Details of the different routes into a career in teaching.

First published:
15 April 2016
Last updated:

Becoming a qualified teacher

To become a teacher and teach in a maintained school in Wales, you need to gain Qualified Teacher Status (QTS).

Routes into teaching include:

  • studying at university at undergraduate and postgraduate level
  • employment-based training in a school

All routes focus on the Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) standards.

Minimum entry requirements for Initial Teacher Education (ITE)

From September 2019 all ITE programmes will be subject to new accreditation criteria and entry requirements.

  • a GCSE Grade B or above (or equivalent) in mathematics or Mathematics-Numeracy
  • a GCSE Grade B or above (or equivalent) in either English Language, English Literature, Welsh Language or Welsh Literature. Where an equivalent to a grade B in either English Literature or Welsh Literature is achieved, a minimum of a grade C (or equivalent) must be achieved in the corresponding GCSE examination in English or Welsh Language
  • a GCSE Grade C or above (or equivalent) in science if you want to teach in primary school
  • a degree with at least 50% relevance to the subject you want to teach to become a secondary school teacher (you can check this with ITE providers)

ITE providers can also add their own entry requirements.

University-based routes

From academic year 2019/20 there will be four Initial Teacher Education Partnerships for teacher education:

From academic year 2020/21 there will be further Initial Teacher Education Partnerships available for teacher education:


If you do not already have a degree, you can take an undergraduate teacher training course.

These include:

  • Bachelor of Education (BEd)
  • Bachelor of Arts (BA)
  • Bachelor of Science (BSc)

You will need to apply through UCAS.

You may be eligible for general student support whilst you are studying. Contact Student Finance Wales for information on what is available.


If you already have a degree, you can study for a Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE).

The PGCE is a year long programme of training. It will develop your skills as a teacher while you work towards the QTS Standards.

PGCE courses are available at ITE Centres in universities across Wales. You can apply through the UCAS website.

Alternative Initial Teacher Education routes

It is planned that from September 2020 the Graduate Teacher Programme will be replaced by a new Employment Based Scheme. 

The new scheme will take two years to complete and will allow you to receive a salary to teach in a school as an unqualified teacher. You will work towards a PGCE qualification (including 60 Masters level credits) and meeting QTS standards.

The Open University are developing this new scheme in partnership with Welsh Government, Regional Consortia and Schools throughout Wales.

Further information on the new programme is expected to be available in the Autumn of 2019. In the meantime if you would like to register your interest in this programme please contact

Qualified Teacher Status (QTS)

All Initial Teacher Education (ITE) trainees must meet the professional standards for teaching and leadership. New standards apply from September 2019 which set out what ITE trainees must know, understand and be able to do at the end of their course to gain QTS.

The QTS Standards have statutory force and are set out in legislation.

Once you have gained QTS and are a Newly Qualified Teacher (NQT) you will need to undertake your induction.

You will also need to register with the Education Workforce Council if you want to work in a maintained school in Wales.

Further Information

For more information about our policy on initial teacher education, email us at