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Teacher Training

PGCE Secondary Science (Biology with Psychology) - 2024 entry

Please note: The below is for 2024 entries. Click here for 2023 entries.
UCAS code C18X
Duration 1 year
Entry year 2023
Campus St Luke's Campus
Discipline Secondary Science (Biology with Psychology)

Course leader: Luke Graham
Web: Enquire online

Typical offer

View full entry requirements

Normally a 2:1 Honours degree – other qualifications and experience may be accepted.

Contextual offers


  • Train to teach all three sciences at Key Stage 3 and 4, and those choosing to specialise in Biology with Psychology will also learn about both Biology and Psychology teaching post-16
  • Develop your confidence, competence and independence as a teacher with the unique Exeter Model of Initial Teacher Education which progressively increases your school-based teaching over three terms
  • You will join a supportive community of trainees and teachers who are passionate about education and research and will support you during your course and beyond
  • Work as a classroom teacher within two schools, where you will be supported by expert mentors and University tutors
  • Achieving the PGCE provides 60 M-level credits alongside your Qualified Teacher Status. You can continue your studies following the PGCE and work towards a Masters in Education

View 2023 Entry

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Open days and visiting us


Programme Director: Luke Graham

Web: Enquire online

Phone: +44 (0)1392 72 72 72

100% of our Education research has internationally excellent impact

Based on research impact rated 4* + 3* in REF 2021*

Top 125 in the world for Education

The Times Higher World University Rankings by Subject 2021.

Rated Ofsted outstanding in all areas

Diverse placement opportunities across the region

Entry requirements

PGCE students must have an honours degree and GCSE English and Mathematics at Grade C/4 or equivalent. A satisfactory medical assessment and DBS enhanced check are also requirements for entry to this programme.

Typically, successful applicants have a 2:2 degree or above in either Biology or Psychology and a good A-level grade or equivalent in Biology (if they have a Psychology degree) or Psychology (if they have a Biology degree).

For applicants without the required GCSE pass at grade C/grade 4, we accept a Grade 4 pass in the English and Mathematics equivalency tests offered by A Star Equivalency and (please do contact the PGCE Admissions team for further guidance before signing up for an equivalency test). See full list of accepted English/Maths equivalent qualifications.

We want all potentially excellent teachers to have the opportunity to train. If your qualification profile does not fit the norm, please do contact us.

Entry requirements for international students

Please visit our entry requirements section for equivalencies from your country and further information on English language requirements.

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I think my favourite thing was having a really good quality course that was structured in a way that both challenged you but also where you felt supported.

For example, my mentors tested me on my lessons and asked me questions on them. It was better to be embarrassed then instead of in front of 25 kids!

Read more from Sam


PGCE Secondary Biology and Psychology

Course content

A practical and interactive course, you will explore the aims of science teaching, school laboratory management and the use of ICT to support science teaching and learning. You’ll also develop the fundamentals of teaching such as behaviour management, assessment, lesson planning, inclusive teaching, and working with the school community and parents. We’ll support you to become a reflective and confident teacher who is able to assess your own achievements and professional development requirements.

During placement, you will have the opportunity to put the skills learned into practice whilst being fully supported by your Lead Mentor who will work as an expert partner and your Reflective Mentor who challenges your thinking about teaching in ways that can be used to enhance your performance.

The programme has three fully integrated components:

The modules we outline here provide examples of what you can expect to learn on this course based on recent teaching. The precise modules available to you in future years may vary depending on staff availability and research interests, new topics of study, timetabling and student demand.

The Professional Studies component introduces you to key educational ideas and principles within a range of educational contexts. The module is followed throughout the year with both University and school-based elements and is concerned with classroom issues, whole school issues and the role of education in the wider society.

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Central to school-based work is the development of your ability to meet the standards of professional competence which trainees must demonstrate in order to meet national standards for the award of QTS.

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The principal aims of the module are to equip students with a comprehensive understanding of the background issues and practice of the current teaching of Science, with particular reference to the teaching of Biology and Psychology, in the secondary school, in order to meet national standards for the award of QTS.

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2023/24 entry

  • UK: £9,250 full-time
  • International: £21,500 full-time

A variety of attractive financial support packages are available. Find out more.


The University of Exeter has over £2.5 million in scholarships available for students applying to study with us in 2023 - including our Global Excellence Scholarships* for international fee paying students and financial support for students from disadvantaged backgrounds, lower income households and other under-represented groups to help them access, succeed and progress through higher education.

* Terms and conditions apply. See online for details.

Find out more about tuition fees and scholarships

Teaching and research

Timetable overview

Our unique approach to Initial Teacher Education is praised by Ofsted and provides fantastic opportunities for trainees to achieve through our highly original Exeter Model of Initial Teacher Education. The programme runs over three terms and provides a carefully phased development of trainees’ independence as teachers. You will be assessed through University and school-based assignments; there are no formal exams.

Term 1 Term 1 begins with two weeks of school experience in which trainees are supported and guided to gain insights into school practices which they will use in the weeks following. This leads into the University based course which focuses on professional development, specialist subject knowledge, pedagogy and teaching skills. Two weeks of this term will be spent in your first placement school as part of the Beginning Practice phase of your training.
Term 2 Term 2 is spent in your first school placement with three seminar days held at the University. At the end of the term, you visit your second school placement for a short induction period.
Term 3 Term 3 is spent in your second school placement with two seminar days held at the University.


During the campus-based elements of the course you will learn through a range of in-person seminars, online learning activities and lab-based workshops designed to develop your subject knowledge and understanding of how to teach all science subjects to age 16 and your specialist subject at post-16 level.  

Vibrant community

By learning on campus for most of the first term you have access to the tools needed to rapidly build professional knowledge and confidence ready for your work in school placements. You also benefit from the opportunity to build friendships 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 development needs and can personalise elements of training to strengthen the skills you need to excel as a teacher.

Facilities and support

The Science PGCE is primarily taught in two laboratories that also open into a single large teaching space. These labs are well-equipped and designed to be similar to school laboratories, providing an excellent space in which to learn to teach whilst on campus and supported by a dedicated PGCE science technician.

Campus-based modules are taught at the School of Education at the St Luke’s Campus in Exeter, which offers an excellent range of specialist facilities and the UK’s largest Education library. Weekend or Friday workshops are usually available to accommodate the needs of part-time students.

Research-led teaching

All our tutors have real-world experience as teachers. They also lead and innovate: our tutors have written textbooks for trainee teachers and school pupils, advised government, led subject networks and are active educational researchers.

The PGCE team’s current research interests lie in the areas of history and literacy, the impact that trainee teachers’ subject knowledge has on pupils’ learning in the classroom and how to personalise learning effectively.

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The PGCE provides excellent grounding for a long career within education, whether you aspire to become an outstanding classroom practitioner, school leader, or specialist in a specific area of education, the opportunities are broad.  

Career support

Careers support including skills training, internships, jobs vacancies, employment fairs and other events is available through the Career Zone.

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