Routes into teaching

There are several postgraduate routes into teaching. All give you time in schools and can lead to a rewarding career in teaching. Find out more.
Relevant to
An introduction to UCAS Teacher Training
This video explains the different routes you could take into teacher training, and includes first-hand feedback from teachers.
View more videos

How to become a teacher

How to become a teacher | Get Into Teaching
Trainee teachers explain how and why they got into teaching. Video provided by Get Into Teaching.
View more videos

Becoming a teacher

To teach in a UK state school, you need to gain Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) by following a programme of Initial Teacher Education or Training (ITET) based at a university, school, or college in the UK.

There are a number of paths you can take to become a teacher, dependent on your qualifications, personal circumstances, and experience.

Universities and colleges throughout the UK offer undergraduate and postgraduate teacher training programmes. 

All postgraduate Initial Teacher Education or Training (ITET) programmes give you time in school.

  • This is great for helping you develop your teaching skills and confidence as you learn about key teaching methods.
  • There are many different teacher training programmes, so it’s important to choose the training programme that’s right for you.
  • Once you’ve selected your preferred route, check the entry requirements – there are statutory teaching requirements you must fulfil set out by the Department for Education. Some training providers also have their own specific requirements which can be checked using our search tool.
  • You can apply for up to three training programmes on your UCAS Teacher Training application. 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. Some subjects will have a limited number of places available, so make sure you don't leave your application to the last minute!

All state school teachers in the UK need Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) or the Teaching Qualification (TQ).

  • You can be recommended for these through any relevant training programme for ITET.
  • You need QTS to teach in any maintained school in England and Wales, and TQ in Scotland.
  • You can teach in independent schools, academies and free schools in England without QTS, but it’s a definite advantage to have it.

Choose from university, college and school-led training

There are a number of different routes you can take to become a teacher. Each involves:

  • a minimum of 24 weeks in at least two schools to give you practical classroom experience
  • academic study to give you the knowledge and understanding to teach successfully, tutoring in classroom management and mentoring from experienced professionals
  • an assessment of your teaching skills (through being observed teaching classes)

Find out more about:

Want to find out more about your teacher training options?

Sign up to receive our online teacher training information pack, a free step-by-step guide to applying for a teacher training programme. In addition, you’ll receive a monthly email full of hints and tips, including advice from other students who’ve already been through the UCAS Teacher Training application process.