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Guide to Teaching: Choosing your route into Teaching

001 Research your options

Research your options | Graduate Schemes | Guide to Teaching

Guide to Teaching: Introduction to Teaching | How to get into Primary or Secondary Teaching | Choosing your route into teaching | How to apply to UCAS | Making your Personal Statement | Other parts of your UCAS Application | Funding | Help and more information

Choosing your route into Teaching

Before making your decision, make sure you have as much experience in schools as possible. This will help you make an informed decision about what age group and subject you would like to teach.

Ensure you do research into which route would suit you best. You may want to think about your learning style, financial arrangements, where you would like to live and what routes are available.

Contact the University of Lincoln Careers & Employability team to help you make a decision. There are often workshops and guest speakers that can also help you learn about the different routes. Find out about upcoming events on our website:

University or School-led?

Think about if you would prefer to learn as a student and move into a career - or learn as a staff member on the job:


Postgraduate Certificate in Education

The Post Graduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) and the Post Graduate Diploma in Education (PGDE - in Scotland) are one year University-led training programmes (options to take the courses part-time over two years are available). These courses develop your teaching skills, so you will need to have a strong understanding of your chosen subject and target age group. You will study credits at a Masters degree level and complete 120 days in school. Some training providers will also offer you the opportunity to continue your study to a full Masters award. You will need to pay tuition fees but can get support through student finance.


School Direct

A programme run by a school or group of schools, in collaboration with a university or SCITT. Involving on-the-job learning, this route does not guarantee you employment with your school at the end, but it is generally expected. It can be done one of two ways:

  • Non-Salaried: Open to graduates with a 2:2 or above. You pay tuition fees, but may be eligible for a bursary.
  • Salaried: In this option you are employed by the school as an unqualified teacher. This option is only available in England, and students must have at least three years’ work experience in any field. While the cost of your training is covered, there may be charges for a qualification such as a PGCE if awarded.

School-Centred Initial Teacher Training (SCITT)

Similar to School Direct, but is a consortium of schools. Only available in England. Spend a minimum of 120 days in school as you work towards your Qualified Teacher Status (QTS). Many schools work in collaboration with a university so you have the opportunity of working towards a PGCE at the same time.

Teach First

An employment-based two-year programme aiming to create teachers to work in challenging schools with disadvantaged students in various locations. The programme is available to those with an interest in primary and secondary teaching. You will need to have 300 UCAS points and a 2:1. You will work towards a PGCE and QTS over the two years, while earning a salary from the school:

Other Routes

Early Years Initial Teacher Training (EYITT)

To become an early years teacher, working with newborns to children up to five-years old, you will need to gain Early Years Teacher Status (EYTS). There are three training routes available to graduates.

  1. Graduate Entry: You apply for a university-led programme to complete a Primary PGCE with an early years speciality. This takes twelve months and involves school placements.
  2. Graduate employment-based: This is suitable for graduates already working within an early years setting who require further training to meet the Teacher’s Standard (Early Years). This is a part-time, year-long route. It can include School-Centred Initial Teacher Training (SCITT), School Direct and Teach First.
  3. Assessment only: For experienced graduates already working in early years who also meet the Early Years Teaching Standards. This usually takes three months to complete.

Teacher Training in the post-compulsory sector

This route is for those wishing to take up teaching in the Further Education or Adult Training sectors. In this route, you may find some providers are willing to employ you without teaching qualification as long as you start working towards one as soon as you are employed. Teaching qualifications are often and advantage nonetheless.

Applications are usually made directly to the institution you wish to work for. You could also choose to do a PGCE post-compulsory course. Read more about this route here:

Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL)

These courses are a popular choice amongst graduates who are travelling. The course trains you to teach English as a foreign language to students of all ages. There are a range of different courses in this field. The most commonly accepted courses are the Certificate in English Language Teaching to Adults (CELTA - Cambridge) and Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (Cert TESOL - Trinity College London). Read more about this route here:

Click here for more information on these and further routes into teaching.

Subject Shortages

While you need to do everything you can do give yourself an edge for many teaching routes, some subjects currently need teachers more than others. You may like to give some of these under-staffed subjects some consideration.

Shortages change each year. Current teaching shortages are found in:

Guide to Teaching: Introduction to Teaching | How to get into Primary or Secondary Teaching | Choosing your route into teaching | How to apply to UCAS | Making your Personal Statement | Other parts of your UCAS Application | Funding | Help and more information

Research your options | Graduate Schemes | Guide to Teaching

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Step One Workbook
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