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Information Technology and Computing (PGCE)

PGCE|Postgraduate Taught

Information Technology and Computing

Entry year
2023
Entry requirements
At least a 2.2 Honours degree
Duration
36 weeks (Full Time)
Places available
approximately 15 (Full Time)

The PGCE in Information Technology and Computing 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 Information Technology, Digital Technology and Computing across the 11-18+ year age range. The programme aims to develop your competence and confidence in the teaching of Information Technology and Computing 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 an Honours graduate in Computing & Information Technology/Computer Science or about to graduate in Computing & Information Technology/Computer Science or a related discipline (see Entry Requirements for acceptable degrees).

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

Information Technology and Computing 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 at Queen’s attracts a lively mix of ICT and Computing graduates from a variety of local and national universities and colleges, and from different parts of the UK and Ireland. We prepare confident, innovative and high quality teachers who find employment in Northern Ireland, Ireland and the UK as well as in international schools worldwide.”

Dr Pamela Cowan, Pathway Convenor (IT/Computing)

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 twelve week period of professional placement based in a school.

At the beginning of February, you return to Queen’s for four weeks of 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/beginning of June.

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 post-primary 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 evidence-based research into 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 and numeracy, and 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.
"You need to have a real desire to teach and willingness to work very hard, but assuming that’s the case, the PGCE at Queen’s is an interesting, challenging course and the long placements give you plenty of experience.”

Naomi Steen, former PGCE student

People teaching you

PGCE Course Director

SSESW
Email: j.nelson@qub.ac.uk Dr James Nelson has oversight of the PGCE.

Pathway Convenor

SSESW
Dr Pamela Cowan coordinates and teaches on the Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) IT and Computing programme. Her research interests encompass all aspects of using innovative information technologies in educational contexts, assessment in education, structural equations modelling and issues in mathematics and computing 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.

Learning and Teaching

Learning opportunities available with this course are outlined below:

Morning / Afternoon / Evening

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

Indicative Number of Modules per Semester
1.5 modules per Semester (30 CATS points)

Contact Teaching Hours per Week
20 hours (minimum)

Indicative Proportional Mix of Time in Classes, Tutorials/Seminars/Labs, and Private Study in a Teaching Semester
80% lectures, 20% private study.

Assessment

Assessments associated with this course are outlined below:

ICT Coursework portfolio comprises subject studies assignments, practical and pedagogical teaching ideas and core tasks arising from lectures, workshops and tutorials addressing key educational issues in ICT, Digital Technology and Computer Science.

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://youtu.be/vB0jafwkgd0

Prizes and Awards

  • Educational and Professional Studies Prize.
  • Elizabeth M Fulton Prize for top performing student in ICT/Computing.
  • Excellence in Teaching Award – competition across all PGCE subject areas.
  • Overall Best Performing PGCE Student (based on an interview of the Elizabeth M Fulton prize winners).

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) in Computer Science, Computing & IT or Software Systems Development.

Degrees in cognate areas (for example*, Interactive Multimedia Design, Web Design, Cloud Technologies, Cybersecurity and Artificial Intelligence, Mobile Technology Systems) may be considered if 50% or more of the modules studied are deemed currently relevant to teaching Computer Science, Digital Technology and/or Software Systems Development to A level, with at least 50% of final year ICT/Computing modules fulfilling the relevance criterion.

Other acceptable combinations include:
• A Joint Honours degree (2:2 or above) in ICT/Computing with a school subject (for example*, Business Studies/Mathematics) HOWEVER at least 50% of all the modules passed need to be currently relevant to teaching Computer Science, Digital Technology and/or Software Systems Development to A level.
• An Honours degree (2:2 or above) in a school subject (for example*, Business studies) PLUS a Master's degree in Computer Science/Software Systems Development which has been awarded prior to applying for the PGCE course.
• A Joint Honours degree (2:2 or above) with Information Systems (for example*, Management Information Systems or Business Information Systems). Applicants must have passed at least 50% of modules in the Information Systems area that are currently relevant to teaching Computer Science, Digital Technology and/or Software Systems Development to A level with at least 50% of final year ICT/Computing modules fulfilling the relevance criterion.

*These are examples only and are not a definitive list.

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.)

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.

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 in post-primary schools in NI 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 (e.g. photocopying).

Prizes and Awards

Educational and Professional Studies Prize.

Elizabeth M Fulton Prize for top performing student in ICT/Computing.

Excellence in Teaching Award – competition across all PGCE subject areas.

Overall Best Performing PGCE Student (based on an interview of the Elizabeth M Fulton prize winners).

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.

Information Technology and Computing 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.


Download a prospectus