BA (Hons) Education Secondary and Biology; PGCE - Bath Spa University

Education Secondary and Biology

BA/BSc (Hons) + PGCE

Undergraduate degree - combined honours

Key facts

Award
BA/BSc (Hons) Education Secondary and Biology; PGCE
School/s
School of Education, School of Sciences
Campus or location
Newton Park
Course length
Four years full-time (3+1).
UCAS codes
Institution Code: B20
Course Code: 39G3
Campus Code: A,BSU

Entry requirements

We accept a wide range of qualifications for entry to our undergraduate programmes. The main ones are listed under 'Typical offers' in the main column below. For combined courses, please check both subjects. If your qualification is not listed, please email admissions@bathspa.ac.uk with your specific details.

Combine your specialist subject with a secondary education degree which leads to a PGCE Secondary.


Places still available through Clearing

Call our admissions team on +44 (0)1225 876 180 or complete our online form.

Find your place with Bath Spa.


  • Gain the classroom experience that employers are looking for through placements in schools during each year of your studies.
  • Join our long-standing and highly respected School of Education and benefit from strong partnerships with schools.
  • On successful completion of the secondary education degree, you'll qualify for a guaranteed interview for our PGCE Secondary.

For the 2021-22 academic year we have made a number of changes to teaching and learning in order to enable blended learning during the ongoing uncertainty around the Covid-19 pandemic.

The courses below will have specific changes for 2021-22, indicated in the Programme Change Form. We will revert to our published curriculum as far as possible for 2022-23. We will continue to keep the situation under review in light of ongoing Government guidance. The Programme Document beneath the main image shows you the programme specification as normally delivered.


This secondary education degree is designed to enable you to gain real teaching experience before you embark on your PGCE. You'll study Education - in the broader contexts of professional practice, policy, teaching and learning - alongside the subject you're most passionate about.

In teaching, subject expertise and enthusiasm isn't enough to give you the edge. This degree gives you the practical experience of working in schools with young people that employers are looking for. 

The course offers a guaranteed interview for our PGCE Secondary, and is flexible; we'll support you in achieving your aspirations as a professional educator - however they develop during the degree. You'll benefit from our tutors' wealth of research and practice-informed expertise when you join this community of learning and practice.


Open Days

Get a taste of university life – come to one of our Open Days.

Book your place


“I believe that completing the Education degree prior to starting the PGCE has provided an invaluable ‘foundation’ to the PGCE course.”

Samantha-Jayne Moore, graduate

What you'll learn

Overview

You’ll explore education from many theoretical and ideological perspectives in your core modules. This in-depth knowledge of the education industry, combined with your specialist subject knowledge, gives you that all-important edge when you embark on your professional education career.

Course structure

Year one
The first year introduces key concepts and skills that underpin the subject of Education Studies. In addition, the placement module provides you with a sound introduction to secondary schools via a school placement.

Year two
You’ll consider more deeply the current issues in education, such as pedagogy, pupil voice, special needs, assessment and classroom organisation. You’ll undertake a second school placement, this time with a focus on developing your professionalism.

Year three
This year, the Teaching and Professionalism module prepares you for the PGCE. For your dissertation, you'll explore an issue of your choice and use your creativity and the skills you've gained so far to develop a classroom resource to address it. You'll also have opportunities to engage with PGCE staff and students; this eases your transition to initial teacher training.

How will I be assessed?

Coursework includes essays, group presentations, research-based reports and portfolio-based work. We’ll provide you with prompt feedback and give you regular guidance on how to improve your skills, knowledge and understanding.

How will I be taught?

All modules are led by experienced and respected university staff. Many staff are active researchers and authors in the field of education studies; from the outset, they’ll introduce you to their particular specialisms and research interests. You’ll also benefit from regular visiting speakers – these include headteachers, PGCE staff, practitioners, educational advisers, specialist researchers and international visitors.

Course modules

This course offers or includes the following modules. The modules you take will depend on your pathway or course combination (if applicable) as well as any optional or open modules chosen. Please check the programme document (below the main image on this page) for more information.

Year one (Level 4) modules

  • Education for Change
  • Introduction to Secondary Schools
  • Changing Schooling

Year two (Level 5) modules

  • Issues in Education
  • Professional Practice in Secondary Schools
  • Understanding Classrooms
  • Professional Placement Year

Year three (Level 6) modules

  • Teaching and Professionalism in the Secondary School
  • Education Secondary Research Project part 1

An optional module which may include:

  • Education Secondary Dissertation Project Part 2
  • Social and Educational Inclusion

Please note, not all optional modules are guaranteed to run each year.

Opportunities

Schools and placements

We have an excellent partnership with schools where you can develop your understanding of Secondary level teaching.

You’ll attend a placement in each year of the degree for approximately eight to ten days. They usually occur one day a week during a term to allow you to continue with other university studies. We’ll arrange each placement for you. We try to ensure you're located within a reasonable distance from where you live; however, you should normally expect to travel using your own or public transport.

You must be in possession of a Bath Spa DBS disclosure. Details are sent once you have accepted your place with us.

Study abroad

You’ll have the opportunity to study in a wide range of locations around the world. Our students have completed exchange programmes in a variety of countries including Spain, Sweden and the USA.

Careers

This course is designed to inform a range of education careers - from classroom teaching to advisory roles that inform policy and practice, both nationally and internationally.

Successful completion of the secondary education degree leads to a guaranteed interview for our Oftsted 'Outstanding' rated PGCE Secondary course.

Our students often enter the teaching profession in local schools and a range of other settings and benefit from continued participation in the community of research and practice here at Bath Spa.

Professional placement year

Overview

This optional placement year provides you with the opportunity to identify, apply for and secure professional experience, normally comprising one to three placements over a minimum of nine months. Successful completion of this module will demonstrate your ability to secure and sustain graduate-level employment.

By completing the module, you'll be entitled to the addition of 'with Professional Placement Year' to your degree title.

Preparation

Before your Professional Placement Year, you'll work to secure your placement, constructing a development plan with your module leader and your placement coordinator from our Careers and Employability team.

How will I be assessed?

On your return to University for your final year, you'll submit your Placement Portfolio, detailing your development on your placement.

Facilities and resources

Where the subject is taught

Your Secondary Education modules are based at Newton Park campus. You'll also undertake placements in schools in each year of your studies.

You'll benefit from access to a wide range of excellent facilities, including:

You'll have access to the PGCE team, particularly in your final year as you transition to initial teacher training, and you'll also benefit from talks by guest speakers and incoming experts. Access to our research centres will give you the opportunity to stay up-to-date with the latest in teaching research and excellence.

Fees

Please note: Students from the EU, EEA and Switzerland are not generally eligible for the UK (Home) fee status. Please refer to the international student rate. Irish citizens and those granted Settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme are eligible for UK (Home) fee status. There are also other circumstances where this may apply: See UKCISA for more information.

UK students full time

2021/22 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 £9,250
Year 2 Published Jan 2022
Year 3 Published Jan 2023

2022/23 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 Published Jan 2022
Year 2 Published Jan 2023
Year 3 Published Jan 2024

2023/24 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 Published Jan 2023
Year 2 Published Jan 2024
Year 3 Published Jan 2025

International students full time

2021/22 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 £14,720
Year 2 Published Jan 2022
Year 3 Published Jan 2023

2022/23 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 Published Jan 2022
Year 2 Published Jan 2023
Year 3 Published Jan 2024

2023/24 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 Published Jan 2023
Year 2 Published Jan 2024
Year 3 Published Jan 2025

Interested in applying?

What we look for in potential students

We’re looking for individuals who are curious, reflective and interested in their subject areas. You’ll be motivated, committed and keen to push the boundaries of your knowledge and get the best possible preparation for your future career.

Typical offers

We accept a wide range of qualifications for entry to our undergraduate programmes. The main ones are listed below. All applicants will also be required to hold GCSEs at Grade C/4 or above in English, Maths and Science.

  • A Level - grades BCC-CCC in any subjects.
  • BTEC - Extended Diploma grades from Distinction, Merit, Merit (DMM) to Merit, Merit, Merit (MMM) in any subject.
  • T Levels – grade Merit-Pass (C+) preferred.
  • International Baccalaureate - a minimum of 27 points are required.
  • Access to HE courses - typical offers for applicants with Access to HE will be the Access to HE Diploma or Access to HE Certificate (60 credits, 45 of which must be Level 3, including 30 at merit or higher).

English Language Requirements for International and EU Applicants

IELTS 6.0 - for visa nationals, with a minimum score of IELTS 5.5 in each element.

Entry requirements for PGCE courses

The entry requirements for subsequent interview to the PGCE programme may alter (for example if the DfE changes entry requirements for PGCE courses). You’ll be advised of any changes during the degree.

Course enquiries

For further information about the programme or entry requirements, please email us at admissions@bathspa.ac.uk.

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 pages.

Course leader: Eleanor West
Email: e.west@bathspa.ac.uk 

Three year course

A contemporary, skills-based Biology degree that produces highly employable biology professionals.

  • Flexible structure of course allowing breadth or specialism.
  • Practical course using contemporary learning methods.
  • High employability of graduates.

Biology at Bath Spa is deeply practical, with a real-world focus.

You'll explore themes such as ecology, environmental management, microbiology, human pathophysiology, biodiversity and food analysis. You’ll be able to take advantage of our unique campus with its rich variety of woodland, grassland and freshwater habitats, which are used extensively in practical work.

This is also an academically rigorous course, designed to keep you up-to-date with the latest advances in the field.


Open Days

Get a taste of university life – come to one of our Open Days.

Book your place


“The Bath Spa Biology team gives you the confidence to go on and achieve any aim you set for yourself, and the freedom to explore science in the most incredible environment.”

Liza Stanley, Biology graduate

What you'll learn

Overview

The course covers a broad range of fundamental biology topics, from cell biology and genetics to plant, animal and human biology. In additional to these core topics, you have a wide range of modules to choose from, allowing you to develop a particular theme which interests you.

You’ll develop a broad range of skills, some specific to Biology, while others are useful in varied professional environments. The course is real-world focused; you’ll graduate as a professional Biologist, prepared to solve a range of problems and keep up-to-date with scientific advances.

Course structure

Year one
We focus on fundamental topics such as cell biology, genetics, anatomy and physiology, evolution, classification, food production and ecosystems. Associated practical classes give you hands-on experience of these concepts, and optional modules allow you to explore themes – such as biodiversity, microbiology, human biology, food production, nutrition, biochemistry and science communication – in more detail.

Year two
We'll cover a range of concepts including biological systems and the importance of biology in real life. You'll explore themes such as ecology, environmental management, microbiology, human pathophysiology, biodiversity and food analysis, allowing you to develop your interests at a higher level. You can also select optional topics in business, education, science journalism and psychology. 

An optional Professional Placement Year between your second and final years gives you the opportunity to put your knowledge and skills into practice and gain relevant and vlauable experience in the workplace. 

Year three
Single honours and major students will undertake a dissertation in the final year. This substantial research project enables you to experience being responsible for planning, implementing and reporting on a biology topic. 

In addition, you may study topics in medical biology, environmental practice, exercise science, animal behaviour, food safety, epidemiology, marine biology, plant biology and wildlife documentary. Themes in business, education, psychology and science publishing are also available.

How will I be assessed?

Assessments are varied and designed to be appropriate to the particular skills required for each module. Some modules have coursework and examinations, but many are coursework only. The practical nature of our assessments contributes to our high levels of graduate employment.

Types of assessment include scientific papers, posters, oral presentations, interviews, essays, reports, reviews, leaflets and video presentations. There are also plenty of opportunities to choose the biological theme on which you're assessed, allowing you to have deeper understanding of aspects of biology that are of interest to you.

How will I be taught?

You’ll be taught using a combination of teaching and learning methods. Interactive lectures provide you with fundamental knowledge, which is enhanced by the practical skills you learn in supporting sessions. Around half of your contact time will be in lectures and half in practical or workshop sessions.

Course modules

This course offers or includes the following modules. The modules you take will depend on your pathway or course combination (if applicable) as well as any optional or open modules chosen. Please check the programme document (below the main image on this page) for more information.

Year one (Level 4) modules

  • Biological Techniques
  • Conservation Biology
  • Human Biology
  • The Microbial World
  • Introduction to Biochemistry
  • Communicating Science

Year two (Level 5) modules

  • Biological Systems
  • Biology in Society
  • Research Skills for Biology
  • Ecology and Biodiversity
  • Applied Microbiology
  • Human Pathophysiology and Nutrition
  • Food Analysis
  • Human Nutrition
  • Biology Work Placement
  • Environmental Management
  • Biotechnology
  • Biological and Cognitive Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology
  • The Marketing Business
  • Environment and Education
  • Science Journalism and Publishing
  • Professional Placement Year

Year three (Level 6) modules

  • Dissertation Planning
  • Dissertation Publication
  • Animal Behaviour
  • Plants and People
  • Environmental Practice
  • Medical Biology
  • Nutrition and Exercise Science
  • Food Safety
  • Epidemiology and Public Health
  • Wildlife Photography
  • Investigations in Microbiology
  • Evolutionary Neuroscience and the Origin of the Human Mind
  • Applied Behavioural Psychology
  • Learning in Science
  • Publishing Industry Project

Opportunities

Study abroad

You’ll have the opportunity to study in a wide range of locations around the world. Our students have completed exchange programmes in a variety of countries including Spain, Sweden and the USA.

Fieldwork

From Kew Gardens to Haverfordwest, you’ll have opportunities to participate in fieldwork opportunities across the Biology modules. Please note that you’ll have to pay a contribution towards the cost of some of these study visits.

Work placements, industry links and internships

Our students have worked with clients such as the NHS, Bristol Zoo, Operation Wallacea, English Nature and local authorities.

Careers

Biology graduates have a range of professions including teaching, medical lab assistant, wildlife trust warden and science technician. Graduates have been employed by companies including NHS, New Zealand Department of Conservation and RSPB.

Competitions and awards

We’ll encourage you to participate in local and national science festivals.

Each year we award five prizes to our students. These are:

  • Bath Spa University Biology Prize for best performance (one per year of study)
  • OUP Prize
  • CIWEM Prize.

Facilities and resources

Where the subject is taught

You'll have access to our:

  • Laboratories
    Located in the Gardens area of the Newton Park campus, we have a number of well­-equipped and recently refurbished laboratories dedicated to a variety of practical work. Some are used for specialist microbiological culturing and analysis, others for biochemistry and physiology.
  • Low Hazard Laboratory Space
    We have a ‘low ­hazard’ laboratory space where you can carry out activities such as the preparation and assessment of food, exercise or psychological studies.
  • Biology Resources Room
  • Commons building
  • Newton Park library
  • Virtual Learning Environment

Resources

Biology students can hire out equipment using SISO, Bath Spa University’s free equipment loan service. We provide a huge variety of equipment, from binoculars to telescopes and video cameras.

Fees

Please note: Students from the EU, EEA and Switzerland are not generally eligible for the UK (Home) fee status. Please refer to the international student rate. Irish citizens and those granted Settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme are eligible for UK (Home) fee status. There are also other circumstances where this may apply: See UKCISA for more information.

UK students full time

2021/22 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 £9,250
Year 2 Published Jan 2022
Year 3 Published Jan 2023

2022/23 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 Published Jan 2022
Year 2 Published Jan 2023
Year 3 Published Jan 2024

2023/24 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 Published Jan 2023
Year 2 Published Jan 2024
Year 3 Published Jan 2025

International students full time

2021/22 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 £14,720
Year 2 Published Jan 2022
Year 3 Published Jan 2023

2022/23 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 Published Jan 2022
Year 2 Published Jan 2023
Year 3 Published Jan 2024

2023/24 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 Published Jan 2023
Year 2 Published Jan 2024
Year 3 Published Jan 2025

Interested in applying?

What we look for in potential students

We’re looking for individuals who are curious, reflective and interested in their subject areas. You’ll be motivated, committed and keen to push the boundaries of your knowledge and get the best possible preparation for your future career.

Typical offers

We accept a wide range of qualifications for entry to our undergraduate programmes. The main ones are listed below. All applicants will also be required to hold GCSEs at Grade C/4 or above in English, Maths and Science.

  • A Level - grades BCC-CCC in any subjects.
  • BTEC - Extended Diploma grades from Distinction, Merit, Merit (DMM) to Merit, Merit, Merit (MMM) in any subject.
  • T Levels – grade Merit-Pass (C+) preferred.
  • International Baccalaureate - a minimum of 27 points are required.
  • Access to HE courses - typical offers for applicants with Access to HE will be the Access to HE Diploma or Access to HE Certificate (60 credits, 45 of which must be Level 3, including 30 at merit or higher).

English Language Requirements for International and EU Applicants

IELTS 6.0 - for visa nationals, with a minimum score of IELTS 5.5 in each element.

Entry requirements for PGCE courses

The entry requirements for subsequent interview to the PGCE programme may alter (for example if the DfE changes entry requirements for PGCE courses). You’ll be advised of any changes during the degree.

Course enquiries

For further information about the programme or entry requirements, please email us at admissions@bathspa.ac.uk.

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 pages.

Course leader: Samantha Lane
Email: s.lane@bathspa.ac.uk

Three year course

Website feedback to web@bathspa.ac.uk