PGCE Secondary Education Science with Biology | Middlesex University London
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PGCE Secondary Education Science with Biology

Learn about the course below
September 2019
1 year full-time
£9,250 (UK/EU)
£12,900 (INT)
Course leader
Karen Parks

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.

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.

Why study PGCE Science with Biology (QTS) at Middlesex University?

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.

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).

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.

Course highlights

  • You will learn from experienced and personalised tutors who are subject specialists in their field
  • You will be in close contact with your tutors, allowing continual mentoring and mutual knowledge exchange
  • The teaching placements enable you to experience and respond to the needs of children in multicultural, multilingual and multi-faith settings and schools in an international, urban environment
  • Many of our graduates gain their first teaching appointment at their placement school
  • Middlesex University provides links with wider educational providers to give you an experience of leading learning outside the classroom
  • As a student of this course you'll receive a free electronic textbook for every module.

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What will you study on PGCE Science with Biology (QTS)?

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 chemistry and physics students. There will also be breakout sessions where you will be working in your specialist subject.

  • Modules

    • Secondary Professional Development 1 (30 Credits) - Compulsory

      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.

    • Secondary Professional Development 2 (30 Credits) – Compulsory

      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.

    • Professional Knowledge and Pedagogy (30 Credits) - Compulsory

      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.

    • Science with Biology Education (30 Credits) - Compulsory

      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.

You can find more information about this course in the programme specification. Module and programme information is indicative and may be subject to change.

How is the PGCE Science with Biology (QTS) taught?

You will train for at least 120 days in two different schools, where you will be teaching for approximately 60% of the timetable. The rest of the programme (60 days) is university-based, where you will attend lectures, seminars and practical workshops.

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:

  • Professional Knowledge and Pedagogy is assessed through coursework by undertaking a small-scale, school-based research assignment
  • Science with Biology Education is assessed through coursework, by undertaking a Monitoring and Assessment assignment
  1. UK & EU
  2. International
  3. How to apply
  1. UK & EU
  2. International
  3. Additional costs

How can the PGCE Science with Biology (QTS) support your career?

We are proud to have strong and committed partnerships with hundreds of schools located in London and the surrounding area. This means that during your studies you will take part in work placements at a variety of schools, where you will have an opportunity to apply the skills you have learnt. Many students go on to commence their careers at the school where they completed a placement during the course, with more than 95% of students finding employment soon after graduation.

Recent research into teachers' daily experiences by the Department for Education has found that teaching is better at giving you a 'natural high' than many other professions. The starting salary of an newly qualified teacher is at least £23,720 a year (£29,664 if working in inner London) and, on average, teachers' salaries increase by 30% after the first four years of their career.

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 (earning a salary of between £52,771 and £118,490.

For more information on salary and career progression, visit the Department for Education's website.

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