Other routes

Find out about the other routes into becoming a teacher, besides undergraduate and postgraduate.
Relevant to

Welsh Graduate Teacher Programme

For prospective primary and secondary teachers wishing to study for their Qualified Teacher Status in Wales, the Welsh Graduate Teacher Programme (GTP) is very similar to school-led teacher programmes in England. Certified by a Welsh Initial Teacher Training Centre, non-salaried, salaried and on-the-job training options are available to students. Programmes typically last for one year and require students to pass a newly qualified teaching year.


Scottish Initial Teacher Training

Unlike England and Wales, Scottish teacher training programmes are all university-led. Available to prospective primary and secondary school teachers looking to follow an undergraduate or postgraduate programme, each programme combines theoretical understanding and practical school experience.


  • Teach First England – this programme is for high quality graduates with leadership potential to become inspirational leaders in low income communities. Following six weeks of intensive training, you’ll teach in a school for two years while working towards a PGCE.
  • Teach First Wales – Teach First expanded into Wales in 2013. While the programme has been adapted for Welsh schools and teachers, the aims and aspirations remain the same as in England.
  • Overseas qualified teachers – if you're qualified to teach in the EEA, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, or the USA, you could gain QTS in England without further training. If you're not from these countries, you could be eligible to work in England as an unqualified teacher for up to four years while you achieve QTS. The GTP in Wales has an option for overseas trained teachers to gain QTS while being employed in a school.
  • Assessment-based route to QTS for England – this option could be for you if you meet the basic requirements for teaching, and have substantial experience of working in a UK school without undergoing a teacher training programme.
  • Troops to Teachers – this option is for England only and provides an opportunity for exceptional former service personnel who are currently in the resettlement cycle to train as teachers. You will need to apply for this route through our UCAS Undergraduate scheme.
  • Researchers in Schools: Maths and Physics Chairs programme – this option is for candidates who have completed, or are finishing, their maths or physics PhD. It is a three-year salaried teacher training course that offers a combination of classroom teaching and research opportunities as you work towards gaining QTS.

Compare the routes

All the options are compared in the following tables:

Comparing the different UCAS options

  University or college-based training programme SCITT-based training programme School Direct Training Programme School Direct Training Programme (salaried)
You’re selected by the school in partnership with a university or SCITT     Yes Yes
You’re selected by a university or college with the involvement of one or more schools Yes      
You’re selected by a SCITT (school-centred initial teacher training)   Yes    
You may have the opportunity to achieve a postgraduate qualification, either a PGCE or a PGDE**   Yes Yes Yes
You’ll have the opportunity to achieve a postgraduate qualification, a PGCE or PDGE Yes      
You’ll have to pay fees for your training programme Yes Yes Yes *
You could be eligible for a bursary of up to £30,000 Yes Yes Yes  
You’ll be paid a salary while you train       Yes
You’ll be employed as an unqualified teacher during your training       Yes
You may be selected by a school with a job in mind for you     Yes Yes
The training programme is open to all graduates regardless of whether they have work experience Yes Yes Yes  
The training programme is open to graduates with at least three years’ work experience in any field       Yes
You’ll be eligible for QTS Yes Yes Yes Yes
You must apply through UCAS Teacher Training Yes Yes Yes Yes

You’ll spend a minimum of:

  • 24 weeks in a school
Yes Yes Yes Yes

* On the School Direct (salaried) programme, you will not need to pay fees for training which leads to Qualified Teacher Status (QTS). However, you should ask the school whether you would be expected to pay fees for any academic qualifications, such as PGCE, beyond this.

** Many school-led providers also offer the chance for you to achieve a postgraduate qualification; either a PGCE or a PDGE.

  Teach First Graduate Teacher Programme (GTP) Wales Assessment based route to QTS Troops to teachers (undergraduate)

Comparing the other school options not managed by UCAS

You'll be selected by the programme in conjunction with a school Yes Yes   Yes
You already have or will have to find your own placement in a school     Yes  
You will be paid a salary while you qualify Yes Yes Yes Yes
The training programme is open to all graduates Yes Yes    
The training programme is open to high quality graduates with leadership potential Yes      
The training programme is open to graduates with teaching experience in at least two schools/colleges     Yes  
The training programme is open to teachers who have qualified in another country        
This training programme is open to former service personnel       Yes
You’ll be eligible for QTS Yes Yes Yes Yes
You can expect to achieve a Postgraduate Certificate in Education Yes Yes    
This option is available in England only     Yes Yes
The option is available in Wales only   Yes    
You can’t apply for this option through UCAS Teacher Training Yes Yes Yes Yes