The PGCE Biology is a full-time course that consists of four required modules and two blocks of teaching experience based in secondary schools within London and Greater London. You will complete the course within ten months, studying September to June. You must take modules totalling 120 credits to meet the requirements of the qualification.
You’ll engage in education, pedagogy and professional studies sessions and curriculum workshops. These will take place in both university and school settings and will develop your expertise in general educational and professional issues, as well as subject pedagogy.
You’ll gain the skills and understanding to take up positions in schools as a teacher of your subject with the potential to contribute fully to the life of the school.
School Direct Route: The School Direct teacher training route is composed of a partnership between King’s College London and a lead school. Students apply to the lead school for admission to the programme. The academic components of the course are delivered by King’s College London whilst the secondary school teaching experience is organised by the lead school.
You can typically expect:
The equivalent of over 50 days of academic sessions at King’s (typically three hours in the morning and/or afternoon spread throughout the academic year)
Approximately 120 days of teaching placement.* This includes a short period of placement in primary schools (typically four days)
A number of one-to-one tutorials totalling five to seven sessions across the year.
Two visits from a tutor whilst on placement to observe lessons and monitor progress
Regular** meetings with a mentor, who will be a member of staff at your placement school, whilst on placement
Written feedback on all credit-bearing assignments within four weeks of the deadline.
* This 120 day figure represents the standard number of placement days. In certain cases, following assessment by course tutors and mentors, students may be required to undertake a greater number of placement days to demonstrate their ability to meet the Teacher Standards.
** Typically each trainee will have a meeting with their mentor during each week they are on placement. In certain circumstances the frequency may vary. The types of learning commitment encompassed within the course vary depending on modules. For this course one credit represents the equivalent of 10 hours of learning and engagement
The breakdown below gives you an idea of the likely workload you can expect:
Professional Practice in Education (45-credit module):
This module covers the teaching practice that students carry out in secondary schools. As such, much of the time commitment is dedicated to teaching and planning lessons. The following table will give you an idea of what a typical academic workload might look like as you progress through your studies:
Seminars/Tutorials: 14 contact hours (seminars/tutorials designed to evaluate teaching performance and provide feedback).
Teaching: 200-220 hours of teaching (this includes time teaching by oneself and ‘team teaching’ in groups).
Self study/assignment work: 216 hours to include lesson planning, observing lessons, marking pupils work.
School Data (15-credit module):
Lectures/seminars: 10 contact hours.
Self-study/assignment work: 140 hours.
Studying Policy & Professional Practice (30-credit module):
Lectures/seminars: 25.5 contact hours.
Self-study/assignment work: 274.5 hours.
Focused Pedagogical Studies (30-credit module):
Lectures/seminars: 200 contact hours.
Self-study/assignment work: 100 hours.
The 45-credit honours-level module will be assessed by a combination of a written portfolio (equivalent to 8,000 words) and assessment of your teaching practice against the Teaching Standards as set out by the government’s Department for Education. Progress in meeting the teaching standards will be monitored through three progress reports that will be completed by staff at the placement school.
The 30-credit master’s-level modules will each be assessed by a 6,000 word written assignment heavily based on in-school research that trainees undertake.
The 15-credit honours-level module will be assessed by an assignment focusing on data collection methods in the school environment.
Students undertake placements in secondary schools that work in partnership with King’s College London. Partnership schools are located across central London and the Greater London area. Whilst every effort is made to place PGCE trainees in local schools, due to the changing nature of initial teacher education and limited availability of placements in certain subject areas, trainees should be prepared to travel to their placement schools throughout the Greater London area and beyond.
Students also organise their own short placement at a state primary school. Further information on this short placement is provided in the offer holder pack and during the course.