Science: Physics PGCE

London, Bloomsbury
Ages 11 - 16 Secondary

The Physics PGCE prepares students to develop the professional knowledge and skills they need to teach all aspects of the science curriculum to pupils in the 11-16 range. Students are also supported to develop their knowledge and understanding of teaching Physics at A-Level. We are committed to creative and interactive approaches to teaching science to promote engagement and learning.

UK students International students
Study mode
Full-time
UK tuition fees (2024/25)
£9,250
Overseas tuition fees (2024/25)
£25,900
Duration
1 academic year
Programme starts
September 2024
Applications accepted
All applicants: 09 Oct 2023 – 02 Aug 2024
Applications close at 5pm UK time

Applications open

Early application is advised as programmes may close as soon as places are filled. Applicants should check the government website for the latest vacancy information.

Skills


This course will give you everything you need to face the classroom, both the pedagogical theory and the practical skills to be an inspiring teacher.

Support


Our gradual immersion approach will introduce you to the classroom progressively, from one pupil to the whole class.

Experience


Placement in very diverse, carefully chosen schools will allow you to learn from different contexts and be prepared to teach in any school.

Start teaching


With a PGCE you can start teaching as soon as you complete the course and are recommended for Qualified Teacher Status.

IOE, UCL’s Faculty of Education and Society, has been ranked 1st for Education in the QS World University Rankings by Subject for the past decade (2014–2023).

Entry requirements

First degree

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.

Subject Knowledge Enhancement (SKE) tests

A Subject Knowledge Enhancement course in physics may be recommended as a condition of being offered a place on the course, for which there is usually a cost to the applicant.

A levels

No specific subjects required.

GCSEs

English Language and Mathematics at grade C or 4. We do not accept "applied" or "additional" GCSE subjects. Applicants who do not offer a GCSE in English Language or Mathematics may demonstrate an equivalent standard by completing a test via Equivalency Testing or A Star Equivalency and achieving at least a grade 4. For Mathematics, equivalency tests in Mathematics Foundation or Mathematics Higher with grade 4 are accepted. BTEC, Functional Skills or Access course qualifications are not accepted in place of GCSEs.

School experience

We recommend that you aim to gain some experience in a classroom prior to interview.

Skills tests

Trainees will be assured against a set of fundamental Mathematics and English skills by the end of their teacher training.

Relevant experience and background

Applicants whose degree qualifications are lower than 2:2 standard may be admitted if they can demonstrate an appropriate academic background at master's level and above and/or significant postgraduate experience in the relevant field.

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. Please note that the equivalency will correspond to the broad UK degree classification stated on this page (e.g. upper second-class). Where a specific overall percentage is required in the UK qualification, the international equivalency will be higher than that stated below. Please contact Graduate Admissions should you require further advice.

The English language level for this programme is: Level 2

Further information can be found on our English language requirements page.

This programme is suitable for international students on a Student visa - study must be full-time, starting September.

DBS and occupational health

If you are made an offer you will be required to successfully complete Occupational Health and Disclosure Barring Service (DBS) Enhanced Disclosure checks. The Occupational Health Check is £90, and depending on your DBS requirements, there may be an additional fee of £15.00 if you can submit your DBS Enhanced Disclosure check via a UK Post Office. 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.

About this course

Students will acquire a critical understanding of current debates and issues relating to science education, and will be guided and supported in developing their subject knowledge. We expect students to engage with reading and research into science education and to regularly reflect upon their own progress teaching across the 11-16 age range.

The Physics programme will feature four ‘Intensive Teaching & Practice’ (ITAP) sequences designed to establish and develop students’ Physics teaching through the year. Closely linking theory and practice, and enabling students to observe, deconstruct, plan, practice and progress in specific areas of teaching, these focus on:

  1. Behavioural expectations and establishing a positive learning environment;
  2. How to use models and analogies in Science education to develop and evaluate conceptual understanding in Science;
  3. Teaching Science skills and ideas through practical work;
  4. Fieldwork in Science learning.

It will also consider teaching for social justice, facilitating small group discussion, meeting pupils' special needs, and assessment. Our facilities include a suite of laboratories.

Who this course is for

The Secondary PGCE full-time programme is suited to those wishing to gain Qualified Teaching Status (QTS) for teaching in a UK maintained (state-funded) school and who have fulfilled the appropriate entry requirements.

What this course will give you

Students on the Physics 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 300 schools throughout Greater London and beyond, ensuring each has the opportunity to become a skilled and confident teacher.

Our approach to ITAP is proudly subject-specific. Our ITAP sequences are embedded through the Physics programme and will give students the opportunity to build their practice and confidence in pivotal areas of Physics-specific pedagogy.

The Physics PGCE offers unique opportunities to plan and teach science outside the classroom (e.g. at museums and Kew Gardens). This develops students' understanding of how learning happens beyond the classroom environment.

The teacher you want to be

Graduates of the Secondary PGCE programme are highly employable and sought after by schools and colleges in London and further afield. Almost all student teachers secure their first teaching post by the time they complete the programme. Many graduates become a head of department or head of year within 2-5 years, frequently progressing to senior leadership in schools. Several are now headteachers. Others have developed their careers by becoming lead teachers in the classroom, engaging in further study and research or by writing, blogging and advising other teachers.

 Overall, the Secondary PGCE Programme aims to provide a springboard into a rewarding career as a skilled subject-specialist teacher and future educational leader.

The tools of a great educator

  • Understanding of theory and subject or phase pedagogy
  • Creating a successful climate for learning, including behaviour management
  • Planning and teaching classes that engage pupils
  • Using assessment to inform planning
  • Working with the wider school community, including parents

Employability

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.

Accreditation

Students who successfully complete this programme will be recommended for Qualified Teacher Status (QTS).

Structure

The programme is taught through a mix of face-to-face and online sessions, (including keynote lectures and debates, presentations, discussions, and classroom group tasks), and a practical teaching element based in two schools. Students are required to read widely and to carry out written assignments in their own time. 

Students will also take part in specific activities that provide the opportunity to focus on specific, pivotal areas of our curriculum. These opportunities (totalling 20 days of ITAP) will strengthen the link between theory and practice and provide students with specific feedback to support their progress in these pivotal areas. 

We have identified four placement days for ITAP. The remaining 16 days for ITAP will take place during IOE timetabled time.  

Assessment is through practical teaching, two 5000 word written assignments and portfolio tasks.

The PGCE Physics course is a full-time programme.

During university taught sessions, students are expected to be present all day. Students spend a minimum of 124 days on school placement and will be required to attend for full and entire school days, including pre- and post-teaching sessions as expected of a normal, full-time teacher at their placement school.

Modules

You will undertake two modules at level 7 (Masters level) of 30 credits each and one Professional Practice module at level 6. The level 7 credits can be carried forward onto some full Masters programmes at IOE (check individual programme requirements).

When you are not undertaking face-to-face teaching at IOE, you will be undertaking at least 124 days of teaching practice in various Partnership Schools.

Throughout the year, you will also participate in specific activities at IOE and in school that focus on important areas of our curriculum. These activities (totalling 20 days with at least 4 days in school) will help you to better understand links between theory and practice. They will also involve feedback from experts so that your progress is supported in these pivotal areas. These days form part of your 124 days on placement.

Please note that the list of modules given here is indicative. This information is published a long time in advance of enrolment and module content and availability are subject to change. Modules that are in use for the current academic year are linked for further information. Where no link is present, further information is not yet available.

Upon successful completion of 60 credits and the Professional Practice module, you will be awarded a PGCE in Physics.

School placements

Students will undertake at least two placements at a school or college, during which time their teaching practice will be supported by a school subject mentor. During school placements students may teach:

Key Stage 3: science (including elements of physics, chemistry, biology)
Key Stage 4: science (all areas) or physics (depending on school placement)
Key Stage 5: A level physics (if available in placement school)

The Professional Practice module is assessed through these placements, associated tasks and a portfolio.

Students on the programme should note that not all Secondary school settings are accessible or have parking available for Students to use. During placement periods Students should be prepared to travel to and from each school placement.

We ensure your placement will provide fulfilling and valuable experiences through:

  • A dedicated team who will identify the best schools for your placements
  • Support and guidance from your university tutor and your school-based mentor
  • School experience that allows you to progress at an appropriate pace for you
  • Reasonable travel times from your home to your school

Making the most of your placement

Teaching is a demanding profession and student teachers can feel nervous about school placements or anxious about the workload. Your tutor and school-based mentor will help you navigate your school experience, ensuring that you have the input you need. Empathetic feedback and discussion about your developing professional practice will support you to be successful.

Accessibility

Details of the accessibility of UCL buildings can be obtained from AccessAble accessable.co.uk. Further information can also be obtained from the UCL Student Support and Wellbeing team.

IOE, Faculty of Education and Society 20 Bedford Way, London WC1H 0NS, UK - Open day

Teacher Training Open Event

Join us at IOE, UCL's Faculty of Education and Society, Teacher Training Open Event where you can find out more about our PGCEs in Early Years, Primary, Secondary and Further Education. The admissions and funding teams will also be available to give advice on the application process and student funding options.

Fees and funding

Fees for this course

UK students International students
Fee description Full-time
Tuition fees (2024/25) £9,250
Tuition fees (2024/25) £25,900

The tuition fees shown are for the year indicated above. Fees for subsequent years may increase or otherwise vary. Where the programme is offered on a flexible/modular basis, fees are charged pro-rata to the appropriate full-time Master's fee taken in an academic session. Further information on fee status, fee increases and the fee schedule can be viewed on the UCL Students website: ucl.ac.uk/students/fees.

Additional costs

For some IOE sessions you will need to bring your own lab coat (£15-30).

Students are responsible for funding their travel to and from placements and to offsite teaching sessions organised by the programme in the London area.

If purchasing a lab coat presents difficulties, please consult your tutor or subject lead.

For more information on additional costs for prospective students please go to our estimated cost of essential expenditure at Accommodation and living costs.

Funding your studies

Students may be eligible to receive a training bursary for living costs. For Secondary, the amount depends on your PGCE subject and your degree classification or highest relevant academic qualification.

For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the UCL Scholarships and Funding website.

IOE-Clarke Scholarships

Deadline: 3 May 2024
Value: Tuition fees, return flights and stipend (1 year)
Criteria Based on both academic merit and financial need
Eligibility: EU, Overseas

IOE-ISH Centenary Masters Scholarships

Deadline: 3 May 2024
Value: Tuition fees and accommodation (1 year)
Criteria Based on both academic merit and financial need
Eligibility: EU, Overseas

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.

UCL is regulated by the Office for Students.