Secondary English - PGCE

Course Code:
338J
Attendance:
Full Time
Starting:
September 2019
Campus:

Do you want to help pupils express themselves, to become critical thinkers and develop the vital skills they need to succeed, not just in English, but also in other areas of their education and beyond? Our PGCE in English will develop you into a teacher able to deliver the wide-ranging curriculum covered under English, including Language, Literature and supporting studies in Drama and Media education.

What's covered in the course?

You’ll learn the teaching methods and strategies that will help your classes develop their reading, writing, speaking and listening skills so they become effective communicators.

Assignments and school-centred activities are structured around the development of your School Experience Progress Journal (SEPJ) which demonstrates your progress against the nationally agreed competences (the Teachers’ Standards), which all teachers must meet throughout their career. A system of continuous review and assessment of progress in the SEPJ will support your growing ability to take responsibility for your own development. 

Why Choose Us?

  • If you have a minimum of a 2:2 in your undergraduate degree, a Master's or a PhD, in a subject area relevant for teaching English, you may be eligible for a bursary from the Department for Education (DfE)

  • We will help you to become a committed, confident, autonomous, creative and reflective teacher

  • At least 120 days across a minimum of two placements, in line with the DfE 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 99% of PGCE Secondary Education students in employment or further study six months after completing their course (DLHE survey results 2016/17)

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

This course is open to International students

Speak to an expert

If you’ve got any questions about the course, we’d love to hear from you. Please email the Course Director: Fiona Darby.

Email Course Director

Alternatively, you can register for our next postgraduate open day.

Where our students go

Our students have gone on to work with companies such as:
  • Heartlands Academy, Birmingham
  • Fairfax School, Sutton Coldfield
  • St. Edmunds Catholic Academy, Wolverhampton
  • And in jobs such as:

    • Head of English 
      • English teacher and literacy co-ordinator
      • English teacher and KS4 co-ordinator

Entry Requirements

UK students
Essential

You will need to have a good degree (minimum 2:2) in a relevant subject from a UK higher education institution or equivalent.

You must have a GCSE grade C or above (or equivalent) in both English language and mathematics prior to enrolment and if you are offered an interview you will take a written test to assess your standard of English.

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.

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. Please visit the DfE website for further information. You will not be able to enrol onto your course until you have passed these tests.

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 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 2019 FT 1 year
TBC
Apply via UCAS

International Students

Award Start Mode Duration Fees
PGCE Sep 2019 FT 1 year
TBC
Apply online now

Fees for 2019/20 will be published as soon as possible. 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.

Course code: 338J

All applications 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:

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

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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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.

The additional costs listed here are to be used for indicative purposes only and are based on the additional costs for the 2018/19 academic year. The additional costs for 2019/20 will be published as soon as possible.

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.

 

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). Learn more about completing your DBS

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

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

Provides opportunities for you as a trainee teacher to explore the nature of English 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 English, and to meeting the needs of the learners as they move through the secondary school phase.

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 English aims to explore, test and develop the links between English in education theory and its practice. The University workshops and seminars facilitate a space 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 English 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.

Teaching Breakdown

A third of your time spend on the course will be spent attending University-based sessions and two-thirds will be spent out in a school on a school experience placement.

Further Study

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. 

We encourage our trainees to consider developing their teaching and learning skills further by continuing their studies with a Master's in in Education or an MTL/MEL.

Find out more 

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 school and or a post-16 setting where appropriate. This all helps you to see how teachers are working in practice and gives you a wealth of experience.

You will have subject and professional mentors in school 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.

Postgraduate Jobs

All PGCE English teachers find employment as teachers in a variety of school settings.

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.

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.

Staff Introduction

With a vast amount of experience in a variety of school settings, our university English tutors, Fiona, Amanda and Paul, offer exceptional education and training. Their shared ethos and rationale for English in schools is evident in all they do as they encourage trainee English teachers to develop their own practice, pedagogy and beliefs.

Fiona Darby

Mrs Fiona Darby

Senior Teaching Fellow

Fiona spent 15 years working as an English teacher in secondary schools in Warwickshire and Oxfordshire. She was a Head of Department for 4 years, and an Assistant Head Teacher for 5 years.

She has had various areas of responsibility in schools including leading whole school teaching and learning, Designated Safeguarding Lead, UCAS advisor, Professional Tutor, NQT Induction Tutor, and ITT Mentor.

She joined BCU in September 2016 as a Senior Teaching Fellow working with Secondary English School Direct trainees. She also worked as an Associate Teaching Fellow at the University of Warwick on the Secondary PGCE course. From September 2017 she will be Subject Route Leader for the BCU Secondary English PGCE course.