Faculty of Education, Social Sciences and Law

School of Education

How to become a teacher

In this Section:

School experience

We want you to make the right decision for your career. This means exploring your options in detail, and gaining an understanding of the teaching profession before you apply. We recommend that all applicants have at least 10 days experience in a UK classroom prior to application. You can apply directly to any school to observe lessons and experience the setting. When in the classroom, you should look out for:

  • what the teacher does to encourage learning
  • what the pupils do to engage with their learning
  • the structure of the lesson
  • creating a positive climate for learning – rewards, sanctions, mutual respect
  • what evidence there is of pupils making progress in the lesson.

Find out more about school experience opportunities

Application process

All applications are made directly to our SCITT Partners through UCAS Teacher Training. You can choose up to three courses in the first application round and will need to complete a personal statement and provide two references. At interview, you may be asked to complete a skills audit, numeracy and literacy tests, and even teach part of a lesson.

Find out more on UCAS

Professional Skills Test

Before you can begin an ITT course, you must have passed your Professional Skills Tests in numeracy and literacy. We advise that you practice the format of the questions before taking the test.

Find out more on booking the Professional Skills Test

Suitability to teach

All ITT Providers will ask you to show documentation and complete forms to evidence that you meet the suitability to teach criteria as set by the Department for Education. You will be asked to:

  • apply for and obtain a satisfactory DBS Enhanced Disclosure through the Provider
  • show you have the health and physical capacity to teach –usually by completing a medical questionnaire which is accepted by a medical practitioner
  • complete a form or self declaration relating to Childcare (disqualification) regulations 2009.

 

Take a look at our presentation slides on how to apply and what to conisder when applying for teacher training. These slides were presented at the Teacher Training Fair 2016.

General requirements

All PGCE courses require the following.

  • English Language and Mathematics GCSEs (or equivalent) with grade C or higher
  • Primary programs also require a GCSE Science (or equivalent) with grade C or higher
  • A satisfactory Enhanced Disclosure from the Criminal Records Bureau (or, for candidates from overseas, the equivalent level of clearance)
  • A degree (must be in a relevant subject for Secondary level)
  • You must possess the appropriate qualities, values and attitudes expected of a teacher
  • You must also be able to demonstrate that you are able to communicate effectively in spoken and written English
  • You must meet the Secretary of State's requirements for physical and mental fitness to teach.

All students starting an Initial Teacher Training (ITT) course are required to pass the Professional Skills tests in literacy and numeracy before the start of the programme.

When you submit an application via UCAS TT (applications open early October), you should then make arrangements to take the skills tests. We strongly advise that you take the tests as soon as you are able. If offered an interview, having already passed the tests will greatly improve your chances of being offered a place.

All of the above will be taken into consideration in judging whether you have the capability to meet the required Professional Standards for the award of Qualified Teacher Status (QTS), as specified by the NCTL.

All applicants should ideally have completed about 10 days observation in a UK state school looking at the teaching of the subject/s of the PGCE course for which you are applying.


Course-specific requirements

PGCE Primary

  • You must hold, and be able to provide certificated evidence of an undergraduate honours degree of 2:2 or above awarded in the UK university (or an equivalent qualification awarded by an approved institution outside the UK).
  • You must have English Language, Mathematics and Science GCSEs (or equivalent) with grade C or higher. These must be awarded prior to application.
  • You should have a minimum of two weeks observation experience in a UK state sector Primary School.

Brief feedback containing any key reasons for the decision not to offer a place or interview will be provided if requested.

PGCE Biology

  • An undergraduate honours degree from a UK university, or equivalent qualification, of which half the content should relate to Biology.
  • An A Level or equivalent in Physics or Chemistry is desirable. 
  • Experience of working with the 11-18 age range.

PGCE Chemistry

  • An undergraduate honours degree from a UK university, or equivalent qualification, of which half the content should relate to Chemistry. If your degree does not relate to Chemistry, then the successful completion of a relevant enhancement and extension course.
  • An A Level or equivalent in Physics or Biology is desirable.
  • Biology and Physics GCSEs (or equivalent) with grade C or higher.
  • Experience of working with the 11-18 age range.

PCGE English

  • An undergraduate honours degree from a UK university, or equivalent qualification, usually in English Language or English Literature.
  • At least one A Level of direct relevance to the National Curriculum.
  • Experience of working with the 11-18 age range.

PGCE Mathematics

  • An undergraduate honours degree from a UK university, or equivalent qualification, of which half the content should relate to Mathematics. If your degree does not relate to Mathematics, then the successful completion of a relevant enhancement and extension course
  • At least one A Level of direct relevance to the National Curriculum.
  • Experience of working with the 11-18 age range.

PGCE Modern Foreign Languages

  • An undergraduate honours degree from a UK university, or equivalent qualification, of which half the content should relate to MFL. Alternatively, you can be a native speaker from the country where the language of study is spoken and hold an undergraduate degree.
  • At least one good A Level pass in the language(s) you wish to study. 
  • Experience of working with the 11-18 age range.

if you do not hold the second language at an appropriate level you may need to take an extension course

PGCE Physics

  • An undergraduate honours degree from a UK university, or equivalent qualification, of which half the content should relate to Physics. If your degree does not relate to Physics, then the successful completion of a relevant enhancement and extension course.
  • An A Level or equivalent in Biology or Chemistry is desirable.
  • Experience of working with the 11-18 age range.

UK/EU fees

  • £9,000 for 2016/17

International fees

Financing your PGCE

Tuition Fee Loan

Eligible students can apply for a Student Loan to help cover the cost of their tuition fee. This is known as a Tuition Fee Loan. The Tuition fee loan is paid directly to the University by the Student Loan Company. 

Eligible students who take out the tuition fee loan are not required to pay fees before the start of the course or whilst they are studying.

Student Loan for Maintenance

Eligible students can take out a Student Loan for Maintenance to help with accommodation and other living costs.

You will need to repay the Tuition Fee Loan and the Maintenance Loan to the Student Loans Company when your course has finished. 

For information on this, please visit the Student Loans Company website.

Training bursaries

Training bursaries for 2016/17 for Teacher training programmes are available as follows

  • For secondary Physics: 1st class - £30,000, 2:1 - £25,000, 2:2 - £25,000, Other*- £9,000
  • For secondary Maths: 1st class - £25,000, 2:1 - £25,000, 2:2 - £25,000, Other*- £9,000
  • For secondary Chemistry: 1st class - £25,000, 2:1 - £20,000 2:2 - £20,000
  • For secondary Modern Languages: 1st class - £25,000, 2:1 £25,000, 2:2 - £20,000
  • For secondary Biology: 1st class - £20,000, 2:1 - £15,000, 2:2 - £15,000
  • For secondary English: 1st class - £9,000, 2:1 - £4,000, 2:2 - n/a
  • For Primary course: 1st class - £3,000, 2:1 - £3,000, 2:2 - n/a

* For details please see the NCTL website

Physics teacher training scholarships

The Institute of Physics (IOP) has 100 teacher training scholarships worth £25,000 available to physics trainees starting their teacher training in the 2016/17 academic year. To be an IOP Scholar you will need to have outstanding knowledge of school-level physics and the potential to become an inspirational physics teacher. Each scholarship also includes a package of benefits including membership and early career mentoring. Applications are now open; you can view the full eligibility criteria and apply on the IOP website. Scholarships will be instead of the standard government bursary, but trainees who are not awarded a scholarship will continue to be eligible for a standard bursary.

Student Loan Company Maintenance Grant/Special Support Grant

You may be eligible to receive a Maintenance Grant or Special Support Grant to a value to be advised from the Student Loan Company.

Note: the Maintenance Grant/Special Support Grant is not a loan and will not need to be repaid.

If you normally live in England, you can apply online to Student Finance England for the statutory support.

If you do not normally live in England, please contact PGCE Admissions for details.

School of Education PGCE Scholarships

There are no School of Education PGCE Scholarships available for 2016/17

University of Leeds Special Circumstances help

We understand that there are some circumstances that may mean you need extra financial help on top of any other funding you receive. You might have special educational needs or may experience financial hardship that means you cannot afford to finish your course. You may also have family obligations, like a child or other dependant.

Help may be available through the Access to Learning Fund.

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