About the course
Our popular Biology course is taught by experienced and friendly staff, who were all successful teachers and maintain strong links with schools. You will join a community of students at our IMMarsh campus and become part of our LJMU Partnership school family, with whom we work very closely.
LJMU is unique in the North West in offering a Post Graduate Diploma in Education together with Qualified Teacher Status. This means that our Biology teaching graduates are already two thirds of the way towards a Masters, which many go on to complete during their early career.
The Biology PGDE begins with a 3 week induction period at the University. Following induction and up until January, student teachers normally spend Fridays (and sometimes the occasional full week) at the University and the other 4 days in school. Later in the year, students return to the University for additional full training weeks, but spend the majority of time (at least 120 days) in schools.
The Biology programme will focus predominantly on developing your subject knowledge and subject pedagogy so that you have the knowledge, understanding and skills needed to become a confident Biology teacher and offer a further Science subject at Key Stage 3. In addition, lead lectures and seminars will develop your confidence in a range of relevant issues; classroom and behaviour management; meeting individual needs and inclusion; planning and assessment etc. There is a strong emphasis on social justice issues in education and on mental health and well-being. We want you to develop into an inclusive and reflective teacher, with the skills, energy and resilience needed to make a real difference in schools.
In order to achieve Qualified Teacher Status, you will demonstrate that you are able to meet all the requirements of the Teachers’ Standards. This aspect of assessment is largely undertaken by our school-based mentors. LJMU staff are in regular contact with all trainees on placement, undertake co-observations of their teaching and Quality Assure the school-based training across the Partnership.
The Postgraduate Diploma is assessed through 4 Modules. The course team and our Partnership schools have worked together to ensure that this gold standard teacher training PGDE Award remains both relevant and manageable. The Award of QTS is integral to one of these academic Modules. You will also complete two essays, (one of which focuses on the development of a Scheme of Work) and deliver a case-study presentation.
All applicants who meet the entry requirements will be invited to attend a selection event at the IM Marsh campus of the University.
The selection process involves participation in a group discussion and presentation, a written literacy task, and an individual interview with the course team. Details to support preparation for the event are sent to successful applicants along with an invitation to attend. Our selection and interview procedure will also give applicants further information about our programmes and provide an opportunity to meet our friendly staff team. Interviews also generally involve staff from our partner schools.
An applicant's performance in each part of the selection process is assessed and a final decision is made, based on a judgement of performance across the day. Applicants are normally informed of decisions within 24 hours.
Applicants will be assessed for their:
- Depth of relevant subject knowledge and their interest and enthusiasm for teaching Biology
- Ability to successfully engage learners and to make learning exciting and meaningful to young people in a range of contexts
- Commitment to supporting learners, including in areas of challenging social context
- Enthusiasm, energy and resilience and ability to work with others in teams
- Potential to work successfully at Master’s level.
Applicants are asked to bring evidence of GCSEs in English and Mathematics with them to interview, along with degree certificates if they have already graduated
How school placements work
Your school-based experience takes place largely in a Home School, supported by well- trained mentors. We have found that being in a Home School ensures that you are fully integrated into school life and get to know staff, pupils and your subject mentor extremely well, to the benefit of all involved. A member of LJMU staff is normally attached to each school and is responsible for visiting regularly in order to support all trainees and their mentors. Relationships are very close and constructive.
All trainees are entitled to weekly review and feedback meetings with their mentors and to tutorials with LJMU staff. This “wraparound” care ensures that you are consistently supported from start to finish, both personally and professionally.
You will be allocated to your Home School during Induction and every effort is made to select schools within reasonable travelling distance. Placements are selected from within the Partnership of LJMU schools, which extends across many local authorities in the North West and includes a diverse range of settings. Our LJMU family of schools are committed to student teacher development and to the Partnership with the University. A range of mentor training and development events hosted both at LJMU and in schools, ensure that our mentors understand our expectations and commit to offering high quality guidance and support to each trainee.
In addition to the time spent in a Home School, you will also undertake an alternative placement of roughly 6 weeks in a contrasting school between January and February. This placement has an explicit focus on diversity and inclusion. Additional experiences are also often provided for instance through visits to Special Schools and to Primary Schools. Although the LJMU programmes focus on 11-16 experience, many trainees also gain experience of Post 16 planning and teaching during their school experience.
School experience is structured in Phases, beginning with an observation phase, so that you can develop appropriate confidence and competence, only taking on greater responsibility for planning and teaching as the year progresses. Your final assessment for QTS is conducted at the end of the year.
The course fees for 2019/2020 are as follows:
There are a range of ways in which you can arrange to pay your course fees, including in monthly instalments.
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 - you’ll automatically start receiving it once you begin your course. Find out how you’ll be paid.
Financial support if you’re from outside the UK.
Financial support from the training provider
Hardship bursaries may be available for some students, depending on individual circumstances.
A contribution towards travel to school placements may be made in some circumstances.
You should have or expect to achieve an Undergraduate degree (or recognised equivalent) in a Biology related discipline normally with significant content in your chosen subject area. The degree classification should be at 2:2 or above.
- GCSE English Language and Mathematics at grade C/4 or above (or equivalent qualification)
- Please note: original evidence of GCSE passes (or equivalent) and your degree (if you have already graduated) will be requested at interview. Level 2 numeracy and literacy qualifications are not considered as equivalent . If you have non-standard qualifications please check their suitability with us first.
We are looking for applicants who have a passion for Biology and wish to share their passion with young people. You should have a genuine belief that education transforms life chances and want to make a positive difference to young people and to their communities. At interview we hope to to see your enthusiasm along with evidence of some experiences which have informed your decision to become a teacher. A minimum of 5 days’ work experience in a UK secondary school is helpful prior to commencing the programme. We can help to arrange this for successful applicants.
You are required by the DfE to undertake Professional Skills Tests in Literacy and Numeracy prior to entry to this programme.
You will also be required to meet the Department for Education’s standards for physical and mental fitness to teach and clearance to work with children. Further information, including a Declaration of Health questionnaire and details of how to apply for a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) Enhanced Disclosure will be sent to you after you have firmly accepted an offer.
Your offer is conditional on completing ALL conditions of entry. These will be made available on UCAS.
About the training provider
Liverpool John Moores University (LJMU) has a long established reputation for providing high quality Teacher Training, working in close Partnership with over 300 committed, welcoming and diverse schools across the North West.
Our academic team is made up of successful teachers who maintain strong links with schools and professional bodies, ensuring you receive the most up-to-date training during your course. Our most recent OFSTED inspection acknowledged that: “all trainees are very well prepared to teach their chosen age range and specialist subject”. Employment rates are consistently above average for the sector.
Most Teacher training courses offer a PGCE Award which is worth 60 credits at Masters Level. LJMU, is one of a small number of teacher training providers that offers a Post Graduate Diploma in Education and Qualified Teacher Status. This means that our beginning teachers graduate with 120 Masters level credits. Many go on to complete a Masters in Education Practice during their early career.
Our emphasis is on developing inclusive and reflective practitioners. Our courses ensure that LJMU teachers develop a deep understanding of the curriculum, learners and learning. This enables them to provide the very best and most appropriate learning opportunities for all children and young people, with a positive impact on all learners’ development and achievements.
School-based experience takes place largely in a Home School, supported by mentors. Shorter placements are also provided in contrasting school settings. This variety ensures that our students can confidently plan, teach and manage learning in different settings and socio-economic contexts.
Training with disabilities and other needs
LJMU is committed to Equality of Opportunity and proud of the help we offer. The Disability Advice Team will help you access the support you need. The best time to contact the Disability Advice Team is before you start your course. By contacting the team before you begin and disclosing your disability, you'll be able to receive support from when you arrive. Email: email@example.com Tel: 0151 231 3164/3165.
If you need an Individual Student Learning Plan (ISLP) which sets out the type of support you may need and who is responsible for ensuring your support is in place, this will be put in place by an LJMU Disability Adviser once you have met to discuss your needs. Once finalised, your plan will be sent to you via email. As soon as you have agreed the ISLP it will be sent to your Disability Coordinator and then, with your agreement, passed on to the relevant academic and support staff.
All trainees are encouraged to disclose any specific learning need that they experience, in order to make any adjustments, both at LJMU and within our Partner Schools. As part of the enrolment process to Teacher Training Programmes all students are required to complete a Health Questionnaire and some may be asked to attend a screening appointment with our Occupational Health Unit. This is designed to ensure that arrangements are in place, from the outset, to support any students who may need additional support or reasonable adjustments to be made.
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