PGCE Secondary Science (Physics, Chemistry or Biology)


Initial Teacher Education

Key facts

PGCE Secondary Science (Physics, Chemistry or Biology)
Institute for Education
Campus or location
Newton Park, Culverhay and partner schools
Course length
One year full-time
UCAS codes
Institution Code: B20
Course Code: Physics (F3X2), Chemistry (F2X1), Biology (CX11)
Campus Code: A,BSU

Entry requirements

You’ll need to be well suited to the teaching profession both personally and academically.

See 'What we look for in potential students' for more information.

Become a secondary science teacher through our Ofsted Outstanding rated programme.

  • Become confident in teaching this in-demand subject in line with National Curriculum requirements.
  • Chemistry and Physics trainees with a 2:1 degree can apply for a scholarship of £28,000.
  • Biology, Chemistry and Physics trainees with a first, 2:1, 2:2, PhD or Master's are eligible for a £26,000 bursary.

Excellent teachers make a difference to the lives and futures of the people they teach. Developed in partnership with schools, this Ofsted Outstanding rated programme will support you to become an innovative and inspiring Science teacher.

Our full-time programmes last for approximately 40 weeks; you’ll spend about two thirds of this time in a school or educational setting. Throughout the programme there is a dynamic relationship between your training in the University and your training in schools. 

Find out more about the £26,000 bursary (Biology, Chemistry and Physics) and the scholarships of £28,000 from either the Royal Society of Chemistry or The Institute of Physics.


“I really enjoyed the school placements, of which there were two. The length of the placements allowed me to become a true member of the department/school I was working in.”

Lyndsey McRae, PGCE Secondary Science (Biology) graduate

What you'll learn


This one-year PGCE with QTS will enable you to teach biology, chemistry or physics to the 11-16 age range in a secondary school with post-16 enhancement.

The programme also offers 60 level-7 credits with the chance to continue to a full master’s degree during your first year of teaching.

There are three routes through the course:

  • Physics (UCAS CODE: F3X2)
  • Chemistry (UCAS CODE: F2X1)
  • Biology (UCAS CODE: CX11)

University training

The University based programme concentrates on subject knowledge and the teaching of classroom skills and management. You’ll undertake an initial audit of subject knowledge and this is used by staff in planning the sessions so that your needs are met.

You’ll complete compulsory modules in your subject (biology, chemistry or physics) as well as covering modules that will equip you to teach all three science subjects across Key Stage 3 and 4. Sessions are highly practical, so you’ll gain the subject knowledge as well as teaching skills.

School training

School based work forms the major part of the programme – you’ll have the opportunity to work in two schools for a sustained period of time. You’ll teach your chosen subject (biology, chemistry or physics) as your major subject.

During the university-based programme you’ll also go into a variety of other schools and educational environments to work alongside students on a variety of tasks. While in the sustained school placements you’re under the guidance of a trained mentor who is supported by University staff.

How will I be assessed?

A personalised process of continuous assessment ensures that learning is appropriate and effective. Assessment takes account of both the programme experience and the school or setting and includes researching developing practice through assignment tasks. Support is provided to develop a rigorous evidence-based account of your educational journey.

Assessment in all of the PGCE programmes is designed to be progressive and to assist you in the provision of evidence to support your achievement against the Standards for QTS.

PGCE programmes are assessed in University, school or other settings. The evidence base includes:

  • Formally assessed assignments;
  • Professional dialogue in progress reviews;
  • The Professional Learning and Practice portfolio;
  • School phase reports and observations;
  • Professional development activities;
  • Subject knowledge tests and tasks (where appropriate).

Five Progress Review Points are held each year. These assessment points review your attainment, professional learning and SMART target setting.

How will I be taught?

University sessions are devoted to showing you how biology, chemistry and physics topics may be taught within science lessons. We’ll encourage you to consolidate your background knowledge in all three sciences.

Workshops allow you to explore a range of teaching resources, and to undertake experimental work, including information technology methods such as data logging and spreadsheets. The use of the outdoor environment as a teaching resource is also explored.

During the course you’ll explore how effective classroom management strategies can help science lessons effectively. We also consider how to engage all the pupils in the learning. There is a strong emphasis on 'How Science Works' which can give relevance to the science being taught.

The most important way of practising these approaches is the experience of working alongside experienced teachers in a local science department. This enables you to build up your confidence and professional skills in a supportive atmosphere, preparing you for the two school phases.



All PGCE courses culminate in Qualified Teacher Status (QTS). This enables qualified Bath Spa Teachers to apply for a wider range of teaching posts and other education based employment.

This PGCE programme produces high calibre teachers with the relevant skills, knowledge, understanding and experiences necessary to enter a career in teaching.

Facilities and resources

Where the subject is taught

As a Bath Spa Teacher you'll learn in a variety of locations. Sometimes you'll be on one of our campuses, other times you'll study at one of our Partner Schools.

University teaching takes place in rooms equipped with relevant texts, equipment, training materials and electronic resources.


You'll have access to a range of facilities including Newton Park Library and Commons.

Open access computer facilities are available. The University’s Virtual Learning Environment (Minerva) provides remote access to a wide range of resources.


UK and EU students full time

Course fees
2018/19 entry £9,250
2019/20 entry Published Jan 2019
2020/21 entry Published Jan 2020

International students full time

Course fees
2018/19 entry £12,900
2019/20 entry Published Jan 2019
2020/21 entry Published Jan 2020

Interested in applying?

What we look for in potential students

You’ll need to be suited to the teaching profession both personally and academically. We look for committed individuals with a professional approach and an exceptional work ethic. You’ll need to be organised, flexible and unflappable, as well as being able to communicate, interact and relate well to everyone. When entering the teaching profession, having strong emotional resilience and a sense of humour will give you the edge.

Academic requirements

In order to apply you'll need to have completed, or be in the final year of a UK degree (or an equivalent qualification). You’re required to have a minimum 2.2 honours degree with at least 50% suitable science content for the route you’re applying to do, which you should state clearly on your application. You’ll be enthusiastic about science and working with children, with recent experience of observing and/or working in schools.

You'll also need GCSE passes at grade C or above (or recognised equivalents) including English. mathematics and a science subject. In addition, for some Secondary programmes you are also required to have an A-level in the subject.

If you're unsure if you have the necessary subject knowledge then you may be recommended to take a Subject Knowledge Enhancement course.

Non-academic requirements

All applicants are subject to a number of checks designed to maintain the integrity of the teaching profession. You'll be required to attend an interview, complete Professional Skills Tests and undergo DBS checks. You may also need to enrol on a Subject Knowledge Enhancement course.

How do I apply?

Ready to apply? Click the 'apply now' button in the centre of this page.

Need more guidance? Head to our how to apply webpages.

Admissions service: +44 (0)1225 876 180
Email: admissions@bathspa.ac.uk
Secondary PGCE Admissions Officer: teaching@bathspa.ac.uk

Website feedback to web@bathspa.ac.uk