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PGCE or MSc

Discussion in 'Further Education' started by Flipflopmaster, Sep 28, 2018.

  1. Flipflopmaster

    Flipflopmaster New commenter

    In need of a little advice please...

    I would like to lecture photography at FE level in several years time and am trying to figure out the best route there.

    I’m currently qualified to degree level in photography, should my next step be to attain an MSc in photography, get a post and then take a PGCE in education and learning, or should I be focussing on a PGCE now, then get a role and deal with whether I need an MSc at a later stage?

    Any advice whatsoever would be hugely appreciated.

    Thanks
     
  2. elder_cat

    elder_cat Established commenter


    Without wishing to appear negative, it's difficult to know exactly what courses colleges will be offering 'in several years time'. Many colleges couldn't even guarantee what they'll be offering two years from now, due to the way courses are funded, and how that funding is affected by both retention and students' results.


    I imagine the level at which Photography is offered as a subject will vary, depending on where in the country you are situated. Colleges in my own area only tend to offer it as a 'short recreational course', with attendance of maybe one hour a week for a set number of weeks. They may offer the course a couple of times during the year, but that's hardly enough to warrant a full time lecturer position. That's not to say you couldn't find a college that offers the subject at a higher level, but it may not be local.

    With regard to the question of your qualification, I think it depends on what level of course you envisage teaching. If the only courses you are looking at teaching are the 'recreational' type courses I've referred to earlier, then I imagine a Degree should be more than sufficient. IMO, it would make sense in that case to do the PGCE. If, on the other hand, you are looking at teaching courses of a more technical nature, aimed at professional users or apprentices, then maybe the cost of getting an MSc would be justified. If you are offered a post without first having gained the PGCE, the college will expect you to undertake the required level of teacher training, and you'll be expected to do that alongside your other duties, which simply adds to your workload. Of course, that would also be true if you decide to do an MSc.


    It's also not unheard of to become involved in delivering other areas besides your main subject, for example helping out with Maths or English. That might well be the case if there is only limited take-up of the Photography course(s). In that case, the PGCE might prove to be more useful initially, based on the fact that although the PGCE includes a subject specialism, large parts of it cover teaching in a more general sense. The MSc would give you more subject knowledge, but wouldn't help much with the business of how to teach.

    Bear in mind that the College won't be paying you for how much you know. They'll be paying you for how well you can pass on what you know, to other people.
     

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