How to choose your teacher training course

All primary and secondary 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-funded 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 on the training provider’s course page. This is so you do not waste time on an application you’re unlikely to be successful with.

Your qualifications

You need to have a degree in any subject to be able to train to teach. But the degree grade that course providers will accept may vary. For example, most providers will accept a minimum degree grade of 2:2, but some may require you to have a 2:1. So you’ll need to check each course provider’s requirements on their course page. 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 help comparing English and international qualifications.

Your right to work or study 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 primary and secondary schools in England need you to have qualified teacher status (QTS) to teach. Without QTS you may not be fully qualified to teach in your chosen school and will not receive the same pay and support when you start teaching.

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

If your teacher training course leads to QTS, you may be eligible for a scholarship or bursary to help you train.

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 with settled status or indefinite leave to remain in the UK, you may be eligible for a tuition fee loan, maintenance loan, bursary or scholarship.

Other non-UK citizens will not be eligible for student finance, but may be eligible for a bursary or scholarship to train to teach languages and physics. Learn more about fees and financial support for non-UK trainee teachers.

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. If you’re a non-UK citizen, you’re very unlikely to get a place on a salaried course.

You can find out what you’ll need to get on a salaried teacher training course.

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 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.

You can apply to a maximum of 4 courses at one time.

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 (they may close earlier)

Full-time or part-time courses

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

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

Find out what to expect on your teacher training.

Find your teacher training course

Take a look at the different teacher training courses available.

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