Masters Degree after PGCE

Masters Degree After PGCE Course Benefits & Options

Successfully completing a teacher training course you may choose after a PGCE to extend school academic teaching & learning studying towards a master in education.

University courses around the UK offer masters top up after PGCE course completion where you’ll join at diploma stage and complete a further 120 credits for the final master’s award.

Master in education after initial teacher training

Doing a master’s in education after PGCE; MA, MSC or MEd provides advanced school educational teaching & learning knowledge & understanding CPD that can help to advance a teacher’s school career.

Early years, primary & secondary schools may encourage you to hold a master (education) although it’s not a requirement for UK qualified class school teachers or middle management teaching 3-18 years old pupils.

As a former secondary school teacher in England & internationally I choose to complete a masters in my subject and not in education.

I did however complete additional continued professional development (CPD) in education teaching & learning in addition to standard school & professional teacher requirements each year.

For me with subject degree’s, PGCE, teaching skills & academic knowledge from the course and many hours in the school classroom I decided that school teaching practice & CPD would be more benefit than an educational master’s degree in the long run.

Why complete an education master degree

Why complete an education master degree

A general MA in education or a specialist masters in educational leadership or special education builds upon you’re study & training from PGCE adding & enhancing theoretical knowledge, understanding and skills.
Career advancement to school head of department or senior leadership team means employers will want to see masters or advanced degree on you’re CV. Indeed, UK job descriptions sometimes ask for master’s degree for a teacher in a school management position.
Internal school promotion from head of year to assistant head teacher an education master’s degree can only increase you’re chances, as the school will see you as a stronger candidate that can excel in a senior leadership position.
Education postgraduate degree’s for department heads, head of year or assistant head teacher shows you have studied & gained enhanced knowledge & understanding of education theory & issues you can apply in a school environment and job role.

Specialist education MA/MSC/MEd course options

Today universities offer a multitude of specialist pathways towards study and final master’s award in education. You can choose one of a range of specialist areas including:

  • Early childhood studies.
  • General MA Education.
  • Learning & teaching.
  • International education.
  • Educational leadership & management.
  • Special educational needs, inclusion & disability.

Typically, such as University of Sunderland Education (MA) part/full time you choose modules to complete from a choice that is specifically tailored to a certain area of education you’re studying.

See: Is a PGCE certificate a master’s degree

Can You teach with a master’s degree in UK

How students learn studying an education postgraduate master’s

Studying on a masters’ degree course part time or full time you attend lectures, tutorials participating in questions & answer sessions and collaborative group work.

Expect to also complete significant individual study at home for the course, reading, assignment and dissertation writing.

One benefit of a postgraduate master’s course you have opportunities to study & write about the education specialism that interests you and combine it with the teaching job you presently have.

Course assessment

Students complete all required modules that may involve assignments and complete a dissertation as the final part of an MA, MEd or MSC postgraduate degree award in education.

Many courses have a research methods module being the first stage all students require to do as learning how and preparation for the dissertation thesis you complete in the final stage of a master’s course.

Masters top up after PGCE & transfer credits

There’s a selection of UK universities that allow masters top up after a PGCE course using transfer credit joining the course at a later stage than starting from the beginning, such as University of Warwick.

More academic minded or ambitious among you can opt for University of Cambridge 2 year part time study research MPhil in Education after you’ve completed a PGCE at another university.

Transfer credit for master’s degrees

PGCE masters credits transfer is 60 credits towards a master in education totalling 180 cat credits.  Each UK university course provider of a master of education has different time, recent or 5-10 years limit requirements using transfer credit after PGCE certificate stage.

“We value teacher expertise and that is why half of the credits for the MA will come from your own prior school-based learning as classroom teacher or leader, either from a UK PGCE within the last five years or via our Postgraduate Certificate in Professional Education”. 

University of Warwick

Entry requirements for master’s courses

MA/MSC or MEd vary slightly by university for undergraduate degree. University of Sunderland at least a 2.2 (2.1 preference) where the University of Southampton requirement is a 2.1 bachelor degree & appropriate education experience.

Masters top up after PGCE

Education master’s study modes & time length

While teaching full or part time masters of education study mode options starting January (Part time/distance learning) or August/September.

Part time over 2 years during the evening attending face to face classes and completing work at home.

Distance learning in 2 years studying and working through all course requirements via online or other methods from home.

Full time at university completed over one academic year, if not presently teaching.

Funding for masters after a PGCE

More than likely you’ll provide self funding for an educational master’s after a PGCE course, as many schools will not fund the course, or only pay a small portion of tuition costs.

Should you pay the tuition fees yourself, part funded by you and school or other means cost is a significant factor for many recently qualified teachers.

One option is taking out a Education masters loan after completing a PGCE with you’re bank or other finance organisation, although you know to consider the cost, benefits & repayments.

For people choosing a research MPhil master’s possible grant funding is available, but requirements must be met, and it’s a competitive application for all finance.

Education Tay
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