Dartmoor Teaching School Alliance
Biology (355G)

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

Our Secondary School Direct programmes are through the @Exeter model with the University of Exeter. This means that our trainees get the benefit of a more school-based programme while at the same time being able to access the acclaimed University of Exeter PGCE course, delivered at The Graduate School of Education, St Luke’s Campus, Exeter.

Your main placement will be in a Dartmoor Teaching School Alliance school during the Autumn and Spring terms and the second placement will take place during the Summer term in a school with a contrasting profile. We aim to get a great match between you and your placement schools so that you can develop successfully in friendly, supportive departments reasonably close to where you live.

You spend the first month in your main placement school, including one week in a feeder primary school, completing preliminary experience activities and the induction phase. School based training will be supported by a Principal Subject Tutor (PST) in your subject and a mentor outside of your subject area.

The PGCE element of the programme is delivered through a ten-week, full-time study course at the University of Exeter, between late September and mid-December. Here you will access lectures and seminars focused on your subject area that will equip you with the key knowledge and skills to take into your school-based placements. We are passionate about the importance of subject-specific training: in our experience trainees develop best when they are taught about the specifics of their subject area.

Dartmoor Teaching School Alliance provides five additional seminar days, with the purpose of bringing our secondary trainees together to discuss and share their experiences, receive additional professional development from our highly-skilled specialist trainers and have the opportunity to engage in the most current educational research. You’ll also be given the opportunity to access workshops on getting your first job, including mock interviews with former headteachers. With over twenty trainees on our secondary programme in 2020-2021, Dartmoor Teaching School Alliance is a popular School Direct choice for trainees in Devon and the wider area.

We offer the following subjects at Secondary: English, Maths, Biology, Chemistry, Physics, History, Geography, Modern Foreign Languages (French/German/Spanish), Religious Education and Physical Education. To find out more about the details of the PGCE component of each subject please visit the University of Exeter PGCE subject pages HERE

Interview process

Applicants will be contacted by phone or email shortly after we receive an application to discuss interview arrangements.


Our interview process has moved online. To find out about the more about how we run interviews please click HERE

If you have limited access to a computer or other device or your wifi is not up to the demands of online meeting let us know and we can arrange an alternative format.

How school placements work

Placement Options

We have over 25 secondary schools in the Devon, Plymouth and Cornwall, offering placement options for applicants. To view a map of our member schools click HERE or see list HERE

How placements are decided

Decisions about placements are lead by applicant preferences and needs. Applicants might want to train close to home. In some cases applicants want to train in a school where there is a particular curriculum strength; in other cases applicants may have been a TA at the school and wish to build on this relationship. Whatever the reason, one of our first conversations with you will be ‘where do you want to undertake your main placement?’. Of course, we cannot guarantee that we can find the perfect match, but our commitment is to try to find a school that matches your needs.

While every effort is made to find placement schools close to home for applicants, please note that where we have applicants applying late in the recruitment cycle for the year school placement options could become more restricted as other providers will have firmed up placements with schools as well. We are very supportive of late applications but just need to make applicants aware that this can at times be a factor.

It is also worth noting that placements for Modern Foreign Languages in German can be restricted by the number of schools offering German at KS3 and KS4.


The course fees for 2021 to 2022 are as follows:
Student type Fees to pay
UK students £9,250
International students £18,500

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.

Financial support from the training provider

You can find out the range of DfE bursaries and subject scholarships HERE



Entry to the PGCE programme is conditional on:

  • Graduate or equivalent status
  • The relevance of an Honours degree content to the chosen specialist subject(s) (current University of Exeter students are allowed to take up to 30 credits outside of their degree programme, some of which may strengthen an application for a PGCE)
  • Passes at GCSE in English and Mathematics at grade C or above or equivalent (or for GCSEs taken from Summer 2017 onwards, grade 4 or above) for those applying for Secondary.

Other requirements

  • Selection based on the information provided on the UCAS
  • Teacher Training application
  • Selection based on successful interview
  • Satisfactory medical report
  • A Satisfactory Disclosure & Barring Service (DBS) enhanced check
  • It is the University’s policy that level 2 certificate in Adult Literacy/Numeracy is not acceptable as an equivalent to GCSE English/Mathematics
  • DfE entry requirement to pass professional skills tests in literacy/numeracy has been removed for 2020/21 entry onwards. Instead PGCE trainees will be benchmarked during their training against Government-defined set of fundamental mathematics/English skills. Further details on this process are yet to be confirmed.

About the training provider

Dartmoor Teaching School Alliance is an alliance of primary and secondary schools servicing Devon and the wider area. If you are thinking about training to teach, we think we can offer you a superb range of inspiring courses. Whether you are a new graduate or you are considering a career change, our teacher training will equip you with the skills to be an outstanding teacher. Dartmoor TSA is led by Okehampton College, rated Outstanding by Ofsted. We work in partnership with the University of Exeter, itself rated Outstanding. To find out more watch our video HERE and visit our web site HERE

There are many great reasons to train with us:

  • An outstanding partnership: Okehampton College and the University of Exeter offer trainees first class school placements and academic teaching.
  • Train close to home: With over 80 schools in our Alliance from the wider Devon area, including Cornwall and Plymouth, we offer trainees greater control over where they train.
  • Matching trainees to placement schools: every effort is made to match trainees to placement schools that will best develop their skills teacher
  • Support into employment: We recruit trainees with the view to support them, through workshops and mock interviews, to secure their first post. Trainees that go onto teach in local schools are supported through our wide range of NQT and other programmes.
  • Values-centred training: we are passionately committed to the values of co-operative schools that put people at the centre of everything we do.

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 web page HERE

PGCE trainees are assessed by an Occupational Health provider as part of the admissions process to ensure they are fit to teach in a school setting. If the Occupational Health provider recommends any adjustments, the University’s Partnership Office will ensure you are placed in schools where these adjustments can be made, providing they are logistically possible and reasonable.

We always seek to support teachers for whom special educational needs could be a barrier to teaching. We will openly discuss the accessibility of our courses and indeed various partner schools in terms of training.

Contact details

01837 650910 ext 380
Mill Road
EX20 1PW


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
Mill Road, Okehampton, Devon, EX20 1PW
Yes -

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

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