IOP Institute of Physics

For physics • For physicists • For all


Case studies

We have provided three case studies to get you thinking about new approaches to your recruitment

Case Study 1: Provider X
Subject Enhancement and vigorous local marketing

Physics students

Provider X is situated in a campus based post-war university, which has a relatively small physics department. The tutor decided to adopted a physics SKE course. In the four years prior to adoption it recruited an average of 5 student teachers onto its Physics PGCE course, whereas in a 4 year period after adoption it averaged over 18 on its physics course, far higher than the national trend. Most of the student teachers on the PGCE course come from the Enhancement Course. The tutor adopted the full range of marketing techniques to encourage participants onto the SKE course including:

  • a well sign-posted website, from which one can download a leaflet on the SKE course
  • an evening recruitment session for the SKE course featuring alumni
  • local advertising involving radio and newspapers
  • posters in local public libraries
  • posters in the local University science faculties

SKE participants came from a range of backgrounds from marine biology through to geology and had a diversity of age ranges, from those just out of university, to those establishing career changes in later life and those returning to the workforce after raising a family.


Case Study 2: Provider Y
Excellent links with physics department, and multiple entry streams

Provider Y is situated in a red brick Russell Group university, of a major city, which has a medium sized physics department. The university has a strong commitment to teacher education, and has a high profile in educational research.

The PGCE physics intake has been one of the highest in the country for a number of years, at an average of 20 per year.

The tutors have developed or taken advantage of a significant number of entry streams into the course:

  • excellent links with the physics department
  • an education module in its physics undergraduate course
  • a Student Associates scheme
  • a nearby physics SKE course which provides one or two students each year to the PGCE course

Case Study 3: Provider Z
Large and flourishing SKE course

Provider Z is also based in a red brick Russell Group university, of another major city, but in a quite different location from that of provider Y. It too has a medium sized physics department.

Prior to adopting an SKE course the PGCE physics intake averaged about 9 per year. After adoption the physics numbers have more than doubled, through the following strategies:

  • good partnerships with its physics department, the Student Associates scheme, and the regional physics network consortium¬†
  • good links with its partners; all course information and marketing materials has been available to the partners at all times
  • the success of the SKE could be attributed to the marketing agency employed to launch the programme
  • the education department's marketing has focused on STEM subjects, including successful outdoor media advertising campaigns
  • its dedicated course pages on its website are first rate, with clear concise information, prominent promotion of its SKE course, and good use of images and of testimonials