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Last modified: 22 May 2019 17:07

Course Overview

An opportunity to gain first-hand experience in communicating biological sciences to young people in a school setting

A chance to develop classroom skills, supervised and encouraged by experienced school teachers.

Course grades are derived from four activity areas: planning and exploration, group discussion, teacher evaluation, end-of-course report and reflection.

Accumulate a set of transferable professional experience and skills that are likely to enhance employability.

Course Details

Study Type Undergraduate Level 4
Session First Sub Session Credit Points 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits)
Campus Old Aberdeen Sustained Study No
  • Dr Martin Barker

What courses & programmes must have been taken before this course?

  • Any Undergraduate Programme (Studied)
  • One of Biology (BI) or Ecology (EK) or Environmental Sciences (EV) or Forestry (FY) or Plant Science (PL) or Zoology (ZO)
  • Programme Level 4
  • One of BSc Biology (Studied) or BSc Conservation Biology (Studied) or BSc Zoology (Studied) or BSc Animal Ecology (Studied) or BSc Marine Biology (Studied) or BSc Animal Behaviour (Studied) or BSc Behavioural Biology (Studied) or MSci Biological Sciences (Studied) or BSc Biological Sciences (Honours) (Studied) or BSc Plant and Soil Sciences (Studied) or BSc Biology - Education (Primary) (Studied) or Bachelor Of Science In Environmental And Forest Management (Studied) or BSc Ecology (Studied) or BSc Forestry (Studied) or BSc Forest Sciences (Studied) or BSc Environmental Science (Studied)

What other courses must be taken with this course?


What courses cannot be taken with this course?


Are there a limited number of places available?


Course Description

The course is intended for (a) those who are considering a career in school science teaching or public engagement, or simply (b) those who are wanting to sample teaching as an experience and want to acquire a set of transferable skills. Placements can be offered in either local primary or secondary schools.

This work-place orientated course is organised under the auspices of the nationally recognised Undergraduate Ambassadors Scheme (UAS, Currently, 56 universities (including Russell Group institutions) in the UK and Ireland are participating in the scheme. The UAS focusses on delivering school teaching experiences for undergraduates in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) subjects. The School of Biological Sciences will be the first department in the University of Aberdeen to take part in UAS.

At the start of the course you will be interviewed on to determine your interests and aptitudes, and to match you with a suitable local school. The campus-based part of the course will then help you to develop suitable classroom materials. This will be done in collaboration with a teacher in a designated local school (primary or secondary), and aligned with the national curriculum. In the delivery phase, you will work as a teaching assistant to deliver practical classroom activities under the supervision of the class/subject teacher.

You will be given guidance and support from experienced biology or class teachers in local schools. Support and training will also begiven by staff based at the University of Aberdeen. The course coordinator is a university academic who is also an experienced teacher, examiner and writer in secondary biology. Staff at the Aberdeen Biodiversity Centre (ABC) have extensive experience in collaborating with local teachers and in creating innovative classroom experiences in the natural sciences.

Contact Teaching Time

Information on contact teaching time is available from the course guide.

Teaching Breakdown

More Information about Week Numbers

Details, including assessments, may be subject to change until 31 August 2023 for 1st half-session courses and 22 December 2023 for 2nd half-session courses.

Summative Assessments

Planning and Exploration (20%), Group discussion (20%), Delivery of teaching activities in school (20%), End-of-course self-evaluation (40%)

Formative Assessment

There are no assessments for this course.


Verbal feedback during individualised tutorials.  Informal feedback during discussions; individualised written feedback periodically throughout semester.  Verbal and written feedback from teacher overseeing delivery of teaching activities.

Course Learning Outcomes


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