The University of Wolverhampton

PGCESecondary Education Physics

Why choose this course?

  • If you have an interest in all aspects of science; but in particular the physical sciences associated with forces, energy, electrical effects and enjoy investigating this in a practical setting, then our science (physics) course will suit you. Our course looks at the key ideas which underpin the teaching of science in schools today and the way children's understanding of concepts develops.
  • We offer routes allowing a main specialism from biology, chemistry, physics or science (which includes Earth and environmental science) for key stage 4 teaching each requiring applicants to demonstrate particular capability in that area with relevant post-16 qualifications. However all science teachers need to show a willingness to contribute significantly to subject teaching outside this specialism. You will not necessarily be expected to enter the course with an expert knowledge of all areas, therefore top-up courses are available through the university during the course.
  • The PGCE in science (physics) is offered only on a full-time basis.
  • Successful completion of the course will lead to the award Qualified Teacher Status along with 60 credits towards a Masters.

What happens on the course?

  • Over the one year course, you undertake two periods of University-based learning at Walsall Campus, and you spend at least 120 days divided between two different school placements across the 11-16 age range within the secondary age phase.
  • Your University tutor is available to assist you throughout your training, and every effort is made to ensure you have a high-quality school placement, where you can learn from experienced teachers.
  • All course modules provide examples of good practice in teaching which you will reflect upon as you develop your own teaching style - You will be expected to participate actively in your own learning and development.
  • Teaching on the course reflects a variety of methods that will prepare you for life in the classroom including teacher-led debates, pupil-led exploration, peer-group discovery and the provision of individual targets. You will be assessed in a variety of ways including written assignments, school-based project and other school-based activities and appraisal of practical teaching skills. The majority teaching sessions will be alongside trainees from the other science routes, with a small number dedicated specifically to physics.
  • All University-based elements of the course take place at the Walsall Campus.
  • Typical modules may include:
    • Observation of teaching, before undertaking ‘sheltered’ teaching activities, for example teaching parts of lessons or groups of pupils within a class
    • Progression to teaching single or short sequences of lessons
    • Further development through planned classroom activities
    • Development of teaching skills as you move to sustained sequences of lessons
    • Research in the University and school on the use of ICT in the teaching of your subject

PGCE: programme structure

  • Starting in September and ending in June the full-time PGCE is the fastest and most condensed way for non-experienced trainees to qualify.
  • The course comprises of two school placements and two periods of University-based teaching September to October; January to February.
  • 24 weeks of the 36 week PGCE course will be spent in schools. You will have one school attachment during the autumn term and another (in a different school) in the spring/summer terms. During the second attachment a proportion of your teaching at key stage 4 will be focussed on your chosen specialist area.
  • We try to take your geographical location into account when placing you in schools but our first concern is to ensure that you have a high quality school placement that can provide a range of experiences. Additional training will therefore take place in partner schools other than your 'attachment' schools. Support is available from your University Tutor throughout your training, plus from experienced teachers accredited by the University as school based tutors.

Why Wolverhampton?

  • We are one of Britain's largest and most established providers of teacher education. A national survey conducted by the Centre for Education and Employment Research has ranked Wolverhampton as the second most successful UK Higher Education Institute for graduate teacher training employment.
  • Access to high quality, bespoke subject knowledge enhancement courses.
  • Access to regular Professional Skills Test Support.
  • We have a state of the art Education and Teaching building with teaching rooms fitted with interactive whiteboards, two lecture theatres as well as social learning areas and a coffee shop.

What our students think

Profile of a successful student
Russell completed his PGCE in secondary science last year at University of Wolverhampton, following a number of years working as an avionic technician working on aircraft with the RAF. He had always enjoyed all aspects right from his time at school largely due to the impact of a motivational physics teacher. He completed a part time degree with the Open University following on from a BTEC in Engineering. After a few visits to a secondary school he realised that following the example of the teachers that had inspired him was the way to feel true fulfilment in his career. The PGCE motivated him immediately, with time to discuss his needs and development while given the independence to feel a proper teacher. He learned a lot from the contrasting schools available to him during his PGCE and the committed colleagues who willingly offered advice and guidance during the programme.

Russell easily secured a post teaching in a school close to his home well before the end of the programme. He is now enjoying the challenge of motivating the next generation of scientists.

Career path

  • The PGCE Secondary School Teaching leads to qualified teacher status, and allows you to take up a teaching post within a secondary school
  • In secondary schools you could move up and across the management structure to gain responsibility for:
    • a particular subject as head of department, faculty or curriculum
    • a particular age group as head of year or key stage coordinator
    • a particular area such as special education needs or pastoral care (i.e. personal guidance)
  • Ultimately, you could progress to a senior management position such as a deputy or assistant head and, of course, headteacher - at which point you will have overall responsibility for the management of a school and the education its pupils receive
  • · Following successful completion of this award, you could also use your 60 Masters-level credits towards any of our Masters degrees in the field of education which can be continued within your NQT year.

What skills will you gain?

  • If you are successful you will be awarded Qualified Teacher Status and you will be prepared to teach pupils in the 11-16 age range within the secondary age phase with primary and post-16 enhancement.
  • The course will provide you with an excellent start to your teaching career as you experience teaching science in two separate secondary schools, working with trained school-based tutors to aid your development. Successful completion of the course will award Qualified Teacher Status along with 60 Masters-level credits.
  • Become a critical reflective teacher with high levels of subject knowledge and a wide understanding of educational theory and practice

  • Professional skills required to achieve outstanding results in relation to student progress including data analysis, communication, lesson planning and assessment methods.

  • Access to high quality, bespoke subject knowledge enhancement courses.

Who accredits this course?

    • This course leads to the professional qualification of QTS – Qualified Teacher Status. The University will recommend students who have demonstrated competence in the Professional Standards to the Teaching Agency – who will award QTS.
    • The award of QTS is essential to teach in a school in the United Kingdom and on gaining this award the student becomes a qualified teacher.

Entry requirements

  • A degree in a strand of science or applied science, with 60% of the content in a relevant National Curriculum science area (from life processes and living things; materials and their properties; physical processes). You will be required to provide evidence of your original degree qualification.
  • Ability to demonstrate a high level of competence and confidence in your own scientific subject knowledge across the sciences
  • GCSE grade 4 (previously grade C) or above in English and Mathematics or equivalent (Please note we do not accept GCSE Equivalent Tests from other institutions or organisations & be aware that not all equivalency tests are accepted, if you unsure please contact our Admissions Department for clarification). You will be required to provide evidence of your original GCSE qualifications.
  • You should have recent experience of teaching and learning in secondary school or sixth form contexts, either through paid employment in school/college or through voluntary work/ observation OR be in the process of arranging to gain this.

Interview and Selection

  • Once your application has been forwarded to subject staff, your suitability is individually assessed. If you appear suitable, you will be offered an interview where you are required to sit a short subject specific interview/ examination.

The main purpose of the interview is to:

o give you an insight into the nature of the course, the teaching profession and to assess your commitments to it

o explore your subject strengths and areas for development

o assess your ability to communicate effectively in spoken and written English

o arrange a partnership school visit as necessary

o assess knowledge and understanding of National Curriculum for Physical Education in schools

o answer all of your question

Please view further information regarding interview preparation

Pre-entry Professional Skills Tests

Applicants for initial teacher training (ITT) courses which begin in 2015/16 are required to have passed the skills tests before the start of the course. Further information is available on the Department for Education website.

You will not be eligible to register and take the tests until after you have submitted an application for an ITT programme. Those applicants who satisfy the above entry requirements AND who have passed both tests may be offered an interview before applicants who are still to complete the tests.

Please note that:

Application forms should be able to demonstrate not only your depth of subject knowledge but also your enthusiasm and commitment to a career in teaching.

You will need to complete once you have a Conditional Offer, a current enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check, a medical declaration clearance and a prohibition check prior to starting the course.

We wish you every success with your application.

Course fees and finance

2017/8 Home/EU International
Full time - * £11,475

These fees are applicable for new entrants in 2017/8. Fees are for the academic year only, any subsequent years may be subject to an annual increase, usually in line with inflation.

2016/7 Home/EU International
Full time £9,000 £11,250

These fees are applicable for new entrants in 2016/7. Fees are for the academic year only, any subsequent years may be subject to an annual increase, usually in line with inflation.

* We are currently unable to confirm these fees.

Contact us


01902 32 22 22



Order a prospectus