Secondary Teaching leading to Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) PGCE: Science (Biology, Chemistry, Physics)

Why choose this course?

Want to make a difference to the lives of young people in the classroom? Train to teach in one year with our PGCE Secondary course. Our small cohorts ensure you have the personalised support you need to succeed in your future career as a teacher.

We will prepare you to teach secondary students with additional opportunities to develop your ability to teach at sixth-form level. This course will enable you to become an effective, inclusive and evidence informed teacher.

Why choose this pathway?

This course combines theory and practice of education to prepare you to teach your specialist science pathway (biology, chemistry and physics) in the 11-16 phase as well as being able to teach across all science subjects.. During the course you will develop your knowledge of how pupils learn science, how to plan effective lessons and practicals; and how assessment can improve learning and teaching in science. You will develop as a reflective teacher who makes informed decisions about how to teach science.

You will develop your knowledge of learning and teaching science through research-led innovative practice that will model new approaches to learning and teaching science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) subjects.

For more information about the course, please email Education Admissions at education@kingston.ac.uk.

Pathway UCAS code Mode Duration Start date
Biology C1X1 Full time 1 year September 2021
Chemistry F1X1 Full time 1 year September 2021
Physics F3X1 Full time 1 year September 2021

2020/21 entry

If you are planning to join this course in the academic year 2020/21 (i.e. between August 2020 and July 2021), please view the information about changes to courses for 2020/21 due to Covid-19.

 

Continuing students

Students who are continuing their studies with Kingston University in 2020/21 should refer to their Course Handbook for information about specific changes that have been, or may be, made to their course or modules being delivered in 2020/21. Course Handbooks are located within the Canvas Course page.

Reasons to choose Kingston University

  • You will have personalised support from both University and partnership schools.
  • Our passionate team all have a rich background in teaching in London school settings, who are able to share both their theoretical and practical knowledge with you.
  • Kingston's partnership schools offer excellent opportunities for practical learning and a range of exciting diverse experiences.

What you will study

At the heart of our course is a commitment to personalising your journey to Qualified Teacher Status (QTS). We'll help you to grow in confidence and competence by providing you with outstanding support as you train. We model good teaching as we train you, so you can transfer what you've experienced into your own practice.

You'll find a supportive learning environment at the University and in our partnership schools. This will help you develop a deep understanding of the secondary curriculum, including your own specialist subject and acquire a range of teaching methods, based upon the latest research in education.

In addition to gaining Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) in accordance with government standards, you will also receive the award of PGCE with 60 credits towards our Master of Research in Education (MRes), which you can continue with beyond your PGCE year.

Modules

Please note that this is an indicative list of modules and is not intended as a definitive list. Those listed here may also be a mixture of core and optional modules.

Core modules

Professional Practice

0 credits

Non-credit bearing module

This module focuses on developing your ability to teach, assess and undertake your professional responsibilities in your chosen phase of education. It is part based at the University, where lectures, seminars and online learning will provide you with research, theory and practice based insights into effective learning and teaching. It is largely based upon your practice in school and settings, where you receive formal training, experience of working alongside professionals, experience of being the lead practitioner in a classroom/setting and experience of the wider aspects of being a teacher.

The Reflective Teacher

30 credits

This module introduces students to theories of reflective practice and the value and purpose of reflection for teachers. This will enable students to develop in-depth understanding of how they reflect in order to identify issues and develop solutions in their professional settings.

The main features of the module are critical explorations of factors that affect how children develop physically, socially and as learners. Students will critically analyse issues relevant to their current practice considering their own position as effective teachers.

Through completion of a reflective journal during the module students will develop critical, reflective and reflexive skills to inform peer and colleague discussion within a learning community. Students will be encouraged and supported to challenge and develop their professional practice.

Perspectives on policy, practice and professionalism for teachers

30 credits

This module enables you to locate yourself as an emerging professional within wider discourses about teaching as a profession. It allows you to evaluate your own identity as a professional and reflect on the values that you and the wider profession hold. You will critically analyse discussions and debates which affect classroom practice. These debates will focus on specific areas to exemplify wider issues in education. The focus of these discussions will be on inclusive teaching and learning and the legislative frameworks which provide codes of practice. 

A key focus of the module is to develop your ability to make sense of education research and to apply this in the context of your school or setting.

The information above reflects the currently intended course structure and module details. Updates may be made on an annual basis and revised details will be published through Programme Specifications ahead of each academic year. The regulations governing this course are available on our website. If we have insufficient numbers of students interested in an optional module, this may not be offered.

Classroom experience

During this course, you spend around two-thirds of your time in schools, which will help to ensure that you start your teaching career with confidence. A school-based professional mentor and tutors from the University will support you during your placements.

You will benefit from two contrasting placements in our committed partnership of schools. You'll also benefit from a course that supports you in becoming a research-engaged teacher, who can use evidence to drive improvements in young people's learning and wellbeing.

Whilst on placement, students are expected to carry out the normal school hours and engage in school life such as attending early morning/evening meetings, which will vary depending on the school.

Classroom experience

Entry requirements

Typical offer

  • An honours degree, from a UK higher education institution or equivalent overseas qualification, relevant to your subject specialism (at least 50% of the degree content needs to be relevant to your subject specialism). For the citizenship pathway: your degree should be in a subject that includes significant elements of social sciences or humanities subjects, for example politics, history, geography, philosophy, law, sociology and psychology).
  • GCSE grade 4 or above (C or above for examinations taken prior to 2017) in English and mathematics. If you do not meet the GCSE requirement in any of these subjects, you may take an equivalency test (one attempt only) at the School of Education following acceptance of any potential offer given. View further details.
  • All overseas qualifications must be accompanied by NARIC equivalence. 
  • An enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service and Health checking process which identifies no concerns about suitability to teach.

Please note: you apply through UCAS Teacher Training for this course.

Additional requirements

If you are shortlisted you will be invited to a face-to face interview and will be required to undertake a literacy test and a subject specific task. You will also engage in a group-based discussion and have a formal interview with a university tutor.

If you're offered a place on a teacher training course, it's recommended that you spend time in a school in your chosen age phase to familiarise yourselves with the demands and expectations of teaching.

Equivalency tests

If you do not meet the GCSE English, mathematics or science requirement, you will be pleased to know you can take an equivalency test (one attempt only) at the School of Education (free of charge) following acceptance of any potential offer given for a teacher-training course.

Please note: a pass in these tests is considered to be of the same standard as GCSE grade 4, however, it does not offer a formal GCSE qualification. Therefore, passing the test(s) will allow you to gain entry to a teacher-training course at Kingston University only and not any other course or training provider.

As you are only allowed one attempt in each subject, we encourage you to prepare for your test and have included some useful links for English, mathematics and science to support you with this.

English

Mathematics

Science

We have listed dates for the test sessions so you can plan ahead. Please get in touch with us if you are looking to accept your offer with Kingston University and need to complete a GCSE equivalency test so we can send you further details.

  • Thursday 30 April 2020
  • Thursday 28 May 2020

International

All non-UK applicants must meet our English language requirement, which is Academic IELTS of 6.5 overall, with no element below 6.0. Make sure you read our full guidance about English language requirements, which includes details of other qualifications we consider.

Applicants who do not meet the English language requirements could be eligible to join our pre-sessional English language course.

Applicants from a recognised majority English speaking countries (MESCs) do not need to meet these requirements.

Teaching and assessment

Your taught sessions will be a mix of seminars, lectures, practical workshops, field trips and work with pupils. Peer-led critical support groups will also feature in the programme. Most of your sessions will be taught by university tutors but there may also be guest speakers, such as headteachers or subject leaders.

Guided independent study

When not attending timetabled sessions you will be expected to continue learning independently through self-study. This typically will involve reading journal articles and books, working on individual and group projects, undertaking preparing coursework assignments and presentations, and preparing for exams. Your independent learning is supported by a range of excellent facilities including online resources, the library and CANVAS, the online virtual learning platform.

Support for postgraduate students

As a student at Kingston University, we will make sure you have access to appropriate advice regarding your academic development. You will also be able to use the University's support services

Your workload

  • Scheduled teaching and learning: 300 hours
  • Guided independent study: 570 hours
  • Placement: 120 days

Contact hours may vary depending on your modules.

How you will be assessed

You will not be required to take any exams. Your academic work will be assessed through coursework, such as essays and presentations.

At the end of each school placement, your teaching will be assessed in relation to the Teachers' Standards (DfE, 2011). You will receive a report that summarises your practice alongside targets to support your development in your next placement.

The approximate percentage for how you will be assessed on this course is as follows.

  • 100% coursework (portfolio-based)

Feedback summary

We aim to provide feedback on assessments within 20 working days.

Why choose Kingston's Department of Education

Reputation

Reputation

We have a rich history of educating educators; providing a strong foundation for learning and teaching.

Putting you first

Putting you first

We recognise your needs and aspirations, personalise your learning experience and putting you at the heart of everything we do.

Expert educationalists

Expert educationalists

Our staff are research-engaged educationalists, making knowledge accessible for you to incorporate in your professional practice. 

Inter-professional collaboration

Inter-professional collaboration

Our shared faculty brings valuable experience and insight from other professionals that work with children and young people. 

Who teaches this course?

The tutors for your course have experience teaching in schools. They continue to be actively involved in a range of education related activities, such as further study, research and direct work with schools and in educational settings.

Current research in this subject

Many of our staff in the School of Education are research active. This ensures they are in touch with the latest thinking and bring best practice to your studies.

Education research at Kingston focuses on:

  • Subject pedagogy
  • Curriculum design
  • Planning 
  • Assessment
  • Safeguarding
  • SEND and inclusive practice
  • Early Years
  • Supporting more able learners
  • Educational inequalities
  • Policy
  • History of education

Course fees and funding

2020/21 fees for this course

The tuition fee you pay depends on whether you are assessed as a 'Home' (UK or EU), 'Islands' or 'International' student. In 2020/21 the fees for this course are:

 Fee category  Amount
Home (UK and EU students) £9,250*

* These fees are annual and may increase in line with inflation each year subject to the results of the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF).

Funding

Postgraduate loans

Eligible UK and EU students can apply to the Government for a tuition loan, which is paid direct to the University. This has a low interest rate which is charged from the time the first part of the loan is paid to the University until you have repaid it.

Please be aware: although this course is at postgraduate level, as it is possible to obtain a tuition fee loan for PGCE courses they are to be treated as undergraduate courses when it comes to tuition fee liability as a result of withdrawal or break in studies.

Discounts for Kingston University alumni

Kingston University is pleased to offer a 10 per cent discount on full-time and part-time postgraduate degree course tuition fees (including PGCE courses) to our alumni. Visit our Alumni discount page to find out more.

Bursaries

Some pathways are eligible for a bursary from the Department for Education, visit their website to find out more.

Need to know more?

Visit our Fees and funding page to find out about the student funding options available to help you fund your postgraduate studies. 

Kingston Hill

There is a wide range of facilities at our Kingston Hill campus, where this course is based.

Kingston Hill is a leafy, hillside campus situated about three miles away from Kingston town centre. It is a quiet, secure place to study with easy access to London, meaning it provides the best of all worlds for our students.

Find out more about the Kingston Hill campus in the virtual tour.

Library

One of the highlights of the Kingston Hill campus is the modern library, called the Nightingale Centre after Florence Nightingale, who was a regular visitor to Kingston Hill.

The library provides a spacious and attractive place for students to meet and study and features a cafe, more PCs and zoned study areas. Long opening hours give you plenty of access to specialist education books, journals and online resources.

Find out more about the Nightingale Centre in the virtual tour.

Computer and online facilities

There are many computers (PCs and Macs) available for you to use across the Kingston Hill campus when you need a place to study. Access to the wireless network across the campus means you can also work from your laptop or mobile device.

Using IT to support your studies is crucial. Kingston has an innovative virtual learning environment called Canvas. This allows you to access course materials and contact fellow students and staff while away from the campus.

Facilities

The latest in classroom technology

The latest in classroom technology

The latest in classroom technology

While you are studying to become a teacher here at Kingston University much of your time will be spent putting your skills into practice within a school environment. The rest of the time will be spent being taught by highly experienced professionals.The School of Education prides itself on providing the latest in classroom technology to ensure that you embark on your work experience in schools with the utmost confidence, and to give you a head start in your first teaching post.

Virtual teaching rooms

Virtual teaching rooms

Virtual teaching rooms

Within Kingston University, we have a number of teaching rooms set up to replicate actual classrooms. Each classroom is subject based - there is an art room, science lab, etc - and is equipped with all the relevant facilities you will need to practise your lessons before taking them into school.

Library resources

Library resources

Library resources

All our education students have access to the libraries and IT resources at Kingston University.

Our library (the Nightingale Centre) has every teaching resource you could think of to help you plan your lessons, as well as a dedicated librarian to help you find what you're looking for. The range of educational resources available also aims to reflect current educational thinking and are used in local schools. They cover material from early learning through to A-level.

From picture books with corresponding DVDs/ videos, CDs and even puppets, to children's novels for all ability levels, and from poetry and plays to fairy tales, the Nightingale Centre has no end of imaginative literature to help you bring your classes to life. Also available are the journals Books for Keeps and Carousel, which provide the latest reviews on appropriate resources for young infants and teenagers, offering you added inspiration.

The Nightingale Centre offers more than just books to help you in your studies and lesson plans. You'll have access to a range of children's music and nursery rhymes on CD, as well as artefacts and kits that can be used to illustrate historical periods, different religions, science, maths and music. We also have puppets and story sacks, which contain a picture book, nonfiction book, soft toy or puppet and a game or other associated materials, as well as posters, CD-ROMs and DVDs/videos.

Further resources

Further resources

Further resources

Further resources are available including:

  • Classroom resources by subject - which link to organisations for teachers, and to websites for teachers and children; and
  • Thousands of quality photographic images from the Getty archive (Education Image Gallery), which you can use to create classroom resources.

Links with business and industry

We have links with:

  • A strong partnership of schools and settings in which you'll train
  • Special schools
  • Teaching school alliances
  • Multi-academy trusts
  • Schools and settings-centred Initial Teacher Training providers
  • Local authorities
  • Teaching unions
  • Other universities around the country to share good practice

After you graduate

The course also aims to develop your professional skills to help you gain employment in a secondary school and continue with your professional development. It will provide you with a rigorous training in all aspects of being a secondary school teacher. Over 95% of our graduates enter the teaching profession after they complete their course. Many go into middle and senior management roles in schools.

Changes to courses for 2020/21 due to Covid-19

Changes detailed here are for students joining this course in the academic year 2020/21 (i.e. between August 2020 and July 2021).

Course information (changes for 2020/21 entry)

Composition of the course

We do not anticipate making any changes to the composition of the course, i.e. number of modules or credits in a year, as a result of the pandemic.

Changes can be made to courses as part of normal enhancement processes in order to keep our courses up to date with current developments in that subject area and to provide a high quality student experience. Any such changes made to the composition of the course will be highlighted to students during the induction period.

Modules

We do not anticipate making any changes to module titles and summaries or to the availability of modules as a result of the pandemic.

Changes can be made to modules as part of normal enhancement processes in order to keep our courses up to date with current developments in that subject area and to provide a high quality student experience. Any such changes made to module titles and/or availability of modules will be highlighted to students during the induction period.

Length of course

We expect to deliver the course within the planned timescales to enable successful students to progress through and graduate from the course without delay.

In exceptional circumstances the sequence of learning and teaching activities may be changed, e.g. re-sequencing those modules that can be delivered more effectively under the current restrictions with those which would be more difficult to deliver, such as practical modules and placements.

Entry requirements (changes for 2020/21 entry)

We have not changed entry requirements as a result of the pandemic. However, the range of accepted alternatives have increased as has the way in which we select students, which now includes virtual interviews and online portfolios.

Entry requirements for international students

We have not changed entry requirements for international students as a result of the pandemic. However, in response to the pandemic, we now accept a much broader list of English language exams for entry to the course; the level of these exams remain the same.

Teaching (changes for 2020/21 entry)

Changes to the way the course will be delivered

Due to the current pandemic the course's teaching and learning activities will be delivered through both online and on-campus methods (blended learning) in 2020/21. In order to provide all students with a comparable on-campus experience, the University has committed to ensuring that all courses provide at least 30% of their teaching and learning activities on-campus.

While physical distancing measures remain in place, you will receive your learning and teaching via a blend of on-campus and on-line activities. Should your circumstances prevent your attendance at on-campus sessions, you will still be able to engage with your course in a way that allows you to progress. Where this is not possible, support will be available to consider what options are open to you.

Changes to teaching in the event of a further lockdown or adjustments in government advice

The University will continue to closely monitor government announcements and advice in relation to the current pandemic and, where required, will take any necessary action in order to comply with such advice.

In the event that a further lockdown is enforced the University will aim to deliver the course fully online. This may require some additional changes being made to planned teaching and learning activities, including assessments. The majority of our courses are prepared to be delivered fully online if the situation requires it. Where the quality of the student experience may be compromised significantly, or the course is unable to be delivered fully online, the University may need to suspend the delivery of that course until a time that it can be delivered appropriately. Students will be supported in these situations to ensure they are able to make the right choices for their particular circumstances.

In the event that the current social distancing restrictions are fully lifted and the University is able to resume normal delivery of teaching and learning activities, courses will assess whether it is in the students' interest to resume normal delivery. In some cases it may be better to continue and complete modules under the planned blended delivery mode.

Changes to the overall breakdown of scheduled teaching hours, placements and guided independent study hours for Year 1

Changes to the overall breakdown of scheduled teaching hours, placements and guided independent study hours will not be made as a result of the pandemic. However, it is possible that some adjustments might be made at module level, e.g. a few more scheduled activities, in order to help ensure student engagement with blended learning.

Any changes made to the overall breakdown of scheduled teaching hours, placements and guided independent study hours for the course will be highlighted to students during the induction period.

'Scheduled teaching' includes teaching that is online either live or recorded / on demand.

Timetable

Your individualised timetable for teaching block 1 (i.e. from September 2020 to December 2020) should be available by the end of August 2020. Timetables for teaching block 2 (i.e. from January 2021) will not be available until the autumn. Whilst we make every effort to ensure timetables are as student-friendly as possible, scheduled teaching can take place on any day of the week between 9am and 9pm. To accommodate smaller group sizes and social distancing, we will need to maximise the time available for teaching. This means, we may have to use Wednesday afternoons and enrichment week for additional teaching slots. Timetables for part-time students will depend on the modules selected.

Class sizes

Whole cohort sessions will be online. Seminar groups and scheduled workshops/lab work on campus will be small to adhere to social distancing requirements.

Assessment (changes for 2020/21 entry)

Changes can be made to modules, including how they are assessed, as part of normal enhancement processes in order to keep our modules up to date with current developments in that subject area. Due to the current restrictions in place, i.e. social distancing, it is anticipated that many formal on-campus examinations, including practical examinations, will be replaced with alternative assessments which can be completed online. These changes will be considered and approved through the University's processes to ensure that student assessments will be able to demonstrate they have achieved the expected learning outcomes. The approval process will also assess whether the change impacts the status of any professional body accreditation the course benefits from.

Any changes to the overall methods of assessment for the course will be highlighted to students during the induction period.

Staff (changes for 2020/21 entry)

No changes are expected to the general level of experience or status of staff involved in delivering the course.

As a result of the social distancing restrictions in place, on-campus teaching activities may need to be split into smaller groups which may require the support of teaching assistants and student mentors, who will be managed by experienced staff.

Fees, funding and additional costs (changes for 2020/21 entry)

Tuition fees

There will be no changes to published tuition fees for 2020/21.

Additional costs (e.g. field trips, materials, equipment, etc.)

As a result of the blended delivery of courses in 2020/21, where a significant proportion of the teaching will be done online, students will need a personal laptop or computer and access to the internet to participate in online teaching and learning activities. Students who are able to travel will have access to computers on campus, however, it should be noted that access to on-campus facilities will be restricted due to social distancing requirements.

The University is considering how best to provide support to students who do not have access to suitable hardware and software requirements and access to the internet. Identifying students who require this type of support is an important milestone for the University in our journey to ensure equity of access while we continue to deliver our blended approach. Information about the support that will be available will be provided to students during the induction period.

Funding

There will be no changes to any existing University funding arrangements for 2020/21. Currently there are no indications from the UK government that there will be any changes to government funding arrangements.

Fees and funding for international students

There will be no changes to published tuition fees or funding arrangements specifically relating to international students for 2020/21.

Work placements and field trips (changes for 2020/21 entry)

The dates for placements in schools have been changed to ensure that students remain in one school for as long as possible from October 2020 until the end of January 2021. Alternative school experience is scheduled from March 2021 until the end of June.

All partnership schools are still valid but this will be monitored in case of local lockdown enforcements.

Placements (including work and clinical placements) and field trips included as part of the course will go ahead as planned. However, to ensure students are able to gain maximum value from these activities, it may be necessary to reschedule them to later in the year when current restrictions have been lifted. We acknowledge that this year it may be more difficult for students to secure appropriate placements. In those situations, students will be guided and supported through the various options that will be available to them, including switching courses or interrupting their studies until a time when they can complete their placement.

Any proposed changes to placements or field trips would go through University's agreed processes where the impact of the change will be carefully considered. Students will be advised of any changes that may become necessary and appropriate support will be available to students to guide them through the various options that may be available to them.

In the interest of the health and wellbeing of our students, the University will ensure that appropriate risk assessments are made before students are sent on a placement.

Courses which require placements or field trips to be completed in order to pass relevant modules will have contingency plans in place in the event that a placement or field trip cannot be completed due to another lockdown or more stringent social distancing measures.

Voluntary placements or field trips may be rescheduled, or, as a last resort, cancelled if it becomes difficult to deliver them and doing so is in the interest of the health and safety of our staff and students.

Award, qualification and accreditation (changes for 2020/21 entry)

Qualification

No changes will be made to the qualification awarded, e.g. MSc, as a result of the pandemic.

Changes can be made to courses, including the qualification awarded (although very rare), as part of normal enhancement processes in order to keep our courses up to date with current developments in that subject area. Any changes made to the qualification awarded for the course will be highlighted to students during the induction period.

Additional (changes for 2020/21 entry)

Variations to regulations or other specific requirements for this course

Additional risk assessments will be undertaken prior to students commencing practice placements to take account of current, relevant public health guidelines to ensure the health and wellbeing of individual students. Students on these courses must adhere to their employer's Covid-19 guidance.

International students

International students should maintain awareness of the UK government's and their home country's government advice on possible travel restrictions. The University will closely monitor advice and guidance published by the UK government and assess its impact on our international students. Appropriate advice and guidance will be provided as and when required.

Students who are unable to attend on-campus learning and teaching activities

The University will ensure students who are unable to attend on-campus learning and teaching activities are able to effectively engage with their studies remotely. For certain courses an inability to attend on-campus learning and teaching activities may not be in the students best interest, as it may impede their chances of succeeding in the course or lead to them receiving a poor learning experience. In such cases students will be advised and guided through the various options available to them, such as deferring their studies until they can engage fully with the course.