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Study abroad : Subject Guides

Why study education and teaching at university?

Why should you study education and teaching abroad? Do you thrive from teaching others and helping them grow? Read our full guide...

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Have you always found satisfaction in helping other people learn? Do you take pride in supporting people to realize their potential? If yes, then studying education and teaching could be your calling. In this article we’ll explore this degree at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels to help you figure out if this course is right for you and what career you might want to do.

 

What will this degree involve?

Education and teaching courses tend to cover topics within the fields of sociology, psychology, philosophy and history to give you a foundation of knowledge with which to apply the best teaching techniques. You will find out how young people learn, and which methods have a positive or negative impact on this learning process. Looking back through history, you’ll also gain an understanding of how teaching has evolved in different parts of the world and what we can learn from this when adopting new methods. However, each institution will probably place a focus on particular topics with more or less emphasis on certain areas, so it’s important to check what the modules will cover before applying.

 

Why study education and teaching?

Education is an important topic in the world – no one is exactly anti-education after all! Just think about political elections which you’ve followed; the topic of education is always brought up because people care about it (especially about how their children are taught, so they get the best opportunities available).

 

Not everyone learns the same way either, which makes the subject of education a lot more complex than simply talking at people in the same manner. Many learning difficulties – like ADHD – which were not officially recognised previously have since been officially recognised by medical bodies (and there are now new ways of educating and supporting those who are diagnosed).

 

With this support, these students can prosper in their education, progress further and hopefully make better life choices as a result (rather than fall through the cracks). By understanding how different individuals learn, those in teacher or trainer roles can reach out to them better.

 

Education and teaching also gives us the opportunity to continue to develop our skills and even completely change paths. We may decide one day to do something completely different with our lives, having grown bored with our jobs. However we need someone to show us how first.

 

Who should study education and teaching?

Those who want to make a real difference in the lives of others should consider a career in education and teaching. If you get a thrill from seeing someone really understand something you’ve taught them, then this field will be constantly rewarding.

 

Clear, efficient but friendly communication skills are key in establishing a connection with those you’re teaching and communicating the material you are teaching (especially those who are very young, older, speak a different language or have learning difficulties).

 

Patience and the power to motivate those you are teaching will make you a better teacher, while confidence engaging with new people and speaking in public will be a major benefit too.

 

Undergraduate

At undergraduate level you will typically not be expected to study any specific teaching courses beforehand, but you will need to have at least 5 GCSE’s (or equivalent) at grade C and above. As an international student you will also need to prove your English language capabilities (IELTS 6.0-6.5 on average).

 

To be accepted onto a course at any university you will need to write a personal statement. For education and training, you’ll need to outline why you want to study this course. It would be beneficial for your application if you have done some relevant work experience such as assisting in a school or even babysitting to show that you have experience of mentoring and asserting yourself.

 

Want to know more about writing your personal statement?

 

Employment prospects

Education is an important consideration for pretty much every country around the world, just like medicine. Basically, teachers and medical staff will always be in demand. That’s one of the many reasons to study teaching, as you are likely to find work after graduation.  In fact, 73% of education graduates were employed within three years of graduating in the UK (HESA 2016/17). Hopefully this gives you an idea of the promising employment opportunities after graduation for education and teaching graduates.

 

There are also teaching shortages in many parts of the world and for specific subjects. For example, in the UK, there is a particular lack of physics and maths teachers. To address this imbalance, the government has been offering cash bonuses to encourage more graduates to teach these subjects. Therefore, your skills and knowledge in these subject areas are highly desirable and could result in financial incentives.

 

(Source: Prospects)

 

What other teaching courses can I study?

 

Check out the below interactive map to find out what salaries teachers are paid (on average) in a few of the top study destinations around the world.

 

Postgraduate

Usually, you’ll need at least an undergraduate bachelor’s degree in your chosen area to demonstrate that you have the requisite knowledge which you would cover. However, you can study this master’s degree even if you didn’t study teaching at undergraduate level. This course is typically known as a PGCE (Postgraduate Certificate in Education) which lasts for one year full-time and two years on a part-time basis. However, there are different types of PGCE courses such as secondary teaching, primary teaching, curriculum development and further education.

 

Having a master’s in education and teaching can result in a higher salary and better employment prospects as you will gain more specialized knowledge. If you did study education and training at undergraduate level, then a postgraduate course will enable you to focus more on topics that most interest you. It could be that you choose to study in your home country for your undergraduate degree and then study abroad for your masters. This will allow you to gain new experiences and a different perspective on education around the world without paying for a full three-year degree abroad.

 

(Source: IDP insights data)

 

Benefits of studying education and teaching abroad

There are many reasons why studying abroad could benefit you. Whether it’s gaining independence, fending for yourself, learning a new language or meeting different people, this experience can be extremely rewarding for yourself and for your future. But why study education and teaching abroad in particular?

 

  • Gain knowledge of different cultures and perspectives
  • Open your mind to new ways of thinking
  • Learn about the history of a new country
  • Experience a different style of teaching
  • Make international connections
  • Improve your language skills
  • Boost your work experience
  • Develop a global mindset
  • Increase your job prospects

 

Overall, teaching abroad will provide you with a fresh outlook on learning and the world. This can only be beneficial, as you will gain a broad knowledge of different cultures, perspectives and people.

 

Want to kick-start your study abroad journey? Take a look at some courses today and see where this degree could lead you!

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