New degrees to help ease science teaching path

Two new teacher training partnership degrees – a first in Scotland, delivered by Forth Valley College and the University of Stirling – are set to help ease the path to science teaching jobs for graduates.

The BA (Hons) Professional Education (Chemistry, Secondary) and the BA (Hons) Professional Education (Physics, Secondary) have been specifically designed to lead to students becoming secondary school teachers in the chosen subjects, without having to complete an additional year’s teaching course after graduating.

The unique, alternative route to the industry has been developed to address the national shortage of teachers in both areas. The route will be accessible both to school leavers and to adults perhaps considering a change of career, with the message that it’s never too late to take up a teaching vocation.

Forth Valley College’s noted expertise in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) subjects and the University of Stirling’s worldwide reputation in providing exceptional learning and teaching graduates, have seen the two organisations once again work together to create a four year course, which will see students spend their first two years at FVC before moving on to the university to complete their degree (2+2 Degree).

Applications are now being sought via the FVC website here

The two new courses will take the number of partnership degree courses offered by FVC and the University of Stirling, to eight.

Minister for Higher Education and Further Education Jamie Hepburn said: “The innovative approach to providing these new partnership degrees underlines the key role that our colleges and universities play in contributing to Scotland’s highly skilled and educated workforce of the future.

“The Scottish Government is committed to ensuring we have a population equipped with the STEM skills, knowledge and capability required to adapt and thrive in the fast-paced changing world and economy around us.

“We have a rich history of expertise, innovation and achievement in STEM that has seen Scotland contribute so much to the world. As we look to the future, it is imperative that we maximise the opportunities presented in our country’s innovative spirit.”

Professor Ken Thomson OBE, Principal of Forth Valley College, said: “Forth Valley College is one of Scotland’s leading providers in Science and Technology, recognised throughout the UK and beyond for its innovative, creative approach to learning and teaching. Our Department of Science and Engineering is sector-leading with state-of-the-art facilities and the College is STEM Assured – the industry led quality mark for Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths Training, so we are delighted and very well placed to be partnering the University of Stirling to offer these two exciting new science teaching degrees.

“The proposed joint pathways link directly to graduate attributes from both institutions and address the concerns regarding a shortage of teachers in STEM subjects. It was recognised that this route would appeal to non-traditional students of Initial Teacher Education (ITE) and we feel strongly that this target group will bring a different skill and experience base to the profession, while widening the pool of potential applicants to these under-represented disciplines.”

Professor Sir Gerry McCormac, Principal and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Stirling, said: “This pioneering approach provides a unique and accessible path for the next generation of science teachers.

“Working alongside our colleagues at Forth Valley College, we’re proud to be playing an important role in addressing the skills gap in this area and providing an alternative route to teaching to a wider pool of candidates.”