Being an English teacher
English teachers set children up with some of the fundamental skills they need to succeed in life. You’ll help children express themselves, understand more about the human condition, and become effective critical thinkers.
To teach English, you need a degree in English plus a Professional Graduate Diploma in Education (PGDE) or a degree that combines education with English studies.
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 English at secondary level. Entry requirements vary so it’s best to check with the course provider.
Zoe Storrie – English Teacher at Hillpark Secondary School
“I decided to become a teacher after being involved in volunteer youth work. The experience made me realise how much I enjoyed working with young people. I wanted to combine this enjoyment with being able to share the enthusiasm I have for my subject.
"Teaching English to young people is amazing. I believe it’s a wonderful subject that deals with real world issues in fun and creative ways. As a teacher, you get to explore these fantastic stories as well as helping equip young people with a number of essential skills.
"My advice for anyone considering applying for teacher training would be to go for it! You’re guaranteed to have a whirlwind year in which you’ll need to work possibly harder than ever before, but it’s a hugely exciting and rewarding experience. You’ll be supported the whole way and you’ll make amazing friends, too."
Barry Wright – Principal Teacher of English at Vale of Leven Academy
“I’ve always been interested in teaching even when I was working in my previous job as a Marketing Manager. When I did decide to change careers, I was surprised at how many skills were transferrable, for example being able to present to big groups of people is the same regardless of the audience. It also helped that my family were very supportive and now they can see the satisfaction I have and understand I couldn’t get the same pleasure from another role.
"As an English teacher, you help develop a young person’s core skills of reading, writing, talking and listening by engaging them with fantastic literature and by embracing and dissecting current affairs. There is so much discussion in an English classroom and, when it’s taught well, pupils love it.
"If you love working with young people and you have a passion for an academic area, do it. Being a teacher is an enormous privilege."