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
  • 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
  • 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 UK Naric 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 NARIC statement to confirm whether or not they are equivalent to UK qualifications.

Please note that we do not accept external equivalency testing in place of the minimum GCSE requirements detailed above for some of our programmes. 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 offer equivalency tests to candidates who do not hold the required GCSE qualifications in English, Mathematics or Science. 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.

We are presently working remotely and are unable to offer the opportunity for applicants to undertake our equivalency tests. Applicants are advised to undertake an equivalency test through the Equivalency Testing website

Professional skills

Entrants to the teaching profession are expected to have functional skills in literacy and numeracy that match the professional demand of the job.
These skills will be audited during the course and, where needs are identified, a programme of compulsory activity may be provided to support your development.

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 given further instructions regarding this once you have accepted an offer of a place on the course. Students are also required to complete a suitability declaration.

These additional requirements allow us to ensure that those starting a PGCE are 'fit to teach'. This is a statutory requirement set by the National College of Teaching and Leadership.