Jurassic Coast Teaching Schools’ Alliance
Biology (35KW)

PGCE with QTS full time

Accredited body
University of Exeter
Financial support
Bursaries and student finance are available if you’re eligible

A postgraduate certificate in education (PGCE) with qualified teacher status (QTS) will allow you to teach in state schools in England and may allow you to teach in other parts of the UK.

It may also allow you to teach overseas, though you should always check what qualifications are needed in the country you’d like to teach in.

Many PGCE courses include credits that count toward a Master’s degree.

Course length
1 year
Date you can apply from
13 October 2020
Date course starts
September 2021


About the course

This course is a School Direct @Exeter programme. This means that you will attend the taught PGCE programme at the university as ‘infill’ trainees. You are registered with the university and are eligible for training bursaries and student loans. You will be based in school in September, before the taught course and in periods of non-contact time during the autumn term. The majority of the rest of your time is spent at your home school, with a second placement of approximately six weeks at a contrasting school.

In addition to school based work, the course includes science education workshops,National Curriculum courses designed to help develop to GCSE level your subject knowledge of the areas of science outside your specialism and to show you ways to teach these topics to pupils. There are subject specialist courses to develop to A-level your specialist subject knowledge and to show you ways to teach these topics to pupils. There are also subject support groups in which students teach aspects of their own specialism to each other. You may also have the opportunity to learn through weekend field courses.

Five seminar days are held at the University during school placements. Assessment is through school and University assignments. The course contains assignments at Masters level, carrying a total of 60 credits.Student are required to complete three 5,000 word (or equivalent) assignments related to the teaching and learning of science. The first focuses on the nature and purpose of science education and the development of understanding of a particular aspect of science education. This is completed during the first, university based, term. The second is completed whilst on the first school placement during the spring term. It involves carrying out an Action Research Project or a Case Study. For further information about this course please see https://www.exeter.ac.uk/teachertraining/

Interview process

Interviews will take place in the home school. You will be interviewed by the head of department, a member of the leadership team and a teacher with responsibility for initial teacher training. Before the interview day, but as part of the interview process, you will be expected to arrange a visit to the school. On the interview day itself you will be asked to observe a lesson and discuss what you notice and you will be asked to work with a small group of students for part of a lesson, supporting them through an activity prepared by their teacher.

How school placements work

Placement schools are self selecting. Within the JCTSA partnership schools identify the subjects in which they wish to train a teacher. This means that biology is only offered in those specific schools. If you are offered and accept a place in that school, it then is designated as your home school and the bulk of your teaching practice will take place there. Your second placement will be in a contrasting school. This will be within the alliance of schools but you may have to travel. All of our schools are rural and are located in West Dorset, Chard and Devon. For the most part, all our secondary schools are 11-16 schools. Most of the placement schools are designated as good or outstanding by Ofsted.


The course fees for 2021 to 2022 are as follows:
Student type Fees to pay
UK students £9,250
International students £19,500

Financial support

You’ll get a bursary of £7,000 if you have a degree of 2:2 or above in any subject.

You don’t have to apply for a bursary - if you’re eligible, you’ll automatically start receiving it once you begin your course. Find out about eligibility and how you’ll be paid.

You may be eligible for a loan while you study – note that you’ll have to apply for undergraduate student finance.

Find out about financial support if you’re from outside the UK.



Good GCSE grades in ‘dble science’ or in three separate sciences. Good ‘A’ level grade in biology and ideally in another science subject and a good degree (first or 2.1 class Honours) with at least 50% of content related to biology. GCSE grade C+/4+ maths and English. N.B. DfE entry requirement to pass professional skills tests in literacy and numeracy is removed for 2020/21 entry onwards. PGCE trainees will be benchmarked during training against a Government-defined fundamental mathematics and English skills. Further details are yet to be confirmed by the DfE.

About the training provider

The Jurassic Coast Teaching Schools’ Alliance operates out of The Woodroffe School, Lyme Regis and includes schools across Devon, Dorset and Somerset. We are a diverse and vibrant partnership, encompassing secondary schools, an independent school, an FE college, a university and primary schools.

Woodroffe is the lead school in a large alliance of secondary and primary schools. We are an outstanding school, as are a number of our partner schools. Woodroffe is also a regional maths hub, providing specialist maths support to teachers across Dorset and parts of Devon.

About the accredited body

The Jurassic Coast teaching School Alliance has many years of experience in delivering teacher training programmes, working with The University of Exeter who have been judged by Ofsted as outstanding providers of initial teacher education.

Training with disabilities and other needs

The University of Exeter provides comprehensive student services that include AccessAbility and Wellbeing teams, Student Learning Skills Service, Student Advice Unit, Counselling Service, Students’ Union Advisors, Student Health Centre, Family Centre and the Chaplaincy. For further details on the wealth of support available to you please go to Student Support Services (http://www.exeter.ac.uk/newstudents/supportandservices/yourhealthandwelfare/#a4)

Contact details

01297 442232
The Woodroffe School
Uplyme Road
Lyme Regis


Apply for this course

Choose a training location

You’ll also need to choose a training location – select the relevant location name on the application form.

Choose a training location - List of locations, vacancies and codes
Location Vacancies Code
Main Site
JCTSA, The Woodroffe School, Uplyme Road, Lyme Regis, DT7 3LX
Yes -
The King’s School
Cadhay Lane, Ottery Saint Mary, EX11 1RA
Yes T

Support and advice

For questions about this course you should contact the training provider using the contact details above.

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