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Different Teaching Qualifications

These days, teaching is a popular career choice among many graduates, particularly those with strong degrees. Not only does it have a tempting starting salary of £21,000 per year, but it is also a more stable career choice and allows hard working, passionate and talented graduates the opportunity to progress in their career.

If you’re interested in teaching, there are a number of different ways in which you can pursue this particular career path...

University-based Learning



Once you have your degree, you will be eligible to consider studying for a Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE). This course will not add to your subject knowledge, but equips graduates with the skills required to teach to a specific audience. The majority of courses will expect graduates to have a degree classification of 2:1 or above, although this may vary depending upon the establishment.

PGCEs are offered at different levels. The PGCE (Secondary) will prepare students to teach in a secondary school setting, whereas a PGCE (primary) will equip students will the skills required to teach the national curriculum to children aged 4 – 11.



There is also the option for current teachers to study for a Master of Education. The course will allow students to gain a further understanding of how people learn and covers a wide spectrum of educational interests. The course is taught within a University setting and is often taken by those who have already started teaching, but are looking to develop their knowledge and to acquire the appropriate skills to further their career.


In-school Learning

In recent years, there have been a number of teaching programmes that offer a more practical approach to teacher training. Such programmes aim to encourage bright graduates to pursue a teaching career and often pay students while learning.



The SCITT programme is very much like a University-based programme, only the modules and teaching practice is set by a consortium of local schools and educational establishments.  In general there will be a ‘lead school’ where the SCITT students are based, although teaching practice will take place in many schools across the consortium. The majority of SCITT courses (although not all) will award students the PGCE qualification and all graduates of the programme will end up with Qualified Teaching Status.


Teach First

The Teach First programme is one that aims to reduce inequality within education at both Primary and Secondary School levels. Those who learn through the Teach First programme will be expected to spend the two years of their programme receiving a salary for teaching in under-performing schools. The salary will depend upon the region and school in which the student’s training takes place, and at the end of the two-year period you will have a teaching qualification and a wide range of experience.


Schools Direct
Schools Direct is a form of schools-based teacher training, where the responsibility of producing future teachers is shared between local schools and universities.

There are two types of programme offered, the School Direct Training Programme (tuition fee) and the School Direct Training Programme (salaried). The latter of these is only open to exceptional graduates with more than 3 years worth of work experience behind them.





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