Should I do a history degree at SOAS if I want to be a history teacher?

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Anonymous #1
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Hi there, this is my first time posting anything on TSR so I'm not sure how everything quite works but I had a question to ask about SOAS. So I really like the sound of the history course at SOAS and it sounds perfect for the type of history I'm interested in but then after my degree, I might want to go on and become a history teacher (who knows? maybe not but that's the plan in mind for now).
And I was just wondering whether studying something so niche and looking at just a particular region would limit by prospects of getting a job as a teacher and just make my life harder than if I just went to another uni.

Any advice would be much appreciated xx
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lady_r
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Hi

I currently study history at UEA but have applied to SOAS for a history MA course. If you're planning on doing a BA course (undergrad) then doing it at SOAS shouldn't stop you from going on to do a teaching qualification. You then go on to do a PGCE qualification in order to teach. However to do a PGCE, you need a degree in the relevant subject (I think)

Good luck!
(Original post by Anonymous)
Hi there, this is my first time posting anything on TSR so I'm not sure how everything quite works but I had a question to ask about SOAS. So I really like the sound of the history course at SOAS and it sounds perfect for the type of history I'm interested in but then after my degree, I might want to go on and become a history teacher (who knows? maybe not but that's the plan in mind for now).
And I was just wondering whether studying something so niche and looking at just a particular region would limit by prospects of getting a job as a teacher and just make my life harder than if I just went to another uni.

Any advice would be much appreciated xx
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NickB54
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I'd go for it. SOAS is a wonderful place and I am sure that you would not regret studying there. I understand where you are coming from with your concerns about later becoming a history teacher, but I think you are worrying unnecessarily. Doing a history degree is about acquiring the skills you need to be a good historian, not about acquiring the subject knowledge you need to become a history teacher. Unless you are very lucky, it is unlikely that the subjects you cover on a history degree will coincide precisely, or even at all, with the subjects that you will teach as a schoolteacher. For example, my BA in history did not cover anything to do with the two world wars or 20th-century dictatorships nor the French Revolution. As you will know, those are some of the most popular options at school. On the other hand, my degree did include topics such as the political history of 15th-century Russia and the Ottoman conquest of Constantinople, neither of which are likely to be particularly useful should I ever wish to become a schoolteacher. I did study the Tudors and Stuarts and the African-American civil rights movement, but that's about the only part of my degree likely to be useful as a schoolteacher. On the other hand, the SOAS course covers options such as the Crusades, the Vietnam War, and a considerable amount of South African and Indian history, all of which regularly comes up on school history syllabuses. So, if you are interested in SOAS, just do it. It certainly won't limit your future career options.
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Anonymous #1
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Report Thread starter 2 years ago
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Thank you so much, that's been a really helpful response.
(Original post by NickB54)
I'd go for it. SOAS is a wonderful place and I am sure that you would not regret studying there. I understand where you are coming from with your concerns about later becoming a history teacher, but I think you are worrying unnecessarily. Doing a history degree is about acquiring the skills you need to be a good historian, not about acquiring the subject knowledge you need to become a history teacher. Unless you are very lucky, it is unlikely that the subjects you cover on a history degree will coincide precisely, or even at all, with the subjects that you will teach as a schoolteacher. For example, my BA in history did not cover anything to do with the two world wars or 20th-century dictatorships nor the French Revolution. As you will know, those are some of the most popular options at school. On the other hand, my degree did include topics such as the political history of 15th-century Russia and the Ottoman conquest of Constantinople, neither of which are likely to be particularly useful should I ever wish to become a schoolteacher. I did study the Tudors and Stuarts and the African-American civil rights movement, but that's about the only part of my degree likely to be useful as a schoolteacher. On the other hand, the SOAS course covers options such as the Crusades, the Vietnam War, and a considerable amount of South African and Indian history, all of which regularly comes up on school history syllabuses. So, if you are interested in SOAS, just do it. It certainly won't limit your future career options.
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