Careers Guide: How to Get Into Teaching

During this part of the year where university applications begin, many of our sixth form students, and maybe even some high school students, begin to think about their future career. Although this can be quite a daunting thought, many careers lead back to your choices when leaving school, especially teaching which requires a university degree. That’s why we’ve created a quick guide on how to get into teaching…


Before you begin any kind of teacher training or head off to get your degree, you need certain grades at GCSE and sometimes even A-Level. At GCSE, you need a grade C (or equivalent) in both maths and English and if you’re wanting to teach primary or key stages 2/3, you will also need a GCSE in a science subject. In terms of A-Levels, your chosen university may require you to achieve certain grades in order to get onto the course however a minimum of at least two A-levels is often required.

After Sixth Form
You can’t go straight into a teaching role without a degree and so after sixth form, it’s time for university. As an undergraduate, you can get a Bachelor of Education (BEd) which takes three to four years and combines a degree with the initial teacher training required. This degree is often a popular route for those wanting to become a primary school teacher. A BA or BSc degree can also be a choice, but you must gain a Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) too.

Post Graduate
Once you’ve got your degree, you can embark on a postgraduate certificate in education (PGCE) which is a one-year course that focuses on your teaching skills, not the subject you want to teach. Within the PGCE, you will have 12 weeks of seminars and tutorials as well as 18 weeks hands-on experience teaching in schools. It’s this experience that can significantly improve your chances of getting a teaching job. If you’ve had enough of lectures and seminars by this point, you could instead choose ‘School-Centred Initial Teacher Training’ which is very similar, however there are fewer lectures and more on-the-job training.

Alternative Routes
If you don’t want to go to university and get a degree, there are some other routes that may be possible for you. The Registered Teacher Programme is intended for non-graduates who have some experience of higher education, but not the qualification. This might be for you if you have done the first two years of a BA, but not completed the course. For this course, you must find a school that will employ you and support you through the programme, they will receive funding for doing so.

Once you’re qualified, the world is your oyster as they say! Many newly-qualified teachers find jobs in schools that they have completed training in, but you can also find vacancies across the internet or as published by the Local Education Authority.