Undergraduate routes into teaching

Bachelor or Master of Education (BEd) (MEd) courses

  • Bachelor of Education courses are honours degrees, usually lasting three years. In Scotland, courses last four years and lead to a Master of Education (MEd) qualification.
  • Course content varies between Initial Teacher Training (ITT) providers but full-time degrees generally last three to four years. Those studying part-time will take four to six years to complete the course.
  • BEd/MEd is a popular option for prospective primary school teachers but there are a few ITT providers which do run BEd courses specifically aimed at those wishing to teach at secondary school level.  These will usually be in limited subjects e.g. Music and Physical Education. Secondary courses are common in Scotland but the qualification achieved is referred to as MA(Ed).

About the course

Course content and instruction will vary between ITT provider. Below we provide a rough overview of a typical BEd course but we strongly advise consulting individual university web pages for more specific information.

  • In year 1 students generally study the core subjects associated with their teaching. For example primary BEd students will study English, Maths and Science whereas a BEd Music student will gain a solid foundation in all aspects of music and performance. This will be alongside some professional studies.
  • In year 2 BEd students learn about their subjects and teaching practice in more depth whilst gaining some experience in schools.
  • In year 3 students will participate in extended placements whilst conducting action-based research. Action-based research means implementing a teaching practise and reporting on its impact on learning, all with the purpose of helping a student to reflect on and improve their best practise.
  • MEd students will typically have a fourth year developing their understanding of education in society and further improving their practise.

lehrerin zeigt kleinen kinder etwas am tablet © contrastwerkstatt Children in elementary school on the workshop with their teacher © johoo

Entry requirements

  • Candidates are required to have GCSEs (A–C) in English and Maths*. Primary candidates must also possess at least one GCSE (A–C) in Science*.
  • Candidates are also required to have good A Level/Highers grades. If applying for a BEd at secondary level candidates will be required to have an A Level in a relevant subject.
  • Providers usually accept other academic equivalencies please consult their admissions websites for more information.
  • Candidates must pass their Professional Skills Tests prior to undertaking any teacher training in England.

*Those wishing to train in Wales will need a grade B or above.


  • Candidates apply for BEd/MEd courses via the University and Colleges Admissions Services (UCAS). Find courses using our Course Chooser
  • Candidates may be selected to attend interview which will include subject knowledge audits.
  • Candidates are subject to Disclosure and Barring Services (DBS) checks as part of the admissions process.


BEd/MEd students will be eligible for the same government funding as awarded to all undergraduate students, awarded according to the same criteria. More information can be found in our Fees section.

Fully qualifying

  • Students who successfully complete their undergraduate teacher training in England or Wales are awarded Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) in addition to their Bachelor/Masters degree. 
  • Students who complete their undergraduate teacher training in Northern Ireland are provisionally registered with the General Teaching Council for Northern Ireland (GTCNI) in addition to receiving their Bachelor/Masters degree.
  • Students who successfully complete their undergraduate teacher training in Scotland are provisionally registered with the General Teaching Council for Scotland (GTCS) in addition to receiving their Bachelor/Masters degree. 

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