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Course content

Bring your graduate expertise, skills and enthusiasm to the imaginative and practical teaching of biology to children of all abilities from 11 to 18. Our one year programme aims to prepare you to teach in a way that makes use of the latest developments and technology. You’ll be introduced to a range of modern scientific software and use and develop resources for interactive white boards. The placement experience will sharpen your skills and fully prepare you for your future teaching career.

Key features

  • Build your confidence and gain practical teaching experience, with two main placements in local secondary schools and shorter visits to primary schools.
  • Access a range of bursary and funding options to help ensure you’re able to focus on your studies and placements.
  • Benefit from support throughout your training from both your faculty tutor and school mentors.
  • Stand out as a subject specialist with the knowledge, personal qualities and standards of professional competence necessary to stimulate the imagination of children and to maintain and improve standards in schools.
  • Learn about the latest curriculum developments, issues and innovations.
  • You'll be supported to teach all three sciences to GCSE, with a particular focus on your specialism.
  • Deepen your understanding of teaching, and learn about the opportunities for continued professional development and the relationship between educators and society.
  • Make use of the latest technologies and developments in teaching and gain experience in developing multimedia resources for your subject.
  • Hone your CV, interview and job application skills and attend events that will introduce you to potential employers.
  • Leave with the skills, knowledge and experience needed to begin your career teaching biology to children of all abilities from 11-18.
  • Take advantage of free teacher training support from the Department for Education’s Premier Plus programme.
  • Our PGCE secondary programme is now part of the School Direct initiative, and we offer a wide range of subjects through this route.

Course details

Programme overview

You’ll take six core modules: induction and professional issues, teaching and learning biology, developing subject pedagogy, professional studies and practical teaching (two parts). You’ll maintain professional development and subject knowledge profiles, enabling you to chart your development in meeting the professional standards required by the Department of Education. You’ll learn to draw on your experience of teaching as well as provide evidence of reading and reflection. We’ll support you with a range of graduated practical experiences which will allow you to develop the confidence to take responsibility in the classroom. This tapered introduction to learning is a well established and successful feature of our teacher training. As a trainee teacher you’ll spend two thirds of your PGCE year in local schools with two main secondary school placements as well as shorter visits to primary schools. You’ll be supervised jointly by a school mentor and a faculty tutor.

Core modules

  • EPGS413 Practical Teaching 1
  • EPGS615 Introduction to Professional Teaching and Learning
  • EPGS618 Practical Teaching 2
  • EPGS710 Developing Subject Pedagogy
  • EPGS719 Professional Studies

Optional modules

  • EPGS610 Developing Subject Pedagogy
  • EPGS619 Professional Studies

Every postgraduate taught course has a detailed programme specification document describing the programme aims, the programme structure, the teaching and learning methods, the learning outcomes and the rules of assessment.

The following programme specification represents the latest programme structure and may be subject to change:

PGCE Secondary Science with Biology 3904

The modules shown for this course or programme are those being studied by current students, or expected new modules. Modules are subject to change depending on year of entry.


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

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