Please note this programme is now closed for 2020 entry
Develop your teaching skills and qualify as a Secondary Biology teacher on this highly-regarded PGCE Secondary Education with Biology course at the Institute of Education, ranked 3rd in the UK.
This Postgraduate Certificate Education (PGCE) Secondary Science course is consistently graded as good in Ofsted inspections, and will lead to the award of Qualified Teacher Status (QTS), qualifying you to teach the 11-18 age group in secondary schools in England and Wales.
We recognise the importance of being able to teach children to explore, understand and make sense of their world through science.
Training to teach in one of the sciences at the University of Reading is an immersive experience that utilises many modes of delivery and participation with active learning at its core. You will develop your skills throughout the programme so that you are fully prepared to share your love of learning and knowledge about science with the children you will teach.
Our course is designed in collaboration with our strong schools partnership so that it meets both your needs as a learner and the needs of the children you teach.
You will be taught by staff with national reputations as experts in the field of science education. They are a diverse and incredibly experienced community of academics with extensive school teaching and academic experience.
Your teaching is through a series of practical seminars and workshops in purpose-built science laboratories where interactive and discussion-based techniques will encourage you to engage, reflect and challenge.
You will take part in activities designed to help you to plan your teaching effectively and imaginatively, discovering how to evaluate your skills, particularly in terms of the quality of learning achieved by pupils.
Sessions may include:
participating in workshop style sessions with your peers
attending presentations by subject experts
working on tasks in groups
having individual tutorials
visits to schools or other education settings
visits to museums or sites of educational interest
writing assignments on aspects of subject teaching and Professional Studies.
Our course is linked with the Association for Science Education, the Royal Society of Chemistry, The Earth Science Teachers Association and other academic departments within the University of Reading who all provide guest speakers to our sessions.
These learning activities will help you to develop a toolkit of knowledge and skills, ensuring you are well prepared to tackle challenges and opportunities throughout your training and your career.
Alongside the University tutors, you will be taught and guided by a team of committed and experienced University-trained school mentors.
Placements enable you to develop the skills and knowledge valued and desired by employers - you will build your confidence in the classroom and gain practical teaching experience. Placements also provide you with the opportunity to connect with potential employers and build your professional network.
At Secondary level we have strong relationships with around 90 schools in the local and surrounding area. It is a testament to the strength of these partnerships and the regard with which our graduates are held, that most schools in Berkshire employ at least one graduate of the Institute of Education.
On your Secondary PGCE course you are required to carry out three placements in two different age groups - ensuring you receive a broad range of experiences. Two placements must be undertaken in a school setting but the third can be taken in a different setting - allowing you to sample teaching in an alternative environment.
We offer our students an unusually flexible and broad range of contexts and educational environments - you will have the opportunity to gain experience in special needs schools, Pupil Referral Units, independent schools, museums, and charities.
You will have plenty of opportunities throughout your course to apply your developing skills in real settings. In schools, you will be involved in:
observation of other teachers
planning and teaching small groups and whole classes
planning and teaching elements of lessons and whole lessons
reflecting on and evaluating your teaching
receiving feedback on your teaching
gaining experience of the range of responsibilities of classroom teacher.
The quality of our research was recognised in the latest Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014, placing the Institute of Education in the top quartile of education departments in the UK.
REF also rated more than 80% of our research publications as world leading or internationally excellent. The impact of our research on educational policy and practice in first and second language education was judged to be world leading.
This subject is also available via School Direct, as well as the University-based route. Students following a School Direct route may be studying for a PGCE or QTS only. However, all students come together as a subject group in University sessions.
Those taking the PGCE will spend more time in the University than those taking the QTS-only course. The PGCE will involve assignments that are designed to help trainees to plan their teaching effectively and imaginatively, and to evaluate their developing knowledge and skills, particularly in terms of the quality of learning achieved by pupils. Successful completion will result in 60 master's-level credits.
6.5 overall with no element less than 5.5 (or equivalent)
Description of entry requirements: Normally a good undergraduate honours degree (2:1 or above), or equivalent from a university outside the UK. Additionally, grade C (or 4) in GCSE maths and English (plus science for Primary trainees). You will also need to undertake a criminal record and occupational health check.
What will you study?
The Reflective Teacher
Please note that all modules are subject to change. Please see our modules disclaimer for more information.
How much will it cost?
New UK/EU students: £9,250 per year
New international students: £16,045 per year
The fees listed are for full-time study, unless otherwise stated, and relate to courses starting in the 2021/22 academic year. Fee information will be confirmed in offer letters sent out to successful applicants. You can find further information on fees and funding, including for part-time study, through our dedicated fees and funding page.
These course fees cover the cost of your tuition. Some courses will require additional payments for field trips and extra resources. You will also need to budget for your accommodation and living costs. See our information on living costs for more details.
Financial support for your studies
You may be eligible for a scholarship or bursary to help pay for your study. Students from the UK and other EU countries may also be eligible for a student loan to help cover these costs. See our fees and funding information for more information on what's available.
What career can you have?
The majority of our graduates go into schools and inspire children to develop into happy, confident and well-informed individuals. Other alumni take their educational skills to the worlds of business, culture, art, healthcare, human resources, adult learning and further varied fields.
The support and training we give our students enables them to develop into resilient and creative teachers with the ability to adapt. The transferable skills and strengths they gain are also recognised outside of education, and are therefore desirable in many different areas of employment.
The placement opportunities and careers support we give our students ensures they are attractive to employers. This is qualified by the consistently high employment rates our students enjoy in local and regional schools.