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The majority of students taking the BEd Post-Primary degree course wish to pursue a career in teaching. The four-year course offered by the College is an ideal preparation for this and our graduates are highly regarded by employers. The course has been developed in consultation with the General Teaching Council Northern Ireland (GTCNI) and fully meets the requirements of the GTCNI and the Department of Education. Graduates have Qualified Teacher Status (necessary to obtain permanent employment as a teacher) and are eligible to register with the GTCNI. Indeed the College works closely with the GTCNI to facilitate registration and to enable provisional registration even before completion of the course.

In the final year School Experience, students are encouraged to work with increasing independence and to teach for extended periods of time. They are encouraged, where possible, to attend staff meetings and INSET training. All of this equips them for progression to becoming autonomous beginning teachers. Guest speakers visit the College and give talks to students on teaching as a career, and Careers Fairs and Teacher Recruitment Fairs are organised on a regular basis. A central element of the Year 4 course is the provision for students of advice on job application and interview technique. Feedback from schools indicates the great satisfaction that schools have with our graduates after they take up employment.

Most graduates enter employment as teachers in schools and colleges within Northern Ireland. However a significant percentage of graduating students decide to apply for and are appointed to teaching posts outside Northern Ireland e.g BEd students graduating in July 2012 have been successful in securing permanent teaching posts in Manchester, Kent, Medway, Brent, Inner and Outer London, Birmingham and Reading. Others decided to move further away and secured posts in Madrid, Dhubai, Qatar, and Germany.

Some graduates decide not to go into teaching but to pursue other careers related to education, such as sports development. Studying for a BEd degree at St Mary’s will assist you in developing the core skills and employment-related experiences that are valued by employers, professional organisations and academic institutions. Other graduates decide to pursue their academic studies further and take Masters or Doctorate courses in education or their subject specialism. The study of an academic subject and research training within the BEd degree facilitate such choices.