Physics for Teachers - 7440

Program Summary

Faculty: Faculty of Science


Campus: Sydney

Career: Postgraduate

Typical Duration: 0.5 Years  

Typical UOC Per Semester: 24

Min UOC Per Semester: 6

Max UOC Per Semester: 24

Min UOC For Award: 24

View program information for previous years

Program Description

This graduate certificate is designed for current qualified science teachers who would like to learn physics in order to be qualified to teach it. After taking this program teachers should be confident in their ability to present physics to high school students by being able to clearly explain core concepts and present interesting contexts for applications of the physics.

The program is predominantly online. The first course is a contextualized introductory, entirely online unit that will serve as a general introduction to physics. The remaining three courses focus on giving school teachers a more in-depth understanding of some of the different branches of physics: mechanics, electromagnetism, thermal physics and modern physics. Lecture material for these course will be delivered online.

For each of these three courses there will be a compulsory two day face-to-face session at the UNSW Kensington campus during which laboratory exercises will be completed. Each workshop will be held on a weekend during the semester and students are responsible for organising and paying for their own transport and accommodation to attend these.

The courses in this graduate certificate are designed to be taken sequentially at a rate of one per semester, to cater for teachers with a full time job. A good understanding of mathematics is needed for these courses including understanding of trigonometry and calculus.

Program Objectives and Graduate Attributes

1 Students will recognize be able to recognize and explain the importance of physics to objects and phenomena in the world round us; they will be able to use this knowledge to make physics interesting and relevant to high school physics students.

2 Students will be able to write down equations and draw diagrams and graphs to represent physical problems or situations, they will be able to solve these equations to make predictions about the physical situation.

3 Students will recognize, that physics is an experimental science, they will be able to plan and carry out experiments, they will be able to present their results to these experiments with a numerical uncertainty.

4 Students will have an in depth understanding of the fields of mechanics, electromagnetism, thermal physics and modern physics. They will be able to use this understanding to solve problems and also to clearly explain concepts to high school level students.

5 Students will recognize the universality and applicability of the laws of physics, such as conservation laws, and will be able to use these laws to approach novel situations and solve problems

Program Structure

The program consists of four compulsory courses:
Students must complete PHYS9110 Everyday Physics for Teachers before taking other courses in this program.

Note: A good understanding of mathematics is needed for these courses including understanding of trigonometry and calculus. Students should be comfortable with HSC level extension 1 mathematics.

Academic Rules

See program structure.


For information regarding fees for UNSW programs, please refer to the following website:  UNSW Fee Website.

Admission Requirements

Applications are made through UNSW Apply Online. To gain entry to this program, students must:

Have completed a Bachelor of Education in Secondary Science, or a Bachelor of Science and Graduate Diploma in Education, or a Bachelor of Science and Master of Teaching, or equivalent qualifications.

Be an accredited teacher with an Australian State Department of Education

Have completed a major in a science other than physics.

This program is only open for Semester 1 enrolments and is completed part time over two years.


Accredited science teachers who complete this graduate certificate will satisfy the current BOSTES accreditation requirements to teach high school physics in NSW Schools as outlined on the BOSTES website:

Area(s) of Specialisation