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Find out about the routes into teaching

If you want to begin a career in teaching but don’t know how to start, watch our videos and find out more about the different routes you could take.

  • Undergraduate-led route

    Before you start a course in early years, primary or secondary teaching, you need to pass a skills test in literacy and numeracy to qualify you to work in nurseries or primary schools. There are also specific courses that qualify you to work in a secondary school (teaching children aged 11–16 years).

    These are 3 year full time courses but some universities may also offer part time top-ups courses in Early Years and Primary. These can take two years if you already have undergraduate credits from previous studies.

    On all the courses you undertake placements in a school or early years setting which will give you practical experience. Apply for your course through the UCAS website.

  • Uni-led route

    You can train for one year and qualify to teach in early years, primary, secondary or post-16 including further education colleges (FE).

    You will gain practical experience by working on placements, on all of the courses in an early years setting, school or college to get you ready for your teaching career. Apply for your course online through UCAS Teacher Training.

  • School-led route

    You can do this route in several different ways through School Direct by School-Centred Initial Teacher Training or through Teach First.

    You will train for one year and qualify to teach in early years, primary, secondary or post-16 including further education colleges.

    For School Direct, you apply through UCAS Teacher Training. In some cases, you could earn a salary while you train and often you may find employment with the school at the end of your training.

    If you have a 2.1 degree or above, you can apply for the Teach First Leadership Development programme. This provides intensive training in challenging schools for a minimum two-year placement.

    For school direct you need to apply online at UCAS Teacher Training or for Teach First you need to apply direct.

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