Campus Stockton Teaching Alliance Biology (39TM)

PGCE with QTS full time

Accredited body
York St John 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.

Age range
11 to 18
Course length
1 year
Date you can apply from
11 October 2022
Date course starts
September 2023


Course summary

Campus Stockton Teaching Alliance and York St John University work in partnership to deliver high quality teacher education and training which leads to a PGCE qualification with QTS (Qualified Teacher Status). Our school-centred (School Direct) PGCE secondary programme is a school based course delivered mainly in the Stockton on Tees area. The partnership works together to develop outstanding student teachers who are transformative and creative professionals, highly motivated and committed, autonomous and independent, enquiry based practitioners and self-reflective practitioners. You will be equipped to become an outstanding teacher and leader with strong subject knowledge and a clear professional identity. You will be supported by experts in both university and schools to ensure that you have opportunities to learn about current classroom practice and develop deep subject pedagogy. The programme combines school experience with taught sessions on subject knowledge and pedagogy which occur at university and also in partnership schools. Two academic assignments will need to be passed so you meet the programme aims and gain the PGCE award. These modules will underpin your own rigorous understanding of pedagogy and will provide you with 60 Masters level credits, which you may wish to use towards a full Masters qualification in the future.

The Campus Stockton Teaching Alliance PGCE School Direct programme is a full time programme studied within one academic year (September - June) and covers the 11- 16 age phase with 16-19 enhancement. You will be based within one school for the majority of your training where you will complete two placements. There is also a 6-week contrasting placement in a different partnership school, either in the autumn or spring term. During these three placements, you will observe teaching, work collaboratively with experienced staff and gradually increase the percentage of your independent teaching.

Ofsted Inspection 2022 stated:

“‘There is something special about York St John trainees. They are diligent, kind, caring and self-reflective.’ This comment, from a headteacher who offers placements for trainees, is typical of those made to inspectors.”

” Leaders’ vision is for trainees to be ‘citizens not tourists’ of York St John University. This is exactly what trainees experience.”

“The curriculum for trainees is well considered and logical. It is delivered effectively and with passion by experts.”

“Leaders run a genuine partnership between schools and the university”

“Transition into employment as an early career teacher (ECT) is particularly strong.”

School placements

School placements involve opportunities to observe teaching, to work collaboratively, and to progressively increase the percentage of independent teaching. You will also attend school meetings e.g. staff meetings, participate in school training days and other professional development events as appropriate. You are given the opportunity to participate in all aspects of school life and the wider school context.

There is strong support provided by school staff, mentors and university staff. Campus Stockton Teaching Alliance, partner schools and the university work together to ensure that trainees become creative educators in a supportive and encouraging environment.

School experience will closely complement taught elements of the programme, ensuring that student teachers are able to deepen their pedagogical knowledge. Student teachers will have opportunities within their school-based practice to observe young people in different subjects and will be encouraged to reflect upon their observations and related tasks within their own studies.

A strength of the school-centred programme is that it draws upon the expertise of school-based practitioners in outstanding schools and outstanding departments to support you in developing your subject knowledge and pedagogical skills. School-based staff have been involved in the development of the programme, alongside university staff and consultants and will also be involved in delivering sessions for both subject studies and professional studies.

Partnership is at the heart of the programme with Campus Stockton Teaching Alliance, York St John University tutors, school mentors and other education professionals successfully working together to secure outstanding student teacher progress.

Whilst you will be allocated to one school for the majority of your training you will also have experiences in at least one other school within the Alliance. The progressive nature of school experience and immersion into the life of the school (which is a distinctive part of the School Direct approach) will enable you to progress effectively by building upon your developing skills as beginning teachers. The time in school will ensure the NCTL requirement for 120 days of school-based training on secondary postgraduate courses of one year’s duration.

Entry requirements

Qualifications needed

An undergraduate degree, or equivalent.

Your degree subject should be in biology or a similar subject. Otherwise you’ll need to prove your subject knowledge in some other way.

Grade 4 (C) or above in English and maths, or equivalent qualification.

We’ll consider candidates with pending GCSEs.

We’ll consider candidates who need to take a GCSE equivalency test in English or maths.

Personal qualities

We are looking for trainees with an enthusiasm not just for their subject, but to teach it to pupils in the secondary age range and who have some recent knowledge and understanding of secondary education. Successful trainees are those who combine this enthusiasm with an ability to organise planning, teaching and classroom management, develop as critical professionals, express ideas clearly and succinctly using language appropriately for a range of different audiences, show personal initiative,work well with peers, pupils, tutors, staff and parents, have a love of learning and can communicate all of this to pupils and students in their care.

Other requirements

Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS): Entrants to the programme must undertake an enhanced DBS criminal records check.

Medical Questionnaire: All entrants are expected to complete a medical questionnaire in order to assess your fitness to teach. Medical questionnaires will be forwarded to successful interviewees

Fees and financial support

The course fees for UK students in 2023 to 2024 are £9,250.

About the training provider

Campus Stockton Teaching Alliance and York St John University have a long history of working in partnership to deliver quality teacher training and education which leads to a PGCE with QTS.

We work with York St John University because they have been involved in training and educating teachers since 1841 and are committed to working in partnership and collaboration with schools.

The partnership work together to provide education and training that is current and relevant and underpinned by high quality research and evidence.

Campus Stockton Teaching Alliance offers fantastic training opportunities. The schools provide a variety of educational contexts with students coming from a wide range of socio economic backgrounds and circumstances.

Campus Stockton Teaching Alliance staff have a wealth of experience of training high quality primary and secondary teachers. Each school has trained professional and subject mentors who will support you through every step of your training.

The Partner Schools for primary are:

Junction Farm, Kirklevington, Layfield, Whinstone, Levendale, The Links, The Village, Bewley, Bader, Levendale, Barleyfields, Durham Lane, St Mary’s, Chandlers Ridge, Salturn, Egglescliffe and Teesside High Independent School

Partner Schools for secondary are:

Conyers (11-18), Egglescliffe (11-18), Northfield, All Saints, Ian Ramsey, Trinity, St Peters and Teesside High Independent School. Stockton Sixth Form College also offer 16-19 enhancement. Abbey Hill Academy also offer enhanced experience working in specific SEND setting.

Detailed information about Campus Stockton Teaching Alliance Partners, the training programme, student teacher evaluations, and general information for applicants, can be found on our comprehensive website:

About the accredited body

The key aim of the PGCE programme is to deliver a high quality current and relevant programme of training and education that equips you with the professional knowledge, understanding, skills and attributes that you need to become highly effective teachers (and leaders) with both a strong subject and wider professional identity. The programme combines school experience with taught academic sessions in order to achieve this.

The combination of experienced university, school based and other external colleagues working in partnership, makes a powerful and inspiring teaching team for you.

Interview process

The recruitment process is rigorous and thorough. It is designed to enable Campus Stockton Teaching Alliance and York St John University to assess the suitability of candidates for training and to appoint the best candidates for the places available.

Selection is based on evidence given throughout the application process and includes:

  • Your personal statement
  • References
  • Detailed breakdown of degree content
  • Details of other academic, professional or vocational qualifications
  • Completion of a practical task at interview
  • Overall performance at interview

Interview days take place in one of our partnership schools. Typical activities include a short teaching activity and an individual interview with a panel made up of Campus Stockton Teaching Alliance teaching school staff and university staff. Candidates may also have an interview with a pupil panel and take part in a group activity and literacy-based task. Places on the programme are limited and recruitment takes place regularly during the year. If you are successful at interview you will be offered a conditional place. Once the number of offered places meets the agreed programme numbers, the programme will be closed. We therefore recommend that you apply as soon as possible to avoid missing out on the programme of your choice.

International candidates

You’ll need the right to study in the UK. You already have this if, for example, you:

  • are an Irish citizen
  • have settled or pre-settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme (you may still be able to apply)
  • have indefinite leave to remain in the UK

If you do not already have the right to study in the UK for the duration of this course, you may need to apply for a Student visa.

To do this, you’ll need to be sponsored by your training provider.

Before you apply for this course, contact us to check Student visa sponsorship is available. If it is, and you get a place on this course, we’ll help you apply for your visa.

Alternatively, check if you’re eligible for a different type of visa, such as a Graduate or Family visa, that allows you to train to be a teacher without being sponsored.

Find out more about training to teach in England.

International qualifications

If your qualifications come from a non-UK institution, we may want to see a ‘statement of comparability’ from UK ENIC. This will show us how they compare to UK qualifications.

You can call Get Into Teaching on 0800 389 2500 for:

  • guidance on the UK equivalents of your qualifications
  • a free statement of comparability once you’ve submitted your application (if we ask you for this)

Training with disabilities and other needs

Campus Stockton Teaching Alliance and York St John University is an inclusive partnership and has a range of support services for students with disabilities and other needs. We have a dedicated Disability Advice Team and PGCE programmes have a strong track record of supporting all students to enable them to complete their studies successfully.

Contact this training provider

01642 352570
Campus Stockton Teaching Alliance, C/O Egglescliffe School, Urlay Nook Road,
Stockton on Tees

Support and advice

For support and advice, you can speak to a teacher training adviser for free. They’re all experienced teachers who can help you to prepare your application, book school experience, and access exclusive teaching events.

You can also call Get Into Teaching free of charge on 0800 389 2500, or chat online Monday to Friday, 8.30am to 5.30pm (except public holidays).

Find out about the different ways to train if you do not have a degree, or are already an experienced teacher.

If there is something wrong with this course listing, contact us by email.