Two people in blue overalls in a lab using a pipette and test tube

Postgraduate Certificate in Education

Secondary Initial Teacher Education Biology with Science

This course is open for applications.

About this course

Entry year:
2020/21
Course code:
2WQH
Applications:
UTT
Level:
Postgraduate
Department:
Education and Childhood
Campus:
Frenchay
Duration:
One year
Delivery:
Full-time
Programme leader:
Julie Buckland

Page last updated 4 November 2019

Introduction

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

Structure

Content

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.

The module areas you will study are:

  • Theories underpinning pedagogical approaches
  • Planning and implementing appropriate teaching strategies and classroom management
  • Subject studies
  • Current educational policy and practice
  • Evaluation of learner needs and the educational impact of their teaching
  • Professional skills and attributes, including keeping children safe
  • The use of evidence-based practice
  • Feedback and assessment of teaching against the English Teachers' Standards, supported by a university tutor and school based mentor.

The module areas are listed above, however the final titles are subject to final approval.

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.

Personal Support

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. Additionally, any student can get support on a range of issues from a Department Student Adviser.

Assessment

Assessment is carried out in a number of ways, including by written assignment, formal presentation, viva voce and assessment of teaching practice in schools, measured through lesson observations and the collation of a portfolio of evidence, demonstrating progress against the Teachers' Standards.

All modules are compulsory and you must pass all modules to gain the award of PGCE. This course prepares you for a career as a teacher and leads to recommendation for the award of Qualified Teacher Status (QTS), to the Department for Education, upon successful completion of the course.

Please note that the Department for Education has consulted on proposed changes to the award of QTS and when this is made, and we await further guidance on this.

See our full glossary of assessment terms.

Features

Placements

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

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).

Fees

Full Time Course

FeesAmount (£)
Home/EU-Full Time-Annual (Per Year) Fee9250
Home/EU-Full Time-Module Fee (15 Credit)1156
International-Full Time-Annual (Per Year) Fee13500
International-Full Time-Module Fee (15 Credit)1688
Offshore-Full Time-Annual (Per Year) Fee9250
Offshore-Full Time-Module Fee (15 Credit) 1156

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.

Entry

Entry requirements

Applicants normally have:

  • An undergraduate degree, or a recognised equivalent qualification, with at least 50% in a subject related to what you want to teach. This is typically 2:2 or higher but we will look at all applications against the demands of the programme.
  • GCSE grade C/4 or above in English Language and Mathematics, or equivalent.

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.

Applicants who do not meet the minimum academic entry requirements, but have significant life and/or work experience will be considered on an individual basis.

Selection process

Applicants who meet the entry criteria will be invited to an interview day with course tutors, consisting of a micro-teach activity, group interview and literacy/numeracy tasks, as appropriate.

Additional requirements

All applicants will be required to complete:

  • Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check*
  • Health checks*

*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.

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.

Deferrals

We are not able to accept deferrals for PGCE programmes. 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.

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.

For further information

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