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Secondary Computer Science - PGCE

Currently viewing course to start in 2023/24 Entry.

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! Our aim is to develop you into a teacher who enables pupils to use computational thinking and creativity to understand and change the world.

  • 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

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! Our aim is to develop you into a teacher who enables pupils to use computational thinking and creativity to understand and change the world.

This course is open to International students.

What's covered in this 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.

Taught modules, assignments and School-Based Training are structured around the development of your Progress Journal which demonstrates your progress against our ITE Core Curriculum. Our ambitious curriculum incorporates the ITT Core Content Framework (DfE, 2019) and the nationally agreed competences - the Teachers’ Standards, which all teachers must meet throughout their career. 

The Progress Journal also maps your development as a subject specialist with reference to identified subject priorities appropriate to the needs of secondary teachers entering the profession. A system of continuous review and assessment of progress within the Progress Journal will support your growing ability to take responsibility for your own professional development and ensure that you approach QTS with a sound understanding of research-informed pedagogies and practices. 

DBS

Applicants must meet requirements of being medically fit and successfully completing an enhanced disclosure via the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS). Learn more.

Why Choose Us?

  • At least 120 days across a minimum of two placements, in line with the Department for Education (DfE) requirements, supported by a subject mentor in your school and a personal development tutor at the University

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

  • 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

Our next Postgraduate Open Day will be an online event. Booking isn’t open yet. Register your interest below and we’ll email you as soon as booking goes live.

Next Open Day: Wednesday 25 January 2023

Register your interest

Entry Requirements

UK students
Essential

You must have a good degree (normally a 2:2 or above) in a relevant subject from a UK higher education institution or equivalent.

Applicants may be required to take a Subject Knowledge Enhancement (SKE) course prior to starting the PGCE course

You must also have a GCSE grade 4 (C) or above (or equivalent) in both English language and mathematics prior to 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. 

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.

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

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.

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 (capped at 5%) or to reflect changes in Government funding policies or changes agreed by Parliament. View fees for continuing students.

Award: PGCE

Starting: Sep 2023

  • Mode
  • Duration
  • Fees
  • Full Time
  • 1 year
  • £9,250 in 2023/24
  • 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 (capped at 5%) or to reflect changes in Government funding policies or changes agreed by Parliament. View fees for continuing students.

Award: PGCE

Starting: Sep 2023

  • Mode
  • Duration
  • Fees
  • Full Time
  • 1 year
  • £13,980 in 2023/24
  • 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.

The way you apply for teacher training has changed. The Department for Education (DfE) has developed a GOV.UK application service for postgraduate teacher training called ‘Apply for teacher training’, which you must use to make your application.

Course code: 3CZH
We also offer the full-time programme through School Direct with the following schools:

We would like all applicants to make a fully informed decision about joining the teaching profession. As part of that decision making process, spending sometime in a school and considering the role of the teacher will prove to be invaluable.

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.

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.

Course in Depth

Modules

In order to complete this course a student must successfully complete all the following CORE modules (totalling 60 credits):

Download course specification

Download now

Course structure

Your PGCE Secondary computer science 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 Department for Education 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 languages 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 our last 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.

Employability

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

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.

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.

Computer Science Department

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