About the course
Outstanding teachers make a difference to the lives and futures of the people they teach. Embedded within our partnership with schools, this Ofsted Outstanding-rated programme will support you to become an innovative and inspiring Secondary Biology teacher.
The programme runs from the beginning of September to the beginning of July. You'll gain experience in a wide variety of schools including primary and special schools. The programme is structured to ensure that you acquire expertise in core teaching skills and attributes, but also contains enough flexibility to allow you to individualise your training during professional development weeks.
At the heart of the programme is the notion of the teacher as a reflective practitioner. The course nurtures and develops a reflective approach to teaching and learning, and encourages BSTs (Bath Spa Teachers) to take a critical stance in their work. You'll be organised in mixed subject groups, positioning you as a BST in the broader context of professional practice. The Professional Studies programme is at the core of the programme, which integrates both University and school partnership training.
The PGCE year starts with an initial preparatory period which tackles the role of the teaching professional, with an emphasis on the Biology practitioner. Through Professional Studies, and subject and pedagogical teaching modules, you'll begin to develop an understanding of the breadth of the role of the teacher as well as becoming familiar with the subject knowledge and skills and pedagogies associated with your own particular subject.
A personalised process of continuous assessment ensures that learning is appropriate and effective. There are five progress review points throughout the PGCE year, which take the form of individual tutorials with your Academic Tutor to monitor your progress and set individual targets for the next phase of training.
The programme is a continuous and open assessment of your progress across all aspects of the training: Subject Studies, Professional Studies and school-assessed phases. Three assignments are offered at level 7 (postgraduate award) through which you can gain 60 master's level credits to put towards further master's study at the University.
You’ll be asked to attend an interview. This will be structured in groups and will include opportunities to present your interests and experience.
How school placements work
The opportunities and challenges provided by the close partnership between Bath Spa University and schools offer a coherent and exciting training programme.
This programme consists of seamless training both at the University and in school. There are two assessed phases in school – one lasting seven weeks, and the other lasting 14 weeks. Prior to these are University sessions involving subject pedagogies and knowledge which link to schools through direct classroom sessions.
You will also experience a range of other school environments such as a primary school and a special school.
The course fees for 2019/2020 are as follows:
Please note the fees above are for the PGCE in 2018/19. The 2019/20 fees are subject to review by government.
For 2019/20 fee information please visit the student finance pages on our website.
In order to apply you'll need to have completed, or be in the final year of a UK degree (or an equivalent qualification). You’re required to have a minimum 2:2 honours degree with at least 50% suitable biology content. You’ll be enthusiastic about Science and working with children.
You'll also need GCSE passes at grade C (4) or above (or recognised equivalents) in English, Mathematics and a Science subject. You're also required to have an A-level in Science.
If you're unsure if you have the necessary subject knowledge then you may be recommended to take a Subject Knowledge Enhancement course.
You’ll need to be well suited to the teaching profession both personally and academically. We look for people with a committed professional approach and an exceptional work ethic. You’ll need to be organised, flexible and unflappable, as well as being able to communicate, interact and relate well to everyone. When entering the teaching profession, having strong emotional resilience and a sense of humour will give you the edge.
- Professional Skills test – you are required to pass literacy and numeracy QTS skills tests. If successful at interview, you will be made an offer with the condition that you pass your skills tests by the start of the course. Find out more here.
- Fitness to train to teach check to ensure you are medically fit to take a teacher training course.
- Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checks – the Government scheme, to enable the identification of people who are barred from working with children and vulnerable adults. For more information visit the gov.uk website.
About the training provider
Bath Spa University has a long and successful tradition of
Initial Teacher Education dating back over 70 years. Newton Park campus was officially opened as Bath Teacher Training College in the 1940s and the University, in partnership with local schools, is now the largest provider of teacher education in the area.
Bath Spa University has been awarded a grade 1 'outstanding' for its primary and secondary teacher education programmes by the quality regulator Ofsted, which is the highest grade that can be given. The programmes build on a long established history of teacher training, excellent education research, and teaching at undergraduate and postgraduate level.
From January 2019, we will also be offering a part-time route into the Primary (5-11) and Primary (7-11) Programmes.
Training with disabilities and other needs
We have a range of support services designed to help you get the most out of your time at Bath Spa University. You’ll find advice, guidance, information and ideas on a range of issues, provided by specialist staff who will share their expertise and help guide you through the many activities and issues that you may encounter. Further information can be found on our website.
Most students find themselves needing a bit of help at times as they juggle different priorities and demands. Common concerns include balancing study, work and social life, personal issues, friends and relationship difficulties, health or loneliness. We won’t make decisions for you – but we’ll help you to make them
- Disability and Accessibility
Our specialist team gives information, advice and guidance to our students with a disability, including those with a specific learning difficulty (dyslexia, dyspraxia, AD(H)D), on the autism spectrum, with mental health or medical conditions or with sensory
or mobility impairments.
- Mental health and wellbeing
Our team is here to help you cope with the demands of the PGCE year, build resilience and enable you to engage with your own mental health.
We can guide you through the intricacies of funding your teacher training and give advice on loans and other forms of funding, on budgeting and how to handle and negotiate debt. We also administer loans and grants which are available in special circumstances to students experiencing financial hardship.
You can't apply for this course because it currently has no vacancies. To find courses with vacancies, change your search settings to 'Only courses with vacancies'.
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
Register with Get into Teaching, the Department for Education’s free support and advice service, for personalised guidance from teaching experts. They can help you to prepare your application, book school experience, and access exclusive teaching events. You can also call them free on 0800 389 2500, or speak to an adviser using their online chat service, from 8am to 8pm, Monday to Friday.
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