This is a one-year course (full time) in secondary teaching for graduates only, providing professional preparation, including subject knowledge development appropriate to teaching the Sciences with Biology. The expectation is that you develop your subject knowledge in Biology throughout your PGCE year. This may be through focussed essays, teacher support within school, INSET activities, Mentor guidance, peer group subject knowledge development and private research. It is also expected that when you apply for teaching jobs you will be able to teach all three sciences to KS3 and up to C-grade GCSE in your non-specialist area and to higher GCSE in Biology.
The course is designed to enable you to become a capable and confident teacher at secondary level. Abilities to teach the National Curriculum and encourage learning will be developed alongside the skills and understanding required of effective teachers by the Teachers’ Standards.
Mode of study
One-year full-time course (36 weeks) or 2 years part-time.
The Science course integrates theory with practice and two-thirds of your time will be spent in a school, where you will work closely with mentors and other school staff.
Throughout the year you will be engaged in considering a range of topics including:
subject knowledge enhancement
research into the pedagogy and psychology of learning Science
special educational needs and inclusion
differentiation and assessment
The University works closely in partnership with a number of schools. Two thirds of your time is spent in schools, where you will receive the support of school-based mentors required of the school’s teaching staff.
You will spend an increasing amount of time in school as the course progresses. The emphasis throughout will be on helping you to gain progressively more confidence and competence in order to attain an increasing level of responsibility in the classroom.
You will need to be substantially independent in accessing relevant curriculum documents and approaching staff for guidance. In particular, you will need to plan your use of time very carefully. Early work in the Autumn Term at the University will be designed to help you prepare for and develop competence in these aspects.
School-based work is an important part of our PGCE Programme and all of our partner schools have specially trained mentors who assist students in learning to teach. This mentoring programme is essential in the development of new teachers and will be a valuable asset in your training as you gain hands-on experience of practising your new skill in actual classroom environments.
An undergraduate degree, or equivalent.
A good honours degree or equivalent in a relevant subject, with approximately 50% science content. A minimum of 2:2 is desirable although applicants with other qualifications or valuable experience will also be considered.
Your degree subject should be in Science with 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.
All shortlisted applicants are subject to interview. All offers are subject to Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) clearance and Occupational Health clearance.
We’re a university with ‘good’ and ‘outstanding’ reviews from Ofsted for our teacher training programmes, and more than 90 percent of our graduates use their Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) to move into employment as teachers. Our strong network of partnership schools gives you great links to schools in the area for teaching experience and future careers– 60 percent of our employed graduates, on recent numbers, are teaching in our partner schools.
“It has been particularly rewarding to see how my own developments in both confidence and ability have had such a positive impact on my pupils’ progress.” Rosanna Day, PGCE (English) graduate
We hold our interviews in Portsmouth and during yours, you’ll need to demonstrate your knowledge and experience of your subject and the school system. We’ll send you an audit form to help you think about how your subject knowledge fits with the syllabus you want to teach, and how you might fill any gaps.
You’ll also be tested on reading and writing, take part in a group discussion, and will be asked to prepare a ‘microteaching’ lesson: ten minutes of teaching on a subject, skill or interest of your choice that you’ll deliver to your fellow applicants on the day. We’ll be looking at all aspects of the application process – application form, academic reference, and the elements of the interview day – in order to get the fullest picture of you. We’re hoping to see that you’ve got the personal and intellectual qualities to be a teacher, and that you can meet the Teachers’ Standards by the end of your training.
You’ll need the right to study in the UK. You already have this if, for example, you:
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
We regularly recruit trainee teachers with a declared disability or special need, and work with them to deliver the right support and guidance they need to become outstanding teachers. Through our extensive partnerships with local schools, we’ve also successfully matched many trainees with schools who can offer them the appropriate at-work support.
University of Portsmouth St George's Building, 141 High Street, Portsmouth Hampshire PO1 2HY
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
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.