Institute of Physics; General Teaching Council for Scotland
High Flyer Programme:
qualified applicants can complete the course in three years
Why this course?
This joint Honours degree combines physics with teaching methods and practice to prepare you to be a physics teacher in secondary schools.
There is a shortage of physics teacher across the UK. Our degree is designed to fill this gap.
In addition to the core physics syllabus, you’ll study pedagogy and get the hands-on classroom experience required for General Teaching Council recognition.
The degree lasts four years and covers a range of topics in physics and emphasises modern physical principles. You will develop core skills in mathematics and physics that will allow you to gain a solid fundamental understanding.
There is a strong emphasis on laboratory work and this will help you develop a sound understanding of experimental physics and instrumentation.
Your training in laboratory work is completed by a research project carried out in an up-to-date research lab, attached to one of the department’s research groups. This allows you to benefit from our lively and diverse research environment.
You’ll study the foundations of physics. Classes will also cover maths, mechanics, optics and waves, electromagnetism and quantum physics and practical work undertaken in the teaching laboratory. You’ll also select elective classes from across the University.
All classes taken in this year are compulsory build upon the physics knowledge developed in the first year. You’ll be introduced to new topics such as solid-state physics and computational physics. The laboratory work becomes more sophisticated, recognising your growing maturity as a physicist.
In addition to classes on quantum physics, electromagnetism, statistical mechanics and solid-state physics, you will take lectures that relate to teaching pedagogy for science as well as a teaching placement in a school.
During the first semester of the fourth year you'll either undertake a project in the research labs of a member of staff in the department or one of our first semester optional classes from topics as diverse as photonics through to quantum information theory.
You’ll spend the second semester of fourth year covering education-based courses together with an extended period of teaching practice in schools.
High Flyer Programme
Well-qualified applicants with appropriate A Levels and Advanced Highers will be admitted to the Faculty of Science prestigious 'High Flyer' Programme, which allows students to complete an Honours degree in three years and an Integrated Masters degree in four. If you are studying the relevant subjects you may receive a dual offer, specifying grades to direct entry to Year 2 as a High Flyer and also standard Year 1 entry.
Assessment methods include exams, continuous assessment, written reports, moderated peer assessment in tutorials and workshops, talks and poster sessions. You’ll undertake in-school training through placements during years 3 and 4 of the course.
Learning & teaching
Teaching methods include lectures, tutorials, interactive learning using both personal response systems and web-based teaching resources, directed laboratory work, group-based learning and self-paced project work.
Required subjects are indicated following minimum accepted grades.
Year 1 entry: AABB/ABBBB (Physics B, Maths B, *English C)
Year 2 entry: Physics and Mathematics AB, plus two other Higher subjects at AB, or Advanced Higher ABB including Physics and Mathematics plus another Higher at B, *Higher English C)
Year 1 entry: BBB
Typical entry requirements: ABB
Year 2 entry: ABB (Physics B, Maths B, *GCSE English Language C and *English Literature C)
Typical entry requirements: AAA
32 (Physics HL5, Maths HL5, *English SL6)
Considered on an individual basis; please contact us for advice
*General Teaching Council minimum English requirement; preference is likely to be given to applicants offering higher grades
deferred entry is accepted
if you have Higher Physics or Maths at grade C, you will be required to upgrade and achieve a grade A if repeating the Higher, or a grade B at Advanced Higher
if you have a grade D at first attempt in Higher Physics or Higher Maths, you will not normally receive an offer
in order to continue into Year 3, Physics with Teaching students undergo an interview and must be registered with the Protecting Vulnerable Groups Scheme
We want to increase opportunities for people from every background. Strathclyde selects our students based on merit, potential and the ability to benefit from the education we offer. We look for more than just your grades. We consider the circumstances of your education and will make lower offers to certain applicants as a result.
All fees quoted are for full-time courses and per academic year unless stated otherwise.
2017/18 - £1,820
Rest of UK
2017/18 - £9,250
Bachelor degrees at Strathclyde will cost £9,250 a year, but the total amount payable will be capped at £27,750 for students on a four-year Bachelors programme. Students studying on integrated Masters degree programmes – for example MSci, MEng and MPharm – will pay £9,250 for the Masters year.
2017/18 - £18,000
Course materials & costs
At present, the department charges students £5 for lecture notes in PH 151 and PH 152. These notes are supplied by the University printers. Digital copies of notes are published on MyPlace for students to download.
A recommended textbook that comes with an online homework system is priced at £75, and covers both first and second-year material. If students don't wish to buy this text, the department issues the homework in paper copy for students to hand in for marking.
This process is currently under review, as the department are considering moving to an online textbook. This will be priced at £30 and accessed through MyPlace.
The department supplies students with lab books (£1) for recording data through years 1-3. First-year students are supplied with USB keys (£10) for the collection of data. Personal response handsets are also available at lectures.
If you're a Scottish or EU student, you may be able to apply to the Student Award Agency Scotland (SAAS) to have your tuition fees paid by the Scottish government. Scottish students may also be eligible for a bursary and loan to help cover living costs while at University.
Graduates will follow the course with the paid probationary year in schools which is part of the professional training for secondary teaching.
How much will I earn?
The starting annual salary for a probationer teacher in Scotland is £21,867. After your probationary year, your salary will increase to £26,235 and increase an increment each year up to £34,887. A principal teacher can earn up to £49,086 while a headteacher can earn from £43,137 to £84,201.
If you teach in a remote school or on certain islands you may get an additional allowance. £1,928 for a distance island and £1,320 or £2,475 for a remote school.*
Chartered teachers (in Scotland) and those in management positions can earn more.*
Where are they now?
100% of our graduates are in work or further study.**
All undergraduate applications are made through UCAS
Go to the UCAS website to apply – you can apply for up to five courses.
It costs £12 to apply for a course
The cost is £23 for two to five courses.
The deadline is 15 January each year
This is the application deadline for most courses. However, please check the details for your particular course. View a full list of UCAS key dates.
You might be asked to attend an interview
Most of our courses make offers based on the UCAS application. However some might ask you to attend an interview or for a portfolio of work. If this is the case, this will be stated in the prospectus entry requirements.
It’s possible to apply directly to Year 2
Depending on your qualifications, you might be able to apply directly to Year 2 - or even Year 3 - of a course. Speak to the named contact for your course if you want to discuss this.
There’s three types of decision
unconditional – you’ve already met our entry requirements
conditional – we’ll offer you a place if you meet certain conditions, usually based on your exams
unsuccessful – we’ve decided not to offer you a place
You need to contact UCAS to accept your offer Once you’ve decided which course you’d like to accept, you must let UCAS know. You don’t need to decide until you’ve received all offers. UCAS will give you a deadline you must respond by.
You’ll choose one as your firm choice. If the offer is unconditional or if you meet the conditions, this is the course you’ll study.
You’ll also have an insurance choice. This is a back-up option if you don’t meet the conditions of your first choice.
You don’t need to send us your exam results (Scotland, England & Wales)
If you’re studying in Scotland, England or Wales, we receive a copy of your Higher/Advanced Higher/A Level results directly from the awarding body.
However, if you are studying a different qualification, then please contact us to arrange to send your results directly.
We welcome applications from international students