PGCE Secondary Physics
30th August 2022
Department of Study
Centre for Teacher Education
Location of Study
University of Warwick
This course is ideal for those who have studied Physics, Chemical physics, Astrophysics, Medical Physics, Geophysics, Engineering, or a related discipline. This course will recommend you on completion for Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) to work with 11-18 year-olds (university-led) or 11-16 year-olds (School Direct). You'll become a confident teacher and make a real difference to your students' development and lives.
The course will develop you into a highly effective teacher, equipped with the skills and knowledge to become a successful school leader.
96% of our graduates rated us outstanding and good for quality of support by personal tutor through tutorials and opportunity for email communication. 2019-2020
Our PGCE courses had an overall completion rate of 93%. 2019-2020
We're nationally known for the quality of our training, and our work's based on a partnership with over 500 local schools in Coventry, Warwickshire and the West Midlands.
The Physics PGCE at Warwick focusses on your journey towards becoming an expert teacher. Your development will be guided and supported by university-based tutors and school-based mentors working in partnership. This will include regular sessions at university to develop your knowledge and expertise in subject studies; with opportunity to consider your wider development as a teacher and professional in Professional Enquiry sessions. In school, your mentor will be working closely with you to hone your practice as a teacher through instructional coaching.
Working closely with the other science PGCE courses you will consider questions such as:
- What is science?
- How do students learn?
- What are the most effective teaching strategies?
- How do I teach and manage practical work safely?
- How can I meet the needs of the individual learners in my class?
- How can I use assessment effectively?
- How do I lead a field trip or off-site visit?
You will have opportunity to engage with learned societies such as the Royal Society of Chemistry, Institute of Physics and Royal Society of Biology; as well as organisations such as the Association for Science Education. You will benefit from their advice and resources, as well as those from the various qualification awarding bodies.
Throughout the course you will be engaging with the research and evidence including seminal works and cutting-edge publications to develop your knowledge of the theory that underpins teaching science and lead to your development as a research-informed teacher.
What is a PGCE?
A Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) is usually a one-year teacher training course. It offers a mixture of academic and practical learning, and it's the first step for graduates in the development of a teaching career. It provides a recommendation for Qualified Teacher Status (QTS – a requirement to teach in the state school system as a Newly Qualified Teacher).
Which route will you take?
Throughout the year, both the university-led and School Direct routes are taught together. From September until the end of May, you will spend one day a week at the university. During the final few weeks of the course, you will experience five days a week in school.
There are regular personal tutorials with your university personal tutor throughout the year, as well as weekly mentor meetings in school and termly school visits from your moderation tutor. A minimum of 120 days are spent on school placement and a five-day primary school placement is undertaken during the year.
Core | University-led
On the university-led PGCE programme, 120 days are spent in school and the rest of the programme will consist of sessions taught by the University of Warwick as well as independent study.
If you feel passionate about teaching and would like a programme offering placements in a range of schools, this may be the best option for you. We will provide you with a good grounding upon which you will be building your professional skills and understanding in schools. A limited number of optional three-day placements in a special school are also available to students on the university-led route.
You will spend a minimum of 120 days in school, teaching your subject to pupils aged 11-16.
If you would rather be immersed in the classroom environment and school culture, consider the School Direct route where you'll spend the majority of the year based in a single school. There are two School Direct Routes available, School Direct Training and School Direct Salaried, on both routes you’ll complete a complementary placement for half a term in January and February, and the rest of the year is spent in your host school.
On the School Direct training route you may be eligible for funding through tuition fee loans and bursaries. School Direct salaried provides an employment-based option and is ideal for graduates with extensive work experience, who have worked in a school or similar setting for some time. You won’t be eligible for any bursaries or scholarships but you will receive a salary while you train. School Direct (salaried) trainees are usually contracted to the end of the school year.
At Warwick, we’ll help you find your own path to success. We understand that teaching is more than just a job. We also know that you are more than just another applicant. That’s why our approach is tailored around your needs. We’re focused on getting you prepared to enter the classroom, and ready for all the challenges that teaching throws at you. We won’t drop you in at the deep end, but we will help you become accustomed to different school environments.
We have a long history of providing students with the best access to the contacts, resources and facilities needed to fulfil teaching promise. You’ll also benefit from our research-informed teaching, delivered at an acclaimed university with a reputation for excellence. That teaching will come from people who truly understand about the journey that you’re taking.
There’s lots to take in when you think about becoming a teacher. That’s why we ensure that support is available whenever you need it. As well as having a personal tutor, that will support you throughout the time you’re at Warwick, you can rely upon the friendship and guidance from your fellow trainees. We also have online resources dedicated to giving you the help and support you need.
So choose Warwick, and give yourself the ideal start for that journey. Be somewhere which believes your teaching career can be as long, rewarding and enjoyable as you want it to be. Be somewhere that trusts you to follow a more personalised teaching path, but will be there for you wherever that path takes you.
Enrolment questions: cte dot admissions at warwick dot ac dot uk
General entry requirements
- Bachelors degree with Honours at 2:2 or above, or equivalent level.
- At least Grade C or the new Grade 4 in GCSE English Language and Mathematics.*
For the 2022/23 cohort only, we will be accepting 3rd party equivalency tests in place of GCSEs. The current providers that have been approved are as follows, with details of the current discounts that are available. If you are intending to use another equivalency testing company, we recommend you contact our admissions team prior to doing so to ensure that they meet the entry criteria.
- Why choose Equivalency Testing?
- Long standing company
- Excellent student support
- Secure testing
- Good and quick feedback
- Discounted from £175 to £160 (saving £15).
Why chose A Star Equivalency?
- Excellent student support
- A clear outline of required material in each exam
- Rolling programme of live online subject specific support sessions.
- An extensive range of free support material
- Practice papers and marking schemes
- Discounted from £165* to £139 (saving £26). Please contact email@example.com for the discount code.
If you are intending to use another equivalency testing company, we recommend you contact our admissions team prior to doing so to ensure that they meet the entry criteria.
English language requirements
Your spoken and written English must be of an adequate standard for postgraduate study. If English is not your first language, you will need a minimum score of 7.0 under the International English Language Testing System (IELTS).
Subject knowledge enhancement (SKE) courses
Usually, an honours degree or equivalent qualification, in the subject specialism or a subject directly relevant will be accepted. If your degree isn’t in the subject area you wish to teach or you have relevant professional experience but need to learn how to apply that to teaching you may be suitable for a Subject Knowledge Enhancement (SKE) course. If you are eligible following an application you will be recommended a particular length of SKE course to complete. We require that the SKE is completed preferably before the course start date in August and at the latest by October half term.
If your recommended length of SKE course significantly overlaps the start of the course you can opt to consider a deferral. SKE courses vary in length from usually 8 (short) to 28 (long) weeks. Short, medium and long SKE courses are still available but this is subject to change and subject to individual SKE providers. The Subject Knowledge Enhancement (SKE): course directory will give you an overview and directory of subject knowledge enhancement courses.
Funding for physics SKE courses will be available from January 2021. Tightening of eligibility criteria for SKE alongside a reduction of the SKE candidate bursary from £200 to £175 per week have been implemented from January 2021.
If you graduated in the last two years, you’ll need to provide an academic reference. It can take a while to complete and submit a reference, so the sooner you get in touch, the better – you might want to send a description of the course and what you’d like to get out of it to make it easier. For more information and guidance, we recommend using UCAS Teacher Training References.
You will need original copies of all your qualifications. If you don’t have these any more, you can obtain a Certified Statement of Results instead, but these can take some time to retrieve from exam boards and you may need to pay a fee.
Although it is not a requirement for entry, we strongly recommend that you have some experience in the classroom within mainstream UK schools (Key Stage 3 and 4) before applying. This experience will give you a flavour for your potential future career and will help you write your application. Find out how to gain school experience.
We are committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and young people and expect all staff, enrolled trainees and offer holders to share this commitment. The successful completion of an enhanced DBS check to confirm your suitability for the profession is a condition of any offer to study within CTE. Disclosure does not automatically make you ineligible to enrol onto a PGCE course, each application will be considered on a case by case basis, we recommend you use the DBS guidelines for applicants with previous convictions.
*The new grading system for those receiving their results for GCSE Maths and English was adopted in 2017. The grading system is now 9-1, with Grade 9 awarded to those students in the very top tier. Grade 4 is considered equivalent to the old Grade C.
**Special offer for the University of Warwick students. Maths exams are available in Foundation or Higher. English, Science and Biology are untiered
If students require further support, we offer a range of low cost options.
This module is taught by a subject specialist and focuses on the theory, method and practice of teaching your own subject.
This module aims to add depth and breadth to your professional development by supplementing the practical, school-based components of your training, by developing you as an effective reflective practitioner who is able to engage critically with both academic research and your own practice.
This module contains both taught content and school placements, focusing on the Teachers Standards which range from behaviour management and lesson planning to personal and professional conduct.
You’ll be assessed in the following ways. All assignments are submitted in electronic form. Your tutors will give you formal feedback identifying the strengths of the academic piece, and offer any advice for future work. The current assessment methods consist of the following, however, CTE reserves the right to change these as appropriate in line with the requirements of regulatory authorities such as Ofsted and the DfE.
Subject Studies (Master's level)
A series of assessments focussing on both educational theory and issues in your specialist subject (1 x 3000-word essay, 1 x Academic Poster.)
Professional Enquiry (Master's level)
A reflective case study on an area of educational practice in your placement school(s) supported by a literature review (1 x 1000 word formative essay and 1 x 4000 word essay.)
Professional Practice (Honour's level)
Meeting the Teachers’ Standards at a Good or Outstanding level (Regular observations by mentors and Teaching Fellows; Tutorials; Professional Digital Portfolio, Viva Voce.)
Fees and Funding
|PGCE (Uni-led, Core)||Full Time||Home||£ 9,250|
|PGCE (School Direct Salaried Training)||Full Time||Home||£ 9,250|
|PGCE (School Direct Salaried)||Full Time||Home||£ 2,000|
There is currently a bursary available of £24,000 for Physics, find out more at Get into Teaching.
- Study costs
There may be extra costs on top of the tuition fee, such as set books, a computer and internet access.
- Computing requirements
A computing device with a browser and broadband internet access is required for the course. The university provides central guidance on the recommended specification for any device you use to undertake your academic work.
*22/23 fees stated. The tuition fee payable for each subsequent year of your programme will increase annually by the relevant inflation, which has ranged 4% to 6% in the last few years. Fees will be invoiced in advance of the presentation of the module each year. Given the interval between the publication of courses and enrolment, some of the information may change. It is important to check our website before you apply. Please read our terms and conditions to find out more.
For up-to-date information concerning fees, funding and scholarships for Home/EU and Overseas students please visit Warwick's Fees and Funding webpage.
Career progression may be through a specialist curriculum or pastoral role, or by moving into management. Teachers may become heads of Key Stages or coordinators of a cross-curricular area, such as special needs or careers education, as well as subject or professional mentors for trainee teachers on placement.
Upon completing this course you'll be recommended for qualified teacher status (QTS) and gain 90 credits at Master's level. This allows you to fast-track to stage two of our Master's degree, quickly progressing your professional development. If you choose to complete a different Master's, you can still use 60 credits towards your course.
PGCE University-led (core)
Applications are usually open between October - June. Once you have your course choice, references and certificates, you can apply through DfE Apply.*
You can search for Warwick School Direct vacancies. Each school has a different DfE Apply code:
|School||DfE Apply Code|
Ashlawn School (Innovation Learning and Leadership Alliance)
Caludon Castle School (Castle Phoenix Teaching School Alliance)
The Rawlett School (Academies Enterprise Trust Midlands)
*When applying for the University-led PGCE through DfE Apply, you need to select the University of Warwick. If you are applying for a School Direct route with us, you select the name of the school accredited by the University Of Warwick.
We recommend that if you wish to gain your qualification through the University of Warwick, you select your DfE Apply options as University of Warwick University-led (Core) and one of the schools affiliated with us (School Direct). We have lots of information about our partner schools available.