Adding an ‘Engineers teach physics’ question to courses

We have added an ‘Engineers teach physics’ question to the new course and the edit course flows.

Why we’re doing this work

In February 2022, the Department for Education (DfE) launched the Engineers teach physics programme as a pilot for the academic year 2021 to 2022.

The programme aims to increase the number of physics teachers in England by attracting individuals with a background in engineering or material sciences to start postgraduate teacher training.

The pilot was successful, so we are expanding the programme to all providers.

The difference between Engineers teach physics and physics courses

For Engineers teach physics courses, we expect providers to tailor their course content to focus on bridging any subject knowledge gaps for non-physics graduates of engineering or materials science backgrounds.

We ask providers participating in the programme to meet specific criteria, such as requiring that candidates have an undergraduate engineering or material science degree or equivalent.

Providers taking part will receive additional guidance on how to describe and promote Engineers teach physics on their course pages on Find postgraduate teacher training (Find). This guidance will help to give candidates with engineering and material science backgrounds the confidence to apply and become effective physics teachers without a physics degree.

What we changed

We made changes to the:

  • course titles
  • add course flow
  • edit course flow

Course titles

Course titles are pre-populated automatically from the list of subjects the user selects when creating or editing a new course.

For example, if the user has chosen one subject – physics – the course title will be ‘Physics’. If the user has selected two subjects – physics and mathematics – the course title will be ‘Physics with mathematics’.

The course titles for the Engineers teach physics programme are an exception. If the user has chosen physics and the course is part of the programme, the course title will be ‘Engineers teach physics’.

If the user has chosen two subjects, the first is physics, and the course is part of the Engineers teach physics programme, the course title would be ‘Engineers teach physics with [additional subject name]’.

Add course flow

In the add course flow, we added the question, ‘Is this course part of the Engineers teach physics programme?’ if the first subject of the course is physics.

If the user answers ‘Yes’ to this question, the course title is pre-populated with:

  • ‘Engineers teach physics’ if physics is the only subject
  • ‘Engineers teach physics’ and a list of subjects if the user has selected multiple subjects - for example, ‘Engineers teach physics with mathematics’

If the user answers ‘No’ to this question, the name of the course is the subject, ‘Physics’.

Second subject

If the user selects ‘Physics’ as a second subject, we do not show the question, ‘Is this course part of the Engineers teach physics programme?’ because physics needs to be the main subject for the course to be part of the Engineers teach physics programme.

In a scenario where ‘Physics’ is the main subject and ‘Modern languages’ is the second subject, we ask the user to:

  • choose the main subject - in this case, ‘Physics’
  • choose the second subject - in this case, ‘Modern languages’
  • answer the question, ‘Is this course part of the Engineers teach physics programme?’
  • select all the languages that apply from the checkbox list

Edit course flow

Users can change their answer to the ‘Engineers teach physics’ question from the course’s ‘Basic details’ page.

Changing the answer will also change the course title.

If the user changes the course subject to ‘Physics’, they need to confirm if the course is also part of the Engineers teach physics programme.

Answering ‘Yes’ to the question ‘Is this course part of the Engineers teach physics programme?’ will change the title of the course as described in the course titles section.

Further considerations

In future, we will consider how to:

  • surface the Engineers teach physics courses more easily on Find postgraduate teacher training
  • add a link to a GOV.UK page where users can find out more about the programme

Add course - Engineers teach physics#

Screenshot of Add course - Engineers teach physics

Add course - Check your answers#

Screenshot of Add course - Check your answers

Course details#

Screenshot of Course details

Edit course - Engineers teach physics#

Screenshot of Edit course - Engineers teach physics