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PGCE (PGCert) Secondary Education (Science with Biology) with recommendation for QTS

Course Description

About the Course

This is a Postgraduate Certificate of Education (PGCE) course, also known as Postgraduate Certificate (PG Cert).

As a qualified science teacher you may be required to teach National Curriculum general science to Key Stage 4, as well as your particular specialism to ‘A’ level and beyond. To this end, the course aims to facilitate your transformation into a well-educated, well-trained, confident and motivated science educator.

Along with English and mathematics, science is one of the three core subjects of the National Curriculum and since all pupils have to study a broad, balanced curriculum in science there is a demand for well-qualified and skilled science teachers. Most pupils entering secondary school are excited at the prospect of work, for the first time in a fully equipped laboratory, and secondary school science teachers have to build upon and sustain this interest for the subject.

To meet this challenge we need capable, skilled and enthusiastic teachers who are able to motivate young people and lead them to discover the wonders of science.


The Brunel Science Postgraduate Certificate (PGCE) is an M level course with 60 credits that can contribute to further Master's level study in Education, subject to approval. The course will equip you with the knowledge, understanding and skills necessary to teach science such that you are able to:

-Demonstrate an understanding of the vital role of the teacher and the school in ensuring excellence in the educational experiences of young people;
-Undertake professional practice which enables you to evidence the Teachers’ Standards which facilitate the award of Qualified Teacher Status;
-Understand the relationships between Education and science within current national and government frameworks, and critically reflect on the impact of these in the work of schools and the educational experiences of young people;
-Recognise the contribution that science as part of the whole school curriculum makes to the development of the individual learner and groups of learners;
-Think critically about what it means to be scientifically educated and how this informs curriculum planning and design within the subject area;
-Apply a thorough knowledge and understanding of the science (Biology) National Curriculum to the planning of curriculum experiences for pupils in school;
-Demonstrate competence and confidence in your ability to teach across the contexts for pupil learning in the mathematics National Curriculum range and content, applying principles of continuity and progression;
-Use subject knowledge and relevant course specifications to plan and deliver the 14-16 curriculum including examination and vocational courses;
-Demonstrate an understanding of the subject knowledge and specification requirements for the 16-19 curriculum;
-Utilise a range of teaching strategies to meet the identified learning needs of a wide range of pupils;
-Utilise a range of resources, including information and communication technology, to enhance pupil learning in biology;
-Understand the importance of safe practice and safeguarding and apply these in working with young people both within and beyond lessons;
-Use a wide range of class management strategies to maximise pupil learning;Understand the principles of inclusion and apply these to ensure equality of opportunity for all pupils in the subject area;
-Understand national frameworks for assessment within the subject area and use these to support the recording and analysis of data, and the subsequent use of this to plan the next phase of learning;
-Raise the status of the subject area by demonstrating high standards of professionalism at all times;
-Understand the crucial role of professional learning for the teacher, the pupils and schools.


Please follow this link https://www.getintoteaching.education.gov.uk/bursaries-and-funding

Course Content

The course runs from early September through to late June. As you commence the training, your individual subject knowledge is assessed so that targeted improvements can be made throughout the year in areas that may be lacking. As the course continues, your time is spent alternating between University and school, with increasing time being spent in school as your experience develops. By the end of the course, if school placements and written M level assignments have been completed successfully you are awarded the title PGCE with recommendation for Qualified Teacher Status (QTS).

You will spend two thirds of your time teaching in Partnership schools. These are schools where we have established links and where a number of the science teachers working in them are past Brunel students. As your school experience begins, you will be attached to a mentor whose role involves guidance and management of your professional development. You will learn from observing and working alongside experienced teachers, particularly in the process of teaching your own classes (under supervision). The course has three blocks of school experience in two different schools, providing the opportunity to work in contrasting settings, whilst working towards the Teachers’ Standards (TA, 2012).

How is the University portion of the course organised?
Campus-based work relates theory to school practice, facilitating your maturity into an effective and reflective science teacher. Sessions involve student teachers working together in small groups, developing the thinking and attributes needed to teach effectively in the classroom or laboratory. Although campus sessions cover a wide range of foci, there is a particular emphasis on practical work, literacy and communication, science for all and digital technologies in line with the interests of the research-active science tutors who are experienced schoolteachers and have published widely in national and international journals.

As a Brunel PGCE student teacher you will have access to a range of teaching rooms including a new, well-equipped laboratory, a well resourced library which includes textbook schemes, teaching packs, videos and visual aids – as well as books, journals and e-journals appropriate to work at Masters level – plus extensive computer facilities where you can familiarise yourself with the hardware and software available in schools.

University tutors are available to offer advice and support throughout the course. Campus sessions have a friendly, informal atmosphere as classes gel, and you will find yourself forging lasting professional and personal relationships with other student teachers on the course.

Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) requirement

This course involves regular access to children and/or vulnerable adults. Where this is the case, students will be required to complete a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) application, previously known as a Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) check. The application will cost £51.86 (this amount may be subject to change) and the University will send further instructions as part of the admissions process. For further guidance please email

Read more about the structure of postgraduate degrees at Brunel:http://www.brunel.ac.uk/courses/pg/postgraduate-taught-course-information/taught-programme-structure

Visit the PGCE (PGCert) Secondary Education (Science with Biology) with recommendation for QTS page on the Brunel University London website for more details!

Entry Requirements

The ability to communicate effectively spoken and written English. If selected for interview, you will be expected to interact effectively with university tutors and school colleagues and demonstrate the potential to form positive and productive relationships with colleagues and pupils in schools and in professional learning contexts.An undergraduate or postgraduate degree in the field in which you intend to teach. Normally a 2.2 classification or above: two A-Levels in sciences and/or mathematics; GCSE Maths and English grades A* to C Recent and relevant experience of state school education in England, either team teaching or observing with experienced teachers.

Course Fees

UK/EU students: £9,000 full-time International students: £13,500 full-time

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Recipient: Brunel University London
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