Taught course

PGCE Secondary - Biology

Institution
Durham University · School of Education
Qualifications
PGCE

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Entry requirements

At UCAS you can apply for this course by using the following code: C1X1

  • The equivalent of a UK 2:2 honours degree of which approximately 50% is comprised of Biology or a similar subject. If your degree is from an overseas institution you must apply for a Statement of Comparability from NARIC
  • A demonstrable an interest and involvement in the lives and development of young people
  • GCSE English and Mathematics at Grade 4 (or C) or above (or equivalent) which must be achieved at the time of application. If your equivalent qualifications are from an overseas institution, you must apply for a Statement of Comparability from NARIC
  • Applicants with non-standard qualifications, for example, access routes into higher education are welcome to apply
  • We welcome applications from mature applicants pursuing a career change.

Months of entry

September

Course content

The PGCE Secondary is the first phase of a career-long process of personal and professional development, which will equip you to become a secondary school teacher. The PGCE Secondary is a course in Initial Teacher Training which is accredited by the DfE, the successful completion of which will accord you Qualified Teacher Status (QTS). Our course has recently been inspected by Ofsted which resulted in an “Outstanding” grading for all aspects of our provision.

Students who have successfully completed the PGCE at Durham in the previous academic year have the option to use 90 credits they have accredited towards a part-time MA Education. These students only need to do the core modules, Education Enquiry and the Dissertation over 2 years, to complete the course.

Subject pedagogy (how to teach the subject for understanding) is explored in curriculum groups, examining techniques for making each subject accessible and stimulating in a classroom environment. Biology, physics and chemistry are taught as science classroom teachers often teach all there sciences at Key Stage 3, specialising in their own subject area at Key Stages 4 and 5.

We believe strongly that to be able to teach successfully you must acquire a good understanding of the 'big ideas' of science as well as learning about how to teach science. The university-based time is therefore divided into two main parts:

  • Core Science in all disciplines addresses your own understanding of the key concepts underpinning science. Many students approach this theme with excellent qualifications but have never had an opportunity to explore their understanding of these concepts. Students have said that this part of the course is "thought-provoking", "enlightening" and "challenging". You are expected to follow up this work with tutor and peer group support, using the extensive library facilities.
  • Science Education Issues looks at pedagogical issues relevant to how science is actually taught.

Structure

The course is organised into three modules:

  • Professional Issues in school based education
  • Teaching and Learning in the Curriculum
  • Self-directed Study

The Professional Issues in School Based Education relates to the Teacher Standards and is delivered in two parts, prior to each of the two extended teaching practices. The teaching is related to those classroom-based issues such as the psychology of learning, the law, curriculum groups, examining techniques for making each subject accessible and stimulating in a classroom environment and is followed up in subject groups and during school placements The block practices in the Autumn and Spring allow for practical opportunities for full professional development where there is a progression from observation, structured activities and group work to whole class work.

Teaching and Learning in the Curriculum and Self- directed Study are studied at Masters Level. The Teaching and Learning in the Curriculum Module draws on the international research expertise within the School of Education enabling student teachers to engage critically in issues relevant to the classroom and school, particularly those that impact on the success of children as learners. The Self-directed Study module draws on students’ experience during weekly visits to schools and their own small scale action research, and links this to critical engagement with published educational research.

These Masters modules provide an opportunity to explore, in a more theoretical way, the issues to do with teaching and learning through lectures and mixed subject and phase seminar groups taught as a conference week usually after Christmas. In addition to covering Teacher standards, these modules will enable assessment work to be carried out for the award of PGCE.

On successful completion of the course, student teachers will have 90 credits and QTS.

Fees and funding

UK students
£9,250.00 per year
International students
£21,730.00 per year

durham.ac.uk/postgraduate/finance

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

  • PGCE
    full time
    12 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification

Course contact details

Name
Enquiries
Email
study@durham.ac.uk