Do you believe that music has a key role to play in every young person’s education? Are you determined to bring the subject alive for pupils? If so, our PGCE Secondary Music course will provide you with access to becoming an inspiring teacher.
If you’re passionate about young people and want to introduce them to the exciting world of music and music making in all its forms then we’re excited to train you to ensure you excel as a teacher.
You’ll explore the skills and knowledge that music as an art form offers at secondary education level; and to train to become a confident, dynamic and creative teacher with the ability to make music accessible to all. You’ll discover how pupils learn and explore ways in which you can plan musical activities that will ensure they progress and develop their musicality.
Exploring an inclusive and rich approach towards music, you’ll prioritise active music making to promote musical thinking and learn how to inspire and enthuse your pupils by taking them on an exciting and stimulating musical journey. Techniques used include links many different forms of music and music making. These can be used to help pupils to become more self-confident, informed and culturally aware.
This course has strong links with local musical organisations such as the largest Music Service in the country run by Services for Education in Birmingham. The course provides the opportunity to experience music education from a variety of perspectives, including organisations that form part of the Birmingham Hub for Music Education like Birmingham Contemporary Music Group (BCMG) and mac Birmingham.
A key feature of the course is how we promote technology enhanced learning both in terms of developing beginning teachers and also how music technology can support teaching and learning in schools.
On the PGCE Secondary Music course there is the option to take the instrumental route. Supported by Birmingham Music Hub, the instrumental route enable you to spend part of the course teaching instrumental lessons supported by specialist instrumental teachers. By following this route, your placements will be split between time spent in a secondary school music department developing your classroom teaching skills and time spent with Birmingham Music Service developing your instrumental teaching skills.
If you are offered a place on the PGCE Secondary Music course, you will have the opportunity to audition for the instrumental route in September. A minimum of grade 8 performing standard is expected for the instrumental route.
You'll gain Master's level credits gained as part of this course that you can then use towards a full Master's degree
Our students have gone on to work with companies such as:
You must 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 and if you are offered an interview you will take a written test to assess your standard of English.
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.
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.
As part of the selection procedure, the interview panel will expect you to demonstrate your expertise in music.
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).
Don't meet our entry requirements? You could apply for courses at our International College.
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.
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.
We also offer the full-time programme through School Direct with the following schools:
Visit the UCAS Teacher Training website for details on how to apply.
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.
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:
Studying a postgraduate course usually means you want to specialise in something. So what’s driving you?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
Access to leading music education research; excellent practice in the context of music education; access to bespoke resources for music education; powerful, quality assured school experiences.
In order to complete this course a student must successfully complete all the following CORE modules (totalling 60 credits):
Secondary Professional Studies
This module, 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. It is well known that 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.
Secondary Subject Pedagogy: Music
This module, Subject Pedagogy, 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, assessed through the School Experience 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.
This module, 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. Increasing importance is placed on evidence-based enquiry to inform professional development in education, most recently in The Carter Review of Initial Teacher Training (ITT).
School Experience 1
This module, School Experience 1, provides opportunities for you as a trainee teacher to meet 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 on an on-going and development basis into your teaching into the classroom. You will be assessed against the current statements of professional competence.
School Experience 2*
This module, School Experience 2, follows School Experience 1 and provides opportunities for you as a trainee teacher to enhance your achievement of the professional standards and expectations of teaching through practical, school-based experience. You will have the opportunity to work independently supported by experienced teachers and other education professionals to further 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 on an on-going and development basis into your teaching into the classroom. You will be assessed against the current statements of professional competence.
* School Experience 2 is dependent upon the successful completion of School Experience 1.
You’ll find that the Secondary Music PGCE is an intensive and demanding course which challenges people who are highly committed to teaching young people. It is an excellent way to prepare for a career within the profession.
We’ll deliver the course using a combination of workshops, lectures and seminar groups, and by encouraging individual study. There are also opportunities to work with the Birmingham Music Service as an instrumental teacher for part of the course. The instrumental enhancement part of the course is optional and involves a secondary selection process once you’ve been accepted on the course.
You’ll also complete a profile of evidence towards the achievement of the Teachers’ Standards required by the National College for Teaching and Leadership for the award of Qualified Teacher Status.
The main thrust of the curriculum involves the study of education, pedagogy and professional practice, from both generic professional educational and subject-specific perspectives.
At least two-thirds of this course takes place off campus within schools. This means you have the opportunity to gain valuable ‘hands on’ experience in at least two different schools. In most cases you’ll also have the chance to visit other schools, including a primary school.
Trainee teachers are expected to take significant responsibility for their own progress and development. This type of professional development encourages the development of independent, creative practitioners who will be able to take the lead in the future.
The course links directly to national music education research projects such as Exchanging Notes with Youth Music and Listen, Imagine Compose with Sound and Music. We also explore cutting edge material produced by organisations like Musical Futures; Music Mark; The Incorporated Society of Musicians; Charanga and Sing Up. Regular music education workshops feature active music making from a variety of starting points.
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.
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.
You could choose to put further polish on your knowledge and skills by going on to do an MA Education and/ or a Master's in Teaching and Learning (MTL), which is just one way of taking your studies a step further.
The course is underpinned by access to a wide range of leading national and international music education providers. These feature in the context of instrumental teaching; music and special needs; music and assessment; music and cultural diversity.
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 partnerships.
This is an 11-16 years course, with post-16 enhancement, which offers a high degree of employability within secondary teaching.
The high demand for our trained teachers and our consistently high employability scores mean that trainees who successfully complete the course to a high standard have very good employment prospects.
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.
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.
Whilst working with a range of schools and music teachers across the city we are also developing and strengthening links to Birmingham Music Service, Birmingham Contemporary Music Group (BCMG), the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra (CBSO) and mac Birmingham. We realise the importance of industry links to music in education as a way to broaden the experience of teachers, pupils and schools.
Employment prospects are excellent for our music teachers, with consistently high employability rates.
Our trained music teachers have taken up teaching posts throughout the Midlands and nationally.
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:
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 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.
We are constantly investing in our estate and are currently in the process of spending £340 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.
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.
All our departmental facilities replicate the school learning environment.
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.
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.
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:
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.
The PGCE Music course is delivered by dedicated and passionate specialists who are supported by well-motivated colleagues in schools.
Professor Martin Fautley is director of research in the school of education and social work at Birmingham City University. He has a wealth of experience in music education, both in terms of pedagogy, and of music education research. After enjoying many years as a classroom music teacher, he then undertook full-time Doctoral research working across the education and music faculties at Cambridge University, investigating teaching, learning, and assessment of classroom music making, with a focus on composing as a classroom activity.
He is widely known for his work on researching assessment in the classroom, but also researches understandings of musical learning and progression (especially in the novice stages), composing, and creativity. He regularly undertakes research and evaluation projects in the field of music education.
Professor Fautley is the author of eight books, including “Assessment in Music Education”, published by Oxford University Press. He has written and published over fifty journal articles, book chapters, and academic research papers on a range of aspects of teaching and learning, and regularly presents the fruits of his researches at international conferences. He is co-editor of the British Journal of Music Education.