BSc (Honours) Secondary Education in Physics
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Please note that this degree is no longer open to new students. If you are currently studying towards this qualification you must have completed the required 360 credits by 31 December 2017.
If you have any questions about your eligibility for this qualification please contact the Credit, Qualifications and Ceremonies Centre on +44(0) 1908 653003 or by
Are you leaving the armed forces? If you’ve had a technical role, you’re ideally placed to pass on your expertise and enthusiasm to the next generation – and forge yourself an in-demand second career as a physics teacher in the process. The BSc (Honours) Secondary Education in Physics provides an undergraduate route into teaching, with Qualified Teacher Status (QTS). You’ll gain the knowledge and skills needed to teach across the lower secondary school science curriculum, with a special focus on physics – which you’ll be trained to teach up to ‘A’ level. Flexible arrangements enable you fit your studies around the time you have available. You’ll study the underpinning knowledge and theory of teaching and learning through distance learning, integrated with periods of teaching in two schools. Throughout your teacher training, you’ll be well supported by a mentor and specialist tutor.
Note: This degree course is currently
only available to students who are leaving employment in the armed forces and who are normally resident in England.
Fees and facts
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Flexible, part-time study through
Undergraduate or bachelors degrees are nationally recognised qualifications consisting of academic study designed to help you gain a thorough understanding of a subject.
For a degree in a named subject, such as business studies or humanities, you'll study mainly in your chosen subject, although you may be able to include some modules from other subjects.
With The Open University you could also study an Open degree where you can combine a range of modules from similar or different subjects to suit either your particular career or personal interests.
You can use a degree to:
change careers or progress your current career gain an in-depth knowledge and understanding of a subject you are interested in gain professional recognition go onto postgraduate study, such as a diploma or masters degree.
This degree course is currently
only available to students who are leaving employment in a technical role in the armed forces and are normally resident in England. There are no special academic requirements for Stages 1 and 2 of the course.
You’ll need to register separately for Stage 3, which is the teacher training element of the degree. We offer places following a selection process* designed to explore your suitability for teacher training and a teaching career. You’ll also need to meet government requirements, which may change as a result of government decisions.
The current requirements are that you must:
be able to attend school placements in England
have GCSE grades A–C or equivalent in English language and mathematics by the time you begin the Initial Teacher Education (ITE) element of the degree **
show evidence in your application and at interview that you can communicate clearly and grammatically in written and spoken standard English
be subject to a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check and have no convictions barring you from working with children or vulnerable people.
*If you're not selected or decide not to continue with your teacher training at Stage 3, you can gain an honours degree in natural sciences instead, by studying Stage 3 of the BSc (Hons) Natural Sciences.
** you begin the ITE element at Stage 3. If you don’t have GCSE mathematics, the compulsory modules you study at Stages 1 and 2 of this degree are an acceptable alternative. If you don’t have GCSE English, most local FE colleges offer courses (ask at your local library), or you could study suitable OU modules – contact us for advice.
Career relevance and employability
Currently, physics is designated as a ‘shortage subject’ in teaching – so there’s a high demand for well qualified physics teachers in schools. Successful completion of the BSc (Honours) Secondary Education in Physics leads to a recommendation for Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) conferred by the General Teaching Council for England (GTCE).
The science modules that you’ll study on this degree course will advance your subject knowledge, develop your problem-solving abilities and enhance your mathematical and communication skills. You’ll also become adept at the use of IT for learning and communication.
There’s more information about how OU study can improve your employability in the
OU’s Employability Statement from our Careers Advisory Service. You can also read or download our publication and look at our OU study and your career subject pages to find out about career opportunities.
Choose a pathway and register
It is not possible to apply online to study for this qualification. For more information, read
our entry requirements for this qualification.
Credit for previous study elsewhere
If you have already completed some successful study at higher education level at another institution you may be able to transfer credit for this study and count it towards this qualification. If you wish to apply to transfer credit you must do so as soon as possible, and before you register for this qualification.
If you are awarded credit for study completed elsewhere, you may find that you need to study fewer OU modules to complete this qualification. This may also mean that the next start date and the maximum time limit for this qualification are different to those shown above.
Credit Transfer site for more information and details of how to apply for credit transfer.
The learning outcomes of this qualification are described in four areas:
Knowledge and understanding
Practical and professional skills
Read more detailed information about the learning outcomes, and how they are acquired through teaching, learning and assessment methods.
Classification of your degree
On successful completion of the required number and type of modules you will be awarded a Bachelor of Science (Honours) Secondary Education in Physics degree.
Your honours degree will be classified either as first-class honours, upper second-class honours, lower second-class honours or third-class honours. The class of degree is determined by the grades you achieve in the Level 2 and 3 modules studied for the qualification.
You will have the opportunity to attend a degree ceremony.
As a student of The Open University, you should be aware of the content of the following regulations:
These regulations are also available on our
Essential Documents website.
If you have a disability
Choosing the qualification that’s right for you is very important. Depending on your disability, long-term health condition, mental health disability or specific learning difficulty, you may need to consider any challenges posed by:
the learning objectives: for example, to gain an honours degree in a language you must be physically able to speak the language
how the modules are taught: for example, some of our science qualifications require that you complete laboratory work
any work-based competency requirements.
Choosing the right qualification can be a complex mix of the subject requirements and the support you may need. To help you assess whether the qualification you are interested in will work for you, further advice is available from:
You will need a computer with internet access to study for this qualification. For most OU qualifications a Microsoft Windows (new since 2007),
Apple Mac (OS X 10.6 or later) or Linux computer should be adequate. However, some qualifications require more specific IT equipment, in which case you
will need additional software to use an Apple Mac or Linux computer. A detailed technical specification for your modules will be made available when you
register. Please note, technical specifications do change over time to match computer developments and the way we teach.
The Open University is the world’s leading provider of flexible, high quality distance learning. Unlike other universities
we are not campus based. You will study in a flexible way that works for you whether you’re at home, at work or on the move.
As an OU student you’ll be supported throughout your studies – your tutor or study adviser will guide and advise you, offer detailed
feedback on your assignments, and help with any study issues. Tuition might be in face-to-face groups, via online
tutorials, or by phone.
For more information read
Distance learning explained.