Postgraduate Certificate in Education
Secondary Initial Teacher Education Science with Physics
About this course
This is a new strand of the PGCE Science where you will specialise in Physics. Students who successfully complete this route will be in a strong position to gain employment as teachers of Physics up to post-16 and general science at least to KS3 and possibly KS4.
This course will attract bursaries from the Department for Education, for further information please visit the www.education.gov.uk.
The Secondary PGCE is a one academic year (36 week) course and has been designed to train teachers for the full secondary age phase (11-18). Trainees are assessed against the standards for Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) in two key stages, normally KS3 and KS4. In the first half of the autumn term, some trainees may seek to change this to Key Stage 4 and post-16, this will be subject to discussion with the Programme Leader. (Note: From September 2017, the course will train teachers for ages 11-16. Although trainees will often gain experience of 16-18, they will not be formally assessed in this phase.)
The course is active and practical allowing trainees to develop professional competence through work undertaken in schools and in the University. Trainees work with young people, develop their expertise in their specialist subject area, share and discuss educational issues and study relevant educational research. The course is just the beginning of what we hope will be a process of continual professional development throughout a challenging and rewarding career.
Once you have been offered a place on a PGCE Secondary Science course you will have an opportunity to boost your subject knowledge in Physics with one of our Subject Knowledge Enhancement (SKE) courses before starting your PGCE.
Find out more about what PGCE Secondary Education at UWE has to offer in terms of teaching quality, staff expertise and your student experience.
Watch: The learning and teaching experience
The course is part of UWE's Department of Education's programme for Initial Teacher Training. Units studied are:
- Enabling Learning
- Meeting Curriculum Challenges
- Becoming a Teacher
These units are studied in both the school and the University-based parts of the course, the work on each site being complementary. The course centres on learning about the nature, content and teaching of all aspects of the science curriculum for 11-16 year olds and of specialist Physics for 14-19 year old eg. A level.
During your 12 weeks of study at the university, a range of aspects of teaching and learning of the Science curriculum will be addressed, e.g.
- Common misconceptions in Science
- Learning Science through out-of school trips and visits
- Supporting Numeracy and literacy through Science teaching
- Safety in Science lessons
- The nature of Science
On the UCAS website, look for us under Physics rather than Science, although you will also be trained to teach across the sciences at least to KS3 and possibly KS4.
Guiding young people to develop an understanding of how scientists set about investigating the world, what science can answer and, probably more important in some ways, what it cannot, is exciting and very rewarding. Helping pupils to address misconceptions and facing some of your own is certainly challenging and never boring.
We will introduce you to a range of teaching styles, classroom management skills, lesson planning and assessment procedures both in the University and through classroom support from teachers in schools. You will consider strategies to support young people in their learning of science. You will also consider the use of a range of teaching styles and resources, including the appropriate use of information and communications technology (ICT)
You will participate in sessions with other Physics graduates, and in mixed Science groups. You will also work with graduates from other disciplines where cross-curricular issues, such as learning theories and behaviour management are covered. If you have the knowledge and the passion to teach Science with Physics then this PGCE course is for you.
Hear what our students think about their time at UWE.
The University continually enhances our offer by responding to feedback from our students and other stakeholders, ensuring the curriculum is kept up to date and our graduates are equipped with the knowledge and skills they need for the real world. This may result in changes to the course. If changes to your course are approved we will inform you.
Learning and Teaching
We recognise that embarking on a new course of study can sometimes be quite a challenging undertaking. You will have support from a number of staff in the university including; your group tutor, a personal tutor from you 14 - 19 specialism (Physics). Additionally any student can get support on a range of issues from a Department Student Adviser.
In order to pass the course, trainees are required to pass each unit. They are assessed on a number of written assignments and also on classroom practice against the standards specified by the Secretary of State for the award of Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) Before the end of the course it is recommended that trainees take the computer-based QTS skills tests in Numeracy, Literacy and ICT.
For more detail see our full glossary of assessment terms.
24 weeks are spent on placement: a total of eight weeks in one placement during the autumn term and 16 weeks in a second placement during the spring and summer.
As well as teaching, the programme includes contact time with a Senior Professional Tutor and a Subject Mentor, directed study time and personal study time.
There is an opportunity to spend time in a primary school and some students may also visit other institutions, such as special schools, science learning centres or colleges of further education.
Trainees in some placements also have the opportunity for a third placement during the final weeks of the course.
You will also be provided with opportunities to work in collaboratively with young people as a whole subject group or with other scientists.
The Department of Education provides a pleasant environment in which to study. Its modern, purpose-built facilities provide high quality teaching rooms with state-of-the-art technology available. The department has excellent IT facilities and houses an Open Learning Area with the latest equipment including an interactive whiteboard, CD burners, scanners and a range of equipment that can be booked out and borrowed, including digital cameras and laptops, with friendly staff on hand to help when needed.
Find out more about the facilities and resources UWE has to offer.
Careers / Further study
The Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) programmes now include 40 credits of assessment at Master's Level (Level M). For candidates who opt not to attempt the requisite credit at Level M, a Professional Graduate Certificate in Education will be available as an alternative award.
For further information on your career in teaching, including salary scales and case studies of current trainee teachers, visit www.education.gov.uk/get-into-teaching.
Hear from past UWE students about how studying here has enhanced their career prospects and opened up new opportunities.
Our award-winning careers service helps you develop your employment potential through career coaching, a vacancy service for internships, placements, jobs, global opportunities, volunteering and community activity plus support for entrepreneurial activity, and access to employer events.
Full Time Course
|Home/EU-Full Time-Annual (Per Year) Fee||9000|
|Home/EU-Full Time-Module Fee (15 Credit)||1125|
Supplementary fee information
The PGCE is financed as an undergraduate course. More information on fees can be found on our tuition fees pages.
For funding options, please see funding for PGCE students.
- GCSE: English, Mathematics and Science grade C or above
Applicants normally have:
- An honours degree (normally 2:2 minimum) with at least 50 per cent in a related subject (related to the subject you want to teach e.g. Physics).
- GCSE grade C or above in mathematics and English language.
- To be able to demonstrate recent experience of observing or supporting teaching in your subject area. This must be conducted in a comprehensive school (minimum of 10 working days or two weeks equivalent within the last three years).
Applicants who do not meet the minimum academic entry requirements, but have significant life and/or work experience will be considered on an individual basis.
Please note that this course starts early in September. We are unable to agree any requests for holiday due to the number of days required to fulfill the course.
Please read through the UCAS Teacher Training pages carefully for guidance on how to apply.
Applicants must pass an initial selection process and short-listed candidates will be interviewed at the Department of Education. All offers will be subject to satisfactory health checks.
Disclosure of Criminal Background - Applicants who are offered a place must undergo a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check and will be required to complete a Disclosure Application Form. All information will be treated in confidence and only taken into account when absolutely necessary.
If you would like information regarding issues that could disqualify you from teaching training, please contact us on +44 (0)117 32 83333.
Department for Education Professional Skills Tests
All trainee teachers are required to pass skills tests in numeracy and literacy before they can be recommended for the award of qualified teacher status (QTS) and before starting their course. We recommend that you complete the skills tests in Numeracy and Literacy as soon as possible after you have submitted an application for an Initial Teacher Education programme. If practical, you should take these tests before any interview that you may be invited for, but if this is not possible, you should take them as soon as possible thereafter. If you have not passed the tests at the interview stage, any offer will be conditional until you have passed both tests. You will need to pass both tests by 30th June. Information about the tests can be found at The Department for Education.
Standards and requirements
Following the review of Standards and Requirements for Initial Teacher Training (ITT) by the Secretary of State in 2012 (revised in June 2013), our full-time courses have been designed to be compliant with the latest standards and requirements.
For information about the national curriculum and subjects taught in secondary schools, visit Directgov online
The Department of Education is not able to approve deferrals under any circumstances. Applicants unable to start their programme during the year of application will be required to withdraw and reapply the following year.
Come along to our PGCE drop in sessions in S Block Cafe, Frenchay Campus to find out more.
For further information
- E-mail: Admissions@uwe.ac.uk
- Telephone: +44(0)117 32 83333