Category Archives: Advice Features

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 http://www.bcu.ac.uk/courses/list?fm=1&area=2&term=PGCE.

Applications

Applications are made through the Graduate Teacher Training Registry and you can apply via their website at www.gttr.ac.uk/students/apply 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.

New Directions: Discover what makes people tick….

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.

Our third article of the series looks a conversion option for those seeking to change direction and train to become a Chartered Psychologist….

Graduate Certificate/Diploma in Psychology

The Graduate Diploma in Psychology is a conversion course offered to looking to pursue a career as a Chartered Psychologist. This conversion course will award Graduate Basis of Chartered Membership (GBC) to the British Psychological Society (BPS) providing that an average of 50% or above has been attained across the programme. GBC is required for entry onto postgraduate training courses in the various chartered divisional psychology areas which are accredited by the BPS.

For entry onto the Graduate Diploma, graduates need to hold 60 credits in relevant Psychology (accredited or non-accredited), or hold a Graduate Certificate in Psychology and have obtained a minimum of a 2:2 in an undergraduate degree (accredited psychology degree holders are excluded). For graduates with a minimum 2:2 degree without the required 60 credits of Psychology, the Graduate Certificate can provide an alternative means to gain a qualification enabling them to go on to take the Graduate Diploma course.

Once GBC has been gained, opportunities to complete a specialist postgraduate degree to qualify in one of the following professional areas of psychology:

  • Clinical psychology
  • Counselling psychology
  • Educational psychology
  • Forensic psychology
  • Health psychology
  • Neuropsychology
  • Occupational psychology
  • Sport and exercise psychology
  • Teachers and Researchers in Psychology

Visit the British Psychological Society’s website for more information about careers in psychology.

New Directions: Legally speaking….

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.

In our second article of the series, we explore our law conversion course for graduates…

Graduate Diploma in Law

This Graduate Diploma in Law course provides a conversion route for graduates of any discipline who do not have an LLB awarded by a University of England and Wales. The course enables students to complete the Common Professional Examination which is the academic stage of training to become either a solicitor or a barrister. Following on from the Graduate Diploma in Law, students may opt to progress onto either the Legal Practice Course (for those wishing to become a solicitor) or the Bar Professional Training Course (for those intending to become a barrister) to complete the vocational stage of training for their chosen professional route. Find out more about careers as a solicitor and a barrister.

Our course has options for both full-time and part-time study. The full-time course can be completed in one year, whilst the part-time course takes two years to complete. The course commences each September. Applications for the full-time course are made through the Central Applications Board and you can apply via their website at www.lawcabs.ac.uk. Applications for the part-time course are made directly to the University and you can apply online here.

If you’d like to discuss the course in more detail with the Admissions Tutor you can contact Jill Molloy via email.

New Directions: Create beautiful spaces…..

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.

First in the series is an opportunity to create beautiful spaces through a graduate conversion course in Landscape Architecture…

Graduate Diploma in Landscape Architecture

The Graduate Diploma in Landscape Architecture at Birmingham City University offers a conversion route into the professional discipline of landscape architecture for students with a first degree in a different subject. The course is accredited by the Landscape Institute (LI) – the professional body for landscape architecture in the UK – and successful completion of this course, followed by the Postgraduate Diploma, will make you eligible for licentiate membership of the LI. We can potentially look at quite a wide range of non-cognate degree subjects for entry onto the course, so it appeals to variety of graduates seeking a change of direction. You can learn more about careers in landscape architecture here.

The Graduate Diploma course commences each September. It takes place over one year and attendance is on one day each week, apart from the Induction Week at the end of September where students attend the University for 3-4 days. Days run from 10.00am to roughly 5.30pm, to allow for travel to the University, as our students attend from a fairly wide geographical area – some from up to 100 miles away!

We invite all applicants and those interested to one of our Interview Days which we hold throughout the year. The Course Director, Mark Cowell, gives an illustrated presentation on both the Graduate Diploma and PGDip/MA courses, a tour of the School of Architecture and also conducts individual interviews during the day. If you’re a graduate interested in finding out more about converting to landscape architecture, please contact Mark on 0121 331 5857 or email Mark here.

Formal applications for this course are made directly to the University and you can download an application form from our website.

Accepting offers through UCAS: firm and insurance acceptances

If you’ve applied for an undergraduate course through UCAS and have received offers from institutions you’ve applied to, it’s important to carefully consider your decision about which offers to accept.  Once you’ve made your decision about accepting offers as a firm or insurance choices, you cannot change this.

Firm acceptances

When you accept an offer as your firm choice, this is your preferred choice of course and University.  Accepting an unconditional offer as your firm choice then binds you to going to that university only for the course you have been offered a place on.

Accepting a conditional offer as your firm choice enables you to state your preference of the University and course you want to go to out of any offers you may have received.

Insurance acceptances

If you are made a conditional offer, you can also accept a second offer as an insurance choice. You’re not obliged to accept an offer as an insurance choice, but doing so provides you with the opportunity to have a back-up in case you don’t meet the conditions of offer for your firm choice.  

Some points to consider when accepting a conditional offer as an insurance choice

  • If you are choosing a conditional offer as an insurance choice, you could think about selecting an offer with lower entry conditions than your firm choice. For example, if your firm choice offer asks for 280 points, you might consider accepting an offer of 260 points or below as your insurance choice. Whilst it is possible to select an insurance choice offer which is the same as, or higher than, your firm choice offer, where will this leave you if you don’t meet the conditions of your first choice offer? You could potentially end up without anything to fall back on as you won’t have met the conditions for your insurance choice either!
  • You could think about selecting an unconditional offer (if you have one) as your insurance choice. That way, if you don’t meet the conditions of your firm choice, you won’t have to worry about whether or not you have met the conditions for your insurance choice.
  • Whatever choice you make, you need to be realistic about the course and university you are accepting as an insurance choice – if you don’t meet the conditions of offer for your firm choice and meet the conditions of offer for your insurance choice, you are bound to go to that university. Make sure you’ve visited the university and found out as much information as possible before making your decision. Remember, you could potentially end up studying there if you don’t get into your first choice university.
  • You don’t have to accept a second offer as an insurance choice if you don’t wish to. You can just choose one offer as your firm choice. However, a carefully chosen insurance place can provide some flexibility in the event that you don’t meet the conditions of offer set by your firm choice.

Important dates for replying to offers in 2011

If UCAS has received all decisions from your university or college choices by 31st March, you’ll need to reply to any offers by 5th May 2011 (unless you live outside the EU or you are applying through Extra). If UCAS don’t receive your replies, they will decline your offers on your behalf.

If UCAS has received all decisions from your university or college choices by 6th May, you’ll need to reply to any offers by 7th June 2011 (unless you are applying through Extra). If UCAS don’t receive your replies, they will decline your offers on your behalf.

The exam results are out! Guide to confirmation and clearing 2010

It’s A-level results day and you finally found out what grades you’ve achieved! You’ll probably be eager to find out if you’ve got into your chosen university course. If you have access to the internet, you’ll be able to check your applicant status from today (19th August) via UCAS Track. Alternatively, you can telephone the university directly.

If you’ve met the conditions of your offer – great! If not, don’t panic, as in some circumstances the admissions tutor may still decide to confirm your offer if you have only narrowly missed the conditions of your offer. If you haven’t met the conditions and find that you are no longer holding an offer, be prepared to contact universities to find out about vacancies through clearing.

What if you haven’t got the grades you were hoping for? Here we look at potential scenarios for applicants who may not have met the conditions of their offers and explore what action they could consider taking.

Contact the University

First of all, try not to stress. If you have narrowly missed the conditions of your offer, the university may still be able to offer you a place if the Admissions Tutor agrees to this. The Tutor’s final decision may be dependent upon how many other applicants holding conditional offers have met their conditions and whether any vacancies remain on the course.

If you’ve missed the conditions of your offer by a larger margin, there may still be a possibility of being accepted onto your chosen course or you may be offered an alternative course by the university. This is very much at the discretion of the Admissions Tutor and you should understand that there’s no guarantee that if you’ve not met the conditions of your offer that the university will still be able to accept you.

In either instance, once you know your results you can contact the university to discuss them. The sooner you get in touch, the sooner you can find out what’s happening with your place. Continue reading The exam results are out! Guide to confirmation and clearing 2010

Clearing 2010: top tips to guide you through it

Here at Choices we’ve helped thousands of students to explore their options and make the right decision about higher education. We work alongside clearing helpline staff and admissions tutors to help students find their way through the Clearing process and secure a place at university.

Here are our top ten tips for surviving Clearing and finding the course that’s right for you.

1 Don’t Panic!
If your exam results are not quite as good as you expected remember to keep calm; the right course for you may still be out there. There’s a good chance that you will be able to secure a place at university through Clearing. Many students find university places through Clearing! You are certainly not alone and you have some excellent options awaiting you.

If you narrowly miss the grades you require you should check the status of your application on UCAS track before you start ringing universities to enquire about places on alternative courses through Clearing. In some cases if you are only a few UCAS tariff points short of the required grades the university may still be able to confirm your place, but this will be at the discretion of the admissions tutor. Continue reading Clearing 2010: top tips to guide you through it

Think to the future: gaining advantage through experience at university

There are a plethora of things to consider when looking at university course options. Amongst the questions of which subject to go for, which university to study at, whether to study full or part-time and how much is it all going to cost comes another incredibly important factor to consider: how exactly will this course help me with my future aspirations?

If you have a particular career in mind, you may well be looking at a degree which is directly related to that career or one which provides relevant skills and knowledge to enable you to prepare for entering a particular industry or field. If you’re more flexible in considering post-degree career options, you may still wish to consider transferable skills you could develop whilst at university that will make your CV shine.

Industrial placements, work experience, simulated situations and extra-curricular activities all have a part to play in helping students to develop their skills and knowledge and are all worthy of consideration when looking at university and course options. Continue reading Think to the future: gaining advantage through experience at university

New Era for Nurse Training Courses

BCU000000-572Back in September 2008, the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) ratified proposals to make nursing an all-graduate profession. As a result of their decision, universities who offer qualifications at diploma level will be phasing out these courses over the next couple of years. All nurse training courses will be offered at degree level from September 2013.

 

When is Birmingham City University phasing out its pre-registration nursing diploma?

Birmingham City University is already in the process of phasing out our nursing diploma qualifications. The children’s nursing branch of the diploma course will cease to be offered after April 2010, and the other branches (adult, mental health and learning disabilities nursing) will not be offered again after the final intake in April 2011.

 

Does Birmingham City University offer a pre-registration nursing degree?

Yes. The University already has a well-established nursing degree course  which offers training in all four branch specialisms and this course continues to go from strength to strength, providing students with the knowledge and skills they need in order to succeed in becoming a qualified nurse.

Continue reading New Era for Nurse Training Courses

Mature Students: An Overview of Applying for a University Course

Many students who enter Higher Education do so at a later stage in their lives. There are many reasons why they didn’t enter HE study after they finished their education – they chose a different career path, they may not have had the financial means to study at the time, they may have had other commitments or raised a family or they may not have thought that studying at university was for them at the time. However, it’s never too late to take up an undergraduate course.

It can feel like a minefield when setting out on the path to applying for a course. Whilst prospective students who may be studying for A-levels tend to receive a lot of support for applying to university from their college, mature students don’t always have the same level of access to information and advice. Many universities, like Birmingham City University, have dedicated staff who can help with any questions mature students have about applying for their courses – our Choices department has a dedicated adviser who can help with queries made in person, by email or by phone.

We’ve put together a few key points for mature students to consider to help try and make sense of the process and what sort of things to consider if you’re a mature prospective student and are thinking about applying for a university course. Continue reading Mature Students: An Overview of Applying for a University Course