PGCE and ProfGCE in Secondary Education Biology
Why choose Herts?
- Ranked best university provider for Teacher Training in the UK (NSS, 2020-21).
- Benefit from strong partnerships with over 300 schools and training providers across Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire, and Cambridgeshire.
- Bursaries and scholarships up to £29k available for some PGCE Secondary courses. More information about teacher training funding.
Entry requirements and key information
- Honours degree (2.2 or higher), awarded by a UK university or an overseas award recognised as equivalent by UK ENIC.
- We require the degree to have a minimum 50% content of the subject in which the applicant is applying.
- GCSE (or IGCSE) English language and mathematics at grade 4 or above (grade C or above under the previous grading structure and at ‘O’ Level).
- NB Equivalency tests in lieu of GCSE maths and English language will only be considered in exceptional circumstances by prior discussion with the admissions team.
- Applicants from non-majority English speaking countries require proof of English language proficiency, equivalent to an overall IELTS Academic score of 6.5 with a minimum of 6.0 in each band. This must be no more than two years old at the point of application.
Suitability to train to teach is assessed at interview.
GCSE equivalent qualifications achieved overseas must be recognised as comparable to grades 4/C or above by UK ENIC. First degrees awarded overseas must also be recognised as equivalent to British honours degree by UK ENIC. This is known as a Statement of Comparability. Depending on the outcome, the ITE admissions team may require an applicant to produce an academic transcript listing full modules/subjects studied in order to make an admissions decision about comparability in relation to Standard and Honours degree classification.
We may require certified translations of certificates/documents issued in any language other than English. Please note this is likely to be an additional cost to the applicant.
If the qualifications have been taken abroad then you will need a Statement of Comparability from ENIC before applying for the programme. Visit ENIC for more information.
The University of Hertfordshire ensures that suitability checks have been completed prior to the commencement of the programme, in line with Keeping Children Safe in Education (September 2021) and ITT criteria and supporting advice (section C1). This process is overseen by the Head of ITE, Victoria Pateman, and Head of ITE Compliance, Ewelina Roberts.
The following checks are:
- proof of identity
- proof of academic qualifications
- suitability and safer recruitment self-declaration, in this declaration the applicant is informed of their duty to disclose relevant information under childcare disqualification arrangements and any cautions or convictions
- enhanced DBS
- a barred list check
- prohibition from teaching check – Teaching Regulation Agency
- for applicants who have lived abroad for three months or more in the past 10 years, an overseas criminal record check – GOV.UK
- health and physical fitness to teach assessment.
School of study
School of Social Science, Humanities and Education
- Full Time, 1 Years
- University of Hertfordshire, Hatfield
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On successful completion of the programme you will be recommended for Qualified Teacher Status and be ready to start your teaching career.
School experience is at the heart of the programme and during the thirty-six week programme you spend twenty-four weeks in school, and the rest of the time on campus. The school experience is made up of a number of serial day placements, including visits to a primary school and a special school and two block placements in partner secondary schools.
Qualified Teacher Status
About the course
This Masters level professional training programme introduces you to the requirements for teaching Biology to the 11-16 age range and leads to recommendation for Qualified Teacher Status. Where appropriate, opportunities to experience post 16 provision will be available.
You will be introduced to the principles and theories of secondary teaching through both subject studies and a developing professional practice course. Training is undertaken in partnership with local secondary schools.
We are looking to select trainees who:
- have the passion, commitment and enthusiasm to teach in secondary schools
- are resilient and able to work under pressure
- have good subject knowledge to train to teach in the area they are interested in
It is also possible to apply via a partner school and study this course through our School Direct programme.
Why choose this course?
The University of Hertfordshire is a leading regional provider of Initial Teacher Training. Consistently high achieving in its Ofsted inspections it is recognised as a very good quality training provider by local employers. Graduate employability is high.
Rated Good by Ofsted 2023, the Ofsted report highlighted that ''The University of Hertfordshire ITE programme is thoroughly planned and carefully sequenced. This ensures that the curriculum is ambitious and provides trainees with the knowledge and skills to teach their chosen subject effectively''.
The programme is structured to allow you to develop the skills required by a secondary Biology teacher, and to develop specific expertise for making a distinctive contribution to secondary practice.
The strengths of our PGCE secondary programmes are the high levels of pastoral care and support we offer trainees. We also have effective partnerships with schools which enhances trainees' subject knowledge and conceptual understanding of teaching and ensures our trainees achieve good levels of attainment.
In addition, this qualification is worth 60 Master's-level credits (one third of a Master's degree). Following completion of the PGCE you can top-up part-time to a Master's degree in Education.
What will I study?
A wide range of teaching and learning methods are used. Tutor led sessions will include lectures, seminars and workshops, where active participation is encouraged. Twenty-four weeks of the programme are spent in local partnerships schools. This enables you to benefit from the knowledge and expertise of a team of practising teachers who lead key sessions as well as support you in your school-based training where you develop your classroom expertise.
The programme includes opportunities to visit different educational contexts, including a primary school and a special needs school.
|School-based training 1||30 Credits||Compulsory|
|School-based training 2||30 Credits||Compulsory|
|Secondary Professional Learning and Development||30 Credits||Compulsory|
|Science subject and curriculum knowledge||30 Credits||Compulsory|
Further course information
|Course fact sheets|
|Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) (Secondary)||Download|
|PGCE Secondary Education||Download|
|Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) (Secondary)||Download|
|PGCE in Education (Secondary)||Download|
Sandwich placement or study abroad year
Applications open to international and EU students
At the University of Hertfordshire, we want to make sure your time studying with us is as stress-free and rewarding as possible. We offer a range of support services including; student wellbeing, academic support, accommodation and childcare to ensure that you make the most of your time at Herts and can focus on studying and having fun.
Find out about how we support our students
You can also read our student blogs to find out about life at Herts.
Funding and fees
Other financial support
Find out more about other financial support available to UK and EU students
- £9250 for the 2023/2024 academic year
Initial Teacher Training Bursary information
You may be eligible for a training bursary.
*Tuition fees are charged annually. The fees quoted above are for the specified year(s) only. Fees may be higher in future years, for both new and continuing students. Please see the University's Fees and Finance Policy (and in particular the section headed "When tuition fees change"), for further information about when and by how much the University may increase its fees for future years.
View detailed information about tuition fees
Living costs / accommodation
The University of Hertfordshire offers a great choice of student accommodation, on campus or nearby in the local area, to suit every student budget.
View detailed information about our accommodation
How to apply
Start Date End Date Link 09/09/2023 31/07/2024 Apply online (Full Time)
Start Date End Date Link 09/09/2024 31/07/2025 Apply online (Full Time)