School of Education

Entry requirements

Browse the academic and personal qualities we are looking for in our applicants.


  • GCSE: English Language, Mathematics and Science at grade C (or above) or grade 4 (or above)
  • A-level: Our primary admissions tutors look at A-level subjects and grades to help evidence sound subject knowledge across the National Curriculum
  • Degree: Honours degree, ideally 2:1 or above
  • School experience


  • GCSE: English Language and Mathematics at grade C (or above) or grade 4 (or above)
  • A-level: Our secondary admissions tutors are ideally looking for a strong A-level in the subject you wish to teach
  • Degree: Honours degree, ideally 2:1 or above
  • School experience

You can also view entry requirements for individual secondary subjects on their respective course pages.

Further information and requirements

Equivalent qualifications

We are committed to attracting suitable candidates from a wide range of educational backgrounds and will therefore consider those with equivalent national qualifications (for example: Scottish qualifications, International Baccalaureate, French Licence etc). We check with ENIC website to ensure that these qualifications meet the minimum entry requirements, and will ask to see original certificates and transcripts at interview.

For applicants who have undertaken their degree and/or GCSE equivalents overseas, we would recommend that they obtain a ENIC statement to confirm whether or not they are equivalent to UK qualifications.

We do not accept IELTS or Level 2 qualifications in literacy and numeracy in place of the GCSE.

For GCSEs completed since the 2017 change to the grading system, we will be accepting a Level 4 GCSE as equivalent to a Grade C, and a Level 7 GCSE as equivalent to a Grade A.

Equivalency tests

We may request that candidates who do not hold the required GCSE qualifications in English, Mathematics or Science complete an equivalency test. These tests are only available if you are successfully interviewed for a place on the course, and your acceptance on the PGCE would be conditional on you passing these tests by the given deadline. The only exception to this is our Secondary English PGCE course, for which we do not offer an equivalency test.

Applicants are advised to undertake an equivalency test through the Equivalency Testing website or a Star Equivalency. 

School experience

Although not essential, applicants may find it useful to have gained recent experience working with children and/or observing teaching in a school setting. Ideally your experience would relate to the age range/subject you wish to teach. When writing your application it can be very helpful to reflect on your experience and tell us what you learnt. School experience can be gained by:

  • Contacting schools yourself - lots of schools are happy to offer voluntary experience for potential teacher training applicants
  • School Experience Programmes - run by the Department of Education, these take place in schools around the country

Personal qualities

In addition to the requirements outlined above, we are also assessing candidates in the light of the following qualities:

  • Ability to form relationships
  • Good communication skills
  • Commitment to learning and teaching
  • Reflective qualities
  • Emotional resilience
  • Awareness of contemporary issues in education

Additional requirements

Admission to the course is subject to a satisfactory medical report and a satisfactory Enhanced Disclosure from the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS, formerly CRB). You will be unable to start the course if you do not have a valid DBS in place for the start of the course. 

Upon accepting an offer onto the PGCE, we will set you up on our DBS online system which will provide you with instructions on how to apply for a DBS – please note that there are some costs that you will need to pay as follows: 

  • Enhanced DBS check: £40.00 
  • First Advantage Fee: £6.00 plus VAT 
  • Post Office Fee: £6.85 plus VAT
  • DBS Update Service: £13 per year

If you are already on the DBS update service, please let us know, as you may not need to go through a full DBS. 

Please do not source a DBS certificate outside of our system, as all students need to go through our specific checks as part of the enhanced disclosure. 

We strongly recommend that you sign up for the Update Service. For a yearly subscription fee your DBS will remain current and you won’t have to make further applications when applying for jobs.  Further information can be found on the website. 

If you are an international student you will be required to hold a valid DBS. You need to be living in the UK in order to apply for a DBS therefore we recommend students are living in the UK at least four weeks before the course starts. In order to apply for the DBS you will need proof of a UK address i.e bank letter, insurance document, utility bill.

You will also be required to complete a medical assessment to ensure that you are ‘fit to teach’ but to also ensure that any necessary adjustments can be made for you to fully participate in the course. If you accept an offer from us then you will be sent information on how to complete the assessment.

You will be given further instructions once you have accepted an offer of a place on the course.

Students are also required to complete a suitability declaration. This is an online form, the link will be sent to you if you are invited to interview.

These additional requirements allow us to ensure that those starting a PGCE are 'fit to teach'. This is a statutory requirement set by the Department for Education.

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