XClose

Institute of Education

Home
Menu

PGCE Biology

PGCE Biology

The Biology PGCE prepares students to develop the professional knowledge and skills they need to teach all aspects of science to pupils up to age 16, as well as teaching Biology to pupils aged 11-16. We are committed to creative and interactive approaches to teaching science to promote student learning.

Degree Information

Students on the Biology PGCE will acquire a critical understanding of current debates and issues relating to science education, and will be guided and supported in developing their subject knowledge. We expect students to engage with reading and research into science education and to regularly reflect upon their own progress, towards meeting the Teachers’ Standards across the 11–16 age range.

Students undertake two level 7 (Master’s-level) modules of 30 credits each, totaling 60 credits. These can be carried forward onto full Master’s programmes at the IOE.

The Secondary PGCE consists of three core modules: two Master’s-level (level 7) modules, which are assessed through written assignments, and the Professional Practice module, which is assessed by the observation of practical teaching in placement schools.

Completion of the Professional Practice module and the two level 7 (Master’s level) modules (60 credits) will result in the award of a Postgraduate Certificate of Education (PGCE). Completion of the Professional Practice module and one or two level 6 (undergraduate/Bachelor’s level) modules, will lead to the Professional Graduate Certificate of Education (PgCE).

Core modules
Science Education in the Broader Context (30 Master's-level credits)
Wider Educational Studies - Biology (30 Master's-level credits)
Professional Practice
Placement

Student teachers undertake at least two placements (totaling 120 days) at a school or college, during which time their teaching practice will be supported by a school subject tutor and mentor. The Professional Practice module is assessed through these placements, associated tasks and a portfolio.

Students may teach:

Key Stage 3: Science (including elements of Physics, Chemistry and Biology)
Key Stage 4: Science (all areas) and/or Biology (depending on school placement)
Key Stage 5: AS/A2 level Biology

Teaching and Learning

The Biology PGCE is delivered via keynote lectures, seminars, workshops, tutorials and directed study days at the IOE, as well as time spent in placement schools or colleges. Assessment is by the observation of practical teaching, assignments and a portfolio (which links with continuing professional development in the induction year).

Key Information

Programme starts

September 2017

Modes and duration
Full time: 1 year
Tuition Fees (2017/18)
UK/EU:
£9,250 (FT)
Overseas:
£16,340 (FT)
Application deadlines
All applicants
Open: 18 October 2016
Early application is advised as programmes may close as soon as places are filled.

Note on fees: The tuition fees shown are for the year indicated above. Fees for subsequent years may increase or otherwise vary. Further information on fee status, fee increases and the fee schedule can be viewed on the UCL Current Students website.

Accreditation: QTS
Location: London, Bloomsbury

Entry requirements
First degree

Normally a minimum of a lower second-class UK Bachelor’s degree or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard in Biology or a Biology-related subject.

A levels

No specific subjects required.

GCSEs

English Language and Mathematics at grade C.

School experience

Prospective students must complete a minimum of five days of school experience before they can be enrolled on the Secondary PGCE. This may involve observations, work experience (e.g. as a teaching assistant or cover supervisor), or voluntary work. Applicants must have a minimum of one day's school experience before interview; some subjects will be looking for significantly more than this. Applicants must ensure that their school experience is relevant in helping them to prepare for the Secondary PGCE, during which Student Teachers are placed in a wide range of schools across London and the South East.

DBS and Occupational Health

If you are made an offer you will be required to successfully complete Occupational Health and Disclosure Barring Service (DBS) Enhanced Disclosure checks. The total cost of these checks is £125. These checks are required to ensure you meet the Department for Education’s requirements for physical and mental health to teach, as well as assessing your suitability for access to children and vulnerable adults. More details can be found on the Entry requirements page.

Skills tests

All applicants must successfully complete professional skills tests in literacy and numeracy before they can enrol. More information can be found on the Get Into Teaching website.

English Language Requirements

If your education has not been conducted in the English language, you will be expected to demonstrate evidence of an adequate level of English proficiency.

The English language level for this programme is: Good

Further information can be found on our English language requirements page.

International students

Country-specific information, including details of when UCL representatives are visiting your part of the world, can be obtained from the International Students website.

Visa information

This programme is suitable for international students on a Tier 4 visa - study must be full-time, face-to-face, starting September.

International applicants can find out the equivalent qualification for their country by selecting from the list below.

Select your country:

Funding

Bursaries of up to £15,000 are available to students who meet the eligibility criteria for the Biology PGCE. To find out what funding may be available to you, please visit the Department for Education website.

For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website.

Careers

Graduates of this programme are currently working across a broad range of areas. Some are working as school leaders, while others have posts as biology teachers, science teachers and heads of department (both in UK and abroad). They can also be found working as lecturers in science education and in various informal educational roles.

Recent career destinations for this degree
  • Secondary Science Teacher, Unspecified School
  • Self-employed private tutor
  • Biology Teacher, Unspecified 6th Form College
  • Teaching Assistant, Unspecified Secondary School
  • Laboratory Technician / Secondary School Science Teacher, Cyprus School
Employability

Graduates of the Secondary PGCE programme are highly employable and sought after by schools and colleges in London and beyond. Almost all graduates secure their first teaching post by the time they finish the PGCE programme. Graduates of the programme also have great career prospects, with many becoming Head of Department or a Head of Year within 2-5 years, often acting, in their schools, as mentors to new PGCE student teachers. Many of our graduates become senior teachers (such as Assistant Headteachers or Head of a Faculty) in 5-8 years of graduating, and some are now Headteachers. Others have developed their careers as subject specialist teachers and educators, both becoming lead teachers in the classroom and researching, writing and advising other teachers themselves. The Secondary PGCE Programme is a springboard into a rewarding career, not just as a skilled teacher, but as an educational leader.

Careers data is taken from the ‘Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education’ survey undertaken by HESA looking at the destinations of UK and EU students in the 2012–2014 graduating cohorts six months after graduation.

Why study this degree at UCL?

Students on the Biology PGCE work with a team of expert subject tutors who have all previously been classroom teachers and are actively involved with science education research, curriculum development and consultancy. During teaching practice, student teachers benefit from the support of subject specialist mentors within our network of over 200 schools throughout Greater London and beyond, ensuring each has the opportunity to become a skilled and confident teacher.

The Biology PGCE offers unique opportunities including teaching sessions at museums and Kew Gardens, and residential trips, developing students’ understanding of learning science outside the classroom.

Accreditation: Students who successfully complete this programme will be recommended for Qualified Teacher Status (QTS).

Department: Institute of Education

Research Excellence Framework (REF)

The Research Excellence Framework, or REF, is the system for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions. The 2014 REF was carried out by the UK's higher education funding bodies, and the results used to allocate research funding from 2015/16.

The following REF score was awarded to the department: Institute of Education
78% rated 4* (‘world-leading’) or 3* (‘internationally excellent’)

Learn more about the scope of UCL's research, and browse case studies, on our Research Impact website.

Application and next steps

Applications

Students are advised to apply as early as possible due to competition for places. Those applying for scholarship funding (particularly overseas applicants) should take note of application deadlines.

Who can apply?

The Secondary PGCE full-time programme is suited to those wishing to gain Qualified Teaching Status (QTS) for teaching in a UK maintained (state-funded) school and who have fulfilled the appropriate entry requirements.

Application deadlines

Early application is advised as programmes may close as soon as places are filled.


For more information see our Applications page.

Apply now

Degree last modified on 28 June 2017 at 10:57 by UCL Publications & Marketing Services. Please contact us for content updates.

Secondary PGCE - Programme overview

Watch PGCE Secondary programme leader David Mitchell