About the course
If you’ve got an undergraduate degree and are striving to become a secondary school Biology teacher, then studying our one-year Secondary Biology PGCE with QTS will help you on your way. You’ll develop your subject specialist knowledge alongside hands-on classroom experience. Successful completion of your PGCE course prepares you to start your first teaching post within a secondary school setting. Our course is designed to prepare you to teach pupils in the 11-18 age range.
The course programme is divided into two main themes:
- Developing Specialist Subject Knowledge
You’ll have the opportunity to develop your subject teaching in a stimulating way, using different methodologies and new technologies to inspire and engage young people. We’ll help develop your understanding of the Biology curriculum; how learners make progress in Biology; planning and curriculum development in Biology, examination requirements and inclusion issues in Biology.
- Supporting Learning and Progress in the Secondary School
We’ll prepare you for the classroom, allowing you to develop your teaching skills and understanding of how to meet the needs of all learners. Themes include how young people learn, teaching and learning techniques to support pupils’ progress; behaviour management, assessment, inclusive, creative and innovative teaching methods and how to plan lessons and sequences of lessons. You will research evidence based learning theories, gain a greater understanding of current professional issues in secondary schools and begin to develop your own educational philosophy.
You’ll learn in small, friendly and supportive groups, designed to give you the confidence to succeed. Course tutors are experienced teachers and you’ll have a personal academic tutor to support you through your studies. Teaching is through workshops, tutorials and lectures, some with guest speakers, and through group work with other trainee teachers.
Assessment is typically through the completion of a range of classroom activities, written assignments, reports, personal subject audits and the development of portfolios of evidence. There are no formal examinations and the assignments are carefully designed to help you to develop your teaching practice further. Upon successful completion of the programme we recommend Qualified Teaching Status be awarded by the Department for Education.
Two of the PGCE modules are at Master’s level and you’ll have the opportunity to continue your studies further to complete a Master’s degree, supporting your NQT year and early professional development.
You will be shortlisted for interview based on your application. The interview process typically lasts for half a day. The following selection procedures are designed to assess your suitability to train to teach:
- You will be asked to teach a concept from your subject area
- You will participate in a group task which is designed to investigate your understanding of teaching and learning and the role of a secondary school teacher
- Complete tasks designed to evaluate your fundamental English and mathematics skills
*You will also have an individual interview with a member of the course team which will include a discussion about your subject knowledge.
How school placements work
For all trainees, their school based training is the central element of their initial teacher education. You will undertake at least two compulsory placements as part of your course and will spend 120 days in at least two schools. You’ll benefit from being able to observe experienced teachers, from practical hands-on experience and from supportive mentoring to help you to develop into a confident and successful teacher.
You’ll experience the wider role of a teacher in secondary education. You’ll have the support of both subject and professional mentors in schools who will help you to develop your practice through observations, planning meetings, weekly tutorials, reports and in-depth lesson evaluations.
Your university tutor will visit you in school to guide, support and evaluate your progress. There is an emphasis on practical engagement with the curriculum whilst developing your understanding of the theoretical perspectives which underpin the best models of classroom practice.
The course fees for 2020/2021 are as follows:
You can apply for a tuition fee loan as part of your application to Student Finance England for loans and grants. Student Finance England will pay your fees direct to the University.
You don’t have to pay the loan back while you study. It will only be repayable when you have left the course and earn over £25,000 a year.
When you enrol we will ask you who will be paying for your fees and whether you have requested a loan. If you have not taken the loan, we will send you an invoice for the fees, which will require payment in full during the relevant academic year.
If you are an international student coming to study at the University of Huddersfield, please visit the International Fees and Finance pages for full details of tuition fees and support available.
- An Honours degree in science (2:2 or above).
- Two science A levels at a minimum of grade C or equivalent, with one subject being Biology.
- GCSE English and Maths at grade 4 or above, or grade C or above if awarded under the previous GCSE grading scheme.
- If the degree qualification does not meet our normal entrance requirements, a place may be offered conditionally on the successful completion of a Subject Knowledge Enhancement programme (SKE).
You must demonstrate the ability to communicate effectively, and that you have the intellectual and academic capabilities to meet the required Teachers' Standards by the end of the programme.
- Offers will be subject to satisfactory Disclosure and Barring Service enhanced disclosure check and trainees must not previously have been barred from teaching or working with children. We also ask you to complete a health declaration to ensure that you have the health and physical capacity to teach.
- You should provide two references. Where applicants have current or recent experience working with children or young people, one of the referees should be a member of staff who can comment on your potential to train to teach.
About the training provider
The New Collaborative Teaching School Alliance (NCTSA) is a recently designated Teaching School based in the Yorkshire region. We are an alliance of over 20 good and outstanding providers producing excellent outcomes for our learners.
Our lead school, New College Pontefract has been rated as 'outstanding in all areas' by Ofsted and has been officially recognised as the most successful college in the north of England. We opened a college in Doncaster in 2017 and have expanded our provision with a new college in Bradford in 2019.
About the accredited body
Our PGCE is provided through Huddersfield University who have a proven track record in developing great teachers since 1947. The University has been recognised as a gold-rated University by the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF).
Training with disabilities and other needs
The Wellbeing and Disability Service at the University works with students with a range of disabilities and long-term conditions that have a significant impact on their ability to study. This includes specific learning difficulties such as dyslexia, long-term medical conditions such as diabetes, mobility or physical disabilities or conditions, hearing impairments, visual impairments and social communication difficulties such as autistic spectrum conditions or mental health issues. Our main aim is to work alongside you to get the right support in place at the right time as we believe that nothing should stop you achieving what you're capable of. For more information please email (email@example.com)
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:
Training programme code:
Choose a training location
You’ll also need to choose a training location – select the relevant location name on the application form.
Park Lane, Pontefract WF8 4QR
Support and advice
For questions about this course you should contact the training provider using the contact details above.
Get support and advice about teaching
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