Cookies and Privacy

The University uses cookies on this website to provide the best experience possible including delivering personalised content on this website, other websites and social media. By continuing to use the site you agree to this, or your can go to our cookie policy to learn more and manage your settings.

Secondary Science (Biology) with QTS - BSc (Hons)

  • UCAS Code: X13A
  • Level: Undergraduate
  • Starting: September 2020
  • Study mode: Full Time (3 years)
  • Location: City South
In order to get you to the correct application form, we need to ask you a couple of questions:

If you have a passion for Biological Sciences, inspiring and educating young learners, and want the best possible career opportunities after graduating, then this is the course for you.

What's covered in the course?

The School of Education and Social Work has a strong partnership across a diverse range of secondary schools within the West Midlands. Located in the heart of the West Midlands, you will gain practical experience in a range of schools with a rich variety of cultural and linguistic influences, religious beliefs and social diversity.  The Department of Life Sciences, part of the School of Health Sciences, is committed to delivering high-quality, research-informed teaching in a range of biology and life science fields alongside a developing Life Sciences research portfolio.  Staff have expertise in a range of disciplines which will support your scientific development and prepare you for professional practice as a science educator.

The course offers you the chance to gain the professional qualification of Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) as well as a degree, helping you walk into your dream job as a secondary school teacher immediately after graduating from university.

You will also benefit from the unique and strong partnership between biology educators and subject specialists who are at the forefront of practice in their fields.

Why Choose Us?

  • Our Education courses are taught at our recently extended £71 million City South Campus in Edgbaston, which includes brand new state-of-the-art facilities including Secondary Science Labs and Biomedical Science Labs
  • We have a long and successful track record in the development of secondary biology teachers
  • Commitment to employability - we will make sure that you are ready for employment when graduating. Nearly 99 per cent of the School's undergraduate students are in work or further study six months after graduation (DLHE 2016/17)
  • For the science modules, you will be taught alongside students studying BSc (Hons) Biomedical Science
  • You will spend time in a range of local secondary schools on professional placements, equipping you with a wealth of practical experience to develop you as a biology teacher, working in partnership with experienced school subject mentors
  • We meet the Department for Education's (DfE) Criteria for Initial Teacher Training and successful candidates on our Initial Teacher Training courses will be recommended to the DfE for Qualified Teacher Status.

This course is open to International students

Entry Requirements

We accept a range of qualifications, the most popular of which are detailed below.

Entry requirements

A Level BBC including either Biology, Human Biology or Environmental Science.
BTEC Diploma D*D* in related subjects only
BTEC Extended Diploma DMM in related subjects only
Access to HE Diploma 60 credits with 45 credits at Level 3
International Baccalaureate 28 points



Five GCSEs, including English language, mathematics and science at Grade 4 or above (equivalents accepted for English, mathematics and science; other two must be actual GCSEs)

Download the GCSE equivalencies for this course  


Further guidance on tariff points can be found on the UCAS website.

In addition successful candidates will be required to successfully complete an Occupational Health and an Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) clearance via the Faculty.

International Students

Entry requirements here

Don’t meet our entry requirements?

You could apply for a foundation course or a course at our International College. These routes have lower entry requirements and act as the bridge to a full degree. To find out more, please select your status:

Home student International student

  • UK/EU students
  • International students

Award: BSc (Hons)

Starting: Sep 2020

  • Mode
  • Duration
  • Fees

Award: BSc (Hons)

Starting: Sep 2020

  • Mode
  • Duration
  • Fees
  • Full Time
  • 3 years
  • £12,800 per year

If you're unable to use the online form for any reason, you can complete our PDF application form and equal opportunities PDF form instead. The University reserves the right to increase fees in line with inflation based on the Retail Prices Index or to reflect changes in Government funding policies or changes agreed by Parliament up to a maximum of five per cent.

Guidance for UK/EU students


UK and EU students applying for most undergraduate degree courses in the UK will need to apply through UCAS.

The Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) is a UK organisation responsible for managing applications to university and college.

Applying through UCAS
 Register with UCAS
 Login to UCAS
 Complete your details
 Select your course
 Write a personal statement
 Get a reference
 Pay your application fee
 Send UCAS your application

Non-EU (International) students

There are three ways to apply:

1) Direct to the University

You will need to complete our International Application Form and Equal Opportunities Form, and submit them together with scan copies of your original academic transcripts and certificates.

2) Through a country representative

Our in-country representatives can help you make your application and apply for a visa. They can also offer advice on travel, living in the UK and studying abroad.

3) Through UCAS

If you are applying for an undergraduate degree or a Higher National Diploma (HND), you can apply through the UK’s Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS).

You can request a printed form from your school or nearest British Council office. You will be charged for applying through UCAS. Birmingham City University’s UCAS code is B25 BCITY.

Personal statement

Your personal statement is a highly important part of your application. It gives you a crucial opportunity to say why you’re applying and why the institution should accept you.

Here are the key areas you’ll need to address:

Course choice

Why does this course appeal? What areas are of particular interest?

Career plans

If you have a specific career in mind, say how your chosen course will help you pursue this goal.

Work experience

Mention any work that is relevant to your subject, highlighting the skills and experience gained.

School or college experience

Highlight skills gained at school/college, eg summer schools or mentoring activities.

Non-accredited skills or achievement

eg Duke of Edinburgh Award, Young Enterprise scheme.

You should also mention your future plans – if you’re planning to take a year out, don't forget to give your reasons. Talk about any subjects you’re studying that don’t have a formal assessment and any sponsorships or placements you’ve applied for. And don't be scared to add in details about your social, sports or leisure interests.

Get more information on writing personal statements.

Additional costs

We offer a wide range of professionally accredited and vocational courses that require the purchase of, among other things, uniforms, equipment, subscriptions, professional body memberships and DBS checks, and may require you to pay to attend conferences or participate in placements.

The link below provides our estimate of the possible costs associated with key activities on specific courses. Please bear in mind that these are only estimates of costs based on past student experience and feedback. The actual costs to you could vary considerably (either greater or lower than these estimates) depending on your choices as you progress through the course. We set out where we can, based on experience, where these indicative costs are for activities that are optional or compulsory.

All our students are provided with 100 free pages of printing each year to a maximum total value of £15.

Find additional costs for your course

Accommodation and living costs

The cost of accommodation and other living costs are not included within your course fees. More information on the cost of accommodation can be found in our accommodation pages.

Worried about personal statements?

Worried about personal statements?

If you've got no idea where to start or just want to check you're on the right track, we’ve got expert advice and real examples from our students to help you nail your personal statement. You can even download our ultimate personal statement guide for free.

Get personal statement advice

Loans and Grants

Financial Support

We offer further information on possible undergraduate financial support. This includes the type of loans, grants and scholarships available both from the government and from Birmingham City University.

Year One

In order to complete this course a student must successfully complete all the following CORE modules (totalling 100 credits):

20 credits

Biochemistry is the study of the fundamental chemical and molecular reactions that occur within living organisms. The aim of this module is to introduce the biochemical reactions that occur within the human body, framed in the context of human health and disease. There are 5 broad themes in biochemistry that will be covered throughout the module:

  1. Properties of water, pH and buffers.
  2. Protein structure and function
  3. Nucleosides and nucleotides
  4. Carbohydrates and lipids
  5. Enzymes and Metabolism
Fundamentals of Cell Biology
20 credits

This module will introduce you to key cellular and sub-cellular concepts associated with biomedical sciences. You will encounter the cell as the fundamental, yet dynamic, unit of life. The module aims to describe the relationship between structure and function, and how the characteristics of cells facilitate their activities and allow them to contribute to the activity of tissues. You will develop a detailed and in-depth understanding of why and how cells behave as they do, both on their own, and as part of a tissue in a living organism.

This module covers the main themes and laboratory techniques in cellular biology, and alongside the Biochemistry module (level 4) prepares you for the Introduction to Human Physiology level 4 module, the Blood Science and Clinical Biochemistry and Cellular Analysis level 5 modules, and the Molecular Basis of Disease and Pathophysiology level 6 modules.

20 credits

This module will provide you with an introduction to the field of Genetics. An understanding of genetics is fundamental to understanding biological processes, and the role of genes in health and disease. This module will discuss modes of inheritance, how information is encoded in DNA, how this information is translated, and the impacts of mutations on genetic conditions.

Physical Sciences 1
20 credits

This module aims to build your knowledge, understanding and skills within the physical sciences to support your training in teaching across the science disciplines within secondary schools.  Using the context of the school science curriculum, this module provides opportunities for you to apply your newly acquired subject knowledge to the creation of learning resources, artefacts or activities within a sequence of learning appropriate for the school curriculum in chemistry or physics.

The Emerging Teacher
20 credits

The role of this module is to encourage you to consider in-depth your first experiences of your subject in your placement school.  It will enable you to understand the complexity of the teacher’s role and the importance of adopting a professional stance at all times.  You will understand the importance of an effective learning environment where all pupils feel safe and can develop to their full potential.  It will provide you with practical strategies to support you in managing pupils’ behaviour within the context of your subject specialism.

Professional Practice 1
0 credits

Working in partnership with schools over a sustained period of time, this module, Professional Practice 1, provides opportunities for you as a trainee teacher to meet the professional standards and expectations of teaching through observation and practical experience.  You will have the opportunity to work alongside experienced teachers and other education professionals to develop your knowledge, understanding and skill in the classroom and the wider school environment

In order to complete this course a student must successfully complete at least ONE credit from the following indicative list of OPTIONAL modules:

All core modules are guaranteed to run. Optional modules will vary from year to year and the published list is indicative only.

Introduction to Human Physiology
20 credits

This module is delivered in the second semester of your journey on the Biomedical Sciences programme and will provide you with the essential knowledge and understanding of human physiological systems. You will start with the fundamentals of homeostasis and gradually work towards exploring the physiological and scientific principles of organ systems. Theory and practice will be linked throughout by use of clinical examples to import the significance and relevance of the topics covered.

20 credits

This module introduces students to the fundamentals of the microbial world. Students need to understand the important principles of how microorganisms function and survive before advancing to the topics where we explore the roles of microorganisms in disease.

The module is designed to be challenging and thought-provoking by the inclusion of contemporary topics that feature heavily in the news and in daily life as well as addressing issues that are potentially life-threatening. Importantly, topics are also discussed that illustrate the importance of the microorganisms associated with the human body in maintaining a healthy state. Moreover, the module also examines how our lifestyles can affect the microbes associated with our bodies and how this may impact on human health for example, obesity and diabetes.

*Microbiology is a pre-requisite for the Yr 2 Level 5 Infectious disease module

Year Two

In order to complete this course a student must successfully complete all the following CORE modules (totalling 60 credits):

Physical Sciences 2
20 credits

This module provides the opportunity for you to construct a learning episode that demonstrates your accurate understanding of selected key concepts in the physical sciences as they are taught in schools.  You will be able to identify key concepts in chemistry and/or physics and will develop your skills in making the key concept accessible to learners, including how to relate subject content to interactive, engaging learning.  

Subject Studies
20 credits

This module, Subject Studies, provides opportunities for you as a trainee teacher to explore the nature of your specialist subject in the context of learning and teaching in the secondary school.  The module provides substantial support for your professional practice in school, applied through the professional practice modules.  This module provides a strong philosophical underpinning to your awareness of the importance of your specialist subject in the secondary school curriculum.  By undertaking this module you will be shaping your own rationale for your approach to the teaching of your specialist subject, and to meeting the needs of the learners as they move through the secondary school phase.

The Inclusive Teacher
20 credits

This module refers to the wider inclusion agenda, rather than just pupils with special education needs or disabilities. It considers the barriers to learning that pupils may have within the subject specialism, and specific classroom approaches or interventions that can be used to address these barriers.

Professional Practice 2
0 credits

This module will provide opportunities for you to progress from professional practice 1, by support you in embedding and enhancing your classroom practice as evidenced by the teaching standards. During your placement, you will consider the wider area of inclusion and how, in your subject specialism, specific classroom approaches can be developed to address the many barriers to learning that pupils hold.

In order to complete this course a student must successfully complete at least 60 credits from the following indicative list of OPTIONAL modules:

All core modules are guaranteed to run. Optional modules will vary from year to year and the published list is indicative only.

Clinical Biochemistry and Cellular Analysis
20 credits

Disruption of normal cellular and biochemical processes has an impact on an individual’s health and wellbeing. In this module, you will investigate cellular and tissue function, and assess the investigative methods used for determining abnormalities at a biochemical and cellular level. These will include biochemical methods for detection of biological molecules.

The module aims to bring together the ability to represent data in an appropriate manner and assess the impact on an individual’s health. This will allow the information to be presented in a case specific manner, and information tailored to explain a specific individual and their health, and where appropriate to diagnose and monitor conditions. This will look at the principles of tests to investigate and determine the function and dysfunction of organs and systems and the changes seen in disease.

Fundamental Principles of Pharmacology and Drug development
20 credits

This module will build on the knowledge and skills developed at level 4 and will explore the scientific foundations of pharmacology. You will use this underpinning knowledge to examine how the pharmaceutical industry designs and develops novel drug entities to treat the underlying pathophysiology of common diseases.

Blood Science
20 credits

This module will provide you with an introduction to the components of human blood, the functions of the different cell types, and the disorders that affect them. This module will also include the techniques for diagnosis and monitoring of blood disorders, the interpretation of clinical and laboratory data, and the essential features of modern clinical and laboratory haematology.

Infectious disease
20 credits

This module will build upon the level 4 Microbiology module, by introducing you to the different types of microorganisms that infect humans and cause disease. One of the critical issues in clinical microbiology is the speed of reporting results of tests as some infections are potentially life threatening. You therefore review some of the important and time-saving techniques and how they are beginning to replace traditional cultural methods. You will also examine antibiotic-sensitivity testing and different ways this can be accomplished. Treating the human body as a series of systems, you will examine the barriers to prevent infections and how pathogens have evolved ways to circumvent these obstacles.

Year Three

In order to complete this course a student must successfully complete all the following CORE modules (totalling 60 credits):

Professional Enquiry Education Project
20 credits

This module will allow you to actively examine your professional practice in the workplace and to develop a reflective approach to personal development.  Through studying it, you will further develop your practice-based enquiry skills.  Increasing importance is placed on evidence-based enquiry to inform professional development in education.

The Professional Teacher
20 credits

This module, The Professional Teacher, provides opportunities for you as a trainee teacher to explore and understand in practical terms the meaning of professionalism in the context of your subject specialism.  You will understand the holistic and positive role of a teacher and the practices and policies of the education framework in which you operate.  Implicit in this will be the development of your understanding of how children learn in your subject (pedagogy) and how this is organised, delivered and measured in the current range of school systems.  

Professional Practice 3
0 credits

Working in partnership with schools over a sustained period of time in school, this module, Professional Practice 3, enables you to build on and demonstrate your mastery and achievement of the professional standards and expectations of teaching through practical, school-based experience.  You will have the opportunity to work alongside experienced teachers and other education professionals to develop your knowledge, understanding and skill in the classroom and the wider school environment. 

In order to complete this course a student must successfully complete at least 60 credits from the following indicative list of OPTIONAL modules:

All core modules are guaranteed to run. Optional modules will vary from year to year and the published list is indicative only.

Molecular basis of disease
20 credits

An understanding of a disease at the cellular and molecular level is important for those working in the biomedical sciences. This module is designed to explore the molecular, biochemical and cellular changes in human disease and how this has contributed to the development of novel diagnostic tools and of knowledge-based treatment strategies. It will also provide you critical-thinking skills to explore human health and diseases through reference to primary research articles, and reviews.

20 credits

This module aims to look at the conditions that are known to be the main cause of morbidity and mortality nationally and globally according to the Office of National Statistics and the World Health organisation. It is important that individuals are able to recognise key symptoms of the condition and the underpinning physiology accounting for these changes. They should also be able to identify key literature about the incidence, treatment and prevention of the disease from the literature.

Applied Toxicology
20 credits

Toxicology is the scientific study of adverse effects that occur in living organisms due to chemicals. It involves observing and reporting symptoms, mechanisms, detection and treatments of toxic substances, in particular relation to the poisoning of humans. This module will develop your knowledge and skills gained in the level 5 module, Fundamental Principles of Pharmacology and Drug Development. The module will also develop your employability skills through sessions that develop your critical analysis, communication and academic writing skills.

New Technologies in Biomedicine
20 credits

Modern healthcare providers are constantly striving to provide better patient care, improved diagnostics and treatments for current and emerging diseases. However, in order to comply with financial pressures and an expanding, increasingly mobile global population, healthcare improvements must be efficient, cost effective and sustainable. Underpinning these improvements are new technologies and contemporary approaches that provide more rapid and rigorous diagnostics and therapies. Research within the Biosciences has had a substantial part to play in these developments, with advances in DNA sequencing, genetic engineering and drug discovery for example, leading to significant medical breakthroughs.

Control of Global Infectious disease
20 credits

In this module you will learn about the impact of infectious disease outbreaks around the world and the epidemiological strategies used to monitor and prevent them. You will explore the microorganisms that are the causative agents of disease, learn how infection is transmitted, study the impact on human health and the current strategies to combat disease.

20 credits

The World Health Organisation stated recently that “There is ample evidence that pinpoints to neurological disorders as one of the greatest threats to public health”. This module is designed to introduce you into the exciting world of neuroscience, by giving you a clear understanding of basic principles of neuronal (inter)action, learning and memory, emotion and motivation, necessary for your contribution to research in brain disorders like multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s’ disease, epilepsy, dementia, anxiety and depression.

This module will build upon the basic understanding obtained in the modules, Introduction to Human physiology, Fundamentals of Cell biology, Pharmacology and Research methods, and will equip you to critically appraise recent developments in brain disease research across all levels of analysis, and evaluate various exciting therapeutic approaches.

Course overview

The BSc (Hons) Secondary Science (Biology) with Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) trains you to:

  • Teach your subject in secondary schools within the age range 11-16 with post-16 enhancement.
  • Develop the subject knowledge required to teach all the sciences up to GCSE within secondary schools and sixth-form colleges.
  • Develop the skills required to become a subject specialist in biology within secondary education.
  • Work in a wide variety of schools and science departments to develop as a biology subject specialist

Within this course, you will be studying with our current undergraduate biomedical science students in completing your subject specialism following the same suite of modules.  In addition, you will develop your skills in teaching your subject within secondary education by working within local and regional school science departments as part of the professional placement component of this course.  As a result, you will not only have the subject knowledge required for a science undergraduate degree, but successful completion will result in the University recommending to the relevant professional body, for the award of Qualified Teacher Status (QTS), which is the recognised professional award required by all those who wish to teach in a secondary school in England and Wales.

Study and work abroad

If you are interested in undertaking part of your studies abroad, the Erasmus scheme may be of interest to you. It allows higher education students to study for part of their degree in another European country.

It is open to undergraduates in their second year (or above) and offers a unique opportunity to enhance your CV and experience new cultures. If you study with us you will have access to an Erasmus co-ordinator, who can provide information about which institutions we have links with.

Find out more

Enhancing your employability skills

We will support you in the transition to university through a careful induction process, confidence building activities, group work and a carefully planned programme with a range of formative and summative assessments.

Your programme will be interactive, practical, engaging, thought provoking and challenging and is designed to promote independence so that you become a confident, committed and creative teacher ready to join the teaching profession.

On the programme you will experience a variety of learning and teaching approaches that focus on modelling good practice and these will include: workshops, conferences, lectures, seminars, a range of guest speakers, visits to schools/settings and other sites as well as a range of practical teaching experiences.

The content of the programme is research led, innovative and responsive to the educational climate to enable you to develop your subject and pedagogical knowledge and apply it in the classroom.


We have developed a shared vision for educational excellence with the schools in our partnership. You will benefit from working with and learning from outstanding classroom teachers in schools and at University. Working in schools with teachers and pupils is key to you becoming a committed, creative and confident teacher.

School placements increase in length over the three years of your course to ensure you complete the minimum of 120 days required to build your teaching experience and gather evidence that you meet the requirements for QTS. The placement aspect of this course is non-credit bearing.

The National College for Teaching and Leadership (NCTL) Professional Standards for Teachers which lead to recommendation for the award of QTS will be assessed through the school based training modules.

More about our placement opportunities...


OpportUNIty Student Ambassador

OpportUNIty: Student Jobs on Campus ensures that our students are given a first opportunity to fill many part-time temporary positions within the University. This allows you to work while you study with us, fitting the job around your course commitments. By taking part in the scheme, you will gain valuable experiences and employability skills, enhancing your prospects in the job market.

It will also allow you to become more involved in University life by delivering, leading and supporting many aspects of the learning experience, from administration to research and mentoring roles.


BCU Graduate+

Through our courses we give you the skills and experience needed to get a head start when applying for jobs. But we offer something extra too – Graduate+.

Our unique programme gives you the chance to develop valuable skills outside of the more formal classroom learning. We award points for Graduate+ activities (including firewalking!) and these can be put towards a final Graduate+ award.

More about Graduate+

Birmingham City University is a vibrant and multicultural university in the heart of a modern and diverse city. We welcome many international students every year – there are currently students from more than 80 countries among our student community.

The University is conveniently placed, with Birmingham International Airport nearby and first-rate transport connections to London and the rest of the UK.

Our international pages contain a wealth of information for international students who are considering applying to study here, including:

The UK remains one of the world's leading study destinations

The UK remains one of the world's leading study destinations for international students.

The first-class experience offered by universities are reflected in the world’s largest survey of international students. International students are more likely to recommend the UK than any other leading English-language study destination.

Birmingham City University International College (BCUIC)

International students who have a serious interest in studying with us but who perhaps cannot meet the direct entry requirements, academic or English, or who have been out of education for some time, can enter Birmingham City University International College (BCUIC) and begin their degree studies.


BCUIC is part of the global Navitas Group, an internationally recognised education provider, and the partnership allows students to access the University’s facilities and services and move seamlessly through to achieving a Bachelor’s degree from Birmingham City University.

Learn more about BCUIC

Our Facilities

We are constantly investing in our estate and are currently in the process of spending £260 million on new learning facilities.

As part of these plans, the University's Education provision will join the rest of the Faculty of Health, Education and Life Sciences at our City South Campus in Edgbaston during 2018.

This is the third phase of the University's project to move all teaching and learning to two campuses, City Centre and City South. By moving our Education provision, we are creating a hub for the provision of public service contracts and professional development at City South Campus and improving the student experience with a stronger sense of community and more consistent support services and facilities.


In addition to classrooms, a lecture theatre, social learning spaces, an open access IT suite and cafe facilities, the new £41 million extension to our City South Campus offers a range of specialist teaching and learning facilities for specific subjects including science, design and technology, drama and physical education.  


All our departmental facilities replicate the school learning environment.

  • Art and Design
  • Design and Technology
  • History
  • English
  • Mathematics
  • Religious Education
  • Music
  • Drama

Not only are we investing £41 million in a new building to house the laboratories and teaching spaces needed, but we also plan to open up these facilities to benefit all students and the wider community. This will complement our existing sports facilities, which already provide a base for students to compete in activities ranging from rugby to.

Mary Seacole Library

The Seacole library, based at City South Campus, is one of the UK's largest specialist health education libraries. The facility offers an extensive range of range of information and reference materials set out in a relaxing environment, conducive to studying. There are comfortable seating areas, group study areas, a silent study area and private study rooms.

Computer Facilities

The Seacole building houses a large open access IT Suite which comprises of 96 PCs, printers, photocopiers and scanners. Our PCs utilise the latest Intel i5 core technology, all with:

  • Fast (unrestricted) internet connectivity
  • Ability to save files to USB, DVD & CD
  • Microsoft Office software
  • Research and statistical software
  • Storage space which can be accessed from any PC across the University and from home

Our PCs are also designed to support students who may have difficulties with reading and writing, featuring specialised software with zooming/magnification and screen reading capabilities, which may also be customised for individual student needs.

The IT Suite offers extended opening hours and is supported by a specialist Open Access Assistant during term time. In addition to the open access PCs within the IT Suite, there are 12 networked student PCs available within Seacole library.

Simon Tresidder

Simon Tresidder

Course Leader Undergraduate Secondary Education with QTS / Senior Lecturer in Education (Science)

Simon is currently the course lead for our undergraduate secondary education with QTS provision; he is also part of the science team and teaches across a range of both undergraduate and post-graduate teacher training routes at Birmingham City University.

Read Simon's full profile