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School Direct (Salaried): Biology QTS/Teacher Training

Course Description

The School Direct Programme (Salaried) is a new route into teaching at both primary and secondary levels. Participating schools, or clusters of schools that join together, are allocated a set number of student-teacher places which can be applied for. Students will earn a salary while they train.

Degree information

Students will be part of a school team from the start and will receive intensive support from experienced teachers in the classroom. Opportunities will exist to build networks with fellow trainees. This route leads to the award of QTS (Qualified Teacher Status).

There are two compulsory school placements. Students are expected to complete the associated tasks, and to build a portfolio of evidence during the academic year to demonstrate they have met national teaching standards.

Students do not undertake academic credits on this programme. However, all components will need to be assessed to gain QTS.

Where student teachers opt to gain the additional PGCE pathway, and less than 60 credits are achieved at level 7, but are successfully passed at level 6, a Professional Graduate Certificate of Education (PgCE) will be awarded.

Trainees may apply for an additional PGCE pathway during the programme (tuition fees apply). Students who gain 60 credits at level 7 (Master’s level) receive a PGCE; where 60 credits are passed at level 6 (undergraduate level) a Professional Graduate Certificate of Education (PgCE) is awarded.

Core modules
-Subject Studies (30 Master's-level credits)
-Wider Educational Studies (30 Master's-level credits)
-Professional Practice

As part of the programme students will spend time in placement at a school or college, during which time their teaching practice will be supported by a school subject tutor and mentor. For this programme students will spend the majority of the programme in school, employed as an unqualified teacher.

Teaching and learning
The programme is delivered via a series of lectures and workshop at the UCL Institute of Education for 15 days (10 days' Professional Studies and five days subject-specific training) spread over the autumn and spring terms. The placement schools are responsible for providing an additional 45 days of training activities, alongside the practical teaching experience. Students are assessed on their practical teaching and their progress in achieving the standards for Qualified Teacher Status by gathering evidence in the form of a portfolio.


Graduates of UCL Institute of Education's Biology teacher training programmes are currently working across a broad range of areas. Some are working as school leaders, while others have jobs as biology teachers, science teachers and heads of department (both in UK and abroad). Graduates in this area can also be found working as lecturers in science education centres.

Most of the student teachers trained through this route are employed by the training school or within the cluster after completing programme. The nature of this route to Qualified Teacher Status is for schools to train student teachers who are committed to the values and ethos of the school or academy and wish to develop their teaching career within the school or cluster which invested in their training.

Why study this degree at UCL?

The UCL Institute of Education (IOE) has been providing first-class teaching training, in partnership with schools and colleges for over 100 years and all of their initial teacher training programmes have been rated as outstanding. Founded in 1902, as a teacher training college in London, the IOE is a world-class research and teaching institute. IOE graduates are highly sought after in schools and colleges throughout London and the UK. The central location in historic Bloomsbury means that you are in the heart of London.

There are over 40 schools and colleges in the Greater London area and beyond participating in the School Direct (Salaried) programme.

Each of these offer student-teacher places in at least one PGCE subject area and many of them have places across a broad range of subjects.

The training students receive from one of the participating schools offering their chosen Biology specialism, will enable them to become a skilled and confident teacher.

Visit the School Direct (Salaried): Biology QTS/Teacher Training page on the University College London website for more details!

Entry Requirements

Lower second-class UK Bachelor’s degree or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard in Biology or a Biology-related subject. Prospective students must complete a minimum of five days of school experience before they can be enrolled on the Secondary PGCE. Applicants must ensure that their school experience is relevant in helping them to prepare for the Secondary PGCE, during which Student Teachers are placed in a wide range of schools across London and the South East. If you are made an offer you will be required to successfully complete Occupational Health and Disclosure Barring Service (DBS) Enhanced Disclosure checks.

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