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Teaching courses

Are you interested in teaching in a school or university? Research into teaching theory and pedagogy? Or educational psychology? Graduates interested in teaching and education have a range of career options to consider both inside the classroom and elsewhere.

Qualifications to become a teacher

To teach in the majority of schools, you'll need to have qualified teacher status (QTS). There are several routes to QTS, but the most common route for graduates is to take a university-led Postgraduate or Professional Graduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) or Postgraduate Diploma in Education (PGDE).

A PGCE or PGDE course combines both university-based theory and classroom training and takes an academic year. You may also include credit points towards an MA in education if you top up your PCGE or PGDE with a dissertation.

By successfully completing the year, you'll graduate with a postgraduate certificate (or diploma if enrolled on a PGDE course) and be given QTS by the Teaching Regulation Agency (if training in England).

Paying for it

PGCE or PGDE courses in England and Wales usually cost between £9,000–£9,250. Eligible students applying for a course can apply for loans to cover tuition and maintenance fees, using the undergraduate student finance system (a PGCE doesn't make up the 180 credits required for a postgraduate loan).

Some subjects are subject to a bursary and applicants applying to teach in those subjects receive up to £26,000 to train (during the 2018 academic year). There are also subject scholarships available.

Subject knowledge enhancement (SKE) courses

Universities will usually want you to have a degree in the subject you'd like to teach – or a close relation of that subject. For instance, you could be considered to teach physics with a an engineering degree or a combined degree made up of 50% of your intended teaching subject.

Applicants falling short of those requirements, or who need a refresher in a particular area, can apply for a subject knowledge enhancement (SKE) course. The SKE is an intensive short course that builds up the knowledge and skills required to confidently teach a subject in the classroom.

Not all universities offer SKE courses, but institutions will be able to recommend SKE programmes for applicants.

Postgraduate masters and research in education

Many university education departments offer taught masters and research programmes in education as well as teacher training programmes. Many education courses are offered part time to support graduates who have begun working.

A number of professionals from different areas support schools and developing learning strategies. Consequently, many courses are offered across faculties, from educational management to neuroscience and education. Courses at masters level are likely to be eligible for a postgraduate loan.


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