Secondary Science (Biology) with QTS (11-16) PGCE
GOV.UK code: C1X1
From single cell structures to human DNA, biology explains the world around us. Discover how to make the subject engaging and develop pupil’s scientific minds. Graduate from our PGCE Secondary Science (Biology) with recommendation for Qualified Teacher Status.
Remember the first time you looked at cells under the microscope? Or how you unravelled the process of photosynthesis? Bring that enthusiasm into your own classroom as a secondary school biology teacher.
During our PGCE Secondary Science (Biology), you’ll study the latest teaching theory and how to apply this in practice. Find out how to spark your pupils’ curiosity about the world around them while building their practical and analytical skills.
You’ll develop in-depth subject knowledge in your specialism of biology. We’ll also make sure you’re prepared to support with teaching chemistry and physics, especially at key stage 3. Throughout the course, we’ll encourage you to reflect on your learning to help you become the best biology teacher you can be.
Boost your skills in lesson planning, managing the classroom, teaching methods, and more. Then put what you’ve learnt into practice in a real classroom. During your 26 weeks on placement, you’ll plan, teach and assess biology lessons with support from your school-based mentor.
We’ll be there for you every step of the way as you work towards taking the lead in the classroom. Turn to your Personal Tutor whenever you need advice or help overcoming hurdles.
Successful completion of the programme leads to recommendation for Qualified Teacher Status (QTS).
Subject knowledge enhancement
Want to boost or refresh your subject knowledge in biology? Our free subject knowledge enhancement course, tailored to your individual needs, will prepare you for teaching the conceptual and applied aspects of biology effectively to learners aged 11-16 years.
International students can apply
Professional practice placements
What you'll study
During this PGCE, you’ll work towards becoming a biology specialist who can deliver all three sciences at Key Stage 3 and 4. You’ll cover essential educational theory while developing your specialist subject knowledge.
Strengthen your understanding of innovative teaching and assessment methods including experiments and investigative work, group discussions, role play, project work, presentations and examinations. We’ll also unpack health and safety requirements and strategies for maintaining a high quality laboratory – so you can show pupils how to complete practical experiments safely.
We’ll prepare you for a future in teaching secondary biology. Learn how to plan lessons in line with the curriculum. Master teaching techniques to give pupils the knowledge they need. Become confident running practical experiments safely.
Apply everything you’ve learnt to a placement in a secondary school setting. Here you’ll be able to get hands-on experience by supporting and observing teachers. With help from your subject tutor and school-based mentor, you’ll combine what you learn on campus with practical teaching experiences.
Compulsory modules:Expand all
The Effective Science Teacher: Explorations in Method, Policy and Theory
Module code: SSC4001
The Expert Science Teacher: Subject Knowledge as the Foundation of Expertise
Module code: SSC4000
The Professional Science Teacher at Work: Combining Knowledge, Theory and Method
Module code: SSC4003
Non-modular activities:Expand all
PGCE Secondary Professional Practice 1
Module code: SRP4011
PGCE Secondary Professional Practice 2
Module code: SRP4012
How you'll study
A combination of academic study, group discussion and reflection, and practical, work-based learning in the classroom will give you all the knowledge and skills you need to become a creative and innovative teacher. The programme aims to develop a reflective and a critically analytical approach to education.
You will spend up to 26 weeks on placement in schools, colleges and settings, putting your training into practice through assisting in, and taking responsibility for, classes and working alongside mentors and peers to further your professional development. The focus initially is on observation and supporting teaching and learning. Your teaching timetable will increase as your training progresses and you become more confident and competent in the classroom.
You will also develop your subject knowledge by participating in numerous activities, which have in the past included visits to places of scientific and fieldwork interest, guest speakers and GET SET Challenge days in the North West.
How you'll be assessed
You will be assessed, through a balanced combination of coursework and portfolio assessments, against both academic criteria and the Standards related to QTS. Other tasks will enable you to show your competence in ICT and other areas of science.
Specific assessments include:
- Developing a portfolio to detail the activities used to build your subject and teaching knowledge;
- Conducting a small-scale piece of classroom research;
- Evidencing your assessment practice.
Before the end of your PGCE you will need to complete a Career Entry and Development Profile (CEDP) which acts as a useful bridge between your initial teacher training programme and your two-year induction as an early career teacher.
Who will be teaching you
The Faculty of Education has been at the forefront of teacher education for 135 years and today enjoys the enviable position of being one of the country’s leading providers of education, training and research for the children’s workforce.
You will be taught by a dedicated team of knowledgeable, experienced, friendly and supportive tutors who have the welfare of their trainees as a number one priority.
To join this PGCE, you will be expected to have:
- A degree equivalent to UK first-class or second-class honours (2:2 or above) in a relevant subject. Other subjects may be considered if you have an A Level (or equivalent qualification) in Biology and a willingness to engage in subject knowledge enhancement;
- GCSE English Language and GCSE Mathematics at Grade C or Grade 4 or above (or equivalent qualification);
- Satisfactory levels of Information and Communications Technology competence;
- A commitment to, and understanding of, secondary education, demonstrating the personal attributes, values and motivation required to train as a teacher.
For the purposes of initial teacher training, level 2 literacy and numeracy qualifications are not considered as equivalent to GCSE Grade C or Grade 4 in English Language and Mathematics.
If you accept a formal offer from Edge Hill University you will be required to meet the Department for Education’s standards for physical and mental fitness to teach and clearance to work with children. Further information, including a Declaration of Health questionnaire and details of how to apply for a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) Enhanced Disclosure will be sent to you after you have firmly accepted an offer.
English language requirements
International students require IELTS 6.5, with a score no lower than 6.0 in each individual component, or an equivalent English language qualification.
If your current level of English is half a band, one band, or one-and-a-half bands lower, either overall or in one or two elements, you may want to consider our Pre-Sessional English course.
How to apply
Should you accept an offer of a place to study with us and formally enrol as a student, you will be subject to the provisions of the regulations, rules, codes, conditions and policies which apply to our students. These are available at www.edgehill.ac.uk/studentterms.
If you join a full time undergraduate degree at Edge Hill University, we will guarantee you the offer of a room in our halls of residence for the first year of your course.Discover our accommodation
Housed in a state-of-the-art £9million building, the Faculty of Education enjoys a stunning setting from both its lakeside and piazza buildings.
Facilities in the lakeside building include a 300-seat lecture theatre, five well-equipped ICT suites, and 18 teaching rooms complete with the latest technology. The lakeside building is also home to a popular vegan and vegetarian cafe where students can meet to socialise and discuss their studies.
The nearby piazza building offers modern facilities including a lecture theatre and a number of seminar rooms.
This course is also delivered in the Biosciences building where you will explore a wide range of experimental and investigative strategies and activities. The Biosciences building incorporates impressive, modern laboratories, offering exciting and highly relevant practical experience in some of the best equipped facilities in the country.
Where you'll study
Faculty of Education
for the course
for the course
EU/EEA and Swiss students who have settled or pre-settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme, as well as Irish nationals, may be eligible for the UK tuition fee rate.
Subject to eligibility, UK students joining this course can apply for a Tuition Fee Loan from the Government to cover the full cost of tuition fees. UK students enrolling on the course may also be eligible to apply for additional funding to help with living costs. If you are a UK student joining this PGCE in academic year 2023/24, you may be eligible to receive a Department for Education bursary worth £20,000 if you have a first class, 2:1 or 2:2 honours degree or have successfully completed a PhD or Masters award. Please view the relevant Money Matters guide for comprehensive information about the financial support available to eligible UK students.
EU/EEA and Swiss students who have settled or pre-settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme may be eligible to apply for financial support. Irish nationals can ordinarily apply to Student Universal Support Ireland (SUSI). If you are an EU student who does not have settled or pre-settled status, or are an international student from a non-EU country, please see our international student finance pages.
Your future career
Good biology teachers are always in demand, so your career prospects will be fantastic following graduation.
This PGCE in accredited by the Department for Education. Successful completion of the programme will enable you to gain recommendation for Qualified Teacher Status (QTS). You’ll be ready to progress into employment as an early career teacher at secondary school level in science, specialising in biology.
With your academic credits and classroom-based experience you will be well-placed to progress into MA, MRes or MSc study and on to PhD.