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PGCE Social Sciences or Citizenship

Discussion in 'Thinking of teaching' started by waqaas11, Aug 7, 2017.

  1. waqaas11

    waqaas11 New commenter


    I have an offer from MMU for PGCE Social Sciences and an offer from Sheffield Hallam for PGCE Citizenship and I am unsure of which one to pick, in terms of employment prospects.

    I have asked around friends and family who know people who work in the teaching sector and they have all said social sciences is more popular, and this also shows to be the case when looking at job listings.

    I know we should not take everything we read on the internet at face value but I remember reading a forum (I cannot find it now) in which a Citizenship course leader was arguing against everyone and kept insisting all his students got jobs ASAP after their course and a very large number of them became head of citizenship within one to two years.

    Personally, psychology has been my favourite subject since A level, however I am sure I would also enjoy teaching citizenship. Living in Sheffield would be more convenient than Manchester, however my number one priority is employment prospects.

    Does anyone have any advice?
    Thank you in advance
  2. DYNAMO67

    DYNAMO67 Lead commenter

    Citizenship? Sorry, but that was teaching buzz word number 1 about ten years ago. Don't do that, you won't get anywhere. It isn't taught as a distinct subject. Do that and you will be trying to apply for an incredibly small pool of jobs, or look to RE. I think it is disingenuous even to be still offering it. Even more so suggesting all these people got jobs. Sounds like self-preservation on his part for me.

    Social Science. Don't do it unless you are prepared to consider a move for a job afterwards and be flexible. Both in terms of geography and position. It, again, is a small field. Much better than citizenship though. Psychology is popular at my place post-16. If you do go for it, get as much experience as you can teaching KS3 science/ maths if your subject is psychology. Give yourself as much opportunity as possible to get a job by being comfortable offering more than others when it comes to interview.

    You may get lucky, see a position in Sheffield, apply and get it. Employment in subjects such as this can't be taken for granted though. You are not a maths, English teacher who can pick their area, even if not school. You can't be inflexible. If you are flexible, you will have far better chance of getting a job than others.
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2017
    waqaas11 likes this.
  3. phatsals

    phatsals Senior commenter

    Many years ago I did the PGCE Social Science at MMU, it is a small course but highly competitive as there were few training places on offer in the country. All who wanted jobs at the end of the course had them. You will probably cover citizenship during your training, but you will be able to teach your main subject, psychology. You will need a second subject and I agree that maths would be a good match. Many had jobs before the course ended and one was employed as HoD teaching Psychology.
    waqaas11 likes this.
  4. waqaas11

    waqaas11 New commenter

    Thankyou dynamo and phatsals. Like everyone else I have asked you have also said social sciences would be better. It is also what I thought originally however that forum I mentioned threw me off a bit.

    Btw by choosing social sciences I would be specialising in psychology and sociology, and yes I will be flexible. Thanks again for your input
    DYNAMO67 likes this.
  5. DYNAMO67

    DYNAMO67 Lead commenter

    I will say again, I am astounded that PGCEs in Citizenship are still offered. When i trained nearly 10 years ago, we did a GCSE in citizenship. It was all the rage then. I even trained alonside people doing this qualification. We also had 'every child matters' and 'PLTS' as buzzwords what were going to change education.

    All three have died a death. Don't let the glossy publication fool you. I think it is disingenuous in the extreme, to the point I nearly emailed the provider myself to see evidence of this 96% employment rate......

    Thinking back to my training now. One trainee managed to get a humanities job. Did geog, hist and RE at KS3. Never 4, not a subject specialist. The other one who I kept in touch with did a maternity cover in English, but eventually left the profession. She was an excellent teacher, but simply not employable against people who had trained in subjects that exist.

    The closest thing in most schools to citizenship is PSHE. It is taught in all places I have worked by form staff. Controlled by a HoD, who is a Geography teacher in my place. It has never been a specialised position.
  6. phatsals

    phatsals Senior commenter

    You will need a second subject that is taught at KS3, neither sociology nor psychology will do. You need experience of teaching across 2 key stages, ie KS3 and 4. You don't want to be tied into, as Dynamo says, a Cinderella subject such as citizenship - go for maths if you can.
    DYNAMO67 likes this.
  7. DYNAMO67

    DYNAMO67 Lead commenter

    KS5 sociology and psychology- fine.

    With focus on the EBacc though, I am not sure how many places offer these at KS4. You may know better @phatsals. Agree totally, you have to make yourself an option for schools. That means getting as much exposure to teaching KS3 as possible. Especially when looking at schools with small sixth form provision.
  8. Alldone

    Alldone Senior commenter

    In my Indie school psychology is only taught at KS5. It is however a very popular subject. One of the teachers also teaches History and the other teaches Sport.
    I think citizenship is taught as part of PSHE, usually by an RE teacher.
  9. waqaas11

    waqaas11 New commenter

    Thanks for the advice everyone. Definitely won't be training in the citizenship pgce. I have A levels in History and English so I will try also teaching either of them, I am not strong in maths.
  10. phatsals

    phatsals Senior commenter

    Go for English, it will really help you get a job at the end. As it's a second subject you will probably only teach it to KS3 so no need to worry.
    It's about keeping your options open, not limiting them. My main subject was politics and history as a second, although sociology was thrown in the mix, KS5 subjects and most of my training was in 6th form.

    Good luck.
    waqaas11 likes this.

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