About the course
Our Primary and Secondary PGCEs are "Outstanding" (Ofsted, 2015).
All our Education courses have been developed in collaboration with Partnership schools and the National College for Teaching and Leadership (NCTL). This ensures not only the highest possible quality of provision, but also relevance in reflecting national and school-level priorities in Education.
The Brunel Science Postgraduate Certificate (PGCE) is a M-level course with 60 credits that can contribute to further Master's level study in Education, subject to approval.
The course will equip you with the knowledge, understanding and skills necessary to teach science and the ability to:
Demonstrate an understanding of the vital role of the teacher and the school in ensuring excellence in the educational experiences of young people
Undertake professional practice which enables you to evidence the Teachers’ Standards which facilitate the award of Qualified Teacher Status
Understand the relationships between Education and science within current national and government frameworks, and critically reflect on the impact of these in the work of schools and the educational experiences of young people
Recognise the contribution that science as part of the whole school curriculum makes to the development of the individual learner and groups of learners
Think critically about what it means to be scientifically educated and how this informs curriculum planning and design within the subject area
Apply a thorough knowledge and understanding of science (Physics) National Curriculum to the planning of curriculum experiences for pupils in school
Demonstrate competence and confidence in your ability to teach across the contexts for pupil learning in the mathematics National Curriculum range and content, applying principles of continuity and progression
Use subject knowledge and relevant course specifications to plan and deliver the 14-16 curriculum including examination and vocational courses
Demonstrate an understanding of the subject knowledge and specification requirements for the 16-19 curriculum
Utilise a range of teaching strategies to meet the identified learning needs of a wide range of pupils
Utilise a range of resources, including information and communication technology, to enhance pupil learning in physics
Understand the importance of safe practice and safeguarding and apply these in working with young people both within and beyond lessons
Use a wide range of class management strategies to maximise pupil learning
Understand the principles of inclusion and apply these to ensure equality of opportunity for all pupils in the subject area
Understand national frameworks for assessment within the subject area and use these to support the recording and analysis of data, and the subsequent use of this to plan the next phase of learning
Raise the status of the subject area by demonstrating high standards of professionalism at all times
Understand the crucial role of professional learning for the teacher, the pupils and schools.
The PGCE is an intensive programme, which combines an exploration of principles and methods of teaching and learning with practical school-based teaching placements. It lasts for 36 weeks from early September to late June.
The Secondary programme prepares you to work with pupils aged 11-16. At the heart of our programmes is a vision that our student teachers’ teaching will impact positively on pupil progress over time in schools and that our Partnership activities with schools will contribute to school improvement. We aspire for all our students to be outstanding teachers.
The PGCE Secondary courses are structured around three modules, which share a generic General Professional Education (GPE) component. The GPE programme involves an enquiry based learning approach, which combines taught sessions with independent professional learning activities (PLAs). These PLAs require independent research, which is either school-related or school-based. The three PGCE modules are:
1. Education Studies I
This module covers the following GPE themes:
Professionalism, values and reflective practice;
Safeguarding, child protection and e-safety;
Understanding curriculum and the National Curriculum;
Supporting learners, learning and effective behaviour management;
Inclusive education, with a specific focus on supporting pupils with SEND and SEBD;
Effective planning and teaching to promote pupil progress;
Assessment and its role in promoting effective learning.
You will also focus on teaching and learning issues of particular concern to your phase or subject specialism.
2. Education Studies II
This module covers the following GPE themes:
Applying for your first post;
Understanding data analysis to support effective teaching and learning;
Behaviour for learning and the wider professional responsibilities of the subject teacher;
Inclusive education, with a specific focus on supporting pupils with English as an Additional Language, pupils receiving the Pupil Premium and able pupils;
Safeguarding with a focus on the Prevent and Channel national strategy and bullying and homophobic bullying.
You will also continue to focus on teaching and learning issues of particular concern to your phase or subject specialism.
3. Education Studies III
This module focuses specifically on supporting student teachers to make an effective transition into their first post and examines the following themes in GPE:
Preparing for induction and the professional learning action plan for your first post;
Pathways into leadership in education;
Learning outside the classroom;
Contributing to the wider aspects of the formal and informal curriculum and your wider professional role as a teacher.
Subject Specific Course Content
As a qualified science teacher you may be required to teach National Curriculum general science to Key Stage 4, as well as your particular specialism to ‘A’ level and beyond. To this end, the course aims to facilitate your transformation into a well-educated, well-trained, confident and motivated science educator.
Along with English and mathematics, science is one of the three core subjects of the National Curriculum and since all pupils have to study a broad, balanced curriculum in science there is a demand for well-qualified and skilled science teachers. Most pupils entering secondary school are excited at the prospect of work, for the first time in a fully equipped laboratory, and secondary school science teachers have to build upon and sustain this interest for the subject.
To meet this challenge we need capable, skilled and enthusiastic teachers who are able to motivate young people and lead them to discover the wonders of science.
School-based professional learning is a compulsory element of all programmes leading to a recommendation for QTS. The course involves the statutory requirement of at least 120 days of school experience in the form of block school placements undertaken in at least two different contexts.
Our current partnership schools are mainly located in the West London area and adjoining Home Counties. We have developed close links with a number of very good schools over a number of years, and offer placements within carefully chosen schools that provide an appropriate professional learning experience. The ethnic and cultural diversity of the schools we work with is a distinctive aspect of our provision and we are equally proud of the diversity of our student teacher cohort, who reflect the communities in which many of them go on to work as teachers.
We also offer student teachers the opportunity to experience placements in alternative settings, which include special schools, Pupil Referral Units (PRUs), young offenders institutions. This further demonstrates our commitment to preparing teachers to work with young people in a diverse range of educational contexts.
You will be allocated a school-based mentor, selected for their experience and expertise, who is there to help you develop and learn while you are on placement. The importance of this person should not be underestimated. Teaching is a very challenging profession and with the help of your school-based mentor and your University tutor we aim to make sure that you have support every step of the way, encouraging reflection and development.
Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS), Childcare Disqualification and Prohibition Orders
As an accredited provider of Initial Teacher Education we have to have regard to the Department for Education’s statutory guidance Keeping Children Safe in Education, when carrying out their duties to safeguard and promote the welfare of children. We ensure that all student teachers have been subject to Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) criminal records checks, including a check of the children’s barred list. The Department for Education has published statutory guidance on the application to schools of the Childcare (Disqualification) Regulations 2009 and related obligations under the Childcare Act 2006.
We undertake our responsibility to ensure that the student teachers are not, therefore, disqualified from childcare or that the student teacher has obtained a childcare disqualification waiver from Ofsted. We also check that candidates are not subject to a prohibition order for teaching issued by the Secretary of State.
We adopt an enquiry-based learning approach in our PGCE Secondary courses where students are encouraged to research and investigate a range of broad and subject specific educational themes and issues and bring their findings back for discussion in interactive lectures, workshops and seminars. These themes and issues address national, regional and partnership priorities as well as specific areas for investigation with the subject area.
Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE)
The PGCE Secondary programme carries 60 Master’s Level credits and requires you to successfully complete three formally assessed pieces of academic work during the year.
All of these assessments also require an accompanying portfolio of evidence.
The Master’s Level credits provide an excellent foundation for future academic and professional study.
Qualified Teacher Status (QTS)
Alongside the PGCE academic award for your programme, you will also be assessed for the recommendation of QTS. In order to be recommended for QTS you are required to demonstrate that you have met the Teachers’ Standards (DfE, 2013) in both the University and in school and alternative education settings. All aspects of the programme are designed around you being able to demonstrate that you are meeting the Teachers’ Standards.
Part 1 of the Teachers’ Standards require you to:
Set high expectations which inspire, motivate and challenge pupils
Promote good progress and outcomes by pupils
Demonstrate good subject and curriculum knowledge
Plan and teach well structured lessons
Adapt teaching to respond to the strengths and needs of all pupils
Make accurate and productive use of assessment
Manage behaviour effectively to ensure a good and safe learning environment
Fulfil wider professional responsibilities
(Teachers’ Standards, DfE, 2013)
Part 2 of the Teachers’ Standards require students to demonstrate the highest standards of personal and professional conduct.
As the PGCE is a professional course, 100% attendance is an expectation.
Recommendation for Qualified Teacher Status will be made by the Secondary PGCE Examination Board for all those who successfully demonstrate the Teachers’ Standards as shown in the requirements for University and school-based work.
As a leading centre of education and with roots in teacher education dating back to 1798, we are able to provide first class teacher education that is internationally recognised.
A Brunel PGCE is a recognised symbol of quality teacher education which accounts for our high employment rates.
At the heart of our programmes is a vision that our student teachers’ teaching will impact positively on pupil progress over time in schools and that our partnership activities with schools will contribute to school improvement. We aspire for all our students to be outstanding teachers.
You will benefit from an established partnership between Brunel and a variety of educational institutions and local schools. Brunel education degrees offer multicultural placement learning opportunities. For example, our location in West London and our diverse and well-established schools network means you will gain highly-valued placement learning experiences in vibrant multicultural schools.
Beyond ITE, for early career teachers we offer the Masters in Teaching (MAT), where students can utilise their 60 PGCE Masters level credits to continue their postgraduate studies part-time, whilst also meeting the requirements outlined for Newly Qualified Teachers (NQTs) and early career development. Where schools have qualified for Enhanced Partnership status with Brunel University London, NQTs in those schools have access to the first year MAT module for free, illustrating our commitment to supporting NQTs into and through their first year of teaching. We also offer a Masters in Education (MAEd), a Doctorate in Education (EdDoc) and PhD postgraduate routes through the Department of Education. This continuum of provision ensures a commitment to teacher education and professional learning at all stages and the growing community of professional practice strengthens our Partnership.
Staff are nationally and internationally recognised for their research, and liaise with government and other agencies on education policy issues. The Department of Education is host to a number of research centres, including the Brunel Able Children’s Centre. The process of learning is informed by cutting-edge research by staff in the strands of: Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) and Pedagogy and Professional Practice (PPP).
You can take advantage of free access to our excellent University Academic Skills service, ASK.
We have an award winning Professional Development Centre.
Our library has been nominated for national awards for its outstanding provision.
We have on-site volunteering opportunities through our Brunel Volunteers provision.
Our Disability and Dyslexia Service team have an excellent track record of support for students.
Our Union of Brunel Students provides you with a range of additional support and a broad range of extra-curricular opportunities and social events.
There is excellent University-wide access to PCs and the Internet, as well as free loan of media equipment and music/recording studios, and web space on the University server.