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Are you passionate about inspiring young people to learn about the human body to the natural world? Then our PGCE Secondary Biology is the course for you. With so many important careers in healthcare and science dependent on people with skills and knowledge in this area, your ability to get your students excited about Biology is vital.

What's covered in the course?

Our aim is to help you become a committed, confident and creative teacher so we’ll train you in the essential tools you need to kick-start your career in education. As you progress, you’ll increase your ability to handle the ever-evolving teaching environment, and by the time your course is complete, you’ll be in a position to continue developing your understanding, knowledge and skills throughout your professional life.

After interview you may be advised you need to take a funded Subject Knowledge Enhancement (SKE) course, which we offer over 16 weeks, before you start your PGCE.

Assignments and school-centred activities are structured around the development of your School Experience Progress Journal (SEPJ) which demonstrates your progress against the nationally agreed competences (the Teachers’ Standards), which all teachers must meet throughout their career. A system of continuous review and assessment of progress in the SEPJ will support your growing ability to take responsibility for your own development. 

Why Choose Us?

  • At least 120 days across a minimum of two placements, in line with the National College for Teaching and Learning (NCTL) requirements, supported by a subject mentor in your school and a personal development tutor at the University.
  • If you have a PhD, Master's or at least a 2:2 in your undergraduate degree in a relevant subject, you may be eligible for a bursary from the NCTL. For 2017 entry this bursary is £10,000 if you have 2:2, £12,000 if you have a 2:1 or Master’s and £15,000 if you have a First or a PhD.
  • We’re proud of our high employability rates, with 98 per cent of the School’s postgraduate students in employment or further study six months after completing their course (DLHE survey results 2014/15).
  • If you accept an offer from us you’ll be able to take part in our free Skills Test ‘bootcamps’ to make sure you’re ready to start your PGCE in September.
  • You'll gain Master's level credits gained as part of this course that you can then use towards a full Master's degree, such as our Master’s in Teaching and Learning or Educational Leadership.

Entry requirements

You will need to have a good degree (minimum 2:2 but 2:1 or 1st preferred) from a UK higher education institution or equivalent at least 50 per cent of which is in chemistry or a chemistry-related subject. You must have a GCSE grade C or above (or equivalent) in both English language and mathematics prior to application and if you are offered an interview you will take a written test to assess your standard of English.

For entry onto a teaching course you will also be required to pass the Skills Tests in Literacy and Numeracy.

Pre-Interview School Experience

For secondary teacher training there is an expectation that you will have had some general experience of working with secondary age students in a school setting. In preparation for the selection interview you are required to engage in a teaching episode, observed by an experienced qualified teacher.

As part of the selection procedure, the interview panel will expect you to demonstrate your knowledge of biology and will assess personal qualities such as the potential to relate well to secondary age students, enthusiasm, sensitivity, communication skills and robustness and resilience for teaching.

Applicants must also meet The National College for Teaching and Leadership requirements for initial teacher training, which means being medically fit and successfully completing an enhanced disclosure via the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS).

Assessment

Modules are assessed through a range of directed tasks and targeted assignments. Trainee teachers are also required to complete a profile of evidence towards the achievement of the Standards required by the National College for Teaching and Leadership for the award of Qualified Teacher Status (QTS). Evidence for the Standards is verified by mentors.

How do I apply?

All applications need to be made via the UCAS Teacher Training website.

Course code: 32XS


Visit the PGCE Secondary Science: Biology page on the Birmingham City University website for more details!

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