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Primary Education with Specialism in SEN with QTS - PGCE

Do you have a passion for educating children, particularly those with Special Educational Needs (SEN)? If your aim is to become a reflective, critical and enquiring primary school teacher then our PGCE Primary Education with Specialism in SEN and QTS is the course for you. 

  • Level Postgraduate Taught
  • Study mode Full Time
  • Location City South
  • School School of Education and Social Work
  • Faculty Faculty of Health, Education and Life Sciences

Overview

Do you have a passion for educating children, particularly those with Special Educational Needs (SEN)? If your aim is to become a reflective, critical and enquiring primary school teacher then our PGCE Primary Education with Specialism in SEN and QTS is the course for you. 

This course is open to International students.

What's covered in this course?

Our aim is to help you become a committed, confident and creative teacher so we’ll train you in the essential tools you need to kick-start your career in education. You’ll increase your ability to handle the ever-evolving teaching environment, and by the time your course is complete, you’ll be in a position to continue developing your understanding, knowledge and skills throughout your professional life.

You’ll discover that the way we teach you and the time you spend in schools in the Birmingham area will give you a broad experience of working with children who come from a wide range of different social, economic and cultural backgrounds so you’ll be well placed to take on the Early Career Framework.

Our ITE Curriculum aligns with the DfE (2019) ITT Core Content Framework. Our ambitious curriculum is designed within a spiral curriculum model, which deepens your knowledge and understanding through an iterative revisiting of identified topics, subjects, and themes throughout all our Primary QTS courses.

Why Choose Us?

  • Successful completion of this course will highlight your SEN expertise and help you to stand out from the crowd

  • Consistently high employability rates, we are Top 15 for graduate outcomes for Education courses (Complete University Guide 2022).

  • We support you with the job application process as part of your course

  • Gain Master's level credits gained as part of this course that you can then use towards a full Master's degree

  • We have strong relationships with hundreds of primary schools in the region. Schools are committed to the quality of experience they offer our trainees

  • Our team of experienced teachers, who have held senior positions in schools, are there to support and guide your progress

  • We meet the Department for Education's (DfE) Criteria for Initial Teacher Training and successful candidates on our Initial Teacher Training courses will be recommended to the DfE for Qualified Teacher Status.

Studying with us during the Covid-19 pandemic

The University has put in place measures in response to Covid-19 to allow us to safely deliver our courses. Should the impact of the pandemic continue in future years, any additional or alternative arrangements put in place by the University will be in accordance with the latest government public health advice, health and safety legislation, and the terms and conditions of the student contract.

Open Days

Join us for an on-campus Open Day where you'll be able to explore our campus and facilities in person. You'll be able to hear more about your chosen subject area from our academics.

Register your interest

Entry Requirements

Essential requirements

We normally require a Bachelor's Honours degree at 2:2 level or above from a UK higher education institution or a recognised equivalent in a subject that provides the necessary foundation for work as a primary teacher.

GCSE at grade 4 (C) or above (or its equivalent) in English, mathematics and a science subject is also necessary at the point of enrolment.

Download the GCSE equivalencies for this 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 Equivalency Testing. We also offer our own in-house equivalency tests. If you are successful at interview and need to pass an equivalency test to meet the entry requirements, our Admissions team will refer you to the details of our test. 

While not essential, you may wish to gain some experience in primary school before attending an interview.  

International qualifications

A minimum IELTS score of 7.0 is required with no individual component less than 6.5. Candidates who have undertaken IELTS will also need to successfully pass our GCSE English equivalency test.


 

Applicants must meet Department for Education (DfE) requirements for Initial Teacher Training, which means being medically fit and successfully completing an enhanced disclosure via the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS).

Fees & How to Apply

Please select your student status to view fees and apply
  • UK Student
  • International Student

UK students

Annual and modular tuition fees shown are applicable to the first year of study. The University reserves the right to increase fees for subsequent years of study in line with increases in inflation based on the Retail Prices Index and the additional costs we incur each year to deliver our courses, maintain and develop our infrastructure and provide a range of support services, or to reflect changes in Government funding policies or changes agreed by Parliament. View fees for continuing students.

Award: PGCE

Starting: Sep 2022

  • Mode
  • Duration
  • Fees
  • Full Time
  • 1 year
  • £9,250 in 2022/23
  • Apply

International students

Annual and modular tuition fees shown are applicable to the first year of study. The University reserves the right to increase fees for subsequent years of study in line with increases in inflation based on the Retail Prices Index and the additional costs we incur each year to deliver our courses, maintain and develop our infrastructure and provide a range of support services, or to reflect changes in Government funding policies or changes agreed by Parliament. View fees for continuing students.

Award: PGCE

Starting: Sep 2022

  • Mode
  • Duration
  • Fees
  • Full Time
  • 1 year
  • £13,500 in 2022/23
  • Apply

Access to computer equipment

You will require use of a laptop, and most students do prefer to have their own. However, you can borrow a laptop from the university or use one of our shared computer rooms.

Printing

You will receive £5 print credit in each year of your course, available after enrolment.

Field trips

All essential field trips and associated travel costs will be included in your course fees.

Access to Microsoft Office 365

Every student at the University can download a free copy of Microsoft Office 365 to use whilst at university and for 18 months after graduation.

Key Software

You will be able to download SPSS and Nvivo to your home computer to support with your studies and research.

Key subscriptions

Subscriptions to key journals and websites are available through our library.

Free access to Rosetta Stone

All students can sign up to the online learning language platform for free through the Graduate+ scheme.

DBS check

You will require a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check for this course. Your first DBS check is included in your fees.

Project materials (mandatory)

This course includes project work that requires you to develop and produce a portfolio or collection. You'll be expected to provide the materials for use in your individual major projects; costs will vary depending on the materials selected.

Placement expenses (mandatory)

Placements are a compulsory element of teacher training courses. You'll need to budget for any travel costs you may incur whilst undertaking your placement.

Excess printing (optional)

Once you have spent your £5 credit, additional printing on campus costs from 5p per sheet.

Books (optional)

All module key texts will be in the University library, but in limited numbers. You may choose to purchase a copy.

Field trips (optional)

This course includes the option of additional trips that may enhance your experience, at extra cost.

Subscriptions (optional)

You may wish to purchase subscriptions to additional journals and websites.

Memberships (optional)

You may wish to join a union or professional body related to this 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.

Applications for teacher training courses are through the Department for Education’s application service, Apply for Teacher Training.

Using the red ‘Apply’ button above will take you to the Department for Education website to complete your application. For more information on how to apply for a teacher training course, please visit Apply for Teacher Training.

Personal statement

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.

Course in Depth

Year One

In order to complete this course a student must successfully complete all the following CORE modules (totalling 40 credits)

The PGCE Primary and Early Years programme provides high quality initial teacher training for those wishing to teach in primary schools and early years settings. This module provides opportunities for trainee teachers to explore the nature of the core subjects (Mathematics, English and Science) and prime and specific areas of the EYFS in the context of learning and teaching in the primary school and early years settings. The module provides substantial support for trainees’ professional practice in such settings, assessed through the School Experience modules. This module provides a strong philosophical underpinning to the importance of trainees’ subject knowledge in the primary school and EYFS curricula. By undertaking this module trainees will be shaping their own rationale for their approach to the teaching of the above subjects/areas and to meet the needs of all learners.

The PGCE Primary and Early Years programme provides high quality initial teacher training for those wishing to teach in primary schools and early years settings. This module provides opportunities for trainee teachers to explore the nature of the foundation subjects for key stages 1 & 2 (History, Geography, Art, Music, Computing, Design & Technology, Physical Education, Foreign Languages and Religious Education) and certain prime and specific areas of the EYFS including Physical Development, Understanding the world (not ‘science’ elements) and Expressive Arts and Design. The module provides substantial support for trainees’ professional practice in such settings, assessed through the School Experience modules. This module provides a strong philosophical underpinning to the importance of trainees’ subject knowledge in the primary school and EYFS curricula. By undertaking this module trainees will be shaping their own rationale for their approach to the teaching of the above subjects/areas and to meet the needs of all learners. Trainees will develop an understanding of cross-curricular approaches and how they support the development of knowledge, understanding and skills in the foundation subjects /areas of learning.

This module belongs to the School Based Training strand of the programme. Working in partnership with schools over a sustained period of time in school, this module, School Based Training 1, provides opportunities for you as a trainee teacher to meet the professional standards and expectations of teaching through 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. Schools will undertake to provide trainees with a variety of opportunities to observe best practice which addresses the trainees’ development needs. You will be able to implement theory and evidence-based understanding on an on-going and development basis into your teaching into the classroom.

Working in partnership with schools over a sustained period of time in school, this module, School Based Training 2, 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. You will be able to implement theory and evidence-based understanding into your teaching into the classroom and within a professional, safe and supportive community of practice become a confident, creative and committed teacher demonstrating a working understanding of and progress towards, the professional standards that underpin learning and teaching in a primary or early years settings. You will be assessed against the current professional competences for teaching through a learning, teaching and assessment strategy that describes the stages of development as emerging, establishing, embedding, and enhancing.

This module provides opportunities for trainee teachers to explore the nature of teaching and leadership in the context of primary school and early years settings. The module provides substantial support for trainees’ professional practice in such settings, assessed through the School Experience modules. This module provides a strong practical understanding of the importance of trainees’ wider professional awareness and responsibilities in the primary school and EYFS settings. By undertaking this module trainees will be shaping their own rationale for their approach to teaching and meeting the needs of all learners.

Download course specification

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Course structure

Although this one-year PGCE course offers you a valuable academic qualification, one of its major attractions is the fact that you will spend two-thirds of your time –120 days – working in schools and gaining valuable real-life experience.

You’ll work towards your qualification by attending workshops and group discussions, but this course is essentially very practical and hands-on.

This is a full-time, one-year course, which will train you to teach young people between the ages of five and 11. All trainees learn to teach across the range of subjects in the Primary National Curriculum, but there is a strong focus on SEN. 

Approximately two thirds of this well-structured, supervised programme includes blocked time in schools/settings where you will gain direct teaching experience and work with experienced practitioners in the classroom. School based sessions are undertaken predominately in West Midland primary schools. Placements will include schools recognised for their strengths in SEN or a special school.

Teaching is graded as pass or fail and by the end of the second practice trainees will have gained experience of teaching approximately 80 per cent of the timetable in a supportive and guided context.

Assessment breakdown

There are assessments on course work, teaching practice and the achievement of The Department for Education for the award of QTS. You will also undertake written assessments and some presentations derived from both faculty-based modules and school experiences. Academic work will need to be of the high standard required of postgraduate level 7 study.

Standards for the award of QTS are assessed in a number of ways, including course work, school experience assessments and evidence portfolios.

Modules are often workshop-based, covering professional subject and age-range methodology, as well as general pedagogical skills and all other major educational issues.

Employability

Placements

Approximately two thirds of this well-structured and supervised programme includes blocked time in schools/settings where trainees will gain direct teaching experience and work with experienced practitioners in the classroom. School based sessions are undertaken predominately in West Midland primary schools. Placements will be with schools recognised for their strengths in SEN or an SEN school.

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.

International

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:

Facilities & Staff

Our facilities

Our School of Education and Social Work is based at our City South campus in leafy Edgbaston.

We’ve spent £41million expanding the education facilities at City South. These facilities offer hands-on practical experience, replicating the spaces you will come across in professional practice. Alongside classrooms and lecture theatres, we also have a range of specialist teaching and learning spaces for specific subjects including science, design and technology, drama and physical education.

As well as subject-specific rooms, our facilities include the Primary Innovation Lab, which houses £24,000 worth of LEGO. This room is a special resource for our education students, offering an innovative and creative way to approach subjects across the curriculum – from computing to English, mathematics to art. The lab responds to research that children and young people learn best from practical experience.

Our Social Work students have access to a home environment room and mock hospital wards which offer an opportunity to gain experience of working with service users in different situations.

Computer facilities

The Seacole building has two open-access IT Suites which offer PCs, printers, photocopiers and scanners. There is also an IT Helpdesk for quick and easy help with your computing or internet issues.

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.

In addition to desktop PCs, we also offer a laptop loan facility, allowing students to borrow a laptop for up to six hours while on campus.

Our staff

Paul Purser

PGCE Primary and Early Years Education Course Director

Having completed a Science degree, Paul undertook a PGCE and qualified in 1990. He has always led Science within school in addition to his teaching and leadership commitments. Alongside this he developed his skills in whole school leadership, leading year groups and phases within school. This range of experience enabled Paul to become deputy head...

More about Paul