Study mode and duration: 36 weeks full-time including 18 weeks of placement experience
Start date: August
UCAS code: 8X64
Gaelic Medium UCAS code: 8X63
Why this course?
Applications for 2018 entry in Biology with Science are now closed
As a teacher of biology, you’ll have the opportunity to amaze young people with the study of life and living things. One of the highlights of the course for many student teachers is attending the residential Scottish Universities’ Science School (SUSS) where you will meet student teachers of science from the other Scottish Universities. SUSS offers an excellent opportunity to begin networking with other future science teachers.
The biology component of the PGDE course builds on your existing knowledge of biology to transform it into a form which school pupils can understand. You'll work in groups with other student teachers to explore the practicalities of teaching a biology class before, during and after the lesson. What prior knowledge do the pupils have about the topic? What misconceptions are they likely to have and how can you address them? What about behaviour management? How can you plan practical work so it engages pupils’ thinking? How can you help pupils to learn to love biology? Once you have the taught the lesson, how you will reflect on what you could do better in future.
This course is a professional training course which qualifies you to teach secondary education. The qualification is recognised throughout the world and is regulated by :
the General Teaching Council for Scotland (GTCS)
the Scottish Government
What you'll learn
While on campus you will attend two general teaching modules:
Educational Perspectives & Policies (EPP)
Principles, Policies & Practice (PPP)
Educational Perspectives and Policies will develop your understanding of educational issues in a broader intellectual context while Principles and Policy in Practice is the companion module to Educational Perspective and Policies. It shares a focus on critical professional engagement informed by educational research and theory. Tutorials for both classes provide the opportunity to work with students from different subjects and from within the primary sector.
The course builds confidence in students to allow them to perform to their full potential by equipping them with the theoretical knowledge and practical skills they require.
Subject specific classes are known as Creative Contexts for Learning (CCL). Here, you’ll learn about pedagogical approaches specific to biology with a highly experienced tutor.
The course also has links with several leading professionals in the world of biology teaching, who deliver school related aspects for the course. This time is used to familiarise you with the curriculum, allow you to collaborate with students and begin to plan lessons, develop materials, teach mini-lessons and to learn innovative and motivating ways to deliver the curriculum effectively.
All science teachers in Scotland have a specialist science teacher qualification in physics, chemistry or biology. They are also qualified to teach general science in first, second and third year in schools. In addition to learning about the pedagogy of teaching physics, chemistry or biology, student teachers of science also have an additional twenty hours of study to learn how to teach general science. This component is taught in mixed groups of physics, chemistry and biology student teachers to allow students to learn from one another and to simulate working in a school science department or faculty. The general science component is taught by a combination of experienced science teacher educators and seconded teachers.
In addition, the general science component draws on the expertise of science educators from the Glasgow Science Centre and includes a visit to the Centre or other suitable sites to consider out-of-classroom learning in science. The general science component of the specialist PGDE science courses makes it easy for qualified teachers to find employment as teachers outside Scotland.
You'll also complete a Professional Specialism (PS) module which can be self-directed or comprised of on-campus classes which aims to allow you to develop your knowledge in an educational area of particular interest.
You'll spend 18 weeks of the course on placement in a school within Scotland. You'll be continually assessed while there to show you meet the requirements for the Standards for Provisional Registration.
You must attend your placement school throughout the full working day. You must also attend school on staff in-service days, unless told otherwise by your school.
Placement is your chance to put what you're learning into practice. You'll explore your own teaching style, learn new techniques and develop relationships with your pupils.
You must keep a portfolio of progress while on placement. This placement file will form part of the evidence of your meeting the Standards for Provisional registration and prepares you for the continuation of professional development during your professional teaching career.
Guaranteed employment for Scottish & EU students
If you're a Scottish or EU student, you're guaranteed a job for one year in a Scottish school after you graduate. This is part of the GTCS Teacher Induction Scheme.
Following graduation you should contact the GTCS for provisional registration. Once you complete your probationary year, you'll be awarded full registration.
Work anywhere in Scotland
As a newly qualified teacher, you can receive an additional £8,000 under the Preference Waiver Scheme if you agree to work anywhere in Scotland for your induction scheme.
As part of the course, you’ll have the opportunity to submit two of your assignments at Masters level. If you do this, you’ll be almost halfway towards a Masters in Education qualification. If you go on to do the Masters in Education, all you’ll have to do is complete two masters level classes, a research class, and a dissertation. You can do this on campus or by distance learning.
This class is taught both on campus and in schools. It'll help you become an effective teacher through learning about pedagogical theory, observing experienced teachers and applying your knowledge through teaching experience during the course.
This class develops your understanding of key educational issues in a broader intellectual context. It 's taught in a cross- sector way, so that primary and secondary students can share opinions and learn from each other.
This class gives you the opportunity to gain experience and further study in something you're particularly interested in. You can attend classes on campus, or undertake alternative methods of learning/development based on your area of interest.
You must keep a personal portfolio of progress throughout the course. This prepares you for the continuation of professional development during your professional teaching career. This isn't a credit-rated class but it's crucial to your development on the course.
You have the opportunity to achieve up to 80 credits at Masters level which can be used towards further study following the course. This is fully supported by additional input during the programme.
Learning & teaching
The course encourages an active and participative style of learning in order to meet your professional needs, and to promote a commitment to continuing professional development.
The hours for the full-time course are 9am to 5pm. You’re expected to be working on course-related activity during those hours.
Detailed information on the week-by-week timetable for each year will be provided at the first meeting of part-time students.
To be awarded the PGDE you must pass all course modules.
Each class includes course work that involves group or independent study on specified tasks. This may involve presentations and written reports.
Although these are not assessed formally they're essential learning experiences and are course requirements.
The entry requirements for PGDE courses are set by the General Teaching Council for Scotland (GTCS). All applicants must meet these minimum entry requirements before the course starts. There is no upper of lower age limit for a place on the teacher education programme.
The minimum entry requirements to qualify to teach biology education are as follows:
a second class honours degree validated by a higher education institution in the United Kingdom or a degree of an equivalent standard from an institution outside the United Kingdom
the degree should normally contain at least 80 SOCTCAT credit points in biology
these 80 credits should usually come from subjects such as animal biology, biochemistry, human biology or bimolecular sciences
medical related degrees are not normally considered appropriate due to the clinical nature of the final stages of such degrees
Higher (SCQF Level 6) English Grade C or above*
National 5 (SCQF Level 5) Mathematics Grade C or above**
*Acceptable alternative qualifications in English
Communications 4 and Literature 1
GCSE English Language and GCSE English Literature at Grade C or above
Irish Leaving Certificate Higher English at Grade C3 or above
(SCQF Level 6) English Access Course offered by the University of Aberdeen
A Level English Literature or English Language Grade C or above
**Acceptable alternative qualifications in Mathematics
Standard Grade 1 or 2 Credit Mathematics
Intermediate Level 2 Mathematics at Grade C or above
GCSE Mathematics at Grade C or above
Irish Leaving Certificate Ordinary Mathematics at Grade B3 or above
Irish Leaving Certificate Higher Mathematics at Grade C3 or above
National 5 Lifeskills/Applications Mathematics at Grade C or above
(SCQF Level 6) Mathematics Access Course offered by the University of Aberdeen
A Level Mathematics Grade C or above
Discovering Mathematics M123 Open University
English language requirements
You're required to have a suitable minimum level of competency in the English language if your first language is not English or if you have not been educated wholly or mainly in the medium of English.
For postgraduate studies, the University of Strathclyde requires a minimum overall score of IELTS 6.5 (no individual test score below 5.5) or equivalent. Tests are valid for two years.
Pre-sessional courses in English are available.
If you’re a national of an English speaking country recognised by UK Visa and Immigrations (please check most up-to-date list on the Home Office website) or you have successfully completed an academic qualification (at least equivalent to a UK bachelor's degree) in any of these countries, then you do not need to present any additional evidence.
If you are from a country not recognised as an English speaking country by the United Kingdom Vis and Immigration (UKVI), please before making your application.
Please note that IELTS is not equivalent to a Higher (SCQF Level 6) English qualification. These are two separate requirements. In order to meet the PGDE entry requirements you will be required to have both or equivalent.
Upon successful completion, you will be able to progress to this degree course at the
University of Strathclyde.
Fees & funding
All fees quoted are for full-time courses and per academic year unless stated otherwise.
Rest of UK
Scottish & EU students
Scottish and EU students can apply to have the cost of their tuition fees paid for by the Scottish Government. Applications should be made online through the Students Award Agency Scotland (SAAS) website, the PGDE course falls under undergraduate study.
If you've already had funding for a postgraduate course from SAAS you'll only receive funding if you're applying for one of the following shortage subjects:
Full-time students who usually live in Scotland may also be eligible to apply to SAAS for a loan, bursary and living-cost grants. Living-cost grants include the Lone Parents’ Grants and the Disabled Students’ Allowance. The exact amount you can get depends on your household income.
We're offering students from England, Wales and Northern Ireland the opportunity of a £2,000 scholarship award towards the cost of tuition fees. This is applicable to the full-time taught programme beginning in August 2018.
The University of Strathclyde is delighted to offer international applicants the opportunity to receive a partial scholarship of between £2,000 and £3,000 towards the tuition fees for the Professional Graduate Diploma in Education (PGDE) for our Primary and Secondary programmes.
A degree in education will equip you for a range of careers working with children and young people.
Most of our PGDE graduates go on to work as teachers in secondary schools across the country.
Secondary School Teachers in Scotland use the Curriculum for Excellence framework. They work with their class to develop skills and abilities, and encourage the pupils to expand their knowledge and understanding further.
Jobs related to this degree include:
Further Education Lecturer
Special Educational Needs Teacher
During term time, you'll officially work a 35 hour week but you may have to work more. You'll be in school before the school day starts and stay after the pupils leave. Most teachers take their marking and preparations home to do in the evening.
You'll also participate in parents evening, after school clubs and activities and school trips.
A teacher's total working year is 195 days including five days for in-service training. Every year you'll get 40 days holiday at full pay*.