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BScPhysics with Teaching

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

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 will 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.

Accreditation

Accredited by the Institute of Physics for the purpose of fully meeting the educational requirement for Chartered Physicist.

Accredited by the General Teaching Council for Scotland

Course content

Year 1

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.

Mathematics

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.

Year 2

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.

Mathematics

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 ba group project which will be used to enhance your skills and there will be further interactions with the Careers Service.

Year 3

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.
Physics Skills
This class 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 oral, written and graphical presentations, literature and group-work skills, individual data analysis and interpretation skills, and basic grounding in physics problem solving.
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.
Statistical Physics
This class covers the fundamentals of thermodynamics through to an introduction to various distributions such as Maxwellian, Fermi-Dirac and Bose-Einstein.
Practical Physics
This class is a reduced version Experimental Physics. It's offered only to students on the BSc Physics with Teaching degree.

Year 4

Placement Learning

This class is taught both on campus and in schools. It'll help you become an effective teacher through learning about pedagogical theory, observing experienced teachers and applying your knowledge through teaching experience during the course.

Creative Contexts for Learning

This class will support you as you develop your approaches to curriculum, planning, learning, teaching and assessment, and includes cross-curricular approaches. 

Educational Perspectives & Policies

This class develops your understanding of key educational issues in a broader intellectual context. It 's taught in a cross- sector way, so that primary and secondary students can share opinions and learn from each other. 

Principles & Policy in Practice

This is the companion class to Educational Perspective and Policies. It shares a focus on critical professional engagement informed by educational research and theory. 

Professional Specialisation

This class gives you the opportunity to gain experience and further study in something you're particularly interested in. You can attend classes on campus, or undertake alternative methods of learning/development based on your area of interest. 

 

It gives you the opportunity to gain experience

Assessment

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.

Entry requirements

Required subjects are indicated following typically accepted grades.

Highers

Standard entry requirements

Year 1 entry: AABB/ABBBB (Physics B, Maths B, *English C)

A Levels

Year 1 entry: BBB

Typical entry requirements: ABB

International Baccalaureate

32 (Physics HL5, Maths HL5, *English SL6)

HNC/HND

Considered on an individual basis; please contact us for advice

Please note

*General Teaching Council minimum English requirement; preference is likely to be given to applicants offering higher grades

Additional Information

  • 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

 

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.

International students

Find out entry requirements for your country.

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 will be able to progress to this degree course at the University of Strathclyde.

Fees & funding

How much will my course cost?

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

Scotland/EU

  • 2019/20: £1,820

Rest of UK

  • 2019/20: £9,250

Assuming no change in Rest of UK fees policy over the period, the total amount payable by undergraduate students will be capped. For students commencing study in 2017/18, this is capped at £27,750 (with the exception of the MPharm and Integrated Masters courses); 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.

International

  • 2019/20 - £18,950

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.

Additional fees 

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.  

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?

Students from Scotland and the EU

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.

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

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.

International Students (Non UK, EEA)

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

Available scholarships

We have a wide range of scholarships available. Have a look at our scholarship search to find a scholarship.

Careers

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 online.

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

Contact us

Apply

How to apply – 10 things you need to know

  1. All undergraduate applications are made through UCAS
    Go to the UCAS website to apply – you can apply for up to five courses.
  2. It costs £12 to apply for a course
    The cost is £23 for two to five courses.
  3. 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.

    Applications are still welcome from international students (non-EU) and those living in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. We welcome applications from international students

    Find out further information about our entry and English language requirements.

    International students who don’t meet the entry requirements, can apply for our pre-undergraduate programmes.

    There’s also an online application form.

    For further information:
  10. Here’s a really useful video to help you apply

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