Eligibility requirements

Find out what qualifications and criteria you need to meet to be eligible for our Training Programme.

To be eligible to apply for our Training Programme, you need:

  • 2.1 degree or above (2.2 degrees will also be considered)
  • A degree or A-levels that satisfy the curriculum requirements listed below
  • Grade C/4 or equivalent in GCSE maths and English for secondary teaching. Grade C/4 in one GCSE science subject is also required (in addition to maths and English) for primary teaching.

We do not have a minimum requirement for total UCAS points to apply to the programme (or the equivalent).

In certain cases we might be able to utilise further degrees to support curriculum area eligibility, although you must still have an undergraduate degree. Please contact your recruiter to discuss this further.

Unfortunately we cannot be flexible with our GCSE requirements, as these are required by the Department for Education.

Other than qualifications, what other criteria are there?

Assuming the minimum criteria are met, selection is based on your ability to demonstrate our values and competencies and prove relevant curriculum knowledge. There are no restrictions on the age of applicants, and if you are already working, we can support your transition into the classroom.

You'll need to be available to train at our Summer Institute. This usually runs for five weeks over the summer period.

You'll also need to have the right to work for the duration of the programme, for example we can't accept the new Graduate visa. See here for more details.

Can I apply if I have already been accepted for a PGCE?

No, if you have accepted a place on a PGCE course this year then you are not able to apply for the Training Programme. 

Can I apply if I already have Qualified Teacher Status (QTS)?

No, we can only accept candidates who do not already have QTS or a Postgraduate/Professional Graduate Certificate in Education (PGCE).

What type of equivalency testing do you accept for GCSEs?

The only equivalent tests we accept are from equivalencytesting.com.

Curriculum areas

The curriculum area you teach will be based on the needs of our schools and your eligibility. If you’re unsure which curriculum area(s) you would be able to teach, please contact recruitment@teachfirst.org.uk for more information.

If you studied in Scotland, Advanced Highers are equivalent to A-levels. Similarly, if you studied the International Baccalaureate, Higher level subjects are equivalent to A-levels. If you studied in Ireland, we are able to accept an A1 grade in Irish Leaving Certificate (Higher Level) as equivalent to our A Level requirements.

If you have a degree that doesn’t fit these requirements, but over 50% of your degree is related to one of the subjects listed, get in touch with your transcript to find out what you might be eligible to teach.

How old are the pupils I will be teaching?

Thinking of teaching a secondary school subject? The pupils you’ll be teaching will be aged 11-16, apart from Business Studies where the pupils are aged 14-19.

If it’s primary you’re interested in you’ll be teaching pupils aged 5-11.

For early years, the pupils you’ll be in the classroom with are 3-5 years old.

Primary and Early Years teaching

For Primary and Early Years teaching, we require a 2.1 degree or above in one of the following primary national curriculum subjects:

  • Art and Design*
  • Design and Technology
  • English
  • Geography
  • History
  • Computer Science
  • Maths
  • Modern Foreign Languages (French or Spanish)
  • Music
  • Physical Education
  • Religious Education
  • Science (Biology, Chemistry, Physics)

or an A-level grade B or above (or equivalent) in two of these subjects. If you have a Psychology degree (2.1 or above) you will also be eligible to teach in a primary school.

In addition, we require grade C or above (or equivalent) in GCSE maths, English and one core science subject.

*doesn't include Drama, Dance or Theatrical degrees

Secondary teaching

For secondary teaching, we require a 2.1 degree or above (2.2 degrees may also be considered) related to one of the following secondary national curriculum subjects:

  • Business
  • Design & Technology*
  • English*
  • Geography*
  • History
  • Maths*
  • Modern Foreign Languages (French or Spanish)*
  • Music
  • Religious Education
  • Science*
  • Computing*

In addition, we require grade C or above (or equivalent) in GCSE maths and English.

In certain cases we might be able to utilise further degrees to support curriculum area eligibility. Please contact your recruiter to discuss this further.

*For those subjects which are asterisked, we will also accept an A-level grade B or above (or equivalent) in the relevant subject. Except English, where we require a grade A or above. To be eligible to teach science, we require two relevant A-levels grade B or above (or equivalent). Candidates with A-levels grade B or above (or equivalent) in French and Spanish may be offered Modern Foreign Languages (MFL).

Some other degrees may mean you're able to teach Religious Education, depending on the modules you studied, particularly if you studied Religious Education at A-Level or equivalent.

For Computing and Music, significant experience and/or qualifications obtained outside of your undergraduate degree could mean that you're able to teach these subjects - please contact us if you think this could apply to you.

Ready to apply?

Applications for our Training Programme are currently closed.

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