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  • Scotland / EU
  • England, Wales and Northern Ireland
  • International

The course

UCAS code
4 years
Delivery type



The BSc (Hons) in Physics and Professional Education is a 4-year course of study that is designed for students who wish to pursue a career in Physics teaching at secondary school level.

In collaboration with the University of Stirling, the course combines core elements of Physics, covering subjects such as dynamics, electromagnetic fields and optics, the quantum world of subatomic particles, alongside participation in our full Initial Teacher Education course.

Students on this course follow the well-established Professional Education path at Stirling and attend Physics lectures and laboratories at Heriot-Watt's Edinburgh campus.

This is an ideal option for students with aspirations of becoming a Physics Secondary School Teacher.

To apply, or for further information see Professional Education at University of Stirling.


Accredited by General Teaching Council of Scotland with 7 commendations, which include being student-centred and the high quality of our research informed approaches.

Course content

Year 1

Provides the foundations of physics and mathematics and gives the opportunity to look at wider aspects of physics through experimental study in investigative techniques.  Practical problem solving, data analysis, laboratory and communication skills are embedded in the first year courses.  Students spend the majority of their time at Edinburgh, with around one day per week in Stirling for Education courses.

Year 2

Important themes of physics are introduced through courses in Thermal Physics, Photonics and Optics and Electronics. Experimental, Programming, and Communication skills are developed through practical laboratory activities.  Education courses are taken in both semesters.  This would normally include a School Experience (placement).

Year 3

Deals with more advanced treatments of core physics, such as: Electromagnetism; Dynamics and Relativity; and Mathematics Topics. Approximately half of the third year is devoted to teaching topics, including an extended placement.

Year 4

Deals with more advanced treatments of core physics, such as: Nuclear Physics, with the option to explore specialist topics including Quantum Concepts; Solid State Physics; Optical Sensing and Advanced Laboratories.  Final teaching practice and evaluation takes place throughout the final year of study.

Entry requirements

Year 1

Year 2

Due to the nature of the degree, and the requirement to have completed modules EDUU9E1 and EDUU9E2 before progressing onto Year 2 of study, direct access to Year 2 would necessitate a candidate having gained appropriate experience/qualifications elsewhere, generally in a higher education setting. Full details are available on the Secondary Education page on University of Stirling website.

Year 3

See year 2

Additional information

Entry to the professional course is provisional until the end of Year 1 and subject to interview, a criminal record PVG check and successfully passing all first year modules. If you have a criminal record you should contact the Head of Admissions at University of Stirling in confidence to discuss entry to this course.


Fees are different for Professional Education (Secondary) courses, as students are enrolled at University of Stirling.

Tuition fees (by residency status)
Status* Scotland / EU** England / Northern Ireland / Wales International
2017 entry Paid by SAAS £6,750 (for a maximum of 4 years) £11,845
2018 entry Paid by SAAS £9,250 £12,140

* Your residency 'status' is usually defined as the country where you have been ordinarily resident for the three years before the start of your course. Find out more about tuition fees.

** European Union countries, not including England, Northern Ireland or Wales.

Scholarships and bursaries

Please see fees and scholarships for Professional Education at University of Stirling.