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Teacher Training Secondary Science with Physics PGCE with QTS 2013-14

At a Glance

UCAS Teacher Training code:

Start date:
16 / 09 / 2013

1 year full-time

Places Available:
2 for entry in September 2013 (you will study with other teacher training students, including those training to teach biology and chemistry). (this number may be subject to change)

Course Type:
Full Time

Entry Requirements
•  A first degree at 2:2 or above in a relevant science subject.
• Two science A levels at a minimum of grade C or equivalent.
•  A GCSE grade C pass or equivalent in Mathematics and English (we may be able to offer you an equivalency test in Mathematics and English if you do not meet this requirement. Details available at interview.)
• The ability to speak, read and write well in English.
• You should note that you must pass the two professional skills tests, in literacy and numeracy, before you start your course. You must at least have registered for the tests before you will be offered an interview. You will be required to bring evidence of this to your interview. There is information on the DfE website about the tests. The skills tests are set in the context of a school environment; you are not expected to have any knowledge of specific terminology in order to pass the test. The practice material should help you decide if you are ready to take the tests or need to become proficient in the skills assessed before applying for your course. This is in addition to the entry requirement for GCSEs (or equivalent) at Grade C or above in English and mathematics. Some higher level qualifications may also be acceptable, but these are at our discretion. You should ensure that the Admissions Tutor is aware of these when you come for interview.
•  Experience (minimum of two days) in a secondary school setting.
• A satisfactory Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS, formerly Criminal Records Bureau) and medical check. There is a charge (currently £44) as of December 2012. You don't need to do anything before you apply; we will let you know what you need to do during the application process.
•  A second reference. You will have identified a referee during the process of applying via GTTR. You should arrange to bring a second reference if you are asked to interview. Between the two references one should be academic and one professional.

• These are the usual entry requirements; however those with different or older qualifications should not be deterred from applying as we welcome people from different backgrounds.
•  Trainees with appropriate industrial and/or commercial experience are encouraged to apply.
• If you acquired a degree overseas, we will need to see a full transcript of your award, along with details of the marking scheme used by the awarding institution.

The Teaching Agency fund courses to enhance subject knowledge in physics and chemistry; check the TA website for details and qualifications required.

If you are not sure if teaching is the career for you, we offer robust interviews which give a strong indication of those who will enjoy teaching. If you do not presently have experience in schools, do make sure that you gain some experience.

Course Enquiries
Tel: 01484 478249

And if you are interested in our courses, there's an easy way to keep up to date... just like our Facebook page or follow our Twitter feed and we'll keep you informed!

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The course

What is a PGCE?
The PGCE is the Postgraduate or Professional Certificate in Education, which you can take at any time after completing your first degree. It is a one-year full-time course, after completion you are recommended for Qualified Teacher Status with which you can then become a Newly Qualified Teacher (NQT).

The Postgraduate Certificate includes modules at Masters level which may count towards a further Masters award. We agree your award whilst you train with us.

Our PGCE course is designed to develop an understanding of the pedagogy of physics teaching along with practical experience in schools.

Understanding and knowing how to enthuse and engage pupils within the secondary age range in physics and in science is essential. This course begins to prepare you to become an enthusiastic teacher in the classroom. All our secondary PGCE courses meet the requirements for the professional standards for Qualified Teacher Status (QTS).

Physics is an exciting subject to teach and there presently are many opportunities for well qualified physics teachers. It is a National Curriculum core subject and is taught throughout schools.

The course is a partnership between the University and the placement schools where you will explore what it means to teach physics and develop ways in which to teach it. You will examine the best practice of physics teaching and develop a range of teaching strategies to challenge and inform students.

Subject sessions provide you with an understanding of subject pedagogy in physics and generic science sessions offer you the opportunity to explore a wide range of issues such as 'How Science Works', assessment of science and Literacy in Science as well as the more practical considerations whilst teaching this subject. We also help you prepare for teaching all the sciences at Key Stage 3. You may also study aspects of your subject specialism at post-16. We have a fully equipped science laboratory at the University to help develop your practice.

And if you'd like to know more about what we get up to, we have a special 'news and events' section which we update with the latest news.

Course content

The course starts in September, is modular and is divided into two main themes, Initial Professional Development and Specialist Subject Pedagogy.

Initial Professional Development
This encourages you to explore creative ways to interpret your knowledge into a language a child can understand. We prepare you for the classroom, allowing you to develop your own thinking, teaching and subject knowledge base to a level which you can trial in your placements. Themes include educational psychology, how young people learn, behaviour management, assessment, inclusion, creative and innovative teaching methods and designing learning. You research theories of child development, gain a greater understanding of current professional issues in secondary schools and develop your own educational philosophy.

Science Specialist Subject Pedagogy
We help you to develop your teaching in a stimulating way, using different methodologies and new technologies to inspire and engage young people, in a well-equipped specialist science laboratory which was designed, and equipped, especially for this course.


+ Specialist Subject Development

This module examines the pedagogy and practice involved within the teaching of a specialist subject at two or more key stages within the 11-19 age range. The module addresses both theory and practice and provides students with the opportunity to synthesise theory and practice within the educational setting both locally and nationally.

+ Curriculum Development in Practice

This module provides a structured opportunity for practitioners to develop an original curriculum package which develops and extends their classroom practice in relation to subject matter and the use of equipment or technology. Students will engage with concepts such as curriculum development; ICT across the curriculum; Assessment, the Secondary National Strategy; -19 curriculum.

+ Curriculum Development

This module provides a structured opportunity for practitioners to develop innovative and original curriculum resources. It develops and extends the student’s teaching and learning in relation to either subject matter, use of equipment or technology or their use of particular teaching strategies related to current educational initiatives.

• DHS2220: The Practice of Teaching: Induction
• DHS3320: The Practice of Teaching: Application
• DHS4420: The Practice of Teaching: Consolidation
• DHS4020: Special Educational Needs and Inclusion Development
• DMX6630: Special Educational Needs and Inclusion


We have strong relationships with schools that enable them to provide effective support through mentoring. This means that during your time there, the amount you learn directly from your University tutor diminishes as the school gradually takes over the role, with specialist teachers and school mentors providing more of your support and direction.

When on school placement, as a subject teacher, you also experience the wider role of a teacher in secondary education. You will have the support of both subject and professional mentors in schools and your subject tutor at the University during the placement. We give you strong support to help you complete the course successfully.

You spend a third of the course at the University and two thirds (normally 120 days) in at least two partner schools. You will experience four days in a primary school and if you are studying an 11-18 years course, you will gain post-16 experience.

The schools are situated across a wide area including South, West and North Yorkshire, Greater Manchester and Lancashire. Where possible, we place you in a convenient location. However, we are restricted by offers of placements by schools. Within partnership schools, mentors assess your teaching; much of this is formative to help you develop into an effective teacher. Your tutor will also evaluate your progress through observation, planning meetings, weekly tutorials, reports and in-depth lesson evaluations, so that you will know how you are progressing.

It is a requirement that you complete 120 days in schools to pass the course. You will be expected to show the same level of commitment to professional values as in the teaching profession. Therefore you should note that you are expected to maintain 100% attendance levels.

Here's further information about our placements for this course, including links to the organisations you may find yourselves working with.

Career opportunities

Research by a Government agency has put the University of Huddersfield’s School of Education and Professional Development at the top of the class for propelling its students into well-paid careers.

The Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) has completed its latest survey into the paths taken by graduates and postgraduates when they leave their universities and colleges - the exercise is known as Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE). It confirmed that 100% of PGCE Science with Physics students at the University of Huddersfield found a job or embarked on further study within six months of graduation.

Professional links and accreditations

Ofsted inspected
Qualified Teacher Status, QTS

Teaching and assessment

Teaching is through workshops, tutorials and lectures, some with guest speakers, and group work with other teacher trainees from all the subject specialisms. Successful use is made of a very wide range of resources and tools including ICT. Our resources include a science laboratory, a design technology workshop, information technology suites, music studio and recording facilities.

You learn in small, friendly and supportive subject groups, designed to give you the confidence to succeed. Your fellow students will come from diverse academic and commercial backgrounds, and from a variety of ethnic and age groups. Even if it's been a while since you were last involved in formal study, we are geared up to help you settle back into study.

Course tutors are very experienced and supportive and you will have a personal tutor who will support you through your studies. We have very high completion and satisfaction rates.

There are no formal examinations but there may be some classroom knowledge activities. You complete three written assignments (two at Master's level), three personal reports, and a personal subject audit. These cover both your subject and professional development as a teacher. You also produce evidence to support the completion of all the QTS standards.

There is access to an academic skills tutor who can support preparation and writing of assignments.

The same level of commitment to professional values is expected for both the University and school-based parts of the course, as in the teaching profession. We expect 100% attendance levels throughout.The course is full-time, with University days usually beginning at 9.15am and may finish at 5.15pm. If you have childcare responsibilities you may need to take this into account. Schools also have a variety of start and finish times and often require you to attend meetings at the end of the school day.

We've included some photos showing you some of the student work, assessments and our superb facilities. Have a look here.


The secondary PGCE courses are based in the Lockside and Canalside East buildings. Lockside, an award winning renovated mill alongside the Huddersfield Narrow canal, houses teaching rooms, computer labs and staff offices. The teaching rooms are well equipped, with AV equipment (including electronic whiteboards) plus links to the internet.

We have a new (2010) science laboratory room, designed especially for the PGCE course, in Lockside with a wealth of scientific equipment and a science technician to help develop your skills.

We have an open access computer lab and the computers in our teaching rooms are available outside timetabled hours. They hold a wealth of software for our courses; including Microsoft Office, Adobe Photoshop and Adobe studio as well as specialised course software. Wireless internet connections are also available.

You receive training from the Academic Librarian on information and research skills and electronic methods of accessing library facilities and training on the use of Unilearn helps you to access our virtual learning environment.

Who will teach me?

How much will it cost me?

The fee for Home and EU students coming to Huddersfield for this course are the same as for full-time undergraduate students and details are in the finance and fees section.

You can also find information about financial support here.

Information about becoming a teacher and salary and career prospects can be found on the Training Agency for Schools here. Find additional information on bursaries here.

Depending on your class of degree, you may receive a non-repayable bursary from £12,000 to £20,000.

You might also like to view our video about tuition fees, loans and repayments on Youtube.

Additional routes

Research degrees are also available in this area. Contact us for details.

Other information

The application process

To help you keep in touch, if you are interviewed for a place, we give you a link to a webpage with information about every stage from interview to the start of the course. This holds information and contact details so that, at any time, if you have any worries or concerns, we can help allay them. We also hold a pre-course day during the summer to enable you to learn more about the course and get to know other PGCE students and the tutors.

Here are some of the comments about what was good about the last pre-course event:
Meeting peers. Subject session, very interactive. We got the opportunity to discuss concerns and questions about the course. I feel a lot more prepared. The opportunity to come and look round before I start. Being able to meet the other students before September. Nice informal introduction and warm welcome. Very informative. I found the introduction to the course very useful. Friendly atmosphere. The pace was perfect and the speakers very engaging. Very organised and welcoming.

Skills tests

You should note that you have to pass two skills tests, in literacy and numeracy, before you start your course and during the application process. There is information on the DfE website about the tests. We understand that the first time you take this test it is free; however, if you need to retake there will be charge to the provider.

This is in addition to the entry requirement for GCSEs in English, maths and science (for primary teacher applicants).

The skills tests are set in the context of a school environment; you are not expected to have any knowledge of specific terminology in order to pass the test. There is practice material available on the DfE website DfE website and for help with the numeracy test look at This should help you decide if you are ready to take the tests or need to become proficient in the skills assessed before applying for your course.

You must have submitted an application form for your course before you can register for the tests if you are starting your course in September 2013. You will be able to register for the tests from 1 August 2012.

If you are offered a place on a subject knowledge enhancement course (eg mathematics) then you don’t need to have passed the skills tests before starting the enhancement course but you will need to pass them by the time you start your initial teacher training course.
You can resit if you fail but you need to note that you can take only two resits. If you fail after two resits you will not be able to take any more skills tests, in either subject, for 24 months from the date of the second resit. The aim of this is to give you a reasonable time to become proficient at the skills assessed before further retakes.

Student views
‘Course tutors are excellent.
The office staff are fantastic!
Technical support staff are very accommodating and go out of their way to support students.
The building is excellent – you couldn’t get a better building. It is welcoming, has a good layout and classrooms are comfortable and well equipped. You couldn’t wish for a better building and more welcoming environment.
The timetable is good, especially the way it builds up, it’s progressive from the start. The assignments are complementary and relevant and support students’ learning and progression.’
Student panel comments, June 2011

‘Very supportive atmosphere.
The subject mentor was brilliant, really supportive and encouraging. I was welcomed thoroughly into the department as part of the team and given plenty of extra-curricular opportunities.
I have had a positive experience at both placement schools and throughout the course that has helped me to develop as a teacher.
Excellent levels of support from the University.
Excellent support from tutors and support staff at the University.
Excellent placement schools/supportive mentors.
Fantastic support from the University, especially my course tutor! A great experience.
Very good quality University tutor.’
End of course evaluations 2011

Further study

Many of our former trainees have continued to study with us. We offer various MA and an MSc course in relevant areas such as leadership, action research and technology and e-learning.

Your PGCE may include Master's level modules which may count towards your Master's qualification.

Former graduates have then continued their studies with a taught doctorate, the EdD or a PhD.


Huddersfield University voted best for overseas studentsThe Huddersfield Examiner has reported that the University of Huddersfield has received fantastic results in a survey of international students, the International Barometer.

Pre-masters course available
We have a two-term programme delivered by the International Study Centre (ISC) located on the University campus.The course prepares you for our taught master’s degrees by developing your English communication and a range of study skills.

Additional entry requirements for international applicants:
You must pass either IELTS with 6.5 (with no band score lower than 5.5) or TOEFL (internet based test) with 90 (with minimum Reading: 22; Listening: 21; Speaking: 23; Writing: 21).Please note that other academic conditions may apply and will be confirmed once your application has been considered.

Paying your fees
The University requires you to submit a minimum non refundable deposit towards the payment of the tuition fees. You may wish to add further voluntary prepayments to assist with your visa application.

If your tuition fees are being paid for by your employer/embassy, you must submit a Statement of Financial Support which confirms you are sponsored to cover all fees for your named course of study.Please note that other academic conditions may apply and will be confirmed once your application has been considered.

Skills tests
Please see the information about skills tests in the ‘other information’ section. In addition, you should note that you will not be able to take the skills tests outside the UK. If you are an international student, we may decide to interview you before you take the skills tests, allowing you to take the tests at a test centre in the UK later in the application process but before you start your teacher training course.

How to apply

Applying to Huddersfield

We hope you’re interested in what you’ve seen and want to apply to join us.
Apply through Graduate Teacher Training Registry (GTTR)
Tel: 0870 1122200
GTTR code F3X1

International applicants should also follow this process.


Research plays an important role in informing all our teaching and learning activities. Through research our staff remain up-to-date with the latest developments in their field, which means you develop knowledge and skills that are current and highly relevant to industry. For more information, see the Research section of our website.

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Last Updated: Tuesday 28 February 2012
Last updated Tuesday 28 February 2012
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