Taught course

Secondary Science Biology

Newman University · Department of Teacher Training

Entry requirements

An Honours degree of which science forms a part, or a recognised equivalent qualification and a substantial component of biology in your study. You may also consider applying for this pathway in combination with a Biology Subject Knowledge Enhancement Course. You need to demonstrate a commitment to the teaching of Biology.
GCSEs (or in exceptional circumstances their equivalent) in English Language and Mathematics at grade 4 (grade C previously). Please be aware that whilst these GCSEs are not mandatory at application point, these qualifications must be obtained by enrolment.
School experience is desirable, but not an essential requirement prior to interview. However, having experience in a school will:
Ensure that you are making the right decision to join the PGCE programme
Allows you to add additional information at interview about the experience that you have had when working with children
Gives you an advantage when you start the course as you will be able to make links between your learning and how this relates to school
At interview we will discuss with the applicant any relevant school experience or opportunities that applicants have had to work with school aged children; in a variety of settings.
The quality and variety of your personal statement is an important factor in the decision to call you to interview. Candidates must attend an interview and sit literacy and numeracy diagnostic tasks at Newman University.

Months of entry


Course content

The PGCE Secondary Science course with an enhancement in Biology, leads to a professional qualification to enable you to enter the teaching profession in a secondary school as a Science teacher with a biology subject specialism. During the course you will develop subject knowledge across all three science areas, along with practical skills and an understanding of pedagogical issues related to teaching Science in the 11-16 with post 16 enhancement range. In addition you will follow a pathway based on your degree qualification and experience that will enhance your understanding of the teaching of Biology at Key Stage 4
Your suitability for the biology pathway will be explored at interview and you bursary eligibility will depend on the subject specialism of your offer of a place.
Learning and Teaching in Biology
You will explore the science curriculum at Key Stage 3 and 4 through practical work in chemistry, physics and biology that leads to the development of subject knowledge and pedagogical skills. These sessions will take place in newly built laboratories equipped to model modern school science facilities. Several learning and teaching themes are developed throughout the year including safe management of laboratory practical work, teaching outside the classroom, how science works, contemporary issues in science teaching, using models and analogies, literacy, differentiation, use of games, pupil misconceptions, using ICT, inclusion, questioning techniques and citizenship. At all times you are supported by well qualified and experienced tutors.
Specialist Subject Development
In addition to elements of taught sessions at Newman, directed activities and independent laboratory study time will provide you with the opportunity to deepen your subject knowledge and pedagogy in your specialist subject of Biology and prepare you to begin to take on a leadership role in your specialism within a science department. These activities will be linked to your audit of subject knowledge and enable you to meet your individual training needs.
School Experience
You will spend the majority of your time on the course in schools, developing your teaching skills. You will complete two main teaching placements at different secondary schools; one of 8 weeks and a second longer placement of 12 weeks. During both placements you are likely to have the opportunity teach science across Key Stages 3 and 4 and teach your specialism (biology) at Key Stage 4. During your placements your professional development will be supported by both the school and Newman tutors. Newman has an excellent reputation with local schools for providing a strong partnership with schools that support students during their placements. You will also work in a primary school for a short placement, looking at science teaching methods across earlier key stages. The course offers further flexible opportunities for individual ‘focus’ weeks towards the end of training, where specialised areas can be further developed, including AS/A2 examinations and Education and Professional Studies links with science and your specialism.

Information for international students


Fees and funding

UK students


Qualification, course duration and attendance options

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

The Post Graduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) is the most widely recognised UK post graduate award and is transferable. It is accepted, across the UK and internationally, as an assurance that the candidate has achieved the high standard expected for entry to the teaching profession.


AssessmentWhat kind of work will I be doing? (proportionally)
Written/ formal examinations25
Written coursework / continuous assessment25
Professional practice50

Course contact details

Caroline Montgomery
0121 476 1181