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PGCE Secondary Education with Biology

Become a Biology teacher and earn Qualified Teacher Status (QTS). Marjon is the top university in the UK for education-based courses in the Postgraduate Taught Experience Survey 2021. We've been training teachers for 180 years, we know education. Government-awarded bursaries of £20,000 are now available - call today to find out more.

A biology teacher and his pupils pass round a model of DNA

Top 5 in the UK for Education

The Guardian University Guide 2024

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Entry requirements

A degree at 2:2 or above

GCSE English and Mathematics at grade 4 or grade C or above (or an equivalent qualification)

Experience of working with young people

We are committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and trainees. All trainees are expected to share this commitment and demonstrate consistently high standards of personal and professional conduct.


UCAS code No course code - apply via gov.uk

UCAS institution code P63

Duration One year full-time or two years part-time

Any questions about postgraduate study at Marjon?

Contact Rachel Bailey-Lewis, our Student Recruitment Officer (Postgraduate).

Course Summary

Our specialist PGCE in Secondary Education with Science (Biology) is a direct route to a career that helps pupils to make sense of the increasingly scientific and technological society in which they live. Science helps students to develop an awareness of the world around them, and to find answers to their questions. Our PGCE Biology develops a range of teaching styles appropriate to the delivery of Biology within the National Curriculum and GCSE/A Level specifications, including conceptual understanding and progressions in learning,  purposeful practical work, sequenced learning steps and links to industry.

Our PGCE Biology prepares trainee teachers for a first appointment as a teacher of Science in a secondary school and enables them to assess current developments in the subject and their possible effect on teaching in schools. To develop as a teacher, you will be learning about how to instil in pupils a sense of intrigue and enable students to develop understanding and form questions based both on the knowledge they already have and the insight they wish to gain in the futures. Furthermore, our PGCE Biology trainees can take up ‘enhancements’ linked to other curriculum subjects or areas e.g. PSHE, primary phase or special education needs and diversity.

Although the subject specialism of this PGCE is biology, you will be required to teach biology, chemistry and physics at key stage three and four as part of your course as this reflects the organisation of Science teaching in the majority of Secondary schools.

We pride ourselves on the quality of our teaching programmes. Ofsted 2014 commented: “Beyond having very positive attitudes and commitment to teaching, they show a passion for their subject, and want students to do well and enjoy their work.” If the idea of joining these trainees inspires and motivates you, it’s time to apply for PGCE Biology.

Why this course at Marjon?

Top university in the UK for education-based courses in the Postgraduate Taught Experience Survey 2021

93.9 % of our graduates are in further study, sustained employment or both five years after graduating, compared to a sector average for England of 88.2% - we are 1st in the South West (LEO, 2019)

We have relationships with around 300 schools to give you a wide choice of learning experiences

Marjon education and teaching graduates are 3rd in all University providers for graduate earnings five years after leaving the university (Institute for Fiscal Studies, 2018)

Our graduates are more socially mobile than other providers across the South West with more trainees gaining NQT employment in more diverse areas (DFE Supply, Retention and Mobility data, 2018)

We recognise the value of excellent role models in initial teacher training and promote the involvement of outstanding teachers and specialist leaders in education in working with trainees

Modules for this course

Course Snapshot

Our PGCE Biology synergises practice, policy and research. You'll explore a weekly topic though wider professional lens. You'll undertake independent research as well as subject specific studies focused on the theory and professional practice of teaching biology.
Julie Stevens - PGCE Course Leader

1st Year

Professional practice in schools
By the end of this module trainees should be able to demonstrate the competencies of a newly qualified teacher (NQT) by achieving the minimum expectation required by the Teachers’ Standards. The module includes two placements in schools.
Learning behaviours in context
麻豆精品视频 a range of learning and teaching theories and strategies to develop an understanding of how children learn. Critically evaluate research and current developments in education that inform the application of routines, relationships and responses in context.
Becoming a teacher: a reflective journey
Systematically reflect on and evaluate the effectiveness of subject specific pedagogy on learning experiences and develop a range of approaches to use in schools.
Inclusion in the secondary classroom: maximising achievement
Investigate and discuss a wide range of sources to develop a secure knowledge and understanding of theory, policy and practice to help identify the issues around maximising pupil achievement. Develop understanding and skills which contribute to a fully inclusive classroom.
Understanding the learner: assessment and progress
Understand the essential link between planning and assessment and develop a critical awareness of planning for progression and its effect on learning.

This course is perfect if you’re curious about

Helping pupils direct their own learning

Promoting a love of learning in my pupils and a passion for Sciences

How can biology and science can come to life in the lab or through field work

Raising pupil aspirations by making links between Biology and career opportunities

Knowing how to best prepare for applying for teaching jobs

Encouraging pupils to be curious about the world around them

The overall quality of training continues to be a very positive one judging by the comments made by TTs that I ‘met’ ... this goes for both university and school-based training sessions ... the humanities curriculum tutor has clearly provided thorough support to the trainee teachers throughout the training year and this was echoed strongly by the trainee teachers.
External moderator - 2020

What might you become?

Plymouth Marjon University is widely renowned for producing excellent teachers. We have superb links with over 300 partnership schools throughout the South West, London and overseas and our graduates teach in schools across the country. Our teaching was praised by Ofsted, saying: "The curriculum is also designed to ensure you are well prepared for your wider professional responsibilities, including for pupils’ pastoral care. You will gain a secure understanding of how best to teach personal, social, health and citizenship education, in addition to your chosen subject specialism" (Ofsted, 2023).

We have a long established history of teacher education, we've have 180 years of experience in training teachers. A PGCE from Marjon represents a strong start to any teaching career. 93.9 % of our teaching graduates are in further study, sustained employment or both five years after graduating, compared to a sector average for England of 88.2%. This makes us 1st in the South West (LEO, 2019).

Working with:

Department for Education Logo

Dept for Education

Marjon is recognised as a teacher training provider by the Dept for Education.

School-based learning may be available

This course may also available through one of our Lead Partners as a school-based PGCE. School-based PGCEs mean you'll be in the classroom from week one of your course, and are often best suited to those who already have classroom experience. More information about what to expect from a school-based PGCE can be found here, and the specific details about local arrangements to deliver the programme are available from each Lead Partner. Their contact details are below:
 
To view these courses on the DfE Apply portal, click 

How you鈥檒l be taught and assessed?

How will you be taught?

Collaborative learning, critical reflection and a strong culture of support underpin the PGCE Biology and trainees will enjoy a stimulating learning environment from start to finish.

You will have a minimum of 120 days in school in 2 block placements and 12 weeks in University undertaking a range of activities, teaching includes lectures, seminars, workshops, conferences, tutorials, independent study or research and school based training. Opportunity to be part of visiting writer seminar and workshops add depth to your experience.

How will you be assessed?

Assessment relates to your development of practice in school. All assessments are coursework based; you will generate reflective journals, portfolios, essays and presentations.

Claire Hadfield

Claire Hadfield

Course leader

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Claire is Programme lead for the Secondary PGCEs and Schools Direct. Claire's specialist subject is English and before joining Marjon she worked in various secondary schools in Exeter as well for South West Teacher Training. Her research interests are reflective practice, teacher identity and retention.


Fees and funding

Fees UK students: 拢9,250


Fees for International students: 拢14,500


This fee covers your tuition and access to course-specific equipment and facilities, as well associated services including access to the library, study skills support, IT support, student support and wellbeing services and membership of the Student Union. There may be additional costs by course. Government-funded bursaries of £20,000 are now available for this course - speak to our Student Finance team today to find out more.

Funding available for this course

Our Student Funding Advisors offer confidential and impartial advice about your funding options.

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Lecturers

Michelle Batstone

Lecturer

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Michelle teaches on our undergraduate and postgraduate teacher training programmes with a specialism in Mathematics and Early Years Education. 

Jonathan Cripps

Lecturer

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Jonathan’s career as a history teacher has spanned over 25 years, working in secondary schools in Sussex, Suffolk and Cornwall. Previously, he has worked for Cornwall LEA as an Advanced Skills Teacher, supporting history departments, NQTs and recent entrants to the teaching profession across the county. He is a Teacher Fellow of the Historical Association.

Professor Gillian Golder

Professor in Teacher Education

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Gill Golder is Professor in Teacher Education and formerly Dean of Marjon Teacher Education Partnership, she taught in schools for 13 years before joining the University and now works with schools, MATS and alliances to support whole school improvements, develop evidence based practice and support teacher development. She spends some of her time in Westminster discussing latest ideas and initiatives with the Department for Education and other education groups.

Claire Hadfield

Senior Lecturer

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Claire is Programme lead for the Secondary PGCEs and Schools Direct. Claire's specialist subject is English and before joining Marjon she worked in various secondary schools in Exeter as well for South West Teacher Training. Her research interests are reflective practice, teacher identity and retention.


More information

See the how to get into teaching guide for tips from our lecturers and trainees spanning every stage of your teacher training journey, from making your application shine through to securing your first teaching role.

Apply now for this course

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