Postgraduate Certificate in Education
Secondary Initial Teacher Education Biology with Science
This course is open for applications.
About this course
Page last updated 23 October 2018
This is a new strand of the PGCE Science where you will specialise in Biology. If you successfully complete this route will be in a strong position to gain employment as teachers of Biology up to post-18 and general science at least to KS3 and possibly KS4.
This course has been designed to train teachers to practice as a subject specialist teacher for the secondary age range (11-16). You will be assessed against the standards for Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) across the age range. You will also often gain experience of the 16 - 18 age range, although they will not be formally assessed in this phase.
This course is active and practical allowing you to develop professional competence through work undertaken in schools and in the university. You will work with young people, develop expertise in your specialist subject area, share and discuss educational issues and study relevant educational research. The course is just the beginning of what we hope will be a process of continual professional development throughout a challenging and rewarding career.
Guiding young people to develop an understanding of how scientists set about investigating the world, what science can answer and, probably more important in some ways, what it cannot, is exciting and very rewarding. Helping pupils to address misconceptions whilst facing some of your own is certainly a challenging yet fulfilling task.
Once you have been offered a place on a PGCE Secondary Science course you will have an opportunity to boost your subject knowledge in Biology with one of our Subject Knowledge Enhancement (SKE) courses before starting your PGCE.
Find out why you should train to teach with us.
Watch: The learning and teaching experience
The PGCE programmes are part of the Department of Education and Childhood, within the Initial Teacher Education cluster.
The University of the West of England is committed to training the best teachers for the future, able to provide first-class educational experiences and make a significant difference to the life chances of all children. We will train you to do so in partnership with schools and settings across the region. All children deserve to learn well, with enthusiastic subject specialist teachers.
Teaching is a challenging, exciting and rewarding career with a high level of job satisfaction. It is a great privilege, as well as a great responsibility, to be able to influence and shape the progress of children and young people.
Our PGCE programmes are very popular and the standard of applicants is high.
As a trainee teacher, you will complete a minimum of 120 days in school on placement practice. This will take place in at least two contrasting schools, in blocks of no less than six weeks, during which time you will be expected to demonstrate effective progress in your own practice and have a positive impact on pupil progress over time.
All trainee teachers must complete four compulsory modules:
- Professional Development in Secondary Initial Teacher Education
- Professional Practice in Secondary Initial Teacher Education
- Core Teaching in Secondary Initial Teacher Education
- Classroom-based Enquiry: Secondary Education.
The University continually enhances our offer by responding to feedback from our students and other stakeholders, ensuring the curriculum is kept up to date and our graduates are equipped with the knowledge and skills they need for the real world. This may result in changes to the course. If changes to your course are approved, we will inform you.
Learning and Teaching
The PGCE programmes are designed so that your experiences on placement are complemented by university-based learning; the training on placement supports your learning in the Department of Education and Childhood, and vice versa.
Seminars, lectures and placement-based learning equip you to meet the Teachers' Standards, to teach and assess in your chosen phase and/or subject.
Hear what our students think about their time here.
See our full glossary of learning and teaching terms.
We recognise that embarking on a new course of study can sometimes be quite a challenging undertaking. You will have support from a number of staff in the university including; your group tutor and a personal tutor from your 14-19 specialism (Chemistry). Additionally any student can get support on a range of issues from a Department Student Adviser.
In order to pass the course, you are required to pass each unit. They are assessed on a number of written assignments and also on classroom practise against the standards specified by the Secretary of State for the award of Qualified Teacher Status (QTS).
Before you start the course it is recommended that trainees take the computer-based QTS skills tests in Numeracy, Literacy and ICT.
See our full glossary of assessment terms.
Placements are offered by schools and settings within our ITE partnership and are geographically diverse, with schools in Bristol, South Gloucestershire, Bath and North East Somerset, Somerset, Wiltshire, Devon, Cornwall and Wales, offering placements. We work hard to match placements to trainee teacher needs and experience, and we endeavour to keep travel times to a maximum of 90 minutes each way, each day.
Trainee teachers are supported in schools by a Senior Mentor, who is a designated lead teacher for ITE placements in the school, and is responsible for overseeing the training that takes place. Trainee teachers are also closely supported by their Class Mentor (Primary) or Subject Mentor (Secondary), who is their day-to-day contact and supporter in school during placement.
Careers / Further study
PGCE programmes include 60 credits assessed at Masters level.
As a trainee teacher, you will be joining a modern and well-regarded programme to train to teach across the 11-16 age range and gain Qualified Teacher Status (QTS).
Full Time Course
|Home/EU-Full Time-Annual (Per Year) Fee||9250|
|Home/EU-Full Time-Module Fee (15 Credit)||1156|
Indicative Additional Costs
|Additional Course Costs - Full Time - Home/EU - Indicative Maximum Cost Per year||370|
Supplementary fee information
The PGCE is financed as an undergraduate course. More information on fees can be found on our tuition fees pages.
For funding options, please see funding for PGCE students.
There are different bursaries and funding available for PGCE courses, find out more from the Department for Education.
Applicants normally have:
- An honours degree (normally 2:1 minimum) or equivalent with at least 50% in a related subject (relating to the subject you want to teach).
- GCSE grade C/4 or above in English Language and Mathematics, or equivalent.*
*If you do not meet the GCSE entry requirements, we will accept equivalency tests that are of a standard equivalent to GCSE grade C or above.
Our PGCE programmes include a high level of placement based learning and working with children. We would encourage all applicants to get as much relevant experience of working or volunteering with children to help prepare them for this crucial element of their programme.
Please note that this course starts early in September. We are unable to agree any requests for holiday due to the number of days required to fulfil the course.
Please read through the UCAS Teacher Training pages carefully for guidance on how to apply.
On UCAS look for us under Biology rather than Science, although you will also be trained to teach across the sciences at least to KS3 and possibly KS4.
Applicants must pass an initial selection process and short-listed candidates will be interviewed at the Department of Education. All offers will be subject to satisfactory health checks.
Disclosure of Criminal Background - Applicants who are offered a place must undergo a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check and will be required to complete a Disclosure Application Form. All information will be treated in confidence and only taken into account when absolutely necessary. If you would like information regarding issues that could disqualify you from teaching training, please contact us on +44 (0)117 32 83333.
Department for Education Professional Skills Tests
All trainee teachers are required to pass skills tests in numeracy and literacy before they can be recommended for the award of qualified teacher status (QTS) and before starting their course. We recommend that you complete the skills tests in Numeracy and Literacy as soon as possible after you have submitted an application for an Initial Teacher Education programme. If practical, you should take these tests before any interview that you may be invited for, but if this is not possible, you should take them as soon as possible thereafter. If you have not passed the tests at the interview stage, any offer will be conditional until you have passed both tests. You will need to pass both tests by 2 August.
Standards and requirements
Following the review of Standards and Requirements for Initial Teacher Training (ITT) by the Secretary of State in 2012 (revised in June 2013), our full-time courses have been designed to be compliant with the latest standards and requirements.
Find out further information about the national curriculum and subjects taught in secondary schools.
The Department of Education is not able to approve deferrals under any circumstances. Applicants unable to start their programme during the year of application will be required to withdraw and reapply the following year.
How to apply
Please read through the UCAS Teacher Training pages carefully for guidance on how to apply.
For further information
- Email: Admissions@uwe.ac.uk
- Telephone: +44(0)117 32 83333