Physics students with science equipmentUCAS code: n/a*
ECTS: 240 credits
Start date: October 2017
Duration: 4 years full-time

LocationSouth Kensington1

* apply initially for any Physics course (except Physics and Music Performance)

Our four-year MSci Physics with Science Education degree enables you to achieve a Master's degree from Imperial College London, and be recommended for Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) by Canterbury Christ Church University.

You will cover the fundamental physics topics, before going on to complete teacher training placements, ensuring a strong subject knowledge, and an ability to communicate that to young people in schools.

1 Our South Kensington Campus will be your main location, as well as completing taught modules delivered by Canterbury Christ Church University, and undertaking placements at schools in Greater London

About the course

Overview

Our Department of Physics is one of the largest and most prestigious Physics departments in the UK with an outstanding reputation for excellence in research, undergraduate education and postgraduate training.

Our four-year MSci Physics with Science for Education course enables you to gain Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) at undergraduate level.

This course is ideal if you would like to train to become a physics teacher at a secondary school, and gain a Master's level degree.

Our Physics with Science Education degrees (BSc and MSci) were the first degrees of their kind in England and Wales, combining the study of physics with the opportunity to acquire Qualified Teacher Status (QTS).

You will cover the vast majority of MSci Physics and complete teacher training with our partner institution Canterbury Christ Church University, a leading provider of Initial Teacher Training (ITT).

To apply for this course, or the three year BSc alternative, you should apply to any of the other degree programmes (apart from BSc Physics and Music Performance) and transfer at the end of the second year.

The award of MSci Physics with Science Education and recommendation for Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) are separate awards, and you should be aware of planned changes to QTS, and additional requirements to ensure you are recommended for QTS (see the relevant sections below).

Please also read more about this course, and our partner institution, on the Canterbury Christ Church University website.

What you study

All our degree courses are structured around a common core to ensure that all students have a good grounding in the fundamental aspects of physics, mathematics and experimental methods.

You will then go on to complete taught modules delivered by Canterbury Christ Church University, who will also organise 120 days of teacher training completed in schools in the Greater London area.

Which degree course is right for you?

A wide choice is available and there is considerable flexibility in how you make your choice, subject to the degree stream you have chosen.

In your application you only need to specify one course. We will discuss your choice with you and we take a flexible approach to course changes both at admissions stage and during the early years of the course.

The with Science for Education courses are designed for those who would like to complete a Bachelor's or Master's level degree, and complete teacher training within the same course.

Structure

Modules shown are for the current academic year, and are subject to change depending on your year of entry.

You will cover the fundamentals of Physics in the first two years, and in the third year you will have the choice of advanced mathematics and specialised physics optional modules.

You will normally need to achieve a grade of 40% in each academic year in order to progress to the next.


Year 1

Core modules
  • Electricity and Magnetism, Relativity
  • Electronics
  • Laboratory and Computing I
  • Mathematics
  • Mechanics, Vibrations and Waves
  • Professional Skills I
  • Project
  • Quantum Physics and Structure of Matter

Year 2

Core modules
  • Atomic, Nuclear and Particle Physics 
  • Electromagnetism and Optics
  • Laboratory and Computing II
  • Mathematics and Statistics of Measurement
  • Professional Skills II 
  • Quantum Mechanics
  • Solid State Physics
  • Thermodynamics and Statistical Physics
Optional modules

You choose one optional module from the list below:

  • Communicating Physics
  • Environmental Physics
  • Imperial Horizons
  • Mathematical Methods
  • Sun, Stars and Planets

Year 3

You take a combination of core and optional modules, and complete teacher training placements.

Core modules
  • Curriculum Studies I
  • Curriculum Studies II
  • Professional Studies
  • Comprehensive Physics and Professional Skills III
  • Physics Essay III or Physics Project III
Optional modules
  • Mathematical Methods
  • Environmental Physics
  • Sun, Stars & Planets
  • Fluid Dynamics
  • Light & Matter
  • Physics of the Universe
  • Physics Project
  • Physics Essay III
  • Computational Physics
  • Advanced Classical Physics
  • Astrophysics
  • Complexity & Networks
  • Foundations of Quantum Mechanics
  • Group Theory
  • Lasers
  • Imaging & Biophotonics
  • Medical Imaging: X-Rays & Ultrasound
  • Medical Imaging: Nuclear Diagnostics & MRI
  • Plasma Physics
  • Principles of Instrumentation
  • Statistical Mechanics

Year 4

You take a combination of core and optional modules, and complete teacher training placements.

Core modules
  • Research Interfaces
  • MSci Project
Optional modules

Below are a selection of optional modules. You can choose from the list of optional modules from the third year too (you cannot take the same module twice).

  • Advanced Particle Physics
  • Atmospheric Physics
  • Computational Neuroscience
  • Nanotechnology in Consumer Electronics
  • General Relativity
  • Advanced Hydrodynamics
  • Laser Technology
  • Optical Communications
  • Information Theory
  • Plasmonics & Metamaterials
  • Quantum Field Theory
  • Quantum Information
  • Quantum Optics
  • Quantum Theory of Matter
  • Cosmology
  • Space Physics
  • Unification

You may substitute a choice for one of the below options:


Teacher training placement

  • 25 days in School 1
    June-July after Year 2 examinations
    Curriculum Studies 1 – portfolio reflecting upon subject pedagogy.
  • 55 days in School 2
    September-December of Year 3 for the module Professional Studies – portfolio on whole school issues.
  • 30 days in School 2
    June-July after Year 3 examinations
    Curriculum Studies 2 – portfolio reflecting on specific issues of subject pedagogy.
  • 30 days in School 2 or 3
    June-July after Year 4 examinations
    Curriculum Studies 2 – portfolio reflecting on specific issues of subject pedagogy.

Teaching and assessment

Teaching

You will be taught through a combination of lectures, tutorials, laboratory classes and computing labs. You will be able to utilise the office hours of staff from the department to discuss your progress.

There will also be group and individual project work, in order to ensure our degrees provide a strong set of additional skills, such as presentational and communicative skills.

Assessment

Our Physics degrees use a variety of assessment methods, the below list provides a guide to what you can expect:

  • Written examinations
  • Assessed problem sheets
  • Laboratory and project reports
  • Continuous assessments, e.g. essay writing
  • Group and individual presentations

Qualified Teacher Status (QTS)

You will need to take part in some different teaching, learning and assessment types in order to be recommended for QTS.

There will be placements in schools in the Greater London area, where you will be assessed on your ability to perform a number of tasks expected of teachers, such as to lesson plan, manage the behaviour of the classroom, and communicate your subject knowledge to young people.

Each of your placements is linked to a module delivered by Canterbury Christ Church University, who will organise your placements and support the teaching aspect of your degree.

Award of Qualified Teacher Status (QTS)

What is Qualified Teacher Status?

You need Qualified Teacher Status (often QTS) in order to teach in state schools in England and Wales, and it is equivalent to requirements to teach in Scotland and Northern Ireland.

You are recommended for QTS by Canterbury Christ Church University, a leading provider of teacher education.

The institution awarding QTS is the National College of Teaching and Leadership (NCTL).

Please review the additional requirements, which you will need to achieve in order to be awarded qualified teacher status.

Upon successful achievement of qualified teacher status, you can go straight into teaching, where your first year will be called a Newly Qualified Teacher (NQT) year.

Changes to Qualified Teacher Status (QTS)

Please be aware of planned changes to qualified teacher status.

The government plan to change how qualified teacher status works. At present, there is limited information available on exactly what the change will be.

The Gov.uk website says:

"A new, more challenging accreditation will replace qualified teacher status (QTS) and will be awarded when a teacher has demonstrated classroom proficiency, including areas such as behaviour management, and subject knowledge."

A speech from the Secretary of State for Education introducing white paper has been published, outlining this change as well as other policy changes relevant to teaching. Further information is available on the Gov.uk website.

Entry requirements

We welcome students from all over the world and consider all applicants on an individual basis. If your qualifications are not listed here, please see the Department of Physics' website for information on a range of international qualifications.

A-levels

We require A*A*A overall, to include:

  • A* in Mathematics
  • A*/A in Physics
  • A*/A in another subject
Practical endorsement (practical science assessment)

If you are made an offer you will be required to achieve a pass in the practical endorsement in all science subjects that form part of the offer.

International Baccalaureate

We require a score of 39 points overall, to include:

  • 7, 6, 6 at higher level, which must include Mathematics and Physics

Other qualifications

We also welcome applications from candidates with Scottish Advanced Highers, the International, European and French Baccalaureates, the German Abitur and certain other qualifications giving university entrance in other countries. Please see the Department of Physics' website for details.

English language requirements (all candidates)

All candidates must demonstrate a minimum level of English language proficiency for admission to the College.

For admission to this course, you must achieve the standard College requirement in the appropriate English language qualification. For details of the minimum grades required to achieve this requirement, please see the English language requirements for undergraduate applicants.

Selection process

If your UCAS application shows that you are suitable you will be invited for an interview. Because we receive many more excellent applications than we have places available, our interviews will involve some technical discussions so that we can assess candidates with similar academic records and predictions.

You will be given the opportunity to have lunch with our undergraduates, and you will meet with a member of the admissions team. This meeting will help you find out more about the course, our Department and College facilities, and social life in general.

It also gives us the chance to assess your suitability for the course, to learn about your interests and motivation, and to decide whether to offer you a place.

If you have not decided exactly which of the courses you want to apply for you can use the interview to discuss your choice with us. You will normally be able to see one of the labs and something of the research work.

Candidates who are unable (for travel reasons) to attend an interview will be assessed on the basis of their UCAS applications but we are keen to interview candidates whenever this is possible.

Additional requirements

There are additional requirements to this course due to the nature of qualified teacher status.

The requirements listed above are for BSc Physics with Science Education at Imperial College, and in addition to those you need to achieve:

GCSE requirement

  • English Language* - C
  • Mathematics - C

Professional Skills Tests

There are Professional Skills Tests in literacy and numeracy, and these will need to be passed along with the rest of the course in order to be awarded Qualified Teacher Status.

Placements

You will need to succeed in the placements, along with all of the above, in order to achieve qualified teacher status.

The above requirements are relevant to achieving qualified teacher status, which as noted throughout this page, will change in the near future.

* please note the College requirement is higher

Tuition fees and funding

Home and EU students

2017 entry:

£9,250 per year

The UK government has confirmed that universities that have achieved a ‘meet expectations’ award – which includes Imperial – will, under the first year of the new Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF), be able to raise their fees in 2017. The rise is an inflationary amount of 2.8% to a maximum of £9,250. The measure of inflation used is RPI-X (the retail price index, excluding mortgage interest payments). You should expect the fee to increase beyond 2017 for each year that your course lasts, subject to UK government regulations on fee increases.

The UK government has also confirmed that EU students starting or continuing their studies in the 2017–18 academic year will continue to pay the Home rate of tuition fees for the duration of their course. EU students will also remain eligible for the same government funding support as they are now, including the Tuition Fee Loan. This access to government funding will continue throughout your course, even if the UK exits the EU during this time. 

Islands and overseas students

2017 entry:

£27,000 per year

Please note that the tuition fee amount you will pay may increase each year.

Government funding

The level of tuition fees you pay is based on your fee status, which we assess based on UK government legislation. Find out more about fee status assessments.

Home and EU students (with the exception of Graduate Medicine students) can apply for a Tuition Fee Loan from the Government to cover the full cost of their fees each year.

Home students may also be eligible for a Maintenance Loan to help with their living costs.

Additional costs

There may be additional costs related to your course or programme of study which have to be budgeted for in addition to tuition fees and living expenses. This section provides examples of these and it is possible that all, or some, of these will be relevant to you.

Please note that the cost figures given are based on what such costs were in previous academic years and these are likely to change year to year. However, it is useful for you to be aware of the types of things you may have to pay for and their cost in previous years.

This section details whether the additional costs are essential or optional. Essential costs are highlighted as costs that you will need to pay to fully participate and complete your studies. Optional costs are not essential to your studies and you will be free to opt out of these.

Travel to placements

You will complete teacher training placements with schools and colleges in the Greater London area, which are a mandatory component of this course and of gaining Qualified Teacher Status (QTS).

You should expect to budget for travel to four placements in the Greater London area, lasting a total of approximately 120 days.

You may be eligible for an undergraduate teaching bursary to help offset some of the costs of travelling to placements – see below.

Undergraduate teaching bursary

You could be eligible for an undergraduate teaching bursary (see Maths and Physics undergraduates) because you are completing a teacher training programme which leads to QTS:

  • BSc students are eligible for the bursary in their third year of study
  • MSci students are eligible for the bursary in the third and fourth year of study

This bursary is currently open to Home and EU students. See the link above for information about its availability for EU nationals following the EU referendum.

The bursary was worth £9,000 for 2016–17. This amount is set by the UK government so may change for future years of entry.

Disclosure and Barring Service

You will need to successfully obtain a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) certificate before you can complete teacher training placements in schools and colleges.

The DBS is designed to ensure candidates are suited to working with vulnerable groups including children.

The Department of Physics covers the cost of your DBS check, which is organised during your Communicating Physics module.

Bursaries and scholarships

Imperial Bursary

The Imperial Bursary is available to any Imperial Home undergraduate student (except Graduate Medicine students) whose household income falls below £60,000 per year.

It is designed to ease the cost of London living by providing support on a sliding scale, from £2,000 up to £5,000 per year.

As long as your household income remains below £60,000 you will automatically qualify for a bursary for every year of undergraduate study.

The bursary is paid on top of any government loans to which you are entitled and does not need to be paid back. Find out more about the Imperial Bursary.

Scholarships

Our President’s Undergraduate scholarships are available to all undergraduate applicants studying an undergraduate degree for the first time who have applied to the College by 15 October.

They’re worth £1,000 for each undergraduate year of study. There are up to 112 awards available for students starting their studies in 2017–18.

A wide range of other scholarships is also available. Find out which scholarships you may be eligible for by using our scholarships search tool.

To find out more about the range of financial support available please see our Fees and Funding website.

How to apply

UCAS Apply system

To apply to study at Imperial you must use the online application system managed by the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS).

The UCAS code for Imperial College London is I50.

Application deadlines

All applications which include choices for medicine at Imperial must be submitted to UCAS by 18.00 (UK time) on 15 October 2016 for entry in October 2017. 

The deadline for other courses at Imperial starting in 2017 is 18.00 (UK time) on 15 January 2017.

Students at a school/college registered with UCAS

All UK schools and colleges and a small number of EU and international institutions are registered with UCAS.

To make it clear which school or college you are applying from you will need to ask one of your teachers or advisers for the UCAS buzzword. You will need to enter this in UCAS’s Apply system when you register.

See our How to apply section for further guidance.

Independent applicants and students at schools/colleges not registered with UCAS

If you’re applying independently or from a school/college not registered with UCAS you will still need to use UCAS’s Apply system. You will not need a UCAS buzzword.

See our How to apply section for further guidance.

Academic Technology Approval Scheme

An ATAS certificate is required for overseas students applying for this course.

Your Tier 4 visa application, or extension of stay, will automatically be refused if you need an ATAS certificate and cannot provide one.

For further guidance on obtaining an ATAS certificate please see the information on our International Student Support team website.

Tracking your application

Once you’ve completed your application and it’s been submitted through UCAS’s Apply system, you can use UCAS’ Track system to follow its progress and manage your choices.

Professional accreditation and associateship

Accreditation

All of our Physics degrees are accredited by the Institute of Physics.

Associateship

They also lead to the award of the Associateship of the Royal College of Science (ARCS).

What our graduates do

Imperial's Physics graduates are sought after by a wide range of employers – for example, the electronics industry needs physicists to design next-generation display technologies, lasers, optical fibres, and advanced semiconductor devices. Increasingly, the energy sector looks to physicists to improve photovoltiac cells for solar energy generation, to optimise wave and wind power technologies, and to improve the efficiency of electrical components.

Recent graduates of the Department have become:

  • Research Analyst, National Physical Laboratory
  • R&D Engineer, BBC
  • Technology Consultant, IBM
  • Graduate Trainee, European Space Agency
  • Software Engineer, Ocado Technology

The focus of this particular Physics with Science Education degree is a future in teaching at secondary level. Your first year of teaching after this degree will be called a Newly Qualified Teacher (NQT) year, which is passed to become a qualified teacher.

Mathematics, science and computing are current shortage areas, with graduates of these courses highly valued in teaching. Review the 'Get into Teaching' website produced by the government for more information.

More information

Please also see the course information on the Canterbury Christ Church University website, and be aware that the government plans to change how qualified teacher status works.

The routes into teaching information on the Gov.uk website is also helpful to you in choosing the right degree for you.