PGCE Secondary Education Science with Physics | Middlesex University London
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PGCE Secondary Education Science with Physics

Learn about the course below
September 2018
1 year full-time
£9,250 (UK/EU)
£12,500 (INT)
Course leader
Eddie Ellis

Einstein did all of his best work when he was young – and I know there are plenty of talented young people out there who could give him a run for his money!" - Professor Brian Cox. There are plenty of talented young scientists in the UK, but a shortage of good physics teachers is holding back their development. By sharing your passion for physics with students in secondary education, you might just inspire an Einstein of the future.

Why study PGCE Secondary Education Science with Physics at Middlesex University?

A one-year full-time course, PGCE Secondary Science with Physics enables you to meet the national standards for the award of qualified teacher status. Teaching science at Key Stages 3 requires competence across the entire range of the National Curriculum Programme of Study for Science.

Therefore our PGCE Secondary Science with Physics course begins with a stimulating mix of biology, chemistry and physics education. We then focus fully on physics, allowing you to specialise in the teaching of this diverse and engaging subject at Key Stage 4.

We have a range of specialist science and teaching facilities on campus, providing you with a solid foundation on which to develop your skills and experience. We have excellent relationships with schools in and outside London, and during your studies, you will undertake teaching placements in at least two secondary schools and have the chance to acquire skills in the application of new technologies in teaching and learning. Schools are carefully selected to suit each individual and expose them to a variety of imaginative and thought provoking learning strategies. Key experts from our partner schools are on hand to offer invaluable mentoring and support.

Course highlights

  • You will be encouraged to stay in touch with your tutors, allowing mentoring and mutual knowledge exchange
  • Many graduates have their first teaching job at the schools where they had a placement
  • The diverse teaching placements enable you to understand, critically evaluate and respond to the needs of children in multicultural, multilingual and multi-faith settings and schools in an international, urban environment
  • As a student of this course you'll receive a free electronic textbook for every module.

What will you study on the PGCE Secondary Education Science with Physics?

At the start of the course you will be shown how to audit your subject knowledge across the curriculum and you will develop an action plan to address gaps in subject knowledge. You will analyse research data and critically evaluate how research has contributed to the knowledge and understanding of how to teach your subject effectively.

For the major curriculum assignment you will develop original teaching resources and creative ideas in order to revise an existing scheme of learning in the placement school. You will be required to analyse the planning of a sequence of lessons, showing how they draw on reading and study to develop effective teaching and assessment in physics and how the school context affected your decisions.

What will you gain?

In addition to developing the knowledge and skills required to teach your chosen subject, you will be able to identify and evaluate effective strategies for assessing children's learning through formative and summative assessment strategies. You will critically evaluate the effectiveness of a wide range of resources and your own lesson plans. You will also understand the importance of literacy, numeracy and ICT in delivering an effective, all-round curriculum. At the end of the course you will be able to provide evidence that you have developed the appropriate subject knowledge and pedagogy to meet the required teaching standards.

  • Modules

    • School-Based Training 1 (20 Credits) - Compulsory

      This module aims to prepare students during their first school experience. It develops their preparation skills and enables collaboration with their fellow students, subject mentors, and professional coordinating mentors. Students learn to address and meet the expectations specified by the statutory teaching standards. The school-based element of this module lasts for approximately 50 days.

    • School-Based Training 2 (40 Credits) – Compulsory

      This module encourages students to build on the experience gained in School Experience 1. It aims to provide an extended, individual school experience across the age ranges 11-16, 11-18 or 14-19. Students undertake 74 days of teaching across a six-month period, so that they can address the standards specified by the Teachers' Standards.

You can find more information about this course in the programme specification. Module and programme information is indicative and may be subject to change.

How is the PGCE Secondary Education with Physics taught?

This is an intensive five-day-a-week course, during which you will be expected to carry out assignments during the Christmas and Easter holiday periods. You will spend at least 120 days in schools, where you will be teaching for approximately 60% of the timetable. The first School Experience is 13 weeks while the second School Experience is an extended, individual school experience where you build upon your expertise and knowledge. The rest of the programme (60 days) is university based, where you will attend lectures, seminars and practical workshops.

The course is comprised of a range of presentations, discussions and practical workshops where exemplar material can be selected from physics contexts. There will also be break out sessions where you will be working both in mixed groups and with other physics specialists. Outside specialists are also invited to deliver sessions that cover topics in teaching physics at KS4.


Subject studies are assessed by a portfolio of coursework and a school-based special study (a teaching resource). Progressive developments of teaching skills are recorded using criteria referenced assessment proforma. Professional studies are assessed by a range of written tasks, observations, and teaching and evaluative discussions with course tutors, and school based mentors and teachers.

  1. UK & EU
  2. International
  3. How to apply
  1. UK & EU
  2. International

How can the PGCE Secondary Education Science with Physics support your career?

We are proud to have strong and committed partnerships with hundreds of schools located in London and the surrounding area. This means that during your studies you will take part in work placements at a variety of schools, where you will have an opportunity to apply the skills you have learnt. Many students go on to commence their careers at the school where they completed a placement during the course, with more than 95% of students finding employment soon after graduation.

Recent research into teachers' daily experiences by the Department for Education has found that teaching is better at giving you a 'natural high' than many other professions. The starting salary of an newly qualified teacher is at least £21,804 a year (£27,270 if working in inner London) and, on average, teachers' salaries increase by 30% after the first four years of their career.

Teachers can find career progression in both the classroom and the school's management structure. You might aspire to become the head of a department, age group or curriculum. And through developing your leadership skills and experience, you could progress to a senior management position, such as deputy head or head teacher (earning a salary of between £42,803 and £113,303).

For more information on salary and career progression, visit the Department for Education's website.

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