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PGCE Secondary Biology with QTS

In the modern world, knowledge of science is essential for everyone. Everything we know about the universe, from how trees reproduce to the structure of the atom is the result of scientific research and experiment.

Delivered in the Environmental Lab in the IQ Building, our secondary biology programme supports you in using your passion and expertise for Biology. It is a fulfilling career, inspiring young people and nurturing their natural curiosity.

You will be studying alongside scientists and computer scientists in the Science and Technology area of learning. You will teach general science as well as specialising in Biology for GCSEs and A levels.

In an increasingly technological and developing world, our impact on the environment is significant.

Educating children is a privilege and giving them the tools to make informed choices and protecting the planet is one of the purposes of the new curriculum. Schools need more science teachers than ever before…they need you!

Get in touch today by emailing Lilian Martin

PATHWAY OPTIONS & HOW TO APPLY

PGCE Secondary Biology with QTS
UCAS Code: 2X5S

PGCE Secondary Chemistry with QTS
UCAS Code: 2X5V

PGCE Secondary Physics with QTS
UCAS Code: 2X6G


Book an Open Day Request Information How to Apply Bursaries GCSE Equivalency Test
Tuition Fees 2020/21:
£9,000 (Home/EU)
£11,500 (Overseas)

6 Reasons to start your Teacher Education with UWTSD: Yr Athrofa

  • Yr Athrofa is one of a select few teacher education providers to have been accredited by the EWC with Qualified Teacher Status (QTS).
  • Yr Athrofa employs latest Sony Vision Exchange technology to support high-quality teaching and learning in a digital age.
  • Excellent 99% employment rate for PGCE Graduates (2016/17 DLHE).
  • Study on our new state-of-the-art £300m Swansea Waterfront campus (SA1) and the historic Carmarthen Campus. We also have a small base in Tramshed Tech, Cardiff.
  • English, Welsh and Bilingual pathways available.
  • Partnership schools across South Wales

APLP

What you will learn

Course Overview

The PGCE is a full-time academic and professional programme, broadly comprising university-based provision of approximately 12 weeks, and at least 24 weeks based in school.

Across our suite of ITE programmes, we have a newly accredited and innovative core curriculum which includes:

  • Compulsory modules
  • Research skill development
  • Professional pathway for Qualified Teacher Status
  • Welsh Language Development Pathway
  • Bridging – activities which bring together theory and practice
  • Electives – a school-based experience following a chosen area of interest
  • Alternative setting – an opportunity to experience non-school education settings

As we work in a collaborative partnership, we offer you a wide range of opportunities from a variety of schools, including primary and special schools.

We also offer an opportunity to participate in our well-respected Athrofa Professional Learning Partnership: Aiming for Excellence Conference, write blogposts and benefit from one of our centres of research.

You can find out more on our Athrofa pages.

Modules

Modules are carefully designed to integrate theoretical and practical knowledge and are mostly delivered during the university-based period.

Our programme content has been co-authored by university and school partners, and has been grouped under four module headings:

  • The Learner – who am I teaching?
  • Learners, schools and communities – where am I teaching?
  • Researching the learning – what, why and how am I teaching? (focus on research)
  • Leading the Learning – what, why and how am I teaching? (focus on subject discipline in practice)

Organising the modules in this way means that you will be able to focus on the pupil and also take full account of the wider context that impacts on education.

You will also be able to ensure that your classroom-based practice draws on a sound research base.

This means that our programme will challenge you both practically and intellectually at the same time.

Each module is assessed in a variety of ways, including written assignments, posters and presentations. The assignments are designed to enable you to reflect on your own practice and relate your experiences to the theory that you have learned.

Your professional teaching experience is assessed against the Qualified Teacher Standards criteria through observations by your tutors and mentors and the submission of a portfolio of work evidencing competence against these standards.

Welsh Medium Pathway

The Secondary PGCE pathway is available through the medium of Welsh.

Our graduates from the PGCE Secondary Welsh-Medium pathway are successful in securing roles in both English and Welsh-medium schools.

Assessment

The programme offers 60 credits at Masters level and 60 credits at Graduate Level. These are awarded on successful completion of module assessments which include:

  • Case studies
  • Portfolios
  • Video presentation
  • Research Project

All assessments are closely linked to practice and are designed to offer you the opportunity to develop teaching and learning that has a positive impact on children and young people.

Interesting Links

Teacher Education PGCE Video Playlist

Key Information

Entry Criteria

Undergraduate Degree

Applicants are required to hold a good honours degree (2:2 minimum) in an area related to chosen secondary subject.

GCSE qualifications

Grade B or above in GCSE English Language OR English Literature and GCSE Mathematics.

Student teachers studying to teach in Welsh medium schools will also need a GCSE grade B or above in Welsh (first language).

Equivalence workshops and tests are available for those with Grade C GSCE in English Language, Mathematics and Welsh.

A-Levels/Level 3 Vocational Qualifications

If applicants do not hold an undergraduate degree in a curriculum subject, successful study at appropriate higher levels must be evidenced.

Work Experience

You should be aware of the realities of being a teacher and life in a classroom and so we ask for recent and relevant experience in a secondary educational setting. This may be through employment or volunteering in a school and should be for a minimum period of two weeks.

Gaining experience in a school classroom will help to strengthen your application and better critically inform your personal statement. It will also prepare you for our selection process and give you some experience from which you can draw in your interview.

Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS)

If accepted into our programme, you will be required as soon as possible to obtain a clearance check via the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS, formerly known as CRB, Criminal Records Bureau). Please note there is a fee associated with the service and you should ensure also that you opt for the 'update' service to maintain the validity of your clearance check.

For further information please contact PGCE secondary admin: 01792 482111 at  S_PGCE@uwtsd.ac.uk.

What we are looking for?

  • A positive view of education as a means to transform lives
  • Motivation towards becoming an excellent teacher
  • An empathetic desire to make a difference to young people's lives
  • Positive attitudes to social justice, inclusion and equity
  • Ability to work individually and as part of a team
  • Energy, enthusiasm and flexibility
  • Resilience and reliability
  • Professional attitudes and behaviour
  • Willingness to be a life-long learner

How we select our student teachers?

  • Quality of personal statement
  • Evidence of subject expertise
  • Recent and relevant experience in an educational setting
  • Quality of individual interview
  • Performance in selection tests – e.g. literacy, numeracy and dispositions
Career Opportunities

Yr Athrofa has excellent graduate employment rates with 99% of graduates going into employment or further study.

Many schools and college departments, both locally and nationally, are staffed with several of our teachers and many have gone on to forge successful teaching careers at strategic, professional and management levels at home and abroad.

Our PGCE graduates usually remain in close touch with Yr Athrofa as they make their careers in the teaching profession and they often become subject mentors on the programme.  This creates a very strong, sustainable professional network of teachers, which is a rich source of continuing professional development.

Recently our PGCE Art and Design graduates have gone on to work as Secondary Teachers in many independent and state schools in Wales, England and abroad including (but not limited) to: Judgemeadow Community College (Leicestershire), Cwmafan Junior School (Port Talbot), Howard School (Rainham, Kent), Amman Valley School (Ammanford), Bridgend County Borough Council, Olchfa Comprehensive School (Swansea), Livanhoe College (Ashby de la Zouch), Ysgol Gyfun Ystalyfera (Ystalyfera).

Additional Costs

Additional Costs

Our students have access to a diverse range of equipment and resources, which in most cases are sufficient to complete their programme of study. However, it is likely that students will incur some unavoidable additional costs over and above the cost of their university tuition. These are as follows:

Mandatory Costs:

  • Travel to placement schools and University
  • Travel to off-site specialist provision (including schools and other training providers)
  • Travel to schools for 'Bridging Days' and other whole-cohort initiatives as per calendar
  • Use of a laptop (MS Office is free to students)
  • Art students - trips to London galleries and National Museum of Wales. A3 spiral-bound sketchbook, A1 portfolio

 Necessarily Incurred: 

  • Travel to participate in subject enhancement activities organised by Subject Tutor
  • Teaching resources, for example, A Level/ GCSE text books
  • Travel to Electives placements

Optional:

  • Printing costs
  • Optional study trips
Student Quotes

Amy Murphy

"I too want to get more girls into science and I've worked in a uni where inductions for PhD students every year were 90% are male. I want to get them involved with science, not just learning to pass exams but getting more involved in science. Biology is about you. Everyone can relate to how you work. Understanding biology reduces ignorance by being knowledgeable on the how and why. It’s the basis of medicine." 

Dyfan Havard

"Biology is bits of everything. I find studying animal behaviour and how they adapt and live fascinating. As a teacher, you’re the person in charge of young people’s future. It is a privilege to have that responsibility; to help them achieve the best grades and achieve their potential, whatever that may be."

Bursary / Scholarship Information
Programme Specification

Placements

Your Professional Teaching Experience (PTE) will take place over 24 weeks in school, with two substantive teaching placements. These will be in an APLP network consisting of a Lead school and a number of partnership schools where experienced mentors and university tutors will support you in achieving QTS.

Each teaching experience is in different settings to give you a range of experiences and the opportunity to engage with a variety of approaches to teaching and learning.

During your school-based experience, you will be supported to integrate theory and practice so that you can develop the reflective skills needed to become a highly successful teacher.

You will have a graduated introduction to teaching to give you time to develop your confidence, knowledge of the curriculum and skills of classroom organisation. This will include working with small groups of learners before moving to being responsible for the whole class.

Seminars hosted in school and delivered by mentors and university staff will give you the opportunity to meet with other students in your network and engage in collaborative discussion. Such shared reflection is a powerful tool in moving your practice forward.

Our partnership of networks offers urban and rural placements as well as placements available in either English or Welsh-medium schools.

University provision

Post-graduate university provision takes place on our new state-of-the-art campus located in the marina quarter in Swansea. Equipped with the latest teaching technology and spacious areas for student study, you will be engaged in creative and innovative sessions that will prepare you for the new curriculum.

For some secondary subjects, provision takes place in a more specialist space. This includes secondary science, which housed in the superb facilities at the National Botanic Gardens of Wales. 

Your time in university focuses on learning high-quality pedagogy that makes a positive impact in the classroom. Working with teacher educators who are experts in their field of education, you will become skilled in understanding how children and young people learn and how they can become ambitious and capable learners.   

Our teaching philosophy is one of engaging our student teachers in lively debate and active learning that develops your critical thinking and engagement. This will prepare you to be a research-informed and research-active teacher, ready to make a difference to young people’s lives.

School-based experience

Your Professional Teaching Experience (PTE) will take place over 24 weeks in school, with two substantive teaching placements. These will be in an APLP network consisting of a Lead school and a number of partnership schools where experienced mentors and university tutors will support you in achieving QTS.

Each teaching experience is in different settings to give you a range of experiences and the opportunity to engage with a variety of approaches to teaching and learning.

During your school-based experience, you will be supported to integrate theory and practice so that you can develop the reflective skills needed to become a highly successful teacher.

You will have a graduated introduction to teaching to give you time to develop your confidence, knowledge of the curriculum and skills of classroom organisation. This will include working with small groups of learners before moving to being responsible for the whole class.

Seminars hosted in school and delivered by mentors and university staff will give you the opportunity to meet with other students in your network and engage in collaborative discussion. Such shared reflection is a powerful tool in moving your practice forward.

Our partnership of networks offers urban and rural placements as well as placements available in either English or Welsh-medium schools.

Study Abroad Opportunities

There are no Study Abroad opportunities for this course.