RSA Academies’ Teaching School Alliance
Biology (2VK2)

PGCE with QTS full time

Accredited body
Birmingham City University
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

Our Teaching School Alliance is led by two outstanding schools, which are designated National Teaching Schools: Arrow Vale RSA Academy in Redditch and Holyhead School in Birmingham. We also work in partnership with the RSA, and with secondary and primary schools across the region, driving forward action research projects, undertaking innovations in teaching and optimising the talents and commitment of our staff to develop creative ways of providing education. We try where possible to ensure links to the RSA are interleaved into your training programme. The training programmes start with your school experience and will comprise of two contrasting teaching experiences over the course of the year, this will ensure you have access to a range of teaching strategies. All trainees will also attend subject and professional studies sessions which are spread throughout the year, these are delivered within an RSA School or at BCU campus. The programme combines both academic based assignments and the practical teaching experience. The assignments range from professional studies to subject specific and trainees are able to submit at master’s level. You will complete three assignments throughout the year. The last assignment is a research project and we have employed a specialist to deliver the Design Thinking Module to support completion of this project, this is unique to RSA Academies’ Teaching School Alliance. 100% of secondary trainees successfully passed with QTS. We offer multi-tiered levels of support to guarantee that our trainees make exceptional progress throughout their training and beyond, also ensuring trainees have access to a wide network of support. School Direct is a school-based approach to teacher training, which enables you to experience the life of a ‘real’ teacher as you will be based in school from the very start of your training. We are working in partnership with Birmingham City University (BCU), and on successful completion of the course, you will be awarded a postgraduate certificate in education (PGCE with QTS) with the opportunity to obtain additional Masters’ credits.

Interview process

The RSA Academies’ Teaching School Alliance and BCU will check all applications. Those applicants meeting the entry criteria will be shortlisted and invited for interview which will involve:

A range of tests and activities to test suitability for teaching

  • A formal interview which will consist of a three person panel asking a series of questions, covering a variety of topics
  • A short interaction with students. This will include a teaching element of up to 30 minutes
  • A 30 minute written task. Applicants will be given material to study relating to the task before the interview

Once all applicants have been interviewed, the Director of ITT and representatives from the TSA will meet to discuss the outcome of the interviews, and begin to match up potentially successful applicants the allocations available. Once a list of selected applicants have been finalised, a provisional offer will be made in writing. This offer is provisional until several checks and agreements have been made.

  These include:
  • References (if not already done)
  • DBS
  • Physical & mental fitness to teach
  • Verification of qualifications (if not already done)

How school placements work

Unlike other Teaching Alliances, we are led by two outstanding schools each of which are located in different areas within the West Midlands, within the family of schools, we can offer training in Birmingham, Dudley, Coventry, Redditch (South Birmingham). Our training facilities in each of our schools are leading edge and comprehensive to ensure all training needs are met. We also offer specialist training through the large variety of specialisms across, not only our lead schools, but also our strategic partners. During your training year, you will undertake two high quality school placements across our Teaching School Alliance.

You will have the opportunity of teaching all age ranges, including Post 16 and have access to teach a second subject to broaden your teaching knowledge and skills - this could be solo teaching or team teaching. You will spend a majority of your training in your host school, Sep - July. You will also undertake a second placement between Jan - Feb for a duration of 6 weeks. During this time you will also undertake a day in a Primary School setting. Our programme ensures you experience all key stages and have the opportunity to develop subject knowledge in a second subject.


The course fees for UK students in 2021 to 2022 are £9,250

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.



A degree from a UK Higher Education Institution or equivalent qualification. A 2:1 is desirable but not essential; we will consider a lower class degree. For overseas applicants a 2:2 or equivalent. We consider each application individually. Secondary candidates should note that subject knowledge is judged on a case by case basis; however salaried applicants must demonstrate a good understanding of their subject.

*All entrants have a standard equivalent to a grade C in English, mathematics and science (Primary) or accepted equivalents

*All entrants hold suitable qualifications, in their subject area, or demonstrate capacity to complete a subject enhancement course

Personal qualities

We are looking for people who have the right personal qualities and potential to be a passionate and committed teacher to improve the outcomes for the young people we work with. While extensive experience of working with young people is not essential, it is often found that the strongest applicants are those who have shown an interest in working with young people.

We are looking for :

  • Excellent communication and organisational skills
  • Commitment to working hard
  • Ability to establish good working relationships
  • Confidence and ability to engage with children
  • Commitment to a professional team
  • Commitment to excellence in education
  • Flexibility

Other requirements

All entrants have provided suitable references, and have been subject to the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS).

For applicants that have studied outside the United Kingdom must check their qualifications with NARIC (National Academic Recognition Information Centre) before making an application to confirm that their qualifications are of an equivalent level to UK GCSEs, A Levels and undergraduate degrees - 2:2 or equivalent.

For more information

Must be able to demonstrate an ability to communicate clearly and grammatically in spoken and written Standard English.

About the training provider

RSA Academies’ Teaching School Alliance and Birmingham City University are proud to be working together to provide an innovative and creative route into teaching. We provide trainee teachers with the opportunities they need to become creative and inspirational leaders of learning who will motivate and engage all learners, thus producing highly skilled graduate teachers who have an in-depth knowledge and understanding of teaching and learning, You will enjoy a bespoke programme of training, our programmes are designed to build your confidence and subject knowledge as well as providing you with the necessary skills to become an effective classroom practitioner.
We strongly believe in school-led training because we can support you to become the very best practitioners, and in turn transform students’ outcomes through challenging and stimulating teaching. We provide one-to-one support and access to a comprehensive and tailored CPD package, which will ensure you are fully supported during your training year and for your professional development. Working within the RSA brings endless opportunities and brings unique benefits. There is strong encouragement and support for teachers as researchers, who are encouraged to try out new things and share their findings.
Unlike other Teaching Alliances, we are led by two outstanding schools and can offer training in Birmingham, Dudley, Coventry, Redditch (South Birmingham). Our training facilities in each of our schools are leading edge and comprehensive to ensure all training needs are met.

100% trainees passed at Grade 1 and 2 Why train with us- (

Training with disabilities and other needs

We provide one-to-one support and access to a comprehensive and tailored CPD package, which will ensure you are fully supported during your training year and for your professional development.

RSA Academies’ Teaching School Alliance support equal opportunities in recruitment of our trainees.

Contact details

0121 523 1960
Milestone Lane
West Midlands
B21 0HN


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
Abbey Road, Coventry , CV3 4BD
Yes U
Bilston Road, Dudley, DY4 0BZ
Yes 5
Main Site
Milestone Lane, Birmingham , B21 0HN
Yes -
Wood Piece Lane, Redditch , B98 9LR
Yes C

Support and advice

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

Get support and advice about teaching

Register with Get Into Teaching, the Department for Education’s free support and advice service, for personalised guidance from teaching experts. They can help you to prepare your application, book school experience, and access exclusive teaching events. You can also call them free of charge on 0800 389 2500, or speak to an adviser using their online chat service, from 8am to 8pm, Monday to Friday.

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