This course will prepare you to teach National Curriculum science specialising in biology at KS3 and KS4 (11-16) with a post-16 enhancement.
Learn to be an effective science teacher. Gain insight into key skills across the science curriculum: questioning, assessing learning, lesson planning, management of practical work and laboratory safety.
Get to grips with up-to-date thinking and the latest research in teaching and learning. You'll benefit from our expertise as a leading centre for curriculum development, professional training and research.
You can choose to study this course as a University of York PGCE trainee or through our School Direct partnerships. The following routes are open to you:
School Direct trainees work with University of York PGCE trainees at the University for Curriculum Area sessions. Whole School Issues sessions are usually delivered in your partner schools.
Each route has a different course code and institution code. Please see our information on applying for details.
On successfully completing this course you will be recommended for Qualified Teacher Status (QTS), which is awarded by the Department for Education (DfE).
Our academics have been instrumental in developing the science curriculum, winning numerous honours and awards.
In its most recent evaluation, the Office for Standards in Education (Ofsted) awarded our PGCE programme a Grade 2: Good.
We're ranked 9th in the UK and World Top 50 for Education (QS World Rankings by Subject, 2023)
The York PGCE is designed to ensure that your study at the University and your practical experience in schools work together to help you develop the theoretical knowledge and practical skills you need to be a successful teacher.
Throughout the course, you’ll develop and consolidate your understanding of what constitutes effective teaching.
You’ll spend two thirds of your learning time in school settings, with the rest of your time spent at the University receiving training. While on placement, you'll receive ongoing, regular support from your tutors when they visit you in school to observe you teach and help you reflect on your developing practice.
There are sessions that are particularly important for biology teachers: key practical techniques such as microbiology and dissection, teaching ethics, teaching evolution and handling controversial issues such as intelligent design and teaching reproduction.
This course is worth 60 Masters-level credits, which you can put towards a Masters degree through Accreditation of Prior Credited Learning (APCL).
Over the course of your two secondary teaching placements you’ll have the opportunity to work with different age groups (including gaining some post-16 experience), with different abilities and with students of varying dispositions. You’ll experience a variety of schools and subject departments.
You’ll experience the pastoral side of each school through active involvement with a tutor group. You will be able to engage with the wider life of each school by participating in school trips, parents’ evenings, open evenings, events such as school concerts and lunchtime/after school clubs.
At the beginning of your second placement, you’ll carry on teaching about 50% of an average teacher’s timetable. Towards the end of the placement, you might be given the opportunity to take on additional teaching, up to 75% of a teacher’s timetable.
Before starting a placement that forms part of your course, you are likely to be asked by the placement provider to sign a confidentiality agreement. This is to ensure that you do not disclose any information that is confidential to the placement provider.
Every course at York is built on a distinctive set of learning outcomes. These will give you a clear understanding of what you will be able to accomplish at the end of the course and help you explain what you can offer employers. Our academics identify the knowledge, skills, and experiences you'll need upon graduation and then design the course to get you there.
|Study mode||UK (home)||International and EU|
|Full-time (1 year)||£9,250||£23,900|
Students on a Student Visa are not currently permitted to study part-time at York.
UK (home) or international fees? The level of fee that you will be asked to pay depends on whether you're classed as a UK (home) or international student. Check your fee status.
Find out more information about tuition fees and how to pay them.
You will be expected to arrange your own transport to and from placements. The cost of this will vary depending on the location of your placements and your personal situation. We'll make every effort to place you in a school that you are able to travel to easily.
Successful applicants must undergo a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) enhanced check. The fee for this is £44.
You can use our living costs guide to help plan your budget. It covers additional costs that are not included in your tuition fee such as expenses for accommodation and study materials.
I really enjoyed the first few weeks of university sessions. It was great to be with people who were going through the same situations in their placements. Although it was daunting to teach my first lesson, I really felt as though I had achieved something once I had finished.Charlotte, PGCE Biology
You’ll work with world‐leading academics who’ll challenge you to think independently and excel in all that you do. Our approach to teaching will provide you with the knowledge, opportunities, and support you need to grow and succeed in a global workplace.
Participation in the PGCE course is an active process. Although there are lectures and presentations, much of your learning will come from workshops, seminars and school and classroom activities.
Trainees come to the course with a range of qualifications, employment backgrounds and interests. Throughout the course you will be encouraged to work collaboratively, sharing your experience, knowledge and technical expertise. Activities emphasise teamwork and require you to share the responsibility for your learning.
Throughout the course, you will be guided by mentors in your placement schools and supported by your university tutors.
The PGCE course follows the format of a school academic year, starting in September and finishing in June. The exact dates will depend on the term dates of placement schools, which we will confirm when making offers.
Our Science Education Area houses a laboratory, seminar/study space, computing equipment and a collection of teaching resources. The laboratory contains a representative selection of school science teaching apparatus and materials.
The National STEM Learning Centre, based on campus, is working to develop world-leading STEM education for the UK.
The Department of Education is located in Derwent College, on the west part of our campus. Your university sessions will take place in a variety of locations around campus.
School placements take place across the region. We take many factors into consideration when allocating placements and will work with you to ensure you can get to your placement safely and easily.
Our beautiful green campus offers a student-friendly setting in which to live and study, within easy reach of the action in the city centre. It's easy to get around campus - everything is within walking or pedalling distance, or you can always use the fast and frequent bus service.
You'll complete three academic assignments:
The primary aim of the course is to enable you to meet, and ideally exceed, the Teachers’ Standards and be recommended for Qualified Teacher Status (QTS). You will also be awarded a PGCE from the University of York at Masters level.
There were challenges throughout the year but the support I received from staff was unequivocal. The lectures were informative and engaging and the transition between being university-based to school-based was such that I felt ready to face the new challenge with a bank of ideas and resources to support me.Dawn, PGCE Science
Most of our graduates become teachers, but the skills you learn will open other career paths too.
2:2 or equivalent in Biology or a related subject such as Biomedical Sciences. We also accept combined honours degrees where Biology (or a related subject) makes up at least 50% of the award.
If your undergraduate degree is not in Biology or a related subject, we may still may be able to offer you a place if you also have a postgraduate degree in Biology or Grade B in A level Biology.
If your undergraduate degree is not at least 50% Biology, we may require you to undertake a Subject Knowledge Enhancement course prior to starting your PGCE.
|Other international qualifications||Equivalent qualifications from your country|
Further information about government requirements for teacher training.
If English isn't your first language you may need to provide evidence of your English language ability. We accept the following qualifications:
|IELTS (Academic and Indicator)||6.5, minimum 6.0 in each component|
|Cambridge CEFR||B2 First: 176, with 169 in each component|
|Duolingo||120, minimum 105 in all other components|
|LanguageCert SELT||B2 with 33/50 in each component|
|LanguageCert Academic||70 with a minimum of 65 in each component|
|KITE||459-494, with 426-458 in all other components|
|Skills for English||B2: Merit overall, with Pass with Merit in each component|
|PTE Academic||61, minimum 55 in each component|
|TOEFL||87, minimum 21 in each component|
|Trinity ISE III||Merit in all requirements|
For more information see our postgraduate English language requirements.
You may be eligible for one of our pre-sessional English language courses. These courses will provide you with the level of English needed to meet the conditions of your offer.
The length of course you need to take depends on your current English language test scores and how much you need to improve to reach our English language requirements.
After you've accepted your offer to study at York, we'll confirm which pre-sessional course you should apply to via You@York.
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