Physics Education And Communication In Schools PHYS4034

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: School of Physics and Astronomy
  • Credits: 10
  • Level: Level 4 (SCQF level 10)
  • Typically Offered: Runs Throughout Semesters 1 and 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: No

Short Description

This course provides students with the opportunity to work as a physics teaching assistant in a local secondary school. During a series of weekly half-day visits, over 1 semester, each student will plan and deliver to a class of secondary school pupils a 'special project': a series of lessons investigating a specific area of physics relevant to the school curriculum.


Each student enrolled on the course will typically spend one afternoon per week in the school with which he/she is paired.

Requirements of Entry


Excluded Courses





Assessment of student's journal, recording progress and development of classroom work (25%); 

Assessment of oral presentation given by student upon completion of the course (15%)

Assessment by school teacher of the student's planning and delivery of special project (15%)

Assessment of end of course written report by student, on special report - including a critical evaluation of

its success (45%)

Are reassessment opportunities available for all summative assessments? Not applicable

Reassessments are normally available for all courses, except those which contribute to the Honours classification. For non Honours courses, students are offered reassessment in all or any of the components of assessment if the satisfactory (threshold) grade for the overall course is not achieved at the first attempt. This is normally grade D3 for undergraduate students and grade C3 for postgraduate students. Exceptionally it may not be possible to offer reassessment of some coursework items, in which case the mark achieved at the first attempt will be counted towards the final course grade. Any such exceptions for this course are described below. 

Course Aims

The aims of this course are: (1) to provide Honours Physics students with the opportunity to gain academic credit by working as teaching assistants and acting as role models in local secondary schools; (2) to encourage students to consider teaching as a career choice, whilst equipping students with valuable transferable skills developed in the classroom; (3) to provide teachers with a knowledgeable and enthusiastic assistant who is able to offer practical help and engage pupils in physics; (4) to provide GU with the opportunity to build stronger links with local schools and teaching staff, thus potentially boosting long-term recruitment into STEM subjects.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of this course students will be able to:

- Describe the physical principles of their chosen special project topic at a level appropriate for a high school

  student and an intelligent layperson

- Display interpersonal and team-working skills when dealing with colleagues

- Demonstrate an ability to improvise and adapt so as to deal with unexpected, difficult and potentially

  disruptive situations

- Demonstrate organisational, prioritising and negotiating skills

- Demonstrate public speaking and communication skills

- Demonstrate knowledge of standard teaching methods

- Prepare lesson plans and teaching materials

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must submit at least 75% by weight of the components (including examinations) of the course's summative assessment.