The University of Brighton
is one of the UK's largest teacher training universities, rated ‘outstanding’ in our last Ofsted inspection.
This course leads to the award of Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) for the 11–16 age range, which enables you to be employed as a qualified teacher in secondary schools in England and Wales. The course also offers enrichment opportunities to teach the 16–18 age phase.
The programme would be suitable if you have graduated with a good honours degree or equivalent, in a subject directly relevant to the biology specialism.
Studying with us, you will have access to excellent resources and gain practical experience in two of around 250 schools with whom we have partnerships. You will be mentored by a successful teaching team with an outstanding national reputation and comprehensive research profile that informs course content.
Specialising in biology at PGCE level means that you will be able to take a role in the leadership and development of this subject area throughout your career. If your degree isn’t in the subject area you wish to teach or you have relevant professional experience but need to learn how to apply that to teaching we offer Subject Knowledge Enhancement courses. Find out more: https://www.brighton.ac.uk/courses/study/subject-knowledge-enhancement-for-teacher-training.aspx
Students on this course can choose to progress to one of our Education MAs after completing the PGCE.
Two-thirds of your year will be spent teaching, under supervision, in schools. Our tutors and mentors will advise and support you throughout each placement. You will receive comprehensive feedback during this time, enabling you to see what you are doing well and where you might need to improve.
The university works in partnership with schools and colleges to provide a high quality programme of support, ensuring a sound relationship between theory and practice. There are two placements in two schools or colleges with the opportunity to visit further schools or colleges as part of the 'Peer Observation' programme.
The School of Education is excellently equipped with multimedia training materials, giving you the opportunity to develop your confidence and competence in the use of ICT. Our multimedia suites are regularly updated to keep up with technological advancements in classroom teaching provision.
Areas of study
There are four strands to this course: subject study/subject education, education studies, school placements and professional development.
Course content is kept up to date with changes in local and national initiatives and legislation, so you will be confident that your working knowledge is based on current theory and practice.
The subject study/subject education strand builds upon your existing expertise in biology and provides you with the opportunity to develop skills, knowledge and understanding of biology in the secondary school context. You will consider the learning and teaching strategies that are relevant to the specialist subject.
The subject education module is specifically related to teaching the specialist subject in school while the subject study module enables you to take your subject specialist studies to an increased depth. You can earn 20 masters-level credits through the assessment for the subject study module.
The education studies strand gives you a thorough understanding of the learning process itself, including an appreciation of individual differences. The study of the principles and practices of learning and teaching is through both school and the university settings, allowing you to develop your practical competency, supported by analytical skills. By the end of the course you will:
• refine your understanding of pedagogy, including an appreciation of current and emerging educational theories and debate
• understand how to use and adapt a range of teaching, learning, management and assessment strategies in order to meet the varying needs of learners
• understand how the progress and well-being of learners is affected by a range of influences and know how to take account of the principles of equality, inclusion and diversity.
Professional development - intrinsically linked to all key strands of the programme and is designed to enable you to evaluate critically and reflect upon your learning in order to make improvements. You will be expected to gather and justify evidence of your achievements on a regular basis and develop and implement improvement plans.
Students use an e-portfolio to record their achievements. it is reviewed throughout the course. An action plan is used to support professional development during placements and makes up a significant part of the improvement planning process.
At the end of the course, the e-portfolio provides evidence that you have met the Teachers’ Standards for the award of Qualified Teacher Status.
Ofsted identify our approach to training in schools as a key strength of this course, with an excellent balance between university tuition and school-based training.
You will spend a minimum of 120 days on school-based activities, with your training shared between the university and the partner school.
Your school-based training will include observing teachers, working with individual pupils and groups of pupils, team teaching and independent teaching. Your training will also entail completing specific subject tasks and developing your knowledge of school policy and effective practices.
You will maintain a professional training portfolio and be supported to review your work critically and analytically as well as to set appropriately challenging targets. We will also develop an action plan with you to identify strengths, development needs and actions, so that your practice is continually developing.
Please visit the website for further details regarding the placements: https://www.brighton.ac.uk/courses/study/secondary-biology-pgce.aspx
School Direct is an alternative route to Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) and the University of Brighton
is working with a number of schools to deliver this programme across a range of secondary subjects as well as in the primary phase.
To train as a teacher through the School Direct programme you need to apply directly to a school for a School Direct training place, with schools advertising their vacancies on the UCAS Teacher Training website. The University of Brighton
supports School Direct through providing training and assessment opportunities at the request of participating schools.
Please follow the link below to find out more about School Direct and view vacancies: https://www.brighton.ac.uk/courses/study/School-Direct-Tuition-and-School-Direct-Salaried.aspx
Careers and employability
You will graduate from this course equipped with the skills and knowledge to become a confident and competent secondary school teacher.
As well as gaining a PGCE, you will be assessed against the national Teachers’ Standards in order to be recommended for the award of Qualified Teacher Status.
Science subjects are nationally recognised as secondary shortage or other priority subjects, meaning teachers qualifying in these subjects are particularly employable.
If you demonstrate a high level of understanding you may be eligible for masters-level credits.
If you are considering whether a career in teaching is for you, and you are a UK resident, the Department for Education’s School Experience Programme (SEP) offers 1 to 10 days’ classroom experience in a secondary school. For details,visit http://www.education.gov.uk/get-into-teaching/school-experience.aspx
The teachers we train are:
• highly committed to their pupils’ learning and ambitious in what they want to help them achieve
• inquisitive, critically reflective and motivated to keep learning and improving their own practice
• quick to adapt to different learning contexts and confident to challenge inequalities
• an asset to the profession, willing to share their knowledge and experience and to collaborate with others
• well-prepared for the realities of teaching, with the confidence, resilience and skills to be innovative, to take risks and be creative.