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Secondary Biology with QTS (School Direct)

The Faculty of Education has a longstanding national reputation for providing high-calibre initial teacher training. We are committed to providing high quality university and school-led training. We have a well established partnership with over 800 secondary schools and colleges and offer over 20 secondary subject disciplines.

Our PGCE Science has an outstanding reputation for producing high quality science teachers. Specialisms are available in Biology, Chemistry or Physics (applicants must state their choice), we also offer Physics with Mathematics. Science teaching is a stated government priority nationally and therefore attractive bursaries are available to support your training (subject to confirmation of PGCE place and eligibility).

Subject to confirmation of DfE funding, we usually run free pre-entry SKE and booster courses for national priority subjects, including Biology. These will be identified at interview for applicants who need support in some areas and confirmed with a PGCE place offer.

This course is available via University and School Direct routes.

We also offer an Assessment-Only route to Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) aimed at experienced, but unqualified graduate teachers, wishing to complete a formal qualification.

Entry requirements

Successful candidates for this course will normally hold at least a lower second class (2.2) honours degree in the required subject or cognate area (or international equivalent) of which 50% of the degree must be in the subject you are applying for. For exceptional candidates – particularly those with substantial relevant work experience in schools or relevant occupations – we will consider applications from those who hold a 3rd class degree.

Candidates will normally be expected to engage in at least two weeks of experience in relevant school setting(s) prior to application to the course to develop an appropriate understanding of the role of the teacher in the classroom and at school.

GCSEs
You will also need GCSEs at grade C or above in English Language and Mathematics.  However, applicants are able to apply with GCSEs pending for this course and in exceptional circumstances MMU GCSE Equivalency tests may be offered. This will be at the discretion of the admissions tutor and will only be offered if considered appropriate after interview

Professional skills tests in Numeracy and Literacy

All PGCE applicants will need to pass pre-entry Professional Skills Tests in Numeracy and Literacy. 

A Disclosure and Barring Service check and a DfE Fitness to Teach health form are required. 

There’s further information for international students on our international website if you’re applying with non-UK qualifications.

Course modules

During the first term you will learn how to plan lessons, how to organise and manage classrooms and laboratories, how to create and maintain a positive learning atmosphere and how to evaluate your progress. You will also carry out an audit of your subject knowledge and use this to develop identified areas of your scientific understanding. Based in one of our placement schools, you will observe effective classroom practice first hand, engage in shared and individual teaching and complete a range of school-based training tasks that will begin to develop your understanding of your role as a science teacher.

In the second term, the focus of training will shift to the assessment of pupils' attainment and progress, the use of ICT in science teaching, teaching post-16 aspects of your specialism and looking at transition from primary to secondary schools.  You will transfer to a second placement school, where you will take on an enhanced teaching role which has a greater emphasis on your ability to ue your assessment according to pupils' needs.  At the end of this placement, you will be assessed against the classroom based aspects of the standards required for Qualified Teacher Status (QTS).

In the third term you will follow a personalised agenda that has been agreed with your tutors and mentors.  This will allow you to address any remaining QTS standards and to further develop your subject knowledge, both within and beyond your science specialism, to Key Stage 4 and Post-16 level.  There will also be scope for individually negotiated project work within this term.

We aim to develop analytical, successful and enthusiastic beginning teachers who are fully aware of the excitement and challenges which lie ahead and who can work effectively in a variety of educational settings.

Trainees will engage with current educational issues and recent and relevant research in order to further develop their understanding and to generate challenging and lively debate.  There will be a focus on:

  • Promoting an inclusive learning and teaching environment
  • Working in multi-professional teams
  • Creating a climate for learning in the classroom
  • Learning and teaching strategies
  • Managing students' behaviour
  • Planning and evaluating students' learning
  • Developing knowledge and understanding of teachers' professional responsibilities

Assessment methods

Our PGCE Secondary programme combines practical teaching experience with written assignments. Trainees will complete a portfolio detailing their Record of Professional Development and a Career Entry Profile. Satisfactory attendance and professional engagement with the programme are also necessary factors in the successful completion of your chosen route.

Fees

All of the books required for the course are available from the library. The University also has PC labs and a laptop loan service. However, many students choose to buy some of the core textbooks for the course and/or a laptop. Students may also need to print their assignments and other documents. Campus printing costs start from 5p per page. Estimated costs are £300 for a laptop up to £100 each year for books and printing.

If you are applying through the University-led route, the University will organise your placements - we do not expect you to do this. Starting with the students term time postcode we match this with placement offers from schools. Students are expected to travel up to 1.5 hours each way from where they live and to arrive in their school 45 minutes before the school day commences. Travel by public transport may involve a number of changes e.g. train and bus. We take into consideration special circumstances, such as, disabilities, cultural requirements and medical conditions. In addition, we match carefully to ensure a breadth of experience across different key stages. You will need to budget for travel costs to your placement. You may be able to claim back a contribution if you do not have a bursary or you have to travel over a specified distance set by the Faculty. If you are applying through the School Direct route, the lead school will take responsibility for arranging all practice credit units including placement experiences. You should expect some travel to other schools e.g. for your second placement. You may also need to budget for student membership of professional bodies.

DBS Checks - Before starting on your course, you must undergo a satisfactory Disclosure and Barring Service check (Enhanced Disclosure). At the time of going to press, ITET applicants do not have to pay for the first DBS check. If you cannot attend a DBS session at the University before the start of the course, you can use the UK Post Office Document Certification Service, which costs approximately £10. Responsibility for DBS clearance on employment based and CPD programmes normally lies with your employer and not the University. Where a new DBS check is required for placement but not supported by your employer, the University will pay the cost of your first check. If you are not a UK citizen, or if you have lived in one country outside the UK for six or more months in the last five years, you must where this is possible obtain a police clearance certificate from the country in which you resided, in addition to the Disclosure and Barring Service check. You must supply a certified translation if the certificate does not automatically include this. Costs vary and can include fingerprint and translation fees where required. Returning students, who have already had a DBS certificate from Manchester Met and who need a second DBS certificate, for example, due to a suspension of study, are required to pay the DBS fee. Please go to our DBS webpage for more details and for current DBS fees: http://www.mmu.ac.uk/dbs /Membership of the Design and Technology Association (DATA) is encouraged, but is not mandatory.

Qualifications

Qualification Study mode Start month Fee Fee locale Course duration
PGCE Full-time £ 9,250 (Whole course) Home/EU 1 Years
PGCE Full-time £ 14,400 (Whole course) International 1 Years

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