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Bachelor of Education (Secondary) explained

Answers to all your frequently asked questions
So you want to study education to become a high school teacher but have some questions. Like, how can I specialise to become a qualified science teacher? Can I teach music? And what are placements like? Well, we’ve got answers.

You offer more than one Secondary teaching degree?

What teaching areas can I specialise in?

Short answer: It depends on the degree you’re doing. 

In the Bachelor of Education (Secondary: Humanities and Social Sciences) and Bachelor of Arts, you can major in one of the following: Aboriginal studies, Commerce, Drama, Economics, English, History (modern or ancient), Languages: Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Hebrew (modern or classical), Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Latin, Modern Greek or Spanish.

In the Bachelor of Education (Secondary Education: Science) and Bachelor of Science, teaching areas include: biology, chemistry, earth and environmental science, geography, and physics. 

If you want to become a mathematics teacher the Bachelor of Education (Secondary Education: Mathematics) and Bachelor of Science is for you. 

Finally, Bachelor of Education (Health and Physical Education) offers health and physical education (PDHPE) as a study area.

Can I choose a Secondary teaching area outside of my degree?

Short answer: In most cases, yes – but it depends.

Example: Bachelor of Education (Secondary Education: Mathematics) and Bachelor of Science students need to complete a mathematics major, but can also opt to study a second teaching area in science or humanities and social science (see above for the specialisations).

But in most cases you’ll need to follow a carefully crafted degree plan to make sure your qualification is recognised by the NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA).

Can I teach music?

Short answer: You can.

The Bachelor of Music (Music Education) offered by the Sydney Conservatorium of Music will prepare you for a career as a music teacher in both the primary and secondary school environment. 

Are professional placements available?

Short answer: Absolutely. In fact, they’re a big part of the course.

Professional experience is built into our secondary teaching degrees.

Most placements begin in third year and the amount of responsibility and duration of the placements progressively increases.

You’ll start by observing classes in schools to planning and running them under minimal supervision, developing the practical education skills required to become a professional teacher.

Are there other requirements for the Bachelor of Education degrees?

Short answer: Yes. When you apply for a Bachelor of Education – with the exception of the Early Childhood degree – you have to complete a brief personal statement.

Click here to learn more about the Teacher Education Personal Statement and how we can help you with it.

Some courses also have a mathematics course prerequisite to make sure you’re on top of the science and mathematics component of those specialised degrees.

Finally, some of the teaching programs require a certain number of Band 5s in your NSW Higher School Certificate. Take a look at the individual degree pages for prerequisite information. 

So I’ll be a qualified teacher after graduation?

Short answer: Yes. Our undergraduate Education courses are accredited by the NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA).

You’ll be qualified to teach in secondary schools in the areas you’ve chosen in your Bachelor of Education degree. 

But to gain that qualification you’ll also have to meet the prerequisites for NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) and to sit and pass the Literacy and Numeracy Test for Initial Teacher Education Students (LANTITE) as part of your Bachelor degree. 

Are there other pathways to becoming a teacher?

Short answer: There are.

Straight out of high school, you may not realise becoming a high school teacher is your calling, and that’s okay – we’ve got you covered.

Example: Let’s say you’ve completed a three years' full-time undergraduate degree (like a Bachelor of Arts).

The subject you majored in (eg. English), could become your first teaching area specialisation; the second subject you either majored or minored (eg. History) in could become your second teaching area. This pathway might allow you to enter our 2-year Master of Teaching (Secondary) which would allow you to become an accredited teacher within the same five year span. 

Besides becoming a high school teacher, are there other career paths?

Short answer: Yes. Education grads have the ability to work inside and outside classrooms.

As a qualified education professional, you’ll be able to pursue careers in school administration and management, curriculum design, education policy, specialist education, service learning, community engagement and information and communications technology.

Beyond teaching, specific roles examples include: corporate trainer, development manager, curriculum consultant, educational administrator, educational researcher, government policy adviser, sporting coach, community health consultant, and human resource manager.

Ths page was last updated on 12 October 2020. Prospective students should refer to our course pages for the most up-to-date information.

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