About this course
Develop the skills and subject knowledge to be a fully qualified science teacher, with a specialism in physics, chemistry or biology, on this PGCE Secondary course. You’ll spend time on school placements and at the University of Southampton as you learn how to teach school pupils aged 11 to 16. With this qualification you’ll be able to teach in state-maintained and special schools in England and Wales.
On this Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) course you’ll build on your existing subject knowledge to become a skilled and confident secondary school science teacher within the UK’s National Curriculum for science framework.
You’ll specialise in physics, chemistry or biology, but will graduate with the knowledge and skills to teach all 3. You’ll also be qualified to teach your specialist subject to post-16 students.
You’ll learn both the theory and practice of teaching on this course, gaining real-world experience through 2 school placements.
We'll also teach you essential skills and strategies to:
- manage the classroom
- monitor and assess pupils
- teach inclusively
You'll spend about two-thirds of your time (at least 120 days) in placement schools in the Southampton area. Here you’ll observe lessons and work with small groups of pupils before being introduced to whole-class teaching when you’re ready for it.
We'll make sure you're supported by a school-based mentor throughout your placements.
The rest of your time will be spent at the University, where you’ll build your subject-specific skills and knowledge, prepare for your placements, and evaluate your school-based work.
We also offer a PGCE Secondary course in physics with mathematics.
Your course leader is Matt Perks, Senior Teaching Fellow within Southampton Education School. He taught physics, chemistry and biology in secondary schools for many years before joining the University. Read Matt’s staff profile to find out more about his work.
This course is accredited by:
This course is based at Highfield.
This qualification is awarded by the University of Southampton.
Download the programme specification
The programme specification sets out the learning outcomes of this course and details how the course is taught and assessed.
In light of COVID-19, we’ve made changes to some elements of course delivery for 2020-21. For details as to how this has changed delivery for this course, please view the Addendum to the Programme Specification PDF.
- a degree in a science subject
- GCSEs (minimum grade 4/C) in English language and maths
- maths A-level
Find the equivalent international qualifications for your country.
Classroom experience or evidence of working with young people may strengthen your application.
If your science qualifications don’t meet our requirements, we might ask you to attend a Science Subject Knowledge Enhancement (SKE) course as an offer condition.
Before applying, you should read:
Got a question?
If you're not sure that you have the right experience or qualifications to get onto this course please contact our enquiries team; we're very happy to help.Email: email@example.com
Tel: +44(0)23 8059 5000
COVID-19: we've made some changes to the structure of the course for this academic year. Download the programme specification addendum in 'About this course' to learn more.
This is a full-time course. You’ll study from September to June, with breaks at Christmas and Easter. At least 2 days of teacher observation will take place before the start of the main programme.
Find out more about University key dates.
You’ll divide your time between the University and 2 placement schools. You’ll spend at least 120 days on your placements.
The course consists of 4 compulsory modules. We assess 3 of them at master’s level, 1 at undergraduate level. You’ll need to pass the 3 master’s-level modules to gain your PGCE award.
Want more detail? See all the modules in the course.
COVID-19: we've made some changes to our modules for this academic year. Download the programme specification addendum in 'About this course' to learn more.
For entry in Academic Year 2020-21
You must study the following modules in year 1:
Learning and assessment
COVID-19: we've made some changes to our learning and assessment methods for this academic year. Download the programme specification addendum in 'About this course' to learn more.
The learning activities for this course include the following:
- lectures, seminars and tutorials
- group activities
- directed study
- independent study
- independent research
- school placements
We’ll assess you using:
- written assignments
- a presentation
- a portfolio
We'll assign you a personal academic tutor, and you'll have access to a senior tutor.
A school-based mentor will support you throughout your placements.
Successfully completing this course will give you Qualified Teacher Status in addition to your PGCE award. This means you'll be able to work as a science teacher in state-maintained and special schools in England and Wales.
You’ll also be qualified to teach your specialist science subject to over-16s.
We have high employment rates from our PGCE Secondary courses, with many trainees going on to work in our partnership schools.
If you choose to continue your studies, the credits you build up from your master’s-level modules can be put towards a future master’s degree qualification.
Careers services at Southampton
We're a top 20 UK university for employability (QS Graduate Employability Rankings 2019). Our Careers and Employability Service will support you throughout your time as a student and for up to 5 years after graduation. This support includes:
- work experience schemes
- CV/resume and interview skills workshops
- networking events
- careers fairs attended by top employers
- a wealth of volunteering opportunities
- study abroad and summer school opportunities
We have a vibrant entrepreneurship culture. You'll be able to take advantage of:
Fees, costs and funding
Fees for a year's study:
- UK/EU students pay £9,250.
- International students pay £18,104.
What your fees pay for
Your tuition fee covers the full cost of tuition and all examinations.
Funding your postgraduate studies
A variety of additional scholarships, grants and bursaries may be available to help you fund your master’s study, both from the University and from other organisations.
How to apply
PGCE course applications are processed through UCAS. When you apply, you'll be taken to the UCAS website where you'll need to register an account with UCAS to submit an application. For information: there is a plan to move PGCE courses from applying through UCAS onto a DFE system.
Applications must be received no later than 4 weeks before the start of the course. You must supply all supporting documentation at least two weeks before starting your course.
We recommend you apply at least 6 weeks before the start of the course to ensure you're able to meet our requirements and apply for a visa in time.
We cannot guarantee students who do not meet these deadlines will be able to begin their course.
UCAS process applications for this course. When you apply, they'll give you details of any supporting information or documents you'll need to submit.
Learn more about how to apply with our postgraduate application guide.
What happens after you apply
Following application through UCAS you will hear back by email from the University. The University has 40 working days to respond to your application, but you will almost always hear back much more quickly than that.
If you are selected for the next stage of the process you will be invited for an interview at the University. The interview process includes an opportunity to find out more about the course and to ask questions. You will give a short presentation, complete a short written task and have a face-to-face interview with tutors. Following the interview, we'll make a decision on whether or not to offer you a conditional place. The decision will be uploaded to UCAS within 5 working days of the interview date.
Interviews will take place online if they are not possible in person. You'll receive an email from the admissions tutor if we'd like to talk to you before offering you a place.
All offers are conditional on enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) and health checks.
Equality and diversity
We treat and select everyone in line with our Equality and Diversity Statement.
Got a question?
Please contact us if you're not sure you have the right experience or qualifications to get onto this course.
Tel: +44(0)23 8059 5000