Secondary teaching – social sciences

In NSW and other Australian states prospective teachers of social sciences usually need to obtain accreditation in at least two disciplines, however, because many subjects are classed as social sciences, it is possible to qualify as a secondary school teacher entirely within the social sciences field, for example, teaching geography and legal studies, or commerce and civics.

A career teaching only social sciences would normally require university studies in all of the following:

  • economics/business studies, geography or history

  • a second social-science teaching area (either from the three listed above or an auxiliary social science, for example, industrial relations, anthropology, sociology, law or political science)

  • education as a social science

  • professional and curriculum studies (teaching methodology).

People wishing to qualify to teach outside the social sciences will need to enrol in courses for teaching area (for example, mathematics) instead of the second social-science teaching area.

Recommended studies for HSC students

The undergraduate degree-pathway for high-school students who are contemplating a career in teaching a social science requires five-years' study and results in the award of a double degree: Bachelor of Education (Secondary Education: Humanities and Social Sciences) and Bachelor of Arts.

Although no prerequisites exist for programs resulting in social-sciences-teaching accreditation, Year 10 students who are hoping to pursue a career teaching one or more social sciences – and who are about to choose their HSC subjects – would benefit from studying these subjects for their HSC, as well as subjects relevant to any teaching area they may pursue that is outside the social sciences.

Prerequisites for graduate-entry applicants

Graduates with a first degree that includes studies appropriate to teaching a social science may be eligible for admission to the Master of Teaching program. Undergraduate studies that are generally appropriate for entry into the MTeach for social sciences include a Bachelor of Arts with a major in history or geography and a Bachelor of Economics.

The detailed prerequisites for each major discipline – geography, history and economics/business studies – are separately listed in the "Future students" section of this website. the prerequisites for legal studies/commerce and society and culture/geography also appear in on the same page.