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PGCE Secondary Biology

Become a qualified Biology teacher

Become a qualified Biology teacher

1 year full-time
Bognor Regis Campus
  • Qualify as a secondary teacher in just one year
  • Specialise teaching Biology at a secondary level
  • Learn at a university with over 180 years' experience in teacher training
  • Blend of professional placements and creative theoretical teaching
23 Education Secondary School Teaching (17)


Qualify as a teacher with a specialism in Biology in just one year

Learn the art of teaching

This full-time, one-year course is designed to train you as a confident and inspiring secondary teacher.

Our diverse and enhanced course has the core aim of training the next generation of inspiring and passionate teachers, who have a passion to engage young people in learning Biology.

This is achieved through a balance of study of the knowledge, skills and attitudes required by the teaching profession, the fundamentals of the national curriculum, and a dedicated focus on the development of your understanding of the role of a secondary school teacher.

In addition, you will gain vital hands-on experience of working within the classroom through our 28-week placement programme, which will develop your confidence and competence to teach effectively.

After successful completion, you will be recommended for Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) so that you can begin working as a teacher in a secondary school.

Outstanding Ofsted provider

The University of Chichester is proud to have received a rating of Outstanding from Ofsted at its inspection this year.

The Ofsted report recognised that “trainees leave very well-placed to continue on their journey towards being aspirational, inspirational and motivational teachers.”

Ofsted Outstanding Provider logo

“…trainees flourish at the University of Chichester and develop into skilled and knowledgeable global citizens.”

“University and school staff support trainees to thrive through their highly effective ‘team around the trainee’ approach.”

“Trainees value the nurturing family ethos at Chichester, with one trainee commenting, ‘they are there to catch you when you fall, but they are also there to stop you falling in the first place’.”

Ofsted Report 2023

Proud history of teacher training

The University of Chichester has been training teachers for over 180 years and we look to train employable professionals who can get out there and make a difference.

You will be taught by experienced education specialists and our dedication to small teaching groups allows you to develop strong professional relationships with the University teaching team.

On this course you will:

  • Gain Qualified Teacher Status upon completion of the course that will allow you to teach Biology in secondary schools in England and Wales.
  • Develop your competence and confidence working within the classroom environment.
  • Gain the knowledge, skills, and attitudes required by the teaching profession.
  • Specialise in teaching Biology.

The Course

Develop your knowledge and understanding of teaching at secondary school level

Every day that you spend in the classroom will have an impact on the lives of others, as we can all testify by remembering the impact that inspirational teachers had on us in school.

Three quarters of the course is spent in school, with your time divided mainly between two school placements.

During the course, you’ll split your time between placements in schools and university-based training.

This list is indicative and subject to change.

Subject study

The subject-specific element of the course is delivered at a nearby partner school and will develop your knowledge of the secondary school curriculum.

The subject studies focus on turning a good understanding of educational theory into outstanding performance in the classroom.

By the end of the course, you’ll be able to deliver creative lesson plans to achieve the best progress for the children you teach.

Professional studies

We’ll help you will develop a deep understanding of the principles that underpin secondary education.

During a range of seminars and lectures, you will critique educational research findings and methods and learn how to apply this in the classroom.

Topics will include lesson planning, teaching strategies, assessment methods, behaviour management and other important aspects of teaching.

A particular focus will be on issues of inclusion, equality and diversity and the module will develop your ability to apply your knowledge and understanding in the classroom.

By the end of the year, you will have developed your own personal educational philosophy and be able to apply this in the classroom and articulate it to other professionals.

The topics you will cover in these modules include:

  • Professionalism in Education
  • Identity, Equality and Inclusion
  • Closing the gap in access and achievement
  • Reflective practice
  • Positive behaviour management
  • Working with learning support assistants
  • English as an additional language
  • Child protection and Prevent
  • Pastoral care in schools
  • Literacy and numeracy across the curriculum
  • Research skills
  • The relationship between theory and practice
  • Special Educational Needs
  • Vocal skills
  • Applying for teaching posts
  • Personal, Social and Health Education
  • Building rapport and resilience

School placements

We know the best place to build your confidence and expertise as a teacher is in the classroom.

That’s why the majority of your time will be spent in schools. You’ll complete two main teaching placements in contrasting schools as well as completing short placements in other educational contexts.

This list is indicative and subject to change.

Professional Studies

This module develops your critical and rigorous understanding of the principles and values which underpin secondary education. You will expand your knowledge and understanding of professional requirements and behaviours, as well as the broader role, of the teacher in the secondary context.

The module will introduce and critique educational research methodology, analysis and ethics, in order to develop understanding of the relationship between theory and practice. It will therefore develop your ability to critically apply such knowledge and understanding in a professional context.

A particular focus will be on themes of inclusion, equality and diversity and the module will develop your abilities to be able to apply your knowledge and understanding of such issues in the classroom and in your whole school roles and responsibilities.

School Experience A

This module introduces the knowledge, understanding and skills necessary to become an analytical, effective and reflective secondary teacher.  It is designed to enable you to relate the taught curriculum to your teaching and the broader role of the teacher. The experience will draw on your own prior experiences and skills and develop them within the partnership of school-based and university-based training and support.

This module will also introduce you to the professional practice of teaching and enable you to apply theories from university-based courses to the classroom setting. You will be based in a partnership secondary school and supported by a school-based mentor. At the start of your placement, you will be observing and reflecting on practice in the school including classroom teaching and the wider responsibilities of the class teacher.

Over the course of the placement you will be expected to plan, teach, evaluate and assess lessons. Initially, your focus will be on teaching parts of lessons or smaller groups, but over the course of the placement, and in negotiation with the mentor, this will be extended to whole class lessons.

By the end of the placement, you will be expected to show growing independence in your lesson planning and use some of your own planning across the curriculum.    

Throughout the placement you will be expected to demonstrate the appropriate values and professional conduct associated with becoming a teacher, sufficiently secure knowledge about the curriculum, personal subject knowledge, and classroom management skills. During this, you will have detailed records of your planning, assessment and reflections.

School Experience B

This final school experience is intended to enable you to gain proficiency in whole class teaching in their specialist subject. By the end of the placement, you will be able to demonstrate that they have met all of the Teachers’ Standards. You will have a broader understanding of the relationship between theory and practice in education, and the wider context within which schools operate. You will be able to identify areas for future development during your teaching career.  

Over the course of this placement, you will take on the responsibilities associated with being a class teacher.  You will plan, teach, evaluate, assess and monitor pupils’ progress across the subject curriculum over a sustained period. You will be expected to evaluate their progress and demonstrate how you have achieved targets set for you. They will make a significant contribution to planning, teaching and assessing the pupils in your class.  

Science With Biology / Chemistry / Physics Module 1

Studying science and its sub disciplines in school will make children aware of the beauty and joy of discovery and open their minds to an understanding of the world around them.

Pupils should learn the vital importance of science both for its own sake of learning as well as for the practical and economic benefits it delivers to mankind. A high-quality science education will benefit the individual and their own intellectual curiosity; it will also add to the capacity for those individuals to fully partake in the technical scientific and economic life of society.

This module produces reflective, analytical and effective classroom practitioners, and introduce them to the specific subject knowledge, understanding and skills necessary to becoming effective secondary school teachers of Science.

Science With Biology / Chemistry / Physics Module 2

This module will build on upon your most recent experiences and your reflections in the light of your first school placement, bringing opportunities in the university environment to develop further insights into the qualities of the professional practice of themselves and others.

Teaching and Assessment

Innovative teaching methods that develop your full potential as a future teacher


We use strategies that are designed to enable you to effectively master a broad base of concepts, skills, knowledge and understanding that will inform your teaching practice.

You will join lectures and small seminars led by experienced tutors, in which discussion and debate are key to developing your knowledge and skills.

All our staff have a strong background within education and use their experience to inform their teaching, as the help your development into a professional and capable teacher.


The course is assessed through observation during teaching placements and written assignments.

To gain a Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) students need to complete three 4,000 word equivalent assignments at FHEQ level 7 (Masters), and two blocks of School Experience.


Discover dedicated facilities that help support your learning

School Placements

Gain vital experience as you develop your confidence at the heart of the classroom

The PGCE programme is taught in close partnership with a range of local schools. During the course, you will experience a number of different placements.

We work with hundreds of partnership schools and organisations covering a wide area including West Sussex, Hampshire, the Isle of Wight, East Sussex and the Surrey border. These partners are based in rural and urban settings and cover a varied range of school types.

These placements will usually provide distinctive opportunities in which to develop your professional and teaching skills.

In particular, efforts will be made to place you in schools with different organisational characteristics and in contrasting socio-economic catchment areas.

The maximum travel time that we allow for these teaching placements is one hour in each direction from your term-time address to the placement school (assuming your term-time address is within our partnership area).

How the placements work

Around 70% of the course is spent in school, with your time divided mainly between two contrasting placements.

Gaining experience in a mix of settings will help you to develop the skills required to confidently start a career in teaching.

The University will find placements for you. Great care is taken to place you in schools that will support you and prepare you thoroughly for a career in teaching.

Support during your placements

School experience is invaluable to trainee teachers.

That’s why we take steps to ensure you are well supported.

We provide mentor training in our partnerships schools so you can learn from and build relationships with serving teachers.

You’ll also have the full support of the teaching staff at the University while you’re out on placement.


Take the first steps towards your career with secondary education

This programme will enable you to achieve Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) and work as a secondary Biology teacher.

Many of our previous students have progressed in their careers and now hold senior posts in their schools.

Course Costs

Course fees 2024/25

UK fee
International fee

For further details about fees, please see our Tuition Fees page.

For further details about international scholarships, please see our Scholarships page.

To find out about any additional costs on this course, please see our Additional Costs page.

Course specific costs

You will be required to have a satisfactory enhanced Disclosure Barring Service (DBS) check costing £40 which needs to be paid for before the start of the course.

Government bursaries

Bursaries of up to £28,000 are available in some subjects.  For further information visit the UK Government website.

Entry Requirements

Honours degree
or above in a subject where the content is at least 50% science. Potential applicants whose degree classification or content does not meet these criteria may still be considered, but are encouraged to contact the subject coordinators to discuss this before applying.
in both English Language and Maths.
  • The course co-ordinator welcomes contact from applicants who would like to discuss the suitability of their degree and their specialist options.
  • There are various subject knowledge enhancement courses available for students who need to improve their subject knowledge in specific areas.
  • These can also be discussed, either before application or at interview.
  • GCSE Equivalency: We would normally expect applicants to have taken and passed the full GCSE course however in some circumstances we do accept equivalent qualifications or equivalency tests. Please note, however, that we are unable to accept Level 2 Functional Skills courses that do not cover the full breadth of a GCSE. If you are unable to enrol for the full GCSE course, please contact Admissions to discuss which equivalent qualifications we may accept.
  • If English is not your first language then English language proficiency required is an overall IELTS score of 7.0 (including 7.0 in academic writing) other components no less than 6.5 – or equivalent qualification.
  • Applicants may be considered who have a lower classification of degree, or where the content of their first degree may have less relevance to the subject specialism.  Please contact the subject tutor for further guidance.


We pride ourselves on the interview experience. You’ll learn about the University and the course while we learn more about you and see your potential to teach.

The interview will be made up of typically five elements:

  • Registration, DBS and qualification checks.
  • Campus Tour (optional).
  • Presentation from a university tutor.
  • Baseline audit of skills in mathematics and literacy.

Baseline audits

The baseline audit of skills will provide you with an opportunity to consider your strengths and areas for development in numeracy and literacy.

To help you prepare for the audits, head to BBC bitesize for support with the English and mathematics audits.

DBS check

PGCE applicants are required to have an enhanced Disclosure Barring Service check which needs to be paid for before the start of the course.

Occupational Health Assessment

A satisfactory occupational health assessment is required.

Cost incurred during placements

School experiences are organised in our partnership schools which extend across East & West Sussex, Hampshire and Isle of Wight and into Surrey.

Travel to placements, which can be by car or public transport, varies but your commute will not usually exceed an hour from your term-time address to the placement school (assuming your term-time address is within our partnership area).

Students may receive a contribution towards travel costs depending upon the distance.

Whilst on School Experience appropriate professional dress will be required.

Students may wish to purchase a laptop/tablet to use whilst on school experience as schools are not required to provide these.


Get in touch

We welcome contact from anybody who is considering applying for this course. Please don’t hesitate to send us an e-mail at admissions@chi.ac.uk or call (+44) 01243 816000 for further information.

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