Teacher Training – University of Exeter

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University of Exeter

Secondary Education (Science, Biology with Psychology) PGCE

Psychology is becoming an increasingly popular choice at 'A' level and is also being offered as a GCSE option in some schools. The Biology with Psychology option is designed to provide a pathway into teaching for good psychology or biology graduates who also have a strong background in both biology and psychology.

Psychology graduates wishing to follow this programme will normally be expected to have an upper second or first class Honours degree in Psychology and ‘A’ level Biology at grade A or B. Biology graduates who wish to follow this programme will normally be expected to have an upper second or first class Honours degree in a Biological Science and ‘A’ level Psychology at grade A or B. The programme is designed to prepare students to teach all aspects of science to Key Stage 3 and 4 and specialist biology and psychology teaching at post-16 level.

Development of subject and teaching knowledge and understanding is a priority and the team of science tutors includes specialists in physics, chemistry, biology and psychology teaching.

Topics covered include:

  • the aims of science teaching
  • the planning, preparation and evaluation of learning experiences for children of different ages and abilities
  • school laboratory management
  • the use of information and communications technologies to support science teaching and learning

Entry requirements

A typical student will have obtained good GCSE grades in ‘double science’ or in each of the three separate science subjects. They will also have good ‘A’ level grades (A or B) in Psychology and Biology and a good degree (first or upper second class Honours) with at least 50% of the content related to Biology or Psychology. Equivalent or alternative qualifications may be considered.

In addition it is always very helpful to gain an understanding of what being a secondary school science teacher involves through gaining some experience in secondary school science and psychology departments.

Course modules

The programme has three fully integrated components:

Secondary Education and Professional Studies Module
The Professional Studies component introduces you to key educational ideas and principles within a range of educational contexts. The module is followed throughout the year with both University and school-based elements and is concerned with classroom issues, whole school issues and the role of education in the wider society.

Secondary Professional Learning Module
Central to school-based work is the development of your ability to meet the standards of professional competence which trainees must demonstrate in order to meet national standards for the award of QTS.

Secondary Biology with Psychology Subject Knowledge and Pedagogy Module
The principal aims of the module are to equip students with a comprehensive understanding of the background issues and practice of the current teaching of Science, with particular reference to the teaching of Biology and Psychology, in the secondary school, and to enable them to meet the Standards for the Award of Qualified Teacher Status (DCSF 2007).

Assessment methods

Through University and school-based assignments. There are no formal exams.

There are two main assessment strands:

  • Assessment of the Standards relating to professional attributes, knowledge, understanding and skills that need to be reached in order to be awarded Qualified Teacher Status (QTS).
  • Assessment at Masters level to gain the PGCE.

Sponsorship information

Bursaries are available for students taking a biology PGCE.


Qualification Study mode Start month Fee Fee locale Course duration
PGCE Full-time £ 9,250 (Whole course) Home/EU 36 Weeks
PGCE Full-time £ 16,500 (Whole course) International 36 Weeks

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