Completing a PGCE in a subject a bit different from my degree? Watch

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I'm in my third year studying BA Fine Art. I only really went to university because I wanted to be a teacher, and having an undergrad degree is the only way I know to do this. Anyway so I have had to work through my degree which has hindered how well I've done. But now looking at applying for a PGCE, and initially I was looking to do Art and Design for Secondary but the funding for this is just loans (which is okay, but I would still have to work alongside). I know how impossible it is doing a PGCE to do this.

Obviously I am going to work full time in the summer to save a bit, but I would rather start a PGCE in September than take a year out.

Anyhow, so I was looking at funding a saw that Design and Technology for Secondary gets a £12,000 bursary on top of loans!! I do understand why, it is annoying because studying at I know the crossovers. This means though that I wouldn't need to work one bit, meaning I should do really well and I wouldn't need to worry about money.

My art practice is actually about the interface between art and design and I work in woodwork, metal work and use CAD ect. I also have a decent knowledge of graphic design. I am wondering if I could possibly do the PGCE in Design and Technology so I wouldn't need to work alongside. and once I have completed, if I found a Art and Design teaching job I would be let on? considering my degree? And also what would be the possibility of me being allowed to do a D&T PGCE? I want to stay at the same uni(BCU) to complete this and it is portfolio based.

do you think this is a sensible idea? or am I really just following the money ?
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Report 2 weeks ago
Hi Kirstyldriver

I'm hoping I can help you with this.

You might find that actually many similar subjects cross over when it comes to secondary education. For example a History teacher may be expected to be able to teach Geography and R.E. up to a certain level. You will also find that in some cases PGCE courses will accept students teaching a subject which they have not studied at degree level but is either related or they have studied to A-Level standard.

In these cases training providers may look at the what level your knowledge is at and how similar the subjects are. As a general rule of thumb courses look for around 50% of your degree to be the same subject as you want to teach. If this is not the case they may request that before (or sometimes during) the PGCE you complete a Subject Knowledge Enhancement (SKE) course. This is a fully funded course to help address any gaps in your knowledge. You can find more inforamtion on SKE courses here:

To summarise it may be possible to do your PGCE in design and technology however you may need to be prepared to do extra study. It would also be useful to double check the requirements at the university you would like to attend by contacting the admissions team and asking them.

You can also talk this through in more detail and seek extra support from our friendly advisers by webchatting with them online. You can do this completely free of charge and this service is available from 8am to 10pm every day:

I hope this is useful and good luck!
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Report 2 weeks ago

In terms of being let on the course, your best bet is to contact universities directly- different unis will view your circumstances differently. It is very likely you would be asked to do an SKE as a condition of your offer, but there is funding for this- however, you are better applying sooner rather than later so that you have plenty of time to complete this.

When it comes to getting jobs, once you have QTS you are nominally qualified to teach anything a school will let you teach- you could even legally teach in a primary school! However, the reality is that bursaries are offered for shortage subjects, and you may find it much harder to find an Art and Design role when you are up against people who have art specific training and experience. Your best bet might be to get work as a DT teacher, and then gain some experience teaching art within your school before applying for art only jobs.

I do think passion is important on the PGCE. It may be worth seeking some DT experience in schools to try and see if you would enjoy this or not. A DT classroom is a very different place to an art classroom. Would you, for example, be comfortable managing the health and safety risks involved?

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