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Education (Religious Education) (PGCE)

PGCE|Postgraduate Taught

Education (Religious Education)

Entry year
2023
Entry requirements
At least a 2.2 Honours degree
Duration
36 weeks (Full Time)
Places available
approximately 10 (Full Time)

The PGCE in Religious Education is a recognised teaching qualification aligned to the General Teaching Council for Northern Ireland professional competences which affords graduates ‘Eligibility to Teach’ (referred to in some other jurisdictions as 'qualified teacher status', QTS). The course is aligned broadly with the Northern Ireland Curriculum, supporting graduates in teaching Religious Education across the 11-18+ year age range. The programme aims to develop your competence and confidence in the teaching of Religious Education and in the general professional role of the teacher.

Our PGCE will appeal to you if you wish to move into teaching and if you are a graduate, or final year student, in Religious Studies or Theology.

Extra places are reserved to prepare those who are interested in teaching their subject through the medium of Irish in Irish-medium schools. An additional certificate in Irish Medium Education (IME) is awarded in conjunction with St Mary's University College.

Closing date for applications: Tuesday 1 November 2022. Late applications may be accepted (refer to the Entry Requirements tab for more information).

Further information including an Applicant Guide can be found at https://www.qub.ac.uk/schools/ssesw/study/postgraduate-taught/pgce/

Watch a recording of the PGCE Information Session for 2022/23 entry here: https://youtu.be/DTz0sy0EpcY

Education (Religious Education) highlights

Over 83% of research submitted by colleagues based in the Education Unit of Assessment was judged to be ‘World Leading’ or ‘Internationally Excellent' by a peer review panel (REF2021).

Professional Accreditations

  • We are a General Teaching Council (GTCNI) accredited provider of Initial Teacher Education programmes. On completion of the programme you will achieve Eligibility to Teach/Qualified Teacher Status (QTS).

Student Experience

  • The Education and Training Inspectorate has assessed the ‘Outcomes for learners’ on the course to be ‘Outstanding’. Students are involved in active, enquiry-based and research-informed learning throughout the course.
“The PGCE in Religious Education at Queen’s welcomes students from diverse backgrounds to develop professional skills in an inclusive environment. The course tutors are research-active and employ a wide range of collaborative and interactive approaches in their teaching to prepare confident and innovative teachers. Our graduates find employment in a wide range of school types in Northern Ireland, Ireland and beyond.”

Dr James Nelson, Pathway Convenor (PGCE RE)

Course Structure

After enrolment, you will complete an Induction week followed by a one-week placement in a primary school in early September.

The next six week block of the course is devoted to university-based tuition (subject-specific taught sessions and directed independent study) before you commence your first eleven week period of professional placement based in a school.

At the beginning of February, you return to university-based tuition in preparation for your second professional period in a school (12 weeks). A final week of university-based tuition completes the course at the end of May.

Successful completion of the PGCE depends on achieving satisfactory standards in both practical teaching and in University based modules, which are assessed through course work.

The extended placements, which we arrange, are normally in two different school types. This ensures a varied experience of teaching in different schools and working with pupils from the whole ability range.

In the two post-primary schools you will work closely with members of each school’s staff. Your subject lecturer from Queen’s will also maintain close co-operative links with these teachers during your school placements.

Course DetailsThe programme combines university-based tuition, consisting of taught sessions and directed independent study, with professional placements in schools and is organised around three interdependent strands:

Professional School-based Experience - focuses on developing practical teaching competence particularly through working closely with experienced teachers during periods of school placement.

Subject Studies - focuses on teaching and learning within your subject specialism (and cognate areas).

Education and Professional Studies - focuses on common aspects of teaching and the professional role of the teacher, bringing together relevant theory, policy and practice. This includes issues such as: the Northern Ireland education system, curriculum theory and policy, theories of learning and assessment, social class and educational disadvantage, special educational needs and barriers to learning, pastoral care and child protection/safeguarding, student voice, mental health and wellbeing of students, positive behaviour management, diversity and inclusion, effective use of technologies and whole school approaches to literacy, numeracy the social and emotional health of young people. Students are also offered a choice of elective course designed to enhance the subjects and skills they can offer to schools.

Extra places are reserved to prepare those who are interested in teaching their subject through the medium of Irish in Irish-medium schools. An additional certificate in Irish Medium Education (IME) is awarded in conjunction with St Mary's University College.
“The PGCE is a fast-paced course and every day of learning counts. When I read the handbooks, I initially felt overwhelmed by the amount of content, but my concerns were quickly alleviated by the competence and assurances of the staff, and in how they taught and managed each module. The course is challenging and intense but is excellently designed to ensure you actively learn and develop and are supported to gain in-depth professional preparation to become a reflective practitioner.”

Merle Patterson, PGCE Religious Education, 2021

People teaching you

PGCE Programme Director and R.E. Pathway Convenor

SSESW
Dr James Nelson coordinates and teaches on the Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) Religious Education programme. One of his core research interests is the interface between religion and education, another is in the area of teacher education.

Teaching Times

Typically Monday to Friday from 9am-5pm. School-based placements are dependent on the host school's timetable for the school day.

Career Prospects

Introduction
This PGCE prepares students for teaching in secondary-level schools (age 11-18+). You will gain ‘Eligibility to Teach’ (referred to in some other jurisdictions as 'qualified teacher status', QTS).

Qualified teachers have found employment in secondary schools, progressing through either a subject specialist or pastoral route into middle and senior management. Others have gone on to successfully complete further postgraduate study.

Queen's postgraduates reap exceptional benefits. Unique initiatives, such as Degree Plus and Researcher Plus bolster our commitment to employability, while innovative leadership and executive programmes help our students gain key leadership positions both nationally and internationally.

Learning and Teaching

Learning opportunities available with this course are outlined below:

Indicative Number of Modules per Semester

1.5 modules per Semester (30 CATS points)

Indicative Proportional Mix of Time in Classes, Tutorials/Seminars/Labs, and Private Study in a Teaching Semester

80% lectures and professional practice, 20% private study.

Assessment

Assessments associated with this course are outlined below:

The Religious Education module is assessed by coursework which includes assignments and core tasks related to lesson planning and preparation for teaching.

School placements are assessed through school-based observation and feedback reports from the schools.

Education and Professional Studies is assessed via a collaborative group inquiry task and an essay.

Facilities

The School is situated across a suite of three buildings in Belfast's Queen's Quarter. We provide student and staff common rooms, computer suites and designated study spaces. 

Explore the teaching and social spaces in our School through our 360 Virtual Tour: 
https://youtu.be/PJeiF24bjxE

The Graduate School
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aJ_BwOtjXAE

Prizes and Awards

  • Educational and Professional Studies Prize.
  • Elizabeth M Fulton Prize for top performing student in Religious Studies.
  • Excellence in Teaching Award - competition across all PGCE subjects.
  • Overall Best Performing PGCE Student.

Resources

You can watch a recording of our post-primary PGCE Information Session from September 2021 on our YouTube channel at this link:
https://youtu.be/DTz0sy0EpcY

Modules

The information below is intended as an example only, featuring module details for the current year of study. Modules are reviewed on an annual basis and may be subject to future changes – revised details will be published through Programme Specifications ahead of each academic year.

Entrance requirements

Graduate
Please note the closing date for 2023 entry to this programme is Tuesday 1st November 2022.

Applications received after the closing date will be regarded as LATE and will be considered only if vacancies exist when all applications received by the closing date have been processed. Normally we do not consider ‘late’ applications before June at the earliest.

All applicants must possess the following:

- At least a 2:2 Honours degree (and/or higher degree) or equivalent qualification acceptable to the University, in:

(i) Theology or Religious Studies; or
(ii) a joint honours with Theology or Religious Studies where at least half of the content of the degree is deemed relevant to the teaching of Religious Education (RE) in the context of Northern Ireland*; or
(iii) a cognate area of Theology or Religious Studies where at least half of the content of the degree is deemed relevant to the teaching of RE in the context of Northern Ireland*.

- At the time of application, GCSE Mathematics grade C/4, and GCSE English Language grade C/4 or equivalent qualification. (Please note Essential Skills Level 2 qualifications are not regarded as equivalent for entry to this professional course as the professional accrediting authority, the GTCNI, does not recognise them as equivalent.)

* In the context of Northern Ireland, RE involves the study of a Core Syllabus at Key Stages 3 and 4 which has four main areas: The Christian Church; Christian Morality; The Revelation of God; World Religions.

We reserve the right to enhance the shortlisting criteria if the course is over-subscribed.

Shortlisted applicants will be interviewed.

Please note, applicants who are successful in obtaining an offer following completion of the selection process must provide official confirmation that they have satisfied any conditions of their offer by 12 noon on Thursday 31st August 2023 as the course will commence on Monday 4th September 2023.

International Students

Our country/region pages include information on entry requirements, tuition fees, scholarships, student profiles, upcoming events and contacts for your country/region. Use the dropdown list below for specific information for your country/region.

English Language Requirements

Evidence of an IELTS* score of 6.5, with not less than 5.5 in any component, or an equivalent qualification acceptable to the University is required. *Taken within the last 2 years.

International students wishing to apply to Queen's University Belfast (and for whom English is not their first language), must be able to demonstrate their proficiency in English in order to benefit fully from their course of study or research. Non-EEA nationals must also satisfy UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) immigration requirements for English language for visa purposes.

For more information on English Language requirements for EEA and non-EEA nationals see: www.qub.ac.uk/EnglishLanguageReqs.

If you need to improve your English language skills before you enter this degree programme, INTO Queen's University Belfast offers a range of English language courses. These intensive and flexible courses are designed to improve your English ability for admission to this degree.

  • Academic English: an intensive English language and study skills course for successful university study at degree level
  • Pre-sessional English: a short intensive academic English course for students starting a degree programme at Queen's University Belfast and who need to improve their English.

INTO - English Language Course(QSIS ELEMENT IS EMPTY)

Career Prospects

Introduction
This PGCE prepares students for teaching in secondary-level schools (age 11-18+). You will gain ‘Eligibility to Teach’ (referred to in some other jurisdictions as 'qualified teacher status', QTS).

Qualified teachers have found employment in secondary schools, progressing through either a subject specialist or pastoral route into middle and senior management. Others have gone on to successfully complete further postgraduate study.

Queen's postgraduates reap exceptional benefits. Unique initiatives, such as Degree Plus and Researcher Plus bolster our commitment to employability, while innovative leadership and executive programmes help our students gain key leadership positions both nationally and internationally.

Additional Awards Gained

Students are required to undergo an Enhanced Disclosure Check with Access NI costing £33 and are responsible for funding this themselves. Students have two mandatory placements n a post-primary school in Northern Ireland and are responsible for funding any travel, accommodation and subsistence. These costs vary depending on the location of the placement provider. Students will be expected to dress professionally and may incur additional costs for clothing. Additional costs will be incurred for the creation of teaching materials whilst on placement, which may be partly absorbed by the placement school.

Prizes and Awards

Educational and Professional Studies Prize.

Elizabeth M Fulton Prize for top performing student in Religious Studies.

Excellence in Teaching Award - competition across all PGCE subjects.

Overall Best Performing PGCE Student.

Graduate plus award for extra-curricular skills

In addition to your degree programme, at Queen's you can have the opportunity to gain wider life, academic and employability skills. For example, placements, voluntary work, clubs, societies, sports and lots more. So not only do you graduate with a degree recognised from a world leading university, you'll have practical national and international experience plus a wider exposure to life overall. We call this Graduate Plus. It's what makes studying at Queen's University Belfast special.

Tuition Fees

Northern Ireland (NI) 1 £TBC
Republic of Ireland (ROI) 2 £TBC
England, Scotland or Wales (GB) 1 £9,250
EU Other 3 £18,800
International £18,800

1 EU citizens in the EU Settlement Scheme, with settled status, will be charged the NI or GB tuition fee based on where they are ordinarily resident. Students who are ROI nationals resident in GB will be charged the GB fee.

2 EU students who are ROI nationals resident in ROI are eligible for NI tuition fees.

3 EU Other students (excludes Republic of Ireland nationals living in GB, NI or ROI) are charged tuition fees in line with international fees.

All tuition fees quoted are for the academic year 2023-24, and relate to a single year of study unless stated otherwise. Tuition fees will be subject to an annual inflationary increase, unless explicitly stated otherwise.

More information on postgraduate tuition fees.

Additional course costs

All Students

Depending on the programme of study, there may be extra costs which are not covered by tuition fees, which students will need to consider when planning their studies.

Students can borrow books and access online learning resources from any Queen's library. If students wish to purchase recommended texts, rather than borrow them from the University Library, prices per text can range from £30 to £100. Students should also budget between £30 to £75 per year for photocopying, memory sticks and printing charges.

Students undertaking a period of work placement or study abroad, as either a compulsory or optional part of their programme, should be aware that they will have to fund additional travel and living costs.

If a programme includes a major project or dissertation, there may be costs associated with transport, accommodation and/or materials. The amount will depend on the project chosen. There may also be additional costs for printing and binding.

Students may wish to consider purchasing an electronic device; costs will vary depending on the specification of the model chosen.

There are also additional charges for graduation ceremonies, examination resits and library fines.

Education (Religious Education) costs

"Students are required to undergo an Enhanced Disclosure Check with Access NI costing £33.
Students have two mandatory eleven week placement and are responsible for funding any travel, accommodation and subsistence. These costs vary depending on the location of the placement provider. Students will be expected to dress professionally and may incur additional costs for clothing. Additional costs will be incurred for the creation of teaching materials whilst on placement, which may be partly absorbed by the placement school.

How do I fund my study?

Applicants are eligible for Undergraduate related funding, rather than Postgraduate. Please see the following sources for more information:

International Scholarships

Information on scholarships for international students, is available at www.qub.ac.uk/International/International-students/International-scholarships.

How to Apply

Apply using our online Postgraduate Applications Portal and follow the step-by-step instructions on how to apply.

Apply now

When to Apply

The deadline for applications is normally 30th June 2021. In the event that any programme receives a high volume of applications, the university reserves the right to close the application portal earlier than 30th June deadline. Notifications to this effect will appear on the Direct Entry Portal (DAP) against the programme application page.

Terms and Conditions

The terms and conditions that apply when you accept an offer of a place at the University on a taught programme of study.
Queen's University Belfast Terms and Conditions.


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