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Subject Knowledge Enhancement Biology

Develop subject knowledge in Biology and prepare to teach the subject effectively to learners aged 11-16 on this flexible free enhancement course for those with a place on a PGCE at any provider in England.

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  • Overview

    Course Length: 8-28 Weeks Full-Time
    Start Dates: July 2020, January 2021, February 2021, March 2021, April 2021, May 2021, July 2021, January 2022, February 2022, March 2022, April 2022, May 2022, July 2022
    Subjects: Education and Teaching
    Location: Edge Hill University

    If you have applied to study a Secondary Biology PGCE at any Higher Education provider in England but require enhancement of your subject knowledge, then this course could be for you.

    The aim of the course is to develop your subject knowledge in Biology to prepare you to teach the conceptual and applied aspects of the subject effectively, with competence, enthusiasm and confidence, to learners aged 11-16 years. Trainees will be encouraged to prepare for teaching A-level topics where appropriate.

    Different programmes are available and the most suitable structure for you will depend on whether you studied a degree in a science discipline or a non-science subject. The course structure and length will be flexible to reflect the needs of each individual trainee.

    The programme has six intakes per year. These include an 8-week course starting in July, a 16-week course starting in April, and a 28-week course starting in January.

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    In Depth

    What will I study?

    If your degree contains less than 50% biological science, or if your degree is in an alternative science discipline, and you wish to train as a biology teacher, then you may be able to enrol on this course. The actual length of the course depends on your qualifications and experience, and will be determined at a Needs Analysis session at the University. We will contact you to arrange this session shortly after we receive your application.

    The course is designed to achieve the following:

    • Address gaps in your subject knowledge;
    • Inspire you to promote learning in biology that is challenging and engaging for all students;
    • Identify and build upon your prior learning, and develop your capacity for future self-study;
    • Enable you to recognise the links between the physical and life sciences and technology and engineering;
    • Develop your ability to support learners’ understanding of the rich narrative of physical sciences;
    • Develop your understanding of the relevant mathematical concepts and when to use them in teaching and learning of the physical sciences;
    • Develop your understanding of the place of health and safety in a biology setting;
    • Develop use of appropriate technology in teaching and learning.

    How will I study?

    The course structure and length will be flexible to reflect your individual needs. The course is divided into individual units, each requiring 50 hours of learning time, normally within a space of two weeks. This learning will be a blend of face-to-face sessions, online learning, and supported self-study, with one day a week on campus.

    How will I be assessed?

    There are no formal examinations. You will build a portfolio from directed activities.

    Entry Criteria

    Entry Requirements

    You may apply for the course if you have been offered a place on a PGCE at a Higher Education institution in England, or if you are in the process of applying for the PGCE Secondary Science (Biology) with QTS at Edge Hill University. Applicants from other providers will normally have a recommendation from their provider to obtain a place on a Subject Knowledge Enhancement course.


    Tuition Fees

    There are currently no tuition fees for this subject knowledge enhancement programme which is funded by the National College for Teaching and Leadership. You may also be eligible to receive a bursary.

    For further information about bursary eligibility, you can contact a Get Into Teaching adviser on Freephone 0800 389 2500 or use the online chat service at


    How to Apply

    Apply directly to Edge Hill University.

    Download the application form (pdf).

    Visit to access the relevant application form and to find out more about the application process.

    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

    Get in Touch

    If you have any questions about this programme, please call 01695 584796 or email

    Course Changes

    Expand All This page outlines any material changes to course content, programme structure, assessment methods, entry criteria, and modes of study or delivery, implemented in the past two years.

    This page outlines any material changes to course content, programme structure, assessment methods, entry criteria, and modes of study or delivery, implemented in the past two years. No material changes have been made to the information for this programme in that time. Any future amends will be tracked here.