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BSc Hons Physics with Teaching


Key facts

  • UCAS Code: F3XC
  • Accreditation: Institute of Physics; General Teaching Council for Scotland
  • Placement: school placement

Study with us

  • combines physics with teaching methods and practice to prepare you to be a physics teacher in secondary schools
  • cover the core syllabus of the relevant degree, plus the curriculum and classroom experience required for General Teaching Council for Scotland recognition
  • learn with Scotland’s largest provider of Initial Teacher Education
  • become eligible to enter the paid probationary year in teaching
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Why this course?

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.

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.


Accredited by the:

Laser reflecting on optic table in quantum laboratory

THE Awards 2019: UK University of the Year Winner

What you’ll study

Year 1

All classes are compulsory and you'll study the foundations of physics. Classes will cover mathematics, mechanics and waves, electromagnetism and quantum physics. You'll undertake practical work in the teaching laboratory. In addition to this you will also be introduced to the programming language Python and start to learn the basis of computational physics. 

Year 2

All classes are compulsory and will increase your understanding of physics and mathematics topics developed in first year. You'll extended your knowledge of scientific computing and the laboratory work becomes more sophisticated, recognising your growing maturity as a physicist.

Year 3

In addition to extending your study of quantum physics and electromagnetism, you'll be introduced to new topics centred on solid state physics, thermal and statistical mechanics. The laboratory work undertaken in Year 3 is aimed at further developing your laboratory skills. A key part of being a physicist is the communication of your understanding of the subject and in third year you will take classes designed to enhance the communication skills acquired in Years 1 and 2. You’ll also select elective classes.

Year 4

In this year you will take classes that develop the pedagogy of teaching. You will also undertake several school placements to give you a practical experience of teaching.

I liked the tutorial classes in first and second year, they were always fun and a good way to apply what we had been learning. Furthermore, I like that we all have a PDA (Personal Development Advisor), who is someone you can go to with any issues you may be having about the course, or just life in general that may be affecting your studies or situation.

Jade Jardine, third year student

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Course content

Experimental Physics

This class is an introduction to working in a laboratory environment. You'll undertake experiments related to the taught components of the first year physics curriculum, learning how to use standard equipment and handle experimental uncertainties.

Mechanics & Waves

This class is an will provide you with an understanding of motion of simple mechanical systems, gravitation and simple harmonic motion. You'll also learn about the fundamentals of wave propagation and the superposition of waves as well simple optical phenomena such as diffraction.

Quantum Physics & Electromagnetism

This class is designed to introduce you to quantum mechanics and electromagnetism. It highlights experimental observations that resulted in the development of quantum mechanics, such as the photoelectric effect and blackbody radiation. In terms of electromagnetism, you'll cover basic electrostatics such as Gauss's law and magnetostatics.


We will introduce you to the mathematics necessary to support the physics curriculum. The classes will cover topics ranging from differentiation and integration, complex numbers, an introduction to linear algebra and vectors.

Computational & Physics Skills

Here you will start to use Python to write simple programmes to model physical systems. To enhance your programming skills you will complete a group project and use the output from this project to develop communication skills by preparing a poster presentation. You will also start to develop employability skills.

Experimental Physics

This class is an extension of Experimental Physics from year 1. You'll undertake more complex experiments that are related to the taught components of the second-year curriculum. You'll see the statistical origin for experimental uncertainties.

Mechanics & Waves

This class builds on Mechanics and Waves from year 1. You'll be introduced to special relativity, the vector treatment of rotational motion and the behaviour of systems when forced to oscillate. To extend your understanding of wave phenomena you'll be introduced to the wave equation, Fresnel and Fraunhofer diffraction and the operation of lasers.

Quantum Physics & Electromagnetism

This class builds on the material you learned in year 1. you'll be introduced to the probabilistic nature of quantum mechanics and you'll develop a vector model of electromagnetism.


The topics covered in these classes will extend the mathematics seen in first year. You will cover many different topics including probability distributions, ordinary and partial differential equations, and Fourier series and transforms.

Computational & Physics Skills

In this class you will build on the Python programming seen in year 1 and be introduced to a range of computational techniques that will make modelling and solving physical system straightforward. Again there will be a group project which will be used to enhance your skills and there will be further interactions with the Careers Service.

Experimental Physics
This class extends the laboratory work developed in years 1 and 2. In this class the laboratory work is open ended with so you're able to fully explore the experiments in preparation for the final year project.
Quantum Physics & Electromagnetism
Building on what you learned in year 2, this class will extend your understanding of quantum mechanics by introducing advanced concepts such as time independent perturbation theory and electromagnetism by exploring the wave like nature of electromagnetism as predicted by Maxwell's equations.
Condensed Matter Physics
Here you'll cover condensed matter physics and be introduced to concepts such as the Fermi surface, superconductors, phonons and other forms of collective excitations.
Gases, Liquids & Thermodynamics

This module covers the physics of gases and liquids and the fundamentals of thermodynamics. We also present various distributions such as Maxwellian, Fermi-Dirac and Bose-Einstein.

Plus one or two Optional classes from:

Communicating Physics

This module will develop your knowledge base and transferable skills in preparation for the project undertaken in years 4 and 5 of the course. It focuses on effective and concise communication of complex information through oral, written and graphical presentations, literature and group-work skills.

Computational Physics

During this module, you’ll be introduced to the best practises in software development, and the numerical methods that are most commonly used to solve physical problems.

Mathematical Physics

This module will teach you mathematical problem-solving techniques to aid in solving physics problems from quantum mechanics, statistical mechanics and thermal physics, solid state physics and electrodynamics.

Educational Studies; Professional Values

This class will explore the theoretical underpinnings of education: its nature and purpose, its ethical and political significance in terms of social justice, equality and the environment, and the expression of these ideas in policy and legislation.

Professional Learning Through Enquiry

Professional Learning through Enquiry aims to develop students as enquiring, self-reflective practitioners who are able to work collaboratively to develop skills, knowledge and expertise in an area of professional practice that will benefit children and young people throughout Scotland and beyond.

Professional Skills – Professional Practice

In this class you'll explore, experience and extend the links between effective pedagogy, the curriculum and the learner’s experience in a secondary school environment.

Professional Skills; Curriculum and Pedagogy Physics 1

The class will provide active and collaborative opportunities for students to explore how to plan discrete, integrated, and interdisciplinary curricular learning with a particular focus on the teaching of physics and general science.

Physics with Teaching student Sam Templeton smiles at the camera while working at a computer in a physics laboratory
I looked at lots of different options and decided pretty quickly that, although I wanted a degree in physics, I didn’t want to work in a lab or research. I've always enjoyed sharing my knowledge with others so teaching is a career that has always appealed to me. Completing a degree with a PGDE allows me to go straight into the classroom after graduation.
Sam Templeton

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.


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.

Aerial view of students sitting around coffee tables

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Entry requirements

Entry requirements are for September 2023 entry.

Required subjects are shown in brackets.


Standard entry requirements*:


(Physics B, Mathematics B, English C)

Minimum entry requirements**:


(Physics B, Mathematics B, English C)

A Levels

Standard entry requirements:


(Physics B, Mathematics B, GCSE English Language 4/C and Literature 4/C)

International Baccalaureate

Standard entry requirements*:

Year 1 entry: 30
(Physics HL5, Mathematics HL5, English SL6)

Year 2 entry: 32
(Physics HL6, Mathematics HL6, English SL6)


Considered on an individual basis; please contact us for advice.

International students

International students should apply to our BSc Hons Physics with Teaching (International).

Deferred entry


Additional Information

  • in sixth year it is advisable to take both Advanced Higher Physics and Mathematics
  • students are required to register with the Scottish Government’s Protecting Vulnerable Groups scheme (PVG) before they start year 4 of the programme
  • please note that applicants who are made an offer of study will be required to attend and pass an interview

*Standard entry requirements

Offers are made in accordance with specified entry requirements although admission to undergraduate programmes is considered on a competitive basis and entry requirements stated are normally the minimum level required for entry.

Whilst offers are made primarily on the basis of an applicant meeting or exceeding the stated entry criteria, admission to the University is granted on the basis of merit, and the potential to succeed. As such, a range of information is considered in determining suitability.

In exceptional cases, where an applicant does not meet the competitive entry standard, evidence may be sought in the personal statement or reference to account for performance which was affected by exceptional circumstances, and which in the view of the judgement of the selector would give confidence that the applicant is capable of completing the programme of study successfully.

**Minimum entry requirements

Find out if you can benefit from this type of offer.

Widening access

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.

Find out if you can benefit from this type of offer.

Degree preparation course for international students

We offer international students (non-EU/UK) who do not meet the academic entry requirements for an undergraduate degree at Strathclyde the option of completing an Undergraduate Foundation year programme at the University of Strathclyde International Study Centre.

Upon successful completion, you'll be able to progress to this degree course at the University of Strathclyde.

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Fees & funding

All fees quoted are for full-time courses and per academic year unless stated otherwise.

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Fees for students who meet the relevant residence requirements in Scotland are subject to confirmation by the Scottish Funding Council. Scottish undergraduate students undertaking an exchange for a semester/year will continue to pay their normal tuition fees at Strathclyde and will not be charged fees by the overseas institution.

England, Wales & Northern Ireland


*Assuming no change in fees policy over the period, the total amount payable by undergraduate students will be capped. For students commencing study in 2022-23, this is capped at £27,750 (with the exception of the MPharm and integrated Masters programmes), MPharm students pay £9,250 for each of the four years. Students studying on integrated Masters degree programmes pay an additional £9,250 for the Masters year with the exception of those undertaking a full-year industrial placement where a separate placement fee will apply.



University preparation programme fees

International students can find out more about the costs and payments of studying a university preparation programme at the University of Strathclyde International Study Centre.

Available scholarships

Take a look at our scholarships search for funding opportunities.

Additional costs


Travel to placement schools: costs vary depending on distance to school. Students using their own transport may incur additional insurance costs.

PVG scheme (Protection of Vulnerable Groups)

Third-year teaching students will need to pay for the full price of a PVG membership scheme (£59).

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.  

Other costs

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. 

Visa & immigration

International students may have associated visa and immigration costs. Please see student visa guidance for more information.

Please note: All fees shown are annual and may be subject to an increase each year. Find out more about fees.

How can I fund my studies?

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Students from Scotland

Fees for students who meet the relevant residence requirements in Scotland, 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.

For more information on funding your studies have a look at our University Funding page.

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Students from England, Wales & Northern Ireland

We have a generous package of bursaries on offer for students from England, Northern Ireland and Wales:

You don’t need to make a separate application for these. When your place is confirmed at Strathclyde, we’ll assess your eligibility. Have a look at our scholarship search for any more funding opportunities.

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International Students

We have a number of scholarships available to international students. Take a look at our scholarship search to find out more.

International students

We've a thriving international community with students coming here to study from over 100 countries across the world. Find out all you need to know about studying in Glasgow at Strathclyde and hear from students about their experiences.

Visit our international students' section

Map of the world.

Kimberly Nicholson, Physics with Teaching student
I enjoy the wide range of modules that Strathclyde provides, from all the theoretical subjects to computational and experimental physics. Strathclyde gives you a taste of a wide range of subjects and allowing you to specialise in an area in your final years.
Kimberly Nicholson
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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.**

Job titles include:

  • Physics Teacher

Employers include:

  • East Dumbartonshire Council
  • East Renfrewshire Council
  • Fife Council
  • Moffat Academy
  • St Ninians High School
  • Waid Academy
  • Westhill Academy

* More information is available on the Teach in Scotland website.

**Based on the national Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education survey.

Glasgow is Scotland's biggest & most cosmopolitan city

Our campus is based right in the very heart of Glasgow. We're in the city centre, next to the Merchant City, both of which are great locations for sightseeing, shopping and socialising alongside your studies.

Life in Glasgow

Gallery of Modern Art, Royal Exchange Square.

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International students should apply to BSc Physics with Teaching (International)

Start date: 2022

Physics with Teaching

Start date: 2022

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Contact us

Admissions Secretary

Telephone: +44 (0)141 548 3362


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