Biology is a natural science discipline that studies living things. In our evolving world, the knowledge of Biology is essential for everyone. At Aberystwyth University, our PGCE Biology with Balanced Science degree will equip future teachers with the professional skills to develop learners’ understanding of Biology and its applications. Students on this course will be trained to teach ambitious and capable learners who are informed and confident about the world beyond school.
Typical Entry Requirements
Entry Requirements UK Bachelors (Honours) degree, or international equivalent, in a relevant subject area. A minimim of 50% of the content of this Bachelors degree should have relevance to the subject you want to teach (ie Biology).
English Language Requirements IELTS 7.0 with minimum 6.0 in each component, or equivalent
Other Requirements GCSE Grade B in either English Language, English Literature, Welsh Language (First Language) or Welsh Literature. Where a grade B in English Literature or Welsh Literature is achieved, a minimum of grade C must also be achieved in English Language or Welsh Language (First Language). Grade B in GCSE Mathematics or Mathematics-Numeracy is also required. The University can offer GCSE Equivalency Tests in these subjects for applicants who do not hold these qualifications/grades. Previous experience or observation in a school setting is an advantage. Please note that all applicants will be interviewed as part of the selection process.Back to the top
Fees and Finance
Tuition fees: Tuition fees for PGCE courses are regulated by Welsh Government and are set in line with undergraduate tuition fees.
Financial support: Welsh Government offers incentives for students training to teach certain priority subjects. In addition, Student Finance Wales offers help with the cost of your teacher education if you’re studying one of our full-time PGCE programmes.
About this course
This pioneering, integrated programme responds to the needs of teacher education in the 21st century, and trains student teachers who can teach across both the primary and secondary sectors. This emphasis on cross-phase teaching is in keeping with Welsh Government’s National Mission and the Curriculum for Wales, as well as with the increasing emergence of All-Through schools. The PGCE is a full-time academic and professional programme, broadly comprising university-based provision of approximately 12 weeks, and at least 24 weeks based in school.
Together with your fellow students on the primary and other secondary programmes, you will study the principles of effective pedagogy, assessment, lesson and curriculum planning. You will participate actively in learning, contributing to seminars, delivering presentations, and engaging critically with research. During the University sessions, you will plan and deliver micro-lessons in preparation for the practical element of the course.
You will study the curriculum for Biology as part of the Science and Technology Area of Learning and Experience, and you will collaborate with students in other subject areas to develop your practice in working across the curriculum. There will be focus on the teaching of Biology as part of the single and double award GCSEs and Biology A level. All students in science subjects are trained to teach Balanced Science at Key Stage 3.
Placements will occur in selected Partnership Cluster Hubs where schools will have close links with the University and where trained mentors will be guiding and supporting your development. On placement, you will work closely with your subject mentor and the University Link Tutor to develop your practical skills in teaching.
In addition to specialist placements in secondary schools, you will experience a short placement in a primary school working with skilled primary teachers. You will also undertake an action research project to develop an aspect of your practice and begin your career as a research-informed teacher.
Modules September start - 2023
Please note: The modules listed below are those currently intended for delivery during the next academic year and may be subject to change. They are included here to give an indication of how the course is structured.
|Module Name||Module Code||Credit Value|
|Evaluating Learning and Skills||EDM1430||30|
|Pedagogy and Curriculum Knowledge||ED31530||30|
* Also available partially or entirely through the medium of Welsh
Completing a PGCE is one route to becoming a fully qualified teacher. This form of teacher training is recommended for anyone with an undergraduate degree who is looking to gain Qualified Teacher Status (QTS).
You need QTS to teach in a state-maintained or special school in England and Wales. While other routes to gain QTS exist, they do not all come with the postgraduate qualification of a PGCE. A PGCE from Aberystwyth University is a valued qualification regionally, nationally and internationally.
When you study a PGCE with us, we help you prepare for a successful career in education. You will be given clear direction, advice and support when making applications for teaching posts and our employment rates are consistently high.
Our Careers Service offers all graduates a lifelong service where our dedicated team of Careers consultants can continue to support you wherever you may be after you’ve finished your studies at Aberystwyth.
Teaching & Learning
The PGCE in Biology and Balanced Sciences offers 60 credits at Masters level and 60 credits at Graduate level.
The course traditionally runs from September to the end of June. Trainee teachers will be based in schools for 26 weeks. Guided by University tutors and trained school mentors this will involve classroom teaching and different school-based activities. During the eight university block weeks you attend the taught element of your course at the University. The University arranges all the school placements. During your school placement you will get the chance to teach, plan your lessons, and in some cases take part in the pastoral care element of being a teacher, amongst other duties. Most of our students tell us they truly enjoyed the experience and were completely accepted as part of the school environment.
Assessment on the course takes a range of forms including essays, reflective writing, presentations, lesson plans and action research project. There are no formal examinations. Assessment of practice takes place throughout all three placements on a continuous basis