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Undergraduate Routes into Teaching

In most cases, to become a fully qualified teacher you need to gain an undergraduate degree. There are several courses available in the UK, for both primary and secondary education, which provide you with a degree and qualifies you to teach all in one package. These are lead by Initial Teacher Training (ITT) providers (certain universities, colleges and schools which offer training).

Here are our many undergraduate routes on becoming a teacher:

Student studying for a teaching degree in the UK

What is a Bachelor or Master of Education (BEd/MEd)?

A Bachelor of Education (BEd) course leads to an undergraduate honours degree. In Scotland, it leads to a Master of Education (MEd) degree.

Full-time degrees generally last three years (four in Scotland). Part-time degrees take four to six years to complete.

BEd/MEd is a popular option for those who want to be primary school teachers.

If you want to teach at secondary level, some ITT providers run secondary level-specific BEd courses. These are usually in limited subjects such as music and physical education. Secondary courses are common in Scotland but the qualification achieved is an MA(Ed).

Click to skip to:
Course detail
Entry requirements
How to apply

What funding is available
How you qualify

What is a BEd/MEd course like?

Course content and instruction will vary between each ITT provider. The following is a rough overview of a typical BEd/MEd course. But we advise you to consult individual university web pages for specific information.

Year 1

You'll generally study the core subjects associated with your strand of teaching. For example, if you’re a primary BEd student, you’ll study English, maths and science. If you’re a BEd Music student, you’ll gain a solid foundation in all aspects of music and performance. This will be alongside some professional studies.

Year 2

You’ll learn about your subject and teaching practice in more depth, whilst gaining some experience in schools.

Year 3

You’ll take part in extended placements whilst conducting action-based research. This means implementing a teaching practice and reporting on its impact on learning. This helps you to reflect on and improve your practice.

Year 4 (MEd only)

MEd students also have a fourth year of study. You'll develop your understanding of education in society and further improve your practice.

What are the entry requirements for a BEd/MEd course?

  • GCSEs grade A–C (or equivalent) in English and Maths*. If you want to teach at primary level you must also have at least one GCSE grade A–C (or equivalent) in Science*
  • Good A Level/Highers grades. If you want to teach at secondary level you’ll need an A Level in a relevant subject
  • You must pass your professional skills tests before undertaking any teacher training in England.

*If you wish to train in Wales you’ll need a grade B or above.

How to apply for a BEd/MEd course

You can apply via the University and Colleges Admissions Services (UCAS). Find courses using our Course Chooser.

You may have to attend an interview which will include subject knowledge audits.

You are subject to Disclosure and Barring Services (DBS) checks as part of the admissions process.

What funding is available for BEd/MEd courses?

You’ll be eligible for the same government funding as awarded to all undergraduate students, according to the same criteria. See our Fees and financial support section for more information.

How you qualify

Successfully complete your undergraduate teacher training and you’ll gain a bachelor’s or master’s degree. Additionally:

  • in England and Wales you’ll achieve Qualified Teacher Status (QTS)
  • in Northern Ireland you’ll be provisionally registered with the General Teaching Council for Northern Ireland (GTCNI)
  • in Scotland you’ll be provisionally registered with the General Teaching Council for Scotland (GTCS).

See our After qualifying section for more information, including details of the induction year leading to full registration.

Bachelor of Arts (BA) or Bachelor of Science (BSc) with Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) courses – England and Wales

BA/BSc with QTS courses focus on providing you with specialist subject knowledge to teach your chosen subject. Whereas BEd/MEd courses focus on the principles of teaching and learning.

Full-time degrees generally last three to four years. If you study part-time it will take four to six years. Courses only exist in England and Wales.

BA/BSc with QTS courses are common for students hoping to become secondary school teachers. Some courses are designed for students who want to teach in primary schools.

Click to skip to:
Course detail
Entry requirements
How to apply

What funding is available
How you qualify

What is a BA/BSc with QTS course like?

Below is a rough overview of a typical BA/BSc with QTS course. Content and instruction will differ between ITT providers. So we advise you to consult individual university web pages for specific information.

Year 1

You’ll explore your chosen subject in depth as well as its context within teaching and learning. If studying for a BA/BSc with QTS in primary education, you may take a deep look into the pedagogy of teaching and learning.

Year 2

You’ll further explore your subject and undertake some school placement experience.

Year 3

You’ll spend most of your time on school placements so that you’re ready to practice when you graduate. You’ll conduct action-based research where you’ll implement a teaching practice and reporting on its impact on learning. This will help you to reflect on and improve your practice.

What are the entry requirements for a BA/BSc with QTS course?

  • GCSEs A–C (or equivalent) in English and Maths*. If you want to teach at primary level, you must also have at least one GCSE A–C (or equivalent) in Science*.
  • Good A Levels/Highers (or equivalent) with at least one in your specialist subject. There is usually a minimum amount of UCAS points required.
  • You must pass your professional skills tests before undertaking any teacher training in England.

*If you want to train in Wales you’ll need at least a grade B.

How to apply for a BA/BSc with QTS course

You can apply for a BA/BSc with QTS course via the University and Colleges Admissions Services (UCAS). Find courses using our Course Chooser.

You may have to attend an interview which will include knowledge audits.

You are subject to Disclosure and Barring Services (DBS) checks as part of the admissions process.

What funding is available for BA/BSc with QTS courses?                  

You’ll be eligible for the same government funding awarded to all undergraduate students, according to the same criteria. See our Fees and financial support section for more information.

A £9,000 bursary is available if you’re an undergraduate training to teach physics or maths at secondary level in England. You'll receive the bursary in your final year.

How you qualify

Successfully complete your undergraduate teacher training in England or Wales and you’ll achieve Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) in addition to your bachelor’s degree.

See our After qualifying section for more information, including details about induction and full registration.