I'm thinking of doing a degree in classics at glasgow uni has anyone done it? I'd quite like to go into teaching classics I'm not sure how easy to get a job with this degree will be or if it will be a complete waste of my time?
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has anyone studied classics at uni? watch
- Thread Starter
- 21-10-2015 13:21
- 10-11-2015 10:18
Glasgow uni is meant to be very good for classics, I'm applying there this year.
Becoming a classics teacher is a hard slog, it's not as simple as becoming a teacher of a more mainstream subject.
To teach, you must have an undergraduate degree in something classics-related. Then, you need to do a specialist teacher-training course, which at the moment is only offered at Cambridge and Kings College. Between these two unis there are about 20 places in the whole of the UK. Sussex uni has introduced a teacher-training which would qualify you for classics and history teaching.
After this, you need to find a job. There are few schools which teach classics, and fewer which will have openings.
- 16-12-2015 16:18
I know that this thread is a little old but as I have a place on a classics PGCE I thought I might be able to help!
First of all, employability: both KCL and Cambridge state that everyone who has actively looked for a teaching post after their PGCE has gotten one - there is still a shortage of classics teachers. (KCL have this information freely available on their website, Cambridge put it in a leaflet about the course that I was given at my interview).
Job adverts asking for a 'Classics' teacher invariably mean Latin so make sure that you take plenty of language and Latin literature modules - I know that some degrees can be very flexible.
Greek is an advantage but not necessary. I only have one semester of intensive Greek so certainly wouldn't be able to teach it but I still got a place.
Obviously some schools will also want you to teach Classics Civilisation or Ancient History so taking a few history and archaeology modules would help.
Secondly, PGCEs are tough so you need to make sure that you have done as much research as possible before you apply.
The general advice is to do at least 10 days IN A STATE SCHOOL of classroom observation. If the state schools near you don't offer any classics subjects, observe some history, English, and/or a language.
It's also useful to go to different schools - I went to three (and observed all three of the above subjects) and I was shocked when I went to my second and third school as it really highlighted the poor behaviour and in some cases, poor teaching, at the first school I went to.
A general rule of thumb is to do this observation within 2 years of applying for the PGCE and take notes - they'll be so helpful during the application process.
Taking part in some widening access within your uni is also great - not only is it really fun and a chance to meet other students you otherwise might not, it will also help your application and your decision. The Iris Project is one that springs to mind - not every uni does it but yours might offer other opportunities. I did widening access in history and archaeology rather than languages. It all helps and I honestly love the work I do.
Before you apply for a PGCE it is well worth subscribing to the TES if you can afford it (it's only about £35 a year for an issue each week) as it helps you stay up to date with what's going on in the world of education. You will be asked at interview to speak about this, possibly in relation to your subject.
Although Riverstar is correct in listing the three unis that offer a classics PGCE, there are actually more places at the moment - KCL and Cambridge each have roughly 18, Sussex has 10, and then there are 9 school direct courses meaning that there should be at least 37 places this year.
Places do vary year on year but so far it has been an upward trend.
KCL and Cambridge are both 'Latin with Classics' while Sussex's course is 'Classics with History' - so you will do less Latin and also do modern history.
The number of schools offering classics subjects also seems to be roughly holding steady rather than rapidly declining from the statistics that I have been able to get my hands on - over 1,000 secondary schools offer Latin.
Obviously the majority of jobs will be in independent and state grammar schools but there are jobs out there and from what I've been told, the competition for jobs isn't nearly as bad as in subjects like history.
There is a lot of up to date information and advice on ClassicsTeaching.com, a website run by the course leaders of the Cambridge and KCL PGCEs. Another useful website is the government's Get Into Teaching site.
Both the PGCE and the career will be stressful and require you to work long hours at certain points so do as much research as you can to make sure that it's for you and if that doesn't put you off then best of luck applying for training in 3 or 4 years!Last edited by Aemiliana; 16-12-2015 at 16:28.