Routes into teaching
To teach in a Welsh state school, you must have a degree, and gain Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) by following a programme of Initial Teacher Education (ITE). All teachers in Wales are also required to register with the Education Workforce Council (EWC).
In Wales, most training programmes are university or college-based, and you have a choice of programmes delivered in English or Welsh. QTS awarded by the Education Workforce Council in Wales is automatically recognised in England.
- UCAS Teacher Training is the scheme to use to apply for the main postgraduate routes leading to QTS. If you don’t already hold a degree, you can apply via UCAS Undergraduate for teacher training programmes, to graduate with QTS.
- Some more specialised teaching routes – including the Welsh Graduate Teacher Programme and Teach First – are not managed by UCAS and have a different application process. These training options offer different routes to gain QTS, depending on your professional or academic background.
University-led PGCE or PGDE
Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) and Postgraduate Diploma in Education (PGDE) training programmes are available for prospective primary and secondary school teachers. You'll get classroom experience by spending time teaching and being trained in at least two schools, as well as time at the university or college you’ve chosen, working with a group of other students and being taught by university staff.
Typically a one year programme, students must complete a minimum of 120 days in a school, among blocks of study at their chosen training provider. Spaces on popular teacher training programmes fill up quickly. Places are allocated on a first-come, first-served basis, so we would advise you to apply early. We've created a video about the available training routes to help you think through the differences between the types of training programmes, with insight from teachers.
Graduate Teacher Programme
For prospective primary and secondary teachers wishing to study for their Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) in Wales, the Graduate Teacher Programme (GTP) is an employment-based route into teaching which offers a way to qualify as a teacher while you work. Programmes typically last for one year and require students to pass a newly qualified teaching year.
The GTP is very similar to School Direct (salaried) programmes in England, but is managed and delivered by the three regional teacher training centres in Wales:
- North and Mid Wales Centre for Teacher Education
- South West Wales Centre of Teacher Education
- South East Wales Centre for Teacher Education
There are a limited number of primary and secondary places available on the GTP in Wales each year. Applications are made directly to the regional teacher training centres. For more information, visit Discover Teaching in Wales.
Teach First: Leadership Development Programme
This option combines leadership development and teacher training, giving applicants the chance to become an inspirational leader in classrooms that need it the most. It is a two year salaried programme leading to a Postgraduate Diploma in Education (PGDE) qualification. Following five weeks of intensive training, you’ll continue to learn on the job while you work towards QTS.
Bachelor of Education (BEd) degrees
Bachelor of Education (BEd) teacher training programmes are an undergraduate route for those who would like to follow a career in teaching, and graduate with Qualified Teacher Status (QTS). BEd programmes typically last three years, and are a popular route for prospective primary school teachers. Some providers do offer secondary-level BEd programmes for specific specialisms.
Bachelor of Arts (BA) and Bachelor of Science (BSc) with QTS
Bachelor of Arts (BA) or Bachelor of Science (BSc) degrees with Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) are popular with prospective secondary school teachers, and focus on developing specialist subject knowledge required to teach. Not a common route for those wanting to study for primary teacher training programmes, most providers only offer BA and BSc with QTS for secondary teaching.
Certificate of Higher Education (CertHE): Introduction to Secondary Teaching
This Wales-only training route is for prospective secondary teachers who may not have any formal academic qualifications, but do have a passion for maths, science, or design technology. This route gives you the chance to earn the credits needed to meet the entry requirements for BSc (Hons) degree programmes, enabling you to work towards QTS in three years.
The teaching profession looks for the highest quality candidates, so you’ll need to meet the following requirements before you can be accepted for a training programme.
As teaching involves working with children on a daily basis, there are some non-academic requirements you'll need to meet to make sure teaching’s the right job for you.
Declaration of criminal convictions
Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) in England and Wales
The amount providers charge varies – for UK and EU students, it can be up to £9,250 per year for a full-time training programme. You can see how much your chosen provider charges when you use our search tool to find postgraduate training programmes. Alternatively, you can find this information on the training provider’s website.
In Wales, you may be eligible for funding through tuition fee loans, training grants, or salaried programmes to support you during your training.
Welsh Medium Improvement Scheme
Tuition fees and maintenance loans
Why teach in Wales?
Visit the Discover Teaching website for more information, support, and guidance about what it is like to train and teach in Wales.
Hear first-hand from Meleri Beynon, a primary school teacher from Cardiff, about her inspiration, experience, and advice for becoming a teacher in Wales.
When I graduated, I worked in children's events management and it was then I made up my mind to teach. I was also interested in pursuing a career through the medium of Welsh."
Meleri Beynon, Cardiff