This PGDipEd (QTS) Geography course is recognised as one of the strongest in the country. The course benefits from its supportive partnerships with geography mentors in a variety of schools in the West Midlands. It offers opportunities to learn in a range of settings, including a week of residential fieldwork with children. The course encourages you to combine the theory and practice of geographical education, whilst also developing your professional understanding and competence as a geography teacher. The programme also includes a residential Geography fieldcourse. For those who are eligible, a bursary of £15,000 is currently available.
At the University of Birmingham we believe we should provide student teachers with the highest level of teacher training possible, and this is why we offer a Post-Graduate Diploma in Education (PGDipEd) rather than a Post-Graduate Certificate in Education (PGCE). Both qualifications lead to Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) but the PGDipEd also offers the equivalent of 120 credits at Master’s level (out of 180), which makes it a highly rewarding course by combining both theory and practice.
All applicants to the Secondary PGDipEd(QTS) Geography course must hold a degree (normally a minimum 2:2 classification). We will expect your first degree to consist of at least 50% geography (either Physical or Human, but preferably a balance of both). Degrees in Environmental Science, Geology, Geosciences, etc. can be considered, but the university must be certain that such degrees contain at least 50% geography. Candidates will be expected to show a broad base of geographical knowledge (both human and physical) at the interview.
All candidates also have to:
have a GCSE in Maths and English (grade C or above) or an equivalent qualification; alternatively you might be advised to take an Equivalency Test. The DfE require us to check the original certificates; you therefore cannot start a PGDipEd(QTS) course unless you already hold these qualifications.
pass Professional Skills Tests in numeracy and literacy; please see the Professional Skills Tests section of the Department for Education web site for more information on the core skills required by trainee teachers
provide a satisfactory medical form
complete an enhanced DBS/police check
complete a Declaration of Suitability to Teach
adhere to a Code of Professional Conduct and Fitness to Practise
The PGDipEd is divided into five phases:
1. Preparation (university-based with some activities in school)
2. School Placement 1 (seven week placement in school with tutor visit and one day at the university)
3. Development (university-based with some activities in school)
4. School Placement 2 (twelve week block placement with tutor visits and two university days);
5. Completion (two further weeks in your second school and two weeks at the university).
The course includes the following areas of study:
Subject-based teaching methods
The schools in the West Midlands have a high regard for the quality of Birmingham PGDipEd (QTS) geography students and we have an impressive record of gaining jobs at the end of the course. Employability for from 2002-2014, stands at an average of 97%, with 100% of trainees being employed by the end of the course for the last 4 years in a row. This compares to a national average of 91% (2011-2012).
Many of our ex-students are now mentors and Heads of Departments in our partnership schools or in schools further afield. The mentors below discuss why they became a mentor, why they chose this course and what they are doing now. Former Alumni Ruth Till also talks about her time at the University of Birmingham studying for her PGDip in Secondary Education followed by her MEd Teaching Studies.
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