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Postgraduate study
Initial Teacher Training

Secondary Chemistry with Biology (with QTS) Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE)

This course is designed to train you to become an inspirational, reflective and professional teacher of secondary chemistry and biology who can motivate learners aged 11-16 to achieve highly and realise their full potential.

 
  • This course is closed for September 2024 entry for international applicants.
 

Course overview

Your learning will be personalised across professional skills, subject knowledge and pedagogy, research and theory. You develop further by completing a small-scale research project within your subject area and by undertaking intensive teaching practices within school settings, allowing you to put your knowledge and understanding of education into practice. On placement you will practise teaching strategies, learn how to manage a classroom environment, and develop evidence-based approaches from skilled professionals who share your passion for your subject area.

At the beginning of the course, you focus on developing your knowledge of learning and explore a range of evidence-based teaching and assessment theories and strategies, in addition to your subject knowledge and subject specific pedagogy. Throughout the course, you embed and refine your knowledge and skills, enhancing your own practice and subject expertise during school-based placements as well as developing your ability to reflect on your practice through action research.

Funding: if you study this course, you could be eligible for a bursary of up to £28,000. Find out more

Study this course and you may be eligible for a £2,500 Sir Keith Skeoch postgraduate scholarship.

Download pdf Order prospectus

 

Course details

Course structure

Core modules

Developing Learning, Teaching and Pedagogy

You gain a detailed overview of the core concepts underpinning learning, teaching and assessment, which is the starting point for becoming a professional teacher in the compulsory sector. You focus on the core pedagogical knowledge and skills that trainee teachers require.

Enhancing Learning, Teaching and Pedagogy

You enhance and extend approaches to learning, teaching and assessment in a variety of complex and challenging ways. You underpin your learning and teaching with evidence-informed strategies and develop the skills required to evaluate your own practice rigorously and consistently.

Professional Practices

Two school-based placements enable you to link theory to practice. On placement you are given increasing levels of responsibility and are expected to engage with all aspects of school life.

Subject Specialist Pedagogy in Science (Chemistry with Biology)

You enhance your subject specialist knowledge, skills and pedagogy. You explore core aspects of your subject, developing a strong understanding of how they can be taught to pupils across secondary ages, stages and contexts. The module will cover:

* Core transitions including an understanding of the development of science in the primary sector and its role in supporting pupils to move into the education and training and/or higher education sectors.
* A detailed consideration of science curricula (ages 11 - 14 and ages 14 - 16 national curricula) and Sixth Form and its content.
* Science context, issues, policy and expectations within the compulsory sector.
* Working with assessment processes and key specifications in science including GCSE and A-level) and embedding requirements within broader learning and teaching.
* Developing science subject specific knowledge in biology, including teaching: structure and function of living organisms; materials cycles and energy; interactions and interdependencies; genetics and evolution.
* Developing science subject specific knowledge in chemistry, including teaching: particulate nature of matter; atoms, elements and compounds; pure and impure substances; chemical reactions; energetics; the periodic table; materials; earth and atmosphere.
*Developing learners’ ability to work scientifically: scientific attitudes, experimental skill, strategies and investigations, analysis and evaluation; measurement; development of scientific thinking; vocabulary, units, symbols and nomenclature.
* Embedding of English and maths and digital technologies across the curriculum in science.
* Special educational needs and disabilities and their impact on teaching science.

Subject Specialist Practice Project

You research an aspect of your subject specialism to develop pedagogic knowledge, and to explicitly link theory to practice in professional educational contexts.

 

Modules offered may vary.

 

How you learn

Throughout the course and your time based in schools, you will study at University alongside other PGCE students following your subject specific route, and for core modules, with students from other subject areas. This approach provides rich opportunities for collaborative learning and the creation of professional networks.

It is an intensive and rewarding course. Course staff support you to learn how to manage the demands of a teaching career both during the course and beyond; the initial teaching training (ITT) partnership is also committed to following the Department for Education’s guidance on teacher workload.

Course delivery comes from a range of academic staff, guest lecturers, practitioners who work in schools and other experts in the field of education giving you a rich, topical and meaningful learning and practical experience. During your placement, you work with a professional mentor within the school and a subject mentor. You will also be assigned a member of university staff as an ITT tutor who will work closely with the course and placement teams to support your progress.

How you are assessed

A range of flexible tasks have been designed to assess your knowledge, professional skills, and ability to integrate the theoretical and the practical aspects of the course. You will be formally assessed at the end of each academic module and progress on placements will be evaluated using a methods including observation, reflections and professional discussion. You are provided with frequent opportunities to receive feedback.

 

Entry requirements

The following admission criteria applies:

  • GCSE grade 4, or standard equivalent, in English and maths (qualifications in key and functional skills at level 2 are not equivalent to GCSEs in breadth of content). If you have not achieved the standard equivalent, you can sit an equivalency test at equivalencytesting.com
  • a first degree (minimum 2:2) from a UK higher education institution or a recognised equivalent qualification. In exceptional cases if you do not have a 2:2 but are able to demonstrate suitable significant experience and/or further study you may be considered for the course
  • ability to clearly demonstrate suitable subject level ability in the specialist subject area. This may be evidenced through suitable A level or Level 3 qualifications and the completion of a subject knowledge enhancement course or through the first-degree subject area (a transcript may be requested) or through work experience relating to the subject
  • ability to demonstrate capacity to meet the Teachers’ Standards
  • verification of your identity either from your birth certificate, or acceptable, alternative document
  • satisfactory enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) criminal records check which considers the children's barred list and whether a trainee has previously behaved unsuitably for work with children and been removed from a programme or would have been had they not left. Further checks are carried out for international applicants to consider events outside the UK
  • completion of a Declaration of Suitability for Teacher Training document
  • submission of two references. Referees must confirm that they know of no reason why you cannot work with children. Admissions will also check there are no breaks in your employment or education history
  • successful completion of a formal interview and selection process.

The interview and selection process includes:

  • a formal interview where you will be interviewed by two members of the teaching team
  • a presentation about an aspect of your specialist subject
  • a reflective and a classroom-based scenario task
  • a data task.

Once you are advised of your interview and selection date, you should plan enough time to complete all tasks on the same day.

For guidance, you will need approximately one hour for the interview, and you will be allocated a three hour window to complete the scenario and data tasks (reasonable adjustments will be considered if required). The process determines whether you possess the appropriate attitudes and value expected of a teacher. It also assesses whether you demonstrate intellectual and academic suitability for the course, including:

  • fluent communication skills
  • writing that reflects a high standard of accuracy
  • an ability to use data and graphs to interpret information, identify patterns and trends to draw appropriate conclusions.

Upon completion of the interview and selection process, you will be asked to give an evaluation of the day, so that we can continually monitor and improve our processes.

The Department for Education requires that we see all original certificates when you enrol.

IELTS entry requirements for international applicants is level 6.5 or above. International qualifications will be checked for equivalency by the International Admissions team.

For general information please see our overview of entry requirements

International applicants can find out what qualifications they need by visiting Your Country

 

Employability

Career opportunities

Throughout the course you are supported to prepare for the next steps in your teaching journey whilst you progress to meet Teachers’ Standards. You develop your professionalism and employability and will be given advice and guidance in relation to recruitment and selection. The course aims to ensure that you are ready to progress to professional development through the Early Career Framework (ECF) within your first teaching role as an Early Career Teacher (ECT).

Work placement

During the course you complete two professional placements and will gradually build up the number of hours you teach whilst observing and working alongside colleagues. You experience the life of a teacher by fully immersing yourself in the school environment. You benefit from the support of a curriculum mentor and professional mentor on your placements who will model practice, give you feedback and work with you to set targets. Mentors are highly trained and effective educational practitioners and will provide you with information, advice, and guidance throughout the course. We are partnered with a diverse range of schools and settings across the Tees Valley giving you contrasting experiences where possible. Placement in schools is dependent on several variables and while we will endeavour to take your location preferences into account, you should be prepared to travel across the Tees Valley.

 

Information for international applicants

Qualifications

International applicants - find out what qualifications you need by selecting your country below.

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Useful information

Visit our international pages for useful information for non-UK students and applicants.

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Full-time

2024/25 entry

Fee for UK applicants
£9,250 a year

More details about our fees

Fee for international applicants
£17,000 a year

More details about our fees for international applicants

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This course is closed for September 2024 entry for international applicants.

 

Part-time

2024/25 entry

Fee for UK applicants
£4,500 a year

More details about our fees

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Initial Teacher Training

Providing the Tees Valley with informed and resilient trainees, equipped with the knowledge and skills to forge successful teaching careers within the early career framework.

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International students

Email: internationalenquiries@tees.ac.uk

Telephone: +44 (0) 1642 738900


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