Airfairy
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So as a lot may know I've just finished my PGCE and I'm currently a part time A-Level teacher. I find myself itching for something else to do...like a logical next step. I actually am finding that I have a lot of free time because I am part time (12 teaching hours a week) and I am interested in doing a masters.

However, I am wondering if they a masters in education would actually be beneficial in anyway? I do want to progress up the ladder in the future, but I'm sure you can do that without a masters?

I would only go on to do one if I thought it would be useful in someway. Any insight would be appreciated!
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Baron of Sealand
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Yes, if you do want to climb up the ladder. Education is one of the fields that care about education attainment.
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myblueheaven339
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(Original post by Airfairy)
So as a lot may know I've just finished my PGCE and I'm currently a part time A-Level teacher. I find myself itching for something else to do...like a logical next step. I actually am finding that I have a lot of free time because I am part time (12 teaching hours a week) and I am interested in doing a masters.

However, I am wondering if they a masters in education would actually be beneficial in anyway? I do want to progress up the ladder in the future, but I'm sure you can do that without a masters?

I would only go on to do one if I thought it would be useful in someway. Any insight would be appreciated!
No. In my opinion they're a waste of money. None of the people i know in middle or senior leadership have them. Once you're teaching it's about proving yourself via appraisals and professional development.


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Jantaculum
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(Original post by Airfairy)
So as a lot may know I've just finished my PGCE and I'm currently a part time A-Level teacher. I find myself itching for something else to do...like a logical next step. I actually am finding that I have a lot of free time because I am part time (12 teaching hours a week) and I am interested in doing a masters.

However, I am wondering if they a masters in education would actually be beneficial in anyway? I do want to progress up the ladder in the future, but I'm sure you can do that without a masters?

I would only go on to do one if I thought it would be useful in someway. Any insight would be appreciated!
Disclaimer: I've done one. I did it rather later in my career. I thought it was great.

Here follows a list of random thoughts!:

Doing a part-time Masters in Education over three years whilst working part-time is a really good fit - it allows you to carry out one piece of research per term, then either develop it further or change direction the following term. Having that time for reflective practice is great.

Another reason for doing a part-time Masters is that the course structure is designed for teachers - i.e. contact hours are evenings/weekends (very variable between different universities). This allows you to look further afield for a course that suits you - this is important as you're now tied to a job. Assignment deadlines tend to be at the end of school holidays giving you a chance to prepare the work for final submission when you've actually got time to think.

Different schools will view a Masters differently when considering career progression. I was a Primary teacher and the qualification wouldn't have made a jot of difference to my career. Other students came from secondary schools that wouldn't consider candidates for promotion unless they had completed a Masters. You'll find every attitude in between. I think the number of secondary schools that value postgraduate qualifications is on the increase, especially if the Head has a Masters/PhD.

It's possibly rather early for you to specialise. My Masters was called 'Leadership and Management for Learning' but it's now been superseded by a Masters with a strong MBA element, in line with the way educational policy is going! Leadership experience was an entry requirement. There are other specialist Masters in Education around - SEN ones spring to mind. Specialist courses will expect different levels of teaching/managerial experience - generalist courses which require less experience may not be viewed so highly. Having said that, all Masters in education should allow you to develop your own interests as you'll be researching your own practice, so it's what you make of it. And, even at the top universities, entry isn't massively competitive so there's no harm in putting in an application for a course that might seem a bit beyond your reach.

Funding - as an established teacher you're more likely to be able to approach your school for some support here, especially if your interest fits in with the school's aims, or it is a school that values Masters study as appropriate CPD for its staff.

I'm no longer teaching but get involved in senior teacher appointment - at the last Secondary Head Teacher interviews I was involved in, three of the four candidates had PhDs (this isn't the same at primary). Getting a Masters out of the way now, while you're a part-time teacher, would enable you to do a doctorate later if you wanted to.

I wish I'd done mine years ago, researching my own practice made me a better teacher - this of itself would have improved my promotion chances even if the school didn't expect the qualification from its senior staff.

That's some insight for you - may not directly answer your question though! Feel free to ask anything else.
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beautifulbigmacs
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Definitely a good idea to do a masters if you are interested in education. It could ultimately lead to a PhD and being able to teach in uni.

I would love to be employed part time as an A level teacher. This is ultimately my goal. May I ask what pgce you did (16 plus?) and what subject you teach?
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Airfairy
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Thanks for all the responses.
(Original post by Little Toy Gun)
Yes, if you do want to climb up the ladder. Education is one of the fields that care about education attainment.
Thanks!
(Original post by myblueheaven339)
No. In my opinion they're a waste of money. None of the people i know in middle or senior leadership have them. Once you're teaching it's about proving yourself via appraisals and professional development.


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Yes I hear this opinion too. I do have a genuine interest in doing one but obviously they cost a bit so I'd like to pay off at least in a small way.
(Original post by Jantaculum)
Disclaimer: I've done one. I did it rather later in my career. I thought it was great.

Here follows a list of random thoughts!:

Doing a part-time Masters in Education over three years whilst working part-time is a really good fit - it allows you to carry out one piece of research per term, then either develop it further or change direction the following term. Having that time for reflective practice is great.

Another reason for doing a part-time Masters is that the course structure is designed for teachers - i.e. contact hours are evenings/weekends (very variable between different universities). This allows you to look further afield for a course that suits you - this is important as you're now tied to a job. Assignment deadlines tend to be at the end of school holidays giving you a chance to prepare the work for final submission when you've actually got time to think.

Different schools will view a Masters differently when considering career progression. I was a Primary teacher and the qualification wouldn't have made a jot of difference to my career. Other students came from secondary schools that wouldn't consider candidates for promotion unless they had completed a Masters. You'll find every attitude in between. I think the number of secondary schools that value postgraduate qualifications is on the increase, especially if the Head has a Masters/PhD.

It's possibly rather early for you to specialise. My Masters was called 'Leadership and Management for Learning' but it's now been superseded by a Masters with a strong MBA element, in line with the way educational policy is going! Leadership experience was an entry requirement. There are other specialist Masters in Education around - SEN ones spring to mind. Specialist courses will expect different levels of teaching/managerial experience - generalist courses which require less experience may not be viewed so highly. Having said that, all Masters in education should allow you to develop your own interests as you'll be researching your own practice, so it's what you make of it. And, even at the top universities, entry isn't massively competitive so there's no harm in putting in an application for a course that might seem a bit beyond your reach.

Funding - as an established teacher you're more likely to be able to approach your school for some support here, especially if your interest fits in with the school's aims, or it is a school that values Masters study as appropriate CPD for its staff.

I'm no longer teaching but get involved in senior teacher appointment - at the last Secondary Head Teacher interviews I was involved in, three of the four candidates had PhDs (this isn't the same at primary). Getting a Masters out of the way now, while you're a part-time teacher, would enable you to do a doctorate later if you wanted to.

I wish I'd done mine years ago, researching my own practice made me a better teacher - this of itself would have improved my promotion chances even if the school didn't expect the qualification from its senior staff.

That's some insight for you - may not directly answer your question though! Feel free to ask anything else.
Thanks very much for this insight. It is interesting because I was planning (perhaps naively) to do an MA in leadership and management because it just made sense seeing as that is the whole reason I want to do it - to climb the ladder a bit faster if it made a difference. However, I know it probably seems odd doing it in that when I've been teaching for such a short time. The uni I was looking at didn't say you needed leadership experience or anything. They had a huge list of pathways you could go down and there is a handful I am interested in if that didn't work out.

Can I ask if you think some pathways are more useful than others? Does the university reputation matter in your opinion?


(Original post by beautifulbigmacs)
Definitely a good idea to do a masters if you are interested in education. It could ultimately lead to a PhD and being able to teach in uni.

I would love to be employed part time as an A level teacher. This is ultimately my goal. May I ask what pgce you did (16 plus?) and what subject you teach?
I have no intention whatsoever of teaching in uni...at least not at this point in time. My boyfriend has just done his PhD and it did not tempt me. It looked scary :lol: .

I do love being part time :love: . Even though I do hope to be full time at some point in the future, obviously. I did a secondary PGCE in Religious Education and I teach A-Level Politics. That was my goal when I did my PGCE (as confusing as it sounds) and so I'm pleased with how it's worked out.
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Jantaculum
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(Original post by Airfairy)
Thanks very much for this insight. It is interesting because I was planning (perhaps naively) to do an MA in leadership and management because it just made sense seeing as that is the whole reason I want to do it - to climb the ladder a bit faster if it made a difference. However, I know it probably seems odd doing it in that when I've been teaching for such a short time. The uni I was looking at didn't say you needed leadership experience or anything. They had a huge list of pathways you could go down and there is a handful I am interested in if that didn't work out.

Can I ask if you think some pathways are more useful than others? Does the university reputation matter in your opinion?
...
If there's no entry requirement then it's fine - you will probably find that there are people of all ages on the course, but don't be put off by that. As part of our induction we were told 'some of you are experienced heads, others have only been teaching for a couple of years, but in this room you're all students together and everyone's research is equally important' It was great advice and turned out to be true - everyone learned from everyone else.

When choosing a pathway I'd go for something that is 'future proof' if possible - if a course is based around a current trend in education, there's a chance that it could become outdated. Leadership is quite a good one in that sense (because schools will always need leaders…) and although different styles go in and out of fashion at least you'll have considered what works for you and what doesn't!

University reputation is, I think, less important (I chose my Masters because the first year was being delivered at a hub that was ten minutes walk from my house…that is NOT a good reason but it worked out in the end) because it's accepted that you have practical considerations as well. It's more important to find a course that works well for you - are the contact hours in the evenings or the weekends, are essay deadlines before or after school holidays, what's the online library access like, does the university belong to SCONUL so you can work at different libraries if necessary, that sort of thing. People might disagree with me on that one (Little Toy Gun will!) but I reckon that finding somewhere you fit well (so that you do well in the course) is more important than perceived reputation.
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I don't know of any schools that care. I would consider it a massive waste of time and money.
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Re religious education pgce and now teaching politics: if you are qualified in one social science is it realistic to apply for jobs teaching another science? I'm doing a PgCert in Sociology this year. Would it be that crazy to apply for teaching politics, religious education, history etc even though I don't hold a single qualification in any of those?

Just a thought: if you're looking for something to keep you interested whilst working part time how about a masters in a different subject you'd be interested in teaching? This could open more doors than an MA in education because you would then have another subject string to your bow if you wanted more hours or to be competitive for jobs with other hours.

I hope so much to be able to get a part time job post pgce because full time work isn't an option with my health. This is why I want to teach in fe rather than secondary. Does this sound about right? (You literally have my dream job as someone teaching A level in a 12 hour per week role. Literally I see full time A level jobs advertised and I'm like omg I wish they were part time!).
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Airfairy
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(Original post by Jantaculum)
...
If there's no entry requirement then it's fine - you will probably find that there are people of all ages on the course, but don't be put off by that. As part of our induction we were told 'some of you are experienced heads, others have only been teaching for a couple of years, but in this room you're all students together and everyone's research is equally important' It was great advice and turned out to be true - everyone learned from everyone else.

When choosing a pathway I'd go for something that is 'future proof' if possible - if a course is based around a current trend in education, there's a chance that it could become outdated. Leadership is quite a good one in that sense (because schools will always need leaders…) and although different styles go in and out of fashion at least you'll have considered what works for you and what doesn't!

University reputation is, I think, less important (I chose my Masters because the first year was being delivered at a hub that was ten minutes walk from my house…that is NOT a good reason but it worked out in the end) because it's accepted that you have practical considerations as well. It's more important to find a course that works well for you - are the contact hours in the evenings or the weekends, are essay deadlines before or after school holidays, what's the online library access like, does the university belong to SCONUL so you can work at different libraries if necessary, that sort of thing. People might disagree with me on that one (Little Toy Gun will!) but I reckon that finding somewhere you fit well (so that you do well in the course) is more important than perceived reputation.
Brill, thanks for all the info. I'll bear it in mind.
(Original post by beautifulbigmacs)
Re religious education pgce and now teaching politics: if you are qualified in one social science is it realistic to apply for jobs teaching another science? I'm doing a PgCert in Sociology this year. Would it be that crazy to apply for teaching politics, religious education, history etc even though I don't hold a single qualification in any of those?
Crazy, no. Unrealistic, yes. To be honest. You're lucky doing it in Sociology though. It's one of the more in demand A-Level subjects. You would stand little (if any) chance of getting a job teaching R.S. or History A-Level as they will have plenty of people applying for those with relevant qualifications. Politics is often paired with another subject such as History so those jobs are extremely rare, in my experience.

(Original post by beautifulbigmacs)
Just a thought: if you're looking for something to keep you interested whilst working part time how about a masters in a different subject you'd be interested in teaching? This could open more doors than an MA in education because you would then have another subject string to your bow if you wanted more hours or to be competitive for jobs with other hours.
This is a very good point. I think the problem is that I don't have enough interest in any other subjects to do an MA in one. I can't think what I'd do it in... possibly the most interest in another subject I have is in R.S. but those jobs are quite rare so it's not an ideal one to enhance. Sociology would be preferable for job prospects but I'm quite apathetic towards the subject. Thanks for raising that point though. I may do a bit of research tonight and see if there's a more relevant MA I could do to help my career prospects.

(Original post by beautifulbigmacs)
I hope so much to be able to get a part time job post pgce because full time work isn't an option with my health. This is why I want to teach in fe rather than secondary. Does this sound about right? (You literally have my dream job as someone teaching A level in a 12 hour per week role. Literally I see full time A level jobs advertised and I'm like omg I wish they were part time!).
Yes, part time jobs in FE are far more common than in secondary where I've hardly seen any. Most of the Social Sciences staff at my college are part time - it seems to be fairly common. On the flip side though, FE jobs are rarer than secondary and it can be hard to be patient when checking TES everyday and seeing nothing come up. I do worry about my future because I am on a one year contract and Politics is such a small subject that it's not like I can apply for other ones. I literally only saw two come up last year in my region!

Good luck though. You have better prospects than me because you're doing Sociology which is a massively in demand subject at A-Level.
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(Original post by Jantaculum)
University reputation is, I think, less important (I chose my Masters because the first year was being delivered at a hub that was ten minutes walk from my house…that is NOT a good reason but it worked out in the end) because it's accepted that you have practical considerations as well. It's more important to find a course that works well for you - are the contact hours in the evenings or the weekends, are essay deadlines before or after school holidays, what's the online library access like, does the university belong to SCONUL so you can work at different libraries if necessary, that sort of thing. People might disagree with me on that one (Little Toy Gun will!) but I reckon that finding somewhere you fit well (so that you do well in the course) is more important than perceived reputation.
Indeed, I do. But it only matters if you go to a top university for the master's but not a top university for undergrad.
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Airfairy
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(Original post by Little Toy Gun)
Indeed, I do. But it only matters if you go to a top university for the master's but not a top university for undergrad.
So the fact that was undergrad uni was quite good means I don't have to worry as much about the MA uni?
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(Original post by Airfairy)
So the fact that was undergrad uni was quite good means I don't have to worry as much about the MA uni?
It only matters if you're going to one of the few very prestigious institutions, so non-Oxbridge to Oxbridge; or if the institution is geographically important, ie if you want to work in Japan, going to a university there for a master's should help.

If say you're at KCL for undergrad, and you do a master's at UCL - I don't think that's gonna matter.

Someone also told me no-one cared about her Nottingham BSc after she's got an MSc from Imperial (she's a maths teacher if that helps).

But if you can, why wouldn't you go to a university with a better reputation, if only for the bragging rights?
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I was considering doing a psychology post graduate qualification for the purposes of teaching but when I looked at the A level syllabus for sociology it was very clear to me that I had much more interest in how that is taught at A level (even though both psychology and sociology interest me).

You could always pick up another subject through doing an evening course in something vocational if it's at the appropriate level. I say this though as someone who actively likes staying in education.
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Airfairy
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(Original post by Little Toy Gun)
It only matters if you're going to one of the few very prestigious institutions, so non-Oxbridge to Oxbridge; or if the institution is geographically important, ie if you want to work in Japan, going to a university there for a master's should help.

If say you're at KCL for undergrad, and you do a master's at UCL - I don't think that's gonna matter.

Someone also told me no-one cared about her Nottingham BSc after she's got an MSc from Imperial (she's a maths teacher if that helps).

But if you can, why wouldn't you go to a university with a better reputation, if only for the bragging rights?
Thanks for the info. The reason I wouldn't automatically jump to go to a uni with a better reputation is money. They seem to be more expensive in my region and money is an issue for me. I don't really live near many VERY prestigious unis either.
(Original post by beautifulbigmacs)
I was considering doing a psychology post graduate qualification for the purposes of teaching but when I looked at the A level syllabus for sociology it was very clear to me that I had much more interest in how that is taught at A level (even though both psychology and sociology interest me).

You could always pick up another subject through doing an evening course in something vocational if it's at the appropriate level. I say this though as someone who actively likes staying in education.
Yeah, you definitely need to be interested in what you teach, that's for sure. I am like you and I like education. I love learning. I've spent sometime this evening looking at subject based MAs to study and I can't seem to find one that is a logical fit to teaching. Plus they are more expensive because I couldn't put my PGCE credits towards it and knock the money off! I'll have to do some thinking...
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Sometimes you get charged some money if you want to put previous masters credits towards a current masters.

There are some very interesting distance learning masters available. Worth a Google frenzy
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As part of my course i complete 2 modules of an MA in education. So far i have only had one MA session but it is really interesting and i feel like i am challenging my own beliefs and values within my work. I hope to continue it once i complete my current course as for me it will further my professional development.
Sorry i cannot be of any more help.
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(Original post by Airfairy)
So as a lot may know I've just finished my PGCE and I'm currently a part time A-Level teacher. I find myself itching for something else to do...like a logical next step. I actually am finding that I have a lot of free time because I am part time (12 teaching hours a week) and I am interested in doing a masters.

However, I am wondering if they a masters in education would actually be beneficial in anyway? I do want to progress up the ladder in the future, but I'm sure you can do that without a masters?

I would only go on to do one if I thought it would be useful in someway. Any insight would be appreciated!
Most of my teachers had an MA in education and those teachers were pretty good
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Hi there,

I was wondering if anyone can help me. I'm about to begin my MA in Education with a view to completing the PGCE Secondary in English or Humanities straight after. Since I've never taught before, I'm thinking about what pathway in the MA I should take. Will it be beneficial for me to take any teaching-specific modules for my MA? Those particular teaching-specific modules seem to be tailored to teachers but I haven't started teaching yet. Any advice? Please quote me for a reply...
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