IOP Institute of Physics

For physics • For physicists • For all


Postgraduate Certificate in Education / Professional Graduate Certificate in Education

This is the most popular route into teaching. There are now two PGCE routes into physics teaching - 'Physics with Science' and 'Physics with Maths'. 'Physics with Maths' is a recent addition to your training options and is available at a selection of Initial Teacher Training (ITT) providers across England. 

The biology and chemistry content that would be included in a 'Physics with Science PGCE' is replaced with maths. This option could appeal to you if you have a mathematical physics or engineering background or simply prefer maths to the other sciences.

Whether you choose 'Physics with Science' or 'Physics with Maths', remember that 'with' denotes a subsidiary subject. Your teaching specialism will be physics.

A PGCE course is a mixture of training based at a Higher Education Institution (HEI) and at least 24 weeks teaching in schools, usually carried out as two placements in different schools. For a list of institutions offering PGCEs, search the UCAS Teacher Training website. PGCE courses can also be called a Postgraduate Diploma in Education (PGDipED).

The course usually lasts for one year and is full-time, although some ITT providers offer more flexible courses.

There are actually two different PGCE qualifications, Postgraduate Certificate in Education and Professional Graduate Certificate in Education, both leading to Qualified Teacher Status. However the former includes more academic work and would give you credits towards a Master’s degree should you chose to study further in the future.

UK and EU resident students are eligible for a training bursary when undertaking a physics PGCE. Being one of government’s priority subjects, physics, along with maths and chemistry are given the highest bursaries of all teaching subjects. The bursary amount is determined by your degree classification. 

If you have a first class or 2.1 degree you will receive £20,000, a 2.2 £15,000 and £9000 if you have a relevant degree and a good A-level in physics (grade B or above). These bursaries are tax-free and paid by your ITT provider during your course. For full details refer to the National College for Teaching and Leadership's bursary information

Please note, you will be charged tuition fees by your ITT provider. The exact cost varies between institutions and UK and EU students may be eligible for a loan to cover the cost.

The IOP Teacher Training Scholarship programme has closed for 2014. Please refer to the 'Bursary' information above for details of alternative funding for 2014. You can register your details if you would like to receive information about future IOP Teacher Training Scholarships programmes.

UCAS Teacher Training is the new centralised application portal for all PGCE, SCITT and School Direct training routes. Applications are submitted online. You are required to submit a personal statement and details of your academic and work experience.  Take a look at our making an application pages for further details.

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