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Secondary Education Science with Biology, PGCE Postgraduate prospectus

  • Ofsted rated the quality of teacher training as 'Good' in its recent report for Initial Teacher Education 2016
  • If you want to be a secondary school teacher of science, our PGCE offers biology as a specialist subject.
  • We offer both university-based teaching (60 days) and school-based experience (120 days).
  • You can gain 60 Master's level credits and Qualified Teacher Status.



As a biology teacher, you will enhance pupils' understanding of themselves and the world around them, preparing them to succeed in a range of important careers.

Our Postgraduate/Professional Graduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) is designed to prepare you in becoming a professional, competent and reflective secondary school teacher of science, with biology as a specialist subject. Your studies will focus on addressing the needs of pupils aged eleven to sixteen and beyond. 

The quality of teacher training in Secondary education was rated as "Good" in Ofsted report for Initial Teacher Education 2016. The report found that "Scientists appreciate the enhancement groups where they further build on their knowledge by sharing each other's expertise. As a consequence, the trainees' and NQTs' enthusiasm and confidence in the subjects they teach motivate and inspire pupils to learn and make progress."

As part of your PGCE, you will have the opportunity to gain 60 Master's level credits and gain Qualified Teacher Status.


We work in collaboration with professionals from specialist science organisations such as the Royal Society of Biology. We also partner with the adventure learning charity, Wide Horizons, who will support your training in the area of fieldwork, conservation and ecology.  Additionally, you will receive free resources and ideas on how to plan engaging lessons in plant biology from Science and Plants for Schools.

Degree structure

Our one-year programme comprises of two elements: 60 days of university-based teaching and 120 days of school-based experience. Your practical teaching experience is gained in two main schools. Here you will be allocated subject-specialist mentors who will offer dedicated feedback and guidance. During both placements, you will have the opportunity to develop your science and biology teaching with the support of a specialist teacher.

Learning and experience

Our university based workshops also offer strong support. You will have easy access to tutors as well as on-line materials. Here we cover all aspects of the National Curriculum and address all relevant government standards. Other topics of study will include planning lessons, assessment of pupils and classroom management. There is also the opportunity to work collaboratively with students from other subject areas.

During your time with us, you will develop your teaching skills, learning how to address the needs of secondary school pupils within the context of the curriculum at Key Stage 3 and 4.

You will also develop your expertise, practical knowledge and theoretical understanding of science. By the end of which you will be fully equipped to be formally assessed against the national standards for Qualified Teacher Status (QTS).


  • 95% of students completing the programme in 2015/16 were judged as good or outstanding against the teaching standards
  • 95% of respondents rated the training in preparing them to teach learners across a range of abilities as either good or very good (NQT survey, 2014)
  • 97% of our students are employed within six months of graduating (SED 14/15)
  • 100% of respondents agreed/strongly agreed that training they received helped them secure employment (Exit survey, 2015).

What you'll study

Entry requirements

Applicants should have:

In addition candidates must: 

  • Attend an interview
  • Pass pre-entry skills tests in numeracy and literacy before beginning the programme.
  • Undergo a Disclosure and Barring Service check and an occupational health screening.


  •  It is recommended that applicants spend some time observing in a secondary school before interview.

Applications should be made via UCAS at

Extra information


Progress will be assessed through a professional portfolio, written assignments and observation of classroom teaching. In order to qualify as a teacher, you need to meet the standards for Qualified Teacher Status, as set out by the National College for Teaching and Leadership.


Graduates are equipped for careers working in secondary schools and other educational settings, such as: 

  • Teaching science and/or biology in a secondary school
  • Head of science
  • Teaching and learning responsibilities for cross-curricular projects
  • STEM involvement and collaboration.

Fees and finance

Your time at university should be enjoyable and rewarding, and it is important that it is not spoilt by unnecessary financial worries. We recommend that you spend time planning your finances, both before coming to university and while you are here. We can offer advice on living costs and budgeting, as well as on awards, allowances and loans.

Find out more about our fees and the support available to you at our:

Come and get a feel for what learning and life is like with us.

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Apply now and begin your journey.

How to apply

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Situated in Avery Hill Park in Eltham, this campus combines the grace of a Victorian mansion with modern living and teaching facilities.

New Eltham and Falconwood (approx. 20 walk)

TFL buses frequently run nearby.

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