The science PGCE course at St Mary’s University offers the opportunity to train to teach Biology, Chemistry and Physics. All trainees offer one science subject area as a specialism and can show evidence of understanding of the other two specialisms for Key Stage 3 level
- Experienced tutors actively involved in research. Presentations given at Association for Science Education (ASE) Annual Conferences
- Links with Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC): Talks and workshops at the beginning of the course and National Physical Laboratory (NPL): Talks and seminars held in their laboratories
- Local primary and secondary schools links: Pupil practical workshops with local schools
The Science PGCE course covers all aspects of science teaching and learning, with an emphasis on practical activities for use in school. There is a strong emphasis on investigative science, as well as planning for the whole ability range to ensure that all pupils are able to make progress.
Trainees are assessed on their ability to teach pupils in the 11-16 age range, but opportunities for A Level teaching is also included in the programme as appropriate.
Why St Mary's
Our experienced science tutors work in close partnership with trainees and the placement schools. We offer an extensive range of government funded subject knowledge enhancement courses that will enable applicants to develop their specialism further or ‘top up’ existing knowledge in preparation for the PGCE course.
If you wish to study for the Catholic Certificate of Religious Studies you will be able to complete several of the modules during your PGCE year. This certificate is often a requirement for teaching in a Catholic school.
Qualified Teacher Status (QTS)
Our PGCE programmes include Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) and 60 Master’s degree credits. A large part of the programme is spent in assessed school placements that our School Partnership team will arrange for you, based on your home residential address.
QTS is required to teach in all state-maintained schools in England.
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The modules listed below are the modules that were available to students in the 2022/23 academic year and are illustrative of what may be offered for 2023/24.
Please note: it is possible that a module listed on the website will not be able to run due to reasons beyond our control. For more information please refer to our course information disclaimer.
We are committed to recruiting trainee teachers who have the 'ability to work in a way that promotes the safety and wellbeing of children and young people.' The interview process will cover the suitability of applicants to work with children and young people.
Science PGCE applicants are expected to have a good degree in (2:2 or above) a related subject.
Additional requirement information
- Your degree should have a significant proportion of the subject you wish to teach. Subject knowledge enhancement courses may be set as a condition in some cases, particularly when the degree is not clearly ‘in line’ with the subject you are applying to.
- GCSEs in English Language and Mathematics at level 4 (grade C if taken before 2017) or above (or equivalent). At least one of the GCSEs (or equivalent) must be in place at application. GCSE equivalents are offered by St Mary's University.
- By the end of your teacher training programme you will have to demonstrate that you are competent in functional English and mathematics. This is a Department for Education requirement.
- Successful completion of a physical and mental fitness to teach and a satisfactory enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check with barred lists, which shows the same as an enhanced check plus whether the applicant is on the list of people barred from doing the role are required.
- Original certification (or certified copies) of all qualifications will be required as evidence.
- Physical and mental fitness to teach.
At St Mary's, we would like all applicants to have made a fully informed decision about considering joining the teaching profession. As part of that decision making process, spending some time in school(s) observing what teachers do and beginning to give some consideration to how they manage learning can be really insightful and informative.
Your training is most likely to take place in mixed, state comprehensive school environments. If you are choosing to complete some school observation as part of making an informed decision about teaching then we would encourage you to do so in a similar school setting.
Make sure to check our information for candidates applying from Northern Ireland and Ireland.
For more information about entry requirements please email email@example.com.
Fees & funding
If you are a Home student joining the PGCE programme you may be eligible for a Government training bursary. The bursary amount is based on the highest previous qualification that you have attained to date.
Information about financing your studies can be found within the Fees & Funding section.
Your tuition fees will cover the cost of all mandatory elements of your programme. Additional costs could be incurred depending on optional modules chosen and other projects undertaken.
For further information about additional costs please see our additional costs webpage.
A 10% tuition fee discount is available for our alumni (undergraduate and PGCE) planning to study this Master's degree. Those studying for a PGDip of PGCert are not eligible for the discount.
Government-funded loans of over £11,000 are available to many home postgraduate students. Home and international students may also be eligible for external sources of funding. International students should check their eligibility for our International Scholarship.
For more information, please look at our postgraduate funding page.
How the degree is taught
Trainees are recommended for Qualified Teacher Status by successfully meeting the Teachers’ Standards (DfE). Continuous assessment throughout the programme will determine success.
Master's level assignments complement the work in schools and assist in meeting the Teachers’ Standards. These assignments aim to encourage you to be thoughtful and reflective, but also reinforce the evidence-based nature of the course assessment.
Self-assessment is also recognised as a valuable perspective in the evaluation of both school and university-based work.
Other assessments are used to ensure students understand and can apply the knowledge. This is done through a range of methods:
- Practical sessions
- Lesson observations
Assessment is on-going and against the Teachers’ Standards. High standards of attendance, punctuality and participation are requirements of all course elements.
The quality of the provision at St Mary’s is valued by our trainees and schools, resulting in high levels of ECT employment in our partnership schools. Employment rates following the PGCE course are frequently over 90% in teaching roles.
On the programme you will study two Master's' modules leading to 60 credits at postgraduate level. You will have the opportunity to further your postgraduate studies in your career as these credits are transferable.
At the end of the PGCE course, you will have the opportunity to complete a three-week placement in a special education setting. This is highly valued by trainee teachers to broaden their understanding of specific learning needs for some learners.
The Careers Service has more information on graduate careers and part-time work available during your course.
Make sure to check our step-by-step guide to application process.
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