University of Sheffield

University of Sheffield

Secondary Education (Science with Biology)

All science courses aim to prepare newly qualified science teachers who have a passionate commitment to the subject and are able to teach it confidently and creatively to 11-19 year olds.

The Science with Biology course is designed to prepare student teachers to teach Balanced Science in the National Curriculum at Key Stage 3, and in their specialist subject at Key Stage 4 and post-16 courses.

You’ll learn through seminars, group work, tutorials, individual consultations, practical activities. You’ll spend 24 of the 36 weeks in schools.

As well as a PGDE qualification and Qualified Teacher Status, you’ll gain 120 credits at Masters level if you successfully complete the course. You can put these towards study for an MA Applied Professional Studies in Education.

Entry requirements

A good honours degree (minimum 2:2) in one of our teaching subjects or with a strong element of a teaching subject. You also need grade C in English Language and Mathematics at GCSE, or the equivalent. You need to pass the professional skills tests before the start of the course.

It is usual to have a first degree which had at least half of its content in your science specialist subject (Biology, Chemistry or Physics). We do accept graduates of other science related disciplines, such as Engineering, Earth science, Materials Science, Clinical disciplines and Psychology and in such cases tutors can advise whether a subject knowledge enhancement course would be necessary prior to commencement of the course. All PGDE science student teachers, irrespective of degree subject, have curriculum 'gaps' to fill during the course. Because of this, a capacity for disciplined self-study is a characteristic of student teachers who do well. Other key personal characteristics are curiosity, perseverance and organisation. If you are a graduate with these qualities in abundance you should thrive on the course!

Applicants will also need relevant experience of at least 3-5 days in a British secondary school before interview.

Course modules

The University teaching team has extensive science teaching experience across the science curriculum. School teachers participate in recruitment, planning the course and, where appropriate, leading seminars. Early in the course student teachers are introduced to a range of schemes and strategies currently in use in secondary science teaching. Student teachers will prepare and demonstrate practical work of the kind undertaken by pupils and be encouraged to think about the implications for classroom management and organisation. A range of teaching approaches will be explored. Other important aspects of work, at this stage in the course, are lesson planning, laboratory safety and first aid issues for science teachers.

Each student's subject knowledge will be assessed diagnostically in order to arrange appropriate support through University taught sessions that are designed to enhance their subject knowledge together with their pedagogic content knowledge. This work is complemented by sessions to support student teacher's subject specialisms at KS3, 4 and post 16. In all University-based sessions student teachers are expected to be active participants.

After Christmas there will be an opportunity to revisit key issues. There is scope for University tutors and students to negotiate learning priorities in the light of students´ recent School Experience before they undertake their second school placement. Recent policy developments are addressed and there is scope for further subject enhancement in Earth science, astronomy and the teaching and learning of science outdoors.

In addition, PGDE Science coursework also prepares student teachers for cross-curricular themes and issues, including:

  • Equitable approaches in science education
  • Use of diagnostic teaching methods
  • Coursework is practically oriented and closely related to teaching and learning.

Assessment methods



Please note the fees for 2018/19 are still being confirmed. The fees below for 2017/18 should be used as a guide.


Qualification Study mode Start month Fee Course duration
PGCE Full-time September 2018 £ 9,250 per Academic year (Home)
PGCE Full-time September 2018 £ 16,000 per Academic year (International)

Campus details

Campus name Town Postcode Region Main campus Campus Partner
Main Site Sheffield S10 2TN Yorkshire and the Humber

Get in touch

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Key information

Reception, School of Education
Telephone number: 
0114 222 8080/8081