Are you thinking about studying Teacher Training? Our Virtual Open Day is a great opportunity to find out some more information about the courses we offer and ask any questions.
If you’re interested in learning more about your subject area, you can attend your course talk and Q&A session plus we have live sessions from Student Support, Students’ Union, and more. In the meantime, we’ve assembled a list of frequently asked questions that you might find useful at this stage.
General course information
Will I have to attend university every day?
University is very different from sixth form or college. Your timetable will be made up of modules, which take place throughout the year. Some weeks could be busier than others. You are expected to attend every session. You may also want to spend time utilising the facilities on campus, for example, the library which has a host of great resources beneficial to your study. Learn more about the library facilities
How am I assessed?
Assessment at the University is generally through three different methods and is module-based. Presentation, coursework, and examination are the most common methods. Examinations are less common with education courses.
Placements are awarded zero credits across all Initial Teaching Education (ITE) pathways at BCU however, it is required to secure QTS. It is possible to pass a degree but not gain QTS if the placement isn’t completed. Your placement will be assessed against our BCU ITE curriculum, which is aligned with the professional teaching standards. These standards will be reviewed through class observations, professional discussions, and proof of evidence. Watch a short film from some of our students to hear about their placement experiences.
Why I love being a teacher
Catherine Hemingway, a final year BA (Hons) Primary Education with QTS student, tells us why she loves being a teacher.
How do I gain Qualified Teacher Status (QTS)?
QTS is required to teach in schools in England and Wales. You will need to pass your placements to achieve QTS. Your university studies will lead to your degree certificate, and support your practical placement experience with the underpinning theory. There are countries outside of England and Wales that will also look at our ITE and QTS however, they might still ask for additional experience. Some of our trainees have successfully graduated and gained jobs in Dubai, Europe, and Australia.
What support will I get?
Throughout the course, you will have a personal development tutor (PDT). They will support you with your studies, placement, and any queries you have whilst at BCU. When you are at school, you will have two mentors, a subject mentor (for secondary courses), and a professional mentor.
Are all resources provided?
You will have access to our Mary Seacole Library, including a wealth of online resources, as well as the expertise of academic staff and those in your placement schools. As a trainee teacher, it is up to you to demonstrate professional responsibility, collect resources take responsibility for your learning.
Do I need to have a driving licence?
You do not need to have a driving licence to join the course, however, travel can be costly and difficult depending on your placement location and work hours, so it may be useful to have a licence and access to a car.
How much teaching will I do during placement?
In year one, you will have the opportunity to support teachers and teach ‘episodes’ within lessons, gradually moving towards full lessons by the end of the year. In year two, we aim for all trainees to be teaching a minimum of 8 hours a week and by year three, we look at a minimum of 14 hours of teaching.
How will my placement school be allocated?
A. You must register the postcode of where you will live during term time. From this, our partnership team will look at where you live and which schools are taking trainees. We will place you in a school within a 90min travel journey (typically much less).
I know a school that I would like to do my placement at, is this possible?
Yes, it may be. If you pass on the details to our partnership team, they will communicate with the school and see if it can be arranged.
Is it possible to do my placement abroad?
A. You cannot do your assessed placement abroad, however, there is scope to carry out teacher placements abroad on the undergraduate degree once you have fulfilled the assessed placement requirements. Unfortunately, this is not possible at the moment, due to COVID-19 restrictions.
How much time will I spend in school?
Around one-third of the course is university-based sessions and input and two-thirds is based in school.
Do I find my own placement?
No – for our core university route we will allocate a suitable placement for you. If you are applying for the School Direct route, your School Direct lead will arrange your placements for you.
Is there a bursary available for my subject?
The DfE updates the bursary guidance every year, so please check the Get Into Teaching website for up-to-date information about bursaries for PGCE teacher training.
How much teaching will I do during placement?
In the first term, you will build towards seven hours of teaching in your first subject. This increases to 14 hours of teaching in your first subject in the second and third terms.
Am I allowed to teach a second subject?
Yes – we encourage our trainees to have experience in teaching a second subject. This can be can be anything you have studied at A-Level (or equivalent) or above.
Student life in Birmingham
Join us at Birmingham City University and you will be studying right in the heart of a forward-looking and vibrant city with plenty to see and not far from City South campus. Whether you’re moving to Birmingham or you’re a Brummie at heart, there’s so much to student life here to explore.