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

Good, interesting teachers of Biology, Chemistry or Physics can help to increase pupils’ scientific literacy, enabling them to participate effectively in society.

1 year full-time.
UCAS Teacher Training code

C1X1 (Biology)
F1X1 (Chemistry)
F3X1 (Physics)

Please note that the Flexible Programme appears as ‘Modular’ on the GTTR form. CX11 (Modular: Biology); FX11 (Modular: Chemistry); FX31 (Modular: Physics). The codes are the same for the 11-16 and the 11-18 programmes.

Flexible Programme

A Flexible PGCE (Secondary) is also available in this subject area.


Scholarships are available from the Institute of Physics.

Financial Support
See our tuition fees.
The science programme has an excellent record of students obtaining teaching posts. Many of our former students have been successful in gaining rapid promotion, and some have studied for higher degrees in education.
Contact the Department
Contact +44 (0)20 7919 7322.
About the department
Educational Studies
Application enquiries
UK and EU students admissions or call +44 (0)20 7919 7766. International (non-EU) students or call +44 (0)20 7919 7702.
Visit us
Find out about how you can visit Goldsmiths at one of our open days or come on a campus tour.

We encourage you to become teachers who will exercise high standards of classroom practice, and be able to participate in and influence future science education courses.

The programme has a commitment to equal opportunities – a theme integrated into science work – and the group will contain students from a variety of ages and cultural backgrounds.

Science centres and museums, exhibitions and organisations are within easy reach.

What you study

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.

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.

Institute of Physics Scholarships

The Institute of Physics (IOP) has 100 teacher training scholarships worth £20,000 available to physics trainees starting their teacher training in the 2013/14 academic year. 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.

Applications are now open; you can view the full eligibility criteria and apply on the IOP website. Scholarships will be instead of the standard government bursary, but trainees who are not awarded a scholarship will continue to be eligible for a standard bursary.

Additional costs

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.

How to Apply

Further Information

Click for further information on:


Home/EU students
+44 (0)20 7919 7766 

International (non-EU) students
+44 (0)20 7919 7702

You can apply for PGCE programmes through UCAS Teacher Training.

Our institution code is G56 GOLD.

When to apply

There’s no closing date for applications, but we recommend you apply early to make sure your application is considered.

Please note: the Department of Educational Studies belongs to a European teacher training group. If you have A-level-equivalent qualifications from a country other than the UK (Baccalauréat, Abitur etc), providing a breakdown of your marks for each subject on the UCAS Teacher Training form will speed up the processing of your application. 

International (non-EU) students 

As an international (non-EU) student you apply through the UCAS Teacher Training in the same way as home and EU students. As well as UK qualifications, we accept many equivalent overseas qualifications.

To check to see if your qualifications are of an equivalent standard to the UK academic entry requirements for this PGCE programme, we recommend you contact UK NARIC.

You are also required to provide scanned copies of your qualifications (alongside official translations where original documents are not in English) within 14 days of being requested.

Please note: International students who are applying need to bear in mind that they are required to be in the UK to attend interviews, sit Professional Skills Tests and complete work experience (for PGCE Primary Programmes).  Please plan ahead to reduce your travel time and expenses.

International students are also not eligible to apply for School Direct Routes. We suggest they contact if they have any questions.


Entrance requirements

Goldsmiths will only accept as passes Grades A, B and C at GCSE, conducted by an approved examination board. 

As well as UK qualifications, we accept many equivalent overseas qualifications. To check to see if your qualifications are of an equivalent standard to the UK academic entry requirements for this PGCE programme we recommend that you contact UK NARIC.

You'll need to enter the details of your relevant qualifications on your PGCE application form.  You are also required to provide scanned copies of your qualifications (alongside official translations where original documents are not in English) within 14 days of being requested. 

If English isn’t your first language you will also be required to have a recognised qualification in English Language Proficiency.

If you don’t have a first degree awarded by a generally recognised institution in the UK, please note that the award of the PGCE and QTS does not in itself confer graduate status for the purposes of salary. Salaries in such cases are determined by employing authorities and not by the College or by the relevant government department. 

Please note, this course attracts applicants of a strong calibre. Consequently competition for places is very high. Students lacking a good honours degree in a relevant subject, significant experience both in the industry and in schools need to be aware that they may not be called to interview.

Programme specific entrance requirements

Science Education: Biology, Chemistry or Physics

You should have a degree in the science that you wish to teach. For example, to get a place on the biology PGCE, ideally you should have a biology degree. If you have done a degree which goes across the sciences then 50% of your degree must comprise of the science subject you wish to study. Psychology may be acceptable depending on the modules you have chosen during your degree and your A-level qualifications.

If your degree does not have the 50% required in your chosen science you can still submit an application as you may still be able to gain a place subject to completing a TDA subject enhancement course (mainly for Chemistry and Physics).

Student and graduate profiles


"As well as being one of the hardest things I have ever done, it has also been one of the most life expanding and rewarding. It is amazing to look back now to the beginning of the course and see how far I have come in terms of my teaching knowledge and skills, and most importantly in terms of my own confidence in standing in front of a class of up to 30 children to teach them about the world."


"I am currently training to be a primary school teacher. Having just finished my first placement, coming back to Goldsmiths for lectures felt like coming home. Once qualified, I hope to teach in the local area and to be able to continue to promote a love for learning that Goldsmiths has instilled in me."


"The flexible route gives two main benefits: the chance to select my own speed of study, and the chance to do most of the academic work on a self-study/correspondence basis. And this is all supported by a personalised course tutor and a programme of college-based workshops and tutorials. The school experience is a testing leap into the unknown for which I am glad I have the support of the experienced staff at Goldsmiths."


"Before starting at Goldsmiths, I was working in a special needs school for children with Asperger’s and autism. I always knew that I wanted to be a drama teacher, and Goldsmiths offered the course that I wanted to do, in a place that I had always wanted to work. The PGCE course is very intense and requires a lot of hard work, but I am very pleased to have done it. It was the best decision I have ever made. I have lived in halls whilst completing my PGCE and have made some good friends for life."


"I always felt that there was a focus on my personal development rather than just the skills and knowledge required for the profession. There was a unified process in which you could scaffold, experiment and analyse various situations, which I feel truly prepared me for the educational environment. This was crucial in my development as a practitioner and has allowed me to confidently explore, deliver and reflect on my practice both in and outside the classroom."


"While I was doing my PGCE, I was a single parent and had an array of posts which included EAL teaching, Panjabi teaching and interpreting for local councils. Despite this I still managed to do my PGCE and I believe with the amount of time I had, if I can do it then anyone can! Finally having a recognised degree and qualified occupation gives me a sense of confidence, security and achievement along with greater financial benefit."


"This PGCE has been one of the most challenging things I have done in my life – it is fulfilling but not easy. I have taken a slightly unusual path and Goldsmiths have truly excelled themselves in ensuring that I have been able to focus on this challenge with no unnecessary complications in order that I could give it my best and achieve my goals. I cannot praise Goldsmiths enough for being so understanding and for their practical approach towards creating a route of study that allows people to become qualified teachers while maintaining their busy personal lives."

Programme specification

To find out more about this degree, including details about the ways you'll be assessed and information about our marking criteria, you can download the programme specification.

Content last modified: 19 Sep 2014

Goldsmiths, University of London, New Cross, London, SE14 6NW, UK
Telephone: + 44 (0)20 7919 7171

Goldsmiths has charitable status

© 2000- Goldsmiths, University of London. Copyright, Disclaimer and Company information | Statement on the use of cookies by Goldsmiths