TES recruitment expert

13th January 2006 at 00:00
Q I'm having doubts about my PGCE. If I leave half way through, will I have to repay the bursary?

A Assuming you are receiving just the basic bursary paid in monthly instalments, then you should not have to repay anything. The bursary was introduced partly in recognition of the fact that the PGCE course was so intensive that students were prevented from taking part-time jobs to help fund their studies.

Q I don't have a clue which training course to apply for: modular or nonmodular?

What's the difference? AMost courses are fulltime, because you need to spend a considerable time in schools. Some are divided into modules for teaching purposes.

On full-time courses there is really no difference between modular and non modular courses. However, it is possible to study through the part-time route in some places. These courses are divided up into units that are sometimes called modules. All very confusing.

As to which is best for you, my reaction is always to suggest a full-time course if at all possible.

You work as part of a cohort and follow the natural cycle of the school year. You also complete your course at the time of year when most teaching vacancies occur. However, for some students part-time study is important, especially if they are career changers who wish to start a teaching course before quitting their job.

Q I'm hoping to get on a PGCE for 2006 but, for the last three years, I've worked nights full-time as well doing a part-time degree.

Would I be able to cope with the demands of doing a teaching course and still be able to keep my job?

A No. The PGCE is an intensive course with demands well beyond an ordinary undergraduate degree.

By all means, work during the vacations, but don't expect to work during the course. This is one reason why you receive a bursary. Trying to mix work and teacher training can be a recipe for failure: it is just not worth the risk.

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