Taught course

Postgraduate Diploma Secondary Education (QTS) - Religious Education

University of Birmingham · School of Education

Entry requirements

All applicants to the Secondary PGDipEd(QTS) Religious Education course must hold a degree (a minimum of 2:1 is preferable) or equivalent qualification. Your degree should have covered areas that will be taught within RE or humanities such as RE, RS, Philosophy, Sociology, History (ancient or modern), Classics, Theology or Politics.

Your degree may be in Theology, Philosophy, or Religious Studies; these degrees are highly suitable for the role of an RE teacher. If your degree is in another subject area then it is expected that you will either hold either an A Level in RE/RS, Philosophy or Critical Thinking or that a large percentage of your degree study focused on ‘religion’ in its broadest form (i.e study of the Reformation, study of Holocaust, study of current world religious climate etc, study of religious literature and/or figures). The extent of transferable 'religious' and/or 'philosophical' content will be addressed at the interview and through your degree transcript.

Prior observation experience in a secondary school environment is desirable. This need not be undertaken prior to UCAS application but is beneficial; if you are successful in being offered a conditional place on the course, a period of observation in a school setting may be set as a condition requirement.

All candidates also have to:

  • have a GCSE in Maths and English (grade 4 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

Months of entry


Course content

The School of Education at the University of Birmingham has a long tradition of delivering teaching training courses. Its teaching has been graded as 'outstanding' for the third consecutive time by Ofsted inspectors which reaffirms the University’s status as one of the UK’s leading institutions for excellence in teacher training.

The Initial Teacher Education course

The PGDipEd course lasts 36 weeks, of which 24 are spent in our partnership schools.

Teaching practice will take several forms: school placements and also team teaching while at the University. You will also get involved in small scale research projects for your assignments so that you can evaluate the theory in practice and integrate this learning into your own teaching.

The course will not pretend that teaching Religious Education is straightforward, because it is not! Our sessions will rarely be of the form of a lecture, instead we use activities and discussion as the main way of working.

We will help you become aware of issues relating to planning lessons, assessment, the difference between telling students information and teaching students, how to provide learning experiences which meet the needs of students with different learning styles, how different approaches to teaching a topic can change the learning experience for students, how choice of teaching methods, resources and technology can change the sort of religious education with which students engage. Along the way we will, of course, also introduce you to the National Framework and local agreed syllabuses for religious education and you will have some opportunities to experience religion at first hand!

You will also get an opportunity to plan, resource and delivering a 6th form conference at the university of Birmingham for over 100 Year 12 and 13 pupils from local schools. This is a unique opportunity and experience and ensures you will leave your training year not only fully equipped to plan, resource and teach A Level but also with the skills of team work, planning for diversity and inclusion and the skills of conference management.

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

  • PGDip
    full time
    9 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification

Course contact details

Dr Sarah Hall