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Can I become a teacher without a degree?

Leon Smart
6 Dec 2023
5 min read
Can I become a teacher without a degree?

Are you passionate about education and want to make a positive impact on the lives of young learners in the UK? The good news is that you can pursue a teaching career even if you don't currently have a bachelor's degree.

In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the different pathways to becoming a teacher in the UK if you don't already have a degree. Whether you're interested in teaching in primary or secondary, mainstream or SEN, we've got you covered.

The Importance of Qualified Teacher Status (QTS)

Before we dive into the various routes available, it's essential to understand the significance of Qualified Teacher Status (QTS). QTS is a mandatory requirement for teaching in maintained primary, secondary, and teachers have the necessary skills and knowledge to deliver quality education to their students.

Undergraduate Courses with QTS

OK, so 'you could get a degree' might seem like a patronising suggestion if you're specifically looking for routes to become a teacher without a degree – but there are loads of undergraduate course that include QTS. These courses not only provide you with the necessary teaching qualifications but also offer a comprehensive education in your chosen subject.

Bachelor of Arts (BA), Bachelor of Education (BEd), and Bachelor of Science (BSc) degrees are examples of undergraduate courses that can lead to QTS. Funding options are available to support your training, so be sure to explore the possibilities.

To find out more about the qualifications you need to be a teacher in England, visit the Get Into Teaching website. They provide detailed information on the specific requirements for each level of teaching.

Your degree can be in any subject to teach in state-funded primaries or secondaries.

Primary or Secondary Level: Choosing Your Path

As you embark on your journey to become a teacher, you'll need to decide whether you want to teach at the primary or secondary level. Each level has its unique challenges and rewards, so it's essential to consider your strengths and interests.

If you have a passion for nurturing young minds and want to shape the foundation of education, teaching at the primary level may be the right choice for you. Primary school teachers work with children aged 5-11 and cover a broad range of subjects. They play a crucial role in fostering a love for learning and helping children develop essential skills.

On the other hand, if you have a deep knowledge and enthusiasm for a particular subject, teaching at the secondary level might be a better fit. Secondary school teachers specialise in specific subjects and work with students aged 11-18. They have the opportunity to delve deeper into their chosen subject and inspire older students to pursue further education or careers related to that field.

International Students: Studying in the UK

If you're a non-UK citizen looking to study in England and pursue a career in teaching, the UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA) is an invaluable resource. They provide comprehensive information and guidance for international students interested in studying at English universities.

Alternative Routes to Teaching Without a Degree

While pursuing an undergraduate course with QTS is a common pathway, it is not the only option available for aspiring teachers without a degree. There are alternative routes that allow you to gain the necessary qualifications and practical experience to become a teacher. Let's explore these routes in more detail.

You don't legally need a degree to teach in private schools, academies, or early years settings, although it may be preferable.

School-Centred Initial Teacher Training (SCITT)

SCITT programs offer hands-on training within a school setting, allowing you to learn directly from experienced teachers. These programs are typically school-based and provide you with the opportunity to gain practical experience while working towards your teaching qualifications.

SCITT programs are highly regarded in the education sector as they provide a holistic approach to teacher training. You will have the chance to observe and learn from experienced professionals, gradually taking on more teaching responsibilities as you progress through the program.

Check out the government's guide on Initial Teacher Training for more.

Further Education and Training

If you are interested in teaching in further education colleges or adult education centres, you may not require a degree. These institutions often offer vocational courses and training programs that focus on practical skills development.

To teach in further education settings, you will need to possess relevant industry experience and hold a Level 3 qualification in the subject you wish to teach. This alternative route allows you to share your expertise and help individuals acquire valuable skills for their careers.

Funding and Support for Teacher Training

Concerned about the financial aspect of pursuing a teaching career without a degree? Don't worry; there are funding options and support available to assist you in your training journey.

The Get Into Teaching funding page provides detailed information on funding opportunities specifically designed for aspiring teachers. From scholarships and bursaries to student loans and grants, there are various ways to financially support your training.

It's important to explore these options and determine the most suitable funding route for your circumstances. Remember, financial constraints should not hinder your passion for education and desire to make a difference in the lives of students.


Becoming a teacher in the UK is possible even if you don't currently have a degree. Whether you choose to pursue an undergraduate course with QTS, go directly to SCITTs, or explore teaching opportunities in further education, there is a pathway that suits your goals and aspirations.

Remember, teaching is a rewarding and noble profession that allows you to shape the future generation. Take the first step towards your teaching career by researching the options available and finding the best fit for you. With dedication, passion, and the right qualifications, you can make a lasting impact on the lives of young learners in the UK.

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