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:
2018/19
Course code:
2WQH
Applications:
UTT
Level:
Postgraduate
Department:
Education and Childhood
Campus:
Frenchay
Duration:
One year
Delivery:
Full-time
Programme leader:
Tracy Atherton

Page last updated 8 August 2018

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 course is part of our Department of Education and Chilhood programme for Initial Teacher Training.

All students must complete four concurrent compulsory modules:

  • Professional Development in Secondary Initial Teacher Education
  • Professional Practice in Secondary Initial Teacher Education
  • Subject Knowledge for Teaching in Secondary Initial Teacher Education
  • Classroom-based Enquiry: Secondary Education.

The modules are studied in both the school and the University-based parts of the course, the work on each site being complementary.

You will learn about the nature, content and teaching of all aspects of the science curriculum for 11-16 year olds and of specialist Biology for 14-19 year olds.

During your 12 weeks of study here, a range of aspects of teaching and learning of the science curriculum will be addressed, for example:

  • Common misconceptions in Science
  • Behaviour for learning in the science classroom
  • The science curriculum and qualifications
  • Use of ICT in science
  • Use of assessment to help all learners to make progress
  • Safety in Science lessons
  • The nature of Science.

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

We will introduce you to a range of teaching styles, classroom management skills, lesson planning and assessment procedures both in the university and through classroom support from teachers in schools. You will consider strategies to support young people in their learning of science. You will also consider the use of a range of teaching styles and resources, including the appropriate use of information and communications technology (ICT).

You will participate in sessions with other biology graduates, and in mixed science groups. You will also work with graduates from other disciplines where cross-curricular issues, such as learning theories and behaviour management are covered.

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

See our full glossary of learning and teaching terms.

Assessment

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.

Features

Placements

You will complete a minimum of 120 days of teaching practise in two separate schools or settings during your course.

Study facilities

The department provides a pleasant environment in which to study. Its modern, purpose-built facilities provide high quality teaching rooms with state-of-the-art technology available.

We have excellent ICT facilities and an Open Leaning Area with the latest equipment including an interactive white board, CD burners, scanners and a range of equipment that can be booked out and borrowed, including digital cameras and laptops, with friendly staff on hand to help when needed.

Learn more about UWE Bristol's facilities and resources.

Careers

Careers / Further study

The Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) courses now include 60 credits of assessment at Master's Level (Level M). If you opt not to attempt the requisite credit at Level M, a Professional Graduate Certificate in Education will be available as an alternative award.

For further information on your career in teaching, including salary scales and case studies of current trainee teachers, visit Get into Teaching.

Find out from our graduates how studying here has enhanced their career prospects and opened up new opportunities.

 

Fees

Full Time Course

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

Indicative Additional Costs

FeesAmount (£)
Additional Course Costs - Full Time - Home/EU - Indicative Maximum Cost Per year350

Further information

Additional course costs relate to travel to teaching placements.  

The cost will depend on where the student lives in relation to our partner schools, as well as the schools they are placed in. 

The maximum cost per year is unlikely to exceed £350.

Please Note: This course is not eligible for the alumni discount.

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

Students starting this course in September 2018 should follow this link to view their joining instructions.

We automatically send a message via your Welcome website plus an email to notify you once your joining instructions are available. It is important that you regularly check your Welcome website for new messages about your Registration and Enrolment. If you have not received the email please contact our Applicant Experience Team by email at admissions@uwe.ac.uk so we may check that we have the correct address.

For more information about joining the University, please see our New Students pages.

Entry requirements

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.*
  • To be able to demonstrate recent experience of observing or supporting teaching in your subject area. This must be conducted in a comprehensive school (minimum of 10 working days or two weeks equivalent within the last three years). 

*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.

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.

Additional requirements
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.

Deferrals

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

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