Biology is a subject which can fascinate and inspire children. It feeds their natural curiosity and supports them in developing their understanding of the natural world. Science teachers are in great demand and this course appeals to graduates who are passionate about biology but want to develop the skills and understanding to teach science across the curriculum.
This one-year full-time course, enables you to meet the national standards for the award of qualified teacher status (QTS).
Our PGCE Science with Biology course begins with a stimulating mix of biology, chemistry and physics education. You will then focus fully on biology, allowing you to specialise in the teaching of biology at Key Stage 4. Teaching science at Key Stages 3 requires competence across the entire range of the National Curriculum Programme of Study for Science.
Through this PGCE, you will gain the understanding and skills necessary to operate as a critically reflective biology teacher in a secondary school setting. You will also develop the awareness and ability to transfer these skills and teach in subject areas across the science curriculum (such as chemistry and physics at KS3).
We have a range of specialist science and teaching facilities, providing you with a solid foundation on which to develop your skills and experience. We have excellent relationships with schools in and outside London and during your studies, you also will undertake teaching placements in at least two secondary schools and have the chance to acquire skills in the application of new technologies in teaching and learning. Schools are carefully selected to suit each individual and expose them to a variety of imaginative and thought provoking learning strategies. Key experts from our partner schools are on hand to offer invaluable mentoring and support.
The course gives you a strong understanding of how and why to teach biology in secondary schools whilst also enabling you to appreciate the unique aspects of other science specialisms in order to develop your confidence in teaching across the science curriculum. Middlesex University also has dedicated subject tutors who have established strong relations with external specialists and partnership schools who will deliver contemporary and subject specific training sessions.
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At the start of the course you will be shown how to audit your science subject and pedagogical knowledge and you will develop an action plan to address gaps in subject knowledge. The course begins with developing your understanding of the purpose and rationale for teaching science in schools, and engages you with research and literature about the pedagogy of science teaching and how to teach your subject effectively.
For the major curriculum assignment you will develop original teaching resources and creative ideas in order to revise an existing scheme of learning in the placement school. You will be required to analyse the planning of a sequence of lessons, showing how they draw on reading and study to develop effective teaching and assessment in biology and how the school context affected your decisions.
In addition to developing the knowledge and skills required to teach your chosen subject, you will be able to identify and evaluate effective strategies for assessing children's learning through formative and summative assessment strategies. You will critically evaluate the effectiveness of a wide range of resources and your own lesson plans. You will also understand the importance of literacy, numeracy and ICT in delivering an effective, all round curriculum. At the end of the course you will be able to provide evidence that you have developed the appropriate subject knowledge and pedagogy to meet the required teaching standards.
This programme has an overarching science focus, which will allow you to develop a common pedagogical approach to teaching science across all subject areas, whilst also appreciating the unique and particular aspects of each science discipline. This will enable you to teach across the science curriculum at KS3 whilst also being able to teach Biology confidently up to and beyond KS4.
You will have many opportunities both individually and in groups to apply learning within your specialist subject, and for most of the course you will work in parallel with science students from other specialist subjects. There will also be breakout sessions where you will be working in your specialist subject.
We’ve made sure that the skills and knowledge that you’ll gain on your course will not change during the coronavirus outbreak. Your module information is below.
This module aims to introduce the professional secondary school environment. You will demonstrate your progress in developing your understanding and skills necessary to operate as an effective teacher in a secondary school. As such, it supports you to progress towards the achievement of current requirements for the award of Qualified Teacher Status.
This module aims to consolidate your professional practice in a second secondary school environment. It aims to ensure you can demonstrate the understanding and skills necessary to operate as an effective teacher in a secondary school. As such, it supports you in the achievement of statutory requirements for the award of Qualified Teacher Status.
This module aims to develop your understanding and skills necessary to operate as a critically reflective teacher in a secondary school. You will be assessed by undertaking a small scale research assignment that compares theoretical perspectives in education with the reality found in school.
This module builds on the learning and skills developed in the Professional Knowledge and Pedagogy and the Secondary Professional Development 1 modules and aims to deepen your understanding and skills necessary to operate as a critically reflective science with Biology teacher in a secondary school setting. You are assessed through a Monitoring and Assessment coursework assignment. Here you design, resource, teach and evaluate a scheme of work that reflects best practice in science education and assessment.
More information about this course
See the course specification for more information:
Optional modules are usually available at levels 5 and 6, although optional modules are not offered on every course. Where optional modules are available, you will be asked to make your choice during the previous academic year. If we have insufficient numbers of students interested in an optional module, or there are staffing changes which affect the teaching, it may not be offered. If an optional module will not run, we will advise you after the module selection period when numbers are confirmed, or at the earliest time that the programme team make the decision not to run the module, and help you choose an alternative module.
The programme is designed to provide 120 days in two different schools where you will gradually build up to teaching approximately 60% of a normal teaching timetable. The rest of the programme (60 days) is university-based, where lectures, seminars and practical workshops will be provided in a blended learning environment.
This course is comprised of a range of presentations, discussions and practical workshops where exemplar material can be selected from biology contexts. There will also be break-out sessions where you will be working both in mixed groups and with other biology specialists. Outside specialists are also invited to deliver sessions that cover topics in teaching biology at KS4.
The two school experiences are assessed against the professional requirements under the Teachers’ Standards:
If you’re starting university in 2020, we’ll be teaching you in different ways to make sure you get the best learning experience possible. You’ll learn through live sessions with teaching staff and have the chance to study independently too, with access to all the online resources you need through our globally available student portal.
We’re planning different scenarios for teaching so that we can be flexible. While we’re social distancing, we’re aiming to teach you through some practically focussed sessions on campus, with the majority of your theoretical teaching and larger lectures delivered online. If you’re unable to make it to campus at first, or we need to limit access to campus in the future, your course can be delivered fully online.
Please note that attending classes on campus and placements are compulsory parts of the course, so if you are unable to attend due personal circumstances, please get in touch with us so we can work with you to resolve your situation.
You’ll receive final arrangements for your teaching and a full course timetable before you start.
Read more about our scenarios for returning to campus and what they might mean for your teaching and learning experience, and how you’ll be able to access student support.
You’ll have a strong support network available to you to make sure you develop all the necessary academic skills you need to do well on your course.
Our support services will mainly be delivered online and you’ll have access to a range of different resources so you can get the help you need, whether you’re studying at home or have the opportunity to come to campus.
You’ll have access to one to one and group sessions for personal learning and academic support from our library and IT teams, and our network of learning experts. Our teams will also be here to offer financial advice, and personal wellbeing, mental health and disability support.
Read our guide to what’s been happening in your subject area recently and more about what to expect this autumn.
Our course gives you Qualified Teacher Status (QTS). Teaching is a profession with excellent progression and benefits and our graduates have an excellent reputation within the profession. Our employment rates are extremely high with around 97% of our PGCE graduates in employment or further study six months after graduation. The starting salary of a qualified teacher in inner London is £30,480.
Teachers can find career progression in both the classroom and the school's management structure. You might aspire to become the head of a department, age group or curriculum. And through developing your leadership skills and experience, you could progress to a senior management position, such as deputy head or head teacher.
For more information on salary and career progression, visit the Department for Education's website.
We’ll carefully manage any future changes to courses, or the support and other services available to you, if these are necessary because of things like changes to government health and safety advice, or any changes to the law.
Any decisions will be taken in line with both external advice and the University’s Regulations which include information on this.
Our priority will always be to maintain academic standards and quality so that your learning outcomes are not affected by any adjustments that we may have to make.
At all times we’ll aim to keep you well informed of how we may need to respond to changing circumstances, and about support that we’ll provide to you.