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Teacher Training

PGCE Secondary Science (Engineers Teach Physics)

Please note: The below is for 2025 entries. Click here for 2024 entries.
UCAS code X613 - course now closed for 2024/25
Duration 1 year
Entry year 2024
Campus St Luke's Campus
Discipline Secondary Science (Engineers Teach Physics)

Course leader: Luke Graham
Web: Enquire online

Typical offer

View full entry requirements

Normally a 2:2 Honours degree – other qualifications and experience may be accepted.

Contextual offers


  • You will be part of a cohort of trainees all learning to teach Science and working with a dedicated team of Science teaching experts 
  • The course is active and participatory, placing considerable emphasis on working collaboratively with others and learning together 
  • Designed for engineering and material science graduates you will train as a science teacher specialising in teaching Key Stage 3-5 Physics alongside a grounding in teaching Chemistry and Biology to at least Key Stage 3. If your degree is not in engineering or a related subject, please apply to our Physics course
  • You will develop your confidence, competence and independence as a teacher with the unique Exeter Model of Initial Teacher Education which progressively increases your school-based teaching over three terms
  • You will join a supportive community of trainees and teachers who are passionate about education and research and will support you during your course and beyond
  • Achieving the PGCE provides 60 M-level credits alongside your Qualified Teacher Status.

View 2024 Entry

Apply now

Open days and visiting us


Programme Director: Luke Graham

Web: Enquire online

Phone: +44 (0)1392 72 72 72

100% of our Education research has internationally excellent impact

Based on research impact rated 4* + 3* in REF 2021*

Top 125 in the world for Education

The Times Higher World University Rankings by Subject 2021.

Accredited by the DfE to deliver ITE courses from 2024

Diverse placement opportunities across the region

Entry requirements

Secondary PGCE students must have an honours degree and GCSE English and Mathematics at Grade C/4 or equivalent. A satisfactory medical assessment and DBS enhanced check are also requirements for entry to this programme.  Selection is based on the information provided on the DfE Apply application and on performance at interview.

Successful applicants will have a 2:2 Honours degree or above in engineering or material science or a relevant subject area (If your degree is in physics, please apply to our physics course) .  For applicants who need to develop their Physics subject knowledge to gain access onto a PGCE it is possible to take a Subject Knowledge Enhancement (SKE) course. There are several options available which can be discussed at interview. 

For applicants without the required GCSE pass at grade C/grade 4, we accept a Grade 4 pass in the English and Mathematics equivalency tests offered by A Star Equivalency and (please do contact the PGCE Admissions team for further guidance before signing up for an equivalency test). See full list of accepted English/Maths equivalent qualifications.

We want all potentially excellent teachers to have the opportunity to train. If your qualification profile does not fit that described above, please do contact us.

Entry requirements for international students

Please visit our entry requirements section for equivalencies from your country and further information on English language requirements.

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Course content

A practical and interactive course, you will explore the aims of science teaching, school laboratory management and the use of ICT to support science teaching and learning.  You will explore the key concepts of Physics and how to apply this knowledge to design practicals, demonstrations and explanations to address pupils’ misconceptions and to make the subject exciting and accessible. You’ll also develop the fundamentals of teaching such as behaviour management, assessment, lesson planning, inclusive teaching, and working with the school community and parents. We’ll support you to become a reflective and confident teacher who is able to assess your own achievements and professional development requirements. 

20 days of the course are dedicated to Intensive Training & Practice, focusing on four themes of teaching and learning which enable you to delve deeply into particular key areas. You will learn about principles underpinning each theme, work with expert practitioners in university and school settings, and use the Exeter Model Framework to reflect on and synthesise your learning. 

During your placements, you will have the opportunity to put the skills learned into practice whilst being fully supported by your Mentor who will work as an expert partner and challenge your thinking about teaching in ways that can be used to enhance your performance.

The programme has three fully integrated components:

The modules we outline here provide examples of what you can expect to learn on this course based on recent teaching. The precise modules available to you in future years may vary depending on staff availability and research interests, new topics of study, timetabling and student demand.

This component introduces you to key educational ideas and principles within a range of educational contexts. The module is followed throughout the year with both University and school-based elements and is concerned with classroom issues, whole school issues and the role of education in the wider society.

Central to the course is the development of your ability to meet the standards of professional competence which trainees must demonstrate in order to meet national standards for the award of QTS. This module enables you to reflect on your professional development and demonstrate via an Individual Development Portfolio (IDP), evidence of your ongoing progression towards Qualified Teacher Status.

The principal aim of the module is to equip you with a comprehensive understanding of the background issues and practice of the current teaching of Physics in secondary schools. In addition, the module seeks to nurture you as a reflective and autonomous professional practitioner, able to identify strengths and areas for development in your subject knowledge and pedagogy, through evaluating current professional practice in relationship to developments in research and curriculum theory.

This is a module specifically for engineers who are training to teach physics which they take alongside the  Secondary Physics Subject Knowledge, Pedagogy, Pedagogy, Research and Practice module. 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.



2024/25 entry

  • UK: £9,250 full-time
  • International:  £23,700 full-time - to be confirmed

A variety of attractive financial support packages are available. Find out more.


The University of Exeter has many different scholarships available to support your education, including £5 million in scholarships for international students, such as our Global Excellence Scholarships*. Financial support is also available for students from disadvantaged backgrounds, lower income households and other under-represented groups to help them access, succeed and progress through higher education.

* Terms and conditions apply. See online for details.

Find out more about tuition fees and scholarships

Teaching and research

Our unique approach to Initial Teacher Education is praised by Ofsted and provides fantastic opportunities for trainees to achieve through our highly original Exeter Model of Initial Teacher Education. The programme runs over three terms and provides a carefully phased development of trainees’ independence as teachers. 

The taught element is made up of timetabled seminars, lectures, lab-based workshops and self-directed study, designed to develop your subject knowledge and understanding of how to teach all science subjects to age 16 and your specialist subject to post-16 level. You will be asked to work individually and as part of small and larger groups. You will be supported in developing the full range of teaching skills and effective reflection that you will need in your first teaching post as an Early Career Teacher (ECT). 

Learning is primarily face to face during the campus-based teaching, and wholly face to face during school experience placements.  The campus-based elements of the course are taught mainly through seminars and workshops with a significant element of directed collaborative group work and self-study.  All modules are assessed through course work and there are no final examinations.

More details on the course structure can be found here.

Vibrant community

By learning on campus for most of the first term you have access to the tools needed to rapidly build professional knowledge and confidence ready for your work in school placements. You also benefit from the opportunity to build friendships and become part of a community of trainees and teachers who are passionate about education and will support you during your course and beyond.

Facilities and support

The Science PGCE is primarily taught in two laboratories that also open into a single large teaching space. These labs are well-equipped and designed to be similar to school laboratories, providing an excellent space in which to learn to teach whilst on campus and supported by a dedicated PGCE science technician.  

You’ll have access to a range of support, including a personal tutor, materials available through our online learning environment including lecture notes, presentations, film clips and reading materials, and access to the University’s wellbeing and support services. We carry out a detailed skills audit with every trainee so we understand your development needs and can personalise elements of training to strengthen the skills you need to excel as a teacher.

Campus-based modules are taught at the School of Education at the St Luke’s Campus in Exeter, which offers an excellent range of specialist facilities and the UK’s largest Education library. 

Research-led teaching

All our tutors have real-world experience as teachers. They also lead and innovate: our tutors have written textbooks for trainee teachers and school pupils, advised government, led subject networks and are active educational researchers.

You will benefit from our active research culture, which promotes the sharing of ideas and knowledge to encourage innovation. Our research centres provide a focus for research and discussion for academic staff, researchers and practitioners and organise seminar series, outside speakers, conferences and other events. 

The PGCE Science team’s current research interests lie in the areas of science education including students’ use of mathematics within science, Science and STEM education policy and its impact on practice in schools and the impact of social disadvantage on learners. 


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The PGCE provides excellent grounding for a long career within education, whether you aspire to become an outstanding classroom practitioner, school leader, or specialist in a specific area of education, the opportunities are broad.  

Career support

Careers support including skills training, internships, jobs vacancies, employment fairs and other events is available through the Career Zone.

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