Southfields Academy
Biology (263S)

PGCE with QTS full time

Accredited body
Goldsmiths, University of London
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
8 October 2019
Date course starts
September 2020

About the course

Southfields Academy Teaching School SCITT has many years of ITT experience, both as a provider in our own right and also in our successful partnerships with leading universities. We offer placements in Good/Outstanding schools and strong support to PGCE trainees and their subject mentors.

Goldsmiths has been educating teachers since 1904, and is renowned as a leader in the field of teacher education. The partnership you will be joining as a Goldsmiths student has a reputation for supporting the development of exceptional teachers. The 2015 Ofsted report stated:

“Goldsmiths, University of London has worked in close partnership with schools over many years to help meet a local need for high-quality teachers able to contribute quickly to the education of pupils in a predominantly urban setting. Head teachers say that trainees and newly qualified teachers (NQTs) need to be able to ‘hit the ground running’. This is an attribute that Goldsmiths NQTs have in abundance.”

The PGCE (QTS) programme at Goldsmiths has been designed to:

• Promote Reflection.

• Recognise Inclusivity and Diversity.

• Celebrate Creativity.

• Develop Confidence and Engagement.

The Science programme prepares you to teach in secondary schools. Drawing upon your specialism in Biology, Chemistry and Physics, we encourage you to form your own opinions on education through first-hand experience and reflective thinking. We anticipate that you will develop qualities to enable you to become an outstanding classroom practitioner, but also be in a position to participate in and influence the development of science education for the future.

Further details about the programme can be found at: Goldsmiths

Southfields has School Direct placements for Biology trainees within our partnership. If the placement school is important to you, please contact the Teaching School on 020 8870 1797 for the latest position on our vacancies.

Interview process

The recruitment process will be carried out by the university and by the Teaching School in co-operation with its partner schools. It will be a two-stage process i.e. school-based interview and university-based interview.

For the school-based interview, you will spend a day or half-day at the potential placement school, after which we make a recommendation to the university.

Activities at the Goldsmiths interview will include:

• a written English test;

• an opportunity to demonstrate group work skills;

• an individual interview.

• For certain subjects you may be required to provide a portfolio of work at interview to evidence your professional practice.

You have to pass both interview stages and the final decision on an offer rests with the university.

How school placements work

You will have two school placements on the ABA model (i.e. main A placement school and a shorter B placement, after which you return to your A placement school). You will undertake teaching practice and other duties (e.g. pastoral role) at the schools. You follow the normal school timetable, with time allowed to also follow your university calendar.

The advantage of School Direct over the traditional university route is that you will know which school(s) you will be placed at and will have visited the main/first placement school as part of the selection process. You will have chosen them and they will have chosen you!

When you start your school placements you will observe departmental and other colleagues, then undertake supernumerary teaching and class support until you are ready to progress to teaching your own classes.

For Goldsmiths trainees we offer the enhanced model of training. You will attend subject studies at Goldsmiths with other PGCE trainees, but attend General Professional Studies sessions at the Teaching School (on day release) which we provide on behalf of the university. Here you learn how to teach in a supportive and confidential environment. You will observe outstanding teaching on site to inform your teaching practice.

All our study sessions are delivered by experienced teachers and trainers, mostly in-house, but we also bring in consultants and guest speakers. You will cover all essential topics and we aim to make the sessions interactive and engaging. You will be encouraged to share your classroom experiences, take part in role-play and deliver short presentations with other trainees.

You will have access to a Subject Mentor within your placement school, who will provide subject-specific advice and meet with you regularly to plan your training and give you feedback. Your mentor will also provide progress reports to the university.

You will also have access to the Teaching School team, which is always on hand to answer queries, follow your progress, liaise with your mentor and tackle any cause for concern.


The course fees for 2020/2021 are as follows:
Student type Fees to pay
UK students £9,250
EU students £9,250
International students £15,040

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 - if you’re eligible, you’ll automatically start receiving it once you begin your course. Find out about eligibility and how you’ll be paid.

You may also be eligible for a loan while you study.

Find out about financial support if you’re from outside the UK.



  • A Bachelor degree at Honours level (minimum 2:2 or equivalent).
  • A degree in Biology, Biological Sciences or a closely related subject.
  • GCSEs in English Language, Mathematics and a Science at grade 5 or above (or grade C or above) or equivalent.

You must obtain UK NARIC confirmation of equivalence if you have an overseas degree and/or overseas secondary/high school qualifications which you are citing as equivalent qualifications.

Please refer to Goldsmiths

If you have any queries about eligibility, contact the university PGCE course information team on 020 7078 5300.

Personal qualities

In addition to a strong subject knowledge, we are looking for applicants who have an understanding of the nature of working in an urban setting and have a clear commitment and enthusiasm for working with young people. You must be able to show resilience and be willing to work with others.

Goldsmiths welcomes applications from students with additional needs. For further details of support you can expect to receive please refer to: support

Other requirements

You will be subject to additional checks by the university (e.g. enhanced Disclosure & Barring Service check and occupational health check).

You do not need to have extensive school experience before applying, but Goldsmiths ask that you have spent a minimum of 5 days in a school in the last 5 years to ensure that you are fully aware that the profession is right for you.

About the training provider

Southfields Academy Teaching School SCITT has a history of employment-based teacher training going back to 2000. In July 2011 we were awarded National Teaching School status and were one of the Teaching Schools to pilot the School Direct route.

We have the advantage of being both an accredited ITT Provider and a Lead School, so training is genuinely school-led. Trainees are immersed in school life and supported by experienced teaching and training practitioners.

We currently offer:

• A School Direct Salaried programme leading to QTS;

• A School Direct Tuition Fee programme, with our university partners, leading to a PGCE and QTS;

• Placements for university PGCE trainees.

In addition to Southfields Academy itself, we have a partnership of schools in SW London including: St John Bosco College, Richmond Park Academy, Ashcroft Technology Academy, Linden Lodge School and Hampton High School.

You will receive subject training and teaching opportunities at your employing school or placement school. You will meet a range of other trainee teachers in our mixed cohort and you will gain experience with a diverse mix of students over your two school experiences.

We are a smaller Provider, with a friendly, experienced team able to provide you with a high level of personalised support. Each year our trainees leave us as good or outstanding trainees teachers, fully prepared to teach in the real world. You can read testimonials on our website

We are conveniently located in SW London and easily accessible by underground, rail and buses.

Training with disabilities and other needs

All schools have policies on Accessibility, Disability and Equal Opportunities which comply with the Equality Act 2010 and other relevant legislation, and apply to trainee teachers as well as other staff and pupils.

If you have mobility issues, there are lifts at Southfields Tube station and Earlsfield rail station and the 156 bus from Wimbledon-Clapham Junction stops right outside Southfields Academy. Car park spaces can be arranged for disabled trainees. The Academy has lifts and level-access routes within the building.

If you are deaf or hearing-impaired, reasonable adjustments can be made. Southfields Academy has a specialist Hearing Support Centre for deaf students so the technology is state-of-the-art and includes touch screen computers, iPads, video cameras and interactive touch screen boards in teaching rooms. Audiological equipment is also the most up-to-date, with personal FM systems (and wireless microphones) available for all. We have previously had trainees who use a sign-language interpreter.

If you have a learning difficulty we will help you to access the training. All resources can be adjusted e.g. for colour and size of print. We have previously supported trainees with dyslexia.

Please feel free to discuss any concerns you have about the facilities and physical environment, either at Southfields Academy or our partner schools.

Contact details

020 8870 1797
Southfields Academy Teaching School
333 Merton Road
SW18 5JU


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: 181
  • Training programme code: 263S

Choose a training location

You’ll also need to choose a training location – select the relevant location name on the application form.

Location Vacancies Code
Main Site
333 Merton Road, Wandsworth, London SW18 5JU
Yes -

Support and advice

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

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