Biology with Yorkshire Teaching School Alliance Accredited provider: The University of York

Course offered
PGCE with QTS full time
Financial support
Bursary or student finance if you’re eligible

A postgraduate certificate in education (PGCE) with qualified teacher status (QTS) allows you to teach in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. It’s also recognised internationally.

Many PGCE courses include credits that count toward a Master’s degree.

Course length
1 year
Date you can apply from
9 October 2018
Date course starts
September 2019

About the course

Our programmes last for one academic year (September – June), during which time you will undertake two high quality school placements. You will also enjoy a bespoke programme of training developed and delivered by our Alliance schools and university partners.

Interview process

Candidates for any route into teaching must now apply through UCAS directly to the

Yorkshire Teaching School Alliance.

Selection days take place at our Lead School St Aidan's in Harrogate. We aim to make these days as friendly as possible as we like our candidates to feel at ease and able to enjoy the process. At the start of the day you will be given the opportunity for a tour around our lead school, St Aidan’s with trainees already on the course. The selection day also provides you with an opportunity to meet all key member’s of staff within the teaching school, including a subject specialist. It is important to meet as many people as possible when you go to interviews in order to help inform your decision if you receive offers.

You will be briefed on the overall structure and timetable of the course, the main content strands and assessment procedures. There will be an opportunity for you to ask questions. The selection process, which is expected to last approximately 3 hours. This includes:

•A written subject knowledge task

•An observation of you leading an activity with a group of 6 year 7 pupils

•Formal interview which will be conducted by at least 2 members of our senior teaching staff.

How school placements work

You will do two placements throughout the training year, the timings of which may vary depending on the University you are working with.

Our Lead School, St Aidan’s Church of England High School is based in Harrogate, however, as we are in a partnership of 23 schools, depending on your subject choice you may be placed in other schools in the area as part of your course.

In all your placements you will be guided an mentored by an allocated member of the department, overseen by the ITT co-ordinator in that school. All of our partner schools have vast experience in hosting trainees for placements.

We have a variety of schools within our partnership, and we would always try to ensure that you experience a contrast in the two placement schools across the training year.


The course fees for 2019/2020 are as follows:
Student type Fees to pay
UK students £9,250
EU students £9,250

Our School Direct courses are not salaried therefore you will have to pay tuition fees.

However, bursaries are available for trainees on eligible postgraduate courses in England who are on the non-salaried School Direct route. Bursary amounts will vary depending on teacher training subject and degree class or highest relevant academic qualification.

You may also be eligible for a tuition fee loan to cover the cost of this tuition fee.

Financial support

You’ll get a bursary of £26,000 if you have a degree of 2:2 or above in any subject.

You don’t have to apply for a bursary - you’ll automatically start receiving it once you begin your course. Find out how you’ll be paid.

Financial support if you’re from outside the UK.



•Undergraduate degree in your chosen subject at 2.2 or above.

•It is important that you have a very strong understanding of the subject you wish to teach but if your degree subject does not completely link with the teaching subject, but you have a strong background in the subject for other reasons, you may be eligible for a subject knowledge enhancement course.

•GCSE Grade Cs or above in English, Mathematics and Science (only required if you are applying to teach Science).

Personal qualities

We are looking to recruit high calibre candidates with excellent personal qualities and the drive and motivation to succeed.

You must:

•Have a positive outlook, a sense of responsibility and be adaptable

• Demonstrate a passion for working with, and making a difference to, the lives and development of young people, not just a passion for their subject

•Have good interpersonal skills

•Be friendly and approachable

•Be creative and imaginative

•Have good organisational skills and excellent time management

•Have powers of reflection and strive to improve their own practice with openness to new ideas.

•Be aware of current educational issues

Other requirements

Candidates should demonstrate that they have experience in a school environment and working with children. However, this is not a prerequisite to applying for the course. If we feel more experience is necessary we are likely to make this a condition of any offer we make.

In addition you should:

•Have successfully completed or be registered to take the Professional Skills’ tests in Literacy and Numeracy. Information regarding this can be found at:

•Complete a declaration regarding any criminal convictions, clearance from the Criminal Records Bureau regarding suitability to work with young people and a fitness to teach declaration

About the training provider

Yorkshire Teaching School Alliance is a partnership of Yorkshire Secondary Schools working alongside three of the top Universities in the region. Together we provide an outstanding School Direct PGCE programme for prospective teachers.

We are driven by a moral purpose motivated by our desire to ensure young people have the best educational opportunities in life.

Our alliance is underpinned by relationships built on trust, care and the consideration of individual contexts,in order to provide support within a sustainable framework, in which everyone feels valued.

We work with Universities in both Leeds and York so our trainees can apply to a training programme as convenient to them as possible.

Drawing on our partnerships, we are able to provide expertise from a variety of different school and university educational contexts. As an alliance we strive for excellence built on an academic foundation that draws on the best in educational research and long standing collaboration.

At the centre of our work is our priority to develop teaching and learning in order to make a tangible impact on young people by developing teachers and leaders of the future. We value good relationships with all our trainees and this is reflected in our retention rates with over 95% of our students successfully completing the course each year.

For the last two years over 75% of our trainees have found employment before the end of their training year.

About the accredited provider

The University of York is regularly ranked ‘top ten’ in UK Education leagues tables with teacher training at the core of the University’s offering for over 50 years.

High quality support is delivered by our experienced and friendly teaching team, committed to ensuring you develop into a highly effective and skilled teacher. Being part of one of the top 24 research based ‘Russell Group’ universities in the UK, University of York also offers you access to the newest innovative thinking in education research.

Subjects offered by YTSA in partnership with UOY include:

Maths, Biology, Chemistry, Physics, History, English and MFL.

Training with disabilities and other needs

The YTSA and all our Partners are committed to offering opportunities and training inclusively to all candidates including those with disabilities and other needs.

St Aidan's, our Lead School in Harrogate has a large and well respected learning support department which means that as a site (and as a school) we are familiar with accommodating at range of needs and have the facilities to be able to do this without difficulty.

All our partner universities and schools are also familiar with working with trainees with a range of different needs or disabilities and all of our Universities have occupational health departments on hand for additional support where necessary.

Contact details

01423 818512
Yorkshire Teaching School Alliance
St Aidan's C of E High School
Oatlands Drive


Apply on the UCAS website. You’ll need to register with UCAS before you can apply.

Visit Get into Teaching for guidance on applying for teacher training.

When you apply you’ll need these codes for the Choices section of your application form:

  • Training provider code: 15X
  • Training programme code: 2WFJ

Choose a training location

You’ll also need to choose a training location and give the relevant training location code.

Code Name Address
- Main Site Oatlands Drive, Harrogate HG2 8JR

Advice and support

For questions about this course you should contact the training provider using the contact details above.

For advice about teaching

For advice about teaching or teacher training you can call Get into Teaching on Freephone 0800 389 2500 or chat to an adviser using their online chat service between 8am and 8pm, Monday to Friday.

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