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Completing a masters after PGCE

Discussion in 'Trainee and student teachers' started by Sharnie6, Jun 26, 2018.

  1. Sharnie6

    Sharnie6 New commenter

    I start my PGCE in september and have no plans on changing that. But I was wondering about completing a masters afterwards. Many jobs (including progressing through ranks in schools) require a masters degree but I have gone straight from Undergrad. Is it worth completing a masters straight after the PGCE (full-time) or complete one part-time whilst working?

    Also does it matter what masters, as my course comes with 90 credits towards their MA in education and leadership? Surely it doesn’t have to be one on a specialist subject (I have a history degree) like medieval studies or early modern history?

    Thank you.
  2. ClaudiaLambie

    ClaudiaLambie New commenter

    Following this
  3. phatsals

    phatsals Established commenter

    Secure a post first and look into a Masters later.
    agathamorse likes this.
  4. 1FineDay

    1FineDay New commenter

    Wait and see how you feel at the end of your initial teacher training. Some people decide not to carry on teaching, but the majority do. Then, you'll probably want to get your NQT year done and develop your teaching skill to a point where you can rely on your teaching ability before considering extra commitments. Many middle leaders do not have Masters degrees; so it would be possible to get into middle management without any further study.

    It really depends on what drives you - if it is further study and research then a Masters will seem like a right thing to do when the time comes, but for now focus on getting your teacher training out of the way, obtain QTS and secure a post.
    agathamorse likes this.
  5. rachelsays

    rachelsays New commenter

    If you were to do an MA in Education, I'd definitely do it while working. Doing an MA in Education straight after a PGCE, with very limited experience of actually doing any educating yourself, would be pointless. It would be like doing an MBA with no experience of working in business. You need to have classroom-based experience to bring to bear on what you're studying. Though frankly I don't think there's much value in Education MAs. The actual academic value of the 'research' carried out on most courses is entirely suspect, largely as it relies on 'action based' projects carried out on a small scale with no wider evidence base - but don't get me started on that - and an Education MA would be pretty useless to you if you decided to leave teaching at any point.

    I've got an MA in my subject, and that is genuinely useful to me as a classroom teacher. But it was expensive, very hard work, and a hefty commitment over two years while working full time. The only thing that got me through was my passion for my subject and my genuine interest in my research. Don't think it's an easy qualification - it really isn't - and if your only motivation is to get a leadership position in a career you've not even started yet, you probably won't last the course.

    You need to walk before you run - get the PGCE first and then see how you feel about any further study!
    agathamorse and blueskydreaming like this.
  6. doteachershavesuperpowers

    doteachershavesuperpowers Occasional commenter

    I would get a position first and then focus on completing your NQT year.
    agathamorse likes this.
  7. MrMedia

    MrMedia Star commenter

    Your 90 credits PGDE is the equivalent to one and a half years of part time masters study whilst also undertaking 120 days in school. To complete the masters you undertake one further 30 credit 5,000 word module plus a further 10,000 word dissertation module worth 60 credits. 180 credits are equivalent to the a full Masters.
    Doing it full time makes no sense. You only have a half Masters to complete and the delay in a year puts you a year behind salary progression and removes a year's contribution to your pension (the first years of pension contributions are not valued until you need them much later!).
    To do it straight away or delay it? The percentage of those that complete their masters who do it straight away is quite high. 70-80% of those who sign up complete and it is life circumstances that stop the small number completing. The percentage of those that put it off intending to do it later is horrifyingly low. Probably 15-20% and then further life circumstances stop some from completing.
    If I am honest, having a break from studying and getting on with your teaching is a great idea. Definitely it is nice to have a break from writing essays and research. Getting back into it after a break is hard. Don’t let anyone kid you otherwise.
    Getting the Masters done during this new 'two year' NQT period where you have 10% fewer teaching periods is probably a really good approach. After two years, your teaching load goes up and your responsibilities go up as you start attracting TLRs. There will never be a time where you can carve some space. And once the children arrive, forget it. They are time hogs beyond anything you’ll ever meet - for either gender.
    So, absolutely do it straight away. Curse it. Deny yourself a break. Short term pain for long term gain. Waiting sounds great theoretically - you’ll have more experience, more knowledge, be more organised - but the reality is quite likely that it will hurt more, cost more and you very well might not start or finish it altogether.

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