Education statistics

Scottish student survey 2014
The IOP in Scottish carries out an annual survey of students in first year at university who are taking physics. The survey is designed to look at factors which influence students in making their decision to take the subject. 100 students at universities across Scotland completed the survey during 2014.

Institute of Physics in Scotland Survey of First Year Physics Students 2014 (PDF, 243 KB)

Scottish student survey 2013
The IOP in Scottish carries out an annual survey of students in first year at university who are taking physics. The survey is designed to look at factors which influence students in making their decision to take the subject. 243 students at universities across Scotland and the Open University completed the survey during 2012. 252 students at universities across Scotland completed the survey during 2013.

Institute of Physics in Scotland Survey of First Year Physics Students 2013 (PDF, 334 KB)

Scottish student survey 2012
The IOP in Scotland carried out a survey of students in first year at university who are taking physics. The survey is designed to look at factors which influence students in making their decision to take the subject. 243 students at universities across Scotland and the Open University completed the survey during 2012.

Institute of Physics in Scotland Survey of First Year Physics Students 2012 (PDF, 182 KB)

School pupils and physics in Scotland
There were 372 secondary schools in Scotland in 2010 according to the Scottish government school estate statistics 2010.

Physics and education in Scottish secondary schools (PDF, 406 KB)

Physics and teachers in Scotland
The Institute of Physics provides support for these teachers through an education manager and seven regional network co-ordinators. There is also a resources website and an email network. The Institute of Physics also supports the Stirling physics teachers’ meeting, which attracts more than 200 physics teachers each year and a summer school, which has an average of around 25 teachers. Approximately 10 training days around Scotland are held each year, attracting around 250 teachers in total.

Data and tables regarding physics teachers and education in Scotland (PDF, 74 KB)

Higher education
Average funding per science student, at £7,580, is higher than the £6,326 in England (source: Scottish Executive).

The number of student enrolments and number of Scottish Higher Education Institutions offering degrees in physics in each academic year since 1994-95:

Academic yearTotal enrolmentsNumber of higher education institutions offering degrees
1994–951,97012
1995–961,92012
1996–971,89012
1997–981,89013
1998–991,86513
1999–20001,81512
2000–011,70512
2001–021,66012
2002–031,58511
2003–041,6309
2004–051,5459

(Source: Higher Education Statistics Agency.)

The data above includes all students on first degree or postgraduate degree courses in physics.

The number of higher education institutes (HEI) offering a particular course has been determined as the number of HEIs teaching one or more students in the subject in the given year. The number of institutions offering these subjects fluctuated during the reporting period as did the total number of HEIs in Scotland: in 2001-02 BellCollege and UHIMI have become higher education institutions.

Physics graduates from Scottish higher education institutions, 1999–2000 to 2003–04

Academic yearTotalPostgraduateFirst degreeOther HE
1999–2000365652955
2000–01380653105
2001–02310702450
2002–033257024510
2003–043306026010

(Source: Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA).)

Scottish Universities Physics Alliance (SUPA)
SUPA has approximately 20 chairs and lecturers, 14 SUPA research fellowships, and 8 competitive studentships per year, a chief executive, and a director of the new Scottish Graduate School in Physics.

Graduate destinations

  • Science graduates are more likely, compared to graduates from other subjects, to enter into managerial and professional roles (47% of science graduates, compared to 42% of other graduates), or associate professional and technical roles (35% of science graduates, compared to 30% of other graduates), occupations; and
  • Science graduates are considerably more likely, compared to all graduates, to be in permanent employment in Health and Social Work six months after graduation (49% of science graduates in permanent employment, compared to 32% of all graduates)

(Source: Supply of, and demand for, science graduates in Scotland, Scottish Executive, Scottish Funding Council and Futureskills Scotland.)

  • Physics graduates find employment in a wide range of industry sectors, with a significant proportion relocating overseas
  • Physics graduates earn above the median UK wage and succeed in management positions and consultancy roles
  • More than half of first-degree physics graduates earn a salary in excess of £40,000 and more than half with a PhD in physics earn in excess of £50 000
  • The financial rewards for the best physics graduates on offer outside of the teaching sector are far in excess of those within teaching
  • Female physics graduates on average earn less than their male counterparts and fewer of them reach the best-paid positions

Source: Physics in Scotland: The brightest minds go further, Institute of Physics, November 2009.

Institute of Physics in Scotland Outreach
In 2010, IOP Scotland awarded grants totalling £15 775 to 10 organisations to support science engagement in a variety of ways.



Related information

IOP's main website