BSc Hons Physics with Teaching (International)


Key facts

  • Open to international applicants only

Study with us

  • combine physics with teaching methods and practice to prepare you to be a physics teacher in secondary schools
  • curriculum specifically designed for international students
  • learn with Scotland’s largest provider of Initial Teacher Education
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Why this course?

In addition to studying core physics modules, you’ll study pedagogy and aspects of education that will prepare you to become a physics teacher in secondary schools. There is a strong emphasis on laboratory work and this will help you develop a sound understanding of experimental physics and instrumentation.

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 condensed matter physics and fluids, liquids and thermodynamics. 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 can 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.

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Course content

Experimental Physics (20 credits)

This module is an introduction to working in a laboratory environment. You'll learn how to design and undertake simple experiments related to the taught components of the first-year physics curriculum. By the end of the course you will be able to write a formal report, perform simple uncertainty analysis, make dimensional analysis of physical systems, and perform simple data analysis with Python

Mechanics & Waves (20 credits)

This module 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 (20 credits)

This module 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 and magnetostatics and develop an understanding of Maxwell’s equations and the Lorentz force law.

Mathematics (40 credits)

We will introduce you to the mathematics necessary to support the physics curriculum. The modules will cover topics ranging from differentiation and integration, complex numbers, an introduction to linear algebra and vectors. You will learn how to apply your mathematical knowledge to related problems in physics.

Computational & Physics Skills (20 credits)

This module will introduce you to the Python programming language and you will start to use Python to write simple programmes to model physical systems. You will also develop your study and communication skills, and interact with the careers service to develop your employability skills. This module will involve a group project.

Experimental Physics (20 credits)

This module 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, Optics & Waves (20 credits)

This module 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, interference, geometrical optics, and the operation of lasers.

Quantum Physics & Electromagnetism (20 credits)

This module builds on the material you learned in year 1. You'll be introduced to the probabilistic nature of quantum mechanics, including wave particle duality and Heisenberg uncertainty principle. You'll learn about AC theory, covering inductors, capacitors and transmission lines. You’ll extend your knowledge of Maxwell’s equations to develop a vector model of electromagnetism and the theory of the plane electromagnetic wave in vacuum.

Mathematics (40 credits)

The topics covered in these modules will extend the mathematics seen in first year. You will cover many different topics including probability distributions, ordinary and partial differential equations, Fourier series and transforms, linear algebra, and complex variables. You will learn how to solve problems relating to the topics covered in your physics modules and build appropriate physical models.

Computational & Physics Skills (20 credits)

In this module 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 to enhance your employability skills.

Experimental Physics I & II

These classes extend the laboratory work developed in years 1 and 2 to cover new content developed in the Year 3 syllabus. Experimental Physics I has twice the content of Experimental Physics II and allows students the option of focusing more on experimental physics. In these classes the laboratory work is open ended so you're able to fully explore the experiments in preparation for the final year project.

Quantum Physics & Electromagnetism (20 credits)

Building on what you learned in year 2, this module will extend your understanding of quantum mechanics. We'll introduce operators, expectation values and commutation relationships, and advanced concepts like time independent perturbation theory. In electromagnetism you will exploring the wave like nature of electromagnetism as predicted by Maxwell's equations, Poynting’s theorem, reflection and transmission at a dielectric interface, potentials and gauge transformations, and retarded potentials.

Communicating Physics

This class will help develop your knowledge base and transferable skills in preparation for the project undertaken in year 4 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 (20 credits)

Here you'll cover binding forces in solids, bulk material properties, phonons and other forms of collective excitations, crystal structure, elementary concepts of band structure, semi-conductors, magnetic materials and the origins of magnetism, and superconductors.

Gases, Fluids & Thermodynamics

This class covers the fundamentals of gases and fluids and leads on to classical, statistical and quantum thermodynamics describing properties such as entropy, Fermi-Dirac and Bose-Einstein behaviour in matter.

Computational Physics

The computational skills developed in Years 1 & 2 will be applied to real life physics problems and the methods used to solve them including a wide range of methods and algorithms to solve systems of partial differential equations, Monte-Carlo simulations, the finite difference method, stochastic behaviour, as well as introducing best-practise in software development.

Mathematical Physics

This class will introduce mathematical problem-solving techniques for advanced problems from Quantum Mechanics, Statistical Mechanics and Thermal Physics, Solid State Physics, and Electrodynamics. New techniques will also be introduced focusing around classical mechanics and elements of mathematics that are transferable to a wide range of physics problems.

Educational Studies: Professional Values (20 credits)

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 (20 credits)

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: Curriculum and Pedagogy Physics 1 (40 credits)

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.

Placement Learning: Community

This module aims to provide students an opportunity to engage with their peers and learners of STEM in a variety of situations on and off campus. This will give them a real life context in which they can relate their ideas learned in their Physics with Science curriculum and pedagogy classes.

Learning on Placement

This module aims to give students an opportunity to apply knowledge and skills in STEM pedagogical methods gained on this as well as other course modules to help learners in a variety of situations and institutions.

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.

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Entry requirements

International Baccalaureate

Standard entry requirements*:

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

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

International students

View the entry requirements for your country.

Additional information

Membership of the Protecting Vulnerable Groups Scheme required is required for Year 4.

Pop Physics!

Our students work with the Institute of Physics to carry out experiments demonstrating some of the core principles of physics and how they relate to our lives and the world around us.

Take a look at the videos on YouTube to learn more about physics!

Take me to the Pop Physics playlist on YouTube
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Fees & funding

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

Fees may be subject to updates to maintain accuracy. Tuition fees will be notified in your offer letter.

All fees are in £ sterling, unless otherwise stated, and may be subject to revision.

Annual revision of fees

Students on programmes of study of more than one year (or studying standalone modules) should be aware that tuition fees are revised annually and may increase in subsequent years of study. Annual increases will generally reflect UK inflation rates and increases to programme delivery costs.

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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

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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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 140 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

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Graduates will have developed the skills required to teach physics in secondary schools.

Graduates will also have developed skills applicable to creating, setting up and demonstrating experiments commonly carried out in secondary school physics labs.

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This degree programme is only available to international students. UK students should apply to our BSc (Hons) Physics with Teaching degree course.

Start date: Sep 2024

(1 year entry)

BSc Hons
Start date: Sep 2024

Direct Applications

Our Direct applications service is for international applicants who wish to apply to Strathclyde University at this time.

Apply now

Start date: Sep 2024

(2 year entry)

BSc Hons
Start date: Sep 2024

Direct Applications

Our Direct applications service is for international applicants who wish to apply to Strathclyde University at this time.

Apply now
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