About the course
This Post Graduate Certificate Education (PGCE) Secondary (Computer Science) course leads to the award of Qualified Teacher Status (QTS), qualifying you to teach the 11-18 age group in secondary schools in England and Wales.
We teach you about inclusive approaches to teaching computer science, computational thinking, problem solving and demystifying computer science for young people.
You have the opportunity to work with an experienced community of tutors, established in the field of Computing education and IT, who are engaged actively in teaching, research and national developments in Computer Science education and international projects in Technology Enhanced Learning (TL).
We have guest speakers from local, regional and national groups come in to talk to students including the British Computer Society (BCS), micro: bit and Computing at School (CAS) and provide opportunities to participate in a hackathon and coding club.
We show you how to use physical computing in the classroom including micro: bit, Raspberry Pi and Lego, and have active and engaged alumni who come in to deliver guest talks and are also mentors.
You will learn through a series of practical seminars, workshops, microteaching activities, presentations by subject experts as well as independent and group research in a purpose-built IT suite with an extensive range of resources. Interactive and discussion-based teaching techniques will encourage you to engage, reflect and challenge ideas around computing education and pedagogy.
In addition to your school placement, your training will include:
- opportunity to undertake additional professional subject-specific micro qualifications
- one to one tutorials with your academic tutor
- three school visits by your academic tutor whilst on placement to observe your teaching and monitor your progress
- weekly one to one tutorial with a subject-specialist school-based mentor whilst on placement
- additional visits to schools or other education settings with a particular focus on computing pedagogy
- visits to sites of educational interest, such as The National Museum of Computing
- assignments on aspects of subject teaching and Professional Studies
These learning activities will help you to develop a toolkit of knowledge and skills, ensuring you are well prepared to tackle challenges and opportunities throughout your training and your career.
Alongside the university tutors, you will be taught and guided by a team of committed and experienced University-trained school mentors.
More information about this course
Your interview will consist of:
• an overview of the Secondary PGCE programme and the Computer Science specialism. This will give you the opportunity to ask questions about the course structure and assignments.
• a short individual presentation (see below)*.
• a brief written task to explore your subject knowledge
• a brief written task on a Computing education topic, given to you on the day
• an individual interview with a Computing tutor
*Individual presentation: You will introduce a Computing topic unplugged. The presentation should last no longer than five minutes (NB no audio-visual equipment will be available for this task).
Your interview can last up to three and a half hours.
How school placements work
Placements enable you to develop the skills and knowledge valued and desired by employers - you will build your confidence in the classroom and gain practical teaching experience. Placements also provide you with the opportunity to connect with potential employers and build your professional network.
At Secondary level we have strong relationships with around 80 schools in the local and surrounding area. It is a testament to the strength of these partnerships and the regard with which our graduates are held, that most schools in Berkshire employ at least one graduate of the Institute of Education.
On a Secondary PGCE course you are required to carry out three placements in two different age groups - ensuring you receive a broad range of experiences. Two placements must be undertaken in a school setting but the third can be taken in a different setting - allowing you to sample teaching in an alternative environment.
We offer our students an unusually flexible and broad range of settings and educational environments - you will have the opportunity to gain experience in special needs schools, Pupil Referral Units, independent schools, museums, and charities.
You will have plenty of opportunities throughout your course to apply your developing skills in real settings. In schools, you will be involved in:
- observation of other teachers
- planning and teaching parts of lessons/small groups
- planning and teaching lessons and sequences of lessons
- reflecting on and evaluating your teaching
- receiving feedback on your teaching
- gaining experience of the range of responsibilities of classroom teachers.
The course fees for 2020/2021 are as follows:
You could be eligible for either:
- a scholarship of £28,000
- a bursary of £26,000
To qualify for a scholarship you’ll need a degree of 2:1 or above in Computing or a related subject. For a bursary you’ll need a 2:2 or above in any subject.
You can’t claim both a bursary and a scholarship - you can only claim one.
Find out how to apply for a scholarship. You don’t need to apply for a bursary - if you’re eligible, you’ll automatically start receiving it once you begin your course. Find out about eligibility for bursaries and how you’ll be paid.
You may also be eligible for a loan while you study.
Find out about financial support if you’re from outside the UK.
Financial support from the training provider
Students who have previously graduated from an undergraduate course at the University of Reading will be eligible for an alumni discount amounting to 10% of the tuition fee (up to a maximum of £1,000) for Home/EU students or £1,000 for International fee-paying students.
This discount will also be available to Reading alumnus undertaking a non-salaried School Direct with PGCE course with one of our school partners.
We would normally expect you to have a 1st, 2:1 or 2:2 honours degree (or equivalent from a university outside the UK) in a subject that is related to the subject that you intend to teach.
You will also need to have achieved Grade 4 (or C) or above in GCSE Mathematics and English Language or equivalent qualifications.
You will also need to demonstrate competence in Fundamental English and mathematics by the end of the course. This is a new DfE requirement which replaces the QTS skills tests in literacy and numeracy.
If you are passionate about and committed to children's education and would like a a career in which you can make a difference, then apply to the University of Reading.
We welcome applications from prospective students who have an understanding of and insight into the role of the teacher, the classroom environment and the processes involved in learning and teaching.
If you accept an offer with us you will also be required to successfully complete Occupational Health and Disclosure Barring Service (DBS) Enhanced Disclosure checks.
These checks are required to ensure you meet the Department for Education’s requirements for physical and mental fitness to teach, as well as assessing your suitability for working with children.
About the training provider
The Institute of Education (IoE) at the University of Reading is an established provider of high-quality teacher training and research in education. The impact of our research and the breadth of our experience feeds directly into everything we do and the world around us.
Train with us and have a direct and positive impact on the lives of young people. We offer teacher training courses in primary, secondary and early years. In our latest Ofsted inspection in 2016 all our teacher training courses were rated 'Good'. We are currently ranked 12th in the UK for Education in the Guardian University League Tables 2020.
Our networks and the impact of our work are both local and global. Locally, we have well-established partnerships with over 400 schools, who we work closely with to train the next generation of outstanding teachers. Globally, our research, consultancy and other projects extend to countries as varied as China, Jamaica, the USA and Singapore.
In the latest national assessment, the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014, 80% of our research outputs were rated world leading or internationally excellent, positively impacting educational policy and practice.
At the Institute of Education we have the research, the expertise and the passion to help others grow into engaged and active citizens; individuals with resilience and the confidence to tackle challenges.
Training with disabilities and other needs
The University of Reading welcomes disabled students and has a dedicated Disability Advisory Service. The service offers advice and guidance to students with any disability, mental health condition, or specific learning difficulty (SpLD).
If you have not yet told the University about your disability, or have not disclosed it on your application, you can discuss the implications of a disclosure in complete confidence, with one of our disability advisers.
We offer support, advice and guidance with:
- physical disabilities e.g. mobility
- sensory disabilities e.g. visual impairments
- mental health difficulties e.g. anxiety
- medical conditions e.g. Irritable Bowel Syndrome, diabetes
- autism/Asperger Syndrome
- SpLDs e.g. dyslexia, dyspraxia
DAS may be able to assist in study related support in the following ways:
- Disability Advisory Service (DAS) may assess the impact of your disability on your studies and recommend any reasonable adjustments required
- Provide information on funding for study support, including the Disabled Students Allowance and how to apply.
- Liaise with your Department/Schools/Hubs including Senior Tutors and Disability Representative on reasonable adjustments, including extensions to deadlines and alternative modes of assessment where appropriate.
- Flag students (with permission) in order that tutors are made aware of individual requirements.
- The Disability Advisory Service can provide assistance on arranging non- medical helpers e.g. one to one support arrangements such as mentors and specialist study skills.
- Liaising with the exams office re special exam arrangements
Referral and signposting to other services
Apply on the UCAS website. You’ll need to register with UCAS before you can apply.
Visit Get into Teaching for guidance on applying for teacher training.
When you apply you’ll need these codes for the Choices section of your application form:
Training provider code:
Training programme code:
Choose a training location
You’ll also need to choose a training location – select the relevant location name on the application form.
Institute of Education, University of Reading
London Road Campus, 4 Redlands Road, Reading, Berkshire RG1 5EX
Support and advice
For questions about this course you should contact the training provider using the contact details above.
Get support and advice about teaching
Register with Get into Teaching, the Department for Education’s free support and advice service, for personalised guidance from teaching experts. They can help you to prepare your application, book school experience, and access exclusive teaching events. You can also call them free on 0800 389 2500, or speak to an adviser using their online chat service, from 8am to 8pm, Monday to Friday.
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