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Chemistry (Secondary)

Prepare for a rewarding career in key stages 3, 4 and 5 chemistry teaching - a priority subject with superb job prospects and bursaries available.

At a glance

Subject / Phase
Chemistry (Secondary)

Course Length
1 year

School Placements


Academic Award

Professional Award
Qualified Teacher Status (QTS)

Masters Credits

Partnered With
Sheffield Hallam University


Teaching science is all about helping young people to better explain the world around them. It is a unique subject that has an ability to engage and captivate people from all backgrounds. Developing young minds into analytical and dynamic young people is a privilege that you see everyday while teaching science.

David, Head of Science at a secondary school

Chemistry teachers are in demand! So, you’ll be joining a profession where you are highly valued and have lots of career opportunities. As with all teaching roles, you’ll also get the opportunity to inspire the next generation, opening their minds to the excitement and possibilities of science. Nothing prepares you for that lightbulb moment when a student suddenly ‘gets it’! While some students may be inspired to take on further study or even careers in chemistry, you’ll also help prepare all students to be informed citizens in an increasingly scientific world.

What is Life Like as a Chemistry Teacher?

As a chemistry teacher, you will teach students about elements, atoms and molecules as well as the scientific principles and concepts used to understand the material world. You will probably teach chemistry in a mixture of normal classrooms and science laboratories. This provides you with the opportunity to back up the academic teaching with hands-on, practical lessons – allowing students to experience the excitement of testing their hypotheses and learning through tangible experimentation. As well as preparing and delivering lessons, you will set and mark assignments, and track student progress via data collection and feedback to parents. As part of a wider science department, you will have a good team environment. As one chemistry teacher said, “If you’re a social person in a good department it can make a big difference”.

What Skills Do You Need to Be a Chemistry Teacher?

A passion for your subject and the ability to inspire the same in your students is essential. It helps if you are organised too. Being able to communicate effectively with colleagues, students and parents is definitely an asset, as is stamina and even a sense of humour. Teachers are continually developing, so the ability to self-reflect and the willingness to take on new learning and training is beneficial. Above all else, the desire to support young people to achieve their very best is what’s needed.

What Do We Cover in Chemistry Teacher Training?

You will be trained to teach chemistry at key stages 3, 4 and 5.

This includes training in university, via STSA’s professional learning courses, and as part of your school placements, as detailed below:

At University

Our academic partner is Sheffield Hallam University, whose course is rated as ‘Good’ by Ofsted. At university, you will have the opportunity to hone your chemistry skills via seminars, workshops, lectures, group work, directed tasks, written assessments and practical work. You are assessed through supportive, collaborative means, helping you to grow and improve.

In STSA Professional Learning Courses

We run a number of STSA professional learning sessions throughout the year. These days are a great opportunity for our trainees to come together, catch up and share their experiences. Our trainees tell us this is a highly valued part of our course.

Examples of topics covered include:

  • The Professional Teacher
  • Safeguarding
  • Lesson/scheme design
  • Assessment: marking and feedback
  • Data collection and analysis
  • Barriers to learning
  • Organisation of self
  • Knowledge of consecutive key stages
  • Role of SENCO
  • Behaviour management
  • Building resilience
  • Child development
  • SEND and inclusion
  • EAL and new arrivals
  • Collaborative team teaching
  • Communication with parents
  • Planning for transition
  • Careers

The STSA team are on hand throughout the course to help you with any issues or questions you may have.

During your School Placements

Our course includes high-quality placements in two of our partner schools, providing experience in contrasting settings – which is part of the Department for Education (DfE) regulations for Initial Teacher Training (ITT). Your main placement is approximately 24 weeks over the academic year, whilst your complementary placement is approximately 6 weeks. You also have a 2-day experience in a primary setting.

You will have your own mentor in each school, who will meet with you regularly and provide support and advice. They will also assess your teaching in school.

You can find out more about what to expect on our course here.

Career Development

You will always be developing as a teacher and could progress to a head of subject role, or even head of a department or faculty. Some teachers decide to specialise in pastoral work, taking on a head of key stage/year group role. From middle management, you could then progress into senior leadership as an assistant, deputy or head teacher. With multi-academy trusts growing in number, there are also new opportunities working across a number of schools, taking on responsibility for your particular subject.