Currently there are a small number of physics with mathematics postgraduate certificate in education (PGCE) routes offered by providers. These courses are in great demand and with this in mind, we are making the physics with mathematics PGCE more widely available by increasing the number of providers that offer it. This is the ideal route into teaching if you're passionate about both physics and mathematics.
Rather than the traditional combination of physics, biology and chemistry; physics with mathematics trainees will focus on these two traditional subjects which are undergoing a renaissance in schools. Trainees will gain work experience in schools, including some of the new teaching schools judged as outstanding at training and developing their staff. This will give you as a trainee, the best opportunity for employment when you qualify.
The introduction of the new PGCE course is fully supported by the Institute of Physics (IOP) and the Royal Academy of Engineers. Charles Tracy, Head of Education pre-19 at the IOP, said:
"We're delighted to see the introduction of this new pilot. We know that 25 per cent of physics graduates who go into teaching choose to teach maths. This new route gives those graduates and engineers an opportunity to follow both subjects and help correct the continuing shortage of physics teachers."
The PGCE course offers its participants access to cross-curricula teaching; high quality placements in schools that cover physics and mathematics teaching, and access to mentors or a 'buddy' system for help on subject knowledge.
Who can apply?
- Graduates: This route is particularly suited to graduates of physics or engineering or those with combined degree subjects, for example mathematical sciences, mathematics and physics, energy science and technology, astronomy and space science and chemical physics.
- Career changers: science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) industry professionals looking for an inspiring change of career – for example engineering professionals with a background in mechanical, civil, electrical or chemical engineering.
How to apply
The new PGCE courses will start in September 2012 and will be delivered by mainstream PGCE providers. To find out which providers offer the new PGCE physics with mathematics course, call the Teaching Line on 0800 389 2500.
Applications can be made to providers via the Graduate Teacher Training Registry (GTTR) website. There is currently no 'physics with mathematics' option in the subject list on the GTTR course search. To find a course, please select 'physics' from the list.
What support and funding is available?
Substantial tax-free bursaries of up to £20,000 are available for people with top degrees in certain subjects, looking to begin their teacher training in 2013/14. The amount of bursary you will be eligible for depends on your degree class and the subject you choose to teach. Physics with mathematics attracts the same bursary as a standard physics course. You can find more information about standard bursaries on our funding for postgraduate teacher training page
Physics trainees can apply for the IOP's teacher training scholarship. The scholarship is worth £20,000 and will be instead of the training bursary. To find out if you are eligible, visit our funding and pay page
If you're interested in training to teach physics with mathematics, sign up with us for more information and advice. You can take advantage of our new enhanced service, Premier Plus, if you're thinking about training in September 2012 and have, or are predicted, a 2:2 degree or above.