PGCE Secondary School Direct Science: Biology (11-16 or 11-18)

Year of entry: 2022

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Overview

Degree awarded
PGCE
Duration
10 months
Entry requirements
  • Minimum 2:2 honours degree in a biological science with at least half of the content strongly related to biology (if you are unsure, please contact us to discuss your qualifications).
  • Grade B in biology at A-level (or equivalent), or grade C if you can demonstrate sustained academic progression since A-level, and at least one other science or maths A-level.
  • Minimum grade C or 4 at GCSE (or equivalent) in English language and mathematics.

Full entry requirements

How to apply

Apply through the government website

Course options

Full-time Part-time Full-time distance learning Part-time distance learning
PGCE Y N N N

Course overview

  • Become an outstanding Biology teacher with Qualified Teacher Status (QTS).
  • Benefit from selection and training by a specific school in Greater Manchester.
  • Enjoy extended periods of career-boosting on-the-job experience.
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PGCE at The University of Manchester

Open days

Look at our virtual open day content to help you learn more about the University.

You will be able to watch videos about the University, including accommodation, student finance and course-specific sessions.

We'll update our website once plans for PGCE-specific 2022 recruitment events are confirmed.

We also attend the Department for Education's virtual Train to Teach events .

Fees

For entry in the academic year beginning September 2022, the tuition fees are as follows:

  • PGCE (full-time)
    UK students (per annum): £9,250
    International, including EU, students (per annum): £20,500

Further information for EU students can be found on our dedicated EU page.

The fees quoted above will be fully inclusive for the course tuition, administration and computational costs during your studies.

For general fees information, please visit postgraduate fees

Policy on additional costs

All students should normally be able to complete their programme of study without incurring additional study costs over and above the tuition fee for that programme. Any unavoidable additional compulsory costs totalling more than 1% of the annual home undergraduate fee per annum, regardless of whether the programme in question is undergraduate or postgraduate taught, will be made clear to you at the point of application. Further information can be found in the University's Policy on additional costs incurred by students on undergraduate and postgraduate taught programmes (PDF document, 91KB).

Scholarships/sponsorships

There are three types of Government funding available for teacher training:

  • tax-free bursary or scholarship;
  • tuition fee loan and maintenance loan;
  • extra financial support if you're a parent or have an adult dependant or a disability.

Depending on your circumstances you could receive all three.

Find out more at the Department for Education website .

You can find out more about the scholarships and bursaries we have available on our funding page .

Contact details

School/Faculty
School of Environment, Education and Development
Contact name
Recruitment and Admissions Team
Telephone
0161 275 0969
Email
Website
http://www.seed.manchester.ac.uk/subjects/education/pgce/
School/Faculty
See: The School .

Courses in related subject areas

Use the links below to view lists of courses in related subject areas.

Entry requirements

Academic entry qualification overview

  • Minimum 2:2 honours degree in a biological science with at least half of the content strongly related to biology (if you are unsure, please contact us to discuss your qualifications).
  • Grade B in biology at A-level (or equivalent), or grade C if you can demonstrate sustained academic progression since A-level, and at least one other science or maths A-level.
  • Minimum grade C or 4 at GCSE (or equivalent) in English language and mathematics.

English language

In addition to a grade of C at GCSE in English Language, applicants whose first language is not English are required to meet the following language requirements:

  • IELTS 6.5 overall, 6.5 in writing, no sub-section below 6.0, or
  • TOEFL iBT overall score of 90 with a minimum score of 22 in writing and 20 in the other sub-sections, or
  • Pearson PTE overall score of 62 with a minimum score of 62 in writing and 59 in the other sub-sections, or
  • Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English (CAE) or Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE) overall score of 176 or above, with 176 in writing and no sub-section below 169

English language test validity

Some English Language test results are only valid for two years.

Your English Language test report must be valid on the start date of the course.

Application and selection

How to apply

Advice to applicants

We work with numerous schools in Greater Manchester to offer the School Direct route into teaching; all routes involve the selection of candidates by schools according to The University of Manchester entry criteria.

Our School Direct partners work closely with us, and your training will precisely match that of the Core PGCE trainees, except that the School Direct provider has the lead role in interviewing and selecting you, and in organising your placements through the year.

You should also clarify the 'expectations' to employ by the lead school - while schools can offer you a permanent role at the end of the training, there is no guarantee of employment.

Apply through the government website

Applications or CVs sent directly to the University will not be considered.

You must submit the following with your completed application form:

  • two written references that support your suitability for teaching;
  • a personal statement (maximum 500 words) detailing your commitment to and enthusiasm for teaching, your rationale for applying to be a teacher in your subject, an awareness of the role and responsibilities of the teacher, relevant experience suggesting suitability for the role, and a good standard of written English.

We recommend that you submit your application as soon after applications open as you can. Ensure that you enclose all the necessary documents to avoid delays.

Before submitting your application, please make sure that the information you enter regarding your qualifications is correct and accurate. We have the right to cancel your application if we determine (having carried out any necessary checks), or have reasonable belief, that your application contains false information. If you have any reason to believe that information we hold about you is not true, complete and accurate, you must tell us.

How your application is considered

The University and the lead school will review your application jointly.

The lead school will advise you if you are invited for an online interview. If successful at interview, a formal offer would then be made by the University.

Candidates being made an offer for School Direct salaried routes will also receive a contract from the lead school.

Interview requirements

You will be required to attend an online interview arranged by the school.

Aptitude test requirement

The Government is replacing the professional skills tests with a new system of provider-led assurance in relation to trainees' fundamental knowledge in English and Mathematics. Under this new approach you will not be required to pass professional skills tests prior to commencing your PGCE, but you will need to demonstrate your fundamental knowledge by the end of the programme.

Fitness to practise / health requirements

If your application is successful, we will require you to comply with a confidential health screening check as advised by the Department for Education.

Health screening will be undertaken by the Student Occupational Health Service, who will advise on any follow-up vaccinations or other intervention which may be indicated.

Disclosure and Barring Service check

If your application is successful, we will require you to comply with an enhanced check through the Disclosure and Barring Service as advised by the Department for Education.

You must also meet the University's suitability requirements for the safeguarding of children.

Re-applications

If you applied in the previous year and your application was not successful you may apply again. Your application will be considered against the standard course entry criteria for that year of entry. 

In your new application, you should demonstrate how your application has improved. We may draw upon all information from your previous applications or any previous registrations at the University as a student when assessing your suitability for your chosen course.

Course details

Course description

PGCE Secondary School Direct Science: Biology (11-16 or 11-18) provides you with the practical training and theoretical knowledge required to become an outstanding Biology teacher.

Compared with non-School Direct teacher trainees, you will benefit from additional time in school before the PGCE starts and follow a modified version of the course. Throughout, you will focus on the 11-16 age range in order to gain Qualified Teacher Status (QTS), learning to teach the National Curriculum and related national strategies surrounding GCSE, AS and A2-level study.

The majority of the course focuses upon practical training in teaching and learning-related skills. You will enjoy extended periods of school experience, which will provide opportunities to work in a Primary setting and to teach in at least two different Secondary schools. In total, 25 weeks of your PGCE will be spent experiencing and working in different types of school.

This practical training is underpinned by the development of your knowledge and understanding of educational theories, ideas and concepts, including current issues and developments.

We work with numerous schools in Greater Manchester to offer the School Direct route into teaching.

School Direct allows schools to recruit and select their own trainees, with the expectation that they will go on to work within the school, or group of schools, in which they were trained (although there is no guarantee of employment).

School Direct follows a PGCE course structure but on a modified timetable including increased contact with the School Direct school.

The School Direct salaried route is an employment-based route and you will earn a salary whilst you train. Trainees who complete their course will be recommended for the qualification of PGCE School Direct and recommended for qualified teacher status (QTS).

Aims

You will:
  • gain quality teaching experience in our partner schools and colleges;
  • study current, challenging educational issues;
  • receive careers planning and early professional development guidance and support from experienced tutors and mentors;
  • receive opportunities for reflective practice and research.

Special features

  • Our PGCEs are rated 'Outstanding' by Ofsted (2019), and we have been judged best university provider of initial teacher training in the North of England (Good Teacher Training Guide 2017).
  • We have links with more than 200 schools, academies and colleges, and you will benefit from significant school-based teaching experience.
  • Our leading experts in education have trained more than 5,000 teachers in the last 15 years.
  • Our students come from all over the globe and a variety of backgrounds - from recent graduates to mature learners.
  • Our research improves the quality of education across the world, with 78% of our activity defined as 'world-leading' or 'internationally excellent' (Research Excellence Framework 2014).

Teaching and learning

The structure of our PGCEs includes both school-based and university-based learning.

On our secondary PGCEs, around two-thirds of your time will be spent in secondary schools, academies and colleges on placements.

When on placement, you will observe and teach classes under the guidance of an experienced teacher. You will also have a mentor to help you to plan lessons, deal with marking and assessment, and improve your teaching skills.

Peer observations of lessons will enable you to participate actively in your own and your fellow students' development as teachers. You will be provided with a significant amount of responsibility to develop your own teaching style, set targets, take your own initiatives and evaluate your own work in planning, teaching and assessing.

Your remaining time will be spent at the University, for example in lectures and seminars, and in subject-specific groups.

We will support your training to become a secondary school teacher by providing:

  • a quality teaching experience in our partner schools and colleges;
  • a study of current, challenging educational issues;
  • careers planning and early professional development;
  • guidance and support from experienced tutors and mentors;
  • opportunities for reflective practice and research.

As a guide, you should anticipate that time in university-based learning combined with school-based placements will roughly equate to the time commitment of a full-time job, with additional time required in evenings and weekends for background reading, lesson planning and completing written assignments.

Course collaborators

View our current School Direct training partners .

At the end of the course, your lead school may offer you a permanent role.

Facilities

The course is taught by the Manchester Institute of Education (MIE), with most PGCE University days based there in University's Ellen Wilkinson building, centrally located on the University's Oxford Road campus, close to the Main Library, Alan Gilbert Learning Commons and the Students Union.

Disability support

Practical support and advice for current students and applicants is available from the Disability Advisory and Support Service.

For more information, email  dass@manchester.ac.uk

Careers

Career opportunities

Completing a PGCE is one route to becoming a fully qualified teacher. This form of teacher training is recommended for anyone with an undergraduate degree who is looking to gain Qualified Teacher Status (QTS).

You need QTS to teach in a state-maintained or special school in England and Wales. While other routes to gain QTS exist, they do not all come with the postgraduate qualification of a PGCE. A PGCE from The University of Manchester is a valued qualification regionally, nationally and internationally.

When you study a PGCE with us, we help you prepare for a successful career in education. You will be given clear direction, advice and support when making applications for teaching posts and our employment rates are consistently high.

In addition to this, a PGCE qualification can count as 60 of the 180 credits required for a master's degree, and The University of Manchester offers a range of postgraduate Education courses should you wish to continue your professional development by completing a master's as you progress further in your career.

View careers and employability for more information.

Careers support

The University has its own dedicated Careers Service that you would have full access to as a student and for two years after you graduate.

At Manchester you will have access to a number of opportunities to help boost your employability .