School of Education

Secondary Education: Social Sciences

PGCE Full-time 1 year

Social Sciences is an exciting secondary school curriculum subject area, both to study and to teach.

Social Sciences is an exciting secondary school curriculum subject area, both to study and to teach.

  • Institute Code W75
  • UCAS Code 2VBW
  • Entry Requirements View
  • Fees View
  • Start Date(s) 6 September 2023
  • Award PGCE
  • Study Mode Full-time
  • Course Length Full-time (1 year)
  • Campus Location Walsall Campus
  • School School of Education

Why choose this course?

Social Sciences is an exciting secondary school curriculum subject area, both to study and to teach. If you take up our Postgraduate Certificate of Education in Secondary Education (Sociology), you will study the way that people behave within society, how they interact, how people influence the world, and investigate what these factors mean.

The subject area covers topics such as sociology (socialisation, culture, identity, social differentiation, power, stratification, education, family, health, work, poverty, welfare religion, globalisation, media, crime, research methods); health and social care (human growth and development, communication and values, positive care environments, social aspects and lifestyle choices, activities for health and wellbeing, public health, meeting individual needs, promoting health and wellbeing, investigating disease, using and understanding research, social issues and welfare needs, understanding human behaviour); and personal, social, health, and economic education. As a trainee you will learn how to teach social sciences to pupils in the 14-19 age range within the secondary age phase, with additional experience in the 11-14 age range and primary enhancements. You will learn how to develop skills, knowledge and understanding for teaching social sciences through a combination of university-led and school-led training.

Our Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) in Secondary Education provides a high standard of training for those preparing to take up a teaching post in the secondary school sector.  The course complies with the statutory guidance from the Department for Education for Initial Teacher Training courses.

The PGCE in Secondary Education is specifically designed to ensure that those who are successful will be recommended for the award of Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) - the professional award required by all those who wish to teach in a maintained school. You will also attain 60 credits at master’s level.

What happens on the course?

Over the one-year course, you will undertake learning at university and other educational settings. You will spend over 120 days divided between at least two different school placements across the 11-16 age range within the secondary age phase.

Your University tutor team is available to assist you throughout your training, supporting development of reflection.  Every effort is made to ensure that high-quality school placements are provided to you, facilitating learning through observing, co-teaching and being observed by experienced teachers in the classroom.

All course modules provide examples of good practice in pedagogy which you will reflect upon as you develop your own teaching style - you will be expected to actively participate in your own learning and development.

Teaching on the course comprises a variety of methodologies that will prepare you for life in the classroom including teacher-led discussions, pupil-led exploration, peer-group discovery, problem-based learning, e-learning and the provision of individual targets.

You will be assessed in a variety of ways including written assignments; classroom-based investigation and other school-based activities, and appraisal of practical teaching skills.

Typical activities may include:

  • observation of teaching, before undertaking supervised teaching activities, such as teaching parts of lessons or small groups of pupils within a class
  • progression to teaching single or short sequences of lessons
  • further development through reflection on planned classroom activities
  • development of teaching skills as you move to sustained sequences of lessons
  • research that takes place in both University and school settings on selected aspects of your practice.

PGCE: Programme Structure

The PGCE course takes place over 180 days, and at least 120 of those days are spent in a school. You will have one school attachment during the autumn term, and another in a different school in the spring/summer terms.

We work with over 450 schools, colleges, private providers, and education settings across the School of Education. We see providing teachers for the region as a key aim of our work and we strive to be the provider of choice for people wanting to teach in the Black Country and the wider West Midlands. However, we also work closely with a range of partners across other areas of the UK.

We ensure that you receive high-quality school-based training by selecting schools with highly trained mentors and a proven track record of excellent trainee outcomes. We will also take other factors into consideration when placing you, such as your geographical location and transportation, to provide you with the best possible experience in a convenient and suitable setting.

The University-led elements of the course take place at our Walsall Campus. Our PGCE course starts in early September and ends in June, and it is an intensive academic and professional training course that effectively prepares you for your first teaching post and beyond.

The course includes two extended school placements in your subject specialism and two periods of university-based teaching: September to October, and January to February. The programme also includes a short primary school placement and additional opportunities for a range of enhancements to your course; for example, experience of teaching pupils with special educational needs and disabilities, teaching pupils at post-16 level, or teaching pupils for whom English is an additional language. 

Course Modules

Potential Career Paths

The PGCE in Secondary Education leads to recommendation for QTS, and enables you to take up a qualified teaching post in a secondary school.

In secondary schools you could be considered for a Teaching and Learning Responsibility (TLR), which may comprise of any of the following:

  • Leading a particular subject as head of department, faculty, or curriculum
  • Leading the achievement of a particular age group as head of year or key stage coordinator
  • Leading a particular area such as special education needs or pastoral care (i.e. personal guidance)

Later, you could progress to a senior leadership position such as a deputy or assistant head and head teacher - at which point you will have overall responsibility for the leadership and management of a school and the education its students receive.

Following successful completion of this award, you could also use your 60 Master’s level credits towards any of our Master’s degrees in the field of education.

Additional Information

Everything you need to know about this course!

Our ambition for excellence is centred on developing teachers as lifelong learning and future leaders who will influence educational change. The School of Education trains teachers for all phases, all routes, and all contexts. Our goal is for all our qualified teachers to be informed, inspiring, and influential. At the heart of our work is a commitment to improving education and opportunities across the region.  

We seek to recruit teachers that reflect our regional population to ensure good role models for all. This means we ensure we do all we can to remove barriers to entry to teaching, whilst retaining our focus on expecting the highest standards of practice.

We celebrate the diversity of culture, identity, and community, promoting an inclusive curriculum to develop informed and insightful professionals.  

We work with our student teachers to develop their resilience, confidence and professionalism. All our education professionals have excellent communication skills and fully understand the importance of developing this in the learners they work with.

We equip all our student teachers with the ability to underpin their practice with subject knowledge, understanding of early reading, good behaviour management skills, an awareness of the range and complexity of SEND (Special Educational Needs and Disability), and to develop a broad and in-depth understanding of the relevant curricula and appropriate pedagogies to use across a range of learning environments.  

We believe in evidence-informed practice and the scholarship of learning and teaching. We seek to underpin all our work with academic research and disseminate best practice.  

Our qualified teachers are skilled professionals recognised for their subject expertise; they are education leaders of tomorrow. They also progress nationally and internationally, taking outstanding practice into other contexts.

What Ofsted says about our placement learning (July 2021):

‘The partnership provides effective training, both in the University and partner settings, that prepares trainees well to teach their subjects. Trainees learn how to apply relevant research to their teaching. They become reflective practitioners, committed to ongoing professional development. Trainees are also well prepared for the realities of teaching. For example, trainees in all phases finish their courses well prepared to manage behaviour.’  

‘Staff provide excellent support. University tutors provide effective help with issues such as managing workload and maintaining good mental health and wellbeing. In partner settings, mentors help to develop trainees’ teaching skills while providing strong professional role models.’

‘Leaders provide comprehensive academic and pastoral support for trainees. Trainees see their school-based mentors and university tutors as a cohesive team that work together to help them develop.’

If you are successful, you will be recommended for the award of Qualified Teacher Status and you will be prepared to teach pupils in the 11-16 age range within the secondary age phase with primary and post-16 enhancements. You will also gain a Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) which includes 60 Master’s level credits.

You will also be given help to find your first post in school. The course will provide you with an excellent start to your teaching career as you experience teaching in two separate secondary schools with trained school-based tutors to aid your development. You will have the opportunity to help develop the teaching within this fast-developing subject and have a real impact on children’s education.

You will be enabled to become a critically reflective teacher with high levels of subject knowledge and a wide understanding of educational theory and practice.

You will also develop the professional skills required to achieve outstanding results in relation to student progress including lesson planning, assessment methods, data analysis, and communication.

What Ofsted says about our course (July 2021):

‘Trainees use their university-based learning and experiences in school well to shape their understanding of how to teach their subject. As a result, they are ready to take the first steps in their career.’

‘Leaders have constructed a coherent ITE curriculum that is well-designed around subjects. Trainees explore aspects of pedagogy and models of learning, engaging with up-to-date and relevant research. Subject tutors provide the necessary subject specificity to contextualise trainees’ learning. Alongside this, trainees are taught the practical knowledge needed to plan learning and manage a classroom environment.’

‘Trainees are taught about social disadvantage and inclusion. As result of leaders' expertise in these areas, trainees are exposed to the social and cultural implications of educational disadvantage and the role of the teacher in helping to overcome these. This is a strength of the course.’

Location Mode Fee Year
Home Full-time £9250 per year 2022-23
International Full-time £13450 per year 2022-23

These fees relate to new entrants only for the academic year indicated for entry onto the course, any subsequent years study may be subject to an annual increase, usually in line with inflation.

You will have to possess a real interest and aptitude for social sciences and an ability to think creatively about presenting the subject to others. Candidates will be expected to teach from potentially any area of sociology; health and social care; and personal, social, health and economic education, as agreed between you, the placement school and the University tutor. Above all, you will need a real commitment to the education of young people. Also you will need:

  • To hold a first degree of a United Kingdom higher education institution or equivalent qualification.

For example Bachelor of Arts (BA), Bachelor of science (BSc) etc. or similar . They are sometimes known as 'undergraduate' or 'firstdegrees.

  • To have achieved a standard equivalent to a grade 4 (previously Grade C) in the GCSE examinations in English and Mathematics.
  • To have taken part in a rigorous selection process designed to assess your readiness to train to teach, which will include as a minimum both an interview and audit of your subject knowledge.

Please note we do NOT accept GCSE Short Courses, GCSE English Literature, GCSE Equivalent Tests from other institutions or organisations, Key Skills Level 2 or Functional Skills Level 2.

If you unsure please contact our Admissions Department admissions@wlv.ac.uk for clarification.

Important Requirements

As part of the Department for Education (DfE) ITT compliance, if you are successful you will be required to provide your ORIGINAL certificates to the University of Wolverhampton Admissions Unit.

We will not accept applicants onto our professional courses who have been unsuccessful on professional courses at other institutions of higher education.

You will also take part in a rigorous selection process designed to assess your readiness to train to teach. Further information regarding the interview process can be found at https://www.wlv.ac.uk/apply/how-to-apply/4---after-youve-applied/subject-specific-applications/.

Interview and Selection

First Stage: All applicants that are successful with their application will be invited to complete a set of short professional scenarios involving reading, writing and numerical tasks. These will provide us with an audit of your existing strengths as well as indicate any areas where you need to develop your knowledge and understanding during your course. If you are offered a place following interview, you will be required to demonstrate your professional readiness through successful completion of all of the tasks as one of your conditions of acceptance before the course starts. This may mean that you are asked to attend support sessions in English and mathematics during your course to enable you to demonstrate a satisfactory level of proficiency by the completion of your course.

Any work to address shortfalls in English and mathematics must be undertaken by the trainee teacher in addition to other aspects of their training. It is the trainee’s responsibility to secure these fundamental skills before being recommended for Qualified Teacher Status.

Second Stage: You will undertake either an observed group task or a subject-specific activity (if you are applying for secondary teacher training).

Third Stage: You will engage in individual face to face interview

We will be assessing your ability to be able to meet the Teachers’ Standards by the completion of your course. Those successful in the audits and at interview will be subsequently required to meet enhanced DBS checks, fitness to teach and medical check and prohibition order check requirements. You will be expected to complete these forms once you have been successful and have a Conditional Offer.

If you have accepted a Conditional Offer made by the University of Wolverhampton you will receive correspondence asking you to complete an enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check. The charge for this will be a dbs fee of £38.00 and a £6.00 ID check service fee. You will also need an Occupational Health Check and a prohibition check prior to starting the course.

 

Don't have GCSE English/Maths/Science?

We understand that not everyone is able to achieve GCSE Maths/English/Science for a variety of reasons. Our equivalency assessments provide an opportunity for you to further your English/Maths/Science skills ready for your studies, as well as being able to meet part of the entry requirements for many of our undergraduate and postgraduate Teacher Training courses. Our online equivalency assessments are on-campus for ITT programmes and cost £35. Find out more about our equivalency assessments.

Tuition Fees Loan (Home Fee Status):

Most students will be able to apply for a loans to pay for these subject to eligibility. To find out more information please refer to the government Student Finance website.

Changes for EU students:

The UK government has confirmed that EU students starting courses from 1 August 2021 will normally be classified as having Overseas Fee status. More information about the change is available at UKCISA:

EU citizens living in the UK with 'settled' status, and Irish nationals living in the UK or Ireland, will still be classified as Home students, providing they meet the usual residency requirements, for more information about EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS) click here.


Self-funding:

If you don’t want to take out a loan to pay your fees or if you aren’t eligible to receive a loan, you might want to take advantage of the University’s scheme to pay by instalments: See How to pay.

For more information please contact the Gateway.


Your employer, embassy or organisation can pay for your Tuition fees:

If your employer, embassy or organisation agrees to pay all or part of your tuition fees; the University will refer to them as your sponsor and will invoice them for the appropriate amount.

We must receive notification of sponsorship in writing as soon as possible, and before enrolment, confirming that the sponsor will pay your tuition fees.


Financial Hardship:

Students can apply to the Dennis Turner Opportunity Fund.

for help with course related costs however this cannot be used for fees or to cover general living costs.


Bursaries and Scholarships:

In addition the University also offers a range of Bursaries and Scholarships packages

You can find more information on the University’s Funding, cost, fee and support pages.

Telephone

01902 32 22 22

Email

enquiries@wlv.ac.uk

Online

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