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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.

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


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.

If you’d like to learn more about what it’s like to teach physics, sign up to our free upcoming webinars below.

November 2021:

December 2021:

Applications for both school- and university-led training are made through the Department for Education’s ‘Apply’ service. There are two application windows – Apply and Apply again:

  • Apply: select up to three programme choices. If applying for school-led training, we advise you to also consider applying for the university-led route as well.
  • Apply again: if you are unsuccessful at Apply, you can move to Apply again, 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. Please see the relevant information if you're based in Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland or the Republic of Ireland.

Before you read on, these short videos will give you an insight into becoming a physics teacher. Hear what three past IOP scholars have to say.

Dan

Siobhan 

 Paul

Alastair – a case study

Whether you are a recent graduate, a postgraduate or thinking of changing your career to one in teaching, we thought you may be interested in reading this case study on Physics World on one of our recent IOP scholars. After many years working in industry our scholar Alastair made the leap from an engineering industry career into the classroom, after completing his initial teacher training (ITT) course.

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

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

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

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

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 about switching from engineering to teaching physics

Physics teacher training FAQs

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

Read our FAQs

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 how you can prepare for teacher training