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 (2023/24)
£9,250
Overseas tuition fees (2023/24)
£24,200
Duration
1 academic year
Programme starts
September 2023
Applications accepted
All applicants: 11 Oct 2022 – 04 Aug 2023

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 in the world for education for nine years running in the QS World University Subject Rankings.

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 5. 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 5. For Mathematics, equivalency tests in Mathematics Foundation or Mathematics Higher with grade 5 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.

Equivalent standard

Applicants who do not offer a GCSE in English Language or Mathematics may demonstrate an equivalent standard by completing a test at www.equivalencytesting.com or A Star Equivalency and achieving at least a grade 5.

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.

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: 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 £77, and depending on your DBS requirements, there may be an additional fee of £12.75 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.

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 200 schools throughout Greater London and beyond, ensuring each has the opportunity to become a skilled and confident teacher.

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 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) within 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 aims to provide a springboard into a rewarding career as a skilled 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 Physics Secondary PGCE is delivered via keynote lectures, seminars, workshops, tutorials and directed study days at IOE as well as time spent in placement schools or colleges. Assessment is by practical teaching observation, assignments and a portfolio.

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 120 days of teaching practice in various Partnership Schools.

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 is 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.

Students undertake two level 7 (Master’s-level) modules of 30 credits each, totalling 60 credits. These credits can be carried forward onto some Master’s programmes at the IOE (check individual programme requirements). 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.

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 & Wellbeing team.

Fees and funding

Fees for this course

UK students International students
Fee description Full-time
Tuition fees (2023/24) £9,250
Tuition fees (2023/24) £24,200

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.

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

The Department for Education provides tax-free bursaries of £27,000 to Physics PGCE students starting their training in 2023, subject to eligibility. Scholarships of £29,000 are available to Physics PGCE students who meet specific eligibility criteria. Note students cannot receive a bursary and a scholarship. For more information and to find out if you are eligible visit our Teacher Training Funding pages.

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.

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.