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Frequently Asked Questions

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What are the graduate routes into teaching?

You will usually be required to do a PGCE (Post Graduate Certificate in Education) course to gain QTS (Qualified Teacher Status). This can be done over 1 or 2 years, directly with a university or through a SCITT (School Centered Initial Teacher Training). For secondary teaching the course you follow will be dependent on your degree subject.

You can also apply to Schools Direct which means that you will be placed in the school of your choice. You will still gain a PGCE, accredited by a University.

You can also apply for the employment based GTP (Graduate Trainee Programme), details of which are available on the Training and Development Agency website

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What are the undergraduate routes into teaching?

You can complete a BEd (Bachelor of Education) course, which can be a 3 or 4 years course.

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What financial support is available?

If you are starting a postgraduate training programme (PGCE) you may be eligible for a training bursary.  See the table below.

Eligibility 2015/16
Scholarships Bursaries  
Trainee with 1st/PhD 2:1/Masters 2:2 Other  
Physics £25,000 £25,000 £25,000 £15,000 £9,000
Maths £25,000 £25,000 £20,000


Chemistry, computing £25,000 £25,000 £20,000 £15,000 £0
Languages - £25,000 £20,000 £15,000 £0
Biology - £15,000 £12,000 £10,000 £0
Primary maths - £12,000 £12,000 £12,000 £9,000
Geography, D&T - £12,000 £9,000 £4,000 £0
Music - £9,000 £4,000 £4,000 £0
English, history, RE, primary - £9,000 £4,000 £0 £0

You may also be eligible for a student loan to cover your tuition fees and need to speak with the Student Loan Company about this.

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What are the school leaving qualifications required?

To teach at secondary level you will need to have a C grade GCSE or equivalent in Maths and English.

To teach at primary level you will need to have a C grade GCSE or equivalent in Maths, English and Science.

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Are my international qualifications recognised?

Universities are happy to recognise qualifications gained overseas but need to ensure that they are of an equivalent standard to those gained in the UK. The applicant needs to provide evidence of this. It is possible to do this through NARIC. See the website for further details.

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Do I need experience of working with children prior to applying?

Most universities do require you to have had some experience in schools or working with children prior to starting the course. It is possible to gain this experience once you have been offered a place (but before the course starts). However, it must be remembered that during an interview you will be asked about your interest in working with children. Any experience you have had will be reflected in your answers.

Please contact Sheba Joseph, the MERIT Adviser, if you would like to discuss this further.

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How do I apply?

If you are applying for an undergraduate course you will need to apply through UCAS:

If you are applying for a PGCE you will need to apply through GTTR: 

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How many institutions can I apply to?

For undergraduate entry you can apply to 5 institutions through UCAS.

For post-graduate entry  it depends on whether you’re in Apply 1 or Apply 2.

  • In Apply 1 you can make up to three choices.
  • In Apply 2 you can make one choice at a time as long as you're not holding a place from Apply 1.
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Can I get help with my personal statement?

Please contact our MERIT Adviser, Sheba Joseph, who will be happy to assist you with your personal statement.

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Can my friends be referees?

It is essential to have at least one referee who knows you in a professional capacity, for example a university tutor or an employer.

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What is clearing/ Track?

If you have not received an offer from any of the institutions you have applied to, or if you have not made the grades required by your accepted institution, you can apply for any vacant courses. For undergraduate applications this can be done from the day the A-level results are published. For postgraduate applications, if you have not obtained a place by the middle of March, you can use the Track service and make 4 new choices. After the middle of March you can use the Extra service (via Track) to apply to other providers who still have places. From 1st July you can apply direct to providers who still have places available.

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Can I teach if I have a teaching qualification from abroad?

Yes. If your qualification is from an EU country you can apply for jobs in a similar way to other English qualified teachers. However, if you having a teaching qualification from a non-EU country you can apply to work as an Overseas Trained Teacher for up to 4 years without QTS. You will need to apply directly to a school.

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Where can I find further related FAQs?

Here are some other FAQ websites that you may find useful: