Courses are currently closed but you can get your application ready

Courses starting in the 2022 to 2023 academic year are closed.

You can start or continue your application to get it ready for courses starting in the 2023 to 2024 academic year.

You’ll be able to find courses from 9am on 4 October 2022 and submit your application from 9am on 11 October 2022.

Essex and Thames SCITT Biology (K264)

PGCE with QTS, full time or part time

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 16
Course length
Up to 2 years
Date you can apply from
12 October 2021
Date course starts
September 2022


Courses are currently closed but you can still start or continue an application anyway.

You’ll be able to:

  • find courses starting in the 2023 to 2024 academic year from 9am on 4 October 2022
  • submit your application from 9am on 11 October 2022


Course summary

During the programme you will spend at least 120 days in schools and around 40 days in out of school training. Our training is designed by a highly qualified team of senior teachers and leading academics and is primarily based in school.

Training at the Centres

The training days include sessions in Subject Studies, SEND and inclusion, children’s mental health, behaviour and voice. Our training takes place in our training centres and in some of the very best secondary schools in Southend. The programme also gives you access to all Anglia Ruskin University’s facilities.

“NQTs…demonstrate strong subject knowledge and great enthusiasm for their subject, which lead to very confident performances in the classroom.” Ofsted

Training in School

Evidence shows that the best learning comes from training alongside the highest quality teachers, and with us, you benefit from a significant amount of real school experience as you work alongside the best teachers in our area. During the year you will have practical classroom experience in at least two differing schools.


We offer free additional training in Special Educational Needs and Disability and Leadership. All trainees are offered the opportunity to gain a sports coaching qualification during the year.


Throughout the programme you will be regularly assessed by both school mentors and your SCITT-based tutors

Academic work

You also have the opportunity to study for a PGCE by submitting one written assignment, one written research project and a written assignment with presentation.


You will be assigned your own tutor, who will meet with you regularly, a subject tutor and a school mentor whose role it is to train and support you in school. You will also have access to an extended support network of experienced teachers and mentors throughout your course.

‘The partnership (has) a well-deserved reputation for training…that local schools are keen to employ’ Ofsted

By the end of the year you will:

  • Have an excellent understanding of the National Curriculum along with the requirements for assessment and relevant examination specifications

  • Be able to plan and prepare for lessons and set students’ learning objectives with confidence

  • Have strong classroom management skills

  • Know how to address personalise learning to ensure that all pupils are included and can achieve their potential

School placements

We pride ourselves on being the preferred teacher training provider for the majority of secondary schools in Southend. The breadth of the partnership ensures that we are able to offer a diverse range of training opportunities, learning from leading edge practitioners and experts. Most of our schools are located near public transport and within easy reach for non-drivers. You can see our current list of schools on our website

Placements We do our very best to match you with a school as near to where you live as possible. We take your personal circumstances into account and aim to ensure that no trainee has to travel for more than an hour to reach their schools. You will train in at least 2 schools. We aim to ensure that you are offered experience in a range of settings.

What will you do in school? Working alongside experienced teachers, you will be supported to take on a slowly increasing teaching role. You will build up from observing to co-teaching and working with small groups to teaching whole classes by the end of the final term. A school-based mentor and your subject tutor will provide high quality mentoring and pastoral support throughout your placements.

“School-based training is the key feature leading to trainees’ success. NQTs reported that they were well supported with regular and protected time with their mentors.” Ofsted

Beyond the programme We are thrilled and proud to say that a staggering 100% of our trainees looking for jobs are recruited into teaching posts at the end of their training. Our school-based support extends into the NQT year with social events, a comprehensive NQT training programme and access to 1:1 support from SCITT staff as required.


You can select one of the following locations when you apply.

List of locations and vacancies
Location Vacancies
Essex and Thames SCITT
Essex / East London, Essex / East London, Essex / East London, Essex, EX5 5EX

Entry requirements

Qualifications needed

An undergraduate degree, or equivalent.

Normally 50% of the degree should be relevant to the subject taught, if not an A level and SKE course may be required.

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.

Details of how to obtain evidence of equivalency or sit equivalency tests may be found below:

Equivalency Testing Brentwood

A Star Equivalency Islington

Personal qualities

  • The ability to communicate clearly in written and spoken English.
  • A demonstrable passion for your chosen subject
  • Keen to become an outstanding teacher
  • Have strong knowledge and understanding of the subject you wish to teach
  • Creative and imaginative;
  • Keen to open the minds of young people to achieve their fullest potential
  • Able to work collaboratively
  • Prepared to innovate and take risks
  • Prepared to learn from research
  • Prepared to work hard to develop your skills and your understanding of how pupils learn
  • Committed to providing a positive nurturing learning environment

Other requirements

  • Once you have accepted your offer you will be subject to appropriate pre-selection checks. This will include obtaining and considering Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) criminal records checks and children’s barred list information.

  • All candidates are required to make a fitness to teach declaration to Occupational Health.

Fees and financial support

The course fees for UK students in 2022 to 2023 are £9,250.

Course fees are set at £9,250 per year full time or £11,250 part time. Part time fees will be charged at £6,750 in year 1 and £4,500 in year 2. Fees are £3,000 per term for those on an accelerated programme.

At Essex and Thames SCITT we understand that you are concerned about how your fees are spent. It’s a big investment and you have every right to know what you’re investing in. Providing you with the very highest quality teacher training is what we are totally committed to doing.

About the training provider

We are a large dynamic partnership of schools with 21 years of experience behind us. Our excellent training is supported by expert practitioners in more than 130 good and outstanding primary and secondary schools throughout the East of England. Due to the outstanding reputation we hold locally for the provision of rigorous and effective training 100% of our trainees gain employment each year, often within partner schools (86% in 2019). Our course has one of the highest long-term retention rates in the country, currently approximately 30% higher than the national average.

Programmes Not only will you gain Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) by training with us, but you will also receive professional training in educational theory leading to a PGCE award with masters level credits (validated by Anglia Ruskin University). As a result, you will begin your teaching career with excellent practical teaching skills and a deep understanding of the underpinning educational theory enabling you to work effectively across the whole primary phase of education.

‘Training is carefully tailored to meet the needs of all trainees.’ Ofsted.

Support We pride ourselves on offering bespoke support and guidance through your Personal Tutors and School-Based Mentors during your training and we continue this into your first year of teaching with our NQT support team.

Visit to hear what our trainees and schools say about us.

Interview process

Applications must be clearly written and provide evidence of a strong desire to be a teacher, a passion for your subject and an interest in pupil’s learning.

Successful applicants will be called for interview. If you have applied and have not heard back from us just give our office a ring (01268 570215) so that we can check on the progress of your application.

The interview process is divided into two parts: the formal SCITT interview and a school-based interview.

Part 1: The interview will be held remotely. You will be asked to give a short presentation and will have a formal interview. You will also be asked to observe an experienced teacher and write about what you have seen. The process gives applicants a chance to demonstrate all the necessary qualities and skills needed to be a successful teacher.

It is important that you come to interviews fully prepared so that we are able to assess your suitability to train.

Successful applicants at part 1 will be offered a school-based interview. You will be informed within 24 hours about whether you have been successful.

Part Two: You will have a short interview with a subject specialist from one of our schools and may be asked to deliver a 30 minute lesson in your chosen subject.

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, you may need to apply for a visa. The main visa for fee-paying courses (those that you have to pay for) is the Student visa.

To apply for a Student visa, you’ll need to be sponsored by your training provider.

Sponsorship is not available for this course.

If you need a visa, filter your course search to find courses with visa sponsorship.

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

Training with a disability We value diversity and encourage applications for places from disabled trainees. Many trainees with a wide range of disabilities have successfully completed our course; many leaving us to go on and become outstanding teachers.

What happens if you have additional needs? Each year we recruit trainees with a wide range of additional needs and we regularly work in partnership with other agencies to ensure we provide everyone with the best possible support. The SCITT employs the services of a specialist in Occupational Health, and working together, we can accommodate the needs of any applicant we feel has the potential become a good teacher and therefore an asset to our schools.

Dyslexia and Dyspraxia We accept trainees every year with dyslexia and /or dyspraxia and have a number of specialist mentors in our schools who can provide bespoke advice and guidance. All trainees with disabilities will have allocated sessions with a centre-based tutor who can ensure that any reasonable adjustments are made to your training.

Mental Health We pride ourselves on our approach to trainee wellbeing. We work extensively with other services to ensure that we provide you with the best possible support. We are able to offer coaching and access to counselling services as needed. All our staff are trained mental health first aiders. Taught sessions include mindfulness, stress management and resilience training.

If you need adjustments to be made at interview, or wish to discuss any aspect of access in more detail please email

Contact this training provider

01268 988580
Essex & Thames SCITT

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.


Courses are currently closed but you can still start or continue an application anyway.

You’ll be able to:

  • find courses starting in the 2023 to 2024 academic year from 9am on 4 October 2022
  • submit your application from 9am on 11 October 2022