Taught course

PGCE ​Secondary Science with Biology

Institution
University of Reading · Institute of Education
Qualifications
PGCE

Entry requirements

We would normally expect you to have a 1st, 2:1 or 2:2 honours degree (or equivalent from a university outside the UK) in a subject that is related to the subject that you intend to teach.

You will also need to have achieved Grade 4 (or C) or above in GCSE Mathematics and English Language or equivalent qualifications. You will need to demonstrate sufficient understanding of and insight into the role of the teacher, the classroom environment and the processes involved in learning and teaching. In order to show such understanding and insight it may be beneficial to undertake a visit to a maintained secondary school.

You will be required to undertake a criminal record and occupational health check. You will also need to demonstrate competence in Fundamental English and mathematics by the end of the course. This is a new DfE requirement which replaces the QTS skills tests in literacy and numeracy.

Months of entry

September

Course content

​Develop your teaching skills, and qualify as a secondary biology teacher, with our highly regarded PGCE Secondary Science with Biology course at the Institute of Education.

This Postgraduate Certificate Education (PGCE) Secondary Science course is consistently graded as good in Ofsted inspections, and will lead to the award of Qualified Teacher Status (QTS), qualifying you to teach the 11-18 age group in secondary schools in England and Wales.

You will be taught by staff with national and international reputations as experts in the field of science education. They are a diverse and incredibly experienced community of academics with extensive school teaching and academic experience.

Take part in activities designed to help you to plan your teaching effectively and imaginatively. Discover how to evaluate your skills, particularly in terms of the quality of learning achieved by pupils.

Your teaching is through a series of practical seminars and workshops in purpose-built science laboratories where interactive and discussion-based techniques will encourage you to engage, reflect and challenge. Sessions may include:

  • participating in workshop-style sessions with your peers
  • attending presentations by subject experts
  • working on tasks in groups
  • having individual tutorials
  • visits to schools or other education settings
  • visits to theatres, museums, galleries or sites of educational interests
  • writing assignments on aspects of subject teaching and professional studies

These learning activities will help you to develop a toolkit of knowledge and skills, ensuring you are well prepared to tackle challenges and opportunities throughout your training and your career.

Alongside your University tutors, you will be taught and guided by a team of committed and experienced University-trained school mentors.

Placements

Placements enable you to develop the skills and knowledge valued and desired by employers. You will build your confidence in the classroom and gain practical teaching experience. Placements also provide you with the opportunity to connect with potential employers and build your professional network.

At secondary level, we have strong relationships with around 80 schools in the local and surrounding area. It is a testament to the strength of these partnerships, and the regard with which our graduates are held, that most schools in Berkshire employ at least one graduate of the Institute of Education.

On your Secondary PGCE course, you are required to carry out three placements in two different age groups — ensuring you receive a broad range of experiences. Two placements must be undertaken in a school setting, but the third can be taken in a different setting, allowing you to sample teaching in an alternative environment.

We offer our students an unusually flexible and broad range of settings and educational environments. You will have the opportunity to gain experience in special needs schools, pupil referral units, independent schools, museums and charities.

You will have plenty of opportunities throughout your course to apply your developing skills in real settings. In schools, you will be involved in:

  • observation of other teachers
  • planning and teaching parts of lessons/small groups
  • planning and teaching lessons and sequences of lessons
  • reflecting on and evaluating your teaching
  • receiving feedback on your teaching
  • gaining experience of the range of responsibilities of classroom teachers

Facilities

The Institute of Education is based on our historic London Road campus, which has undergone a £30m refurbishment of the classical Oxford-cloistered quadrangle to create a dedicated, world-class education centre.

We have created custom-built spaces for the teaching of specialist subjects, including:

  • modern laboratories
  • musical studios, including an electronic drum kit room and a recording studio
  • well-equipped art studios and facilities for the practise of work in drawing, painting, sculpture and mixed media
  • studios for wet photography and printmaking, including silk screen.

Alongside these fantastic facilities, you will also find places to eat and drink, as well as plenty of green space to relax in.

The Learning Hub

We have an incredible collection of teaching and research resources housed in the Learning Hub. A treasure trove for teachers and researchers, the Learning Hub contains an extensive selection of teaching aids for loan or reference, from big books to puppets. A printing and binding facility, and technical equipment library are also available for your use.

Research

The quality of our research was recognised in the latest Research Excellence Framework (2014), the system for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions, which placed the Institute of Education in the top quartile of education departments in the UK.

Over 80% of our research publications were rated as world leading or internationally excellent. The impact of our research on educational policy and practice in first and second language education was judged to be world leading.

School Direct

This subject is also available via School Direct as well as the University-based route. Those students following a School Direct route may be studying for a PGCE or QTS only. However, all students come together as a subject group in University sessions.

Those taking the PGCE will spend more time in the University than those taking the QTS-only course. The PGCE will involve writing assignments that are designed to help trainees to plan their teaching effectively and imaginatively, and to evaluate their developing knowledge and skills, particularly in terms of the quality of learning achieved by pupils. Successful completion will result in 60 master's-level credits.

Information for international students

IELTS: 6.5 overall with no element less than 5.5 (or equivalent).

Fees and funding

UK students
£9,250
International students
£16,045

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

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

Course contact details

Name
Global Recruitment Team
Email
student.recruitment@reading.ac.uk