The Department of Education will not be recruiting to the MA in Science Education for the academic year 2018/19, as we are undertaking a review of our provision. The text below is for information only.
The Department of Education offers a one-year (12 month) taught full time MA in Science Education. This programme will be attractive to all those who have an interest in science education, whether as teachers, researchers or policy makers. Applications are welcomed from both home and international students.
Applicants are strongly advised to ensure that they submit applications no later than 1st September if they wish to begin a course of study beginning in the same year. No guarantee can be offered that applications received after this date will be processed for a September start date.
The Department also welcomes applications from people interested in studying for a PhD in science education in its areas of expertise (see below).
The University of York Science Education Group (UYSEG) has an outstanding international reputation for the excellence of its work in research and curriculum development in science education. Our school science programmes such as Science: the Salters Approach, Salters Advanced Chemistry, Salters Horners Advanced Physics and, most recently, Salters Nuffield Advanced Biology and 21st Century Science are widely used in this country, and have received international acclaim. Science: the Salters Approach and Salters Advanced Chemistry have been adapted for use in many other countries, including Belgium, Hong Kong, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Russia, South Africa, Spain, Swaziland and the USA. If you come to York, you will have the opportunity to work with one of the leading groups in science education.
As members of the University of York Science Education Group, the science education staff in the Department of Education have made a significant contribution to the high profile of science education at York. Science specialist staff currently in the Department include Professor Robin Millar, Professor Judith Bennett, Martin Braund and Fred Lubben. All hold major grants for research and development in science education.
Areas of expertise include assessment, attitudes to science, the use of context-based approaches to the teaching of science, curriculum development (including international collaboration on projects), evaluation of curriculum interventions, gender issues in science education, practical work in science, scientific literacy, systematic reviews of research literature, and the transition from primary to secondary school. Current international work includes involvement in the PISA (Programme for International Student Assessment) project and a number of initiatives in Southern Africa.
The reputation of the University of York Science Education Group was a major contributory factor in York being chosen as the home of the new National Science Learning Centre, which opened in September 2005 and offers a programme of professional development courses for science teachers.
The programme offers specialist tuition within an established framework for MA provision in the Department. The aims of the programme are:
-To enhance knowledge and understanding in science education
-To develop educational research capabilities and skills in the fields of education and science education
-To contribute, where appropriate, to professional development by enhancing capacity to investigate aspects of one or more of educational theory, policy and practice
-Science, Education and Society (20 credits)
-Research methods in education (20 credits)
One option module from a list of about 10 (20 credits). Options are likely to include:
-Cross-linguistic influences in second language acquisition
-Education and social justice
-Evaluating ESOL classroom practice
-Intercultural communication in education
-Learning and teaching second/foreign language reading
-Motivation in education
-Teaching and assessing speaking skills
-Teaching and assessing writing skills
-Teaching and learning in schools
-Teaching World English
-Topics in second language acquisition
-Recent research and innovation in science education (20 credits)
One option module from a list of about 10 (20 credits). Options are likely to include:
-Approaches to English teaching
-Contemporary issues in teaching
-Cross-cultural perspectives on language and discourse
-Learning and teaching grammar in a second language
-Pragmatics: language, meaning and communication
-Psychology of language and language learning
-Qualitative and quantitative data analysis
-Teaching and learning citizenship and global education
-Teaching English for academic purposes
-The practice of English language teaching
-Testing and assessment in English language teaching
Planning and Communicating Research (20 credits). Classes are spread over Terms 2 and 3.
The third term and the summer is also devoted to writing a dissertation (60 credits) based on a small-scale research study to be submitted by early September.
Students will also be able to attend the department series of research seminars for Masters students which includes talks by visiting speakers.
Students will complete:
-Four assessed coursework essay assignments (each 4,000 to 5,000 words in length)
-An exam in Research Methods in Education
-An assessed presentation + dissertation outline + ethics audit
-A dissertation of 12,000 words in length
Our graduates find employment in a wide range of sectors within education, but also in journalism, information management, human resources and other careers.
Our postgraduate courses can be used to complement teacher training/development programmes and voluntary or paid roles which focus on the more practical elements of teaching. However, other than our PGCE, our courses are not teacher training programmes in themselves.
The Science Education MA aims to reflect contemporary theory in all aspects of practice in science education: international, formal and informal. Participants study with an international group and tutors are leaders in their research fields.
The Science Education MA will increase understanding of the academic theory of science education. It enables students to critically evaluate research and development in the field, apply scientific ideas to the practice of science education in formal and informal contexts and give insights into contemporary developments in science education.
Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.
The programme comprises three core modules (90 credits), and either one optional module (30 credits) and a dissertation (60 credits), or two optional modules (60 credits) and a report (30 credits).
Students take either one or two recommended optional modules from a range.
All students undertake either a dissertation or a report in either science education or in integrated research.
Teaching and learning
The programme is taught face-to-face and online. The core module, Foundations of Science Education, is studied with eight sessions face-to-face and two involving online tasks. Some recommended modules can be studied face-to-face, online, or through a short intensive summer programme.
Further information on modules and degree structure is available on the department website: Science Education MA
For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website.
Graduates of this programme are currently working across a broad range of areas: teachers and lecturers in all phases of formal education, primary, secondary and tertiary; researchers; policymakers; the informal education sector such as museums, field study centres and science centres.
Recent career destinations for this degree
Careers data is taken from the ‘Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education’ survey undertaken by HESA looking at the destinations of UK and EU students in the 2013–2015 graduating cohorts six months after graduation.
The Department of Curriculum, Pedagogy and Assessment at UCL Institute of Education (IOE) is a world-leading centre for geography, business, mathematics, history, religious education, citizenship and science education.
The department provides an impressive range of cutting-edge programmes. In addition we offer a first-class PhD programme and staff are actively involved in an extensive range of innovative, nationally and internationally acclaimed research and development projects
The Science Education MA is one of the few science-specific education Master's degrees in the UK. It covers contemporary practice in all sectors of science education and offers opportunities to study throughout the programme with world leaders in their field.
In this programme, you will gain theoretical insights and practical skills in both formal and informal educational practices. Your science discipline will be put in a broader societal perspective, and you will develop your own views on how your discipline should be relevant to secondary education and to the public at large. The internships and the research project in science education and communication will support you to develop as a skillful practitioner as well as an innovator.
This two-year programme can be your gateway to careers, such as:
After a joint first semester, you will specialise in one of the programme tracks:
As a graduate of this programme, you will have:
We aim to model how you might engage pupils in the science classroom
Classrooms are complex and dynamic places. Becoming an effective teacher is more than just ‘transmitting knowledge’ or `telling pupils how to do it' or about numerical outcomes. Education encompasses a whole range of attributes and requires teachers to be at the cutting edge of their practice. Through dynamic and innovative teaching, we will support and encourage you on your journey to becoming an effective science teacher to inspire a new generation of world-changers.
Our secondary science PGCE programme is grounded in the view that the process of gaining qualified teacher status with a PGCE must essentially be an educational one. We encourage you to form your own opinions on education through first-hand experience and reflective thinking. We anticipate that you will develop qualities that will enable you to become teachers who will not only be outstanding classroom practitioners, but will also be in a position to participate in and influence the development of science education for the future.
The pedagogy within a science classroom is perhaps somewhat different to what you might see within an English or maths lesson. Our programme focuses on modelling the science classroom in workshops; we will raise lots of questions and encourage you to think critically about what you see and experience in our workshops. We will encourage you to reflect on “what works for you” and incorporate some of these ‘active’ teaching and learning strategies into your own practice. Once in school we hope you will try them out, evaluate and reflect on them to develop your own teacher identity.
As teachers you will help to shape future education policy and practice. We will set out to enable you to make informed decisions. To this end we will promote discussion and get you to question your thoughts on a range of issues central to science teaching; what is science, what is subject knowledge, what knowledge do we need to teach a scientific idea well, do theories link with our own personal viewpoints? These are questions to which there are no set answers. Through our sessions we aim to encourage students to search for their own order and understanding from within. Secure, reflective and questioning science teachers are those who are likely to become true educators of young people – teachers who encourage pupils to think, question and understand.
During the science subject studies sessions, we will focus on the ideas and principles underlying effective teaching. Two broad themes are identifiable through our subject sessions; learning and practical work. Each of these has a key place within the science classroom but what does rigorous learning and effective practical work look like? We will revisit these key areas throughout the programme both at University and in school; taking into account that lessons should be engaging and relevant to every pupils’ needs.
Our programme is an 11-18 programme (science teachers need to be able to teach at least two sciences up to and including GCSE level), so our subject sessions cover pedagogical subject knowledge in aspects of chemistry, biology and physics.
During the first term, you observe, participate in and take responsibility for lessons in one of our partnership schools. You will be allocated a school mentor who will be your “go to” person on a daily basis to facilitate your learning and progress within the classroom. Following an induction period, during which you find out about the school, its pupils and surrounding area, you will take increasing responsibility for the teaching and learning work of particular classes under the supervision of the regular class teacher. Your University tutor will monitor your progress using our virtual learning environment (learn.gold) and visit you during your first school placement.
A professional network of school and University based colleagues will support you throughout the entire programme at University and on your school placements.
We might sum up our programme as having its feet firmly rooted in school science, with its head in theory and with a strong body connecting the two, combined with the realisation that there are many places in which the figure can stand.
Institute of Physics Scholarships
The Institute of Physics (IOP) offers scholarships for students studying for a PGCE in physics. To be an IOP Scholar you will need to have outstanding knowledge of school-level physics and the potential to become an inspirational physics teacher. Each scholarship also includes a package of benefits including membership and early career mentoring.
Royal Society of Chemistry Scholarships
The Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) offers scholarships for students studying for a PGCE in chemistry. Applicants are expected to have an excellent understanding of chemistry at school level, a passion for chemistry and teaching as well as an excellent ability to explain complex chemistry ideas at school level. The scholarship package includes mentoring by a chemistry expert, meetings with other scholars, free online CPD and opportunities to represent the Royal Society of Chemistry at meetings and conferences on chemistry and chemistry education.
It is also possible to study this course via our School Direct programme. Please visit our School Direct page to see which schools offer this subject.
As well as your PGCE fees, you will have to cover your travel costs to your school placements.
It is possible to study for the PGCE in science on a part-time basis. You can find out more on the page for our part-time programme.
A range of teaching methods are employed across the PGCE programmes, including:
As with the other PGCE courses, you’ll be given the opportunity to work with children in a wide range of contexts. These might include focused interventions with individuals or groups, or larger scale events for the community.
This two-year master’s programme Computer Science offers stimulating, significant and innovative research at an internationally renowned institute and combines theoretical, experimental and applied approaches.
The two-year master’s programme in Computer Science offers six specialisations which combine excellent theoretical teaching with possibilities for applied work with industrial relevance. This is achieved by intensive collaboration with companies at the Leiden Centre of Data Science. Course themes include topics such as Evolutionary Algorithms, Neural Networks, Databases and Data Mining, Swarm-Based Computation, Bayesian Networks, Multimedia Systems, Embedded Systems and Software, Advanced Compilers and Architectures, Bio-Modeling and Petri Nets.
Read more about our Computer Science programme.
Find more reasons to choose Computer Science at Leiden University.
The programme is open for students with an internationally recognized bachelor’s degree in computer science or equivalent. You will be trained as an independent researcher, equipped with the necessary skills to advance your career as a computer scientist.
Read more about the entry requirements for Computer Science.
The Biology PGCE prepares students to develop the professional knowledge and skills they need to teach all aspects of science to pupils up to age 16, as well as teaching Biology to pupils aged 11-16. We are committed to creative and interactive approaches to teaching science to promote student learning.
Students on the Biology PGCE will acquire a critical understanding of current debates and issues relating to science education, and will be guided and supported in developing their subject knowledge. We expect students to engage with reading and research into science education and to regularly reflect upon their own progress, towards meeting the Teachers’ Standards across the 11–16 age range.
Students undertake two level 7 (Master’s-level) modules of 30 credits each, totaling 60 credits. These can be carried forward onto full Master’s programmes at the IOE.
The Secondary PGCE consists of three core modules: two Master’s-level (level 7) modules, which are assessed through written assignments, and the Professional Practice module, which is assessed by the observation of practical teaching in placement schools.
Completion of the Professional Practice module and the two level 7 (Master’s level) modules (60 credits) will result in the award of a Postgraduate Certificate of Education (PGCE). Completion of the Professional Practice module and one or two level 6 (undergraduate/Bachelor’s level) modules, will lead to the Professional Graduate Certificate of Education (PgCE).
Student teachers undertake at least two placements (totaling 120 days) at a school or college, during which time their teaching practice will be supported by a school subject tutor and mentor. The Professional Practice module is assessed through these placements, associated tasks and a portfolio.
Students may teach:
Key Stage 3: Science (including elements of Physics, Chemistry and Biology)
Key Stage 4: Science (all areas) and/or Biology (depending on school placement)
Key Stage 5: AS/A2 level Biology
Teaching and learning
The Biology PGCE is delivered via keynote lectures, seminars, workshops, tutorials and directed study days at the IOE, as well as time spent in placement schools or colleges. Assessment is by the observation of practical teaching, assignments and a portfolio (which links with continuing professional development in the induction year).
Further information on modules and programme structure is available on the department website: PGCE Biology
Bursaries are available for some subject programmes to students who meet the eligibility criteria. To find out what funding may be available to you, please visit the Department for Education funding page.
For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the UCL Scholarships and Funding website.
Graduates of this programme are currently working across a broad range of areas. Some are working as school leaders, while others have posts as biology teachers, science teachers and heads of department (both in UK and abroad). They can also be found working as lecturers in science education and in various informal educational roles.
Graduates of the Secondary PGCE programme are highly employable and sought after by schools and colleges in London and beyond. Almost all graduates secure their first teaching post by the time they finish the PGCE programme. Graduates of the programme also have great career prospects, with many becoming Head of Department or a Head of Year within 2-5 years, often acting, in their schools, as mentors to new PGCE student teachers. Many of our graduates become senior teachers (such as Assistant Headteachers or Head of a Faculty) in 5-8 years of graduating, and some are now Headteachers. Others have developed their careers as subject specialist teachers and educators, both becoming lead teachers in the classroom and researching, writing and advising other teachers themselves. The Secondary PGCE Programme is a springboard into a rewarding career, not just as a skilled teacher, but as an educational leader.
Students on the Biology PGCE work with a team of expert subject tutors who have all previously been classroom teachers and are actively involved with science education research, curriculum development and consultancy. During teaching practice, student teachers benefit from the support of subject specialist mentors within our network of over 200 schools throughout Greater London and beyond, ensuring each has the opportunity to become a skilled and confident teacher.
The Biology PGCE offers unique opportunities including teaching sessions at museums and Kew Gardens, and residential trips, developing students’ understanding of learning science outside the classroom.
Students who successfully complete this programme will be recommended for Qualified Teacher Status (QTS).