If you already have a degree, but you’re set on teaching as a career in England, Wales or Northern Ireland, then a PGCE is more than likely the route for you. If you know the age group and/or subject you’d most like to teach, you should be able to find a PGCE to help you specialise, and get on track for a career in the classroom. In Scotland, the equivalent qualification is known as a PGDE (Postgraduate Diploma in Education).
PGCE courses generally take one year, and involve a significant proportion of practical experience in the classroom, as well as lectures and seminars in a university or higher education institution. You can study to teach particular age groups: (early years, primary, secondary, lifelong learning). Students tend to specialise in a specific subject like History or Design and Technology for secondary teaching, although this is not always necessary. It is sometimes possible to specify in primary teaching, especially if you’re interested in teaching a foreign language.
A PGCE course is technically a vocational qualification, as it provides you with the skills you require for the specific job of teaching, but the PGCE also includes credits towards a Masters degree, meaning that, with further study and a dissertation, it’s possible for newly qualified teachers to top up their PGCE qualification to Masters level. Find a PGCE course now.
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