The focus on practical work in science at Exeter has stood me in very good stead during my teaching career. I am firmly of the belief that children learn and are engaged by science through practical activities which capture their enthusiasm. Exeter’s science PGCE has this at the heart of its course.
Sally Geary, Primary Science
PGCE Primary with Science
An opportunity to utilise your science knowledge in primary education.
"Come forth into the light of things
Let nature be your teacher"
Our Primary PGCE offers a specialism in science, one of a small number of courses of its kind in the country! You will train to teach in all primary curriculum subjects as well as developing an expertise in primary science, with a view to becoming a Science Subject Leader in the future. Peer teaching and learning is encouraged and there is an emphasis on practical work. There are a number of field trips with opportunities provided for extending your learning in the outdoor environment.
Trainees following the Primary Science pathway will learn to teach across the primary curriculum and will take an additional specialist module in primary science. The science specialist module helps you to develop the knowledge, skills and confidence to teach science in a way which will interest and motivate children. It will prepare you to become a primary science subject leader in the future and improve your employability prospects.
Throughout your Primary PGCE you will receive support from your science and personal tutor.
We provide unrivalled opportunities for trainees to achieve through our highly original Exeter Teaching Model. The programme runs over three terms with each term providing progressively more school-based work training.
By learning on campus for most of the first term you access the tools to rapidly build professional knowledge to underpin your work in school placements. The taught element is made up of timetabled seminars, lectures and self-directed study. You will be asked to work individually and as part of small and larger groups.
Our unique approach gives you opportunities to learn and become part of a community of trainees and teachers who are passionate about education, and will support you during your course and beyond. We carry out a detailed skills audit with every trainee so we understand your particular development needs and can personalise elements of training to strengthen the skills you need to excel as a teacher.
During placements Exeter trainees benefit from the focused support of two School-based Tutors: a Lead Mentor who works as an expert partner, and a Reflective Mentor who develops and challenges your thinking about teaching in ways that can be used to enhance performance.
You will be supported in developing the full range of teaching skills and effective reflection that you will need in your first teaching post as a Early Career Teacher (ECT).
The PGCE is a Masters level programme and once you have achieved QTS, you can continue your studies during your first year of teaching and work towards achieving a Masters in Education.
The programmes have 4 main components:
What are we looking for in an applicant?
Applicants typically have a 2:1 degree in science or a related science subject degree and one or more A levels in a science or related science subject.
While as standard we normally only accept applicants who meet this criteria, if you have a 2:2 or equivalent, or are coming from a different academic background which is equivalent to degree level, you are welcome to make an application through the DfE Apply system for consideration or contact our PGCE Admissions team for more information. Diverse teachers enrich schools and pupils' experiences and we value diversity in schools and encourage potential teachers from a range of backgrounds to consider applying.
We advise applicants to gain some school-based experience, or informal experience in, for example, environmental centres, museums, etc., prior to application but this is not essential. We advise all applicants to gain some school-based experience in a state school prior to interview. Although this is not essential it would be an advantage to be able to reflect on any school-based experience or experience working with young people in another context at interview.
Passes at GCSE in English, Mathematics and Science at Grade C (or equivalent) are required. Please note that although the DfE requirement is a grade C, we will generally only consider applicants with a grade B or above in Mathematics and English and a grade C in Science.
All applications for entry to our PGCE programmes must be made through the DfE's Apply service at https://www.gov.uk/apply-for-teacher-training.
An academic reference is required from any institution of Higher Education that you have attended within the last five years. Please note: if an academic reference is not submitted then this will cause a delay in the processing of your application.
For further details on the application process, please see our Interview Pages.
We recommend you:
- apply as early as possible
- choose your referees early and explain to them that a promptly returned DfE Apply Teacher Training reference could make all the difference
We do not consider requests for deferred entry either at application stage or after an offer has been made. Any applicant who can no longer take up a place offered to them will need to reapply in the following year and will need to go through the full interview process again.
Applicants who will be overseas during the recruitment cycle
If you will be outside the UK during the recruitment cycle for your proposed year of entry, you should make contact with the Admissions Office to discuss this.
- All our tutors have real-world experience as teachers, senior managers or OFSTED inspectors. They also lead and innovate, developing the latest ideas in teacher education, leading research, writing textbooks, leading subject networks and advising government.
- Our unique approach gives you opportunities to learn and become part of a community of trainees and teachers who are passionate about education, and will support you during your course and beyond.
Harriet White studied Outdoor Education and Natural History at Antioch University, Ohio, USA which is where she found her vocation for teaching and learning. Her undergraduate training as a zoologist led her to become a strong advocate for outdoor learning and learning for sustainability. Harriet completed her PGCE in Primary Science here at the University of Exeter. Her research interests are currently linked with the Re-Place Research Group which researches the connections and effects of environment and sustainability on the relational pedagogies of trainee teachers.