As is the case with many professions that require training or specific qualifications, becoming a teacher is a process. And one that requires a fair amount of effort.
Depending on the route you take, becoming a teacher can require years of study before you can qualify.
However, once you have qualified, you’ll be embarking on a lifelong career in which you’ll be making a lasting difference to thousands of children.
Whether you choose to teach at primary or secondary, you will have a direct hand in helping children understand the world around them. Whether that’s history, mathematics, the sciences, religious studies and beyond.
As a secondary school teacher, you will have the opportunity to specialise in a particular area of study, supporting students on their journey towards university.
In most instances that will mean studying that subject at university, so you’ll need relevant qualifications first.
What Qualifications do I need to be a Teacher?
To become a primary school teacher, you will need to be educated to degree level. This can be an undergraduate degree in a subject of your choice followed by a subsequent year of study on a PGCE programme.
Alternatively, you can study an Initial Teacher Education or Training (ITET) degree with Qualified Teacher Status (QTS).
Secondary school teachers study their chosen subject at undergraduate level and then take a PGCE. If you so choose you can also study a masters or PhD course before taking your PGCE. But no matter how qualified you are, that qualification is a requirement.
The PGCE route is most used for secondary education. This is because the subject of your degree generally determines what you’ll teach when you are qualified.
However, that’s not to say it isn’t useful for those seeking to get into primary education. Having extensive knowledge in a specific subject can be of real value to primary schools and opens up opportunities to be a subject lead at your school.
Bachelor of Education Degree
This route is more common for primary school education as it shaves off a year from your studies. This is because you only need an undergraduate degree and won’t have to do an extra year for the PGCE.
The Bachelor of Arts (BA) and Bachelor of Science (BSc) education degrees with QTS are just as useful. This is especially the case if you have a specific subject in mind that you want to teach.
Minimum requirements for university
As with many degrees and associated professions, teaching requires a minimum standard.
This is to ensure you have the basic competencies needed to teach, whether that’s at primary or secondary level.
In the majority of cases, you will need GCSE maths and English GCSE grade C/4 or above and ideally 3 others. Although some universities will be content with those two.
You will also need at least two A Levels or an Access to HE Diploma in Education. It’s also advisable to check the course requirements with the university you wish to apply to.
While these are the most common requirements that isn’t to say there aren’t others. Or, perhaps more importantly, exclusions.
Access to Higher Education Diplomas
Depending on what you want to study at university, you will need the prerequisite qualifications.
If you’re changing career you may not have the relevant qualifications. Or any qualifications.
An Access to HE Diploma is a recognised alternative to A Levels, introduced to help anyone get into university
Each course is designed in consultation with universities to ensure that the material is up to date. This ensures the best possible grounding in the subject.
Part of the course covers study skills and essay writing. So you can go to university confident that you’ll be able to keep up in lectures, and do the work.
So, if you want to become a History teacher, an Access to HE Diploma in History will get you on to a History degree. From there you can study a PGCE.
Alternatively, you can study an Access to Higher Education Diploma in Education and then study a Bachelor of Education degree.
If you’re considering secondary over primary school, we recommend the former approach. Most secondary schools will be looking for a degree in your chosen subject.
Another advantage is you only need to take one course and qualify within a year. Although you can take up to two if you need to.
One other thing that is important to consider is the way in which the course is graded. While you gain credits for completing each part of the course, your finishing mark will dictate the number of UCAS points you diploma is worth.
Top marks will be the equivalent of 3 As at A Level. Obviously the better your finishing marks, the more UCAS points your Diploma will be worth. In turn that gives you a lot more options in terms of the degrees you can apply for.
Start your learning today
Stonebridge Associated Colleges is one of the UK’s leading online learning providers. We offer a range of courses from Access to HE Diplomas, including Education, to meet your learning objectives.
All our courses are guided by experienced tutors who support you throughout your learning experience. We also have flexible payment options to help you spread the cost if need be.
For more information on how to prepare for your online learning experience read our blog here.
If you’re ready to get back into education contact a member of our sales team or enrol online today.