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Higher Education Group

This is an IOP special interest group, which is a community of IOP members focused on a particular discipline, application or area of interest. 

Special interest groups allow members to connect and share knowledge and ideas. The IOP funds groups to deliver a range of activities including events, prizes and bursaries. All of our groups are driven by members.  

About the group

As a special interest, member-driven group, we provide physics education members with meetings across the UK and Ireland and regularly organise joint physics events with other IOP groups. We also support members with links to professional networks, physics resources and blogs.

What interests us is:

  • conceptual understanding in physics
  • subject-based physics in higher education research
  • degree accreditation
  • influencing policy
  • sharing funding information
  • employability

What the group does

We develop networks with overseas groups with similar interests and encourage members to discuss their ideas or projects. We invite our members to apply for funding to organise meetings.

In 2018, we contributed to the IOP response to the post-18 review of education and funding (PDF, 327KB).

We also support networks of:

  • admission tutors
  • directors of teaching and learning
  • disability officers
  • heads of physics
  • outreach and public engagement
  • PhD supervisors

Joining an IOP special interest group

For non-IOP members: Become a member now

For IOP members: Find out how to join a group

Group physics prize

Lillian McDermott Award in Physics Education Research

The award recognises the most outstanding poster presentation in the field of physics education research at the annual meeting of the Institute of Physics Higher Education Group.

Find out more about the Lillian McDermott Award in Physics Education Research

Physics resources

Group annual general meetings

Higher Education Group AGMs

Annual General Meeting, online, 18 August 2021:

Annual General Meeting, online, 19 August 2020:

Annual General Meeting, University of Bristol, 21 August 2019:

Annual General Meeting, University of Sheffield, 22 August 2018:

Resources from group meetings

Higher Education Group meetings resources

Variety in Chemistry Education (VICE) and Physics Higher Education Conference (PHEC) satellite meeting: “What is meaningful assessment in physics?”, August 2021:

Joint meeting with the Computational Physics Group: “Lessons Learned in Lockdown: Teaching Computational Physics in 2020 and Beyond”, online, 14 April 2021:

Videos of presentations are available on YouTube

Joint meeting with the History of Physics Group, online, 9-10 November 2020

Learning and teaching community meetings on the challenges of online and blended learning in physics, online, May-August 2020

Variety in Chemistry Education (VICE) and Physics Higher Education Conference (PHEC) satellite meeting, Bristol, 21 August 2019:

Regional meeting, Bristol, 15 May 2019:

Regional meeting, London, 26 November 2018:

Variety in Chemistry Education (VICE) and Physics Higher Education Conference (PHEC) satellite meeting on demographic gaps in recruitment, retention and attainment, University of Sheffield, 22 August 2018:

Regional Meeting, University of Glasgow, 12 June 2018:

Technology-enhanced Assessment, University of Edinburgh, 13 December 2016 – programme and abstracts (PDF, 237KB) by:

  • Barry Ryan
  • Paul Chin
  • Morag Casey
  • Sally Jordan
  • Chris Sangwin

Developments in Teaching Physics Students’ Computer Programming Skills, University of Sheffield, 2 June 2015:

Promoting learning through technology, University of Edinburgh, 23 October 2013:

Teaching of Thermodynamics, Institute of Physics, 5 December 2012:

Group events

Find events for the Higher Education Group



Our higher physics education blogs cover:

  • policy
  • events
  • research
  • comment

Blogs are written by IOP staff, members and event speakers.

Committee and contacts

Chair Dr James Uhomoibhi, CPhys MInstP
Secretary Dr Andrew McKinley, MInstP
Treasurer Dr Tom Stallard, MInstP
Ordinary Member Dr Emily Brunsden, MInstP
Ordinary Member Dr Andrea Jiménez Dalmaroni, MInstP
Ordinary Member Dr Jessie Durk, MInstP
Ordinary Member Dr Angela Dyson, MInstP
Ordinary Member Dr Nicolas Labrosse, FInstP
Ordinary Member Professor Peter Main, FInstP
Ordinary Member Dr Philippa Petts, CPhys, MInstP
Ordinary Member Dr Bianca Sala, MInstP
Ordinary Member Dr Helen Vaughan, MInstP