How to choose your teacher training course

All postgraduate teacher training courses include time spent in school placements with some theoretical learning.

The main differences between courses are:

  • what you need to get onto the course
  • the qualifications awarded by the course
  • if the course is fee-paying or salaried
  • the type of course provider
  • if the course is full-time or part-time

What you need to get onto the course

Some training courses have specific eligibility requirements.

It’s important to check the requirements for each course you apply to, so you do not waste time on an application you’re unlikely to be successful with.

Your qualifications

All postgraduate teacher training courses require you to have:

  • a degree in any subject
  • GCSEs at grade 4 (C) or above in English and maths (and science if you want to teach primary)

Most course providers will accept a degree grade of 2:2 or higher, but some may require you to have a 2:1.

Check each course provider’s requirements on their course page. You can also find out about the qualifications you need to teach.

If you have qualifications from outside the UK, you’ll need to show that they’re the same standard as UK qualifications. You can get a statement to show this from the UK European Network of Information Centres (UK ENIC)(opens in new window).

Your right to work in the UK

You’ll need the right to work or study in the UK to do your teacher training in England.

If you’re a non-UK citizen without the right to work in the UK, you should only apply to courses that have visa sponsorship available. You can filter by ‘visa sponsorship’ to find courses where visas can be sponsored(opens in new window).

If your application is successful, the training provider may be able to help you with applying for your visa. Find out how to apply for your visa to train to teach in England.

The qualifications awarded by the course

Most schools in England need you to have qualified teacher status (QTS) to teach.

Most teacher training courses will award QTS, but some will just award a postgraduate certificate in education (PGCE), and some will award both.

Without QTS, you will not eligible for a scholarship or bursary to help you train. You also may not be fully qualified to teach in your chosen school and will not receive the same pay and support when you start teaching.

If the course is fee-funded or salaried

Fee-funded teacher training

Most teacher training courses are fee-funded – this means you have to pay tuition fees and will not earn a salary while you train.

There are ways to fund your training, for example, through tuition fee and maintenance loans. You may also be eligible for a bursary or scholarship.

You can find out about the different ways to fund your training.

If you’re a non-UK citizen without indefinite leave to remain in the UK, you will not usually be eligible for a bursary or scholarship, unless you train to teach languages or physics.

Salaried teacher training

Some courses are salaried, which means you’ll receive an unqualified teacher’s salary while you train.

Places on salaried courses are limited and very competitive. You can find out what you’ll need to get on a salaried teacher training course.

If you’re a non-UK citizen, the chance of getting a place on a salaried course is very limited.

The type of course provider

Your teacher training course might be provided by:

  • a university (sometimes referred to as university-led training)
  • a school or group of schools (sometimes referred to as school-led training, or an apprenticeship)
  • Teach First(opens in new window) (a charitable organisation)

Once you’ve found a course that you’re interested in, you can talk to the training provider before you apply. For example, you might want to find out:

  • where your placements and theoretical learning might happen
  • how many schools you’ll be doing placements in and how long each placement will last
  • the start and finish dates of the course

It’s a good idea to apply to a range of providers to increase your chances of being successful on a course.

For example, if you’re applying for 4 courses, you might want to apply for 2 courses provided by universities, and 2 provided by schools.

If you’re a non-UK citizen, you should confirm with the training provider:

  • if they offer visa sponsorship
  • the timing for non-UK applications

Full-time or part-time courses

Postgraduate teacher training usually takes 9 months full-time, or 18 to 24 months part-time.

There are usually more full-time courses available than part-time.

You can find out what to expect on your teacher training.

Find your teacher training course

Take a look at the different teacher training courses available.

Search for a course

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