About the course
Teaching is an extremely rewarding and challenging career. Our course is designed to provide you with the knowledge, understanding and skills that you need to be an outstanding teacher.
While we may be one of the oldest higher education institutions in the UK, we’re also a modern and innovative institution, with a well-deserved reputation for the quality of our education. The Faculty of Education and Children’s Services has been awarded 'Outstanding' status by Ofsted, credited with delivering "high levels of academic and pastoral care" - Ofsted Report 2016.
We offer two routes: the Core (University-led) Route, and the School Direct Route.
The Core (University-led) Route is a one-year, full-time course that leads to a Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE Secondary). Successful completion also results in the completion of three M level modules which may be used towards a Master's degree. All candidates wishing to gain Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) will be required to pass skills tests in numeracy and literacy before you can start the course.
For the School Direct Route, we work with a number of leading partnership schools to educate teachers. The professional aims of our School Direct courses are to produce high-quality teachers who are committed to learning, and are open-minded, creative and reflective in their practice. The course comprises two main elements:
- 60 professional learning days
- 120 (minimum) school-based learning days
The intention of School Direct is for leading schools to recruit and educate candidates in subject and age phases most in need of employment and choose how the Initial Teacher Education (ITE) programme should be delivered in partnership with the University.
The Biology course allows you to teach Secondary Science with a focus on your specialism. You will develop your subject knowledge, practical skills and pedagogy in all aspects of science at KS3, whilst also developing your expertise in your preferred discipline of Biology at KS4 and KS5 depending on your degree and experience.
Professional and academic learning takes place within University and partnership settings in lectures, seminars, practical workshops and tutorials, and is assessed through assignments and directed activities.
School-based learning will move you from observation through group work to whole class teaching, and is assessed holistically against the Teachers’ Standards.
You will be expected to undertake 10 independent preparation and consolidation study hours (minimum) per week for the University course, in addition to full teaching days when on placement.
How school placements work
We have approximately 500 schools that we partner with. The schools you will be teaching in are selected on the basis of their ability to offer:
- good support to trainee teachers; and
- an Ofsted report that shows 'Good' teaching is in place.
The age range you will be teaching will be 11 to 18 years old.
You will have a minimum of two mainstream placements, as well as additional enrichment placements.
Your travel from home to your school will take no more (and usually less) than 1 hour 15 minutes.
The course fees for 2019/2020 are as follows:
Applicants will normally:
- hold or be expected to gain a minimum 2:2 honours degree (2:1 preferred) with a significant proportion of Biology plus the ability to demonstrate an enthusiasm for science and science education
- have GCSE grade C/grade 4 in English Language and Maths
- have to pass the NCTL skills tests in literacy and numeracy
About the training provider
The University of Chester is an outstanding provider of teacher education, and one of the oldest higher education institutions in the UK. We started teacher training in 1839, and since then the University has developed and evolved to the modern, innovative institution it is today, with a well-deserved reputation for the quality of its education.
Our Faculty of Education and Children’s Services has been awarded 'Outstanding' status in its most recent Ofsted report (Ofsted Report 2016), for its secondary programmes and all 3-7 and 5-11 primary/primary-early years programmes. The Faculty has extensive links to schools within the region, and offer a huge range of undergraduate, postgraduate and professional development courses for those involved or interested in education, teaching and children’s services.
Students can benefit from a range of subject specific facilities designed to bring learning to life; high-quality learning facilities and an on-campus library, housing an extensive collection of books and journals, as well as computer suites and multi-media rooms.
Our experienced team of staff work hard to help you realise your potential through a variety of teaching methods, including practice placements. So whether you’re studying as part of your career development, or retraining towards a new career, our staff and on-campus facilities aim to provide you with a safe and professional environment to hone your skills.
Training with disabilities and other needs
Disability and Inclusion look to fully support all types of disabilities or impairments on a case by case basis to ensure the individual’s needs are reviewed accordingly. We endeavour to provide an inclusive learning and teaching environment, in which all students can achieve their potential. This inclusive environment looks at the way in which courses are run, the accessibility of resources and materials, assessment types and support available with professional placements. Examples of inclusive practice would include accessible buildings, lecture information being made available two days prior to learning, presentations being consistent and easy to follow (colours, text formats etc.) and optional study skills seminars or sessions that students can attend.
We are very aware of the complex needs some students may have, such as students with mobility difficulties or visual impairments. We are able to advise these students on the support available through government organisations and specific reasonable adjustments the University are able to put in place, if barriers to learning are still present. Examples could include accessible formats for reading materials, text to speech software, extra time in examinations, alternative seating, ground floor lectures or height adjustment desks.
Student Futures Support pride their selves on the quality of the support that they provide students.
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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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