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Secondary Music - PGCE

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.

Studying with us in 2021/22 and 2022/23

The University has put in place measures in response to Covid-19 to allow us to safely deliver our courses.  Information about the arrangements for the 2021/22 academic year can be found here.  

 

Should the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic continue in the 2022/23 academic year or subsequent years of your course, any additional and/or alternative arrangements put in place by the University in response will be in accordance with the latest government public health advice, pandemic-related/health and safety legislation, and the terms and conditions of the student contract.

  • Level Postgraduate Taught
  • Study mode Full Time
  • Location City South
  • Award PGCE
  • Start date September 2022
  • School School of Education and Social Work
  • Faculty Faculty of Health, Education and Life Sciences

Overview

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.

This course is open to International students.

What's covered in this course?

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.

Taught modules, assignments and School-Based Training are structured around the development of your Progress Journal which demonstrates your progress against the 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. 

Instrumental route

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.

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'll 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.

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.

You must have a GCSE grade 4 (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.

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. 

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.

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).

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

Tuition fees shown are for 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
  • TBC
  • Apply

International students

Tuition fees shown are for 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
  • TBC
  • 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 is 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 have to use to make your application.

Course code: 3CGM
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):

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.

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).

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.

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.

Course structure

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.

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.

Examples of classroom activities

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.

Accreditation or professional associations

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.

Employability

Enhanced 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 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.

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

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.

Links to industry 

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.

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

Dr Ian Axtell BA (Hons); PGCE; DPSE; PG Cert; PG Dip; MEd

Academic Lead for Professional Master’s Courses

Ian taught in a variety of schools for 20 years before joining the School of Education at Birmingham City University. His passions are for Arts (particularly music) and Physical Education which he led in a couple of high schools. Ian has always worked in primary schools as part of his teaching role. He finished the first part of his career in education as an Advanced Skills Teacher.

More about Ian

Kelly Davey Nicklin

PGCE Secondary Course Leader and Senior Lecturer in Music Education

Kelly has previously been a Head of Faculty for Performing Arts and taught music across three key stages in a secondary school where she was judged ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted for Key Stage 3 music teaching. During her time as a secondary school teacher, Kelly was also an international links coordinator and she organised a partnership with Mungu Basic School in Zambia over a period of 6 years with several visits to the school working with pupils and teachers in the village of Kafue, Zambia.

More about Kelly

Professor Martin Fautley

Professor of Education

Professor Martin Fautley 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. The long-standing Listen Imagine Compose (LIC) research project is an important part of his work, and he continues to be fascinated by the various ways in which composing music is taught and learned in schools. This LIC work has led to him developing a Masters qualification in this important area.

He has a particular interest in WCET as an inclusive music learning activity, and is also interested in researching barriers to music teaching, learning and participation for pupils with additional needs. His work with OHMI, the One-Handed Music Instrument Trust, has led to a number of significant research and pedagogic outcomes.

Professor Fautley is the author of a number of books, including “Assessment in Music Education”, published by Oxford University Press. He has written and published many 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.

More about Martin