Become a Physics teacher

As a Physics teacher, you have the opportunity to teach young people about the very laws that govern the universe.

You will equip your pupils with the skills and techniques to understand how matter is influenced by a range of forces, as it travels through time and space. Through exploration and hands-on experiments in the classroom, they will learn about the scientific principles and forces that ultimately determine how the world works.

It’s a subject that can inspire and enlighten, and above all, encourage young people to study and investigate the world around them with increased knowledge and confidence.

"As the only full-time Physics teacher in my school I am busy but I thrive on it and love the challenge. I make sure that I manage my time efficiently in order to work to the best of my ability. It’s amazing to have the opportunity to run my own department at such an early stage of my career. All my colleagues are incredibly supportive, and I know there is always someone there to give me advice when I need it." Duncan Barclay – Physics Teacher at Inverurie Academy, Aberdeenshire

What being a Physics teacher covers:

  • Organising and setting lessons
  • Monitoring the progress of pupils, through coursework, experiments and homework
  • Setting up and controlling experiments safely
  • Working with pupils to guide their development and share that progress with parents and caregivers
  • Planning, supervising and leading study trips. 

Take that next step into Physics

It’s a career choice that comes with a good starting salary and great opportunities for progression. To begin your journey, you need to have a four-year combined degree in Education and Physics, or a one-year diploma following your undergraduate degree in Physics. And if these options don’t quite work for your circumstances, there are some alternative routes to consider.

This subject, as with others in the Curriculum for Excellence, can be delivered through Gaelic Medium Education. There are lots of benefits to teaching in Gaelic and we have more information about how to take this route into teaching.

Four-year university course in education

For the four-year combined degree and other undergraduate degree programmes you must have at least:

  • English and two other National Qualifications at SCQF Level 6 (Higher) and
  • Mathematics and one other subject at SCQF Level 5 (or an accepted alternative, for example, National 5, Credit Standard Grade or Intermediate 2).

Check the entry requirements with the course provider.

Universities you can study in

PGDE university courses

Here are the universities you can study for a PGDE in Physics at secondary level. Entry requirements vary so it’s best to check with the course provider for the most up-to-date information.

The University of the Highlands and Islands and University of Strathclyde also offer a pathway into Gaelic Medium Education. Find out more about the opportunities and benefits of teaching in Gaelic.

Universities you can study in

Alternate routes into teaching

These routes offer a little more flexibility in order to encourage diversity in the profession:

University of the West of Scotland– Concurrent degree programme covers Physics, Chemistry and Maths – this is a 4-year full time undergraduate course that aims to develop individuals with the knowledge and skills required to teach these subjects at Secondary School level. Students will study their chosen subject to Honours level, and develop their teaching skills in year’s 3 and 4.

Every teacher has a story
What will yours be?

Whether you’re getting ready for a new term, planning your next class, or helping pupils prepare for exams, there’s always something going on. There are challenges, just as there are with any job. But you’ll be supported. And you’ll find other teachers are there to help you, and share their experiences.

Read about some proud moments from teachers

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