Skip to main content

Study information

Secondary Biology with Psychology Subject Knowledge and Pedagogy

Module titleSecondary Biology with Psychology Subject Knowledge and Pedagogy
Module codeEDUM038
Academic year2023/4
Module staff

Dr Darren Moore (Convenor)

Duration: Term123
Duration: Weeks




Number students taking module (anticipated)


Module description

Whilst taking this module you will examine a range of approaches to the teaching of biology with psychology across Key Stages 3 – 5 as well as the theory that underpins this practice. You will also learn about teaching and learning secondary science more generally, and about approaches used to teach all areas of science at key stage 3. To take this module, you will normally need to possess an upper second class or first class Honours degree in biology and an ‘A’ level in psychology at grade A or B or an upper second class or first class Honours degree in psychology and an ‘A’ level in biology at grade A or B


This module will be taken alongside EDUM036 & EDUM052

Module aims - intentions of the module

The principal aims of the module are to:

•      enable you to gain a comprehensive and up to date understanding of the background theory, issues and practice relating to current teaching of science in the secondary curriculum, with particular reference to the teaching of biology with psychology;

•      support you to meet the Standards required for the award of Qualified Teacher Status; and 

•           nurture your development as a reflective and autonomous professional practitioner who is able to identify strengths and areas for development in your subject knowledge and pedagogy, through evaluating current professional practice in relationship to developments in research and educational theory.

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)

ILO: Module-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 1. identify and evaluate educational concepts and issues related to science education;
  • 2. recognise pupils’ learning needs in secondary science and interpret these learning needs in order to plan, teach, assess and evaluate lessons and schemes of work;
  • 3. demonstrate secure subject content knowledge and pedagogic subject knowledge in secondary science at key stage 3 and biology with psychology at key stage 4-5;
  • 4. demonstrate secure understanding of the requirements of the National Curriculum for secondary science;

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 5. critically evaluate the relevance of educational theory to practice;
  • 6. synthesise relevant educational literature in support of an argument;
  • 7. use appropriate technologies for data handling and writing in education;
  • 8. present data and findings in a form appropriate in educational studies;
  • 9. use research data in support of an argument in education;

ILO: Personal and key skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 10. manage your own learning development;
  • 11. learn effectively and be aware of your own learning strategies;
  • 12. express ideas and opinions, with confidence and clarity, to a variety of audiences for a variety of purposes;
  • 13. work productively in different kinds of teams (formal, informal, project based, committee based etc); and
  • 14. think creatively about the main features of a given problem and develop strategies for its resolution.

Syllabus plan

The module introduces students to current thinking in the teaching of biology with psychology and develops students’ pedagogic and academic subject knowledge in the field of biology with psychology education. Whilst the module’s precise content may vary from year to year, it is envisaged that key elements of the module will include:

  • Lecture and Seminar Programme: This covers the theory and practice of secondary science pedagogy.
  • Directed Online Study Programme: This covers the theory and practice of secondary science pedagogy.
  • Peer Teaching: These sessions give you an opportunity to practice your teaching in a safe and supportive environment.
  • Seminar Days: Five university-led days when students share school-based work experiences and develop the links between the theoretical and practical aspects of teaching biology with psychology.

On the Secondary PGCE, you will learn and reflect on the skills and knowledge required by the programme’s credit-bearing and non-credit bearing modules throughout the year. You will need to think about the modules in relation to each other. To facilitate this, the learning and teaching activities and guided independent study described below are scheduled to occur across all three terms both in the context of your university taught course and in the context of your applied professional experience in schools.

Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled Learning & Teaching activities78Lectures; Science Lecture Programme
Scheduled Learning & Teaching activities10Peer Teaching
Scheduled Learning & Teaching activities12Seminar Days
Scheduled Learning & Teaching activities1Tutorials with academic tutor
Guided independent study199Independent Study

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Written notes on preliminary tasks2 weeks prior to beginning course1, 2, 5, 13Verbal or written
Written subject knowledge audit3 hours3, 4, 10, 11Verbal (tutorial) and written action plans
Formative assignment using work with academic literature in preparation for summative assignment1500 words1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12Written feedback from tutor & opportunity to discuss this in tutorial

Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams

Details of summative assessment

Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Essay1004000 words1-14Written feedback

Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
Written assignmentResubmission of essay (4,000 words)1-14See notes below.

Re-assessment notes

If a submitted assignment is deemed to be a Fail, you will be given feedback outlining what needs to be done to bring the assignment to a pass standard and one opportunity for resubmission will be allowed.


You can choose to resubmit a failed assignment ‘in year’ (i.e. before the final PGCE Assessment, Progression and Awarding Committee (APAC) in July). The resubmission would normally be made 4 weeks after receiving feedback on the first submission. Alternatively, you may opt for your mark to remain as a fail mark at the APAC. You will then be referred to the College level Assessment, Progression and Awarding Committee who will confirm the conditions for resubmission of the work. Normally the resubmission should be by 1st September. You should discuss these options with your tutor.


Note: if you choose the second option, the award of PGCE will be delayed until the APAC following any successful resubmission (normally held in December).


If an assignment is deemed to be a Fail by the APAC, the mark obtained on resubmission will be capped at 50%.  If after submitting a revised assignment, you have still failed to gain an overall pass mark for the module, you will have been deemed to have failed the PGCE with no further opportunity for resubmission.   If however, you have passed the Professional Learning module, you can leave the programme with QTS only and can therefore gain employment as a Newly Qualified Teacher (NQT). If you pass both the biology with psychology Subject Knowledge & Pedagogy and the Educational & Professional Studies modules but fail the Professional Learning module, you can leave the programme with a Postgraduate Certificate in Professional Studies in Education (PGCert) which does not confer QTS status.

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

Alsop, S., Bencze, L. & Pedretti, E. (2005) Analysing exemplary science teaching: theoretical lenses and a spectrum of possibilities for practice. Maidenhead: Open University Press.

Bishop, K. & Denley, P. (2007) Learning Science Teaching: Developing a professional knowledge base. Maidenhead: Open University Press.

Driver, R. (2015) Making sense of secondary science: research into children's ideas. Abingdon: Routledge.

Goss Lucas, S & Bernstein, D. (2015) Teaching psychology: a step by step guide. Hove: Psychology Press.

Jones, A., Reed, R. & Weyers, J. (2012) Practical Skills in Biology. Harlow: Pearson.  

Kind, V. and Taber, K. (2005) Science: Teaching School Subjects 11-19. London: Routledge.

Kulgemeyer, C. (2018). Towards a framework for effective instructional explanations in science teaching. Studies in Science Education, 54(2), 109-139.

Liversidge, T. (2009) Teaching Science: Developing as a Reflective Secondary Teacher. London: Sage.

Millar, R. (2005) Teaching about energy. University of York.

Nott, M., & Wellington, J. (1993). Your nature of science profile: an activity for science teachers. School Science Review, 75, 109-109.

Osborne, J. & Dillon, J. (2010) Good practice in science teaching: what research has to say. (2nd Edition). Maidenhead: Open University Press.

Ratcliffe, M. & Grace, M. (2003) Science education for citizenship: teaching socio-scientific issues. Maidenhead: Open University Press.

Sotto, E. (2007) When teaching becomes learning (2nd Edition). London: Continuum.

Taber, K. (Ed) (2012) Teaching Secondary Chemistry (2nd Edition) London: Hodder Education.

Toplis, R. (Ed) (2015) Learning to Teach Science in the Secondary School (4th edition) (London: Routledge)

Wellington, J. and Ireson, G (2018) Science Learning, Science teaching. (4th edition). London: Routledge.

Indicative learning resources - Web based and electronic resources

Web based and electronic resources: see PGCE Secondary Science page on ELE ( )

Key words search

PGCE, Science, Biology with Psychology 

Credit value30
Module ECTS


Module pre-requisites


Module co-requisites

EDUM036 Education & Professional Studies

EDUM052 Professional Learning

NQF level (module)


Available as distance learning?


Origin date


Last revision date