Plymouth Institute of Education

PGCE Secondary (Science with Physics)

Transform your enthusiasm for physics into practical teaching skills. With school placements, tutor support and a graduated induction programme, our trainees are well prepared for teaching in secondary education, and have an excellent record of obtaining first teaching posts. Dedicated and skilled physics teachers are in demand – we’ll give you the training and support needed to develop the skills, knowledge and confidence to begin your professional teaching career.

Key features

  • Build your confidence and gain practical teaching experience, with two main placements in local secondary schools and shorter visits to primary schools.
  • Access a range of bursaries and funding options to help ensure you’re able to focus on your studies and placements. The Institute of Physics (IOP) offers generous teacher training scholarships to exceptional candidates.
  • Benefit from support throughout your training from both your faculty tutor and school mentors.
  • Learn about the latest curriculum developments, issues and innovations.
  • You'll be supported to teach all three sciences to GCSE with a particular focus on your specialism.
  • Deepen your understanding of teaching, and learn about the opportunities for continued professional development and the relationship between educators and society.
  • Make use of the latest technologies and developments in teaching and gain experience in developing multimedia resources for your subject.
  • Hone your CV, interview and job application skills and attend events that will introduce you to potential employers.
  • Leave with the skills, knowledge and experience needed to begin your career teaching physics to children of all abilities from 11-18.
  • Take advantage of free teacher training support from the Department for Education’s Premier Plus programme.
  • Our PGCE secondary programme is now part of the School Direct initiative, and we offer a wide range of subjects through this route.

Course details

  • Programme overview
  • You’ll take six core modules, including induction and professional issues, teaching and learning physics, developing subject pedagogy, professional studies and practical teaching. We assess modules through either coursework or practical teaching. You’ll learn to draw on your experience of teaching, and to provide evidence of reading and reflection. We’ll support you with a range of graduated practical experiences that will help you develop confidence and achieve the competence to take responsibility in the classroom. This tapered introduction to learning about teaching is a successful feature of our trainee teachers' work. You’ll spend two-thirds of your year in local schools with two secondary school placements, plus visits to primary schools. A school mentor and a faculty tutor will supervise you jointly.
    Core modules
    • EPGS413 Practical Teaching 1

      This module gives students a wide experience of working with pupils and a greater familiarity with the work of the subject teacher. It will enable students to try out ideas and approaches for planning, teaching and assessing pupils and to gain confidence in themselves as teachers.

    • EPGS710 Developing Subject Pedagogy

      This module develops the themes introduced in the Teaching & Learning module with greater attention to (i) structures for medium-term planning, and (ii) assessment within the subject curriculum, including the full range of external examinations, through a critical review of the research and literature in the learner's own subject area.

    • EPGS719 Professional Studies

      This module will introduce trainees to essential areas of knowledge and critique of professional values and school practice. It will inform and develop their capacity to reflect on key issues in education and classroom practice. It will also inform their thinking about particular issues that they will pursue in a written assignment.

    • EPGS618 Practical Teaching 2

      This module gives trainees the opportunity to further practice and demonstrate their skills as a trainee teacher and to make the transition from 'trainee teacher' to 'beginning teacher' in a second school placement. School Practice will normally be for 17 weeks (five days in a Primary school and 16 weeks in a Secondary school) plus four Faculty days to review and share the experience.

    • EPGS615 Introduction to Professional Teaching and Learning

      Induction to Professional Teaching and Learning helps trainees reorientate their specialist subject knowledge towards the requirements of their subject curriculum as well as the gain a perspective of the wider role of the teacher, including the legal and statutory requirements, and on the structures of the wider school curriculum.

    Optional modules
    • EPGS619 Professional Studies

      This module introduces student teachers to essential to areas of knowledge of professional values and school practice. It will develop their capacity to reflect on key issues in education policy and classroom practice. It will also inform thinking about particular issues that they will pursue in a written assignment.

    • EPGS610 Developing Subject Pedagogy

      This module develops the themes introduced in the Teaching & Learning module with greater attention to (i) structures for medium-term planning, and (ii) assessment within the subject curriculum, including the full range of external examinations, through a critical review of the research and literature in the learner's own subject area.

Every postgraduate taught course has a detailed programme specification document describing the programme aims, the programme structure, the teaching and learning methods, the learning outcomes and the rules of assessment.

The following programme specification represents the latest programme structure and may be subject to change:

PGCE Secondary Science with Physics 3905

The modules shown for this course or programme are those being studied by current students, or expected new modules. Modules are subject to change depending on year of entry.

Entry requirements

Your suitability for the PGCE Secondary programme is judged on a range of factors including academic qualifications, ability to work with other people and a real interest in learning and teaching.

When selecting applicants for interview the admissions tutor will consider all parts of the application including a personal statement and references. The UCAS website has useful information on how to provide these.

Academic requirements

  • GCSE grade C (or equivalent) in English and mathematics.
  • An honours degree (2:2 or above) or equivalent in a subject with at least 50 per cent physics-related modules. You may also gain entry via a subject enhancement course. 

Masters and PhDs count towards entry requirements. A masters degree will be considered as a second class upper degree and a PhD as a first. This will also apply to international applicants.

For all other UK qualifications please refer to the UCAS website.

If you have overseas qualifications you can check how they compare with the UK equivalent through UK NARIC, who provide an advisory service.

English language requirements 

If English is not your first language then we’ll need evidence of your proficiency in English as follows: 

  • IELTS at level 7 in all four components or GCSE in English Language at grade C or above.
  • IELTS at level 6.5 provided that it was used to meet the entry requirement for a postgraduate degree completed in the UK.
  • IELTS at level 6 provided that it was used to meet the entry requirement for an undergraduate degree completed in the UK.

For more information please visit the IELTS website.

Non-academic requirements 

  • You'll be required to complete a satisfactory DBS (formerly CRB) Enhanced Disclosure, register with the Independent Safeguarding Authority and complete a criminal convictions self-declaration form.  Find all of the important documentation you'll need when applying for this programme.
  • You must be deemed fit to teach.
  • You must be able to reflect on some significant experience (a minimum of ten days) in a relevant educational setting(s).

Professional Skills Tests and Qualified Teacher Status

You'll need to pass your Professional Skills Tests (PST) and Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) tests prior to the start of the course. For more information please visit the Department of Education website.

Course requires ATAS

ATAS is the Academic Technology Approval Scheme which was introduced by the British government to certify students from outside the EU who wish to study or conduct research in Britain in certain sensitive technology related fields. For selected courses, obtaining a valid ATAS certificate is a requirement for gaining visa approval so should be taken seriously as part of any application. Areas related to ATAS include chemistry, engineering, physics, biophysics, metallurgy and microbiology. ATAS is used at all British universities and is enforced by the Foreign & Commonwealth Office. More information.

Fees, costs and funding

New Student 2017 2018
Home/EU £9,250 To be confirmed
International £12,250 To be confirmed
Part time (Home/EU) Check with School To be confirmed
Part time (International) Check with School To be confirmed
Full time fees shown are per annum. Part time fees shown are per a number of credits. Fees are correct at the time of publication and may be subject to change.

Funding

There's lots of support available to help fund your teacher training, including tax-free bursaries or a salary while you train.

Visit the Get Into Teaching website to find out more.


How to apply

Applications for this programme are made via the UCAS Teacher Training site.

Please ensure when submitting your application form through UCAS, that you are available for interview during the 40 day turnaround time following the submission of your application form. UCAS stipulate for all training providers to make a decision on applications within 40 working days. If you are not able to attend your interview during this period we will be unable to make a decision and therefore UCAS will reject your application by default. If you are unable to attend interview until after the 40 day period, and your application is rejected by default you will need to re-apply through Apply 2. If you have any concerns about this process you can visit the UCAS website or email us at educationinterviews@plymouth.ac.uk.

Interview guidance

All short-listed applicants are invited to an interview.  You will be asked to prepare a subject-based presentation and then engage in a discussion with other applicants before an individual interview with a PGCE tutor.  There will be a presentation to give you information about the PGCE programme and you will have the opportunity to ask questions. We are looking for people who can talk about educational issues and pupils' learning, drawing on their own personal experiences as learners and observations and experience in secondary schools. There is also an audit of your literacy and subject and curriculum knowledge. At the end of the process we want you to be clear about what the programme offers, what you can expect from us and what our expectations are of you.


QTS skills tests support

If you apply for any course leading to a teaching qualification in early years, primary or secondary education, you will have to take the Professional Skills Tests in Literacy and Numeracy before you can enrol on the course.

Find our more about the tests and discover available resources

Practical teaching in schools

Teaching is a career that requires confidence in a range of different situations. That’s why two-thirds of your PGCE year will be spent engaged in practical teaching within our partner schools.

Find out more about our PGCE school placements

Learning and assessment

All modules are assessed by coursework or by practical teaching. Our assessment is designed to ensure that you can achieve the professional standards required by the Department for Education.

Find out more about our learning and assessment

Pedagogic Research Institute and Observatory (PedRIO)

PedRIO was established in recognition of the University's many successes in research and development in higher education pedagogy.

Visit the PedRIO website

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