About the course
This Science: Biology one-year PGDipEd (QTS) course prepares you for life as a science teacher, with a specialism in biology. The course develops your skills and abilities in understanding the complexities which surround the teaching and learning of science; the subject knowledge and the pedagogy. We hope to develop you as a reflective teacher who considers carefully the choices in how to teach Science: Biology and makes informed decisions about how you work best with students.
At the University of Birmingham we believe we should provide student teachers with the highest level of teacher training possible, and this is why we offer a Postgraduate Diploma in Education (PGDE also known as a PGDipEd) rather than a Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE). Both qualifications lead to Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) but the PGDipEd also offers the equivalent of 120 credits towards a Master’s degree, which makes it a highly rewarding course by combining both theory and practice.
Following satisfactory completion of this course, plus a successful induction year in school and references, you can return to complete an MA in Teaching Studies. Additionally, the School also offers a number of specialised Professional Development programmes which will enable you to further develop your career.
Visit our course page to find out more
Selection is rigorous and designed to identify candidates with the strongest aptitude. Candidates selected for interview will be invited to the School of Education to:
- meet course tutors
- find out more about the course
- complete a written task
- have a one to one interview
- show GCSE and Degree certificates (where these are available).
We work closely with partner schools to select candidates and applicants will often have the opportunity to meet senior colleagues from partner schools when they join us for interview day.
How school placements work
School-based work is an important part of the programme, with students normally spending a total of 24 weeks in schools. During the programme you benefit from both carefully supported introductory work in different schools and the experience of spending a significant length of time in two schools.
The final assessment of teaching is based on the spring/summer term school placement. Assessment is shared between University tutors, staff responsible for students in schools, and external examiners. All aspects of your contribution to the life of the school are taken into account, in particular the teaching of your main subject.
During the course supervised experience and practice are arranged in schools of various kinds across the 11–18 age range. We are fortunate in being able to work with a wide range of partnership schools, including mixed comprehensives, single-sex schools, sixth-form colleges and our own University Training School (www.uobschool.org.uk). Many of the schools offer opportunities to work with pupils from a wide variety of cultural backgrounds.
The course fees for 2020/2021 are as follows:
When you apply for this course, it is important that you also take into account living costs and should ensure that you will have sufficient funds to finance the full duration of your studies. Our PGDipEd programmes include a significant amount of time spent on placements in a variety of schools at different locations, and so when budgeting to study you should also allow for travel to and from placements, as well as textbooks, printing, photocopying and stationery that you may need.
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.
All applicants to the Secondary PGDipEd (QTS) Science: Biology course must hold a degree or equivalent qualification from a UK Higher Education Institution. Your degree content must be at least 50% biology relevant to the National Curriculum. You should also have 2 science A levels or the equivalent.
All candidates also have to:
Have a GCSE in Maths and English (Grade 4 or above) or an equivalent qualification must be attained before making your application.
- Relevant academic profile and intellectual capacity
- Strong subject knowledge
- Relevant work/volunteering experience
- Awareness of contemporary educational issues
- Motivation, enthusiasm and a clear rationale for teaching
- Responsibility, maturity, open-mindedness
- Appropriate ethics and values, including equal opportunities awareness
- Effective spoken and written Standard English
- Commitment to teaching as a career.
- You will need to complete an enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check.
- You will also need to complete relevant checks to ensure you have the health and physical capacity to teach.
- You will need to agree to abide by the University of Birmingham Code of Professional Conduct and Fitness to Practise.
About the training provider
Our Primary and Secondary teacher training pathways prepare top graduates for a career inspiring learning and transforming lives. We work in partnership with a wide range of primary and secondary schools, sixth form colleges and special schools, across Birmingham and the surrounding authorities, to offer both core and School Direct routes into teaching.
The School of Education at the University of Birmingham has a long tradition of delivering teacher training courses. Its teaching has been graded as 'outstanding' for the third consecutive time by Ofsted inspectors which reaffirms the University’s status as one of the UK’s leading institutions for excellence in teacher training.
Training with disabilities and other needs
The University of Birmingham strives to be an inclusive learning community. Whatever your disability, mental health or learning support needs, the Disability, Mental Health and Learning Support Service can provide assistance to make sure you that you can access appropriate support. Find out more at: https://intranet.birmingham.ac.uk/student/welfare/disability/index.aspx
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.
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.
If you have feedback or have had a problem using Find postgraduate teacher training you can contact us by email.
Is there something wrong with this page?
If there is something wrong with this course listing, contact us by email.