Becoming a Teacher without A-Levels | learndirect

Becoming a Teacher without A-Levels

Posted on 09/08/2019
Becoming a Teacher without A-Levels


Is it possible to become a teacher without A-levels?

Short answer, yes

If you left school with no A-levels it does not mean you should miss out on your dream of becoming a teacher. There are many routes to take for a career in teaching and it depends greatly on the qualifications and experience you currently have.

With a severe shortage of teachers across the UK, a career as a teacher is in high demand. Maths and science teachers are especially in-demand, and with a population rise, it is predicted that by 2025, secondary schools will have 15% more pupils.

So, if you think a teaching career is right for you, but you are not too sure about entry requirements or the training process, take a look below for a few of the most asked questions about a teaching career without traditional qualifications:


Can I become a teacher without a degree?

You cannot become a teacher without any type of undergraduate degree. But you can become a teacher without a degree in teaching.


You can take the TA route into teaching. That means qualifying through an assessment-only route. If you are an experienced TA, with a degree and enough classroom teaching that involves instructing a full class, planning and assessing, within an early years and / or further education setting, you can gain the QTS qualification necessary to teach in England and Wales.


What qualifications do I need to start teaching?

In order to become a teacher, the academic pre-requirements are:


  • Grade C / 4 or above in GCSEs exams for English and maths (may include science if teaching at early years and primary level)
  • Pass the professional skills test in numeracy and literacy
  • An undergraduate degree at 2:2 or above


Do you need A-levels to be a teacher?

There is no requirement for A-levels to pursue a career in teaching. If you have GCSEs at grade C or above and decide to go to university you can simply take the Access to HE Diploma route, which will allow you to go to university.



Can I get into university without A-levels?

The Access to HE Diploma (Education) includes:


  • 3 modules on study skills 
  • 17 modules on notions of education, child psychology, disability and inclusion, play and safeguarding


Why should you study an Access to HE Diploma in Education with learndirect?

Many education providers offer the Access to HE Diploma in Education. While this course can be studied at certain local colleges, there are a few advantages of studying with learndirect:


  1. Everything is online. You can study from the comfort of your own home. That means you can fit a family life, work commitments or anything else that would need a flexible study schedule. 
  2. You do not need to wait until September, when most colleges are open for admissions.
  3. You won’t have to travel to the local college, or any other provider that offers the course.
  4. You have access to the full course material, so you can choose how early or late you finish your studies and go to university.
  5. If you study the Access to HE Diploma in Education with learndirect, you will also benefit from free English and Maths courses. As functional skills is another part of the required training for teachers, this means you will only need to get that degree and start the training for QTS.


How do I train to be a teacher?

In order to become a teacher, you will need to achieve Qualified Teacher Status. Anyone looking to teach in a public school across the UK will need to hold a QTS. This can be achieved in 2 ways:

One way is qualifying through university-based education. An undergraduate or postgraduate degree in education plus 2 placements, in 2 contrasting schools that amount to 24 weeks of teaching experience.

The other way is through school training. Learning the practice of teaching by working as teaching assistants (paid or unpaid) – there are a number of programmes dedicated to this route into teaching. Ultimately, prospective teachers will study the theory of teaching through a college, university or any other approved training scheme.


How long does it take to become a teacher in UK? 

This depends on your existent qualifications. If you are starting with just GCSE qualifications, you will need:


  • Access to HE Diploma: minimum 6 months - maximum 2 years
  • Undergraduate degree: 3 to 4 years (full-time study) depending on the type of degree or 4 – 6 years (part-time)
  • QTS qualification through assessment-only: typically a 12-week programme, but it may vary, according to the training provider

While there are other ways, all depending on lifestyle, qualifications and other commitments, this is the most efficient route to becoming a teacher with just GCSE qualifications. It can take a minimum of approximately 4 years, in a best-case scenario. Or it can be spread out over a few more years if you have other priorities.


Can I afford to become a teacher?

This also depends on the amount of training required to get into your teaching career. If you start with just GCSEs, you will need an Access to HE Diploma in Education and an undergraduate degree.

But our Access to HE Diplomas are suited to a lot of financial contexts. With our affordable instalment plan you can start learning with a deposit starting from £19.99 and continue to pay for your education in 10 monthly instalments. There is a 0% interest rate on our instalment plans and you will also get £100 cashback.


What does a teacher earn?

Teachers salaries vary across the UK.

In England (excluding London), teachers can earn anything between £23,000 and £35,000 depending on experience, subject taught, the level and type of school. In London, the pay scale rises by £1,000 (outskirts) to £6,000 (inner)

Enrol here today:


Access to HE Diploma (Education)