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PGCE Secondary Physics (QTS)

Course Description

This course provides graduates with the knowledge, skills and experience necessary to teach Physics at secondary level. Time is spent in the University and in classroom placements, ensuring that by the end of the course, trainees are confident professionals ready to begin teaching in secondary schools.


The award is offered at three levels. All are recognised teaching qualifications, but the postgraduate awards will allow fast-track entry to Masters courses:
1. Professional Graduate Certificate in Education
2. Postgraduate Certificate in Education

The choice of which qualification to take will be made while on the course, successful completion of which will lead to recommendation for Qualified Teacher Status (QTS).

What will I study?

The course aims to develop an understanding of the specialist subject in the context of the National Curriculum, the principles involved in the teaching and learning of the subject across the full age and ability range and the professional values and practice, subject knowledge and understanding commensurate with the particular subject specialism. This includes how children learn and how they develop cognitively, socially and physically and the understanding, skills and personal qualities necessary for managing the learning environment.

All trainees undertake a module concerned with the wider context of schools and education. This develops the knowledge, skills and attitudes required for your first teaching post in a secondary school. It also builds a foundation for further professional development. Elements of this module include both whole cohort keynote lectures and seminars, many of which are led by mixed groups of trainees supported by tutors. This allows you to meet the Teacher Standards by making secure connections between issues in school and your own professional practice.

You will cover the specialist issues concerning science education including the place of practical work; the use of Information Communication Technologies (ICT) and Health and Safety. The university based work is divided into four areas: Core Science - which considers generic issues concerned with science education and the methodologies of Biology; Chemistry and Physics. You will study the methodology of all three subjects in sufficient depth to teach Key Stage Three and at least two, preferably all three of them to Key Stage Four. In addition, you will receive tutorial support and small group seminar support in the three subject areas.


University-based modules: Learning and Teaching in the Subject, and Learning and Teaching in the Wider Context, are assessed at the end of the modules with reflection against the Teacher Standards. You will also conduct a piece of research-based, professional enquiry within the classroom, which is assessed by a formal written report and presentation of findings. A separate, formal assessment also takes place in practical teaching.


School / college experience is central to the course and at least 24 weeks are spent on placement in at least two different secondary schools or colleges. During the first phase, two days of school/college experience each week for three weeks are spent in school leading up to a six-week block placement. Trainee teachers are gradually given more responsibility and increase their contribution in both the classroom and to the corporate life of the school.

The second phase begins with a two day, weekly attachment for the first three weeks of the spring term, leading up to the final assessed 13 week block placement. In both placements the training programme is planned by mentors to allow progressive acquisition of the skills, knowledge and understanding students need to be recommended for the award of Qualified Teacher Status (QTS).

Students are formally observed on a regular basis by their subject mentor as well as receiving a number of visits from the University, to monitor their progress, support their development and undertake their assessment.

Subject Knowledge Enhancement Course (SKE)

If your degree content does not meet the requirements you may be eligible for a Subject Knowledge Enhancement (SKE) in Physics course, which will give you the necessary subject knowledge prior to undertaking the PGCE.

Visit the PGCE Secondary Physics (QTS) page on the Nottingham Trent University website for more details!

Entry Requirements

a good UK honours degree or equivalent, preferably at a minimum 2.2 in a related subject; GCSE English and Mathematics at minimum grade C or equivalent, these must have been gained prior to application; school observation experience (it is essential as a guideline NTU request that you have at least two weeks' experience); Disclosure and Barring Service check; Professional Skills Tests; applicants will need to undertake an interview as part of the selection process. International applicants require IELTS 6.5 with a minimum of 5.5 in all elements.

Course Fees

Please see our website for current course fees

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