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PGCE Secondary - Biology

Durham University

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Course options

  • Qualification

    PGCE - Postgraduate Certificate of Education

  • Location

    Durham University

  • Study mode

    Full time

  • Start date

    27-SEP-21

  • Duration

    1 year

Course summary

Course Summary

The PGCE Secondary is the first phase of a career-long process of personal and professional development, which will equip you to become a secondary school teacher. The PGCE Secondary is a course in Initial Teacher Training which is accredited by the DfE, the successful completion of which will accord you Qualified Teacher Status (QTS). Our course has recently been inspected by Ofsted which resulted in an “Outstanding” grading for all aspects of our provision.

Students who have successfully completed the PGCE at Durham in the previous academic year have the option to use 90 credits they have accredited towards a part-time MA Education. These students only need to do the core modules, Education Enquiry and the Dissertation over 2 years, to complete the course. Subject pedagogy (how to teach the subject for understanding) is explored in curriculum groups, examining techniques for making each subject accessible and stimulating in a classroom environment. Biology, physics and chemistry are taught as science classroom teachers often teach all there sciences at Key Stage 3, specialising in their own subject area at Key Stages 4 and 5.

We believe strongly that to be able to teach successfully you must acquire a good understanding of the 'big ideas' of science as well as learning about how to teach science. The university-based time is therefore divided into two main parts:

  • Core Science in all disciplines addresses your own understanding of the key concepts underpinning science. Many students approach this theme with excellent qualifications but have never had an opportunity to explore their understanding of these concepts. Students have said that this part of the course is "thought-provoking", "enlightening" and "challenging". You are expected to follow up this work with tutor and peer group support, using the extensive library facilities.
  • Science Education Issues looks at pedagogical issues relevant to how science is actually taught.

Course Learning and Teaching

We use various teaching and learning styles to enable you to explore issues such as:

  1. motivating pupils in science
  2. questioning strategies
  3. planning lessons to maximise pupils' active involvement
  4. planning to allow pupils' understanding to progress
  5. the value of different types of practical work
  6. the use of IT to enhance scientific understanding

The science team has an international reputation for its work on teaching pupils the understanding necessary for investigative science. This is often referred to as 'the thinking behind the doing'. The importance we place in this aspect of science is reflected in the course.

You will be based in one of our Partnership schools where you will have the opportunity to develop your skills in a teaching background. The school-based activities involve structured classroom observations, planning and research projects and practical teaching - the latter starting by teaching individual pupils, eventually leading through group work to full classroom teaching. The achievement of the standards necessary to be awarded Qualified Teacher Status will be assessed by mentors in school, their judgments moderated by observations carried out by university tutors. Several members of the science team contribute to the course, and you will be supported throughout by a science tutor who has recent experience in schools. Career opportunities in education are wide and include classroom teaching, educational leadership and management, administration and policy development.

Tuition fees

Students living in United States
(international fees)

£ 21,730per year

Tuition fees shown are for indicative purposes and may vary. Please check with the institution for most up to date details.

University information

Durham University

  • University League Table

    6th

  • Campus address

    Durham University, The Palatine Centre, Stockton Road, Durham, Durham, DH1 3LE, England

By inspiring students to do outstanding things at Durham, the university believes they will do outstanding things in the world.
Durham's famous cathedral and castle are at the heart of the city – and the heart of the university – forming a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Beyond studies, Durham offers a student experience and college life that is truly unique.

Subject rankings

  • Subject ranking

    9th out of 100 1

    9th out of 84 1

  • Entry standards

    / Max 240
    180 81%

    8th

    1
  • Graduate prospects

    / Max 100
    84.0 84%

    6th

    9
  • Student satisfaction

    / Max 5
    4.12 82%

    38th

    34
  • Entry standards

    / Max 201
    154 74%

    14th

    4
  • Graduate prospects

    / Max 100
    88.0 88%

    9th

    1
  • Student satisfaction

    / Max 5
    3.84 77%

    78th

    4

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