What Is the Process of Applying for Teaching?

Teaching is an increasingly popular job option that will lead to a highly rewarding career once you’re qualified.

In the UK there are three routes into teaching:

  • Undergraduate teacher training
  • Postgraduate teacher training
  • School-led teacher training

The most common option is to complete an undergraduate degree in your chosen subject and then do another year of postgraduate study (usually a PGCE) to gain your Qualified Teacher Status (QTS).

However, if you know you definitely want to become a teacher then going straight into undergraduate teacher training might be the better option for you.

Here’s more about becoming a teacher via the undergraduate teacher training route:

What does undergraduate teacher training involve?

An undergraduate teacher training course will take you three or four years of full time study.

You’ll gain a Bachelor of Education (BEd) and combine studying for a degree with teacher training. This is the most popular option for students who want to teach at primary school (key stages 1 and 2).

These courses focus on learning styles, education, teaching practices, and related academic principles.

You’ll need a minimum of two A Levels to be eligible to apply for a Teaching undergraduate degree.

Remember to check the entry requirements of each university you apply for to make sure you meet their specifications.

What other degree options are there?

Some universities do also offer the option of taking a BA or BSc with Qualified Teacher Status (QTS). This is a good option if you want to study for your degree but still be qualified to teach at the end of it.

These courses give you more in depth knowledge of your subject but with the added bonus that you’ll be qualified to pass your knowledge along once you’ve graduated.

Again this will take three or four years of full time study and you’ll usually need at least two A Levels to meet the entry requirements.

What is the process of apply for Teaching?

Just like with other degree courses all applications for Teaching need to be made through the UCAS website.

As an undergraduate you’ll apply through the main UCAS website and follow the same process as other undergraduates applying for university.

There are 10 steps in total for the undergraduate application process, but some of them are very short so don’t worry that you won’t find the time to fill it all out!

Here are the 10 UCAS application steps:

  1. Register with UCAS Apply – if you’re applying through your school or college you’ll need their “buzzword”
  2. Sign in – fill in your personal details, email address etc.
  3. Additional information(UK students only) – this is your ethnic status origin, national identity etc.
  4. Student finance – this section gives UCAS permission to share your details with the student finance company which could speed up the student loan process
  5. Course choices – you can choose up to five courses
  6. Full education history – you’ll need to enter all of your qualifications and state whether you’ve achieved them or you’re waiting for results
  7. Employment history – give full details for any paid jobs you’ve had (either full or part time)
  8. Personal statement – this is a key part of the process so leave plenty of time to get this right
  9. Review your details – triple check that everything is right before submitting your application
  10. Get a reference, pay your application fee, and submit your application – fees are £12 if you’re applying for just one course or £23 for multiple courses or late applications (after 30th June)


Will I need to attend an interview?

Teaching courses usually require you to attend an interview due to the vocational nature of the course.

If a university wants to invite you for an interview they may contact you directly or send an interview invitation via your UCAS Track page.

During the interview you’ll usually be asked about your work experience – most universities ask that you’ve done at least two weeks of classroom based work experience before applying.

Your interviewer(s) will also ask you what attracts you to teaching, why you think you’ll make a good teacher, and they might also ask what your career plans are for the future.