PGCE (Secondary): Science Education: Biology, Chemistry or Physics

  • UCAS Teacher Training code
    C1X1 (Biology)
    F1X1 (Chemistry)
    F3X1 (Physics)
  • Length
    1 year full-time

Course overview

Through dynamic and innovative teaching methods, we can encourage you to develop all the skills you need to become an effective science teacher and inspire a new generation of world-changers

This programme focuses on giving you the environment you need to develop personally and professionally, as well as teaching you to help students from a variety of cultures and backgrounds.

A professional network of school and College-based supporters will assist you throughout the entire course and engage you in both practical and theoretical enquiry in College and on a school placement.

We are committed to educating you in the highest quality of science teaching, and you will benefit from Goldsmiths’ close proximity to a number of significant science centres, museums, exhibitions and organisations.

College-based work

In College, we focus on the ideas and principles underlying teaching. You look at how children learn and develop, and the role of language in learning. You consider factors to be taken into account when developing lessons that are interesting, balanced and relevant to pupils’ needs.

You have opportunities to explore the different ways in which pupils can develop understanding in science, and become familiar with a variety of resources that can be used to support these.

A particular focus is on how to manage pupils’ behaviour using a wide range of techniques; the programme also covers the assessment of pupils’ knowledge and progress.

Prospective science teachers need to be familiar with debates about the nature of science to allow them to play a full part in decisions about the ways in which school science courses should change. The impact of the National Curriculum on what science is taught, and how, is covered in depth.

You can expect to cover topics like:

  • school science courses at Key Stages 3 and 4
  • computing, data logging, safety
  • how children learn science
  • assessment
  • A-levels and Vocational A-levels
  • language and science education

We look at techniques for helping slow and fast learners, and give guidance on topics for teaching practice.

School-based work

During the first term, you observe, participate in and take responsibility for lessons in local schools. A school-based tutor, working in close co-operation with College staff, gives you advice and support; you receive visits from a College-based tutor. You observe experienced teachers at work, and discuss their methods and any difficulties.

We ease you into teaching with plenty of support, and you take increasing responsibility for the work of particular classes under the supervision of the regular teacher.

Science teachers need to be able to teach all science up to and including GCSE level. Therefore, on this course we will integrate aspects of chemistry, biology and physics into sessions as well as providing sessions on specific topics within the sciences.

Institute of Physics Scholarships

The Institute of Physics (IOP) has teacher training scholarships available to physics trainees. To be an IOP Scholar you will need to have outstanding knowledge of school-level physics and the potential to become an inspirational physics teacher. Each scholarship also includes a package of benefits including membership and early career mentoring. Go to the bursaries and scholarships page for more information.

Additional costs

As well as your PGCE fees, you will have to cover your travel costs to your school placements.

We produce reading packs electronically and in hard copy format. There’s a small charge for the hard copy reading packs. You may also be asked to contribute towards trips and some materials for your modules. 

Contact the department

If you have specific questions about the degree, contact Department of Educational Studies




Download the programme specification for this degree to find out more about what you'll learn and how you'll be taught and assessed.

Please note that due to staff research commitments not all of these modules may be available every year.


We have been training teachers since 1904, and have established
a reputation for excellence in this field

Educational Studies

We see education as a window through which to view the world, and as something with the power to define who we are and how we live

As a department we’re interested in seeing what education can tell us about the social, political and economic forces of our times. And what these forces mean for the everyday lives of individuals and groups. 

We place a strong emphasis on active and collaborative learning, and we'll train you to become a reflective and socially conscious teacher. 

Teaching placements

We have partnerships with many London schools, offering you the chance to gain teaching practice in socially mixed, multi-ethnic urban classrooms. 


We offer a high level of support through a system of school and personal tutoring. 


Staff in the department carry out world-leading research – we're ranked 8th in the UK for the quality of this research.**

It delves into areas including culture and identity, gender, multilingualism, and youth cultures, and why we maintain a commitment to social justice and inclusion.

Find out more about the Department of Educational Studies.

**Research Excellence Framework 2014, Times Higher Education research intensity subject rankings

Learning & teaching

A range of teaching methods are employed across the PGCE programmes, including:

• Taught subject sessions
• Taught General Professional Study sessions
• Practical workshops
• Core lectures
• Group tutorials/seminars
• Individual tutorials
• Individual and group presentations
• Supported self-study

As with the other PGCE courses, you’ll be given the opportunity to work with children in a wide range of contexts. These might include focused interventions with individuals or groups, or larger scale events for the community.

How to apply

You apply for this PGCE through the UCAS Teacher Training website. Our institution code is G56 GOLD.

Please take a look at the information on applying, including the specific qualifications or experience you need for this course.

There's no closing date for primary or secondary applications, but we advise you to apply early to avoid disappointment.