After you’ve achieved your Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) or Postgraduate Diploma in Education (PGDE) with Qualified Teacher Status (QTS), you might want to go on to complete a master’s degree. Some training providers will give you the chance to earn the credits required for a full master’s in education once you’ve finished your training.
The number of credits awarded can vary between training programmes, but typically PGCE programmes contain up to 60 credits, and PGDE programmes up to 120 credits, which you can transfer to a 180-credit full master’s degree.
Master of Arts (MA), Master of Science (MSc) and Master of Education (MEd) programmes typically last two or three years, allowing you to complete modules either part-time or online, so they don’t get in the way of your teaching commitments. The content, structure, and assessment of master’s courses can vary from one university to the next – please check course descriptions carefully.
Why study for a master’s?
Initial Teacher Training programmes provide a foundation for ongoing development. A master’s degree will help to deepen your knowledge, and enhance your teaching skills, or allow you to specialise in a particular discipline or subject area. Continuing your studies could also improve your career prospects, adding to your range of professional skills and providing opportunities for progression.
Shane studied a BA (Hons) in Youth and Community Work, a Postgraduate Diploma in Education, and an MA in Education and Youth Work Studies – read how he became a SEND specialist teacher.
You need to carefully consider if the cost, together with all the hard work involved, will really give you added value, and therefore prove to be a good investment. Courses can start from £5,000, so check tuition fees before you apply and make sure they're within your budget. For master’s level courses, you could be eligible for a loan from the UK government of up to £10,000 to help you study.