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The University of Southampton

PHYS3019 Communicating and Teaching and The Undergraduate Ambassadors Scheme

Module Overview

Level of study (NQF Levels 1-4) This course provides an excellent opportunity for people who wish to gain experience in teaching. Some of the aims of the scheme are: - To develop a range of students' skills and to offer an early taste of teaching to those interested in pursuing it as a career. - To help students gain confidence in communicating their subject, develop strong organisational and interpersonal skills, and understand how to address the needs of individual learners. - To give students experience of devising and developing projects and using teaching methods appropriate to engaging the relevant pupil age group and ability they are working with. - To help inspire a new generation of prospective undergraduates by providing role models for school pupils. - To help students convey the excitement of their own learning at University to pupils by showing them the long-term applications of school studies. - To help teachers by providing an assistant who can work with and support pupils at various point on the ability spectrum. For further information, and details of enrolment please contact the Public Engagement Leader for Physics & Astronomy, Pearl John (email

Aims and Objectives

Module Aims

On successful completion of the module, students will have gained substantial and valuable experience of working in a challenging but rewarding teaching environment. They will be able to assess and devise appropriate ways of communicating difficult principles or concepts to learners and will have gained a broad understanding of many of the key aspects of teaching in schools. They will also have developed a better understanding of, and confidence in, communicating their discipline.

Learning Outcomes

Transferable and Generic Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Communication skills, both one-to-one and with an audience Public Speaking
  • Understanding the needs of individuals.
  • Interpersonal skills when dealing with colleagues
  • Responsibilities and conduct of teaching staff.
  • Giving and receiving feedback.
  • Organisational, prioritising, and negiotiating skills. Team-working
Subject Specific Practical Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Handling difficult and potentially disruptive situations.
  • Standard teaching methods. Preparation of lesson plans and teaching materials.
Cognitive Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • The ability to improvise.


An initial one day of training will provide the student with an introduction to working with children and conduct in the school environment. A competitive interview system will be used to match students with appropriate schools and a specific teacher in the local area, and each student selected will be given a chance to visit the school they will be working in before commencement of the unit. The student will be required to spend half a day a week in the school every week for a semester. It is intended that there will be no formal lectures associated with the unit, and that wherever possible or appropriate the students' own ideas and learning will feed back into the content of their activity as they become more experienced. However, there will be four supporting tutorials which will provide an opportunity for students to share their experiences. The teachers will act as the main source of guidance but, in addition, students will also be able to discuss their progress with the Unit Coordinator or a Faculty Learning and Teaching Coordinator whenever necessary.

Learning and Teaching

Follow-up work5
Completion of assessment task55
Wider reading or practice31
Preparation for scheduled sessions5
Total study time150

Resources & Reading list

A reading list will be supplied by the coordinator at the beginning of the module.. 


Assessment Strategy

There is no referral opportunity for this syllabus in same academic year.


MethodPercentage contribution
Final Report 60%
Oral presentation 25%
Report 15%


MethodPercentage contribution
Coursework marks carried forward 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External

Linked modules

Pre-requisites: PHYS2001 AND PHYS2003 AND PHYS2006 AND PHYS2023 AND PHYS2024


Costs associated with this module

Students are responsible for meeting the cost of essential textbooks, and of producing such essays, assignments, laboratory reports and dissertations as are required to fulfil the academic requirements for each programme of study.

In addition to this, students registered for this module typically also have to pay for:

Travel Costs for placements

Please note that students are required to pay for their travel costs to and from the schools they work with during the module. However travel costs will be reimbursed on production of travel receipts.

Please also ensure you read the section on additional costs in the University’s Fees, Charges and Expenses Regulations in the University Calendar available at

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