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English degree vs Creative Writing

Discussion in 'English' started by Utadafan, Aug 21, 2015.

  1. Hi all, newbie to the forum here!

    I'm currently a postgraduate student about to embark on a Master's degree this Autumn. I've just completed my BA in Creative Writing but was unsure about the next step. I have aspirations to teach English in FE but I am slightly worried in terms of my degree. The BA in Creative Writing was extremely 'literary' in terms of course content. Now I am faced with the choice of choosing either MA Literature or MA Creative Writing. I would rather do the MA Creative Writing as we get to write as well as analytically study literature but in terms of my CV and being employable to teach English in FE, would I be better to pick MA Literature?

    A little worried here as have to my make my choice soon,

    Thank you for reading! :)
  2. CandysDog

    CandysDog Established commenter

    I don't think it really matters, to be honest.

    English teachers (FE or otherwise) come from a broad range of backgrounds, though most are literature specialists. So, if you do something literary, you are like many other successful teachers. If you don't, you may offer something a school is looking for (such as someone good at creative writing).

    Also, most teachers don't have a master's degree anyway, so all of this is a bonus, really.
  3. saluki

    saluki Lead commenter

    I don't know what you think teaching in FE entails. I think you may have your head in the clouds. Do you think that you will be teaching lots of highly motivated, well behaved, really keen A level students who will want to sit and talk about literature and creative writing and make lots of highly intelligent comments? Think again. This is highly unlikely.

    In fact you will be teaching either Functional skills, or whatever its replacement is called. Or GCSE English retakes, squillions and squillions of them; so many that they will not all fit into the sports hall for the exam and you will have to find spare classrooms etc to fit them all in.

    These are students (sorry learners) who have been let down by the education system. They have poor motivation and are badly behaved. They will not have the slightest interest in your qualifications, or literature, or creative writing.

    Aha - you say - But I will have an MA, I will be given A level students to teach. No you won't. They have been grabbed by the teachers who have been at that FE institution for umpteen years. They also have to teach GCSE and possibly FS. The A level students are their reward for doing this for the past umpteen years. You will find that lots of teachers with MAs are just teaching GCSE or FS.

    By all means study for your MA. Do the one which interests you most. Even if you do teach A level your MA will be irrelevent. It may be a talking point at interview, that's all.

    By all means teach in FE. It is a much more relaxed atmosphere than school. It can also be more flexible. English is a shortage subject everywhere; so, in theory, you should be in demand whatever you decide to do.
  4. Thank you for the helpful reply :) I think perhaps I was worrying too much!
  5. Hi Saluki...

    I'm not as naive as perhaps you think I was being. I am aware what FE entails as I've been through it myself as a student! I'm not doing the MA to be able to teach, I'm doing the MA for my own interest and something that I've always wanted to do! I was just thinking in terms of job prospects what would be more of benefit.

    Thank you for the reply.
  6. saluki

    saluki Lead commenter

    FE has probably changed since you were a student. It is forever changing which is what makes it interesting. More vocational students than academic nowaddays.

    Bear in mind that if you study a PGCE PCET you will only be able to teach FE. Some academies will accept you for secondary. If you study a PGCE secondary you will be able to teach in both schools and FE.

    You can also qualify 'on the job' and take a DETs - previously DTLLS. I do not think that you will be able to teach secondary with a DETs. DETs teachers are lower on the payscale than PGCE teachers.

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