BSc Physics with Science Education
Gain both a physics degree and a recognised teaching qualification that allows you to teach physics at schools in England and Wales.
Three A-level offer: A*A*A
Applications : admissions ratio
6 : 1
Based on 2017 entry data
- UCAS course code: n/a*
- ECTS: 180
- Start date: September 2019
* Apply initially for any Physics course (except Music Performance)
Physics at Imperial covers a broad range of topics in both fundamental and applied physics.
All of our physics courses follow the same core curriculum for the first two years. This gives you a good grounding in physics, mathematics and experimental methods, and prepares you for advanced study in later years. Topics include:
- Quantum physics
A wide range of optional modules is available as you progress through the course, many of which are directly linked to the research of our nine internationally-recognised research groups so you’ll be learning at the very cutting edge of the subject. Research in our Department has contributed to ground-breaking discoveries in many different fields, from astrophysics to quantum optics and laser science.
This freedom to tailor the course to your interests allows you to continue with a broad physics education or specialise in a particular area such as theoretical physics or plasma physics. Current areas covered in year three include:
- Medical imaging
- Plasma physics
- Laser technology
- X-rays and ultrasound
- Nuclear diagnostics and MRI
All our courses include a substantial final-year project, usually within one of our research groups.
This degree allows you to combine the study of physics with the opportunity to acquire Qualified Teacher Status by completing teaching placements organised by Canterbury Christ Church University.
You have the same choice of optional physics modules in year three as students on the standard Physics courses.
In addition, you attend teaching training courses, delivered at Imperial by Canterbury Christ Church University, and complete a series of in-school placements.
After you graduate, you will be qualified to teach science in secondary schools without the need for an additional qualification such as a PGCE.
To be eligible for this stream, you must pass a suitability interview at the time of selection in year two.
Laboratory and computing work
Practical work is an important part of the Physics curriculum at Imperial, and you will have access to state-of-the-art facilities as well as data collected from major experiments such as CERN.
Physics is a practical science and relies on data, so physicists need to understand how data is generated and how to analyse it. You will take laboratory classes to equip you with a wide range of skills such as using apparatus, conducting experiments, interpreting data, and presenting your results.
You will also gain a solid understanding of how to use computers as tools to help model and understand the physics of complicated phenomena. This includes using computers to make advanced calculations and analyse data, and how to use the programming language Python.
Transfer between courses
The high level of shared content in the first two years of our Physics degrees means that transfer to another degree within the Department is usually possible in the first two years.
- To transfer onto the BSc or MSci with Theoretical Physics, you must take the appropriate mathematics module(s).
- Transfer onto the Year Abroad degree must be done at the very start of your first year.
- It is not possible to transfer onto the Physics and Music Performance degree.
- Students interested in the BSc or MSci Physics with Science Education should initially apply for any of the Department's other degrees (excluding Physics and Music Performance) and transfer at the end of their second year.
Please note there is no benefit in applying to multiple courses within the Department of Physics, and you should only apply to one course from this department.
If interviewed, you will have the opportunity to discuss your choice of degree and the potential to transfer on to another degree within the department.
If you are an international student, transferring to a different course could have an impact on your Tier 4 visa. Please visit our International Student Support webpage for further information.
Please note that the curriculum of this course is currently being reviewed as part of a College-wide process to introduce a standardised modular structure. As a result, the content and assessment structures of this course may change for your year of entry. We therefore recommend that you check this course page before finalising your application and after submitting it as we will aim to update this page as soon as any changes are ratified by the College.
Find out more about the limited circumstances in which we may need to make changes to or in relation to our courses, the type of changes we may make and how we will tell you about changes we have made.
- Advanced Electronics
- Electricity and Magnetism, Relativity
- Laboratory and Computing I
- Measurement and Uncertainty
- Mechanics, Vibrations and Waves
- Professional Skills and Basic Electronics I
- Quantum Physics and Structure of Matter
- Atomic, Nuclear and Particle Physics
- Communicating 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
Your third year will be your teacher training year, in which Canterbury Christ Church University will deliver taught modules related to teaching, and organise 120 days of school placements for you.
Core modules – Imperial
- Comprehensive Examinations
- Comprehensive Physics
- Professional Skills III
Core modules – Canterbury Christ Church University
- Curriculum Studies I
- Curriculum Studies II
- Professional Studies
PROJECT OR ESSAY
You will choose one of the following:
- Physics Essay III
- Physics Project
You choose a small number of optional modules in the third year typically from the list below.
- Advanced Classical Physics
- Communicating Physics
- Complexity and Networks
- Computational Physics
- Environmental Physics
- Fluid Dynamics
- Foundations of Quantum Mechanics
- Group Theory
- Imaging and Biophotonics
- Light and Matter
- Mathematical Methods
- Medical Imaging: Nuclear Diagnostics and MRI
- Medical Imaging: X-Rays and Ultrasound
- Physics of the Universe
- Plasma Physics
- Principles of Instrumentation
- Statistical Mechanics
- Sun, Stars and Planets
Placement 1 - Curriculum Studies I
Between June and July after your second year examinations, you spend 25 days on a school placement.
Placement 2 - Curriculum Studies I
Between July and August before your third year, you spend 10 days participating in an Outreach Summer School.
Placement 3 - Professional Studies
Between September and December of your third year, you spend 55 days in a secondary school.
Placement 4 - Curriculum Studies II
Between June-July after your third year examinations, you spend 30 days in a secondary school.
Download the programme specification [PDF] – this is the most up-to-date version available for this course. It may change for your year of entry. If/when changes to this course are approved by the College, we will update this document and the information on this course page.
This degree is professionally accredited by the Institute of Physics.
Holders of accredited degrees can follow a route to Institute Membership and the CPhys professional qualification.
Achieving a professionally accredited degree demonstrates to employers that you have achieved an industry-recognised standard of competency. It also brings international recognition of your qualification, which is particularly useful for students preparing for a career abroad.
BSc or MSci?
As professionally accredited qualifications, our BSc Physics courses partially satisfy the academic requirement for professional registration as a Chartered Physicist (CPhys). This is a highly respected qualification earned by professionals working in physics, which can lead to higher earning potential and better career prospects.
Partially satisfying the academic requirements means that you will need to demonstrate that you have knowledge equivalent to an accredited integrated Master’s degree on your route to gaining Chartered status after you graduate.
Our MSci courses fully satisfy the academic requirement, meaning you will not need to complete any further study, though all CPhys applicants need to meet certain professional competence requirements.
Our accreditation agreement with the Institute of Physics is renewed every five years.
The current accreditation agreement is due to be renewed for students starting their studies in the 2020–21 academic year. The Department expects to be accredited into the future.
As well as your main Imperial degree, you will also receive the award of the Associateship of the Royal College of Science (ARCS) on completion of this course.
The Royal College of Science is one of three historic Colleges that came together to form Imperial College London in 1907.
Find out more about our Associateships.
Teaching and assessment
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 presentation and communicative skills.
Teaching, independent study and placement hours
|Year 1||Year 2||Year 3|
|Lectures, seminars and similar||592 hours||557 hours||327 hours|
|Independent study||916 hours||943 hours||1,248 hours|
|Based on the typical pathway through the course|
Our Physics degrees use a variety of assessment methods, the list below 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
|Year 1||Year 2||Year 3|
|Based on the typical pathway through the course; percentages have been rounded to the nearest whole number|
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 with 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 behaviour in 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 (see Structure – Teacher Training).
Qualified Teacher Status is awarded by the National College of Teaching and Leadership on the recommendation of Canterbury Christ Church University.
At Imperial, you will be taught by a range of teachers of all levels from Professors to PhD students, including some who undertake groundbreaking research and are regarded as experts in their field.
You may also experience peer teaching and be taught by specialists external to the College.
Compare this course
See how this course compares with similar courses at different institutions using the Unistats information below.
The Unistats website uses official data which we provide about all of our undergraduate courses that have a UCAS code. This information is published by the Higher Education Funding Council on the Unistats website to help you compare similar courses at different institutions.
Because acceptance onto this course is via in-course transfer, it does not have its own Unistats page. However, there is a high degree of overlap with the main degree in this Department so we encourage you to use the Unistats data for that degree.
We welcome students from all over the world and consider all applicants on an individual basis – see selection process below.
For advice on the requirements for the qualifications listed here please contact the Department (see Contact us).
We also accept a wide range of international qualifications. If the requirements for your qualifications are not listed here, please see our academic requirements by country page for guidance on which qualifications we accept.
Minimum entry standards
Our minimum entry standard for 2019 entry is A*A*A overall, to include:
- A* in Mathematics
- A*/A in Physics
- A*/A in a third subject
General Studies and Critical Thinking are not accepted.
Typical offer range
As a guide, here are the typical offers made in 2017 to at least 85% of applicants studying A-levels:
Three A-level offer: A*A*A
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.
Minimum entry standards
Our minimum entry standard for 2019 entry is 40 points overall, to include:
- 7, 6, 6 at higher level which must include Mathematics and Physics
Typical offer range
As a guide, the typical offer made in 2017 to at least 85% of applicants studying IB was 40 points overall.
Our minimum requirement for this course is grades 5, 5, 5 to include:
- 5 in Calculus BC
- 5 in Physics C Electricity and Magnetism
- 5 in Physics C Mechanics
Assessing your application
Admissions Tutors consider all the evidence available during our rigorous selection process and the College flags key information providing assessors with a more complete picture of the educational and social circumstances relevant to the applicant.
Some applicants may be set lower offers and some more challenging ones. It is the College’s policy to not make offers below three A’s at A-level in relevant subjects, 38 IB points with at least a grade 6 at higher level in relevant subjects, or their equivalent.
A typical range of offers made by this Department in 2017 (encompassing at least 85% of applicants who studied A-level or IB) is shown above.
Post-application interview day
If your UCAS application indicates that you are likely to satisfy our requirements you will be invited for one of our post-application interview days with a member of our academic staff.
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 have the chance to have lunch with our undergraduates. You will also meet with a member of the admissions team. This meeting is an opportunity to 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 our 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 some of our research work.
Candidates who are unable (for travel reasons) to attend an interview will be assessed solely on the basis of their UCAS application. However we are keen to interview candidates wherever possible.
English language requirement (all applicants)
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.
Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS)
An ATAS certificate is not required for overseas students who apply for this course.
For more information about the Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS), please see the International Student Support website.
Tuition fees and funding
We charge tuition fees for every year that your course lasts. The fee you will be charged is based on your fee status, which is determined by government regulations.
Tuition fees (Home and EU students)
Tuition fees (Overseas and Islands students)
Additional course costs
This section outlines any additional costs relevant to this course, which are not included in your tuition fees. It is possible that all, or only some, of these will be relevant to you.
Please note that the figures provided are usually based on the cost in the most recent academic year. These are likely to change from 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 approximate cost to help you budget for student life at Imperial.
This section indicates whether any additional costs that apply are mandatory or optional. Mandatory costs are those that you will need to pay to fully participate in and complete your studies. Optional costs are not essential to your studies so 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.
Accommodation and living costs
Living costs, including accommodation, are not included in your tuition fees.
Over 90 per cent of Imperial undergraduates choose to live in our halls of residence in their first year. You can compare costs across our different accommodation options on our Accommodation website.
A rough guide to what you might expect to spend to live in reasonable comfort in London is available on our Fees and Funding website.
Bursaries and scholarships
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 photovoltaic 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
- Operational Researcher, Department of Energy and Climate Change
- Research Engineer, A*STAR, Singapore
- Systems Engineer, BAE Systems
- Innovations Analyst, Carbon Trust
How to apply
UCAS key information
- UCAS course code: n/a*
- UCAS institution code: I50
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).
* Apply initially for any Physics course (except Physics and Music Performance)
All applications, other than those which include choices for medicine at Imperial, must be submitted to UCAS by 18.00 (UK time) on 15 January 2019 for entry in September 2019.
The deadline for medicine courses at Imperial starting in 2019 is 18.00 (UK time) on 15 October 2018.
Tracking your application
Once you’ve completed and submitted your application through UCAS’s online Apply service, you can use UCAS’ Track system to follow its progress and manage your choices.
See our How to apply section for further guidance.
You may also be interested in the following related departments and the courses they offer: