Postgraduate Diploma Secondary Education (QTS) - Science: Biology

Start date
September
Duration
36 weeks
UCAS code
C1X1
Course Type
Postgraduate, Taught

Our Postgraduate Diploma in Education (Science: Biology) leads to Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) and offers 120 credits towards our MA in Teaching Studies. 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.

The School of Education at the University of Birmingham 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. 

The School of Education benefits from our unique collaboration with University of Birmingham School as well as a wide range of partners, including mixed comprehensive, single sex, religious and selective schools and sixth form colleges. The diverse communities we serve enrich the experience of our students.

On the Science: Biology Postgraduate Diploma Secondary Education programmes 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.

On successful completion of your PGDipEd and your NQT year, you may return to study with us on a part-time basis to complete your Masters in Teaching Studies.

You may be eligible for bursaries of up to £26,000 (depending on qualifications)  in line with the government’s priority to attract more well qualified Biology teachers.

You may also be interested in our other two PGDipEd 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.

Download our Teacher Education brochure (PDF)

Dubai Campus

Study for a PGCE at the University of Birmingham Dubai campus

Our programmes have been approved by the KHDA and follow teaching standards within the U.A.E

FIND OUT MORE ABOUT OUR COURSES IN DUBAI

 

Such is the confidence of schools that trainees from the University of Birmingham are of high quality, employment rates for both primary and secondary phases exceed national averages by some margin.

The 2013 Ofsted report

Fees

Fees for 2020-2021 are:

£9,250 (UK/EU full-time), £18,450 (overseas full-time).

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 PGDipEd 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.

This course attracts tax-free bursaries of up to £26,000 (depending on qualifications) in line with the government’s priorities to increase the number of Biology teachers.

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 are:

  • a Tuition Fee Loan of up to £9,250 to cover your fees
  • a Maintenance Loan of up to £11,672 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. 


For students applying for the 2020/21 academic year

The UK Government has confirmed that EU students will continue to be eligible for 'home fee status' for entry in September 2020, and will continue to have access to eligible financial support for the duration of their course. For more information visit the gov.uk website.

You can also visit our EU Referendum information page for more information and updates.

How To Apply

UCAS 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 the School of Education to:

  • meet course tutors
  • find out more about the course
  • complete a written task
  • 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

All applicants to the Secondary PGDipEd (QTS) Science: Biology course must hold a degree or equivalent qualification from a UK Higher Education Institution. Your degree content must be at least 50% biology relevant to the National Curriculum. You should also have 2 science A levels or the equivalent. 

A GCSE in Mathematics and English (Grade 4 or above*) or an equivalent qualification must be attained before making your application. 

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.

*New GCSE grades

International Requirements


The PGDipEd programme runs from early September to late June. Students undertake two substantial placements in schools – one in term one and one in terms two and three. Approximately two thirds of the year is spent in school and one third in University. You will complete six modules, five of which require a written assignment. For the final module, University tutors and school-based mentors share the assessment against the Teachers’ Standards for the award of QTS.

The course is essentially one of professional training combined with academic study appropriate to a course at Masters’ level. Much of the work of the first term is a direct attempt to prepare you for teaching situations that you may face on school placements. It should give you opportunities for developing your own thinking which can be trialled when practising those facets of teaching which are most directly related to the classroom and the laboratory situation. Time will be given to, for example: the preparation of: lesson materials; the organisation of laboratory work; and the use of demonstrations. These are only a sample of the techniques to manage and engage classes. Some are general skills that all teachers must develop regardless of their subject; others will be specific to the sciences.

The curriculum work is also concerned with broader and longer term aims. You will wish to familiarise themselves with current developments arising from and linked to the National Curriculum and various government initiatives. It is impossible to isolate the teaching of science from broader educational issues such as increasing awareness of the need for education to be connected to the remainder of pupils’ lives, to the concerns of society as a whole and to the world of work and leisure beyond school.

Our whole-school issues course provides you with breadth and depth of insight across a number of themes, including safeguarding, mental health, relationships and sex education, pastoral care and inclusion. An additional PSHE award is also available.

So, on this course you will find that we have tried to integrate the theory and the practice and to ensure that you have a sound theoretical understanding on which your practice is based. We aim then to prepare you to become a science teacher by helping you to develop both personally and professionally. We believe that an education through science should generate a sense of curiosity, promote creative thinking and enable pupils to develop into reflective citizens ready to play a full part in a democratic society.

You will have a personal academic tutor to guide and support you, as well as a dedicated subject mentor 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 PGDipEd course at the University of Birmingham, Waqar Yousaf now teaches biology at the University of Birmingham School. Read his full profile https://www.theguardian.com/get-into-teaching/2017/mar/31/im-very-happy-as-a-teacher-every-day-is-different