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Study information

Engineers Teach Physics

Module titleEngineers Teach Physics
Module codeEDUM067
Academic year2023/4
Module staff

Mr Luke Graham (Convenor)

Duration: Term123
Duration: Weeks




Number students taking module (anticipated)


Module description

This is a module specifically for engineers who are training to teach physics which they take alongside EDUM048 – Secondary Physics Subject Knowledge and Pedagogy. It provides additional subject knowledge theory to support those trainees identified at interview as having an engineering/materials science background to teach physics in schools.

Module aims - intentions of the module

This module prepares you for physics teaching, giving practical guidance on the challenges and opportunities of being an engineer teaching physics.

The principle aims of the module are to support the Department for Education’s physics shortage subject recruitment strategy by providing a route into Physics teaching which:

  • supports non-physics graduates with engineering and materials science backgrounds to access the EDUM048 Secondary Physics Subject Knowledge and Pedagogy modulebyidentifying subject knowledge gaps

  • acknowledges how engineering skills can enhance physics teaching practice

  • creates a community of engineer and material scientist trainees who can stay connected and share best practice as they progress through their physics teaching careers

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)

ILO: Module-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 1. Demonstrate secure subject content knowledge and pedagogic subject knowledge in secondary science at key stage 3 and physics at key stage 4-5
  • 2. Produce a Subject Audit and Action plan to develop your subject knowledge

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 3. Develop an understanding of the requirements of being a physics teacher

ILO: Personal and key skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 4. Identify how engineering-specific skills can enhance physics teaching
  • 5. Be aware of how to access peer and wider support both during and after the course via a community of engineers and material scientists

Syllabus plan

This module is designed to support candidates with Engineering and materteral science backgrounds to be able to teach across the three sciences. Teaching the science content is not the primary aim of the course although the generic and specific requirements are addressed through various scientific phenomena.

You will have a personal academic tutor to guide and support you, as well as a dedicated subject mentor in both your placement schools. You will benefit from a specialist programme, working with a subject tutor and peers, developing a professional network which will sustain you into your career.

On the Secondary PGCE, you will learn and reflect on the skills and knowledge required by the programme’s credit bearing and non-credit bearing modules throughout the year. You will need to think about the modules in relation to each other. To facilitate this, the learning and teaching activities and guided independent study described below are scheduled to occur across all three terms both in the context of your university taught course and in the context of your applied professional experience in schools.

The programme will include the study of subject-based teaching methods as well as the study of broader whole school issues. Recognising that some topics of school curriculum physics are not normal parts of an engineering degree course, you will audit your own knowledge and have opportunity to undertake further learning.

Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled Learning and Teaching18Seminar programme
Scheduled Learning and Teaching3Tutorials with academic tutor
Guided Independent Study12Independent Study

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
SKE audit and action plan200 words1-5Verbal

Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams

Details of summative assessment

Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Action Plan logged on the PGCE IDP100200 words1-5Verbal

Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
Not Applicable

Indicative learning resources - Web based and electronic resources

Indicative learning resources - Other resources

Alsop, S., Bencze, L. & Pedretti, E. (2005) Analysing exemplary science teaching: theoretical lenses and a spectrum of possibilities for practice. Maidenhead: Open University Press.

Bishop, K. & Denley, P. (2007) Learning Science Teaching: Developing a professional knowledge base. Maidenhead: Open University Press

Driver, R. (2015) Making sense of secondary science: research into children's ideas. Abingdon: Routledge.

Jones, A., Reed, R. & Weyers, J. (2012) Practical Skills in Biology. Harlow: Pearson.  Kind, V. and Taber, K. (2005) Science: Teaching School Subjects 11-19. London:  Routledge

Kulgemeyer, C. (2018). Towards a framework for effective instructional explanations in science teaching. Studies in Science Education54(2), 109-139.

Liversidge, T. (2009) Teaching Science: Developing as a Reflective Secondary Teacher. London: Sage. Millar, R. (2005) Teaching about energy. University of York.

Nott, M., & Wellington, J. (1993). Your nature of science profile: an activity for science teachers. School Science Review75, 109-109.

Osborne, J. & Dillon, J. (2010) Good practice in science teaching: what research has to say. (2nd Edition). Maidenhead: Open University Press.

Ratcliffe, M. & Grace, M. (2003) Science education for citizenship: teaching socio-scientific issues. Maidenhead: Open University Press.

Taber, K. (Ed) (2012) Teaching Secondary Chemistry (2nd Edition) London: Hodder Education

Toplis, R. (Ed) (2015) Learning to Teach Science in the Secondary School (4th edition) (London: Routledge)

Wellington, J. and Ireson, G (2018) Science Learning, Science teaching. (4th edition). London: Routledge  

Cottrell, S. (2019) The Study Skills Handbook 5th ed. (Palgrave Macmillan)
Smale, B. and J. Fowlie (2015) How to Succeed at University (Sage)

Key words search

Secondary PGCE, Engineering, Materials Science, Physics

Credit value
Module ECTS


Module pre-requisites


Module co-requisites

EDUM048, EDUM036, EDUM052

NQF level (module)


Available as distance learning?


Origin date


Last revision date