PGCert Secondary Education (Science with Chemistry) with recommendation for QTS
- Special Features
- Course Content
- Teaching & Assessment
- Entry Criteria
About the CourseDownload course brochure (PDF)
As a qualified science teacher you may be required to deliver 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 growing demand for well-qualified 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 (PGCert) 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 effectively.
The PGCert course has good coherence…trainees recognise this and respond positively to it. OfSTED report (2005).
Taught Programmes Office
School of Sport and Education
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 Tel +44 (0)1895 267367 (email@example.com) or Dr Rob Toplis Tel +44 (0)1895 267156 (firstname.lastname@example.org).
What unique features does the course offer?
As a PGCert trainee you will have the advantage of experiencing features that are unique to Brunel.
A recent innovation is the development of the Brunel Teaching Simulator (BTS), where all trainees are given the chance to teach in a realistic though ‘safe’ environment. Particular classroom events are fed-in to give the trainee a valuable and authentic experience in a secure, non-school setting. Participants find the simulator a challenging way to hone their teaching skills with no risk of repercussions. Each session in the BTS is videotaped, and copies are made available to trainees for personal analysis and reflection.
School placement experiences are enhanced by the use of Radio-Assisted Practice (RAP). This involves one-way communication via a radio link between the observer of a lesson and the trainee, where relevant support and advice are offered during teaching. This increases the value of such feedback, which would otherwise be given after the event and so is too late to act upon. Trainees have found RAP to be a highly effective medium, especially when used with more challenging classes.
What the Ofsted inspectors say:
- “Subject tutors’ research and professional interests, both nationally and internationally have a positive impact on the course.”
- "Placement schools are selected carefully to ensure that students observe and work with good teachers.”
- "The University tutors consciously model good teaching practice through sessions which are lively, varied in organisation, briskly-paced, challenging, meticulously planned and supported by good documentation.”
- "The training in schools is of high quality, mentors are clear about their role and responsibilities and consequently provide good guidance.”
During the course, opportunities may be offered to enhance your learning experience, which may incur a cost.
The course runs from early September through to late June. As you commence the training, your individual subject knowledge is assessed so 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 PGCert with Qualified Teacher Status (QTS).
You will spend two thirds of your time teaching in schools. 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).
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 trainees 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 and ICT in line with the interests of the research-active science tutors, Mick and Rob, who are experienced schoolteachers and have published widely in national and international journals.
As a Brunel PGCert trainee you will have access to a range of teaching rooms including a brand new, well-equipped laboratory, a well resourced library which includes textbook schemes, teaching packs, videos and visual aids, plus extensive computer facilities where you can familiarise yourself with the hardware and software available in schools.
University tutors are available to offer personal 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 trainees on the course.
The University science subject sessions observed were either all good or very good.
Ofsted Report (2005).
Modules (all core)
General Professional Education
Main topics of study: professionalism; reflection; the reflective practitioner; education; pedagogy; action research and evidence based practice; schools and their learning communities; the curriculum and the hidden curriculum; teaching and learning; continuing professional development
Planning, Teaching and Assessment
Main topics of study: philosophical rationales underpinning different assessment strategies; the deployment of a range of strategies for assessment relevant and applicable within trainees’ subject areas; how assessment data can be recorded, analysed and reported; how assessment outcomes can be used for planning future learning and teaching.
Subject Knowledge and Understanding: Inclusive Practice
Main topics of study: pedagogical, sociological and psychological theories related to the construction and learning of their subject; official policies and sources of guidance materials for the teaching of their subject; teaching strategies relevant to their subject.
QTS Skills Test
In order to gain the award of Qualified Teacher Status, all trainees are required to pass the skills tests in ICT, Numeracy and Literacy.
School Experience (two modules)
Trainees normally spend eight weeks in school for the first School Experience module and the final synoptic module is compulsory for all trainees (usually of eight weeks).
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 email@example.com.
How much assessed coursework is there?
Coursework is designed to enable trainees to reflect upon and synthesise the underpinning knowledge about science teaching gained during the PGCert year. To help achieve this, there are three substantial written assignments.
In addition, in order to gain the PGCert qualification and qualify as a teacher, trainees must meet professional standards, including basic skills tests in numeracy, literacy and ICT, as set out by the Department for Education and Skills.
At the end of the course, successful candidates receive a Career Entry and Development Profile, which provides the basis of the trainee's induction year as a newly qualified teacher.
Science teachers are in short supply and prospects for employment and promotion are excellent.
The Brunel PGCert 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.
We have an extensive network of former students and contacts who hold positions of responsibility in UK schools and this also helps our graduates when it comes to finding the right job.
UK/EU: £9,000 full-time, £4,500 part-time
International students: £12,000 full-time; £6,000 part-time
Fees quoted are per annum and are subject to an annual increase.
Pre-professional Course Attributes
- 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 awareness of the Professional Standards for the Award of Qualified Teacher Status (QTS). These are outlined on the Training and Development Agency (TDA) website in the document 'Qualifying to Teach' (TDA, 2007). They are the national expectations that all trainee teachers have to meet in order to qualify with QTS. Familiarity with them would be useful for you.
- An enthusiastic and energetic approach which communicates clearly your commitment to teaching and working with young people.
Pre-professional Course Knowledge
- 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.
- Maths and English grades A* to C or equivalent at GCSE level.
- Modules within your pre professional degree course should provide a foundation of preparatory knowledge for the subject you are applying to teach.
- An informed personal philosophy on the aims of your subject area, drawing on relevant reading and research.
- An understanding of statutory requirements for your subject area within the state school sector as outlined on the following websites: www.newsecondarycurriculum.com and www.qca.org.uk/curriculum.
- An awareness of recent government policy or initiatives in education and your subject area.
Pre-professional Course Skills
- 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.
Skills Tests - via the main GTTR application cycle, Brunel University will accept applications for PGCert courses within Education prior to completion of the Teaching Agency Skills Tests. If you are offered a place on one of the courses and have yet to meet the requirements of passing the Skills Tests then your offer will be conditional on passing these tests by the 30 June 2013. See more information on the Skills tests.
Clearing applications will be dealt with on a case by case basis, however if you are in clearing from the 1 July 2013 the expectation is that you have already passed the required tests at the point of application to Brunel University.
- Ideally pre professional preparatory school experience should be across two phases of education ie Key Stage 3 and Key Stage 4.
- Evidence that you have planned, delivered and reflected on teaching or coaching episodes to pupils or young people in either educational contexts or within a learning community.
The Application Process
Following receipt of you application form from the Graduate Teacher Training Registry (GTTR), there are three stages:
- Initial screening by the Admissions Office for status, degree classification and GCSE requirements. In the case of some overseas qualifications, Brunel International may be consulted about the equivalence of these with British qualifications;
- Applications will then be passed to Admissions Tutors for the PGCert course you are applying to. The form will be scrutinised according to the criteria set out above. In addition, your application may highlight any questions or areas that Tutors may ask or explore if you are invited for an interview;
- If you are invited for an interview, the criteria set out above will again be used to assess your application. The interview will involve: documents checks by Admissions Office staff; an introduction to the Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCert) course with the Brunel Secondary Partnership; Individual oral presentations or a group discussion; a written exercise and/or subject knowledge audit as appropriate to the subject; an individual interview with two University and school-based staff.
Following the interview we will consider all components of the process and will inform you of our decision as soon as possible.
It is important to realise that the above criteria are the ones we will use in assessing your application. Judgements, using these criteria, are based on our considerable experience as secondary school teachers and University-based teacher trainers, judgements from school-based colleagues who are part of the Secondary Brunel Partnership and are validated by regular quality enhancement procedures from Brunel University, the Brunel Secondary Initial Teacher Training Partnership Management Group, the South West London Teacher Education Consortium (SWELTEC) and by the cycle of rigorous Ofsted inspections carried out on a national basis.
English Language Requirements
- IELTS: 7 (min 6 in all areas)
- TOEFL Paper test: 600 (TWE 4.5)
- TOEFL Internet test: 100 (R20, L20, S20, W20)
- Pearson: 66 (51 in all subscores)
- BrunELT 70% (min 60% in all areas)
Brunel also offers our own BrunELT English Test and accept a range of other language courses. We also have a range of Pre-sessional English language courses, for students who do not meet these requirements, or who wish to improve their English.