Liverpool John Moores University Biology (C1X1)

PGDE with QTS full time

Financial support
Bursaries and student finance are available if you’re eligible

A postgraduate diploma in education (PGDE) 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 PGDE courses include credits towards a Master’s degree.

Age range
11 to 16
Course length
1 year
Date you can apply from
11 October 2022
Date course starts
September 2023


Course summary

Our popular Biology course is taught by experienced and friendly staff. Your tutors were all successful teachers, who maintain strong links with schools and actively engage with up to date educational research. You will join a community of students at our city centre campus and spend 120 days within our LJMU Partnership schools .

Our Biology student teachers come from a range of degree backgrounds, but share a passion for teaching Biology .The Biology programme will focus predominantly on developing your subject knowledge and subject pedagogy so that you have the knowledge, understanding and skills needed to become a confident Biology teacher and to offer at least a further Science subject at Key Stage 3. In addition, lead lectures and seminars will develop your confidence in a range of relevant issues; classroom and behaviour management; meeting individual needs and inclusion; planning and assessment etc. There is a strong emphasis on social justice issues in education and on mental health and well-being. We want you to develop into an inclusive and reflective teacher, with the skills, energy and resilience needed to make a real difference in schools.

The Biology PGDE begins with an LJMU induction in mid September. During much of the year, student teachers spend Fridays (and sometimes the occasional full week) on campus and the other 4 days in school. Later in the year, students return to LJMU for additional full training weeks, but spend 5 days on placement in schools.

LJMU is unique in the North West in offering a Post Graduate Diploma in Education together with Qualified Teacher Status. This means that our Biology teaching graduates are skilled teachers already two thirds of the way towards a Masters, which many go on to complete during their early career.

In order to achieve Qualified Teacher Status, you will demonstrate that you are able to meet all the requirements of the Teachers’ Standards. This aspect of assessment is largely undertaken by our school-based mentors. LJMU staff are in regular contact with all trainees on placement, undertake co-observations of their teaching and Quality Assure the school-based training across the Partnership.

The Postgraduate Diploma is taught and assessed through 4 Modules. The Award of QTS forms one of these Modules. You will also be assessed by completing two essays based on your classroom practice, (one of which focuses on the development of a Scheme of Work) and delivering a case-study presentation.

School placements

Your school-based experience takes place largely in a Home School, supported by well- trained mentors. We have found that being in a Home School ensures that you are fully integrated into school life and get to know staff, pupils and your subject mentor extremely well, to the benefit of all involved. A member of LJMU staff is normally attached to each school and is responsible for visiting regularly in order to support all trainees and their mentors. Relationships are very close and constructive.

All trainees are entitled to weekly review and feedback meetings with their mentors and to tutorials with LJMU staff. This “wraparound” care ensures that you are consistently supported from start to finish, both personally and professionally.

You will be allocated to your Home School during Induction and every effort is made to select schools within reasonable travelling distance. Placements are selected from within the Partnership of LJMU schools, which extends across many local authorities in Merseyside and beyond and includes a diverse range of settings. Our LJMU family of schools are committed to student teacher development and to the Partnership with the University. A range of mentor training and development events hosted both at LJMU and in schools, ensure that our mentors understand our expectations and commit to offering high quality guidance and support to each trainee.

In addition to the time spent in a Home School, you will also undertake an alternative placement of roughly 6 weeks in a contrasting school between January and February. This placement has an explicit focus on diversity and inclusion. Additional experiences are also often provided for instance through visits to Special Schools and to Primary Schools. Although the LJMU programmes focus on 11-16 experience, many trainees also gain experience of Post 16 planning and teaching during their school experience.

School experience is structured in Phases, beginning with an observation phase, so that you can develop appropriate confidence and competence, only taking on greater responsibility for planning and teaching as the year progresses. Your final assessment for QTS is conducted at the end of the year, in partnership with your school.

Entry requirements

Qualifications needed

An undergraduate degree at class 2:2 or above, or equivalent.

Our Biology applicants can come from a range of Undergraduate Science-focused disciplines. If you have questions about the applicability of your degree, please contact before applying.

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.

Please contact if you have queries about suitable equivalency tests.

Level 2 Numeracy and literacy qualifications are not considered equivalent to GCSE. If you have any non-standard qualifications please check them with LJMU staff, including qualifications gained outside of the United Kingdom. We can help you to find a suitable equivalency test provider if necessary. Fees may be payable for equivalency tests.

Personal qualities

We are looking for applicants who have a passion for Biology and wish to share their passion with young people. You should have a genuine belief that education transforms life chances and want to make a positive difference to young people and to their communities. At interview we hope to to see your enthusiasm along with evidence of some experiences which have informed your decision to become a teacher. A minimum of 5 days’ work experience in a UK secondary school is helpful prior to commencing the programme.

Other requirements

You are required to meet the Department for Education’s standards for physical and mental fitness to teach and clearance to work with children. Further information, including a Declaration of Health questionnaire and details of how to apply for a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) Enhanced Disclosure will be sent to you after you have firmly accepted an offer. These form part of your conditions of offer.

Your offer is conditional until ALL conditions of entry are completed and verified. Please check your offer carefully. If you need duplicate GCSE certificates you will need to contact your exam board.

Fees and financial support

The course fees for 2023 to 2024 are as follows:
Student type Fees to pay
UK students £9,250
International students £14,000

There are a range of ways in which you can arrange to pay your course fees, including in monthly instalments.

Financial support from the training provider

Hardship bursaries may be available for some students, depending on individual circumstances.

A contribution towards travel to school placements may be made in some circumstances.

About the training provider

Liverpool John Moores University (LJMU) has a long established reputation for providing high quality Teacher Training, working in close Partnership with over 300 committed, welcoming and diverse schools across the North West. Our 2019 OFSTED inspection outcomes were the best judgements on Merseyside with Primary provision graded Outstanding and Secondary programmes judged to be Good.

We are committed to diversifying the teacher workforce and strongly encourage teaching applicants from underrepresented groups to apply to us, Our Graduate teacher employment rates are consistently above average for the sector.

Most Teacher training courses offer a PGCE Award worth 60 credits at Masters Level. LJMU, is one of a small number of teacher training providers that offers a Post Graduate Diploma in Education and Qualified Teacher Status. This means that our beginning teachers graduate with 120 Masters level credits. Many go on to complete a Masters in Education Practice during their early career.

Our emphasis is on developing inclusive and reflective practitioners. We ensure that LJMU teachers develop a deep understanding of subjects, the curriculum, learners and learning. This enables them to provide the best and most appropriate learning opportunities for all children and young people, with a positive impact on their development and achievements.

School-based experience takes place largely in a Home School, supported by expert teacher mentors. Shorter placements are also provided in contrasting school settings. This ensures that our students can confidently plan, teach and manage learning in varied settings and contexts.

Interview process

Applicants are shortlisted and all who meet our entry requirements will be invited to attend an on-line interview. Opportunities to visit the campus are also made available.

The selection process involves a presentation to applicants about the programme and an individual interview with members of the course team.

Details to support preparations for the interview are sent to successful applicants in advance. Our selection and interview process provides an opportunity to meet our friendly staff team and to ask questions about training to teach with LJMU. Interviews can sometimes involve staff from our partner schools.

An applicant’s performance at interview is assessed and a final decision is made, based on a judgement of their performance against a range of criteria. Applicants are normally informed of decisions within 24 hours.

Applicants will be assessed for their:

  • Depth of relevant subject knowledge and their interest and enthusiasm for teaching Biology (please apply early if your degree may require pre - course Subject Knowledge Enhancement )
  • Ability to successfully engage learners and to make learning exciting and meaningful to young people in a range of contexts
  • Commitment to supporting learners, including in areas of challenging social context
  • Enthusiasm, energy and resilience and ability to work with others in teams and at Master’s level.

Please note that prior to starting the course, applicants must be able to provide exam board certified certificates/statements of results of GCSEs (or equivalence) in English and Mathematics. Degree certificates will also be needed once achieved.

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

LJMU is committed to Equality of Opportunity and proud of the help we offer. The Disability Advice Team will help you access the support you need. The best time to contact the Disability Advice Team is before you start your course. By contacting the team before you begin and discussing your disability, you’ll be able to receive support from when you arrive. Email: Tel: 0151 231 3164/3165.

If you need an Individual Student Learning Plan (ISLP) which sets out the type of support you may need and who is responsible for ensuring your support is in place, this will be put in place by an LJMU Disability Adviser once you have met to discuss your needs. Once finalised, your plan will be sent to you via email. As soon as you have agreed the ISLP it will be sent to your Disability Coordinator and then, with your agreement, passed on to the relevant academic and support staff.

All trainees are encouraged to disclose any specific learning need that they experience, in order to make any adjustments, both at LJMU and within our Partner Schools. As part of the enrolment process to Teacher Training Programmes all students are required to complete a Health Questionnaire and some may be asked to attend a screening appointment with our Occupational Health Unit. This is designed to ensure that arrangements are in place, from the outset, to support any students who may need additional support or reasonable adjustments to be made.

Contact this training provider

0151 231 3000
Liverpool John Moores University
Education Building, Maryland Street
L1 9DE

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.