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Social Sciences (Secondary)

Train to be a Social Sciences teacher in a Secondary school

Subject / Phase

Social Sciences (Secondary)

Course Length

1 year

School Placements




Academic award


Professional award

Qualified Teacher Status (QTS)

Masters Credits


Partnered with

Sheffield Hallam University

Prepare for a rewarding career teaching social sciences to either the 11 to 16, or 14-19 age groups.

Why Train to Be a Social Sciences Teacher?

A key part of providing a balanced education is to create reflective and active citizens of the future. You can play your role in this by training to be a social sciences teacher - covering subjects such as politics, sociology and psychology. Experience that wonderful 'lightbulb' moment when a student finally 'gets' a topic, or asks a particularly challenging question; help them to understand the world around them and how it developed into the world we know today.

What is Life Like as a Social Sciences Teacher?

As a social sciences teacher, you will teach students about people and their interactions with each other, and with their social and political institutions and with their environments. You will plan and deliver lessons that bring these subjects to life, engaging students in the ideas, themes and topics within the curriculum. You will also set and mark assignments, and track student progress via data collection and feedback to parents. Some teachers organise extra-curricular activities such as trips and clubs.

What Skills Do You Need to Be a Social Sciences Teacher?

A passion for your subject and the ability to inspire the same in your students is essential. It helps if you are organised too. Being able to communicate effectively with colleagues, students and parents is definitely an asset, as is stamina and even a sense of humour. Teachers are continually developing, so the ability to self-reflect and the willingness to take on new learning and training is beneficial. Above all else, the desire to support young people to achieve their very best is what’s needed.

What Do We Cover in Social Sciences Teacher Training?

You will be trained to teach social sciences either key stages 3 and 4, or key stage 5.

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 will have the opportunity to hone your social science skills via seminars, workshops, lectures, group work, directed tasks and written assessments. You are assessed through supportive, collaborative means, helping you to grow and improve.

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 secondary 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 subject role, or even head of a department or faculty. 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 Education for either the 11-16 or 14-19 ages.
  • 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 social sciences teacher, you could access a tuition fee loan and maintenance loan to cover your training, and potentially other extra financial support.

Find out more about funding here.

Start: September 2021

End: June 2022

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