Teach
physics

Teaching physics is an exciting and rewarding career. Schools need more specialist physics teachers, so it's a great choice of subject.

You could also be eligible to receive a scholarship or bursary of up to £30,000 if you train to teach physics.

Spark curiosity in physics

As a physics teacher, you’ll be engaging students in a wide range of experiments that can spark their interest.

You can inspire your students to consider rewarding careers from tackling climate change to artificial intelligence.

Pupils listening to a science lesson. Teacher talking to a pupil in a classroom.

What you'll be teaching

You'll teach the content of the national curriculum, with opportunities to develop your students’ ability to think like physicists and see physics as a solution to many challenges. The themes you are likely to cover include:

11 to 14 year olds (key stage 3):

  • Energy
  • Motion and forces
  • Electricity and electromagnetism
  • Waves and matter

14 to 16 year olds (key stage 4):

  • Energy, forces and wave motion
  • Electricity, magnetism and electromagnetism
  • The structure of matter
  • Atomic structure and space physics

16 to 18 year olds (key stage 5):

  • Fields, vectors and scalars
  • Mechanics and mechanical properties of matter
  • Electric circuits and waves
  • Matter, quantum and nuclear physics

Read the national curriculum for more information about physics lessons(opens in new window).

You can also search for past exam papers online to see the type of questions that were asked in previous years.

You may also get the opportunity to teach other subjects, particularly for 11 to 16 year olds and in some cases for post-16. This will vary depending on individual schools.

Find out more about becoming a physics teacher from the Ogden Trust(opens in new window), a charitable trust which promotes the teaching and learning of physics.

It's inspiring getting 'wow, that's how it works' from pupils as they grasp a subject that they thought was hard.

Jane Doran, physics and robotics teacher, West Midlands

Next steps into teacher training

Classroom full of pupils.

Help to become a physics teacher

Our experienced teacher training advisers can guide you through everything you need to know to apply for physics teacher training, free of charge. They can help you to:

  • understand more about physics courses
  • answer questions about fees and funding
  • make an application for a physics course

Find out about advisers.

Check your qualifications

To train to teach physics in England, you'll need a bachelor's degree, but it does not have to be in physics.

In 2023, candidates with degrees in subjects as varied as civil engineering, architecture, and business and management were offered places on physics teacher training courses.

Having relevant A levels can show your subject knowledge, if you do not have a degree in physics.

Find out about the qualifications needed to teach.

Experience school life

If you're studying for an undergraduate or master's degree and interested in teaching physics, you could find out more about applying for a paid teaching internship. The 3-week programme can help you to understand what it's really like in the classroom and get a feel for school life.

You can also find out what it's like to be in a classroom through school experience.

Fund your training to teach physics

You could receive a scholarship of £30,000 from the Institute of Physics or a bursary of £28,000, if you start your teacher training course between September 2024 and July 2025.

Find out about your eligibility for scholarships and bursaries.

You can find out more about the physics scholarship from the Institute of Physics(opens in new window).

Improve your physics subject knowledge

If you need to brush up on your physics knowledge before you become a teacher, you can do a subject knowledge enhancement course.

Find out about subject knowledge enhancement courses.

Engineers teach physics

If you're an engineer considering a career as a physics teacher, there is a teacher training course designed especially with your experience and skills in mind.

Find out about the engineers teach physics training programme.

Non-UK citizens

If you’re a non-UK citizen considering training to teach physics in the UK, you could be eligible for an international relocation payment of £10,000 to repay some of the costs of moving to England.

You could also be eligible for a scholarship of £30,000 or a bursary of £28,000.

Find out more about training to teach in England as a non-UK citizen.

Get free one-to-one support

An adviser with years of teaching experience can help you to become a physics teacher. Chat through phone, text, or email as little or often as you need.

Find out more about advisers