Secondary Computing with QTS - BSc (Hons)

  • UCAS Code: X130
  • Level: Undergraduate
  • Starting: September 2020
  • Study mode: Full Time (3 years)
  • Location: City Centre / City South
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If you have a passion for computing and computer science, inspiring and educating young learners, and want the best possible career opportunities after graduating, then this is the course for you.

What's covered in the course?

The School of Education and Social Work has a strong partnership across a diverse range of secondary schools within the West Midlands. Located in the heart of the West Midlands, you will gain practical experience in a range of schools with a rich variety of cultural and linguistic influences, religious beliefs and social diversity. The School of Computing and Digital Technology provides access to networking laboratories equipped to industry standards and running the latest software, giving you the best possible introduction to the technologies you will encounter and facilitating you with the knowledge, skills and understanding to prepare both yourself and your own students for the world of work.

You will also benefit from the unique and strong partnership between computer science teacher educators and subject specialists who are at the forefront of practice in their fields.

Why Choose Us?

  • Education modules are taught at our recently extended £71 million City South Campus in Edgbaston, which includes brand new state-of-the-art facilities.  
  • For Computing modules, you will learn alongside BSc (Hons) Computing students from the School of Computing and Digital Technology at our City Centre Campus
  • Commitment to employability - we will make sure that you are ready for employment when graduating and will support you to gain experience in the areas you are most passionate about. Nearly 99 per cent of the School's undergraduate students are in work or further study six months after graduation (DLHE 2016/17)
  • We have a long and successful track record in the training of secondary teachers
  • The course aims to develop your computer science knowledge and understanding at degree level alongside gaining a professional qualification (QTS)
  • You will spend time in a range of local secondary schools on professional placements, equipping you with a wealth of practical experience to develop you as a computer science teacher, working in partnership with experienced school subject mentors

This course is open to International students

Entry Requirements

We accept a range of qualifications, the most popular of which are detailed below.

Entry requirements

A Level BBC 
BTEC Diploma D*D* in related subjects only
BTEC Extended Diploma DMM in related subjects only
Access to HE Diploma 60 credits with 45 credits at Level 3
International Baccalaureate 28 points

Plus

GCSE

A minimum of 5 GCSE's at Grade 4 or above including  English language and mathematics, or equivalent

Download the GCSE equivalencies for this course  

Further guidance on tariff points can be found on the UCAS website.

International Students

Entry requirements here

Don’t meet our entry requirements?

You could apply for a foundation course or a course at our International College. These routes have lower entry requirements and act as the bridge to a full degree. To find out more, please select your status:

Home student International student

  • UK/EU students
  • International students

Award: BSc (Hons)

Starting: Sep 2020

  • Mode
  • Duration
  • Fees

Award: BSc (Hons)

Starting: Sep 2020

  • Mode
  • Duration
  • Fees
  • Full Time
  • 3 years
  • £12,800 per year

If you're unable to use the online form for any reason, you can complete our PDF application form and equal opportunities PDF form instead. 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 up to a maximum of five per cent.

Guidance for UK/EU students

UCAS

UK and EU students applying for most undergraduate degree courses in the UK will need to apply through UCAS.

The Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) is a UK organisation responsible for managing applications to university and college.

Applying through UCAS
 Register with UCAS
 Login to UCAS
 Complete your details
 Select your course
 Write a personal statement
 Get a reference
 Pay your application fee
 Send UCAS your application

Non-EU (International) students

There are three ways to apply:

1) Direct to the University

You will need to complete our International Application Form and Equal Opportunities Form, and submit them together with scan copies of your original academic transcripts and certificates.

2) Through a country representative

Our in-country representatives can help you make your application and apply for a visa. They can also offer advice on travel, living in the UK and studying abroad.

3) Through UCAS

If you are applying for an undergraduate degree or a Higher National Diploma (HND), you can apply through the UK’s Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS).

You can request a printed form from your school or nearest British Council office. You will be charged for applying through UCAS. Birmingham City University’s UCAS code is B25 BCITY.

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

Accommodation and living costs

The cost of accommodation and other living costs are not included within your course fees. More information on the cost of accommodation can be found in our accommodation pages.

Worried about personal statements?

Worried about personal statements?

If you've got no idea where to start or just want to check you're on the right track, we’ve got expert advice and real examples from our students to help you nail your personal statement. You can even download our ultimate personal statement guide for free.

Get personal statement advice

Loans and Grants

Financial Support

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

Year One

In order to complete this course a student must successfully complete all the following CORE modules (totalling 120 credits):

Computer Programming
20 credits

This introductory computer programming module provides the underpinning knowledge and practice for computing students to design, build and test software components. The module will make use of practical sessions primarily to allow you to apply programming principles and constructs in order to creatively solve problems by means of developing small programs.   

Computer Systems
20 credits

This fundamental computer systems module puts into practice the learning done through reading, video lecturers, skills building labs and problem based learning for the acquisition of new knowledge and core practical competencies.

Website design and development
20 credits

This module provides the underpinning skills necessary to develop an effective web based information system based around a clear understanding of the visual requirements of an interface, a structured design approach and the technical skills necessary to implement a solution.

Network Fundamentals
20 credits

The module provides the opportunity to learn and critically reflect the skills required in building and designing basic networks and their requirements within a network infrastructure. This module builds on the underpinning knowledge and theory of networking systems.

Contemporary issues in computer science education
20 credits

This module provides an educational context to the study of computing.  It covers key subject content taught in schools including computational thinking, algorithm development and data structures.  You will also explore the context of teaching computing in school including how skills, such as programming, can be effectively taught and evaluate commonly encountered languages.

The Emerging Teacher
20 credits

The role of this module is to encourage you to consider in-depth your first experiences of your subject in your placement school.  It will enable you to understand the complexity of the teacher’s role and the importance of adopting a professional stance at all times.  You will understand the importance of an effective learning environment where all pupils feel safe and can develop to their full potential.  It will provide you with practical strategies to support you in managing pupils’ behaviour within the context of your subject specialism.

Professional Practice 1
0 credits

Working in partnership with schools over a sustained period of time, this module, Professional Practice 1, provides opportunities for you as a trainee teacher to meet the professional standards and expectations of teaching through observation and practical experience.  You will have the opportunity to work alongside experienced teachers and other education professionals to develop your knowledge, understanding and skill in the classroom and the wider school environment.

Year Two

In order to complete this course a student must successfully complete all the following CORE modules (totalling 120 credits):

Object orientated programming
20 credits

Programming is an engineering tool that plays a vital role to drive most of the modern technologies surrounding us, including the technological devices for communication, transportation and entertainment. In other words it can be said that our modern lifestyles are heavily dependent on programming.

Moreover, businesses increasingly rely on computers and the software run on them. Programming skills and a broader and deeper understanding of programming are therefore becoming increasingly important to the jobs market.

Operating systems
20 credits

This module will provide an introduction to fundamental concepts associated with operating systems and will lay the foundations for other Computer Science modules that will require a broad understanding of operating systems principles. A good understanding of operating systems is very important for computer scientists in order to design efficient solutions to a wide range of programming problems including concurrent programming, resource management and performance analysis.

This module will initially introduce the key components of operating systems, their role and purpose, and historical background. The module will also cover core themes such as concurrency, scheduling, memory management, security, virtual machines, device management, file systems, and real time and embedded systems. It will combine theoretical concepts and fundamentals with practical exercises that will provide hands-on experience in understanding, managing, and manipulating operating systems.

Databases and web application development
20 credits

The vast majority of web applications are connected to databases for the purpose of storing and retrieving information. On this module you will be introduced to relevant concepts and technologies, applying them to the development of such applications. You will gain knowledge and skills concerning data modelling (entity-relationship models) and relational database implementation and administration (using SQL).

You will also acquire new programming skills (e.g., writing server-side scripts in PHP) in order to produce applications that provide useful functionality. You will also gain practical experience in the use of web frameworks to develop web applications to enhance your employability skills.

 
Cybersecurity
20 credits
The Inclusive Teacher
20 credits

This module refers to the wider inclusion agenda, rather than just pupils with special education needs or disabilities. It considers the barriers to learning that pupils may have within the subject specialism, and specific classroom approaches or interventions that can be used to address these barriers.

Subject Studies
20 credits

This module, Subject Studies, provides opportunities for you as a trainee teacher to explore the nature of your specialist subject in the context of learning and teaching in the secondary school.  The module provides substantial support for your professional practice in school, applied through the professional practice modules.  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 your specialist subject, and to meeting the needs of the learners as they move through the secondary school phase.

Professional Practice 2
0 credits

This module will provide opportunities for you to progress from professional practice 1, by support you in embedding and enhancing your classroom practice as evidenced by the teaching standards. During your placement, you will consider the wider area of inclusion and how, in your subject specialism, specific classroom approaches can be developed to address the many barriers to learning that pupils hold.

Year Three

In order to complete this course a student must successfully complete all the following CORE modules (totalling 120 credits):

AI and machine learning
20 credits

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is a core component of computer science, aiming at developing intelligent agents that mimic human’s cognitive capability in learning, reasoning, and problem solving.

As a branch of AI, machine learning (ML) allows to create software that adapts and learns (from examples), rather than being explicitly programmed for a particular outcome. Both AI and ML rely on managing, processing and analysis of large datasets, something that Data Science (DS) is concerned with. Many services provided by technology giants such as Google, Microsoft, IBM, Facebook, Amazon, etc. are powered by DS, ML and AI. The recent advances in these subjects have already led to significant industrial applications such as self-driving cars and Industry 4.0.

Mobile and Wearable Application Development
20 credits

Mobile technologies, particularly in the form of smart phones, are now the de-facto mode for us to communicate and navigate information.  Building on this success, wearables have the potential to make computer technology ubiquitous. Although encompassing many forms, probably the most prevalent example of wearables is seen in the emergence of powerful ‘smart watches’.

User Experience Design
20 credits

This module will focus on combining theoretical concepts around user experience design with practical “hands-on” approaches used widely in industry and academia to create effective interactive experiences.

You will learn about the user-centred design process that places a core emphasis on designing products, applications, and software for “people”. In particular, you will learn techniques for gathering and understanding a target audience’s requirements, the importance of universal design and accessibility, and methods for undertaking rapid prototyping.

Professional Enquiry Education project
40 credits

This module will allow you to actively examine your professional practice in the workplace and to develop a reflective approach to personal development.  Through studying it, you will further develop your practice-based enquiry skills.  Increasing importance is placed on evidence-based enquiry to inform professional development in education.

The Professional Teacher
20 credits

This module, The Professional Teacher, provides opportunities for you as a trainee teacher to explore and understand in practical terms the meaning of professionalism in the context of your subject specialism.  You will understand the holistic and positive role of a teacher and the practices and policies of the education framework in which you operate.  Implicit in this will be the development of your understanding of how children learn in your subject (pedagogy) and how this is organised, delivered and measured in the current range of school systems.  

Professional Practice 3
0 credits

Working in partnership with schools over a sustained period of time in school, this module, Professional Practice 3, enables you to build on and demonstrate your mastery and achievement of the professional standards and expectations of teaching through practical, school-based experience.  You will have the opportunity to work alongside experienced teachers and other education professionals to develop your knowledge, understanding and skill in the classroom and the wider school environment. 

Course Overview

Do you want to develop the skills needed to be an effective and successful computer science teacher? This course will develop your skills in producing computer systems solutions.  You will gain a sound mathematical and scientific understanding alongside developing the professional attitude needed in a professional context.

While studying for your degree, you will also have access to dedicated industry-standard facilities in a fully equipped lab running the latest software.  In addition, the School of Computing and Digital Technology  based at the City Centre Campus is home to a Cisco Systems and a Microsoft Academy Centre. These facilities provide opportunities that will prepare you for a successful career in computer science education. The University is also a regional centre for providing CPD to computer science teachers across the Midlands which has led to the development of strong links with partner schools.

The BSc (Hons) Secondary Computing with Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) trains you to:

  • Teach your subject in secondary schools within the age range 11-16, with post-16 enhancement
  • Develop the subject knowledge required to teach computer science up to A level within secondary schools and sixth-form colleges
  • Develop the skills required to teach computer science within secondary education
  • Work in a wide variety of schools and IT departments to develop as a computer science subject specialist

Further study

The school offers a programme of continuing professional development for newly qualified teachers and serving teachers. Graduates may also consider pursuing their studies further on the MA Education or MTL programmes.

Overseas Opportunities

The programme hosts students on the Erasmus and Study Abroad programmes from a number of partner Universities from around the world who will study alongside you and facilitate debate about different approaches to learning and teaching. You also have the opportunity of a transnational teaching experience in a number of European countries through the partnerships the School of Education has established with The Sorbonne in Paris, The University of Cordoba in Spain and Schwabisch Gmund University in Germany.

Enhancing your employability skills

We will support you in the transition to university through a careful induction process, confidence building activities, group work and a carefully planned programme with a range of formative and summative assessments.

Your programme will be interactive, practical, engaging, thought provoking and challenging and is designed to promote independence so that you become a confident, committed and creative teacher ready to join the teaching profession.

On the programme you will experience a variety of learning and teaching approaches that focus on modelling good practice and these will include: workshops, conferences, lectures, seminars, a range of guest speakers, visits to schools/settings and other sites as well as a range of practical teaching experiences.

The content of the programme is research led, innovative and responsive to the educational climate to enable you to develop your subject and pedagogical knowledge and apply it in the classroom.

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.

Firewalking

BCU Graduate+

Through our courses we give you the skills and experience needed to get a head start when applying for jobs. But we offer something extra too – Graduate+.

Our unique programme gives you the chance to develop valuable skills outside of the more formal classroom learning. We award points for Graduate+ activities (including firewalking!) and these can be put towards a final Graduate+ award.

More about Graduate+

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:

The UK remains one of the world's leading study destinations

The UK remains one of the world's leading study destinations for international students.

The first-class experience offered by universities are reflected in the world’s largest survey of international students. International students are more likely to recommend the UK than any other leading English-language study destination.

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.

As part of these plans, the University's Education provision will join the rest of the Faculty of Health, Education and Life Sciences at our City South Campus in Edgbaston during 2018.

This is the third phase of the University's project to move all teaching and learning to two campuses, City Centre and City South. By moving our Education provision, we are creating a hub for the provision of public service contracts and professional development at City South Campus and improving the student experience with a stronger sense of community and more consistent support services and facilities.

Campus

In addition to classrooms, a lecture theatre, social learning spaces, an open access IT suite and cafe facilities, the new £41 million extension to our City South Campus offers a range of specialist teaching and learning facilities for specific subjects including science, design and technology, drama and physical education.  

Departments

All our departmental facilities replicate the school learning environment.

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

Not only are we investing £41 million in a new building to house the laboratories and teaching spaces needed, but we also plan to open up these facilities to benefit all students and the wider community. This will complement our existing sports facilities, which already provide a base for students to compete in activities ranging from rugby to.

Mary Seacole Library

The Seacole library, based at City South Campus, is one of the UK's largest specialist health education libraries. The facility offers an extensive range of range of information and reference materials set out in a relaxing environment, conducive to studying. There are comfortable seating areas, group study areas, a silent study area and private study rooms.

Computer Facilities

The Seacole building houses a large open access IT Suite which comprises of 96 PCs, printers, photocopiers and scanners. Our PCs utilise the latest Intel i5 core technology, all with:

  • Fast (unrestricted) internet connectivity
  • Ability to save files to USB, DVD & CD
  • Microsoft Office software
  • Research and statistical software
  • Storage space which can be accessed from any PC across the University and from home

Our PCs are also designed to support students who may have difficulties with reading and writing, featuring specialised software with zooming/magnification and screen reading capabilities, which may also be customised for individual student needs.

The IT Suite offers extended opening hours and is supported by a specialist Open Access Assistant during term time. In addition to the open access PCs within the IT Suite, there are 12 networked student PCs available within Seacole library.

Christine Swan staff profile

Christine Swan

Secondary Education Computer Science tutor

Christine has 30 years teaching experience across the secondary, FE and HE sectors and is a Computer Science subject specialist. She has authored and edited textbooks, developed teaching and learning resources for awarding bodies and delivers CPD in schools. Christine has also acted as a subject and education consultant in the development of new key stage 4 courses. 

Read Christine's full profile