Student Voices

PGCE graduates 2019

Our students come from diverse backgrounds, many of which are career-changers, opting to become primary and secondary teachers from previous careers in accounting, law, journalism and marketing.

Aishah, PGCE Primary Education

Aishah Mattar_Copenhagen

Upon completion of a Masters in Inclusive Education in 2017, I decided it was time for a career change. I was motivated to join the world of teaching because I was inspired to contribute to the education forum by opening up doors in children’s learning.

I had chosen UoB Dubai because it is one of the Russell Group universities and is ranked as a prestigious organization worldwide. I was confident to make this decision because of its reputable status and the way in which the staff welcomed me during the Train to Teach Open day.

My university tutor, Mrs Karen Brodie has been absolutely amazing with supporting my learning trajectory right from the start of the PGCE programme. It has made all the difference in knowing that there is someone I can trust and rely on when things get tough. The library staff are super helpful and friendly and have always gone out of their way to help me locate books I needed during my study. The computer labs and study rooms are quiet and spacious which creates a good study environment.

The facilities, cultural and social events UoB arranges have made a difference to the way in which I settled into university life. My classmates were all very friendly. It helped to start off the programme with a small cohort because everyone got to know one another very well and were willing to help one another throughout the course.

What advice would you give to a prospective applicant?

Try to get your hands on the core reading materials before the start of the programme. Time-Management is a key skill when having to balance between school placements and academic study during this course. This course is a very challenging one but that you will truly be fulfilled with the fruits of your labour when your work and efforts are recognized and valued.

What are your career aspirations?

I hope to gain teaching experience in good or outstanding schools whose ethos embraces differences as being a natural part of human diversity. Inclusion and inclusive education has been a central theme across lectures and workshops that have been arranged at UoB. This has certainly sustained my motivation in pursuing a teaching career.

Tell us about your favourite aspect of UoB Dubai?

At the end of School Experience 1, I had arranged for a fun get together with the Primary PGCE group to celebrate the first learning milestone we had all reached and accomplished. I believe it is important to not be too hard on yourself and to take time out to appreciate how far you have come. I think morale support from peers has helped each and every one of us to be reminded of learning as a journey and that no matter how steep the climb, it is important to recognize perseverance as an important life-skill quality one could possess.

Aishah Mattar and her parents

Aishah and her parents at the PGCE Celebration Ceremony, May 2019


Alyson, PGCE Primary Education

Alyson Mower

Following a career break, the UoB Dubai’s PGCE programme offered me the opportunity to retrain as a teacher at a reputable UK university, in an international setting.

I opted to study a PGCE Primary at the UoB Dubai rather than a PGCEi, as I valued the opportunity to attend university based teaching, rather than having to study online. Additionally, this course provided the opportunity to meet other students to share and benefit from our joint experiences.

The UoB Dubai provided the opportunity to study an internationally recognised teacher qualification without the need to move back to the UK, which wasn’t a feasible option for me.

What has your experience been like on your degree programme?

The combination of university based learning, alongside substantial experience in a school setting, has prepared me with the professional skills and confidence to become an effective classroom practitioner.

Whilst the PGCE Primary was a challenging and rigorous course, I felt supported throughout my learning journey by academic staff at the university and teachers and mentors whilst on school experience placements.

The staff in the School of Education are knowledgeable and supportive and have an awareness on the local educational context which they integrate with the UK programme.

What has your student experience been like at UoB Dubai? 

I valued the opportunity to study with a truly international cohort of students.

How have you settled into a new city?  

There are countless recreational activities available in the UAE. The UAE is clean and safe and has a welcoming expat community.

What advice would you give to a prospective applicant?

Teaching is a huge responsibility and the PGCE Primary programme requires a high level of commitment. Before embarking on the course seek out opportunities to work with young people to ensure a career in education is for you. Being organised and effectively managing your time will support you in undertaking this course.

What are your career aspirations?

Whilst undertaking the PGCE Primary course I was able to secure employment at a leading International school in Dubai. The diversity of my school experience placements allowed me to consider the type and culture of school I wished to work in.

Tell us about your favourite aspect of UoB Dubai?

Undertaking the PGCE Primary at the UoB Dubai has been truly life changing. I have really valued the opportunity to be able retrain in Dubai and embark on a new career as an educator, making a difference to young people’s lives.