Routes into teaching

University-based training: Undergraduate

If you are hoping to train as a primary school teacher, you may prefer to study for a degree that will lead to Qualified Teacher Status (QTS). These may be BA or BSc degrees with QTS, or a Bachelor of Education (B.Ed) degree. Applications for undergraduate degrees are made through the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS).

Alternatively you can complete an undergraduate degree, then apply for a Post Graduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) or a Post Graduate Diploma in Education (PGDE). 

If you are a prospective secondary school teacher, you will need an undergraduate degree, then a Post Graduate Certificate or Diploma in Education. At least 50% of your degree should be in the subject you intend to teach.

University-based training: Post Graduate 

Post Graduate Certificate in Education (PGCE)

A PGCE is a mix of training and school experience. The training may be based at a university, college or School-Centred Initial Teacher Training (SCITT). The PGCE is an internationally recognised qualification, enabling a teacher to work all over the world.  The closing date for applications is usually in the December to start in September of the following year. Applications should be made through UCAS Teacher Training.

Post Graduate Diploma in Education (PGDE)

A PGDE in England is very similar to a PGCE, the difference being the number of academic credits you are awarded at the end of your course. PGCE courses can contain up to 60 credits at Master’s degree level, and PGDE courses can contain up to 120. More teacher training providers offer a PGCE than a PGDE.

Teach First

Teach First is an independent educational charity which partners a range of schools, by placing graduates from the Teach First Leadership Development programme into schools in high deprivation areas.

The programme lasts for 2 years. In their first year trainees complete their PGDE training and in the second year they complete induction as an Early Career Teacher. To be eligible for the programme, you’ll need at least a 2:1 or higher. Click here for further information about Teach First.

School Direct

School Direct courses generally last a year, and you’ll train in at least two schools. School Direct places are offered by a school or group of schools in partnership with an accredited teacher training institution. It is expected that trainees will work in the school or group of schools in which they trained, but there is no guarantee of employment. School Direct courses all result in qualified teacher status (QTS). Most courses also award a postgraduate certificate in education (PGCE) and/or master’s-level credits. Check the details of individual courses at: UCAS Teacher Training.

School Direct (salaried)

School Direct (salaried) places are very limited and are open to graduates with three or more years’ career experience. Trainees will be employed as an unqualified teacher.  The amount you earn will be dependent on the school you train in and the subject you’re teaching. Click here for further information about  School Direct Programmes.

Postgraduate teaching apprenticeship

Apprenticeships offer a year of school-based training which gives you QTS. Some courses also offer a PGCE or equivalent qualification. Click here to find salaried teacher training courses including apprenticeships (ensure you apply the only show courses with a salary filter).

There’s a range of funding options available to support your teaching career. Depending on the subject you want to teach, you could receive a generous bursary or scholarship. You can access loans and grants to cover your tuition fees. More information about funding can be found at: Get into teaching funding options.