Subject Knowledge Enhancement in Computer Science - (SKE)

Attendance:
Full Time
Starting:
March 2018, May 2018
Campus:
Back
In order to get you to the correct application form, we need to ask you a couple of questions:
1

If you wish to train as a computer science teacher, but your degree did not provide enough content on this subject for you to gain automatic entry onto an initial teacher training course, completion of this SKE course, might be made a condition of an offer onto a secondary computer science teacher training course.

This course will prepare you for an initial teacher training secondary computer science course by developing your skills and giving you the confidence to recognise areas in your own subject knowledge which you need to develop during the enhancement course, initial teacher education and beyond. It will also help you to develop a 'deep' understanding of the knowledge, concepts and skills associated with computer science as a subject.

What's covered in the course?

We aim to help you to come to a deep understanding of the concepts and skills associated at GCSE level. In addition, aspects of A level computer science will be covered depending on the aptitudes and interests of the trainees.

On successful completion of the course you will be awarded a Graduate Certificate in Subject Knowledge Enhancement (Computer Science).

Why Choose Us?

  • The SKE course is undertaken before starting an initial teacher training course. It is important that you have a conditional offer of a place on an initial teacher training course either at Birmingham City University or another provider before you start a SKE course.
  • There are no course fees. Bursaries for eligible students are funded by the National College for Teaching and Leadership for courses. Please visit the Department for Education website for further information.
  • We have a long and successful track record in developing secondary teachers.
  • This course will boost your knowledge and understanding of this subject.
  • Our course provides the ideal stepping stone to further study and full Qualified Teacher Status (QTS).
  • You will get to see and work with teachers in action in a wide range of schools, which will expose you to a rich variety of cultural and linguistic influences, religious beliefs and social diversity.
This course is not open to International students

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
Essential

The SKE computer science course is suitable for graduates with a good degree from a UK higher education institution (or a recognised equivalent) who have sufficient computer science knowledge to commence the course.

This could be through holding an A-level in computer science, (not essential) having an element of computer science in your degree course and/or occupational experience of the subject.

GCSE grade C or above (or its equivalent) in both English language and mathematics are also required to gain entry onto a PGCE Secondary course.

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 www.equivalencytesting.com

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

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.

In addition to academic qualifications, candidates will be expected to have good communication and organisational skills, possess a desire to learn more about computer science and demonstrate a commitment to teaching the subject.

To be eligible to start this course you will need to hold a conditional offer of a place on an initial teacher training course, for example a PGCE Secondary Computer Science course.

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
(SKE) Mar 2018 FT 16 Weeks NCTL funded
May 2018 FT 8 Weeks NCTL funded

If you're unable to use the online form for any reason, you can complete our PDF application form instead.

International Students

Sorry, this course is not available to international students.

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.

How to apply

For further information, please contact the Programme Lead for SKE courses via email on: simon.tresidder@bcu.ac.uk

If your application is successful you will be invited to attend an interview to assess your suitability for the Subject Knowledge Enhancement in Computer Science courses at Birmingham City University.

Course fees

There are no course fees. A National College of Teaching and Leadership bursary of £115 per week is available for eligible course participants. Additional, discretionary bursaries of up to £85 per week may be available, depending on an individual meeting eligibility criteria.

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

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

We offer further information on possible postgraduate financial support. This includes the type of loans, grants and scholarships available both from the government and from Birmingham City University.

The SKE Computer Science course is designed for those who have a relevant subject degree and/or industry experience but feel they would benefit from filling in the gaps that perhaps have not been covered in sufficient depth.

The subject of computing is broad and the specialism of many degrees means that this course is useful in raising the confidence of trainee teachers. You will spend a significant amount of time learning about key programming concepts using a variety of different paradigms and languages such as Python and Java . More theoretical concepts will be covered to a comprehensive depth with plenty of practical activities to complete where you will explore concepts such as data representation, Boolean algebra, data structures, algorithms, networking, computer architecture and physical computing using Raspberry Pis, Arduinos and Micro:bits. 

University's accreditation

Pre-initial teacher training Subject Knowledge Enhancement (SKE) courses are intensive programmes, which have been accredited by the National College for Teaching and Leadership.

As a provider of Initial Teacher Education (ITE) Birmingham City University is 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 regulate 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 universities suit their training needs.

In the latest Ofsted Inspection (March 2014) we were was awarded a grade 2 rating 'Good' for our primary and early years, secondary and post-compulsory education and training provision.

Further study

On successful completion of the SKE programme, you will progress directly onto an initial teacher training programme, for example a PGCE Secondary Computer Science and IT course.

Our one year full-time PGCE Secondary Education Computer Science and IT course, which starts in September, qualifies trainees to teach 11 to 16 year olds. The course offers the additional benefit of post-16 enhancement giving you maximum flexibility when looking for a job.

Enhancing your employability skills

After you have successfully completed a Subject Knowledge Enhancement in Computer Science course and then an initial teacher training course, for example a PGCE Secondary Computer Science course you will be ready to begin your career as a computer science teacher in the secondary sector.

Placements

School visits

You will visit secondary schools for observation purposes and workshops. You will prepare and teach lessons to small groups of school students.

You will get involved in a range of activities, by observing lessons and acting as a teaching assistant. This will really boost your learning and give you valuable experience for when you start your initial teacher training.

More about our placement opportunities...

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.

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