Undergraduate / Postgraduate


If you don’t have a degree, there are a number of options available to become a qualified teacher. You can get a degree at a university whilst completing teacher training or complete a degree with additional school training before completing bespoke teacher training in a school through the Future Teaching Scholars programme.

How you get into teaching will vary depending on your chosen subject, or the age group you’d like to teach, as well as your personal circumstances and existing qualifications.

The Department for Education site, Get into Teaching is the best place to start (see their ‘Tips for applying’) or visit UCAS for more detailed course information.

Undergraduate routes available in East Sussex from: University of SussexUniversity of Brighton

Future Teaching Scholars Programme

Future Teaching Scholars programme is a new route into teaching, designed for exceptional Maths or Physics students who want to teach.

Scholars continue in-depth study of their subjects via an undergraduate degree whilst also learning about teaching through training sessions, online modules and undertaking practical in-school experiences. 

Successful applicants will be awarded a significant scholarship programme that includes a £15,000 grant whilst they study at university, a place on an initial teacher training course paid as an unqualified teacher, support in finding their first teaching job, as well as extensive personal and professional development support for six years through a network of outstanding schools. Find out more here.


If you already have a degree, this needs to be from a UK Higher Education Institution (or an equivalent confirmed by NARIC).

You will need to have Maths and English GCSEs at Grade 4 or above.  If you intend to become a Primary level teacher, you will need a Science GCSE at Grade 4 or above.  Without these, you’ll need to find a local adult education or ITT provider to gain those qualifications.

University led training – PGCE (Post Graduate Certificate in Education)

This is often seen as the most “traditional” path into teaching. You apply to study with a specific training provider, such as a university, and the majority of study will be completed on campus. Universities work with schools to offer placements as part of your training so you will also get some classroom experience, spending time teaching and being trained in at least two schools for a minimum of 24 weeks. You will gain a PGCE qualification at the end of the course and most providers also give Qualified Teacher Status (a vocational qualification), but not all, so it is always worth checking.

To qualify via a PGCE route, contact a Higher Education Provider or school-based provider (known as a SCITT – School Centred Initial Teacher Training). Note that not all SCITT courses lead to PGCE.

PGCE routes available in East Sussex

University of Sussex
University of Brighton

SCITT – School Centred Initial Teacher Training

School Centred Initial Teacher Training (SCITT) is a great way to have your training supported by experienced teachers. This route includes practical, hands-on training plus tutorials and seminars that cover the same material as university or college courses leading to Qualified Teacher Status.

This teacher training route is designed and delivered by groups of neighbouring schools and colleges. Most of the training is delivered in the classroom by experienced teachers. Many schools work in close partnerships with universities for SCITT programmes, enabling trainee teachers to gain a PGCE or PGDE (Post Graduate Diploma in Education) alongside working towards Qualified Teacher Status (QTS). Many SCITT courses also include a PGCE qualification, but not all do. If gaining a PGCE is important to you, check before applying.
More details on SCITT from UCAS.

SCITT routes available in East Sussex

Sussex Teacher Training Partnership (STTP)
The STTP offers two routes into teaching:

•  The tuition route, where tuition fees of £7,950 are paid by the trainee: Provider code E37, course code 2BKL 
•  The salaried route, where costs of training are paid by the school: Provider code 1CA, course code 2SZY

Canterbury Christ Church University

The East Sussex Teacher Training Partnership and Local Authority work in partnership with Canterbury Christ Church University as part of the Confederation for the Education of Teachers in East Sussex, Kent and Medway. Canterbury Christ Church University offers undergraduate and postgraduate routes into teaching. Find out more here.

University of Chichester

The University of Chichester offers PGCEs at Primary and Secondary level as well as Early Years Initial Teacher Training on a graduate employment-based route. Find out more here.

School-led training (School Direct)

School-led training takes place in a school, where trainees are immediately immersed into the life of a teacher. Trainees will also spend time in at least one other school to gain the broad experience required to become a qualified teacher.

All school-led courses cover the practical and theoretical elements of teaching, often partnering with universities. Most school-led courses lead to a postgraduate certificate in education (PGCE) and/or master’s-level credits, in addition to Qualified Teacher Status. Training is run by a school, or group of schools and they work closely with a university or School-Centred Initial Teacher Training provider to accredit successful trainees.

There are two types of training available:

School Direct 

This route is unpaid.  Trainees pay a course fee but may get funding through tuition fee loans, training bursaries or scholarships. Training will take place in much the same way as a PGCE course.

School Direct (salaried)

This is an employment-based route, which tends to suit graduates with some previous work experience. Trainees are employed directly by the school, earning a salary during training and the school pays the fees. Trainees will spend more time in school than some other courses, and therefore less time studying at university.

School Direct routes available in East Sussex:

Wealden Partnership through University of Sussex and University of Brighton 
University of Sussex

Subject Knowledge Enhancement (SKE)

If you are interested in teaching Maths, Physics, Languages, Chemistry, Computing, Biology, Geography, English, Design and Technology and Primary Maths, and have a related degree, universities offer Subject Knowledge Enhancement (SKE) courses. These are short courses designed to bring subject knowledge up to date.

Assessment Only (employment route)

If you are an experienced teacher with a degree and you would like to achieve Qualified Teacher Status (QTS), you can gain this without having to do any further training. Assessment Only allows you to demonstrate that you already meet all of the standards for QTS.

To achieve QTS via the Assessment Only route, you will need to present detailed evidence that you meet the standards. Your teaching will be assessed in a school by an accredited and approved Assessment Only provider. You will also need to meet all the entry requirements and supporting advice before you can be accepted onto this route.

This way of achieving QTS is only available to unqualified teachers who have taught in at least two schools, early years and/or further education settings, but does not give you a PGCE. Entry criteria will vary by provider.

A number of universities, colleges, schools and SCITTs around the country offer Assessment Only. Their criteria for entry may vary, and you will need to apply to them directly if you are interested in this route to QTS.

It is important to note that there is also a cost involved in this route. As an example, the University of Sussex Assessment Only Route costs £2,490.  Further information is available from the link below.

Assessment Only routes to QTS in East Sussex

Bromley Schools Collegiate
University of Sussex

Post Graduate Teaching Apprenticeship

This is a new, nationally-recognised, work-based route into teaching where trainees are employed by a school and therefore earn a salary while they train. Apprentices work towards Qualified Teacher Status and complete an end point assessment.

Post Graduate Teaching Apprenticeships in East Sussex

Several East Sussex providers take on apprenticeships, run through the University of Brighton including:

• Ark
• University of Brighton Academies Trust
• St Richard’s Catholic College

Details can be found here.

Teach First

Teach First supports high quality graduates to become leaders in low income communities. This involves six weeks of intensive training, followed by teaching in a school for two years whilst working towards a PGCE, including some teaching experience in an outstanding school.