PGCE (PGCert) Secondary Education (Science with Chemistry) with recommendation for QTS

  • Overview
  • Course Content
  • Special Features
  • Teaching & Assessment
  • Employability
  • Fees
  • Entry Criteria

About the Course

This is a Postgraduate Certificate of Education (PGCE) course, also known as Postgraduate Certificate (PG Cert).

As a qualified science teacher you may be required to teach National Curriculum general science to Key Stage 4, as well as your particular specialism to ‘A’ level and beyond. To this end, the course aims to facilitate your transformation into a well-educated, well-trained, confident and motivated science educator.

Along with English and mathematics, science is one of the three core subjects of the National Curriculum and since all pupils have to study a broad, balanced curriculum in science there is a demand for well-qualified and skilled science teachers. Most pupils entering secondary school are excited at the prospect of work, for the first time in a fully equipped laboratory, and secondary school science teachers have to build upon and sustain this interest for the subject.

To meet this challenge we need capable, skilled and enthusiastic teachers who are able to motivate young people and lead them to discover the wonders of science.


The Brunel Science Postgraduate Certificate (PGCE) is an M level course with 60 credits that can contribute to further Master's level study in Education, subject to approval. The course will equip you with the knowledge, understanding and skills necessary to teach science such that you are able to:

  • Demonstrate an understanding of the vital role of the teacher and the school in ensuring excellence in the educational experiences of young people;
  • Undertake professional practice which enables you to evidence the Teachers’ Standards which facilitate the award of Qualified Teacher Status;
  • Understand the relationships between Education and science within current national and government frameworks, and critically reflect on the impact of these in the work of schools and the educational experiences of young people;
  • Recognise the contribution that science as part of the whole school curriculum makes to the development of the individual learner and groups of learners;
  • Think critically about what it means to be scientifically educated and how this informs curriculum planning and design within the subject area;
  • Apply a thorough knowledge and understanding of the science (Chemistry)  National Curriculum to the planning of curriculum experiences for pupils in school;
  • Demonstrate competence and confidence in your ability to teach across the contexts for pupil learning in the mathematics National Curriculum range and content, applying principles of continuity and progression;
  • Use subject knowledge and relevant course specifications to plan and deliver the 14-16 curriculum including examination and vocational courses;
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the subject knowledge and specification requirements for the 16-19 curriculum;
  • Utilise a range of teaching strategies to meet the identified learning needs of a wide range of pupils;
  • Utilise a range of resources, including information and communication technology, to enhance pupil learning in chemistry;
  • Understand the importance of safe practice and safeguarding and apply these in working with young people both within and beyond lessons;
  • Use a wide range of class management strategies to maximise pupil learning;
  • Understand the principles of inclusion and apply these to ensure equality of opportunity for all pupils in the subject area;
  • Understand national frameworks for assessment within the subject area and use these to support the recording and analysis of data, and the subsequent use of this to plan the next phase of learning;
  • Raise the status of the subject area by demonstrating high standards of professionalism at all times;
  • Understand the crucial role of professional learning for the teacher, the pupils and schools.


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Information on available funding.

All applications for PGCE programmes have to be made online through UCAS Teacher TraininG (UTT)
UCAS Code: F1X1.

Further Information:
Taught Programmes Office
Department of Education
College of Business, Arts and Social Sciences
Brunel University London
Uxbridge UB8 3PH

Tel: +44 (0)1895 267156

If you would like to have an informal discussion about training to teach Science you are welcome to contact Dr Dawn Leslie, Dr Jane Essex

Related Courses

Course Content

The course runs from early September through to late June. As you commence the training, your individual subject knowledge is assessed so that targeted improvements can be made throughout the year in areas that may be lacking. As the course continues, your time is spent alternating between University and school, with increasing time being spent in school as your experience develops. By the end of the course, if school placements and written M level assignments have been completed successfully you are awarded the title PGCE with recommendation for Qualified Teacher Status (QTS).

You will spend two thirds of your time teaching in Partnership schools. These are schools where we have established links and where a number of the science teachers working in them are past Brunel students. As your school experience begins, you will be attached to a mentor whose role involves guidance and management of your professional development. You will learn from observing and working alongside experienced teachers, particularly in the process of teaching your own classes (under supervision). The course has three blocks of school experience in two different schools, providing the opportunity to work in contrasting settings, whilst working towards the Teachers’ Standards (TA, 2012).

How is the University portion of the course organised?

Campus-based work relates theory to school practice, facilitating your maturity into an effective and reflective science teacher. Sessions involve student teachers working together in small groups, developing the thinking and attributes needed to teach effectively in the classroom or laboratory. Although campus sessions cover a wide range of foci, there is a particular emphasis on practical work, literacy and communication, science for all and digital technologies in line with the interests of the research-active science tutors who are experienced schoolteachers and have published widely in national and international journals.

As a Brunel PGCE student teacher you will have access to a range of teaching rooms including a new, well-equipped laboratory, a well resourced library which includes textbook schemes, teaching packs, videos and visual aids – as well as books, journals and e-journals appropriate to work at Masters level – plus extensive computer facilities where you can familiarise yourself with the hardware and software available in schools.

University tutors are available to offer advice and support throughout the course. Campus sessions have a friendly, informal atmosphere as classes gel, and you will find yourself forging lasting professional and personal relationships with other student teachers on the course.

Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) requirement

This course involves regular access to children and/or vulnerable adults. Where this is the case, students will be required to complete a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) application, previously known as a Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) check. The application will cost £51.86 (this amount may be subject to change) and the University will send further instructions as part of the admissions process. For further guidance please email

Read more about the structure of postgraduate degrees at Brunel.

Special Features

As a leading centre of education and with roots in teacher training dating back to 1798, we are able to provide first class teacher training that is internationally recognised.

  • A Brunel PGCE is a recognised symbol of quality teacher training which accounts for our high employment rates.
  • Staff are nationally and internationally recognised for their research, and liaise with government and other agencies on education policy issues.
  • You can take advantage of free access to our excellent University Academic Skills service, ASK.
  • We have an award winning Professional Development Centre.
  • Our library has been nominated for national awards for its outstanding provision.
  • We have an on-site volunteering opportunities through our Brunel Volunteers provision.
  • Our Disability and Dyslexia Service team have an excellent track record of support for students.
  • Our Union of Brunel Students provides you with a range of additional support and a broad range of extra-curricular opportunities and social events.
  • There is excellent University-wide access to PCs and the Internet, as well as free loan of media equipment and music/recording studios, and web space on the University server.
  • You will benefit from an established partnership between Brunel and a variety of educational institutions and local schools.
  • Brunel education degrees offer multicultural placement learning opportunities. For example, our location in West London and our diverse and well-established schools network means you will gain highly-valued placement learning experience in vibrant multicultural schools.

The Department of Education is host to a number of research centres, including the Brunel Able Children’s Centre. The process of learning is informed by cutting-edge research by staff in the strands of: Education, Identities and Social Inclusion and Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics with Pedagogy and Professional Practice.

What Ofsted Say

"the attainment of student teachers in mathematics and physical education is outstanding"

"highly qualified university staff who are expert in their field and model best practice"

"highly reflective student teachers who demonstrate secure subject knowledge and effective management of pupils’ behaviour based on positive relationships within lessons"

"high quality recruitment, selection and induction of student teachers"

"outstanding resources to support both training provision and opportunities for extending the education experience of student teachers and enrichment for pupils in local schools"

"effectiveness of the highly qualified leadership team in responding to national initiatives and driving forward innovation"

"the emphasis on increasing student teachers’ understanding and knowledge of national initiatives, such as managing pupils’ behaviour in lessons and addressing the needs of pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities, is exceptionally good"

"the ability of the provider to both anticipate and respond to change is outstanding"


How much assessed coursework is there?

The PGCE course carries 60 Master’s Level credits and requires you to successfully complete three formally assessed pieces of academic work during the year:

  • A 1500 word written assignment related to general professional issues;
  • A poster presentation proposing a small scale research project based in school;
  • An oral powerpoint presentation of the completed small scale research project.

The Master’s Level credits provide an excellent foundation for future academic and professional study.

You are also required to demonstrate that you have met the Teachers’ Standards in both sustained school experiences. In order to do this you will be expected to keep a School Experience File.

As the PGCE is a professional course, full attendance is required.

Recommendation for Qualified Teacher Status will be made by the Secondary PGCE Examination Board for all those who successfully demonstrate the Teachers’ Standards as shown in the requirements for University and school-based work.


Science teachers are in high demand and prospects for employment and promotion are excellent.

The Brunel PGCE is a recognised symbol of quality, and this is reflected in our high employment rates, and the feedback from past students, our partner schools and government agencies.

The course receives very positive evaluations and feedback from students, the overwhelming majority of whom are successful in achieving the first teaching posts of their choice. We have an extensive network of former students and other colleagues who hold positions of responsibility in UK.


Science teachers are in high demand and prospects for employment and promotion are excellent.

The Brunel PGCE is a recognised symbol of quality, and this is reflected in our high employment rates, and the feedback from past students, our partner schools and government agencies.

The course receives very positive evaluations and feedback from students, the overwhelming majority of whom are successful in achieving the first teaching posts of their choice. We have an extensive network of former students and other colleagues who hold positions of responsibility in UK schools which also helps our graduates when it comes to finding the right job. We are also delighted that many of our former students return to work with us as mentors, as they develop in their professional careers.

At Brunel we provide many opportunities and experiences within your degree programme and beyond – work-based learning, professional support services, volunteering, mentoring, sports, arts, clubs, societies, and much, much more – and we encourage you to make the most of them, so that you can make the most of yourself.

» More about Employability

Fees for 2015/6 entry

UK/EU students: £9,000 full-time

International students: £13,500 full-time

NCTL Bursaries

UK/EU students can opt to pay in six equal monthly instalments: the first instalment is payable on enrolment and the remaining five by Direct Debit or credit/debit card.

Overseas students can opt to pay in two instalments: 60% on enrolment, and 40% in January for students who commence their course in September (or the remaining 40% in March for selected courses that start in January).

Fees quoted are per annum and are subject to an annual increase.

Entry Requirements

The ability to communicate effectively in both spoken and written English. If selected for interview, you will be expected to interact effectively with university tutors and school colleagues and demonstrate the potential to form positive and productive relationships with colleagues and pupils in schools and in professional learning contexts.

An undergraduate or postgraduate degree in the field in which you intend to teach. Normally this should be a 2.2 classification or above in preparation for Masters level professional study;  two A-Levels in sciences and/or mathematics; Maths and English grades A* to C or equivalent at GCSE level.

Recent and relevant experience of state school education in England, either team teaching or observing with experienced teachers. This should normally be pre professional teaching experience where you have had the opportunity to develop relationships with a group(s) of pupils over a sustained period of time. If selected for interview, evidence should be provided on school headed note paper and signed by relevant members of staff at the school(s) in question.

Brunel University will accept applications for PGCE courses within Education prior to completion of the Department for Education Skills Tests.

If you are offered a place on one of our courses and have yet to meet the requirements of passing the Skills Tests, your offer will be conditional based on passing these tests by the end of August and before commencing the course.

Entry criteria are subject to review and change each academic year.

International and EU

If your country or institution is not listed or if you are not sure whether your institution is eligible, please contact Admissions

This information is for guidance only by Brunel University London and by meeting the academic requirements does not guarantee entry for our courses as applications are assessed on case-by-case basis.

English Language Requirements

  • IELTS: 7 (min 6 in all areas)
  • Pearson: 64 (51 in all subscores)
  • BrunELT: 70% (min 60% in all areas)

Brunel University London strongly recommends that if you will require a Tier 4 visa, you sit your IELTS test at a test centre that has been approved by UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) as being a provider of a Secure English Language Test (SELT). Not all test centres have this status. The University can accept IELTS (with the required scores) taken at any official test centre or other English Language qualifications we accept as meeting our main award entry requirements.

However, if you wish to undertake a Pre-sessional English course to further improve your English prior to the start of your degree course, you must sit the test at an approved SELT provider. This is because you will only be able to apply for a Tier 4 student visa to undertake a Pre-sessional English course if you hold a SELT from a UKVI approved test centre. Find out more information about it.

Brunel also offers our own BrunELT English Test and accepts a range of other language courses. We also have Pre-sessional English language courses for students who do not meet these requirements, or who wish to improve their English.

Our International Pathways and Language Centre offers a number of foundation and pre-masters courses to provide you with the academic skills required for your chosen course.

Page last updated: Thursday 12 November 2015