Taught course

PGCE Secondary - Physics with Mathematics

Durham University · School of Education

Entry requirements

  • The equivalent of an honours degree which features science or maths or a similar subject. As a general guideline, approximately 50 per cent of the degree should be relevant to the subject you will teach. If your degree is from an overseas institution you must apply for a Statement of Comparability from NARIC
  • Be able to demonstrate, in your applications and interviews, significant and relevant subject knowledge and recent experience of the science and/or maths teaching environment
  • Have A levels in at least two science subjects (these are usually required)
  • A demonstrable an interest and involvement in the lives and development of young people
  • GCSE English and Mathematics at Grade C or above (or equivalent) which must be achieved at the time of application. If your equivalent qualifications are from an overseas institution, you must apply for a Statement of Comparability from NARIC.
  • Applicants with non-standard qualifications, for example, access routes into higher education are welcome to apply.
  • We welcome applications from mature applicants pursuing a career change.
  • Pass the QTS Skills Tests by 1st August prior to the beginning of the programme.
  • Must have undertaken, or intend to undertake, at least ten days of work experience in a UK mainstream school environment within the last three years. This must be completed before 1st August in the year of entry.
  • Must have completed the 10 day Primary School Experience in a UK Primary School (or a Primary School which follows the English National Curriculum) prior to commencing the University course in mid September. Offer holders will arrange this for themselves in their own local area.

Your professional and interpersonal qualities and your commitment to teaching will be considered when making an admissions decision. Candidates who meet the criteria, will be invited to a selection day. Selection days will involve individual interviews with a pre-prepared presentation element and tests to assess written English and other skills.

Successful candidates will receive an offer conditional upon successful medical and criminal record checks. The latter is carried out by the Disclosure and Barring Service and full instructions on how to apply for a DBS Disclosure are issued with offer letters.

If you have a criminal record of any kind, you may contact the School of Education DBS Manager, Steph Tunstall, for further advice and information. All enquiries will be treated in confidence.

We strongly encourage you to register for the DBS Update Service, which lets you take your certificate from one employer to another without having to apply for a new check. Please note, all DBS Enhanced Disclosures for our students must be processed by Durham University unless you have applied to the Update Service.

Months of entry


Course content

The PGCE Secondary is the first phase of a career-long process of personal and professional development, which will equip you to become a secondary school teacher. The PGCE Secondary is a course in Initial Teacher Training which is accredited by the DfE, the successful completion of which will accord you Qualified Teacher Status (QTS). Our course has recently been inspected by Ofsted which resulted in an “Outstanding” grading for all aspects of our provision.

Subject pedagogy is explored in curriculum groups, examining techniques for making each subject accessible and stimulating in a classroom environment.

The weekly University-based part of the programme is based around our Professional Issues series of sessions which address the Teacher Standards and then students will explore these in a 'Physics with maths' tutor group, working with an experienced tutor and reflecting on the school-based tasks that have been set.

Please note that students will spend approximately 70% on Science and 30% on Mathematics.

Trainees will work with the Maths cohort for Maths Education sessions, and will join the Physicists (with core science) for the Science Education sessions. Our current model of working with our science trainees in mixed subject groups will continue, with the Physics with Maths trainees benefitting from the many advantages of such grouping which prepares them well for teaching in schools where practice still dictates that a physicist has to be able to teach across all the sciences, particularly at KS3. In mixed groups the trainees learn from other students, offer peer support and understand the role of their specialism within a broad science education.

You will be based in one of our Partnership schools where you will have the opportunity to develop your skills in a teaching background.

The school-based activities involve structured classroom observations, planning and research projects and practical teaching - the latter starting by teaching individual pupils, eventually leading through group work to full classroom teaching.

Information for international students

Please see the English language requirements for your subject and level of study.

Fees and funding

UK students
Full time: £9,250
International students
Full time: EU £9,250 Non EU £16,500

For further information please visit our website: Funding your studies

Qualification and course duration


full time
12 months

Course contact details

School of Education
(0)191 334 8406