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How to Become a Qualified Teacher, a Guide to the Different Routes into Teaching!

Feel like you’re ready to make your mark on the teaching world?

You may already be working within an education setting, perhaps as a teaching assistant, and would love the opportunity to take your career to the next level by taking the lead and becoming a fully qualified teacher?

Perhaps you’re not working in education, but have always been attracted to the possibility of making a positive difference in children's lives and truly finding your calling?

Whether you’re already working in a school or completely new to teaching we’re going to answer some of the questions you may have about getting started as a qualified teacher. We’ll look into some of the different routes available to you and also how you can use your skills to enter the world of teaching.

How do I become a qualified teacher? (The short answer!)

There are a number of routes to becoming a qualified teacher. If you have a degree, you can work towards acquiring QTS (Qualified Teacher Status). If you do not have a degree and meet some specific criteria, you can work towards QTLS (Qualified Teacher Learning and Skills).

Now we’ve looked at the short answer, let’s first take a closer look at why you may want to become a teacher and the options for getting involved in this challenging but highly rewarding career.

Why become a teacher?

We all remember favourite teachers from our school days, whether they were the ones who inspired us to study a subject further, or the ones who engaged us with their relaxed and fun approach, encouraging us to do our best.

The reality of being a teacher is that you have the privilege of being the person to inspire and equip your pupils with the skills that will benefit them throughout their life.

Teaching is a great opportunity to share your knowledge, having a lasting and – more importantly – positive impact on young people.

Can I become a teacher without a degree?

Although teaching is by and large a graduate profession, the good news is that you can become a teacher without holding a degree.

But first, let’s look at QTS, the degree route into teaching.

What is QTS?

To become a teacher, you will need to achieve what is known as Qualified Teacher Status (QTS).

The usual route to obtaining this status is to embark on an Initial Teacher Training (ITT) programme. Take a look below to see what you need in order to obtain Qualified Teacher Status.

QTS only route

If you’ve been working as an unqualified teacher for several years and also have a degree, you can complete a programme that offers assessment only. As an example, you’ll need the following (but check with the provider):

  • GCSE Maths and English grade 4 (C) or above, and GCSE Science grade 4 (C) or above if you would like to teach in a primary school

  • A degree (2:2 or higher)

  • 3 years’ experience working as an unqualified teacher

Other routes to QTS


You could undertake a postgraduate teaching qualification, which is a mixture of learning education theory and working in schools. Both PGCE and PGDE lead to QTS.

Postgraduate teaching apprenticeship

You could search for a postgraduate teaching apprenticeship. These are suitable for someone with a degree who is currently employed as an unqualified teacher. You will also need GCSE Maths and English (and Science if you are teaching Primary).

Undergraduate degree

A number of universities offer an undergraduate degree that will ultimately lead to Qualified Teacher Status, also allowing you to specialise in a particular subject if you wish to.

  • Bachelor of Education (BEd)

  • Bachelor of Arts (BA) with QTS

  • Bachelor of Science (BSc) with QTS.

What is QTLS?

Qualified Teacher Learning and Skills (QTLS) is a way of progressing into teaching that enables you to become a qualified teacher without the need for a degree.

Since 1st April 2012, teachers with QTLS have been recognised as qualified to teach in schools and the status has been recognised as equivalent to QTS (Qualified Teacher Status).

This is suitable if you:

“Qualified Teacher Learning and Skills (QTLS) is a way of progressing into teaching that enables you to become a qualified teacher without the need for a degree.”

How can we help?

  • The Teacher Training UK programme includes an Ofqual recognised accredited teaching qualification.

  • In addition, on completion of the taught programme you will be eligible to start a period of professional formation leading to Qualified Teacher Learning and Skills (QTLS) status, which we will fully support you through.

  • QTLS is awarded by the Society for Education and Training upon completion of the 6 month professional development period.

  • Holders of QTLS have legal parity with teachers in schools and are therefore not required to serve an induction year prior to receiving a full teacher salary.

And finally…

If you’re interested in applying for the Teacher Training UK programme, further information can be found on our website.

  • Get in touch with one of our friendly team and they’ll be able to answer any questions you may have.

  • Come and see us in person and find out about what we offer with one of our expert trainers.

  • Visit our website for more information about the programme.


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