Why Apply for Teaching?

A teaching degree can lead to an exciting and highly rewarding career that could take you all over the world and therefore Teaching degrees are very popular.

The popularity of teaching courses means that they’re very competitive so you’ll need to know everything there is to know about a Teaching degree to be successful in your application.

Here’s more about becoming a teacher and applying for teacher training:

What age groups can I teach?

As a teacher in the UK you’ll usually be qualified to teach either primary or secondary school aged children. Some secondary schools may also include post-16 education e.g. sixth forms.

The UK education system is split into “key stages” depending on the age of the child.

These key stages are:

  • Key Stage 1: 5-7 year olds; school years 1-2
  • Key Stage 2: 7-11 year olds; school years 3-6
  • Key Stage 3: 11-14 year olds; school years 7-9
  • Key Stage 4: 14-16 year olds; school years 10-11


There is also the Early Years Foundation Stage for children aged 3-5 in nursery and reception classes.

During your teacher training you’ll become qualified in two of the key stages (key stages 1 and 2 or key stages 3 and 4).

How do I become a teacher?

There are a number of routes into teaching that will lead to you gaining your Qualified Teacher Status (QTS). Teacher training courses are more commonly known as Initial Teacher Training (ITT) and you’ll need to do this if you want to teach in state maintained schools.


As an undergraduate student there are two types of Teaching degrees you can look at that will lead to you gaining your QTS:

  • Bachelor of Education (BEd) degree
  • Bachelor of Arts (BA) and Bachelor of Science (BSc) degrees with QTS

On a BEd the focus will be on teaching, learning, and the related academic principles.

If you opt for a BA or BSc then the focus will be on the academic subject you’ve chosen to study but with the added bonus that you’ll be qualified to pass your knowledge on in a school or college after graduation.

What are my other options?

If you’re not 100% certain that you want to become a teacher you could choose the common option of taking an undergraduate degree and then completing postgraduate study to become a teacher.

Teaching is an incredibly popular postgraduate option for many students who want to pass on their knowledge and passion for their degree subject to the next generation.

Why apply for Teaching?

Here are our top five reasons to become a teacher:

  1. You’ll be making a difference to children’s lives – over the course of your career you’ll work with hundreds of children and if you make a difference to even just one of their lives you can be proud of the work you do.
  2. You’ll get long holidays – teachers are the envy of most other professions because of the long holidays. Of course you’ll have to spend some of that time preparing for the new school year but you’ll also have plenty of time for relaxation.
  3. You’ll inspire younger generations – whether your passion is for physics or physical education you’ll be able to use your knowledge and enthusiasm to inspire the children you work with to be passionate about your subject.
  4. You’ll be in demand – teachers are needed all over the world so once you’re qualified you don’t ever need to be out of a job.
  5. You’ll stay young – working with young people means you’ll stay on top of current trends and being surrounded by vibrant young minds will help keep you fresh and full of energy.

What are my career options once I’m qualified?

The world is your oyster and depending on your foreign language skills you could teach all over the world.

Generally teachers stick with teaching the age group that they’re qualified for – key stages 1 and 2 or key stages 3 and 4. However, if you wanted to change later down the line there are courses you can take to help you make the switch.

From being simply a teacher in the classroom you can move your way up the management ladder by becoming a head of department, head of year, assistant or deputy head, and finally a head teacher.

There are also a number of opportunities for graduates with a teaching degree that don’t include being in the classroom such as:

  • Careers adviser
  • Learning mentor
  • Counselling and student welfare
  • Working with offenders
  • Health education roles
  • Parent education (for example Sure Start courses)
  • Museum education officer
  • Speech and language therapist
  • Schools liaison
  • School support and assessment