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PGCE Secondary (Science with Physics)

Course Description

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

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.


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. 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).

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.

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

All short-listed applicants are invited to an interview. You'll be sent an article to read beforehand, as well as suggestions for further research on a current topic, such as phonics. On the day there will be a presentation to give you information about the PGCE programme and an opportunity for you to ask questions. You'll be involved in a group discussion about the article and have a paired interview with a tutor on the PGCE course. We are looking for people who can talk about educational issues and children's learning, drawing on their own personal experiences as a learner and on their observations of teachers in primary schools. There is also an audit of your English and maths skills with a short test. At the end of the process, we want you to be clear what the programme offers, what you can expect from us and what our expectations are of you.

International applicants

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

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.

Visit the PGCE Secondary (Science with Physics) page on the Plymouth University website for more details!

Entry Requirements

GCSE grade C (or equivalent) in English and mathematics, and 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.

Course Fees

UK/EU: £9000, International: £12,250, Islands: £9000

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