Find out more about Initial Teacher Education (ITE) programmes in Northern Ireland.

Routes into teaching

To teach in a primary or post-primary (secondary) school in Northern Ireland, you must have a degree and a recognised teacher training qualification. All teachers are required to register with the General Teaching Council for Northern Ireland (GTCNI).

There are two routes available to prospective teachers: a four year undergraduate Bachelor of Education (BEd), or a one year Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE). Initial Teacher Education (ITE) programmes are available from the following universities and colleges in Northern Ireland:

  • Queen’s University School of Education
  • Saint Mary’s University College
  • Stranmillis University College
  • The Open University
  • The University of Ulster

Applications and entry requirements

For the BEd course at Stranmillis University College, you will need to apply through the UCAS Undergraduate scheme.
All other applications are made directly to the relevant university or college. Check the provider’s website for specific course information, tuitions fees, and entry requirements. 

It’s likely there will also be some non-academic conditions you’ll need to meet before you can take up your place on the training programme. These include a criminal record check which is mandatory for all entrants but there may be other conditions. Please check 'eligibility to teach' requirements and Access NI checks. For more information, visit Northern Ireland Department of Education (DENI).

Teacher training for primary education in England and Wales, applicants should apply to the relevant university/college through UCAS.

Applying for teacher training programmes in Wales or ScotlandRegister and apply in your UCAS Hub

Or, if you're applying for a teacher training programme in in England, use the DfE's 'Apply for teacher training' service.

Funding and support

If you’re undertaking teacher training in Northern Ireland, check what funding you might be eligible for by visiting NI Direct – Student Finance.

Teaching in other parts of the UK

  • To teach in an English state school, you must apply for Qualified Teacher Status (QTS). With a teaching qualification from a university in Northern Ireland, you may be able to gain QTS without any further training or assessment. For more information, visit the National College for Teaching & Leadership.
  • To teach in Wales, you must apply for Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) through the Education Workforce Council (EWC). With a teaching qualification from a university in Northern Ireland, you may be awarded QTS in Wales in recognition of your status.
  • To teach in a Scottish state school, you must be registered with the General Teaching Council for Scotland (GTCS). You will need to submit a formal application which will assess your qualifications to make sure they meet the academic study and teacher education criteria.