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Becoming a History Teacher with a Politics Degree

Discussion in 'Career clinic' started by virubenn, May 28, 2019.

  1. virubenn

    virubenn New commenter

    Hi all,

    I have just graduated from LSE with an MSc in Political Theory. I worked in the private sector for a brief period but decided it's not for me. Instead, I would really like to pursue a career in teaching.
    In particular, I would like to be a secondary school History and Politics tutor.

    I was wondering how best to pursue this as I don't have a history degree and the course content is not 50% history.

    I began with a joint BA in History and Politics but transferred to a pure Politics degree to take more IR modules.

    In terms of a long term plan, would it be possible to become a history teacher?
  2. CWadd

    CWadd Star commenter

    It is possible. Im a Subject Leader in History and have worked with people with Politics, Classics, and Archeaology. But you'll have to really sell yourself at ITT interviews that you are as confident with the History content of the curriculum as others with full History degrees.

    Bear in mind you could also be asked to teach RS, Sociology, as well as History and Politics. Good luck!
    agathamorse and DYNAMO67 like this.
  3. DYNAMO67

    DYNAMO67 Lead commenter

    Same as above in terms of role here.... your first hurdle is getting a training place. As you’re from LSE, I wouldn’t discount your application as an employer, but you could be sure as anything I’d be grilling you in interview to satisfy myself that you had the knowledge and passion for history teaching, and you weren’t a candidate who simply was doing history ‘on the side’
  4. impossibility

    impossibility New commenter

    My undergrad is 100% politics and I did a PGCE in RE (I taught History during my PGCE also) then taught Politics and History A-Level.

    Word of warning - teaching something that's not your "area" is not always very enjoyable. Not only may you lack the knowledge which makes it hard work but it's downright boring teaching things you don't necessarily love. I HATED teaching A-Level History. I didn't want to in the first place as I signed the contract just for Politics and then it got pulled into it when the HoD was struggling.

    The 50% rule isn't set in stone. PGCE websites might state it but it's still quite flexible. If you can know the knowledge and passion then you have a decent chance. Maybe find a SKE you could do to show your commitment. I did that for RE.
    agathamorse likes this.
  5. htaylor16

    htaylor16 New commenter

    I have an archeology degree and teach history, I suspect my degree subject stops me being shortlisted at times but I am very passionate about history which comes through when I’m interviewed. Have a look at the national curriculum and read up on some topics taught at secondary schools. Politics is taught a A Level I personally don’t know one school that teaches it as a stand alone subject, although you may work in a school that teaches elements of our political system in PSHE or citizenship lessons. Someone on my training course had a politics degree so it’s not unheard of.

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