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Which University would be right for me?

Discussion in 'Thinking of teaching' started by moonphase9, Dec 3, 2018.

  1. moonphase9

    moonphase9 New commenter

    Hi, I'm training to be a teacher in September.

    I can either go to a training college or to a red-brick university.

    They both have great reputations. My undergraduate was not very good (only a 2:2) which knocked my confidence and opportunities. I ended up working in schools for just over six years. I have gained a lot of knowledge working with teachers and teaching staff in that time. I know that it is my experience working in schools that has led to me getting the offers from these universities.

    So now I have to choose my university. Part of me thinks the red-brick may be better because it has the prestige and the course is more difficult than a standard PGCE (it's a PGDipEd). So, I was hoping it might redeem me from my poor undergraduate degree and help my chances of getting into a good school. (If I'm being honest I think I also have this private point to prove that I can hack it in this university).

    However, the other part of me wants to go to the other university. One reason being that, though it's not a red-brick, it is still an excellent university and unlike the red-brick they seem a lot more supportive of their students. Also, I received a 2:2 for a reason! There was a lot going on in my third year personally with family, and my work suffered. So I worry that I'm not resilient enough to get through a tougher version of a PGCE.

    So, should I go for the challenging route to make up for my undergraduate, or should I be realistic and go for a standard PGCE, which is challenging enough in it's own right?

    EDIT: Also, I would like to teach abroad one day. I know most countries would recognise a PGCE but would many even know what a PGDipEd was?
    pepper5 likes this.
  2. rosiecg

    rosiecg Occasional commenter

    A 2:2 is not a 'bad' degree and given that you have some experience already should not hold you back.

    I don't think it matters too much which course/uni you decide, as long as you are comfortable and clear on the expectations during the course and think you can manage them.

    Sometimes there is more satisfaction in doing a 'lesser' thing really well than struggling to complete a 'harder' thing. It's only you that cares about this, employers just want you to be qualified.
    pepper5 and moonphase9 like this.
  3. moonphase9

    moonphase9 New commenter

    Thank you. I think it's an egotistical/low self esteem thing that's making me massively overthink this issue. It's true that schools will just need me to be able to do the job.

    I appreciate the advice. Sometimes I get stuck in my own head and just need to hear some common sense from an outside source!
    wherelifeleadsme likes this.
  4. dunnocks

    dunnocks Star commenter

    sounds like you would be happier at the college, and that it would be better to get a PGCE in the long run anyway.
    pepper5 likes this.
  5. dunnocks

    dunnocks Star commenter

    I've got a 2:2. I've never seen it as a bad degree, nor has it ever "held me back" from anything
    pepper5 likes this.
  6. pepper5

    pepper5 Star commenter

    Go where you are going to receive the most support as you are going to need it; not because of your past studies or grades, but because it is a challenging course and you will need all the help you can get. If you want to do more challenging courses or further studies, you can always do that later.
    wherelifeleadsme and moonphase9 like this.
  7. moonphase9

    moonphase9 New commenter

    I wasn't accepted into a couple of schools to do a GTP a few years ago, and also until recently I wasn't eligible for a bursary for teaching. That's why I felt it held me back. It wasn't intended to be an insult.
  8. meggyd

    meggyd Star commenter

    I used to work with students from a university in a very big city and the uni was very low in all the tables. However I thought the students were prepared very well indeed for teaching in inner city schools and to be honest I would have rather had a candidate from there than one from a very prestigious university in a small town or elsewhere in the country because I knew that their candidates really knew what it was like to work in schools like mine.
    pepper5 and moonphase9 like this.
  9. Stiltskin

    Stiltskin Star commenter

    Have you visited both universities? Always go and see them, and if possible talk to students on the course. Also, think about where you'll be living and find out the areas your placements may be and how you might get to them. Finally get a break down on what is covered on the course and see how that aligns with where you are/want to do. Don't go just on reputation of a whole university.
  10. moonphase9

    moonphase9 New commenter

    Yes, I've been to both and have been accepted by both.

    They're the same distance apart.

    One has 100% employed students for the last 7 years.

    The other is lower but they said it was due to laziness of some students applying late or deciding to not go into teaching.

    Like I say, both are very good universities.

    Part of me is leaning towards the college rather than the red-brick, as on here people seem to be swaying that way and I trust you guys know the education industry well, and because a PGDipEd may be making my life difficult for no obvious reason. But it is tempting to go to the red-brick just out of feeling that's the smart choice/ pressure.

    I have to decide soon. Thanks for all of your input.
  11. Stiltskin

    Stiltskin Star commenter

    A PGDE is relatively new compared to the PGCE, however either should be equally recognised.

    As you say the PGDE may seem to be slightly harder as it contains twice as many level 7 (masters) credits. Do you think you'll ever want to top it up to a full masters? If so a PGDE may be better in the long run. If you're not bothered about the extra academic credit then PGCE will take a little pressure off. Either choice you're going to have to put a lot of work in anyway.

    If it were me I'd make my choice on where the placement schools were (one of my placements was an hour and a half travel from, which had a large effect), how well I thought the tutors knew my subject and where I felt most comfortable at when I visited.

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