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Secondary Mathematics Subject Knowledge and Pedagogy

Module titleSecondary Mathematics Subject Knowledge and Pedagogy
Module codeEDUM047
Academic year2023/4
Module staff

Dr Tom Ralph (Convenor)

Duration: Term123
Duration: Weeks




Number students taking module (anticipated)


Description - summary of the module content

Module description

Whilst taking this module you will examine a range of approaches to the teaching of mathematics across Key Stages 3 – 5 as well as the theory that underpins this practice. To take this module, you will normally need to possess an upper second class or first class honours degree in mathematics or a related subject and an ‘A’ level in mathematics at grade A or B.

This module will be taken alongside EDUM036 & EDUM052

Module aims - intentions of the module

The principal aims of the module are to:

•      enable you to gain a comprehensive and up to date understanding of the background theory, issues and practice relating to current teaching of mathematics in the secondary curriculum;

•      support you to meet the Standards required for the award of Qualified Teacher Status; and 

•    nurture your development as a reflective and autonomous professional practitioner who is able to identify strengths and areas for development in your subject knowledge and pedagogy, through evaluating current professional practice in relationship to developments in research and educational theory.

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)

ILO: Module-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 1. identify and evaluate educational concepts and issues related to mathematics education;
  • 2. recognise pupils’ learning needs in Mathematics and interpret these learning needs in order to plan, teach, assess and evaluate lessons and schemes of work;
  • 3. demonstrate secure subject content knowledge and pedagogic subject knowledge in mathematics;
  • 4. demonstrate secure understanding of the requirements of the National Curriculum for mathematics;

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 5. critically evaluate the relevance of educational theory to practice;
  • 6. synthesise relevant educational literature in support of an argument;
  • 7. use appropriate technologies for data handling and writing in education;
  • 8. present data and findings in a form appropriate for educational contexts;
  • 9. use research data in support of an argument in education;

ILO: Personal and key skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 10. manage your own learning development;
  • 11. learn effectively and be aware of your own learning strategies;
  • 12. express ideas and opinions, with confidence and clarity, to a variety of audiences for a variety of purposes;
  • 13. work productively in different kinds of teams (formal, informal, project based, etc); and
  • 14. think creatively about the main features of a given problem and develop strategies for its resolution.

Syllabus plan

Syllabus plan

The module introduces students to current thinking in the teaching of Mathematics and develops students’ pedagogic and academic subject knowledge in the field of mathematics education. Whilst the module’s precise content may vary from year to year, it is envisaged that the key elements of the module will  include:

  • Lecture and Seminar Programme: This covers the theory and practice of mathematics Pedagogy.


  • Directed Online Study Programme: This covers the theory and practice of mathematics Pedagogy


  • Peer Teaching: These sessions give you an opportunity to practice your teaching in a safe and supportive environment.


  • Seminar Days: Five university-led days when students share school-based work experiences and develop the links between the theoretical and practical aspects of teaching mathematics.

On the Secondary PGCE, you will learn and reflect on the skills and knowledge required by the programme’s credit-bearing and non-credit bearing modules throughout the year. You will need to think about the modules in relation to each other. To facilitate this, the learning and teaching activities and guided independent study described below are scheduled to occur across all three terms both in the context of your university taught course and in the context of your applied professional experience in schools.

Learning and teaching

Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled Learning & Teaching activities72Lecture and Seminar Programme
Scheduled Learning & Teaching activities15Peer Teaching
Scheduled Learning & Teaching activities12Seminar Days
Scheduled Learning & Teaching activities1Tutorials with academic tutor
Guided independent study200Independent Study


Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Written notes on preliminary tasks2 weeks prior to beginning course1, 2, 5, 13Verbal or written
Statement on personal vision for Mathematics education500 words1, 10, 12Peer feedback
Written subject knowledge audit3 hours3,4,10,11Verbal (tutorial) and written action plans
Formative assignment using work with academic literature in preparation for summative assignment1500 words1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12Written feedback from tutor and opportunity to discuss this in tutorial

Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams

Details of summative assessment

Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Written assignment1004,000 words1-14Written feedback & opportunity to discuss this on seminar day


Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
Written assignmentResubmission of essay (4,000 words)1-14See notes below.

Re-assessment notes

If a submitted assignment is deemed to be a Fail, you will be given feedback outlining what needs to be done to bring the assignment to a pass standard and one opportunity for resubmission will be allowed.


You can choose to resubmit a failed assignment ‘in year’ (i.e. before the final PGCE Assessment, Progression and Awarding Committee (APAC) in July). The resubmission would normally be made 4 weeks after receiving feedback on the first submission. Alternatively, you may opt for your mark to remain as a fail mark at the APAC. You will then be referred to the College level Assessment, Progression and Awarding Committee who will confirm the conditions for resubmission of the work. Normally the resubmission should be by 1st September. You should discuss these options with your tutor.


Note: if you choose the second option, the award of PGCE will be delayed until the APAC following any successful resubmission (normally held in December).


If an assignment is deemed to be a Fail by the APAC, the mark obtained on resubmission will be capped at 50%.  If after submitting a revised assignment, you have still failed to gain an overall pass mark for the module, you will have been deemed to have failed the PGCE with no further opportunity for resubmission.   If however, you have passed the Professional Learning module, you can leave the programme with QTS only and can therefore gain employment as a Newly Qualified Teacher (NQT). If you pass both the mathematics Subject Knowledge & Pedagogy and the Educational & Professional Studies modules but fail the Professional Learning module, you can leave the programme with a Postgraduate Certificate in Professional Studies in Education (PGCert) which does not confer QTS status.


Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

Black, L., Mendick, H., & Solomon, Y. (2009). Mathematical relationships in education: Identities and participation. London: Routledge.

Chambers, P. & Timlin, R. (2019). Teaching mathematics in the secondary school (3rd Ed.). London: SAGE.

Ernest, P. (1990). The philosophy of mathematics education. London: Falmer.

Johnston-Wilder, S., Lee, C. & Pimm, D. (Eds) (2017). Learning to teach mathematics in the secondary school (4th Ed.). London: Routledge.

Joseph, G. (2011). The crest of the peacock: Non-European roots of mathematics. (3rd Ed.). Oxford: Princeton University Press..

Solomon, Y. (2009). Mathematical literacy: Developing identities of inclusion. London: Routledge.

Tanner, H. & Jones, S. (2000) Becoming a successful teacher of mathematics. London: Routledge.

Indicative learning resources - Web based and electronic resources

Web based and electronic resources: see PGCE Mathematics course on ELE ( )

Module has an active ELE page

Key words search

Secondary PGCE, Mathematics

Credit value30
Module ECTS


Module pre-requisites


Module co-requisites

EDUM036 Education and Professional Studies

EDUM052 Professional Learning

NQF level (module)


Available as distance learning?


Origin date


Last revision date