PGCE Secondary Science with Biology - PGCE
Why study this course?
Learn how to teach science and biology to 11 to16 -year-olds with these National College for Teaching and Leadership (NCTL)-accredited academic sessions at London Met and hands-on practical experience at our partnership schools. You’ll learn how to improve your pupils’ love of this biology through the latest teaching methods and principles.
Trainees on our PGCE Secondary courses attain high results, with 95% achieving an Ofsted good or outstanding grade by the end of the course..
In the most recent (2015-16) Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE) survey, 100% of graduates from this course were in work or further study within six months. Department for Education (DfE) bursaries are available for this course.
This NCTL-accredited PGCE Secondary Science with Biology course will help you gain the skills to become a competent teacher of science for students up to 14 years old, biology for 15 to 16-year-olds and achieve Qualified Teacher Status (QTS). You may also have the opportunity to work with the 16 to 18 age range.
In the sessions at London Met you’ll develop your teaching strategies and pedagogical techniques, as well as discovering the fundamentals of how children learn. These sessions include collaborative projects and school-based projects with other trainees, as well as learning the principles of teaching and pupil assessment.
This PGCE course takes advantage of its London location to broaden your understanding of teaching in multicultural and diverse urban environments. Through your two placements at one of our partnership schools, you’ll help develop lesson plans and contribute to the development of pupils’ scientific skills and knowledge. London Met also provides you with the opportunity for post-16-year-old teaching experience where possible.
Our commitment to high standards that has lead to high quality reviews from Ofsted:
"Headteachers are particularly complimentary about the fact that the trainees and Newly Qualified Teachers are well prepared to meet the specific challenges of teaching pupils in the context of London schools."
There are four formal elements:
- school placement A
- school placement B, where your teaching ability is assessed in relation to the Standards for Qualified Teacher Status
- the Educational Research Assignment, which allows you to explore an educational issue
- the Professional Practice Portfolio, which is compiled throughout the year, detailing personal experiences and reflections on your development as a teacher, largely in relation to your practical teaching experience
There are no examinations.
We place great emphasis on feedback from your peers and colleagues on the placement. You’ll complete a weekly reflection and contribute to discussions online in order to further develop your understanding of the role of a secondary teacher.
You will be required to have:
- a UK degree grade 2.2 or equivalent in Biology or relevant degrees including geology, metallurgy, chemical engineering and forensic science
- a pass in professional skills tests for literacy and numeracy
- a valid Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) certificate and Confirmation of Fitness to Teach (eg a London Metropolitan University Health Check) - you will be advised to apply for these after an offer is made
- GCSE English and Mathematics grade C (grade 4 from 2017) or above (or equivalent, see Equivalency Testing or A Star Teachers)
We do make conditional offers (with strict deadlines) so it is important that you include all pending qualifications in your UCAS application.
The University will assess any overseas qualifications for equivalence using a number of resources including our own internal guidelines, the UK National Recognition Information Centre (NARIC) and the Bursary Tables publicly available from the National College for Teaching and Leadership (NCTL).
All applicants must be able to demonstrate written and spoken proficiency in the English language. For more information about English qualifications please see our English language requirements.
Before you can be permitted to enrol to this course:
- you must take and pass the Professional skills tests as required by the NCTL - if you have not already passed these tests this will be made a condition of your offer with a strict deadline for completion (in practice London Met would prefer these results are confirmed before offering an interview)
- you must not already hold QTS or be qualified to teach in another EU/EEA country
Prior to the interview for this course, London Met recommends:
- you have a minimum of 10 working days recent experience in a school
- you are prepared for your understanding of current teaching practice and issues in schools to be assessed
- you have an awareness of multiculturalism and other contexts unique to urban schools
- you're aware you may be invited to interview based on information given in your application
Some offers may recommend further school experience if required.
Due to statutory requirements, we are not able to offer sponsorship under the Tier 4 visa route for this course. We will be happy to consider those falling into this category for an alternative suitable course on request. EU nationals may be considered for admission, as well as overseas nationals who already hold an alternative visa in a suitable category or have been granted permission to remain in the UK indefinitely, but please note that an additional international enhanced police check will be required.
The modules listed below are for the academic year 2018/19 and represent the course modules at this time. Modules and module details (including, but not limited to, location and time) are subject to change over time.
Year 1 modules include:
This module currently runs:
- all year (September start)
This module provides a flexible framework within which student teachers learn about the school curriculum relevant to their age / subject specialism. In addition student teachers also learn about the relevant assessment frameworks and the pedagogic traditions associated with their route. The content covered in teaching sessions will be tailored to reflect the school curriculum and planned developments, external assessment frameworks (including relevant examinations) and the route students are following.
This module currently runs:
- all year (September start)
This module introduces students to some of the key contemporary issues in education and schooling through the lens of children’s rights. The UNCRC introduces three key themes, provision (inclusion and access), protection (child protection, pastoral system, health and safety) and participation (student voice). Students are also supported to undertake a research project of their own in a school or alternative educational setting to investigate issues related to these themes.
This module currently runs:
- autumn semester
The module consists of school or professional placement experience during which students undertake a range of observations, teaching practice and in-school training. The length of, and timing of, the assessed practice is specified by the university, but guided by external requirements. School mentors and university supervising tutors complete observations and a final report is completed with Pass/Fail assessment, with grading against the Teachers’ Standards for Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) or Early Years Teachers Standards for Early Years Teacher Status (EYTS)
The prerequisite for the module is enrolment on the PGCE (Early Years, Primary or a Secondary course), the EYTS course or the QTS only course (for Salaried Trainees).
The assessment period is normally during the Autumn term. There will be a practical Pass/Fail assessment of teaching experience (100% weighting).
Whilst this module is similar to School Experience to Progress Point 5, it is intended as an initial module in which students demonstrate they can make progress towards the Teachers’ Standards for Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) or Early Years Teachers Standards for Early Years Teacher Status (EYTS). It is not a requirement that they achieve the level required for a recommendation of QTS/EYTS at this stage.
This module currently runs:
- spring semester
The module consists of school or professional placement experience during which students undertake a range of observations, teaching practice and in-school training. The length of, and timing of, the assessed practice is specified by the university, but guided by external requirements. School mentors and university supervising tutors complete observations and a final report is completed with Pass/Fail assessment, with indicative grading in relation to the Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) or Early Years Teachers Standards for Early Years Teacher Status (EYTS)
The prerequisite for the module is enrolment on the PGCE (Early Years, Primary or a Secondary course), the EYTS course or the QTS only course (for Salaried Trainees) and satisfactory completion of the School Experience to Progress Point 2 modiule
The assessment period will normally be in the Summer term. There will be a practical Pass/Fail assessment of teaching experience (100% weighting) with a recommended grade (1-3) reflecting grading criteria based on nationally approved documentation.
In this module, as opposed to School Experience to Progress Point 2, students are required to consistently meet all of the Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) or Early Years Teachers Standards for Early Years Teacher Status (EYTS)
You will be trained to teach school science up to age 14, as well as your specialist science subject of biology up to at least age 16. Some training in post-16 teaching is also provided, where appropriate.
“I get so much support from my tutor, colleagues and the London Met team. The University itself has a great vibe, is highly social and very welcoming. I’m grateful to everyone at the University for all their help.”
Zeinab Al-Ali, PGCE Secondary Science with Biology trainee
This intensive PGCE leads to Qualified Teacher Status (QTS), which enables you to teach biology to 11 to 16-year-olds. Our trainees have gone on to secure secondary teacher roles at schools including Ark Academy, Harris Girls Academy and more. You’ll have the same opportunities for employment upon successful completion of the course.
Funding is available for many postgraduate courses leading to Qualified Teacher Status (QTS). Depending on your teaching subject and degree classification, you may be eligible for a bursary or scholarship of up to £30,000 through the teacher training bursary.
We're investing in an exciting, multimillion pound transformation of the London Metropolitan University campus, between 2016 and 2020. We’re moving all of our activity to one place, our current Holloway campus in Islington, north London. This will mean the teaching locations of some courses will change over time.
Whether you will be affected will depend on the duration of your course, when you start and your mode of study. The earliest moves affecting new students will be in September 2018. This may mean you begin your course at one location, but over the duration of the course you are relocated to one of our other campuses. Our intention is that no full-time student will change campus more than once during a course of typical duration.
All students will benefit from our move to one campus, which will allow us to develop state-of-the-art facilities, flexible teaching areas and stunning social spaces.
Please note, in addition to the tuition fee there may be additional costs for things like equipment, materials, printing, textbooks, trips or professional body fees.
Additionally, there may be other activities that are not formally part of your course and not required to complete your course, but which you may find helpful (for example, optional field trips). The costs of these are additional to your tuition fee and the fees set out above and will be notified when the activity is being arranged.
How to apply
All PGCE applications must be made through UCAS Teacher Training (UTT). Use UTT's course search tool to find teacher training routes offered by London Met or our lead partner schools.
Applications will continue to be considered while there are places still available. If you are offered a place it might be that you are asked to resubmit your application with a different provider of London Metropolitan University teacher training. This allows us to maximise the chance to offer you a place within our core and lead school portfolio, regardless of which route you applied through.
You can apply with London Met or one of our lead schools using the following provider codes in the search fields:
- for London Metropolitan University, enter: L68
- for Aylward Academy, enter: 1YO
- for Cardinal Pole Roman Catholic School, enter: 21B
- for Princess May Primary School, enter: 234
Please note, depending on availability, you may be assigned to schools different to the one you entered the provider code for.
When to apply
Places are limited by the NCTL and are offered on a first-come first-serve basis. We also operate waiting lists on these courses.
To find out more, see our information on the process of applying for teacher training courses.