Why study this course
“A charming embrace of tradition and modernity” – Geography trainee 2021
“The enthusiasm, and passion, of staff about their specialist areas shines through” – Science with Biology trainee 2021
This is a course with its heart and soul in education – we get to know you and will support you every step of the way to becoming a fully qualified teacher
You will be able to participate in our sector-leading in Equality, Diversity and Inclusion week which we have proved positively impacts knowledge, understanding and confidence
This PGCE course prepares you to teach your specialist subject in either the 11-16 (with post-16 enhancement) or 14-19 age phases. It is a very practical course with around two thirds of the time spent in schools, mostly working with teachers and pupils, and around one third spent on directed study, with partnership training in the University and school. It is an integrated academic and professional preparation for teaching, combining study at either postgraduate or professional level with practical training to meet the Teachers’ Standards by the end of the programme.
1 or 2 years
Mode of study
Bishop Grosseteste University
About this course
The aim of this course is that you should become a reflective practitioner – a teacher who thinks about their experiences and learns from them in order to improve their practice. During the course you will study two academic modules. The first of these, ‘Theory into Practice’, allows you to explore your subject and its context in school. A chosen lesson in your subject is evaluated using a reflective tool, clearly linking theory to practice. In the ‘Classroom Focused Research’ module you will undertake a small research project in school having explored relevant research methods.
The PGCE Secondary Science course supports trainees to teach all of the Science subjects at KS3 and KS4 (GCSE) with post-16 enhancement in their specialist subject of Biology, Chemistry or Physics. There is a part-time option available. Trainees following this course are encouraged to explore a wide range of creative approaches to planning, teaching and evaluating Science lessons. The course is built upon principles of inclusion and diversity in teaching and learning for all pupils, whatever their potential and achievements. Throughout the course, trainees study different methods of assessment and how they support classroom learning and teaching; in particular, the role of formative assessment in the development of metacognitive skills. Outside speakers are invited in to supplement the University sessions, including from the ‘Institute of Physics’, the ‘Royal Society of Chemistry’ and the ‘Association for Science Education’. A visit to the National STEM Centre in York is also usually part of the course. Classroom practical work is encouraged and supported. In addition we are keen to introduce trainees to joys of learning outside of the classroom with, for example, learning visits to a local nature reserve and to Woolsthorpe Manor, the home where Sir Isaac Newton made so many of his wonderful scientific discoveries.
You will consider the broader aspects of teaching, contexts for learning, the latest government initiatives and contemporary issues in teaching, learning and assessment. You will also work alongside trainee teachers of other subjects to consider cross-curricular aspects of education. These topics will introduce you to your career in the teaching profession.
Throughout your year of study, you will explore all aspects of your subject. This includes those areas that are your strengths, as well as areas you may need to improve upon. You will study how pupils learn in your subject area, how you need to assess them and how to keep abreast of new developments within your subject. You will learn how to plan and deliver topics in ways that include all types of learners in meaningful ways.
You will spend two-thirds of the year in partner schools and other educational settings gaining rich and varied experiences designed to support meeting the minimum requirements for Qualified Teacher Status (QTS). Working with peers, tutors and school-based colleagues, you will develop your abilities to promote effective learning among 11-16-year-olds. You will also have opportunities to gain experience of the key stages before and after the ones in which you will qualify.
This course is demanding and stimulating. We aim for you to be prepared to take responsibility for your own learning, be open to creative and innovative ideas, and be competent, reflective practitioners both in your training year and beyond. Success on the course means you will have completed a postgraduate (with 60 credits at Master's level) or professional graduate qualification, have met the minimum requirements to be recommended for Qualified Teacher Status and you will be fully prepared to start the next year as an Early Career Teacher.
This Secondary PGCE course is available through both Core and School Direct routes.
For all PGCE Secondary specialisms you will normally need:
- GCSEs at grade 4 (previously C) or above (or equivalent) in English Language and Mathematics. Please see our list of accepted equivalents.
- A relevant honours degree at a 2:2 classification or above. (Where the degree result is to be awarded in the year of application, we will require a predicted degree classification as part of an academic reference provided on the application)
- Experience – please see below information below
- Declaration of Health
- DBS (formerly the CRB) Enhanced Disclosure
When shortlisting for interview, we will consider the following aspects of your qualifications:
- GCSE grades (or equivalents) and relevance of subjects
- A Level grades (or equivalents) and relevance of subjects
- Degree Class and relevance of content
- Additional relevant qualifications
Modules in or closely related to the subject being applied for will need to form at least 50% of the degree content.
Experience in a relevant setting is useful as it will help you to make sure that you are aware of the role of a teacher in the twenty-first century. The course is intensive and demanding and you need to be aware of what a career in the teaching profession entails.
We encourage you to gain some experience in schools as this is a good starting point for you to gain an interview for the Secondary PGCE.
Disclosure Barring Service (DBS) – formerly the CRB and Health
In addition you will be required to obtain a satisfactory Declaration of Health Form, or if required, a medical examination. In addition, all students will need to pay for an Enhanced Disclosure from the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) (formerly the Criminal Records Bureau (CRB)). A successful Enhanced Disclosure is required before commencing the course.
If you have any questions about the entry requirements for this course, please contact our Enquiries team for advice on +44 (0) 1522 583658 or email email@example.com
In accordance with University conditions, students are entitled to apply for Recognition of Prior Learning, RP(C)L, based on relevant credit at another HE institution or credit Awarded for Experiential Learning, (RP(E)L).
How you will be taught
This is a very practical course where you'll spend at least two-thirds of your time in schools, mostly working with teachers and pupils, and around one third spent on your own study with training sessions in the university or locally to your school.
Formative assessment and feedback will be provided throughout the course to help you gain the knowledge and skills of our curriculum and to put them into practice. The portfolio of evidence you will compile during the course will form the main evidence in assessing that you have met the minimum requirements to be recommended for Qualified Teacher Status (QTS). This summative assessment will take place at the end of the course. Assessment of the academic modules is through written assignments.
Careers & Further study
The teaching profession has a well-structured career pathway which moves progressively from initial teacher training through to Early Career Teacher (ECT) status to qualified teacher. Many continue to work in our partner schools, becoming mentors to our trainee teachers, pursuing further study to full Master's and Doctoral level at BGU and taking on leadership roles.
What Our Students Say
Discover what life is like at Bishop Grosseteste University from our students.
Studying at BGU is a student-centred experience. Staff and students work together in a friendly and supportive atmosphere as part of an intimate campus community. You will know every member of staff personally and feel confident approaching them for help and advice, and staff members will recognise you, not just by sight, but as an individual with unique talents and interests.
We will be there to support you, personally and academically, from induction to graduation.
At BGU we have so much support available for our students, the type of support that has won us awards recently in the What Uni Student Choice Awards 2023, such as the Chaplaincy team, the Student Advice team, CELT, BGFutures and representatives at the Students’ Union.
Fees & Finance
A lot of student finance information is available from numerous sources, but it is sometimes confusing and contradictory. That’s why at BGU we try to give you all the information and support we can to help to throughout the process. Our Student Advice team are experts in helping you sort out the funding arrangements for your studies, offering a range of services to guide you through all aspects of student finance step by step.
For all applicants, there are full instructions here to make it as easy as possible for you to fill in your online application, plus help text where appropriate.