Starting a PGCE while PhD is under examination?


Hi, I'm coming to the end of the second year of my PhD. I feel fairly confident that I'll submit my thesis on time, in September 2019. Taking limited post-doc opportunities and my love of teaching (and need for a secure job) into account, I'm thinking about applying to start a PGCE in September 2019 at my current institution. Can anyone who is currently in, or has been through the examination procedure and/or the early days of a PGCE shed some light on the demands of these periods and whether it's sheer madness to overlap them? I'm dreading the prospect of a wasted year in between submission and job applications, and the thought of the PGCE year itself and having a professional teaching qualification are deeply appealing to me. Thanks for any responses!


Hi, depends on the extent of your PhD corrections (if you have them). Sometimes they can take just a few days or a few days a week in the evening. For other people it is a more long term commitment over a year or so (those with major corrections and re-submissions). It took me most weekends for 4 months (at my university it is either 1 month, 6 month or 1 year corrections). The impact on the PGCE will therefore depend on your result and other commitments as well as work-rate. I am starting a PGCE this September. I did not consider this straight away after finishing the PhD (2016), I have worked 1.5 years in school support roles as a Teaching Assistant and Cover Teacher, at first to see what schools are like, then to gain some experience when applying for PGCEs. I do not see this as a 'wasted year/s' it has enabled me to hit the ground running with the PGCE especially confidence on behaviour management (and some schools are very tough), also get to see some great and not so great teaching. The pay as support staff is not good though.


Thanks for your reply fredminxis75, it's very helpful to hear from someone else who has gone through this transition. I hadn't considered looking into Teaching Assistant/Cover roles before the PGCE - that would be a good way of bridging the gap if I have extensive corrections. The thing that I'm most concerned about is preparing for and sitting the viva during term time if I were to start the PGCE right away, but I suppose realistically the viva will always have to fit around the next position regardless, so perhaps this shouldn't be such a concern. Thanks again!


I have great respect for people who want to do PGCE. I wouldn't be able to handle teaching schoolkids. Wishing you the very best :)


I am in the same boat as satchi here. I have considered teaching for quite a while. The teaching itself would be fine as would all the admin etc. but the problem would be that I wouldnt be able to handle ill-discipline in the classroom knowing I had neither the power to properly deal with troublemakers nor the support of my school even if I did.
I am also passionately of the opinion that those with specialist needs are not helped by forcing them through mainstream schooling. I think this is the root of a lot of problems and comes from the sort of handwringing, gesture politics which drives me insane. The job goes way beyond teaching and into the realms of social work and frankly I simply wouldnt suit this type of work at all.

I have been critical of teachers before and in my opinion rightly so for a whole range of reasons, but in fairness for those actually doing the job properly it must be very difficult.