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 an induction period as a newly qualified teacher (NQT). Although QTS is not a requirement for teaching in academies or independent schools, it may be preferred. 

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 period of induction as a newly qualified teacher (NQT).

Although QTS is not a requirement for teaching in academies or independent schools, it may be preferred. 

There are three main routes into teaching:


PGCE or PGDipEd (Postgraduate Certificate in Education or Postgraduate Diploma in Education). Typically university-based and one year full-time, including school placements. Apply via UCAS.


School-based and school-led programmes which are typically organised by partnerships of schools, last for one year and may include 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 specific regions, in schools that are in challenging circumstances. Combines PGCE and NQT 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

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 always essential to have classroom experience before submitting an application, it can increase your chances of getting a place on a course.

Getting classroom observation experience in state schools for the subject and age range you wish to teach will support your application, in addition to other experience of working with children of the relevant age. Locate schools in your geographical area to find this experience.

Most local authorities will have a list of schools on their website. You can also search a national register of educational establishments in England and Wales.

To find out more about these schemes and how to get relevant work experience visit the Get into Teaching 'getting school experience' page. 

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 Prospects 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 autumn via UCAS. Popular programmes will fill up very fast so get your application in as early as possible.

You can apply for up to three places. If you are interested in Teach First you need to apply directly through them (recruitment takes place throughout the year, but certain subject areas fill quickly).

The GetInto Teaching 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. Nonrepayable bursaries are available for certain ITT programmes depending on subject area (shortage/priority subjects) and degree class. For more information about funding visit the Get into Teaching bursaries and funding page

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 NQT 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. 


Professional Services