Teacher training is a very popular degree choice with UK undergraduates as it offers a clear career progression and an excellent starting salary, considerably above the average graduate salary. So where can you study teaching training in the UK, what qualifications do you need and how can you enhance your prospects of getting onto your chosen course?
To become a teacher in the UK, you can either study teaching itself, as a Bachelor of Education (BEd) degree, or you can study a first degree in your chosen subject, along with QTS, or Qualified Teacher Status. Primary school teachers often study a BEd, while secondary school teachers tend to specialise in their subject and study for QTS alongside their degree.
You have an extensive choice of where to study for your BEd degree or first degree with QTS. The Department for Education provides a list of the universities and colleges offering teacher training.
Once you have completed your degree, you will have to undergo an induction year as a teacher to become fully qualified to teach.
The qualifications required for a teaching degree are similar to those for any other first degree, and include good grades at English and Maths GCSE. If you are teaching at primary level, or pre-GCSE secondary school, you will also need at least a C in GCSE science.
To study QTS alongside your degree, you will need appropriate A Level grades for your first degree, as well as a good standard of education and achievement overall. There is a great deal of competition for places, so you will need excellent grades to secure your first choice place.
To successfully gain a place on a teacher training course, you will also need to demonstrate a genuine interest in becoming a teacher. The day to day reality of being a teacher is often very different from the outside perception, and so you will be expected to have spent time in a school environment to show that you understand what the job actually entails. You will also be asked to demonstrate a real interest in working with young people, through involvement in youth groups and similar organisations.
Applications for teacher training degrees are handled through Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) in the same way as other degrees. The Department for Education website has lots of advice on applying for teacher training. Specific advice is available to help you complete your application form, develop interview techniques and to devise other ways to impress your chosen universities and improve your chances of getting accepted.
If you study a QTS qualification alongside your degree, the two courses run simultaneously. However, if you decide to pursue a career in teaching after completing your degree, you will need to study for a PGCE as a post graduate. This course takes an extra year of full time study and work experience. You can apply for a PGCE course through the Graduate Teacher Training Registry.