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.
- For PGCE and PGDE programmes, you’ll need to hold an undergraduate degree awarded by a UK higher education provider, or a recognised equivalent qualification.
- You’ll need to have achieved a standard equivalent to grade B, or above, in the GCSE examinations in English and/or Welsh and mathematics before your training programme starts. A grade 5 will be accepted as equivalent to grade B, from reformed GCSEs in England. All Welsh training providers offer an equivalency test. In most cases, this is for applicants with GCSE grade C or equivalent in English or maths. Cardiff Metropolitan University does consider applications from candidates with a GCSE grade D, if they are applying for some secondary routes.
- If you intend to train to teach pupils aged three to 11 (early years and primary), you must also have achieved a standard equivalent to a grade C, or above, in a GCSE science subject examination.
Unlike in England, applicants wanting to become a teacher in Wales are not required to pass the professional skills tests. However, training providers ask you to sit numeracy and literacy tests at your interview, and may have additional requirements you will need to meet before you’re accepted on the programme.
If you studied outside the UK, check the National Academic Recognition Information Centre (NARIC) website to find out whether your qualifications are of an equivalent level to UK GCSEs, A levels, and an undergraduate degree. If you have non-UK qualifications, you will need a Statement of Comparability from NARIC. This can take some time, so we would advise you to start the process before you submit your application.
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.
You may be required to have up to two weeks’ classroom experience before you begin teacher training. Details of the requirements, and how you can meet them, can be found on the Discover Teaching website.
If you can spend some time observing and helping out with lessons in a local school before you apply, it will help strengthen your application. You can use the experience in your personal statement, showing what you’ve gained from it and how it’s increased your motivation to be a teacher.
When you accept a place on a training programme, your training provider may send you a health questionnaire to find out about your medical fitness. Some applicants may be asked to have a medical examination. If you have a disability, it’s helpful if you give us full details on your application, so training providers can try to make any adjustments you may need.
Declaration of criminal convictions
If you have a criminal record, it won’t necessarily prevent you becoming a teacher. You’ll need to disclose any criminal convictions, cautions, or bind-overs, and you’ll need to agree to an enhanced criminal record check. We also advise you to discuss your circumstances with training providers before you apply.
Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) in England and Wales
This is the government scheme that replaced the Criminal Records Bureau. This enables training providers to identify people who are barred from working with children and vulnerable adults. Check with the DBS to see what you need to do to comply with these arrangements.