The majority of students choose to take a three year degree in the subject of their choice and then complete a one year PGCE course to become a teacher. Some choose to take a four year degree that combines the subject knowledge with a teaching qualification; although you should only do this if you’re 100% sure you want to go into teaching after graduation.

You must have qualified teacher status (QTS) to take up a teaching post in England in a:

  • maintained primary school
  • maintained secondary school
  • maintained special school
  • non-maintained special school

The only schools in the UK where you’ll be exempt from needing QTS in order to teach are those in the independent sector. However, the majority of these schools would require you to have significant experience in order to employ you, and you may find this hard to gain without QTS.

Here’s more about becoming a teacher and accreditations to look for when applying for Teacher Training:

What are my study options for Teacher Training?

If you choose the more common option of completing your degree first, you’ve then got two options for your Teacher Training:

Option 1: school-led training

This is a great option if you want hands-on experience right from the beginning. If you choose the school-led training option you’ll gain experience in at least two different schools and learn directly from your more experienced colleagues.

Generally this option takes a year and results in you being awarded QTS. The majority of courses carry a postgraduate qualification, meaning you’ll have Master’s level credits.

Option 2: university-led training

As we said above, there are university-led Teacher Training courses available for both graduates and undergraduates. This is the usual route if you already have a degree and want a postgraduate qualification, known as a PGCE, to become a qualified teacher.

These courses take a year full time or two years part-time and you’ll spend your time in university being trained alongside other trainee teachers.

You’ll also spend time in placement schools, for a minimum of 24 weeks, to gain hands-on experience and to put your theoretical skills into practice.

To apply for postgraduate Teacher Training courses you’ll need to submit your application through the UCAS Teacher Training website.

Where can I study Teacher Training?

School, universities, and other training providers (such as Teach First) can only offer Initial Teaching Training (ITT) courses if they are accredited by the National College for Teaching and Leadership (NCTL).

Here are just come of the universities that offer PGCE courses:

  • London Metropolitan University
  • Northumbria University
  • Bangor University
  • University of Chichester
  • University of Winchester
  • Edge Hill University
  • Plymouth University
  • Bath Spa University
  • University of Dundee
  • Middlesex University
  • Cardiff Metropolitan University
  • London South Bank University
  • Nottingham Trent University
  • University of Greenwich

What is the National College for Teaching and Leadership (NCTL)?

The NCTL is a government sponsored organisation which is responsible for improving the quality of the education and early years workforce and helping schools to improve.

They are also responsible for:

  • ensuring that enough high quality trainees enter teacher training and early years teacher training to meet the needs of the sector
  • managing the allocation of teacher training places and related funding to schools and universities who provide teacher training
  • recognising teachers’ professional ability for the award of QTS. We do this for the European Economic Area (EEA) and we are the competent authority in England for the teaching profession

What are my career prospects after Teacher Training?

Teacher Training is designed to prepare you for a challenging but highly rewarding career. Regardless of the age group you choose to teach you’ll be influencing young minds and making a real difference in young peoples’ development into active members of the community.

As part of your Teacher Training you’ll have learnt and developed the following skills:

  • The ability to relate to pupils and their parents/carers
  • Enthusiasm for the subjects you teach and an in depth knowledge in the subject/age range and relevant curriculum
  • Dedication and commitment
  • Resilience
  • The ability to convey your knowledge to the students in an engaging and understandable way
  • Patience
  • Integrity
  • A good sense of humour

There are also plenty of directions you can take your career in, with opportunities to climb the career ladder and specialise in other areas.