PGCE Secondary - Biology
Begin your career as a secondary school science teacher with this QTS–registered course.
1 year full-time
1 year full-time
The PGCE Secondary Biology course is the first phase of three-year entitlement for beginning teachers. The first phase of the entitlement is the Core Content Framework and this is embedded into all of our ITE courses. The PGCE Secondary Biology course is accredited by the DfE, and upon successful completion you will be recommended for Qualified Teacher Status (QTS). During our last Ofsted Inspection we were graded as “Outstanding” for all aspects of our provision.
Subject pedagogy (how to teach the subject for understanding) is explored in an innovative university / partnership model known as the POD (Professional Opportunities and Development). The ITE course is delivered using a blended approach and is research informed.
The process starts with an online interactive resource which introduces a weekly theme e.g., behaviour management, assessment, SEND and inclusion (all of which are components of the Core Content Framework).
The theme is then expanded upon in relation to your science specialism in a Teaching and Learning Community (TLC) and finally theory and application come together in the POD (Sedgefield Community College, King James 1 Academy and St Bede’s School and Sixth Form College).
Beginning teachers work in classrooms in POD schools with expert staff to develop knowledge and strategies that can be drawn upon during their own teaching placement. Subject knowledge is enhanced through work with subject specific University staff and with subject experts from the POD setting.
We believe strongly that to be able to teach successfully you must acquire a good understanding of the 'big ideas' of science as well as learning about how to teach science. Core Science addresses your own understanding of the key concepts underpinning science, covering substantive and procedural knowledge in detail. We utilise research and evidence-informed progression toolkits for key concepts in science to provide:
The course is organised into three modules:
The Professional Issues in School-based Education relates to the Teacher Standards and is delivered through the Research Related Professional Practice curriculum (RRPP).
The RRPP is designed to bridge the gap between research and professional practice. It encourages trainees to focus on key subject specific threshold knowledge linked to deep thinking in terms of how to teach in order to have maximum impact on pupil learning.
Teaching and Learning in the Curriculum and Self-directed Study assignments are studied at Masters Level. The Teaching and Learning in the Curriculum Module draws on the international research expertise within the School of Education enabling student teachers to engage critically in issues relevant to the classroom and school community, particularly those that impact the success of children as learners.
The Self-directed Study module draws on aspect of teaching and learning in a small-scale action research piece of work, and links this to critical engagement with published educational research.
These Masters modules provide an opportunity to consolidate theoretical knowledge, through lectures and mixed subject and phase seminar groups taught during a Reflective Practitioner Conference. In addition to covering Teachers’ Standards, these modules will enable assessment work to be carried out for the award of PGCE.
On successful completion of the course, our beginning teachers have 90 credits and QTS.
Students who have successfully completed the PGCE at Durham in the previous academic year have the option to use 90 credits they have accredited towards a part-time MA Education. These students only need to do the core modules, Education Enquiry and the Dissertation over 2 years, to complete the course.
The course is delivered full-time, starting in early September and continuing over 10 months. During this time, you will experience a blend of University teaching interwoven with school experience.
Please note that the course does NOT run to university terms.
As part of the PGCE course, you will gain a significant amount of school experience, usually around 120 days over the course of the year. Durham University Partnership has schools across the north east region and students are required to travel independently to these. The Partnership Team work hard to ensure that travel expectations are reasonable.
The University sessions will be delivered as a blended approach with some online teaching, asynchronous and synchronous, as well as face to face opportunities. Lectures provide supporting frameworks of key theories and concepts with follow up seminars being used as peer-assisted learning opportunities and dialogic approaches to teaching and learning. The seminar mode of delivery reflects the nature and approach to teaching in the classroom and supports the additional aspects of professional development programme.
Throughout the year students are encouraged and required to work in teams which will enhance cohort cohesion as well as support professional and academic development. Students will therefore learn from their peers as well as their academic and professional tutors. Students will be able to analyse a range of classroom perspectives and stakeholder viewpoints, triangulating between theory, practice and policy.
At UCAS you can apply for this course by using the following code: C1X1
Your interpersonal qualities and your potential to achieve professional skills relating to the Teachers' Standards will be considered when making an admissions decision. Candidates who meet the criteria, will be invited to an interview. The interview process will involve an individual interview with a pre-prepared presentation element and a series of tasks designed to illustrate your potential to meet the Teachers' Standards by the end of the course.
Successful candidates will receive an offer conditional upon successful medical and criminal record checks. The latter is carried out by the Disclosure and Barring Service and full instructions on how to apply for a DBS Disclosure will be provided.
If you have a criminal record of any kind, you may contact the School of Education DBS Manager, Caroline Emery, for further advice and information. All enquiries will be treated in confidence.
We strongly encourage you to register for the DBS Update Service, which lets you take your certificate from one employer to another without having to apply for a new check.
Please note, all DBS Enhanced Disclosures for our students must be processed by Durham University unless you have applied to the Update Service.
|Home students||£9,250 per year|
|EU students||£22,750 per year|
|Island students||£9,250 per year|
|International students||£22,750 per year|
The tuition fees shown are for one complete academic year of full time study, are set according to the academic year of entry, and remain the same throughout the duration of the programme for that cohort (unless otherwise stated).
Please also check costs for colleges and accommodation.
We are committed to supporting the best students irrespective of financial circumstances and are delighted to offer a range of funding opportunities.Find out more about Scholarships and Bursaries
There are a wide range of roles that are available to qualified teachers ranging from classroom teaching, specialist subject lead, phase lead, middle and senior management groups.
For further information on career options please view our department pages.
We are a large department, with around 50 academic staff and around 650 postgraduate students (including our PGCE students, both primary and secondary). We are also supported by numerous partners from schools and colleges. We have strong international links, welcoming students, postdoctoral fellows and visiting scholars from all over the world.
For more information see our department pages.
Our School of Education is set in beautifully landscaped gardens above the River Wear and overlooks both the Castle and Cathedral. As well as an attractive work environment, it offers excellent study facilities, including a department library with a wide range of books and periodicals.
The best way to find out what Durham is really like is to come and see for yourself!