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Course content

Bursaries are available for graduates with at least a 2:1 degree who train to become biology teachers.

Course overview

This Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) course prepares you for Qualified Teacher Status (QTS), which is an essential qualification for teaching in state-maintained schools. It will open up a satisfying and rewarding career with excellent job security.
The course has two strands. The first strand is based at the University and provides a solid grounding in theory and practical issues. The second strand is based in partner schools where you will undertake practical teaching experience.

This programme is also offered as part of our School Direct route.

Biology teachers are in high demand, and the Government is offering bursaries to encourage graduates to train as Biology teachers in 2016-17.

In addition to Government bursaries, students on this course are also eligible for many of the University of Sunderland scholarships. Full details of the Sunderland scholarships available to you can be found on the Entry requirements tab of this course.

The University of Sunderland has a heritage of teacher training which dates back to 1908 so you can be confident that our courses are excellent preparation for a teaching career in which you can inspire young people to realise their potential.

If you require additional support with your subject knowledge, for example if you have not completed a Biology degree, then we offer Subject Knowledge Enhancement courses.

What to Expect From The Programme
PGCE trainees work with a committed team of highly experienced and nationally recognised University tutors along with mentors in schools and colleges in the North East and surrounding areas.

As a trainee teacher, you'll spend two-thirds of the PGCE course in schools and/or colleges and one-third of your time in University-based study. The close working relationship between the University and our partner establishments ensures the highest quality of training is maintained at all times.

Partnerships With Schools and Colleges
Close contact is maintained with partnership establishments at every stage of the programme.
Placements are offered at a range of schools involved in the education of 11-19-year-old and include:
-Both 11-18 and 11-16 Comprehensives
-Sixth Form Colleges
-City Academies
-Both 11-18 and 11-16 Independent Schools
-Specialist Schools (e.g. Technology Colleges, Arts Colleges)
-Further Education Colleges

Course content

This course blends academic studies at the University with hands-on experience at our partner schools.

PGCE Course content
September – January
-Full-time teaching practice placement (school or college)
-Master's Module 1: Development of Learning: A Case Study – you will identify an educational intervention and explore its use, impact and influence upon the learning of one or more pupils
-Subject Studies related module

January – June
-Full-time teaching practice placement (school or college)
-Master's Module 2: Negotiated Individual Study in Education – you will undertake a piece of action research into an educational issue
-Subject Studies related module

Teaching and assessment

We use a variety of teaching and learning methods which include lectures, seminars, tutorials, project work and group work as well as placements and work-based learning. Assessment methods include written work, evidence profiles and assessment of your teaching practice.

Facilities & location

The University of Sunderland has excellent facilities on-campus and strong links with schools and colleges in our secondary partnership.

Course location
The course is based at the Forster Building on City Campus, just a few minutes from the main Murray Library and close to Sunderland city centre. It’s a very vibrant and supportive environment with excellent resources for teaching and learning.

Secondary partnership
The University of Sunderland forms part of a secondary partnership that includes more than 200 schools and colleges. This means that there are wide opportunities for placements during the professional year.

University Library Services
We’ve got thousands of books and e-books on education topics, with many more titles available through the inter-library loan service. We also subscribe to a comprehensive range of print and electronic journals. Resources include the EBSCO Professional Development Collection, which is a specialised collection of over 500 education journals.

Employment & careers

Everyone who wants to teach in a state-maintained school in England and Wales needs Qualified Teacher Status (QTS). This course leads to QTS and, on successful completion, you will become a Newly Qualified Teacher (NQT).
According to recent research, twice as many teachers find their work extremely enjoyable when compared to professionals with careers in marketing, IT and accountancy. Almost half say they regularly experience a ‘natural high’ at work.
The starting salary of an NQT is over £22,000 – or over £27,000 in inner London. Teachers see their salaries rise by an average of 30 per cent after their first four years in the job.

Visit the Science with Biology Secondary Education - PGCE page on the University of Sunderland website for more details!

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