Routes into Teaching

Want to become a teacher but unsure which route is best for you? We've prepared this special guide to put you on the right track. 

Train to teach all ages - from early years to adults

At Derby you'll discover exciting courses which prepare you to teach all age ranges from early years to adults. There's a choice to suit you whether you're embarking on your first degree, you've just graduated or you're already in the education sector. 

You're on the threshold of making one of the most important decisions of your life - to teach! Train to teach at Derby and you're on your way to a worthwhile, rewarding and enjoyable career, one where you can truly make a difference.

Stage you wish to teach

“I was attracted to the Teacher Training courses because of its outstanding reputation, including through Ofsted. Everybody has always said how fantastic the University of Derby is for teacher training. I knew I would get the richest learning experience here.”

Rebecca Swain, BEd (Hons) Primary Education


Why study teacher training at Derby

“Do it! I had the best year of my life. It was so hard, so emotional but oh so rewarding! Derby University has a brilliant reputation for its PGCE course and it was close to home so there was no doubt that I wanted to take the course at Derby.”

Sarah Curtis, PGCE Primary

Frequently asked questions

When can I apply? 

UCAS opens for undergraduate courses in September and postgraduate courses in October. Places on teacher training courses are highly sought after, so we recommend submitting your application as early as possible. If the first stage of your application is successful, you'll be invited to an interview. 

Do I need teaching experience?

Yes. All of our routes into teaching require you to have recent, relevant experience teaching in UK schools. This experience will help you to decide which age range you'd like to teach and will support your application. 

What funding is available?

For undergraduate routes, you can apply for a student loan to fund your studies. Postgraduate students studying any of our PGCE routes are also eligible for these loans. If you choose PG Certificate Early Years with Early Years Teacher Status (0-5), you are currently entitled to a bursary which will cover the full cost of the course fees – this is paid directly to the University. Assessment Only Route to OTS is self-funded. 

I want to be a SEND teacher. What's the best route?

You do not need a specific SEND qualification in order to teach SEND students. You can therefore study any of our teacher training courses, as SEND support is embedded in all of them. If you’d like to deepen your SEND knowledge, you could choose one of the following options: 

Do I have to find my own placements?

No, we’ll arrange these for you. We have strong partnerships with a wide range of schools in the region, so we’ll ensure you receive a varied placement experience. Your placements will be within 90 minutes travel time of the University. 

What are the Skills Test?

In order to secure your place on a teacher training course, you’ll need to pass the Skills Tests in literacy and numeracy. These are held at your local Learn Direct centre. The first three attempts will be free of charge with subsequent tests incurring a cost. There is no limit to how many resits you undertake. 

We recommend practicing as much as possible first. There are example tests online that will help you to get used to the format. We also run Skills Test preparation days to help equip you with the knowledge you need to pass.

Find out more about Skills Tests here.

I don’t have grade C or above (or 4 and above in the new GCSE grading system) in the required GCSE subjects. What are my options?

It is a government requirement that trainee teachers hold these qualifications. If you don’t have them, we would recommend that you investigate resitting your GCSEs at your local college. Alternately, call our Admissions team to discuss whether your current qualifications are accepted. 

I don’t plan to live in Derby. Can I organise placements in my home town?

Unfortunately, this is not possible. All placements have to be quality assured, so we arrange your placements for you. This ensures that your placement mentors are fully trained and that our team can visit the school to assess you.

How do I gain QTLS (Qualified Teacher Learning and Skills)?

QTLS is a professional status that you can apply for once you have successfully completed your teaching qualification for the Post-14/FE and Skills sector. It has direct parity in law with QTS (Qualified Teacher Status) awarded to those teachers working in compulsory sectors of education. The award of QTLS is conferred by the Society for Education and Training (SET), the professional body for teachers in the Post-14/FE and Skills sector, upon successful completion of an electronic portfolio detailing your teaching experiences, commitment to your own professional development and reflections on your own teaching practices. There is a charge for membership to SET and for applying for QTLS. Further details can be found on the SET website.

Where can I work with the PGCE Post-14 qualification?

PGCE Post-14 graduates go on to teaching roles in a number of different settings. These include FE colleges, sixth form colleges, private training providers, independent schools, offender learning environments (prison and young offenders institutions), University Technical Colleges and schools and academies. Whilst we recommend that all graduates of this course apply for QTLS post qualification, for those who wish to teach learners aged 14 plus in a school/academy environment, we highly recommend that you apply for QTLS via SET to ensure parity of esteem in terms of pay and conditions.

Where can I study the programme part-time?

We offer the PGCE Post-14 on a full-time basis over one year. This route is aimed at those who are new to teaching, and we will find you a suitable placement to develop your teaching skills. If you’re already employed as a teacher in the Post-14/FE and Skills sector, you can study our PGCE Post-14 route part-time over two years at one of our collaborative partner colleges. Visit our website to view our current list of partners.

Request your e-brochure

For more information on the courses we offer please request your e-brochure