Entry Requirements - teaching in schools

Degree subject:

To train as a teacher in England, you need:

  • A degree (or equivalent) of a 2:2 or above. If you want to teach at secondary or post-compulsory level, your degree should be in, or relevant to, the subject you want to teach. If it's not, contact a training provider as you may be able to take a subject knowledge enhancement course.
  • At least a GCSE grade C/4 or equivalent in English and Maths. If you want to teach primary or early years you will also need a GCSE grade C/4 or equivalent in a science subject. Some training providers may accept equivalency tests but you'll need to check with the individual provider.
  • To pass the professional skills tests for numeracy and literacy. These must be passed during the application process for your teacher training course.
  • To have declared any previous convictions and undergone the criminal records check through the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS).

For Secondary teaching: Your degree subject should be relevant to the subject you hope to teach. Whether your degree is relevant may not always be clear, for instance if you are studying for a degree in engineering, you may be eligible to train to teach maths, science, or design technology. If you wish to teach a shortage subject, you may be required to take a Subject Knowledge Enhancement (SKE) course in the beginning if you want to teach before starting your teacher training.

If you are not sure whether you meet the course requirements, contact the admissions tutor for the course you are interested in.

For Primary teaching: It is very important to stress in your personal statement the relevance of your education to the curriculum you will be teaching. You may want to highlight specific modules that relate to English, mathematics or science, or mention your A-levels if they are in National Curriculum subjects.

You can use the Prospects website to see more detailed information on entry requirements in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.


You need a standard equivalent to a grade C/4 (New GCSE's Grades) in GCSE English and mathematics. If you want to teach primary, you must also have achieved a standard equivalent to a grade C/4 in a science GCSE. Some teacher training providers ask for higher GCSE grades, so read the course prospectus carefully. If you don't have the required GCSEs, check whether the teacher training provider will view your qualifications as equivalent. Some may accept equivalency tests. Alternatively, study and take the GCSE examination. Further education (FE) colleges/adult education centres and distance learning institutions often run one-year GCSE evening or day classes.

Teach First

An intensive paid two-year Leadership Development ProgrammeMinimum requirements for Teach First are:

  • 2.1 degree or above, 300 UCAS points (or equivalent, excluding General Studies).
  • Have a degree or A-levels that satisfy their Teaching subject requirements.
  • Grade C/4 (or equivalent) in GCSE Maths and English (Grade C/4 in one Science GCSE is also required for Primary teaching eligibility)
  • Flexibility to work anywhere within their regions

Professional Skills Tests 

For all the routes above you will have to complete the Professional Skills Tests in numeracy and literacy before beginning your teacher training. 



Last modified: 
Tuesday, March 5, 2019 - 10:42