Computing Teacher training options
There are two routes into teaching computing. You can study a four-year degree that combines education with Business Studies and Computing Science (or Computing Science and Maths) or take a one-year computing PGDE course following an undergraduate degree. And if these options don’t quite work for your circumstances, there are some alternative routes to consider.
Bursary for Computing teaching courses in Scotland
There are bursaries available for those who have been working for at least three of the last five years and have already studied for a degree in Computing. Get more information about what could be available to you here.
Four-year university course in education
For the four-year combined degree and other undergraduate degree programmes you must have at least:
- English and two other National Qualifications at SCQF Level 6 (Higher Grade) AND
- Mathematics and one other subject at SCQF Level 5 (or an accepted alternative, for example, National 5, Credit Standard Grade or Intermediate 2).
Check the entry requirements with the course provider.
PGDE university courses
Here are the universities you can study for a PDGE in Computing at secondary level. Entry requirements vary so it’s best to check with the course provider.
Alternate routes into teaching
These routes offer a little more flexibility in order to encourage diversity in the profession:
David Buchanan – Maths Teacher at Airdrie Academy
“Graduating with a Bachelor of Engineering in Chemical and Process Engineering, a degree which involved a lot of problem solving in the areas of Chemistry, Physics and Maths, I was fortunate to start my career with numerous pathways open to me. I started working as project manager in the private banking sector and after a short while I decided I wanted to follow my passion for teaching.
"Prior to changing career, I had given it a lot of thought and spent time speaking to current teachers, so was confident that teaching would be a career suited to my character and personality. I felt that coming from industry gave me a certain advantage. I already had experience of a work environment and although now working with young people, a lot of the skills I had developed previously were transferrable.
"After almost 2 years now, I know I made the right choice. I would highly recommend a career as a STEM teacher, there are few careers where you are fortunate enough to be a part of something that is always evolving and there is a great opportunity to transfer this excitement and enthusiasm across to the young people in front of you every day."
Chris Aitken - Computing Science Teacher at Wick High School
“The reason I went into teaching instead of a career as a programmer was that I, quite simply, enjoyed playing. Being able to play and experiment with different technologies undoubtedly inspires me and I know this passion and enthusiasm gets passed on to pupils. I enjoy the fact that teaching Computing Science means that my course is constantly changing as the technology sector evolves and science advances.
"I try to make sure my courses are relevant to young people, for example just recently one of my classes were making Facebook chat-bots and another were using Raspberry Pis to build and code mobile robots. I therefore find teaching computing to be incredibly creative, challenging and fun and if you as a teacher bring an enthusiasm and passion to your subject, it 100% rubs off on young people and engages them.
"If you are passionate about your subject, choose teaching. You can make a difference to young people’s lives."
Ian Power - Computing Teacher at Auchinleck Academy
“I switched from a career as an electrical engineer to become a Computing teacher after being made redundant. I found the job security very attractive and I also knew I would enjoy the social aspect of teaching, the interaction with pupils, and the variety that their personalities bring to my work. Even after 15 years in the role, I’m still happy with my decision. It’s very rewarding to see pupils develop their skills over their time from S1 to S6. Pupils don’t all learn the same way, which keeps lessons varied as you have to adapt your teaching style for every class and pupil. This makes each day different. New technology also means the Computing course has continually changed over the years and this has driven me to develop and learn new skills in my subject as well."