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  • Study Type

    Full time available

  • Subject Areas


  • Start Date


  • Course Duration

    Full-time: 37 weeks

  • Course Type


  • Course Fees

    Please see website

  • Last Updated

    12 October 2017

Course content

The PGCE Biology provides a clear, thoughtful and critical introduction to teaching Biology, drawing on leading education research carried out at King’s. We work in close partnership with schools in designing, delivering and assessing our course in order to develop excellent, reflective classroom practitioners.

Key benefits

  • Our Biology course, judged Outstanding by Ofsted, is taught by one of the strongest teams of science education tutors in the country.
  • One reason that our PGCE was judged Outstanding is the strong research base which informs the course. In the last research assessment exercise, the department was rated as one of the top three in the UK.
  • We work in partnership with a wide range of schools in London and beyond, providing a unique opportunity to learn how to teach a diverse range of students.


During the year you will spend over 50 days at King’s and 120 days in schools. You will work with other trainees and tutors in your subject area to consider the principles and practice of teaching your subject including curriculum design, the development of materials, classroom management and lesson planning. You will also work with trainees from other subjects in a programme of lectures and seminar groups to examine a broad range of education issues. During both secondary school placements there are occasional days in college for tutorials to support and monitor progress towards the standards for Qualified Teacher Status (QTS). There are crosscurricular research tasks and assignments.

There are two blocks of school experience, one starting in the autumn and the other in the spring. You will spend time observing other teachers and their classes before beginning to teach yourself. You will teach more during the second school experience than you will in the first one. During the year you will also complete a short placement in a primary school so that you can see what pupils experience before they arrive in secondary schools.

The course includes residential fieldwork based at the Field Studies Council centre in Surrey. There are many other opportunities for you to develop your abilities to teach beyond the classroom, in the school grounds and beyond.

Course purpose

The aim of our course is to make you an effective teacher of science and to help you develop high professional standards. Our course is designed to prepare science teachers to work in secondary schools as part of a team that teaches science up to Year 11 and biology to Years 12 and 13 (post-16).

Course format and assessment


You can typically expect:

  • The equivalent of over 50 days of academic sessions at King’s (typically three hours in the morning and/or afternoon spread throughout the academic year)
  • Approximately 120 days of teaching placement.* This includes a short period of placement in primary schools (typically four days)
  • Five to seven tutorials across the year
  • Two visits from a tutor whilst on placement to observe lessons and monitor progress
  • Regular** meetings with a mentor, who will be a member of staff at your placement school, whilst on placement
  • Written feedback on all credit-bearing assignments within four weeks of the deadline.

* This 120 day figure represents the standard number of placement days. In certain cases, following assessment by course tutors and mentors, students may be required to undertake a greater number of placement days to demonstrate their ability to meet the Teacher Standards.

** Typically each trainee will have a meeting with their mentor during each week they are on placement. In certain circumstances the frequency may vary. The types of learning commitment encompassed within the course vary depending on modules. For this course one credit represents the equivalent of 10 hours of learning and engagement


  • The 45-credit honours-level module will be assessed by a combination of a written portfolio (equivalent to 8,000 words) and assessment of your teaching practice against the Teaching Standards as set out by the government’s Department for Education. Progress in meeting the teaching standards will be monitored through three progress reports that will be completed by staff at the placement school.
  • The 30-credit master’s-level modules will each be assessed by a 6,000 word written assignment heavily based on in-school research that trainees undertake.
  • The 15-credit honours-level module will be assessed by an assignment focusing on data collection methods in the school environment.


Students undertake placements in secondary schools that work in partnership with King’s College London. Partnership schools are located across central London and the Greater London area. Whilst every effort is made to place PGCE trainees in local schools, due to the changing nature of initial teacher education and limited availability of placements in certain subject areas, trainees should be prepared to travel to their placement schools throughout the Greater London area and beyond.

Students also organise their own short placement at a state primary school. Further information on this short placement is provided in the offer holder pack and during the course. 

Career prospects

The majority of trainees go into teaching or other areas of education; many become heads of departments or members of senior management teams; some take up careers in educational administration in the advisory or inspection services.

Visit the Postgraduate Certificate in Education (Biology) - PGCE page on the King’s College London website for more details!






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Recipient: King’s College London

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