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Computer Science PGCE without related degree but lots of work exp?

Discussion in 'Trainee and student teachers' started by DrTomato, Jun 8, 2020.


Should I apply for Computer Science

Poll closed Jun 18, 2020.
  1. Give it a go

    3 vote(s)
  2. Don't bother

    0 vote(s)
  1. Hi,

    Does anyone know if it's worth bothering applying for a PGCE in computer science as a mature student without having a related degree?

    I have a science degree and maths + English GCSE's. I've also spent 20 years working as a computer programmer and I also taught it at university level for one semester (overseas).

    I'm torn between applying to teach either science or computer science but my first love is chemistry and I'm not really happy with the idea of getting drawn into teaching physics or (god forbid) maths.

    A bit off topic but if they're insisting on applicants having an A Level or degree in computing then this is probably why so few people want to teach the subject. Less than 10% of the programmers I've worked with over the years have had related degrees. The best programmer I ever worked with majored in English.
  2. inkymark

    inkymark New commenter

    I think 20 years experience as a programmer will more than outweigh the need for a computer science degree personally although this may be something you should speak to a PGCE provider directly about. If you are a member of the BCS then this may help as well since this is a professional qualification and they also have a bursary scheme. Don't worry about having an A level in computer science - I don't and I am in the process of completing a Computer Science SCITT related course! I think 20 years real-life experience is much more valuable since you know what the reality is IT in industry and can speak from this viewpoint (useful for A levels where discussions can stray a little...). Also, don't worry about being 'mature' - I am in my mid-50s and some of the students I have been studying with are the same age as my children!!! Just realise that you need to be open to change - teaching is like no other profession you can think of!!!!!!
  3. Stiltskin

    Stiltskin Star commenter

    Yes it's worth applying. Having experience in working in the subject will negate the need for a computer science degree. You'll be eligible for the bursary sand could probably get the BCS scholarship.
  4. rolls

    rolls Occasional commenter

    Definitely apply. The DfE has removed its requirement of 50% of your degree needing to be in your teaching subject.
  5. mellwaters

    mellwaters New commenter

    @DrTomato - what did you decide / have you got accepted anywhere (on a Computer PGCE)?

    I am in a similar position - started programming when I was 8, 30 years in Industry, been an IT Manager twice, Certified Novell Engineer and designed numerous API's into major applications. I have just graduated this year with a First in Criminology (looking into teach computing to young offenders / under privileged).

    Spoke with a SCITT today who would require 12 week SKE before I could start a place, and now not enough time before Sept. Oh, and I would need to do a GCSE English and Maths test because I can't produce my certificates (from 1989).

    Am fine doing the SKE, but wondering if some / all providers require this prior to commencement? Am exploring the University route too (and would probably prefer this pathway), but keen to hear experiences of others.
  6. MrMedia

    MrMedia Star commenter

    Not all providers would require this. However, because the SKE will revisit all the core stuff taught at school it’s actually a helpful course. It’s very late days for applicants now. If you pitched at next year you’d have a much more normal year and you could do the SKE without problem.
    Stiltskin likes this.
  7. mellwaters

    mellwaters New commenter

    Thanks for this feedback, MrMedia. I am annoyed at myself for not looking into this earlier. I contacted a few more providers yesterday (Universities) to see what options are still available. Fingers crossed!
    Stiltskin likes this.
  8. MrMedia

    MrMedia Star commenter

    The equivalencies are hard work as well. It’s such a late rush and if I’m honest you’d be putting your chance of succeeding at risk. Get some work as an unqualified or one of the government's new 'Tutors' for a year and come on stream next year. I’ve already placed all mine in schools for September. I'd have to find you a school from what is left and then you’d still have to pass the triple of equivalencies and SKE. And it really matters which provider you go with, you need to research them well. I’m not saying you can’t achieve it, but I’m saying my sensible advice is to do it next year.
  9. Stiltskin

    Stiltskin Star commenter

    If you know who you took the exams with you can apply for copies of your certificates.

    Different providers will consider your case differently based on what they think you need to learn still and what you are likely to be able to learn whilst on doing the PGCE. What area of the country are you looking in?
  10. mellwaters

    mellwaters New commenter

    Thanks @MrMedia and @Stiltskin for your comments.

    I am in the north east of England and in the process of contacting universities (Sunderland, Leeds and Cumbria) to understand options. Also spoke with an adviser at DfE this morning and putting finishing touches to the personal statement. I do appreciate time is extremely short for this year, with limited options. Also aware of the saying about doing something in haste and repenting at leisure!

    Balanced against this, financially, I would need to do something else for the next 12 months if I deferred and also conscious of my age. So many things to weigh up!

    View at the moment is that I need to continue to pursue the various options whilst there is a possibility of securing a place, but recognise that a lot of work will be needed over the next few months to justify an offer.
  11. Stiltskin

    Stiltskin Star commenter

    Fingers crossed for you that they will be fairly quick getting back to you.

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