School Direct (Tuition Fee): Physics with Mathematics PGCE
School Direct (Tuition Fee) is a route into teaching at both primary and secondary levels. Trainees join other student teachers on the established Physics with Mathematics PGCE programme at the UCL Institute of Education (IOE), whilst undertaking their teaching experience at their host school or alliance.
Students will acquire a critical understanding of current debates and issues relating to physics and mathematics education, and will be guided and supported in developing their subject knowledge. We expect students to engage with reading and research into science and mathematics education and to regularly reflect upon their progress, towards meeting the teaching standards across the 11–18 age range.
Successful completion of the Professional Practice module and successful completion of the two modules (60 credits) at level 7 will result in the award of a Postgraduate Certificate of Education (PGCE). Where less than 60 credits are achieved at level 7 but are successfully passed at level 6 a Professional Graduate Certificate of Education (PgCE) will be awarded.
- Science Education in the Broader Context (30 Master's-level credits)
This module serves to broaden students understanding of science teaching. It focuses on learning about science and looks at the nature of science, its moral and ethical dimensions and its place in a cultural context. Through a chosen context or "big idea" students have the opportunity to critically evaluate continuity and progression in their specialist area and also to consider and critically reflect upon how learners learn science. Both traditional and emerging theories about learning are considered and are related to ideas of continuity and progression, including what may be observed in school and during teaching placements.
In discussion with teachers and students at school and through relevant literature, this assignment encourages a critical reflection on the English science curriculum and its interpretation in classrooms from primary to post-16. Student teachers are encouraged to explore the importance and challenge of learning the key "big idea" through consideration of alternative perceptions and the appropriateness of the curriculum to develop learners ideas about science.
- Wider Educational Studies - Physics with Mathematics (30 Master's-level credits)
This module enables students to widen their educational studies and to engage with diversity in Mathematics classrooms. It addresses the place of Mathematics education within the wider experience of individuals and within the school curriculum as a whole, enabling students to reflect critically on the purposes of mathematics education and its roles in society as well as on the practical implications for curriculum design.
The module encourages students to review the subject knowledge they bring with them onto the course in the context of their developing experience of teaching and learning in secondary mathematics classrooms. Throughout the module, students are encouraged to reflect critically on their own experiences as learners and teachers, to engage critically and constructively with recent research, policy contexts and initiatives, and relevant theories of learning and teaching, relating to the field of Mathematics education.M2 assignment for Physics with Mathematics students: in this assignment you will choose a wider curriculum issue, research it, investigate its implications for teaching across a range of subjects, design activities for addressing it in the Mathematics classroom, try out and evaluate the activities with reference to your chosen issue.
- Professional Practice
The Professional Practice module combines practical experience in schools, where trainees observe and undertake classroom teaching, subject knowledge development through UCL Institute of Education (IOE) sessions as well as pedagogical and professional development in schools and IOE-based sessions. During teaching practice, trainees gain the practical experience they need to meet the Teachers Standards as required for the recommendation for Qualified Teacher Status (QTS). Assessment for this module is undertaken by school-based mentors in collaboration with IOE tutors.
Student Teachers undertake at least two placements (totaling 120 days) at a school or college, during which time their teaching practice will be supported by a school subject tutor and mentor. The Professional Practice module is assessed through these placements, associated tasks and a portfolio.
You may teach:
Key Stage 3: Science (including elements of physics, chemistry and biology) and mathematics
Key Stage 4: Science (all areas) and/or physics (depending on school placement)
Key Stage 5: AS/A2 level physics
Teaching and Learning
The Physics with Mathematics PGCE is delivered via keynote lectures, seminars, workshops, tutorials and directed study days as well as time spent in placement schools or colleges. Assessment is by practical teaching observation, assignments and a portfolio (which links with continuing professional development in the induction year).
Note on fees: The tuition fees shown are for the year indicated above. Fees for subsequent years may increase or otherwise vary. Further information on fee status, fee increases and the fee schedule can be viewed on the UCL Current Students website.
Normally a minimum of a lower second-class UK Bachelor’s degree or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard in Physics or a Physics-related subject.
Mathematics at grade D or above, or equivalent, required where there is insufficient Mathematics within the first degree.
English Language and Mathematics at grade C.
Prospective students must complete a minimum of five days of school experience before they can be enrolled on the Secondary PGCE. This may involve observations, work experience (e.g. as a teaching assistant or cover supervisor), or voluntary work. Applicants must have a minimum of one day's school experience before interview; some subjects will be looking for significantly more than this. Applicants must ensure that their school experience is relevant in helping them to prepare for the Secondary PGCE, during which Student Teachers are placed in a wide range of schools across London and the South East.
If you are made an offer you will be required to successfully complete Occupational Health and Disclosure Barring Service (DBS) Enhanced Disclosure checks. The total cost of these checks is £125. These checks are required to ensure you meet the Department for Education’s requirements for physical and mental health to teach, as well as assessing your suitability for access to children and vulnerable adults. More details can be found on the Entry requirements page.
All applicants must successfully complete professional skills tests in literacy and numeracy before they can enrol. More information can be found on the Get Into Teaching website.
English Language Requirements
If your education has not been conducted in the English language, you will be expected to demonstrate evidence of an adequate level of English proficiency.
The English language level for this programme is: Good
Further information can be found on our English language requirements page.
Country-specific information, including details of when UCL representatives are visiting your part of the world, can be obtained from the International Students website.
International applicants can find out the equivalent qualification for their country by selecting from the list below.
Select your country:
Bursaries and scholarships of up to £30,000 are available to students who meet the eligibility criteria for the Physics with Mathematics PGCE. To find out what funding may be available to you, please visit the Department for Education website.
For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website.
Graduates of this programme are currently working across schools in London and around the UK as teachers, heads of departments and heads of year. Some graduates decide to pursue an academic science education route by pursuing Master's or doctoral level study.
Graduates of the Secondary PGCE programme are highly employable and sought after by schools and colleges in London and beyond. Almost all graduates secure their first teaching post by the time they finish the PGCE programme. Graduates of the programme also have great career prospects, with many becoming Head of Department or a Head of Year within 2-5 years, often acting, in their schools, as mentors to new PGCE student teachers. Many of our graduates become senior teachers (such as Assistant Headteachers or Head of a Faculty) in 5-8 years of graduating, and some are now Headteachers. Others have developed their careers as subject specialist teachers and educators, both becoming lead teachers in the classroom and researching, writing and advising other teachers themselves. The Secondary PGCE Programme is a springboard into a rewarding career, not just as a skilled teacher, but as an educational leader.
Why study this degree at UCL?
The Physics with Mathematics PGCE helps students to develop the professional skills and knowledge they need to teach Science and Mathematics to pupils across the 11–14 age range, as well as teaching Physics to pupils aged up to 18. We are committed to creative and interactive approaches to teaching science to promote student engagement and learning.
Students on the Physics with Maths PGCE work with a team of expert subject tutors who have all previously been classroom teachers and are actively involved with science education research, curriculum development and consultancy. During teaching practice, student teachers benefit from the support of subject specialist mentors within our network of over 200 schools throughout Greater London and beyond, ensuring each has the opportunity to become a skilled and confident teacher.
The programme offers unique opportunities including teaching sessions at museums and Kew Gardens, and residential trips, developing students’ understanding of learning science outside the classroom.
Accreditation: This route leads to the award of QTS (Qualified Teacher Status).
Department: Institute of Education
Research Excellence Framework (REF)
The Research Excellence Framework, or REF, is the system for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions. The 2014 REF was carried out by the UK's higher education funding bodies, and the results used to allocate research funding from 2015/16.
The following REF score was awarded to the department: Institute of Education
78% rated 4* (world-leading) or 3* (internationally excellent)
Learn more about the scope of UCL's research, and browse case studies, on our Research Impact website.
Application and next steps
Students are advised to apply as early as possible due to competition for places. Those applying for scholarship funding (particularly overseas applicants) should take note of application deadlines.
Who can apply?
The Secondary PGCE is suited to those wishing to gain Qualified Teaching Status (QTS) for teaching in UK Secondary schools and who have fulfilled the appropriate entry requirements.
Early application is advised as programmes may close as soon as places are filled.
For more information see our Applications page.Apply now