Teaching and education sector

Want to find out more about a career in teaching?

This page has information and support about pursuing teaching. Working in education can be incredibly rewarding. This page has information and support about pursuing teaching.

For teaching, there are several training routes you can take. You can teach within early years, primary, and secondary environments with any degree, and if you want to teach an in-demand subject you may be eligible for a bursary.

Almost 1/5 of our students said they are interested in teaching & education

Explore your options

To be employed as a teacher in state-maintained schools (excluding academies) you will need to gain QTS (Qualified Teacher Status) through a period of initial teacher training (ITT) and a 2 year induction period as an Early Career Teacher  (ECT). Although QTS is not a requirement for teaching in academies or independent schools, it may be desirable.

If you want to explore the teaching sector, learn more with the below resources

Start by exploring these websites

We recommend that you explore the below websites to find out more about teaching:

Choose your training route

To be employed as a teacher in state-maintained schools (excluding academies) you will need to gain QTS (Qualified Teacher Status) through a period of initial teacher training (ITT) and a 2 year induction period as an Early Career Teacher (ECT). Although QTS is not a requirement for teaching in academies or independent schools, it may be desirable.  

There are three main routes into teaching:


PGCE or PGDipEd (Postgraduate Certificate in Education or Postgraduate Diploma in Education) with QTS. Typically, university-based and one year full-time, including extended school placements. The University of Birmingham offer this route. Apply via DfE Apply.


School-based and school-led programmes which are typically organised by partnerships of schools, last for one year and lead to QTS and may include an award of PGCE/PGDipEd in partnership with a university. 

To find out more about university and school-led training visit the Get into Teaching website and/or this UCAS website on routes into teaching.

Teach First

Teach First is a two-year employment-based programme available in various regions, in schools that are in challenging circumstances. The programme offers PGCE qualification and hands-on experience in the classroom, combined with leadership development training. 

All training routes

  • Cover a specific age range and at secondary school level, a subject specialism. Primary training covers the whole range of subjects
  • Require a degree (minimum grade requirements can vary) and for secondary this should be closely related to the subject you wish to teach
  • Require GCSE Grade C or above in English and Maths or equivalent. For Primary, GCSE Science Grade C or above

Applicants need to be able to demonstrate appropriate levels of literacy and numeracy by the end of their training programme.

Find out more about the steps to become a teacher

Hear from our graduates 

Many of our graduates from University of Birmingham have gone on to pursue careers in education. 

Daniel Wallace

Primary School Teacher - BA History, 2018

“I would recommend that you get as much experience working with young people as possible as it will allow you to get a sense of the profession. Also, I would advise you to speak to the careers service as they were extremely helpful at laying out the routes into teaching so I could see what options I had as a student.”

Read Daniel's full story below:

Attend an Employer Insights event 

Book an appointment with a Careers Adviser

If you have questions and want to find out more about pursuing a career in teaching, have a chat with one of our Careers Advisers. 

Book an appointment through your Careers Connect account.


Plan your career

If you are ready to start planning a career in teaching, follow the below steps. 

LinkedIn Learning

There are over 13,000 courses on LinkedIn Learning to enhance your CV and stand out from the crowd with valuable workplace skills.

University of Birmingham students get free access to LinkedIn Learning

Work experience 

Although it's not essential to have classroom experience before submitting an application it can help you make an informed decision about your choice.

You might also draw on other experience of working with children of the relevant ages. You can search a national register of educational establishments in England and Wales, or go through 'Get into Teaching' getting school experience pages. 

The University Student Mentoring Programme trains and supports undergraduate students to work in local schools and colleges, providing one to one mentoring support for pupils in Years 9-13.

Jobs, Skills & Volunteering in the Guild of Students often has vacancies for part time tutoring opportunities.

Bursaries and funding 

Find out about the funding for teacher training on the Get into Teaching website. 


Apply for jobs

If you have chosen your training route and are ready to apply for teacher training, have a look below. 

Application process  

There is a single application process for university and school-based training, with applications accepted from October via DfE Apply. Popular programmes will fill up very quickly in all routes so get your application in as early as possible in the recruitment cycle.

The Get Into Teaching website has advice on preparing your teacher training personal statement.

Tuition fees are payable for postgraduate ITT programmes. Loans may be available to cover the fees and other costs.

Non-repayable bursaries are available for certain ITT programmes depending on subject area (shortage/priority subjects) and degree classes. 

You can apply to our University of Birmingham PGCE teacher training programmes with QTS for primary and secondary phases. As a University of Birmingham graduate you may be eligible for discounted tuition fees through the postgraduate progression award. Information on our programmes is available on our Train to Teach at Birmingham webpages.

If you are interested in Teach First as a route into teaching, you need to apply directly through them.

Apply for teaching jobs once qualified

There are five main ways of applying for a job:

Specific vacancies

Schools recruit directly through their own advertisements and selection procedures. Advertisements for teaching posts start in January, and the peak time is between February and June. This is how most schools recruit for teaching posts.

Teacher registration schemes and databases

You register an interest to work for a school within a particular area and complete a single application form. This will then be sent to schools who have opportunities that meet your criteria. Registrations may open in the autumn; check with your local authority (LA) for dates.

Pool applications

These are similar to registration schemes, but in addition to the central application form, you may also complete the selection process centrally. Schools can then select applicants to interview from the available, approved list. Most pool applications are for primary opportunities. Dates for applications vary so check with the relevant LA for dates.

Speculative applications

Made directly to the school. You will probably be more successful if you already have contacts at the school.


Increasing numbers of teaching applications are handled by agencies, including those for permanent ECT posts. Registration with an agency will usually involve submitting an application form or CV followed by a meeting with a recruitment agent.

Search and apply for teaching jobs

Application support

When you have a clear sense of where you want to apply, the final step is making the most out of your application. Our Employability Advisers are here to help review your application documents. 


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