How to become a teacher without a degree


How to get into teaching without a degree

Ever thought about a career as a teacher? But you don't have a degree? No problem!

Routes into teaching have often always been associated with getting a full degree in your chosen field before being accepted onto Initial Teacher Training. This was how you achieved Qualified Teacher Status (QTS), which allowed you to become a teacher. However, in 2012, a new route was proposed to enable users to start teaching without going to university or completing a degree. The way is called Qualified Teacher Learning and Skills (QTLS). Let's investigate this route and what you'll need to start.

There are usually three things you need to become a teacher without a degree:

  1. Functional Skills Level 2 in English and Maths (or GCSEs at grade C or higher [between 4 and 9]) (if you want to work as a primary school teacher, you will also need a GCSE in Science too at grade C or higher [between 4 and 9])
  2. QTLS (Qualified Teacher Learning Skills)
  3. Completion of the Initial Teacher Training (ITT) programme

How do I achieve QTLS?

Qualifications required:

1. Level 2 Qualification in English and Maths

This can be either Functional Skills Level 2 in English and Maths or a GCSE Grade C (4) and above. If you don't have this one yet, let us know, as we offer Functional Skills for English and Maths at a competitive rate.

Click here for information on Functional Skills courses

2. Level 3 in your chosen field you wish to teach in

You need a relevant Level 3 qualification in your chosen field of study. For example: if you wanted to teach History to students in school, you would need to hold a Level 3 Diploma relevant to the type of History you will be teaching.

3. Level 5 Diploma in Education and Training (DET)

You'll need a Level 5 Diploma in Education and Training (DET), formally known as the Level 5 Diploma in Teaching in the Lifelong Learning Sector (DTLLS). This qualification is equivalent to the post-16 sector and is equivalent to the second year of a bachelor's degree. You usually need at least 100 hours of experience in teaching to be able to then apply for the Level 5 DET. So, you could apply for a teaching position on a job board in a school and notify them that you are applying as an unqualified teacher but are currently enrolled on your Level 5 (DET), which is generally accepted.

4. Initial Teacher Education (ITE) Certificate

Once you have completed your Level 5 DET, you'll be able to start pursuing the Initial Teacher Education (ITE) certificate. After this, you will be able to register for the Professional Formation, which will inevitably lead to the QTLS.


How do I become a teacher after gaining my QTLS?

Once you have achieved your QTLS status, you will be fully qualified to teach in schools exactly as anyone with QTS can. This means you can apply to teach in primary and secondary schools, apart from the post-14 sector, for which you would need QTS. Although legally and officially, you have the same level as a QTS holder, some schools may have their own requirements, so it is always best to double-check before applying for a specific school.

If you're unsure how to get started, chat with one of our course advisors for more information.

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Lisa Spencer
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