New Directions: Help others to unlock their potential….

Courses which enable conversion from one subject to another can be hidden gems if you’re wondering about the possibility of completely transforming your area of knowledge after you’ve graduated from a first degree.

There are a range of courses that provide a means of doing this, from Graduate Diploma conversion courses in areas such as psychology, law  and even landscape architecture, to postgraduate qualifications to train to become a teacher, gain new knowledge in management or computing, or to train to enter professions in town planning, construction, surveying or real estate. Some of these courses include professional qualifications or provide routes to membership of professional bodies.

Through our New Directions series you can discover more about opportunities for graduates to retrain in subjects including teaching, law, construction and surveying, real estate, planning, management, computing and landscape architecture at Birmingham City University.

Here, in our fourth article of the series, we explore PGCE teacher training courses….

PGCE Teacher Training courses

Teaching is a highly rewarding career and, if you have a degree with a classification of 2:2 or above, there are a range of opportunities to enter the profession.

Early Years and Primary Teacher Training (3-7 year olds and 5-11 year olds)

Early years teachers teach pupils aged 3-7 years, whilst primary teachers teach 5-11 year olds. For our PGCE Primary and Early Years Education course, we can consider a wide range of honours degree subjects. Applicants are also required to have GCSE mathematics, English language and science at grade C or above at the point of applying and need a minimum of 2 weeks observational experience in a mainstream primary or early years classroom, depending on whether the applicant wishes to follow the primary or early years route.

Secondary Teacher Training (11-16 year olds)

For Secondary PGCE courses, 50% of the degree content needs to be related to the specialist subject area you wish to train to teach. Applicants are also required to have GCSE mathematics and English language at grade C or above. Birmingham City University currently offers PGCE courses in the following secondary subjects:

  • Art and Design
  • Chemistry
  • Design and Technology (Food and Textiles)
  • Drama
  • Mathematics
  • Music
  • Physics
  • Science with Chemistry
  • Science with Physics

For some shortage subjects, graduates from unrelated disciplines or who don’t have sufficient relevant content within their degree, Subject Knowledge Enhancement (SKE) courses may be available for particular courses. At Birmingham City University, we offer a Subject Knowledge Enhancement course in mathematics for those who wish to go on to train to become a secondary mathematics teacher.

Post-16 Teacher Training (students over age 16)

We do also offer a PGCE in Post-Compulsory Education and Training which is ideal for those who wish to teach students over the age of 16 throughout the lifelong learning sector. 50% of your degree content needs to be related to the specialist subject area you wish to train to teach. Applicants are also required to have GCSE mathematics and English language at grade C or above.

Further information about our PGCE courses is available on our website at


Applications are made through the Graduate Teacher Training Registry and you can apply via their website at from early September onwards.  GTTR start to send applications out to institutions from early October onwards for consideration for courses commencing the following autumn.

*Primary and Early Years*

Please note that the on-time application deadline for Primary and Early Years PGCE courses is 1st December. As competition can be high for these courses, we strongly advise prospective students to adhere to this deadline. Any applications received after the deadline may not be considered.

*Secondary and Post-Compulsory Education*

The official application deadline for the course is 30th June. However, from experience we would strongly advise you to apply early as PGCE courses are often filled well in advance of the deadline.

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