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PGCE in UK / Teaching Photography

I’m seriously considering going back to University to a do a one year post-grad teacher training course so I can teach photography at further education level.

Anyone here ever done a PGCE? Any advice? Teaching experiences etc?

I was initially considering this for next years intake, but there’s still vacancies for this September, so I need to be fairly sharpish with the application.

Any feedback would be most appreciated.



by [a former member] at 2008-06-30 13:01:13 UTC (ed. Jul 28 2008 ) Small Town , United Kingdom | Bookmark | | Report spam→

Ive taught photo-j for 4 years , but in the States. High school- 15 to 18 year olds level.
I can hep with experiences, setting up a program and curriculum, etc but not any Brit certification
going the ed route huh…summers off, paid…but less of the day to day action freelancers get..

by [former member] | 30 Jun 2008 16:06 | San Miguel De Allende, in hidi, Mexico | | Report spam→
do it jason

by [former member] | 04 Jul 2008 05:07 | Christchurch , New Zealand | | Report spam→
I am currently working towards getting a place on a post-compulsory PGCE, so that I can teach photography at A-Level and AS level. In a few months, I will be applying for a place on the post-compulsory PGCE course at either The Institute of Education in London, or The University of Wales in Newport.

There are a fair few post-compulsory courses out there, but the GTTR teacher training website only appears to be relevant for those wishing to teach at either primary or secondary school, so my advice is to call a learn direct careers advisor, and ask them to find all of the institutions in your area that offer the post-compulsory PGCE. Once you have that information, contact those institutions directly, and get them to send you their PGCE prospectus.

To increase your chances of getting a place, I suggest you get some practical classroom experience at a local sixth form. This will go down extremely well at your interview, and strengthen your personal statement.

I would also ask them how many places they have on their course, because the PGCE is one of the most competitive courses in the country.

Learn Direct – 0800 100 900

Hope this helps mate. Good Luck.


by Thaddeus Pope | 04 Jul 2008 11:07 | Brighton, United Kingdom | | Report spam→
Hi, cheers all.

Thaddeus: yeah, my initial plan was to gain some experience at a local college and then apply for next years intake. However, there’s apparently still places at Oxford Brookes (my first choice anyway because its local for me) for this September, so I’m thinking of chancing it through clearing and trying to get onto the course now. However, I’m very aware that without any direct experience of teaching then the application and interview process will be a lot tougher.

If I don’t get in, then I’ll get some work experience and reapply.

Newport, by the way, is a apparently a good place to do a PGCE. I did the Documentary Photography BA there, and I remember a few students from my year went straight onto the PGCE afterwards.

Eric: I might well ask your advice about lesson plans and the like if I get onto the course. Cheers.

by [former member] | 04 Jul 2008 12:07 | Small Town, United Kingdom | | Report spam→
yeah I can give you lots of advice, contacts, etc on teaching in general and teaching photo-j in particular. best of luck…

by [former member] | 04 Jul 2008 19:07 | Salt Lake City, United States | | Report spam→

Sounds like a good idea. Oxford Brookes is supposed to be a really good place to study, and it has a solid reputation, so if they’ve got places, I think you should go for one. Even if you didn’t get a place this year, it will give you invaluable experience for next year’s application, so it’s got to be worth a shot.

I hope it goes well mate.

Best wishes,


by Thaddeus Pope | 06 Jul 2008 19:07 | Brighton, United Kingdom | | Report spam→
Back to Newport is it Jason?

I think its a great idea, go for it buddy…..

by keith judd | 16 Jul 2008 19:07 | Bristol , United Kingdom | | Report spam→

I am a former teacher (with PGCE) my advice would be to think carefully about the PGCE route.

check out the sites like www.eteach.co.uk, www.fejobs.co.uk and www.tes.co.uk and see what FE colleges are looking for, I doubt any will categorically state you must have a PGCE.

Most of the people I knew and met teaching at FE level either did not have a PGCE or require a PGCE, in fact most preferred industry experience and then as long as the prospective candidate was happy with pursuing a QTS status during their employment with that college then that kept the government people happy. As far as I am aware, most colleges are more likely to employ someone with industry experience and a willingness to obtain QTS within 3 years rather than someone with just a PGCE – the only benefit to having a PGCE is that it teaches you all about the pastoral side of teaching and how to ‘properly’ prepare lesson plans. To be honest, within 6 months of leaving my PGCE course, most of what i’d learnt was irrelevant, the school had its own policies and procedures and thats all that mattered to them.

A PGCE would only really be relevant if you were to teach at secondary schools – most secondary schools DONT employ photography teachers(even at A/BTEC Level) as it falls under the remit of teachers of Art / Art & Design.

My advice would be to scour the teaching websites and approach them with a good portfolio of work and industry knowledge because thats what they’ll be interested in – the ability to engage with 16-19 years olds and offer them examples of what and how you are teaching them can be applied at indystry/commerce level.

Hope this helps, it kind of goes against the grain of all the other posts on this subject but as a former teacher worth PGCE my advice would firmly be if you really want to teach then go down the ‘learn on the job’ route as opposed to PGCE – when you get to interview, expect to be offered a bit less in salary but it beats living on nothing for a year and then wondering whether you will in fact get a job after it all. The teaching/lecturing market is saturated at the moment, its very competitive so be on the ball with your applications/interviews (but you have the correct degree from one of the best Uni’s in the UK so you have a huge headstart on everyone).

Good luck.

Try this website, might help.


by Jason Tanner | 16 Jul 2008 20:07 | bangkok, Thailand | | Report spam→
Hey Jason,

Might be an obvious suggestion but why not give Clive or Ken and bell and see what they advise?

Other option is I think the MFA down there (Newport) includes a PGCE so that could be an interesting route.

by Dave Wyatt | 28 Jul 2008 13:07 | Dalian, China | | Report spam→

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Thaddeus Pope, Photographer Thaddeus Pope
Nagoya , Japan
keith judd,  Photographer/writer keith judd
(Documentary freelance)
Bath , United Kingdom
Jason Tanner, Photographer Jason Tanner
San Jose , Costa Rica
Dave Wyatt, Photographer Dave Wyatt
Dalian , China


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