Department of Education

Computing and Business

Course Leaders: Michelle Williams and Chauvan Brookes

What does the Sussex ITE partnership offer?

You can apply directly to the university to study for the Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) specialising in Computing and Business. Alternatively, many schools work in partnership with the University to offer School Direct places which also lead to a Computing and Business PGCE award. Either route will prepare you, as a trainee teacher, to teach Computing at Key Stages 3 and 4 and Business at Key Stages 4 and 5.

Successful trainees will be recommended for Qualified Teacher Status (QTS).

Why combined Computing and Business teacher education at Sussex?

At the heart of the combined Computing and Business PGCE course at Sussex is a belief in the importance of these subjects. In many secondary schools, these department areas are linked and teachers teach both subjects. Therefore, at Sussex we are offering this unique course to enable trainees to become specialists in both curriculum areas.

Computing is a vital area of the curriculum and there is massive shortage of students with coding skills - which are needed for the fields of app and game design, website design, cyber security, etc. This is shortage subject, which means that students can apply for a bursary while they train.

This is a vital time to be engaged in developments in Computing and information technology (IT). Technological change has had a profound impact on Computing classrooms, and we are preparing children for possible careers in IT and Computing due to the growth of careers in these fields. On this course, you will gain an understanding of how to develop the computational thinking skills of your learners, developing connections between your own knowledge and passion for computing and the importance of trial and error, reflection, analysis and evaluation. You will help learners become the creators of technology - not just users - by understanding the role of computing in the classroom, teaching and learning theory, moral and social issues arising from the widespread use of computers and, of course, the teaching of the Computing National Curriculum. Opportunities to study and reflect with other trainees ensure you can be part of evolving an invaluable network of peer support.

Business education can be one of the most important subjects that student can undertake, whether they decide to continue with further education, become an employee, or start their own business. Business education brings together theory and practical application to help build success. Business education gives students the opportunity to understand how local, national, and international businesses function, the role it plays in our society, the opportunities it generates, the skills it requires, and the impact it can have on their lives and local and international economies. We are surrounded by real world application which enriches learning for Business students.

Sussex has a strong tradition of serious study of Business and Computing, and this has influenced our teacher training courses. This combined PGCE course will offer you a strong grounding in Business theory and techniques of how to teach Business at KS4 and KS5. It will also give trainees an understanding of KS3 /KS4 requirements for Computing and specialist input for Computing using industry standard hardware and software.

Many Business and Computing teacher trainees go on to teach both subjects, though some choose to specialise in one or the other whilst enhancing their teaching with the knowledge and skills acquired while training in the second subject. Many PGCE students progress to our part-time Education MA course which is designed specifically to enable newly qualified teachers (NQTs) to continue to enhance their teaching abilities and deepen their subject knowledge by researching best practice.

Teaching, learning and assessment

You will learn to be a Computing and Business teacher through a combination of taught sessions at the University and school-led professional development and classroom practice. You will start your course with a 2-3 week induction at the University in September, which is followed by a programme of lectures, seminars and workshops every Friday. These involve presentations, group work, role play, classroom modelling and peer teaching, for which you will explore ideas and approaches and reflect on your own experiences.

Over the course of the academic year, you will undertake two periods of professional practice in two different schools (these may vary slightly in length, but will equate to a minimum of 120 working days in total). You will be supported in your professional placements by both Computing and Business specialists acting as mentors, offering you tutorial support and developing a programme of practice-based professional studies for you. Your progress will be assessed through observations, feedback and discussion. To this end, you will create and maintain a portfolio of evidence demonstrating how you have met the various Teachers' Standards.

You will engage with the theoretical foundations of classroom practice and demonstrate the depth of your professional knowledge by completing three academic assignments during the course.

Additional entry requirements

To be accepted on this course, you must meet the partnership's established entry requirements for Initial Teacher Education. Additionally, you should be able to demonstrate the following:

  • A strong knowledge and understanding of both Computing and Business, and a sound awareness of how these subjects are currently taught within Secondary state schools
  • An undergraduate degree of 2:2 or above in Business or a related degree, and significant business industry experience
  • Demonstrable interest, experience and skills in Computing - you may also hold a qualification in this subject - which could be developed via a funded Computing Subject Knowledge Enhancement (SKE) course.

Funding

See our Scholarships, fees and living costs web page for information on fees and eligibility for financial support. Specific information on bursaries, financial incentives and other sources of funding for Initial Teacher Education are available on our PGCE & School Direct Trainee Fees & Bursaries: 2023 and from the Department for Education.

 

Recommendations
Undertaking a short classroom type teaching task and showing an awareness of the curriculum and school life is part of our interview process, so you may wish to prepare yourself by spending some time in an appropriate school setting in the subject/phase you intend to teach before interview. It would also be beneficial to you to research the KS3 and 4 curriculum and GCSE specifications for Computing, and the GCSE, BTEC and A Level specifications for Business in order to be aware of the topics you will be required to teach.