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Postgraduate Certificate Secondary Education (QTS) - Science: Biology

Start date
September
Duration
36 weeks
Course Type
Postgraduate, Taught
Ben Hooper, Alumnus

Our Postgraduate Certificate in Education (Science: Biology) leads to Qualified Teacher Status (QTS). Our programme, which offers high quality training and support, will prepare you to teach in the 11-18 age range and is run in close partnership with schools.

On the Biology Postgraduate Certificate Secondary Education course you will be challenged to develop informed and justified decisions about how you approach your teaching, in order to enable you to continue to develop over your career. The School of Education benefits from our unique collaboration with University of Birmingham School as well as a wide range of partner schools, including mixed comprehensive, single sex, religious and selective schools and sixth form colleges. The diverse communities we serve will enrich your experience on the PGCE Biology course.

The School of Education at the University of Birmingham in the West Midlands, has a long tradition of delivering teacher training courses. Its teaching has been graded as 'outstanding' three times by Ofsted inspectors which affirms the University’s status as one of the UK’s leading institutions for excellence in teacher training. 

You may also be interested in our other three PGCE Science courses:

Equal Opportunities

The School of Education and University of Birmingham is committed to equal opportunities in the access to and provision of education. For more information please see the following documents:

Find out more about all our teacher training programmes.

 

Fees

Fees for 2024-2025 are:

£9,250 (UK), £24,120 (International).

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 PGCE 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.

Tuition Fee Loan and Maintenance Loan

With or without a bursary, you can also access a  Tuition Fee Loan to cover your tuition fees and a Maintenance Loan for your living costs. The available loans for 2024-2025 are:

  • a Tuition Fee Loan of up to £9,250 to cover your fees
  • a Maintenance Loan of up to £10,227 (out of London) to support your living costs

Additional financial support

If you have children or a disability, extra funding is available. For instance, you could get:

Find out more information on the  extra financial support available

Learn more about fees and funding

For further information contact the School directly or visit the Funding, Graduation & Awards Office via online enquiries. 

How To Apply

Please note that overseas applications are now closed. 

Apply online through DfE Apply

Course code: C1X1

The Interview process 

Selection is rigorous and designed to identify candidates with the strongest aptitude. Candidates selected for interview will be invited to:

  • meet course tutors
  • find out more about the course
  • 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.  

Our Standard Requirements

We expect candidates for the Secondary PGCE (QTS) to be able to demonstrate the academic quality to teach the subject that they will be training to teach. This will include a strong academic record at A level or equivalent in relevant subjects, along with a strong degree (usually a minimum of 2:2) relevant to the subject taught. In all cases we will be looking at the relevance of your degree, other qualifications and experiences related to your proposed teaching subject in assessing academic suitability. You must also have GCSE Maths and English (Grade 4/C or above) or equivalent qualifications which will be a condition of any offer, if not already achieved. Equivalency tests will be accepted but only from equivalency testing.

All applicants to the Secondary PGCE (QTS) Biology programme must hold a degree from a UK Higher Education Institution or an equivalent qualification. Your degree should have at least 50% Biology related to the National Curriculum. You should also have two science A Levels (or equivalent) including Biology.

If you have any questions about entry requirements, please contact us on ITEadmissions@contacts.bham.ac.uk

You must also:

  • complete an enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check before taking up a place.
  • complete relevant checks to ensure you have the health and physical capacity to teach.
  • agree to abide by the University of Birmingham Code of Professional Conduct and Fitness to Practise.

International Requirements



International Students

English Language requirements

IELTS 6.5 with no less than 6.0 in any band
PTE Academic 67 with no less than 64 in all four skills
TOEFL - 88 IBT overall with no less than 20 in Listening, 21 in Reading, 22 in Speaking and 21 in Writing
Cambridge English Advanced: 176 overall with 169 in each component

The Postgraduate Certificate of Education (QTS) Biology programme will include the study of subject-based teaching methods as well as the study of broader professional issues.  A variety of teaching styles and approaches to learning will be used in the presentation of the themes. These will include University-based lectures, small group seminars and workshops, substantial school-based work with pupils and teachers, and work undertaken individually or with other groups of students.

Our Professional Enquiry course provides breadth and depth of insight across key themes such as learning theories, assessment, equalities, inclusion and teacher health and wellbeing.

Our modules are designed to follow a coherent and cohesive trajectory that will prepare you for your first teaching post. These include modules that focus on working with expert teachers who provide opportunities to practise and receive targeted feedback on core skills, as well as academic assignments that involve making links between practice and recent relevant research.

You will have a personal academic tutor to guide and support you, as well as mentoring in both your placement schools. You will benefit from a specialist programme, working with a subject tutor and peers, developing a professional network which will sustain you into your career. 

There is currently high demand for secondary teachers in the region and beyond. Employment rates are consistently high and strong links with partnership schools mean that many students go into employment in the region.

After completing his programme at the University of Birmingham, Waqar Yousaf now teaches biology at the University of Birmingham School. Read his full profile