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Art and Design (Secondary)

Train to be an Art and Design teacher in a Secondary school

Subject / Phase

Art & Design (secondary)

Course Length

1 year

School Placements




Academic award


Professional award

Qualified Teacher Status (QTS)

Masters Credits


Partnered with

Sheffield Hallam University

Are you passionate about design, drawing and art? Do you want to inspire the next generation of artists? Then training to be an art and design teacher in a secondary school could be for you!

Why Train to Be an Art and Design Teacher?

If you can’t imagine a day without opening your paint box, getting out your charcoals or moulding clay into something meaningful, then perhaps a career as an art and design teacher could be your next step. You get to immerse yourself in your creative passions and inspire others to do the same. There are those wonderful moments when you see something spark in a student, as they experience the joy and fulfilment that can come from the creative process or just the sudden realisation of ‘I can do this!’ No two days are the same and you get very tangible evidence of the impact you have made. It can be intensely rewarding.

What is Life Like as an Art and Design Teacher?

Of course, you don’t spend all your time drawing or painting! There are other responsibilities, such as planning lessons, marking assignments, ordering supplies, teaching students about artists and art history, administration, attending staff meetings, and meeting with parents. Keeping up to date with your subject knowledge is essential though, so you never need an excuse to be visiting art galleries and reading up on your favourite artists.

What Skills Do You Need to Be an Art and Design Teacher?

As with all teaching roles, you need empathy and respect for children and young people, and a passion for your subject. Being organised is a big advantage. You also need to work well within a team, even though much of your work will be on your own in the classroom – so the ability to self-manage and reflect is essential.

What Do We Cover in Art and Design Teacher Training?

You will be trained to teach art and design at Key Stages 3, 4 and 5, with subject practice at the heart of your experience.

This includes training in university, via STSA's professional learning courses, and as part of your school placements, as detailed below:

At University

Our academic partner is Sheffield Hallam University, whose course is rated as ‘Good’ by Ofsted. At university, you are introduced to art and design specific skills via seminars, workshops, lectures, group work, directed tasks, written assessments and practical work. You are expected to consolidate your development, both in university and in schools, by researching appropriate material and accessing wider resources.

In STSA Professional Learning Courses

We run a number of STSA professional learning sessions throughout the year. These days are a great opportunity for our trainees to come together, catch up and share their experiences. Our trainees tell us this is a highly valued part of our course.

Examples of topics covered include:

  • The Professional Teacher
  • Safeguarding
  • Lesson/scheme design
  • Assessment: marking and feedback
  • Data collection and analysis
  • Barriers to learning
  • Organisation of self
  • Knowledge of consecutive key stages
  • Role of SENCO
  • Behaviour management
  • Building resilience
  • Child development
  • SEND and inclusion
  • EAL and new arrivals
  • Collaborative team teaching
  • Communication with parents
  • Planning for transition
  • Careers

The STSA team are on hand throughout the course to help you with any issues or questions you may have.

During your School Placements

Our course includes high-quality placements in two of our partner schools, providing experience in contrasting settings – which is part of the Department for Education (DfE) regulations for Initial Teacher Training (ITT). Your main placement is approximately 24 weeks over the academic year, whilst your complementary placement is approximately 6 weeks. You also have a 2-day experience in a primary setting.

You will have your own mentor in each school, who will meet with you regularly and provide support and advice. They will also assess your teaching in school.

You can find out more about what to expect on our course here.

Career Development

You will always be developing as a teacher and could progress to a head of department role, or even head of a creative faculty in a large school. Some teachers decide to specialise in pastoral work, taking on a head of key stage/year group role. From middle management, you could then progress into senior leadership as an assistant, deputy or head teacher. With multi-academy trusts growing in number, there are also new opportunities working across a number of schools, taking on responsibility for your particular subject.

You will gain:

  • A Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) in Secondary Art and Design (11-16 with post-16 enhancement)
  • Qualified Teaching Status
  • 60 Masters credits

It’s a great mix of academic and professional training that really equips you for life in the classroom.

As a trainee art and design teacher, you could access a tuition fee loan and maintenance loan to cover your training, and potentially other additional financial support.

Find out more about other funding here.

Start: September 2021

End: June 2022

Partnered with

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