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Faculty of Arts, Cultures and Education

PGCE Secondary Biology


About the course

The course trains you to plan lessons, organise safe investigations, meet the needs of all pupils, manage the learning environment and undertake an assessment.

There are plenty of opportunities to carry out practical work in our spacious school laboratory.

In the first part of the course, the emphasis is on science in the national curriculum. In the later stages, you’ll develop your Key Stage 5 teaching with specialist tutors: learning how to challenge and motivate the range of learners staying on in schools and colleges.

Hull is one of the few universities in the country to provide the option of including your PGCE year as the first year of study for an MA in Educational Studies. You can then complete the MA part-time over the following three years, developing your expertise and career prospects.

Employment opportunities are very good since science is a shortage subject nationally and locally. Hull, East Yorkshire and Lincolnshire are popular destinations for our trainees, and you’ll most likely bump into some of our former students on your teaching practices.

We work with a range of schools over a wide geographic area, so you'll gain experience in different settings. Staff in the school will support you throughout your placement.

What you'll study

The Postgraduate Certificate in Education is an initial qualification in education for those who intend to have a career in teaching. Its three main threads are to

  • provide you with the information, knowledge and skills to enable you to embark on a teaching career and become an effective teacher
  • help you develop a professional interest in educational issues as the basis for further thought or training
  • help your personal development in a critical year that bridges the gap between being a student (or doing some other form of work) and becoming a teacher

Assessment information


Assessment is based on a range of coursework assignments.


The assessment takes place in schools. You’ll also be assessed on your achievement of the Teachers’ Standards.

School experience

You'll spend a total of 120 days in schools during the programme, supported by school mentors, class teachers and University-based tutors.

Fees and funding

Home: £9,250

The way your course is funded depends on the route you take. 

You could access a Get Into Teaching bursary or scholarship. Your eligibility, and the amount you can expect to receive, will depend on the subject in which you train and your degree classification, or highest relevant academic qualification.

If you’re looking to train on a non-salaried postgraduate teacher training course but are not eligible to receive a bursary or a scholarship, you could be eligible for a tuition fee and maintenance loan.

We offer two ways to complete our PGCE with recommendation for Qualified Teacher Status (QTS).

International: £15,400



School Direct training

The University works in close partnership with a wide range of schools, academies and teaching school alliances. You complete most of your school experience in one host School Direct establishment with a further 30 days in another school to ensure that you gain experience of different teaching environments. Academic theory will be delivered at the University campus.

School Direct institutions may offer ‘salaried’ places to suit graduates with at least three years’ work experience. You’ll be employed by the school and earn a salary as you train.

Provider-led training

The University selects the two schools in which you complete your school experience. We work in a range of schools, academies and teaching school alliances to ensure you are able to put theory into practice in high-quality, supportive settings.

Entry requirements

  • Applicants must possess an appropriate degree from a British university at grade 2:2 or above (or an equivalent qualification) and meet the selection requirements laid out by the Department for Education.
  • All applicants wishing to undertake a Secondary PGCE must hold a Bachelors degree or equivalent in a relevant subject (for example, if you want to apply for a Biology PGCE, at least 50% of your Bachelors degree or equivalent qualification must be in biology).
  • You’ll also need to demonstrate an aptitude for teaching.
  • Candidates must possess GCSE passes at grade C or above (grade 4 on the new points scale), or equivalent qualifications, in English language and mathematics (we can consider you if you do not have these qualifications at the time you apply, but you must obtain them before the programme starts)
  • Admission is subject to a satisfactory medical report and an Enhanced Clearance by the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS).
  • If you’re an international student, you’ll also need to provide the equivalent of a Certificate of Good Conduct from your own country.
  • If English isn't your first language, you’ll be required to provide acceptable evidence of your English language proficiency.