Biology with St Mary's University, Twickenham

Course offered
PGCE with QTS full time
Financial support
Bursary or student finance if you’re eligible

A postgraduate certificate in education (PGCE) with qualified teacher status (QTS) allows you to teach in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. It’s also recognised internationally.

Many PGCE courses include credits that count toward a Master’s degree.

Course length
1 year
Date you can apply from
9 October 2018
Date course starts
September 2019

About the course

Some course details are below and further information is available via

Come and meet us. The university runs 'Getting into Teaching' open events every month. Book a place via

We also host a 'drop in' session on the 'First Thursday' of every month between 1.30-3pm at the university's coffee shop.

During this course we will prepare you to teach Science with Biology using a blend of University based sessions and placements in local partnership schools.

Each aspect of your training will allow you to develop a deep understanding of the issues related to teaching science and your particular science discipline.

University based sessions are held in both classroom and a laboratory setting which offer ample opportunity to develop your knowledge skills and understanding with the content knowledge itself and its pedagogy.

Partnership School based training allows you the opportunity to work with experienced classroom teachers who will act as mentors to develop your classroom practice.

While at University, and when in Partnership School sessions, you will attend lectures, seminars, workshops and tutorials in addition to accessing a wide range of on-line resources.

Throughout the course there is a focus on a range of pedagogical issues which are necessary to become a successful teacher. These include:

  • examples of required practical activities at KS4 and 5 (including health and safety);
  • planning and preparing a science lesson;
  • microteaching; inclusion of all learners (SEND);
  • assessment for learning activities (AfL);
  • managing behaviour for learning within the classroom and laboratory.

In most schools there is a need to for all science teachers to teach all three science subject areas up to the age of 14 (KS3) and in some schools this is an expectation up to the age of 16 (GCSE). Therefore we cover aspects of all three science areas throughout the course to enhance your suitability for employment in a range of science departments.

Your progress is monitored and supported by both University and Partnership school staff who have developed successful working relationships with previous cohorts.

St. Mary's University has been graded "Outstanding" by Ofsted for the Secondary Initial Teacher Education programmes.

Interview process

Once we are confident you have met the course entry requirements, we carefully examine your personal statement. This is your opportunity to convince us that you have seriously thought through your journey into teaching in terms of motivation and a genuine understanding of what being a teacher really means.

You will almost certainly find it helpful to refer to prior learning and classroom experiences and reflect on the implication of what you saw, heard or experienced.

Within your statement, it is often helpful to connect your prior academic and/or work experiences to the skills and attitudes required for teaching.

On the interview day - we want to get to know you a little better and for you to get to know us.

The components that make up the day include : -

  • English writing activity
  • Subject knowledge assessment
  • Small group discussion activity
  • 3 minute presentation justify why your subject is part of the curriculum
  • Interview

The Admissions Tutor will host the day and explain the structure of the course, school placements, the Enhancement placement, Masters Modules and assessments.

We look forward to meeting you and supporting you to become an outstanding teacher of children.

How school placements work

You will gain experience in TWO different school settings through the course. You will be school-based for a minimum of 120 days.

We always attempt to take into account your personal accommodation postcode and your personal circumstances when allocating training school placements.

Across your training you will have experience of working in Key Stage 3 and 4. There is usually the opportunity to experience post 16 as well.

An experienced teacher acts as mentor during the school placement and contributes to your overall assessment as a new teacher.

At St Mary's University, we have the strongest commitment to student teacher support, regularly visiting student teachers in school over the duration of the course.

We see tutors retaining contact with student teachers while they are school-based, away from University as a major factor in our support success. The consistent support available for students is, we think, outstanding.

St. Mary's University is in partnership with over 700 schools - many of our trainees go on to become NQT's in these partner schools.


The course fees for 2019/2020 are as follows:
Student type Fees to pay
UK students £9,250
EU students £9,250
International students £12,750

Home/EU Tuition Fee of £9250 is subject to change based on approved Fee changes.

For further details - please visit the University website pages on Fees and Student Finance:


Financial support

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

St. Mary's University Alumni are able to receive a discount on the PGCE Tuition fee:


International students may be able to apply for a St. Mary's University International Scholarship: (



GCSEs or their standard equivalent:

GCSE grade C / 4 (or standard equivalent) in Mathematics and English

If you do not meet the above entry requirements - we are able to offer candidates the opportunity to sit the St. Mary's University GCSE Equivalency Test, but we do not accept Equivalency Tests from any other organisation.

Degree requirement (or equivalent qualification) :

2:2 degree classification and above will allow you to access the government bursary.

Demonstrate that you have made a fully informed decision

Further details of entry requirements:

Personal qualities

During the interview and selection process, you will take part in a variety of tasks that will allow you to evidence that you have thought carefully about your motives for becoming a teacher and can demonstrate that you have some emerging capability to reflect on what being a teacher means.

We are looking for candidates who can demonstrate a genuine passion for teaching, working with and supporting children and an understanding of the resilience needed for teaching.

Other requirements

School observation

At St Mary's University, we would like all applicants to have made a fully informed decision about considering joining the teaching profession. As part of that decision making process, spending some time in school(s) observing what teachers do and beginning to give some consideration to how they manage learning, can be really insightful and informative.

Skills tests

A deadline for passing the Professional Skills Test will be sent with your offer.

DBS check

Successful completion of a physical and mental fitness to teach and a Satisfactory Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check are also required for teacher training.

About the training provider

St. Mary's University is graded "Outstanding" by Ofsted for both Primary and Secondary teacher training.

For further details: ( )

Where to find us: (

Student Life: (

Teaching students at St Mary's have one of the highest employment ratings in the UK with 98% of 2016 Primary PGCE graduates in employment and 100% of trainees from the 2016 Secondary PGCE degree were employed as teachers within six months - many in our partnership schools.

Student feedback regularly highlights the quality of the pastoral care provided through their training programmes and the support offered by partner schools.

St. Mary's University is situated in Strawberry Hill, Twickenham - a leafy part of greater London (5 minute walk from Strawberry Hill mainline from London Waterloo) and good local bus links for other central London connections.

Public Transport:

We have recently celebrated 165 years in Education in south west London. St Mary's is London's second largest teacher training course provider, with a significant proportion of our 6,000 students training to teach on primary and secondary courses.

Key Facts

Close partnership between the University and partner schools in all aspects of the course.

Educational theory closely related to practical reality of the classroom

Strong personal tutor support

Support for those with an area of interest in SEND and EAL

High employability rates for PGCE Trainee Teachers

Ongoing support into your NQT year and your career beyond

Ongoing Masters study opportunities at discounted rates

Training with disabilities and other needs

St. Mary's University has a fully supportive and well-resourced Student

Wellbeing service to support trainees with disabilities and other needs.

At interview, we encourage candidates to disclose any additional needs requiring support so that early support can be in place for the PGCE course.

For further information on Disability Access: (

Contact details

020 8240 2367
Waldegrave Road
Strawberry Hill, Twickenham
Richmond upon Thames


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: S64
  • Training programme code: C1X1

Choose a training location

You’ll also need to choose a training location and give the relevant training location code.

Code Name Address
Main Site

Advice and support

For questions about this course you should contact the training provider using the contact details above.

For advice about teaching

For advice about teaching or teacher training you can call Get into Teaching on Freephone 0800 389 2500 or chat to an adviser using their online chat service between 8am and 8pm, Monday to Friday.

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