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‘Lecturing’ - Case Study 2

Towards the beginning of the second year at university, I started looking into the idea of becoming a lecture of photography at a university in the future. Having been inspired by all my tutors and the way they have encouraged me, I felt it would be amazing to follow in their footstep, inspiring younger generations in the medium which I adore. Having spoken about what would be needed to be a lecturer at a university and a the idea of doing an MA at some point after, once I have gained a bit more hands on, real world experiences. 

When  considering being a lecturer it lead to further research into what each level of teaching I could do and what I would need. By doing this I could work out at what level of education I would be happiest teaching. 

  • Level 1 - Primary / Secondary
  • FE “Further Education” - Sixth From / College - A Level / BTEC
  • HE “Higher Education” - Teaching University - Degree Level   

To teach at these levels you need different post graduate education. Such as, to teach, Level 1 and further education, a PGCE is required. A PGCE is a certificate of postgraduate education that is a one or two year course, that provides training in order to allow graduates to become teachers within schools at further education.  Each PGCE is different depending on what level of teaching you would like to teach in: 

  • Primary - prepares the individual to teach children up to age of 11. Focusing on core curriculum or some may be allowed to specialise in certain subjects. This is the most popular PGCE. 
  • Secondary - Focuses on a particular subject and prepares the individual to teach children between 11 and 16 .
  • Further Education - Involves teaching in colleges or conducting adult education classes, by completing one of these PGCEs means the individual can apply QTLS status. (Qualified Teacher Learning and Skills)

Requirement -  

For different PGCEs:

  • Undergraduate degree or equivalent. For primary degree national curriculum is useful. For Secondary must have a degree or at least 50% of the degree subject you are applying to teach. 
  • GCSE grade C or above in English, Maths and Science
  • Pass mark for professional skills test in numeracy and literacy. 
  • Recent experience working with children in a mainstream UK school 
  • DBS check 
  • Medical fitness and first aid

After doing this research my idea was to still look into lecturing as a future path to consider at a later date, I would consider doing lecturing probably in my late 30’s depending on where I am at at the time. Which leads to me looking into postgraduate education of Masters (MA) and A Doctor of Philosophy (PHD). 

  • MA - is  A Master of Arts, a type of degree awarded by universities  
  • PHD - is a degree awarded to people who have done advanced research into particular subjects. 

To teach at higher education an MA is needed, due to the knowledge the individual showcases and presents on the subject of which they want to lecture in. But otherwise to work in a university you do not need a qualification to teach, such as a PGCE. This is going to be changing though. MAs and PHDs require you applying for funding similar to that of a BA. In an MA  you are expected to know everything already and you are treated as experts. Defending and promoting your work that you do within the MA. 

Advice given to me when I spoke to one of my lecturers about doing a MA was to not do it straight after university, to gain experience outside of university, earn scars and learn from mistakes. Also though to look into MA courses and figure out what would be best for me. Having had this advice given to me, I have looked at MA courses and there are a few so far that I feel could be possible in the future to fit in around my other goals and aims. The main one being an online MA at Falmouth university, which can be done from home and means only have to go to Falmouth every now and then. 

Having done my BA, it feels right to me to be considering an MA. Having been taught in my BA, it will be an interesting experience that I feel will help me grow in my confidence. 

By leaving it a few years I will be able to talk and teach in the future from experience and be able to talk about my open obsession within photography. Overall I want to encourage and inspire young adults, as my lecturers have. They have helped me find my style and become confident in talking and creating the work that I do. I want to give that back and be an inspiring teacher. 

Within being a lecture at a university the course will have a curriculum of the course and its credits and modules, of which you can stick to or change and adapt to your way of teaching. To be able to be a lecturer I will have to be driven and hard working, just as much as my current tutors who I will base my teaching off of. 

Depending on contract that you are given by the university you work for, has an impact on your earnings. If at the top, such as a course leader you will earn more than a lecturer on a casual contact. It will take time and gaining of experience to get you working up the levels within a lecturing course team. Starting off will not be easy as you are not likely to be given a permanent job but if you stick at it over time things may change, if you put in the ground work. 

Having spoken to one of my tutors, I have learnt and taken from his experience that if you do not push you do not get to where you need to be. It may take years but as an individual you have to keep pushing. It is fundamental no matter what that as a photographer I keep making, adapt and be open to change, research, submerse myself in knowledge and be aware of the whole aspect of photography to be able to teach.  It will not just happen over night, have to go through the bad and good parts and not let them get you down carry on till you get what you want. Overall do what you love!

On average a university lecturer’s salary is £45,187 in the UK. Those starting out can expect on average to earn £33,000. A university lecturer’s salary increases when further responsibilities and roles are undertaken.

(This depends on the level and contract in which you have with the university.)

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