• Liverpool John Moores University Educate Magazine

From teacher to student

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As the new school year gets underway and teachers up and down the country welcome pupils back into their classrooms, many of us find ourselves reflecting on our own learning and career journeys…

After completing an undergrad, and maybe a PGCE/PGDE, our progress as teachers tends to focus on CPD to maintain our practice in line with the Teachers’ Standards. As rewarding as this is, it doesn’t necessarily focus on something that lights the fire of learning within us – maybe the topic that first sparked our interest in becoming a teacher, or the dissertation subject you wish you’d had more chance to explore.

So what are the options? Whilst taking on a Masters degree or a Doctorate in Education might at first seem like a complete no-go – worries about time (just exactly how I could fit in any more commitments is slightly mind boggling…) and funding – it’s actually far more accessible than you might first think.

Unlike your teacher training days, you can study for your Masters or Doctorate part-time, meaning you can fit in learning around your schedule. With lots of online learning resources (not to mention a whole wealth of experience under your belt to call on) and on-campus support, you’ll be guided each step of the way to make sure you stay on track. Our MA Education and Doctor of Education programmes have twilight and some Saturday sessions to help with this too.

Another great thing about Masters or doctoral study is the chance to pursue your passion. Your questions, your answers, your way. The freedom to delve into a topic of your choice can be really refreshing. Many teachers find it revitalises their practice and reminds them of the thrill pupils experience when they learn something new.

But then there’s the funding issue, right? Well, things are a lot better now, with the government’s Postgraduate Loans Scheme. Postgraduate students from England can borrow up to £10,906 (2019). There may even be employer sponsorship options in some cases. What’s more, LJMU graduates may be eligible for a 20% fee reduction on our Masters programmes. EdD students from England may be eligible to apply for a government Postgraduate Doctoral Loan of up to £25,700 to help cover fees and living expenses.

Having a Masters, EdD or PhD is also excellent news for your CV and career prospects. In April this year, the BBC reported that up to the age of 30, postgraduates typically earn £9,000, or about 40%, more than those without degrees. This is double the £4,500 per year gap (about 21%) between those with an undergraduate degree and non-graduates. Study at this level also helps you hone your research, pedagogy, report writing and presentation skills – all necessary for career progression. The EdD and PhD focus on impact and influence.

LJMU’s MA Education and EdD are new programmes from a well-established team teaching in the field of Education and Early Childhood Studies. The programmes cater for education professionals at all levels, giving students the opportunity to learn from each other, as well as academic staff and visiting guest speakers. Students get the chance to explore their own values regarding education and investigate the extent to which education can facilitate life opportunities.

For NQTs and RQTs, our MA Education Practice degree is ideal as it focuses on early professional development needs. For those well established in their careers, MA Education, a PhD or EdD research qualification is the natural next step.

Whatever stage you’re at in your teaching journey, our Masters and research degrees can help you get the most from your career. With places available for courses starting in September/October, there’s no time to lose!
Visit ljmu.ac.uk/education
E: education@ljmu.ac.uk
T: 0151 231 3000
@LJMUEHC

Rachel Jackson tells how it feels to return to education.

A PhD was never in the ‘Master Plan’ for me, yet here I am in a funded doctoral position at LJMU. Originally, my career plan was quite simple: degree + diploma = English teacher. I love learning so a teaching career was perfect for me and that’s as far as I wanted to go.

After four years of my dream job, it occurred to me that I had leftover masters credits from my PGDE. To save them from extinction and satisfy my need for closure, I embarked on a masters at my alma mater, Glasgow University.

When my MEd supervisor told me that LJMU was looking for a doctoral student to investigate the use of research in the teaching profession, it seemed too good to be true.

I feel very fortunate to have been given this opportunity. Being a university-based PhD student is very different to life in the classroom. I expected it to be quite a lonely experience but I thought I would be okay with that. Living the busy life of a teacher, I rarely visited the staff room and didn’t really care for staff nights out. I have to admit though when I first made the transition back to university life, I longed for that ‘teacher talk’ and being called ‘Miss’! Eventually, though, I realised there is so much going on at LJMU for postgraduate students. I have now met like-minded people whom I can bounce ideas off and offer, as well as receive, emotional and academic support.

Contact us today for 2019 entry or register for our postgraduate Open Day on 27 November for 2020 entry.

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