PGCE Secondary Science with Biology (Aylward Academy) - PGCE
Why study this course?
Learn how to teach science and biology to 11 to 16-year-olds on this PGCE School Direct course, which will see you undertake academic sessions at London Met and gain hands-on practical experience in our placement schools. You’ll learn the principles of teaching biology and how to develop pupils’ interest, skills and knowledge of this scientific field. Trainees on our National College for Teaching and Leadership (NCTL)-accredited PGCE Secondary courses achieve high results, with 95% receiving an Ofsted good or outstanding grade by the end of the course and 96% going on to obtain employment, often with one of their placement schools.
Study and complete this NCTL-accredited PGCE Secondary Science with Biology course to become a competent science teacher for students up to 14 years old and biology teacher for 15 to 16-year-olds as well as a Qualified Teacher Status (QTS). You may also have the opportunity to teach 16 to 18-year-olds.
During your 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 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.
We place great emphasis on the importance of gaining feedback from your peers and colleagues during your placements. You’ll complete a weekly reflection and contribute to discussions online in order to further develop your understanding of the role of a secondary school teacher. It is this commitment to high standards that has lead to high quality reviews from Ofsted:
"Trainees and newly qualified teachers are enthusiastic about their subject, and plan and teach lessons that are well structured. They make good use of subject-specific vocabulary in their planning and teaching."
Your assessment will consist of four elements:
- School placement A
- School placement B, where your teaching ability will be assessed in relation to the standard for Qualified Teacher Status
- a 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
- the Educational Research Assignment, which allows you to explore an educational issue
There are no examinations.
This course is accredited by the National College for Teaching and Leadership (NCTL).
You will be required to have:
- a UK degree grade 2.2 or equivalent in Biology or relevant degrees such as geology, metallurgy, chemical engineering and forensic science
- a pass in professional skills tests in 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)
Applicants with third class degrees can apply on the condition that this qualification is strongly supported by postgraduate study at master's level and relevant work experience.
We do make conditional offers (with strict deadlines) so it is important that you include all pending qualifications in your UCAS application.
If you feel your qualifications are outside of the requirements you should contact the Admissions Office for further advice before applying.
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 strongly recommends:
- you have a minimum of 10 working days recent experience (within the past year) in a school
- prepare 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 ensure the work experience section of your application includes details of your current/recent school experience, as you may be invited to interview based on information given in your application
Some offers may stipulate 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. Overseas nationals who already hold an alternative visa in a suitable category or have been granted permission to remain in the UK indefinitely, and EU nationals may be considered for admission but please note that an additional international enhanced police check will be required.
This is a year-long course.
Module 1, Curriculum Studies, includes:
- the theoretical underpinning of the practice that students take into the classroom
- access to the pedagogical knowledge and understanding required to effectively plan and teach well structured lessons in the Secondary curriculum
- sessions on biology
- training to assess pupils’ progress in each of the these curriculum areas
Module 2, Professionalism and Inclusive Practice (PIP), includes:
- support for the wider professional development of each student teacher
- discussion of the role of children’s rights and how this underpins effective learning relationships
- understanding of different aspects of inclusive education
- introduction to the whole school and wider children’s workforce
- teamwork and collaborative discussion across different subject areas
- 120 days in a London placement learning to teach with a mentor in secondary schools
In both university and classroom contexts, your self-directed study is extremely important in order to support your development of purposeful educational enquiry, preparing effective teaching resources and ensuring up-to-date subject knowledge.
“I get so much support from my tutor, colleagues and the London Met team. The University itself has a good vibe, very social and also welcoming. I just want to thank everyone for everything!”
Zeinab Al-Ali PGCE Secondary Science with Biology student
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.
This is a PGCE School Direct course.
The School Direct school placements work around the training calendar for the student teacher with the PGCE offered at the university. This means we can only offer places in Early Years / Primary and in Secondary teaching Maths, Modern Languages and Science with a specialism in Biology, Chemistry or Physics.
You will attend the training workshops at the university with other regular PGCE students and carry out placements of 120 days in a school or consortium of schools with a School Direct allocation. This time could be divided between two schools with some flexibility.
London Met has School Direct partnership with nearly 100 schools. This large body of schools have joined with us to build a cross-capital alliance, providing diverse contexts in which to train the new generation of London teachers.
Most of our trainees follow a programme modelled on the traditional PGCE, with time spent under tutor supervision at London Metropolitan University and the school placement divided between two partner schools.
Between 2016 and 2020 we're investing £125 million in the London Metropolitan University campus, moving all of our activity to our current Holloway campus in Islington, north London. This will mean the teaching location 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 and PGCE School Direct 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 Aylward Academy using the following provider codes in the search fields:
- for London Metropolitan University, enter: L68
- for Aylward Academy, enter: 1YO
Please note, depending on availability, you may be assigned to schools different to the one you entered the provider code for.
When to apply
The UCAS application schedule provides guidance on 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.