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What makes PGCE Secondary Science: Biology at Worcester so special?

Unique opportunities to learn how to teach Biology in a newly refreshed course. We place an emphasis on experiential learning, where trainees undertake a wide range of activities then get the opportunity to plan how to deliver this in the classroom. Ensuring each activity is directly transferable to secondary teaching helps trainees to develop their confidence in content delivery.

The course is enhanced by continued support from the scientific professional bodies; Royal Society of Biology, the Institute of Physics, The Royal Society of Chemistry as well as the Association of Science Education.

Overview

Overview

Key features

  • Refreshed course to embed the new curriculum and GCSE subject content
  • Practical and experiential based learning
  • Planning for pupil safety during investigations
  • Develop subject-specific digital technology skills including data logging
  • Trainees have the opportunity to practice teaching Chemistry and Physics
  • Register your interest
    Enter your details below and we will keep you up to date with useful information about studying at the University of Worcester.

"I really enjoyed my PGCE year at Worcester; it gave me a very supportive start to my teaching career."

Victoria Honeybourne, PGCE Secondary graduate

Entry requirements

What qualifications will you need?

Entry requirements

  • Honours degree normally (2:2) of a United Kingdom higher education institution or equivalent qualification, in a science-related subject or (where the degree is not science-based) a top-up Science qualification.
    Applicants with a 3rd class degree will be considered on an individual basis.
  • Grade C/4 at GCSE in English Language and Mathematics (or equivalent) passed at the time of entry.
  • School experience is desirable, but not essential prior to an interview. At interview we will discuss relevant prior school experience or opportunities applicants have had to work with school aged children. It is at this point that we would discuss with a candidate whether additional school experience would support an individual in their decision that teaching is right for them           

Qualifications not listed? Contact the Admissions Office for advice by email: AdmissionsA@worc.ac.uk

If you have lived, studied or worked overseas for three months or more in the last five years a Certificate of Good Conduct from the country of residence will be required. Further information and guidance associated with additional costs are available from the Home Office.

You will also be subject to the usual prohibition list and criminal record checks.

The DfE requires all trainee teachers to obtain an Enhanced Disclosure & Barring Service (DBS) check, which you will need to pay for.

Professional skills tests

All applicants for teacher training courses need to take the numeracy and literacy professional skills tests as part of the application process. You will need to ensure you have passed them both before the start of the course.

The tests are required in addition to your mathematics and English GCSEs, and are designed to show that you have the basic levels of literacy and numeracy needed to teach to a national standard. They will not test your knowledge of the curriculum or how to teach.

The first three attempts at taking your skills tests in each subject are provided free of charge.

Support we offer

We offer free skills tests workshops if you have accepted a place on the course. If you are unsuccessful on your first attempt of the skills test then we will also provide one-to-one support in both numeracy and literacy.

Find out more about our skills tests workshops and support.

Book your place at an Open Day

Want to know why so many students love living and studying in Worcester?

Our open days are the perfect way to find out.

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Course content

What will you study?

Our courses are informed by research and current developments in the discipline and feedback from students, external examiners and employers. Modules do therefore change periodically in the interests of keeping the course relevant and reflecting best practice. The most up-to-date information will be available to you once you have accepted a place and registered for the course. If there are insufficient numbers of students interested in an optional module, this might not be offered, but we will advise you as soon as possible and help you choose an alternative. 

Subject Knowledge with a Deep Understanding

  • Enrich your subject knowledge drawing on the expertise of tutors with national and international research profiles in partnership with school mentors with excellent current practice in your specialist area.
  • An excellent teacher requires confident subject knowledge and an understanding about how pupils learn. The majority of your time in university is in subject workshops.

Specialist Subject Opportunities

  • Present to peers within and beyond the University.
  • Opportunity to join the Association of Science in Education.
  • Begin networking and start the publishing side of your career.

Pedagogy

  • Understand and apply theory and research on how children learn and develop.
  • Explore a range of learning and teaching styles, and classroom organisation.
  • Discover how to promote progress through observing, planning, teaching and assessing learning.

Professional Studies

  • Explore a range of practices and wider issues of education.
  • Understand equality and develop inclusive teaching strategies.
  • Develop your research skills as teachers with these skills are capable of bringing about change.

Enhancement Activities

  • Gain expertise through one of our unique Enhancement Activities: Citizenship - Developing a Second Subject - English as an Additional Language - Special Educational Needs and Disabilities - Technology Enhanced Learning

School Experience

  • Grow through at least 120 days placement in our strong school network across the counties. Experience at least 2 contrasting schools.
  • Be supported and challenged by our blend of school-based Mentors and Personal Academic Tutors.

Your career

  • Become a reflective self-evaluating practitioner.
  • Enjoy great employment prospects; our support takes you from trainee to NQT and onwards.
  • Prepare for leadership and your Masters with 60 credits and a strong research foundation.
Teaching and assessment

How will you be taught?

PGCE trainees wearing white coats and goggles doing practical work in laboratory

Teaching approach

  • School experience in a range of settings.
  • Professional Studies sessions in school and at University.
  • University-led workshops, lectures, seminars, fieldwork and guest lectures.
  • Study of key texts and supplementary reading.
  • Participation in high level professional discussion, peer presentations and debate.
  • Directed studies, case studies and problem solving tasks; development of practice-based competence and skills of critical reflection through guided individual mentoring during placements.
  • One-to-one academic and personal tutorial support including access to our first class Firstpoint services
Group of students in teaching laboratory

Assessment

  • Assignments are carefully designed to develop your skills as a teacher.
  • Assessments that move from highly structured to more open briefs as you develop your professional skills.
  • The opportunity to develop skills as a research informed practitioner.

Programme specification

For comprehensive details on the aims and intended learning outcomes of the course, and the means by which these are achieved through learning, teaching and assessment, please download the latest programme specification document.

ben-looker

Ben Looker

Ben joined the University of Worcester in January 2016 after working in schools in Birmingham and Dudley as an Assistant Headteacher.

He is passionate about ensuring teachers get the correct style of training to build resilience and skills and has written and run a range of courses aimed at improving teacher outcomes. He is the Chemistry lead and as such has a wide range of demonstrations which can be used to ignite passion and engagement in the learning of Science.

Janinne Delorenzo

Janinne joined the University of Worcester in September 2015 having had ten years of experience working in local secondary schools, up to Head of Department level.

She has experience of mentoring PGCE trainees as well as supporting NQTs. Janinne is passionate about engaging students in Physics education and is keen to develop teachers with a ‘can do’ approach to teaching and learning.

Careers

Where could it take you?

Students conducting experiments with squirting drinks bottles outside

 

  • Great employment prospects
  • Prepare for leadership and your Masters with 60 credits and a strong research foundation
  • Many University of Worcester trainees gain promotion within the first few years of teaching
Cover of the 2020 University of Worcester prospectus

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Costs

How much will it cost?

Full-time tuition fees

UK and EU students

The standard tuition fee for full-time UK and EU students registering in the academic year 2019/20 will be £9,250 per year.

For more details, please visit our course fees page.

International students

The standard tuition fee for full-time international (non-EU) students registering in the academic year 2019/20 will be £13,300 per year.

For more details, please visit our course fees page.

Teacher training funding

You can get help with the costs of teacher training. A student finance package will include a Tuition Fee Loan and a Maintenance Loan. You may also be eligible for extra help if you have children or are disabled.

Most courses are also eligible for a tax-free bursary or scholarship depending on your subject, degree classification or highest academic qualification.

Additional costs

Every course has day-to-day costs for essential books, stationery, printing and photocopying.

Travel costs for placements vary depending on the location of schools and your mode of transport and sometimes, these may be reclaimed depending on your individual circumstances.

You may be given the opportunity to visit a museum related to computer science.  Personal travel and entry fees are at your expense.

You may wish to buy your own Raspberry Pi computer or BBC Micro:bit to experiment with at home.  This will further develop your skills and interest in physical computing projects.  A range of kits are available commercially. 

The DfE requires all trainee teachers to obtain an Enhanced Disclosure & Barring Service (DBS) check, which you will need to pay for.

Accommodation

Finding the right accommodation is paramount to your university experience, and our welcoming student communities are great places to live and study.

We have over 1,000 rooms across our halls of residence. With rooms to suit every budget and need, from our 'Traditional Hall' at £102 per week to 'En-suite Extra' at £165 per week (2019/20 prices).

For full details visit our accommodation page.

Subject Knowledge Enhancement

Not sure about your subject knowledge?

Build up or refresh your existing knowledge with a subject knowledge enhancement (SKE) programme before the course.

Subjects offered:
English, mathematics, biology, chemistry, physics, computer science, design technology (food), French, geography

Find out about the bursary.

How to apply

How do you apply?

Part-time route

You can apply to study this course on a part-time basis.

The part-time route runs for 4 school terms and starts in September each year. You will spend terms 1 and 2 in one school and terms 3 and 4 in a second school. In the first 3 terms you will typically spend 3 days per week on the course, either in school or university. Term 4 will be full time in school.

The bursary will be spread across four terms, and the fees will be the same as the full time route.

For more information get in touch via details below. You can also discuss this route in more detail at interview.

Applying through UCAS Teacher Training

UCAS Teacher Training is the central organisation through which applications are processed for entry onto PGCE courses 

Read our How to apply pages for more information on applying and to find out what happens to your application.

UCAS Code

CX11

Get in touch

If you have any questions, please get in touch. We're here to help you every step of the way.

Secondary PGCE Office