of technology and not just consumers. You will help them develop transferable skills that can be used in a range of subject areas.

This course benefits from strong links with the British Computer Society (BCS) who are working with the Department of Education to develop the next generation of computing teachers through an organisation called Computing at School. The opportunities this partnership provides gives you a head start engaging with expert computing teachers throughout the West Midlands at regular hub meetings. You'll gain access to networking and subject development opportunities that are available. Events, such as our regional conference, are held throughout the year at our City Centre Campus. As one of 10 universities across the country designated as a Regional Centre, it is our responsibility to promote and showcase the very best computing teaching across the West Midlands. We want you to be a part of this from the start of your career.

Working together with the University’s Faculty of Computing, Engineering and the Built Environment as a Computing at School (CAS) Regional Centre, we’re leaders in developing computer science teaching across the West Midlands supporting both new and established practitioners to teach this wonderful subject in the best way possible. As a trainee teacher on this course you’ll be immersed in this culture of development meaning you’ll be on the cutting-edge of computer science teaching techniques and will help to shape the subject for years to come.

- Afsar Ali (PGCE Computer Science graduate 2016)

Why Choose Us?

  • At least 120 days across a minimum of two placements, in line with the National College for Teaching and Learning (NCTL) requirements, supported by a subject mentor in your school and a personal development tutor at the University.

  • We’re proud of our high employability rates, with 98 per cent of the School’s full-time postgraduate students in employment or further study six months after completing their course (DLHE survey results 2014/15).

  • If you have a minimum of a 2.2 in your undergraduate degree, or a Master's or PhD, in a subject area relevant for teaching computer science and IT, you may be eligible for a bursary from the (NCTL) (for 2018 entry this bursary is £26,000) OR a higher level scholarship of £28,000. The scholarship is administered by BCS, the Chartered Institute for IT subject to application and deadlines.

  • Gain Master's level credits gained as part of this course that you can then use towards a full Master's degree, such as our Master’s in Teaching and Learning or Educational Leadership.

This course is open to International students

 

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). Learn more about completing your DBS

Find out more 

Where our students go

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

  • Q3 Academy, Great Barr
  • Holte School, Birmingham
  •  University of Birmingham School

And in jobs such as:

  • Head of computing
  • Lead computing teacher
  • Teacher of IT computing

Entry Requirements

UK students
Essential

You must have a good degree (minimum 2:2 but 2:1 or 1st preferred) from a UK higher education institution or equivalent, of which at least 50 per cent should be in Computing.

You must also have a GCSE grade C or above (or equivalent) in both English language and mathematics prior to enrolment.

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 you will also be required to pass the Skills Tests in Literacy and Numeracy. You will not be able to enrol onto your course until you have passed these tests.

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 application 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

Skills Tests in Literacy and Numeracy

All trainee teachers MUST pass their skills tests prior to the start of their course. We’ve got tips on how to book them and getting practice in. And if you accept your offer of a place with us, you’ll even get to come to a free skills test bootcamp (subject to availability).

What are skills tests?

UK or EU students

Award Start Mode Duration Fees
PGCE Sep 2018 FT 1 year £9,250 Apply via UCAS

International Students

Award Start Mode Duration Fees
PGCE Sep 2018 FT 1 year £12,000 Apply online now

The University reserves the right to increase fees in line with inflation based on the Retail Prices Index or to reflect changes in Government funding policies or changes agreed by Parliament.

Course code: 2N2D

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:

  • Heartlands Academy (non-salaried)
  • Holte School (non-salaried)
  • Holyhead School (non-salaried)

You may be interested to know that we offer a PGCE Secondary English through School Direct with:

  • Heartlands Academy (non-salaried)
  • Holte School (salaried and non-salaried)
  • Holyhead School (salaried and non-salaried)

Skills Tests

We encourage you to take your skills tests as early as possible to ensure you have passed before you start the course.

How to book a skills test

Personal statement

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

Your postgraduate personal statement is going to shine a light on your personal experience, academic success, personal skills and any other factors that will support your application for further study.

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

Your passion and motivations

Studying a postgraduate course usually means you want to specialise in something. So what’s driving you?

Why this course?

Show that you’ve researched the course offering. What is it about this particular course that appeals to you? Is it the lecturers? The modules? Etc.

What makes you a good postgraduate candidate?

Tutors want to know that you can handle postgraduate study, so show them how your undergraduate experiences or work life has equipped you for a more advanced level of study. Key areas to address are research and group work but this can vary depending on your chosen course.

Relevant academic or work experience

Add anything relevant that relates back to your chosen course and shows how your skills will contribute towards your learning. What extra-curricular activities have you taken part in? What awards have you won? What employment or voluntary experience do you have that has helped you develop transferable skills? How do these specifically relate to the course you are applying for?

You should also mention your future plans and how a postgraduate qualification fits in. Try to look beyond your postgraduate study – do you plan to jump straight into a specific career or follow your studies with a research degree? Lastly, use plain, professional English and, where possible, utilise the language of your chosen industry.

Get more information on writing personal statements

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*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.

Sorry, 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 computing 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 computing, 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 computer science and IT education aims to explore, test and develop the links between computing in education theory and its practice. The practical workshops in university facilitate a means 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 computing 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.

Two thirds of your course will take place in schools with the other third in a university setting. 

Assessment methods

Modules are assessed through a range of directed tasks and targeted assignments. You are also required to complete a profile of evidence towards the achievement of the standards required by the National College for Teaching and Leadership for the award of Qualified Teacher Status (QTS). Evidence for the Professional Development Profile is verified by mentors.

Examples of classroom activities

Exploring the link between theory and practice is central to your PGCE computer science course. As a result of this many aspects of the practical workshops in university are tested and developed by you in school contexts. This means that you are encouraged to develop your own ideas. Previous examples include;

  • Introduction of new cutting-edge programming langauges to school curricula 
  • Arduino robotics club
  • Using Minecraft to teach computer hardware.

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 Studies

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.

You could choose to put further polish on your knowledge and skills by going on to do an MA Education and/ or a Masters in Teaching and Learning (MTL), which is just one way of taking your studies a step further.

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”.

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. This all helps you to see how teachers are working in practice and gives you a wealth of experience.

You will have the opportunity to do serial and block placements and you will also have trained mentors, 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.

Links to industry

We are a key player in the Computing at School initiative. This Government funded project is supported by many major tech companies such as Google, Microsoft, BT and Cisco.

We play a major part in developing this network and we play an active role in contributing to the development of the subject within schools.

Graduate jobs

The majority of PGCE computer science teachers find employment as teachers in a variety of school settings. Computing is a shortage subject and is very much in demand.

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.

Computer Science Department

The department consists of a huge range of computers with up-to-date software, to enhance your learning experience.

With over twelve years of computing education experience in a variety of school settings, our university  tutor, Stuart, offers exceptional education and training. His ethos for teaching a deep understanding of content rather than surface learning software operations permeates the structure of this course and the style of teaching encouraged.

Mr Stuart Davison

Senior Lecturer in Computer Science Education

Stuart is the course leader for the PGCE and Teach First Secondary Computer Science programmes. His current research interests lie in effective computing pedagogies.

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