About the course
The Brunel PGCE in Secondary Education (Science with Biology) aims to facilitate your transformation into a well-educated, confident and motivated science educator, helping all pupils become scientifically literate citizens.
As a secondary school biology teacher you will have to build upon and sustain pupil’s interest for the subject as they journey through the biology national curriculum.
The need for qualified, enthusiastic teachers with an understanding of the demands society places on young people has never been greater. The opportunity to educate children and young people, and learn from them in return, is immensely rewarding.
Schools are seeking teachers with high levels of pedagogical competence and skill, as well as advanced subject knowledge for teaching as well as knowledge of the theories, policies and systems relevant to education.
The focus of your studies will be on the principles and methods of teaching and learning delivered through three core modules, together with compulsory, practical school-based teaching placements. Your progress will be assessed in both areas.
As part of your teacher education, you will be taught how to use subject knowledge and relevant course specifications to plan and deliver the curriculum for pupils from 11-16, including examination and vocational courses.
Your placement will typically take you into partner schools or other educational settings in and around London for at least 120 days in block placements in two or more different contexts working with a school-based mentor.
Links with schools across our partnership enable you to undertake placements that will equip you with the skills to work with young people in a diverse range of educational contexts. Brunel's education department was highly praised for this partnership work in the 2015 Ofsted inspection – Ofsted graded Brunel’s Initial Teacher Education Partnerships as ‘Outstanding’ in all areas.
As you progress through your own development and learning on the course, you will be encouraged to reflect critically and constructively on your own and others’ teaching practices in relation to a range of aspects including national and regional priorities and policies, and current research.
At the heart of the programme is the commitment to ensuring that your practice will impact positively on pupil progress over time, and partnership activities with schools will contribute to school improvement in which you will play a central part.
Upon successful completion of the course, you will receive both a postgraduate certificate in Education (PGCE) and a recommendation for Qualified Teacher Status (QTS).
If your UCAS application is successful, you will be invited to attend an interview. The interview process will include a subject knowledge task, a written communication task, a mini-lesson and a formal interview. These are led by members of the Initial Teacher Education team at Brunel.
How school placements work
School-based professional learning is a compulsory element of all programmes leading to a recommendation for QTS. The course involves the statutory requirement of at least 120 days of school experience in the form of block school placements undertaken in at least two different contexts.
Our current partnership schools are mainly located in the West London area and adjoining Home Counties. We have developed close links with a number of very good schools over a number of years, and offer placements within carefully chosen schools that provide an appropriate professional learning experience. The ethnic and cultural diversity of the schools we work with is a distinctive aspect of our provision and we are equally proud of the diversity of our student teacher cohort, who reflect the communities in which many of them go on to work as teachers.
We also offer student teachers the opportunity to experience placements in alternative settings, which include special schools, Pupil Referral Units (PRUs), young offenders institutions. This further demonstrates our commitment to preparing teachers to work with young people in a diverse range of educational contexts.
You will be allocated a school-based mentor, selected for their experience and expertise, who is there to help you develop and learn while you are on placement. The importance of this person should not be underestimated. Teaching is a very challenging profession and with the help of your school-based mentor and your University tutor we aim to make sure that you have support every step of the way, encouraging reflection and development.
The course fees for 2020/2021 are as follows:
Fees for 2020/21 entry
- UK/EU students full-time: £6,170 (Schools Direct); £9,250 (Core)
- International students: £15,400 full-time
- UK/EU students can opt to pay in six equal monthly instalments: the first instalment is payable on enrolment and the remaining five by Direct Debit or credit/debit card.
- Overseas students can opt to pay in two instalments: 60% on enrolment, and 40% in January for students who commence their course in September (or the remaining 40% in March for selected courses that start in January).
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.
Financial support from the training provider
Brunel offers the following Postgraduate Scholarships, prizes and further fee reductions:
• Postgraduate Academic Excellence Scholarship – 15% tuition fee discount, plus additional 15% if a Brunel Graduate. No application is required. Brunel will automatically assess your suitability in the summer
• PGCE Access Scholarship - £2,500 with no application required. Brunel will automatically assess your suitability in the summer.
For full terms and conditions please visit the scholarships page on our website: http://www.brunel.ac.uk/study/postgraduate-fees-and-funding/scholarships
*An undergraduate or postgraduate degree in the field in which you intend to teach, normally 2.2 classification or above in preparation for Masters level professional study.
*Maths and English Grade 4 and above (grades A* to C) or equivalent at GCSE level.
To further strengthen your application, we recommend that you have:
*Modules within your degree course which should provide a foundation of preparatory knowledge for the phase or subject you are applying to teach;
*An informed personal philosophy on the aims of your subject area, drawing on relevant reading and research;
*An understanding of statutory requirements for your subject area within the state school sector;
*An awareness of recent government policy or initiatives in education and your subject area
*Recent and relevant experience of state school education in England;
*The ability to communicate effectively in both spoken and written English.
We ensure that all student teachers have been subject to Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) criminal records checks, including a check against of the children’s barred list.
We undertake our responsibility to ensure that the student teachers are not, therefore, disqualified from childcare or that the student teacher has obtained a childcare disqualification waiver from Ofsted.
The DBS application will cost £51.86 (this amount may be subject to change) and the University will send further instructions as part of the admissions process. Further guidance can be found here, alternatively email firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the training provider
Education at Brunel: Ranked 2nd in London (Guardian League Table 2019) and an outstanding provider of Initial Teacher Education (Ofsted, 2015).
Education at Brunel offers an unrivalled experience for developing education professional or for your education training.
We are one of the longest established Education departments in the country and leading research centre for work in supportive education. We regularly receive high ratings from the UK's leading benchmarks such as Ofsted.
All our education courses have been developed in collaboration with partnership schools and the National College for Teaching and Leadership (NCTL). This ensures the highest possible quality of provision and relevance in national and school-level priorities in Education.
You'll learn in lectures, seminars, and workshops and by modelling classroom practice. You'll also learn through independent learning, investigation and guided discovery; and through observation, self-evaluation and reflection on teaching practice. We invite guest speakers to contribute to the taught sessions and arrange school visits, for example, to pupil referral units and special schools.
100% of our PGCE Secondary Education students secured posts in schools within six months of graduation (Destination of Learners from High Education 2015-2016).
A Brunel PGCE with recommendation for QTS is a recognised symbol of high-quality Initial Teacher Education. You'll benefit from our partnerships with educational institutions and local schools. Many of our students go on to work in our partner schools and many more are employed in schools where they undertook a placement.
Training with disabilities and other needs
Our campus and facilities are recognised as some of the best in the country for disabled students.
We offer advice and support to disabled students, including those with dyslexia and other specific learning difficulties, mental health conditions, Asperger syndrome, mobility and sensory impairments and unseen disabilities such as epilepsy, diabetes, arthritis and sickle cell anaemia.
Our disability advisers will help make you access the support or specialist equipment you need to make the most of your studies.
We arrange support individually with each students and the service is confidential. We only use your details, with your consent, to help you get the best support.
For more information, you can contact Brunel's Disability and Dyslexia Service: email@example.com; www.brunel.ac.uk/disability
Assistive Technology Centre - this provides software and hardware to support disabled students. It also runs a loan scheme of key equipment such as digital recorders and assistive listening devices. www.brunel.ac.uk/assistive-technology
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.
Kingston Lane, Uxbridge, Middlesex UB8 3PH
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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