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Thinking of becoming a physics teacher?

Physics teaching is one of the most challenging and fulfilling careers you could consider. More than ever our schools need specialist physics teachers, so we're glad you're considering this rewarding career path.


To be a physics teacher in a UK maintained school you need to have qualified teacher status (QTS). There are various ways to get QTS, either through university-led or school-led training and, if you need to improve your physics knowledge before starting initial teacher training, you can take a subject knowledge enhancement course.

Applications for both school- and univeristy-led training are made through UCAS. There are two application windows – Apply 1 and Apply 2:

  • Apply 1: select up to three programme choices. We urge applicants to take advantage of the UCAS combined-application system and, if applying for school-led training, to consider applying for the university-led route as well.
  • Apply 2: If you are unsuccessful at Apply 1, you can move to Apply 2 where you make one choice at a time that will be considered by providers sequentially.

Not only do you have a choice on how to train but you also have options on what additional subjects your training will include, such as physics with science and physics with maths.

This information applies to you if you're based in England or the Republic of Ireland. Please see the relevant information if you're based in ScotlandWales or Northern Ireland

Register with us to be kept informed on the latest in physics teacher training, training providers and recruitment events.

Students in a physics classroom

IOP Teacher Training Scholarships

As an IOP Teacher Training Scholar, you'll receive tax-free funding and be part of a like-mind community with access to masterclasses, physics teacher training workshops and support.

Find out more about the scholarships

How to become a physics teacher

Teacher and students at university lecture.

University-led teacher training

You can choose to study at university to gain your QTS as well as a Postgraduate Certificate in Education / Professional Graduate Certificate in Education (PGCE).

Find out about university-led teacher training
Teacher and pupil at a desk.

School-led teacher training

School-led teacher training is delivered by school partnerships and enables you to train on the job.

You can train to teach via several school-based training courses:

  • School Direct
  • School Direct (salaried)
  • School Centred Initial Teacher Training 
  • Postgraduate Teaching Apprenticeship (salaried)
  • other teaching programmes: Now Teach, Researchers in Schools and Teach First
Find out about school-led teacher training
Young woman on colour doing physics experiment.

Subject knowledge enhancement (SKE) courses

Do you have some physics knowledge but feel is needs improving before starting your teacher training? Or would you like to change career and have a degree in a different background such as engineering? If so, taking an SKE course could be just what you need.

Find out more about SKE courses
Man leaning over desk with metal pipes on top.

Engineers into teaching physics

As someone with a background in engineering you’re in a unique position to share your practical perspective to teach and inspire the next generation of engineers and physicists. Find out how you can make the change to teaching and what funding is available to you.

Find out more
Teacher and pupils at a table.

Physics teacher training FAQs

Find answers to questions we're often asked about becoming a physics teacher.

Read our FAQs
Three young people in a library.

Waiting to start your teacher training

We’ve outlined below some activities you may like to do before starting your teacher training, if you have the time. These suggestions are based on information training providers give to prospective students.

Find out more