UCAS Teacher Training is one of the staples of many universities. Teaching students how to become a teacher, lecturer or professor is a valuable asset to every university and is a chance for students to learn how to inspire the next generation of students and young minds.
There are several different routes into becoming a teacher and will have different grading criteria and awarding bodies (which you can see detailed on your UCAS Teacher Training Hub page), but they all work towards the same goal.
What is a Teacher Training Degree?
A Teacher Training Degree is a course that teaches students how to become a teacher. In order to become a teacher, you need very specific qualifications and these differ depending on where you're applying. Many students will already have a PGCE degree, however, most schools, colleges and universities will require you to have a degree of some kind.
The most common Teacher Training degrees in the UK are:
- Initial Teacher Training (ITT)
- Initial Teacher Education (ITE)
After completing these, students can study:
- Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) (England and Wales)
- Teaching Qualification (TQ) (Scotland)
These are not all necessary for every school you apply to; many independent schools or academies don't specify QTS or the TQ as being a requirement when applying there.
Harry Potter author JK Rowling initially trained to be a teacher at Edinburgh University.
Universities also offer a wide range of funding options for students too, such as a Teacher Training bursary, which will help students that may be struggling with finances.
What can I do with a Teaching Degree?
Teacher Training courses do somewhat limit the amount of work you can find, as most people with an ITT, ITE, QTS or TQ generally are only looking to become a teacher.
There are different kinds of teaching at all levels, however. Not everyone wants to necessarily teach young children, they may want to teach university students.
Teachers will teach at school and college (though at college, they are usually referred to as tutors). Here, a teacher will be responsible for different learning grades and key stages. In the UK, children are taught from 0-5 and correspond with different age groups and different learning structures. When students attend High School, teachers often teach multiple years at once and will not just be responsible for one specific class, as is common in Primary and Infant School.
Lecturers are slightly different from Teachers. Lecturers teach purely postsecondary education and that’s it. Lecturers will likely address more students (depending on how popular their courses are) and will specialise in more fields.
For most teachers, you will need a 2:2 or higher at university level and will need to pass a DBS check too.
What A Levels do I require?
The A Level requirements for a Teacher Training degree will change depending on which university you go to, however, most universities ask for A Level grades to be at CCC standard or above.
You will need to have basic Mathematics and English before applying. It will vary depending where you apply, but English will generally cover both Literature and Language, whereas most degrees pick one or the other.
If you do not meet the requirements set out for you, there will still be the possibility of studying a Foundation degree as well.
The A Levels that you need for each university, will be listed on UCAS and your UCAS Hub Teacher Training page.
How will I be assessed?
A Teaching Degree is mainly theory-based, but there are still practical elements involved.
A lot of Teacher Training degrees are also studied as part of a Joint Honours Degree. A Joint Honours Degree combines two subjects into one. For instance, if you are interested in becoming a Maths teacher, you will need to have a degree in Mathematics and will need to study a Teacher Training Degree at the same time.
There are several different routes into becoming a teacher and will have different grading criteria and awarding bodies
The assessment criteria will focus on the theoretical side of teaching, such as student behaviours, teaching technique and psychology. The practical-side will give students the chance to learn how to present to a class of students, how to interact with students and how to teach in the most digestible way for students.
What skills will I learn?
You will learn valuable skills for life with a Teacher Training degree.
Students will learn presentation skills, collaboration skills, about working to a deadline and about psychology too.
Presentation skills are vital for being a teacher as you need to speak to a large group of people on a regular basis and a Teaching degree will help to hone those skills and adapt them to the age group you're speaking to. Collaboration is important for being a teacher as you will often need to work with other teachers and also with students. You will also pick up some useful Psychology skills too; these skills will help you to understand your students better, what issues they may be facing and how to get the best out of them.
Why should I study a Teacher Training Degree?
A Teacher Training degree gives students a real insight into the world of teaching and education. You’ll be given the chance to learn about different teaching techniques and you will also have a chance to have a real impact on young people’s lives.
Most Teacher Training Degrees will also have the chance for students to gain real, on-the-job experience at a variety of work placements. These placements will allow students to see how the classroom environment establishes itself outside of university and how the teachers control their classrooms.
By applying for this degree, you presumably have a passion for becoming a teacher (something that you will have no doubt included in your teacher training personal statement) and this degree is a great chance for you to build on that passion!
What happens when I graduate?
Post Graduation can be tough for students to find work immediately, however, with a Teacher Training degree, you stand a good chance of being able to get a start fairly quickly.
A Teacher Training Degree is a course that teaches students how to become a teacher.
You will likely need to work your way up through the different ranks however. Students will most likely start off as a Teaching Assistant initially and will work their way up to Teacher from there.
Those that want to teach at university, will find it a bit harder, as you will need to have previous teaching experience, meaning you will have to work at Key Stage 3-5 for a while and then apply for a university posting.
This is common for most teachers and lecturers and may even include some unpaid work for a while, either at a summer school or at college.
Harry Potter author JK Rowling initially trained to be a teacher at Edinburgh University. Film director Spike Lee is now a tenured professor at NYU in America, and has even taught a class about filmmaking at Harvard University! Stand-Up comedian and actor, Romesh Ranganathan was previously a Maths Teacher in Crawley and Surrey before deciding to pursue a career of comedy.