St John Bosco
Biology (3439)

PGCE with QTS full time

Accredited body
Liverpool Hope University
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


About this training programme


This course aims to produce outstanding teachers whose enthusiasm for Biology inspires pupils in their study of the subject. There is currently great demand for Biology teachers in UK secondary schools. St John Bosco, in partnership with Liverpool Hope, offers the support you need as you embark on a rewarding teaching career.

Across your placements, you will work with teachers of Science from all disciplines to develop your subject knowledge and pedagogy across all three sciences for teaching in key stages 3 and 4. At post 16 level you will work within your own Science specialism.

Your school based mentors work alongside University tutors to focus on individual development needs during your school based practice. In addition, all of our Science based students have the opportunity to participate in the Physics Partners Programme to gain knowledge and expertise of the "required practical" element for GCSE.

School placements will cover the 11-16 age range, along with a KS5 enhancement.

Entry requirements


  • An undergraduate Honours Degree 2:2 or above, incorporating at least 50% in Biology. If the degree has less than the required amount of Biology then a subject knowledge enhancement course prior to starting the PGCE may be required.
  • GCSE Grade C or above in English and Mathematics (These can be pending but required before enrolment).
  • Mainstream secondary school experience in relevant subject within last 18 months is beneficial but not essential.

Offers will be subject to a successful interview, as well as a Health Check Statement and an Enhanced Disclosure from the Disclosure and Barring Service (formerly the Criminal Records Bureau CRB).

It is a government requirement that you take the numeracy and literacy skills tests as part of the application process. You must ensure you have passed them both before the start of the course, please go to the Department of Education website for further details.

Interview process

As part of the process, you will be required to:

  • plan, prepare and deliver a short input to a small group of pupils on a pre-given topic.
  • complete a timed written task, usually reflecting upon your teaching input.

Interviews are with a small panel comprising of the Director of Teaching School, a subject teacher/Head of Department and a representative from Liverpool Hope University. In some instances, a colleague from one of our Strategic Partner schools will attend.

How school placements work

Our school placements can be within any of our Alliance schools be they Strategic Partners or from our wider Alliance. Generally, these are within the Mersey City Region i.e. Liverpool or the surrounding boroughs.

Trainees teach across the age and ability range and will have some opportunity to work with pupils at key stage 5.

We operate three placements across two schools within the academic year: home school in terms 1 and 3 with a contrasting away school in term 2.

Trainees spend three to four days per week in their placement across the first two terms and are there full time in the final term. The rest of the week is comprised of: one day per week at Liverpool Hope University further developing subject knowledge and pedagogy. In addition, there are 12 Masters days across the academic year which are also delivered at Liverpool Hope University. School Wide Development sessions form part of the training delivered at St John Bosco.


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

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.



  • A 2:1 degree or above. A 2:2 may be accepted.
  • Degree must be in the subject area you apply for.
  • GCSE Mathematics and English Language Grade C or above.

Students must pass tests in Literacy and Numeracy prior to starting training. School experience can be beneficial.

Subject knowledge enhancement courses are available for some secondary subjects. If degree subject does not link to your chosen subject it is recommended that you undertake a SKE before your training. This may be made a condition of any offer made.

Personal qualities

What are we looking for in a candidate?

We are looking to recruit talented candidates who have the qualities and attributes suited to a career in teaching and the drive and ambition to make it happen.

The sorts of personal qualities we are looking for are:

  • A friendly and approachable nature
  • Good interpersonal skills
  • Organisation and time management
  • Resilience
  • A passion for your subject
  • A positive outlook
  • A creative and innovative approach
  • The ability to reflect on and improve practice
  • Potential leadership capabilities

Other requirements

When attending interview, candidates will be required to bring photo ID along with GCSE certificates and degree certificate if this has already been received.

A condition of any offer made requires candidates to undertake a DBS check (formerly CRB) as well as successfully completing the skills tests.

About the training provider

As part of your training, you will:

  • participate in an induction day before the start of the programme, focusing on teaching & learning and behaviour management, as these are the main areas many trainees are concerned about.
  • be assigned a Professional Mentor and school based Subject Mentor for each placement who will design a programme to meet your subject training needs.
  • have three placements across two schools across the academic year.
  • undertake a period observing pupils within your “Home” school context. "Orientation" is crucial to long term success as it allows you to embed within your school setting as well as become familiar with rules and routines.
  • start your teaching practice within your department by team teaching, gradually progressing to solo teaching, observed by the class teacher who will provide constructive feedback to aid further development.
  • move to an another school for your "away" placement between January and April before returning to your “Home” school for the summer term.
  • be treated as a member of staff and expected to take part in all aspects of school life.
  • have opportunities to work alongside outstanding practitioners who support your professional development throughout.
  • attend staff meetings.
  • receive CPD in each placement school that complements your training at the University and “on the job”.
  • receive opportunities for enhancement throughout the year. This includes (but is not confined to) experience in a special school setting.

About the accredited body

  • You will be expected to complete two Masters Level assignments at Liverpool Hope University. If successfully completed, they will result in the award of 60 Masters Level credits. Assignments have been designed specifically for trainee teachers to help you further develop your Teaching Practice.
  • Full access to Liverpool Hope University Learning and Support Services throughout the course allowing you to access library resources and seek individual help with all aspects of your academic work.

Training with disabilities and other needs

St John Bosco is committed to providing an inclusive environment which enables all students to achieve their potential.

If you have a disability, medical condition or specific learning difficulty e.g. dyslexia, you will hopefully indicate this on your UCAS/Application form. This will help us to arrange the most appropriate and suitable support for you.

If you declare a disability on your application form and accept an offer to study with us, we will contact you by email to request more information from you.

Contact details

St John Bosco Arts College
61 Storrington Avenue
L11 9DQ


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