If you have an interest in all aspects of science; but in particular life processes and living things and enjoy investigating this in a practical setting, then our biology course will suit you. Our course looks at the key ideas which underpin the teaching of science in schools today and the way children's understanding of concepts develops.
The Postgraduate Certificate in Education Secondary Education offers initial teacher education to develop effective and inspirational practical teaching skills underpinned by a sound grasp of theoretical concepts.
This course is designed to meet the NCTL Teaching Standards which assesses all trainees working towards Qualified Teacher Status (QTS).
This Biology route sits within an exciting range of Secondary Education subjects we offer within the Institute of Education.
This postgraduate qualification offers 60 Masters-level credits that can be used towards our Masters degrees in the field of education.
This is NOT an appropriate training course for applicants who wish to teach in Primary schools or Post Compulsory Education establishments.
Over the one year course, you undertake two periods of University-based learning at Walsall Campus, and you spend at least 120 days divided between two different schools across the 11-16 age range within the Secondary age phase.
Your University tutor is available to assist you throughout your training, and every effort is made to ensure you have a high-quality school placement, where you can learn from experienced teachers
All course modules provide examples of good practice in teaching which you will reflect upon as you develop your own teaching style. You will be expected to participate actively in your own learning and development.
Teaching on the course reflects a variety of methods that will prepare you for life in the classroom including teacher-led debates, pupil-led exploration, peer-group discovery and the provision of individual targets. You will be assessed in a variety of ways including written assignments; classroom based investigation and other school-based activities and appraisal of practical teaching skills. The majority teaching sessions will be alongside trainees from the other the science routes.
Typical modules may include:
PGCE: programme structure
Starting in September and ending in June the full-time PGCE is the fastest and most condensed way for non-experienced trainees to qualify.
The course comprises of two school placements and two periods of University-based teaching September to October; January to February.
120 days (24 weeks) of the 36 week PGCE course will be spent in schools. You will have one school attachment during the autumn term and another (in a different school) in the spring/summer terms. During the second attachment a proportion of your teaching at key stage 4 will be focussed on your chosen specialist area.
We try to take your geographical location into account when placing you in schools but our first concern is to ensure that you have a high quality school placement that can provide a range of experiences. Additional training will therefore take place in partner schools other than your 'attachment' schools. Support is available from your University Tutor throughout your training, plus from experienced teachers accredited by the University as school based tutors.
We are proud of our long-standing tradition of training teachers of Early Years, Primary, Secondary and Post Compulsory Education.
You will be taught in our state-of-the-art teaching buildings at Walsall Campus, just a short walk from the heart of the town. Our Education and Teaching buildings are fitted with interactive whiteboards, lecture theatres, science classrooms, as well as social learning areas and a Starbucks coffee shop.
Who will teach you on this course?
All of the staff that teaches you on this course have experience within the field having worked in Secondary Education and now work in teacher education. You will benefit from the team’s expertise, as they all actively engage in research.
The Institute of Education at the University of Wolverhampton has a strong focus on research and the part it plays in your study experience. All our lecturers are research active (see our profiles on the University web pages) and working on latest developments.
We are committed to student support, from enrolment to graduation. You will have a personal tutor to support your progression through your award.
Profile of a successful student
Iian completed his PGCE in secondary science last year at the University of Wolverhampton, so becoming the teacher he had always wanted to become. His A' level course in biology motivated him so much that he studied for a BSc in Microbiology and Genetics at Wolverhampton. Following this he started a PGCE with the University of Wolverhampton. The PGCE motivated him immediately, with time to discuss his needs and development while given the independence to feel like a proper teacher. He feels though that the most important thing the PGCE taught him was how to manage his time, an invaluable skill when teaching a full timetable.
Iian was offered a teaching post at his first attachment school, which he accepted. He felt that he wanted to start teaching where he could make a difference:
'It's great to see how you can brighten a child's day simply by giving them a merit mark!' There are some difficulties with the occasional pupil but says 'I enjoy every day, there is always one character in the room who makes me smile'.
The head of science at the schools feels it is good to have someone who is so enthusiastic 'he is a breath of fresh air!'
Successful completion of the PGCE Secondary Education course leads to recommendation to NCTL for qualified teacher status (QTS) and will then allow you to take up a teaching post within a secondary school.
Successful completion of the PGCE Secondary Education course leads to recommendation to NCTL for qualified teacher status (QTS) and will then allow you to take up a teaching post within a secondary school. You will be prepared to teach pupils in the 11-16 age range within the secondary age phase with primary and post-16 enhancement.
This course will provide you with an excellent start to your teaching career as you experience teaching your subject in two separate secondary schools, working with trained school-based tutors to aid your development.
You will become a critical reflective teacher with high levels of subject knowledge and a wide understanding of educational theory and practice.
Professional skills required to achieve Outstanding results in relation to student progress including data analysis, communication, lesson planning and assessment methods.
This course leads to recommendation towards the professional qualification of Qualified Teacher Status (QTS). The University will recommend students who have demonstrated competence in the Professional Standards to the Teaching Agency – who will award QTS.
The award of QTS is essential to teach in a school in the United Kingdom and on gaining this award the student becomes a qualified teacher.
A first honours degree of a United Kingdom higher education institution or equivalent qualification (a 2:1 classification or above is expected).
If successful at interview you may be required to undertake a Subject Knowledge Enhancement (SKE) course which is designed for ITT (Initial Teacher Training) candidates to gain the depth of knowledge needed to train to teach in this subject.
Please note we do not accept GCSE Equivalent Tests from other institutions or organisations and be aware that not all equivalency tests are accepted, if you unsure please contact our Admissions Department firstname.lastname@example.org for clarification. You will be required to provide evidence of your original GCSE qualifications.
Ability to demonstrate a high level of competence and confidence in your own scientific subject knowledge across the sciences.
You should have recent experience of teaching and learning in secondary school or sixth form contexts either through paid employment in school/college or through voluntary work/ observation OR be in the process of arranging to gain this.
You will be required to provide evidence of your original qualifications.
Interview and Selection
Once your application has been considered by subject staff, your suitability is individually assessed. If you appear suitable, you will be offered an interview where you are required to sit a short subject specific interview/audit.
The main purpose of the interview is to:
o explore your subject strengths and areas for development
o assess your ability to communicate effectively in spoken and written English
o arrange a partnership school visit as necessary
o answer all of your questions
Please view further information regarding interview information
Pre-entry Professional Skills Tests
Applicants for initial teacher training (ITT) courses which begin after 2013/14 are required to have passed the skills tests before the start of the course.
You will not be eligible to register and take the tests until after you have submitted an application for an ITT programme through UCAS Teacher Training.
Please note that:
Application forms should be able to demonstrate not only your depth of subject knowledge but also your enthusiasm and commitment to a career in teaching.
If you have been successful at interview and been given a conditional offer, you will need to complete a current enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check, a medical declaration clearance and a prohibition check prior to starting the course.