Postgraduate teaching degrees fill the maths and science gap

UTS / 18 May 2021

Maths is an in-demand subject area in NSW schools – and now, two new postgraduate qualifications from UTS are helping teachers to upskill, re-skill and build discipline-specific expertise in this critical area of teaching practice. 

The Master of Mathematics for Secondary Education and Graduate Diploma in Mathematics for Secondary Education have been designed to address the significant shortage of maths and science teachers in the NSW education system. 

In fact, the shortage is so severe that the Federal Government is offering subsidised course fees via a limited number of Commonwealth Supported Places for 2021, with similar arrangements expected to be in place the following year. 

Both courses are provided largely online, with a small number of subjects delivered in block mode on the UTS campus. Full-time and part-time study options are both on offer, ensuring that teachers can maintain their professional practice while they study. 

“What’s great about this course is that learning is online and also available part-time, allowing those currently teaching to upskill at their pace,” says Program Director Associate Professor Mary Coupland. 

“It also means that teachers from around Australia can participate.” 

Participants study fundamental mathematics, including statistics, algebra and calculus, as well as contemporary teaching methods and professional experience subjects specifically designed for teaching mathematics to students in years 7–12. 

Both courses include elective subjects in learning design, learning analytics, e-learning and digital learning, giving participants the chance to tailor their studies to suit their professional interests. Maths electives are also available for teachers with no previous undergraduate mathematics experience. 

“Feedback from those already in the program indicates that they appreciate the personal support and constant feedback that we have built into the subjects,” Associate Professor Coupland says. 

The curriculum is delivered by an expert team that includes mathematics specialists from the Faculty of Science and teacher education academics in the School of International Studies and Education. 

These include Associate Professor Coupland, recipient of a 2020 Exceptional Service Award from the Professional Teachers’ Council of NSW and a former President of the Australian Association of Mathematics Teachers; and Dr Martin Bell, an astrophysicist and lecturer at UTS and a maths and physics teacher at Westbourne College Sydney. 

With their combined decades of experience, the teaching team have a real-world understanding of the complexities of teaching mathematics, as well as the skills needed by teachers to succeed. 

 Read more about Mathematics for Secondary Education degrees at UTS.