This area covers studies linked to teaching practice, childhood development, education theory, and research.

Graduate destinations

82,970 students were studying this subject in 2014/15.

89.4% of graduates went directly into employment.

Top five graduate destinations:

  1. Education
  2. Health and social work
  3. Public administration and defence industries
  4. Administrative and support services
  5. Wholesale and retail trade

Entry requirements

A levels – To get on to an education related degree, you will usually require at least two A levels or equivalent. Specific A levels are not generally required, unless taking a subject based degree (i.e. education with English may require an A level related to English). You will also need at least five GCSEs (A – C) including English and maths. In addition, applicants for teacher training degrees in England and Wales will require a GCSE grade C in science.

Scottish Highers View entry requirements for programmes of Initial Teacher Education (ITE) in Scotland.

Vocational courses – Other relevant Level 3/Level 6 qualifications may be accepted by some providers. It’s essential that you check alternative entry requirements with universities or colleges.


Education degrees – Some universities will interview prospective applicants, while others will select on the basis of predicted grades and the quality of the personal statement.

Initial teacher training (ITT) – Interviews form a key part of the selection process for teacher training. In addition, applicants may be required to give a short presentation, participate in a group activity, complete a written task, and/or a subject-based test. Admissions tutors will generally wish to:

  • explore your reasons for wanting to go into teaching, i.e. if you have a realistic understanding of the career
  • check you have real passion and commitment
  • find out if you possess the necessary communication and interpersonal skills required to become a teacher
  • explore your knowledge around teaching practice and education policy

David Douglass, Director of Sacred Heart Newcastle SCITT, shares his top tips for teacher training interviews on the UCAS Teacher Training blog.

Personal statement

We asked SCITT Director, Claire Harnden, what she looks for in a teacher training personal statement. In addition, your personal statement should cover:

  • your reasons for wanting to teach – and, more specifically, why you’ll enjoy teaching your chosen subject and/or age group
  • the qualities you have that will work well in the classroom – communication, organisation, and creativity are all key skills
  • how previous studies and any work experience relate to your chosen subject or age group
  • what you’ve learnt during your school experience placement(s) and how this has influenced your application
  • how you’ve benefited from any other experience you may have of working with children or young people

(Source: Get Into Teaching)

How to write your personal statement

Key areas of employment

The obvious key area of employment for education graduates is teaching. However, the transferable skills learned through this subject area can be useful in many other sectors too.

Aside from research and analytical skills, education graduates develop a wide range of other transferable skills, including communication and presentation, group work, management, problem solving, organisation, and time management. Other areas outside of teaching where these qualifications could be useful include:

  • local and central government policy development and research
  • health, social, and education support services – including youth work, speech and language therapy, probation, educational psychology, careers advice and guidance, learning mentoring, and education administration
  • advertising, marketing, and public relations
  • media and journalism
  • human resource management, including training and development
  • retail management

What courses are available?

Universities and colleges in the UK are offering courses in the following subject areas:

It includes education for all age groups, starting from early years and pre-school teaching through to education for adults. Courses range from those that have a more theoretical focus on education and learning, through to those that have a high level of practical content and offer a professional teaching qualification.

Subject combinations and available course options include:

  • single, joint, and multiple subject combinations
  • full-time, part-time, and flexible study options as well as courses with a placement (sandwich courses)
  • qualifications ranging from BA, BSc and BEd, (Hons) degrees, through to HND, HNC, and Foundation Certificates

Initial Teacher Education and Training (ITET) courses take between three to four years to complete. Bachelor of Education (BEd) degrees are a popular route for prospective primary school teachers, but some universities do offer secondary-level BEd programmes for some specialisms. Alternatively, you could study for a Bachelor of Arts (BA) or Bachelor of Science (BSc) education degree. These have a greater focus on training to teach a specific subject. Not a common route into primary school teaching, most universities only offer this route for prospective secondary teachers.

Hear first-hand from Sophie Lea, who studied a BA (Hons) Primary Degree 5-11, and Alice Hackett, who studied a BEd in Primary Teaching with QTS, about their inspiration, experience, and advice for becoming a teacher.

Are you considering an accelerated degree? Click here to read more about the possibility of completing your undergraduate course on a shorter timescale. 


If you want to combine work and study while earning a salary, you could consider an apprenticeship. Which apprenticeships are available, and how you apply, depends on where you live.

Find out more about apprenticeships across the UK.

There are seven apprenticeships in the education and childcare sector available in England, with more in development.

Each apprenticeship sets out occupational standards for specific job roles, designed by employers. The standards outline the skills, knowledge, and behaviours required to demonstrate that an apprentice is fully competent in the job role.

Higher apprenticeships (Level 4)

Degree apprenticeships (Levels 5 – 7)

Discover more about apprenticeships in teaching and lecturing

Our guide has all the info you need to know about doing an apprenticeship in this industry. Find out what it's really like from current apprentices and decide if it's the right route for you.

Teaching and lecturing industry guide

Studying at the School of Education and Lifelong Learning – Emily

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