Secondary Biology PGCE

This course is in clearing


Course options

Select year


  • PGCE Secondary Biology, home applicant, full time

    • Home Applicant
    • Full time, 1 year
    • Pound 9250 per year
  • PGCE Secondary Biology, international applicant, full time

    • International Applicant
    • Full time, 1 year
    • Pound 14820 per year

What makes this course different

Rated Outstanding by Ofsted

Our primary and further education provision has been rated outstanding by Ofsted highlighting that we provide exceptional teacher education and training.

100 partnership schools

We work with 100 schools across East London and into Essex in which our students undertake full placements. When they gain employment, most of our students secure jobs within our partnership schools.

90% of trainees in a teaching post within six months

90% of our Secondary PGCE teacher trainees are in a teaching post within six months of completing the course. Ahead of the sector average.

Course modules

NOTE: Modules are subject to change. For those studying part time courses the modules may vary.

Download course specification

Your future career

Your future career

The Secondary PGCE course at the University of East London was designed in 2001 in conjunction with the local authorities to address the secondary education teacher shortage in East London.

The partnership works with input and support from the London Boroughs of Barking & Dagenham, Newham, Tower Hamlets, Hackney, Waltham Forest and Redbridge.

It means that our graduates are represented in virtually every secondary school in east London. Some are now deputy heads or in senior management roles in schools that are taking our current trainees for their placements.

Across all subjects, from maths to modern languages, our teacher-training graduates act as mentors to those following in their footsteps.

The partnership means that you have a head start when it comes to securing a teaching post in east London at the end of your training.

Both local authorities and individual schools visit our campus regularly to meet our trainees and advertise available vacancies.

You may also decide to undertake further study at the University of East London, either at the end of your course or after gaining teaching experience, perhaps specialising in Special Educational Needs or taking our MA Leadership in Education.

We also offer doctoral study opportunities to further develop your teaching knowledge and expertise.

We also offer the opportunity to undertake doctoral study to further develop your teaching knowledge and expertise.

Explore the different career options you can pursue with this degree and see the median salaries of the sector on our Career Coach portal.

The PGCE course allowed me to develop the skills required to perform practically in a further education workplace and to understand the theory behind it. Having the placement alongside my learning gave me the ability to contextualise my lessons daily, which benefited my practice. The focus on teacher practice was invaluable to my development, as was the feedback given by the tutors and my mentor. The inclusion of the portfolio gave me a clear understanding of how to progress my career and professionalism by gaining QTLS. I now have a management position within the access department at my workplace."
Joe Withey

Post-compulsory Education and Training (PCET), PGCE

How we support your career ambitions

We offer dedicated careers support, and further opportunities to thrive, such as volunteering and industry networking. Our courses are created in collaboration with employers and industry to ensure they accurately reflect the real-life practices of your future career and provide you with the essential skills needed. You can focus on building interpersonal skills through group work and benefit from our investment in the latest cutting-edge technologies and facilities.

Career Zone

Our dedicated and award-winning team provide you with careers and employability resources, including:

  • Online jobs board for internships, placements, graduate opportunities, flexible part-time work.
  • Mentoring programmes for insight with industry experts 
  • 1-2-1 career coaching services 
  • Careers workshops and employer events 
  • Learning pathways to gain new skills and industry insight

Mental Wealth programme

Our Professional Fitness and Mental Wealth programme which issues you with a Careers Passport to track the skills you’ve mastered. Some of these are externally validated by corporations like Amazon and Microsoft.

Our Mental Wealth programme

We are careers first

Our teaching methods and geographical location put us right up top

  • Enterprise and entrepreneurship support 
  • We are ranked 6th for graduate start-ups 
  • Networking and visits to leading organisations 
  • Support in starting a new business, freelancing and self-employment 
  • London on our doorstep

What you'll learn

We will support you to become an excellent biology teacher who will inspire young people studying biology by devising and delivering a diverse range of engaging lessons that educate and excite all pupils.  

The subject knowledge studies element of your training programme enables you to develop the skills, knowledge and understanding of science, and particularly biology, in the secondary school phase context.  

We will support you to audit your subject knowledge in biology and general science and to use this as a basis to plan for improving your knowledge in your specialist subject. 

Teaching biology is challenging, exciting and motivating. To equip you to succeed, you will learn the full range of generic teaching skills and knowledge required to flourish as a teacher. Our science subjects curriculum is theme-based and includes in-depth study of: behaviour management, cognitive science, lesson planning, literacy in science, practical work, SEND, science curriculum, theories of learning and assessment.

How you'll learn

We are very well equipped for initial teacher training with three specialist laboratories, including multimedia training equipment and materials. To develop your confidence in teaching outside the classroom, you will participate in outdoor education centre-based training. 

The university-based training initially consists of weekly generic lectures and subject-specific workshops, which effectively prepare trainee teachers to successfully move into a school environment when they begin their school placements and gradually start practising and developing their teaching skills with pupils in the classroom; this enables you to link theory and practice. You will also have allocated time for independent study and research into the theoretical aspects of teaching and learning and all your UEL sessions will be evidence-informed and based on seminal and up-to-date research.

It is expected that you will undertake two school placements in contrasting schools totalling approximately 24 weeks. We work in partnership with over 100 schools and colleges to provide a high-quality programme of support.

Your subject tutor will support you in all aspects of your PGCE course both at UEL and when on placement. In school you will be assigned a personal mentor and whilst in the classroom teaching you will be supported by the class teacher as well as a range of teachers in a science department. You will continuously be trained and coached in how to plan and teach effective lessons and manage classrooms. By the end of your PGCE, you will be well prepared to begin teaching as an Early Career Teacher (ECT).

Our tutors and subject mentors will advise and support you throughout each placement as you learn to teach.

How you will be assessed

To pass your PGCE and be recommended for Qualified Teacher Status, you have to demonstrate that you have met the Teachers' Standards and passed the below-mentioned core modules:

  1. Active Enquiry and Intervention: Impacting upon Learner Progress

  2. Developing Subject Expertise and Subject Specialism
  3. School-Based Learning: Reflections on Practice (Mental Wealth)

While the course is modular, the emphasis is on the whole process of your development as a teacher. So, rather than a fragmentary approach, there is an ongoing assessment, charting the often subtle transformations in your knowledge and understanding, and your practical skills.

Campus and facilities

Water Lane, Stratford

Who teaches this course

This course is delivered by School of Education and Communities

The teaching team includes qualified academics, practitioners and industry experts as guest speakers. Full details of the academics will be provided in the student handbook and module guides.