We use cookies to allow us and selected partners to improve your experience and our advertising. By continuing to browse you consent to our use of cookies as per our policy which also explains how to change your preferences.

What A-levels do you need to become a teacher?

Got your sights set on becoming a teacher? If you want to study a teacher training course at university, make sure your A-level line-up ticks admissions tutors' boxes...

Skip ahead to:
There are two main paths into teaching:
  • take a teacher training undergraduate course at uni
  • study a different subject at uni and then take the postgraduate route into teaching (via a PGCE qualification)

Teaching training undergraduate courses are often called 'primary education courses'. They include something called QTS, which stands for 'Qualified Teaching Status', and essentially means the qualification will allow you to go straight into teaching (to become a primary or secondary school teacher).

The A-levels listed below refer to those you need for a primary education course.

You should also decide whether or not there is a subject you want to specialise in. It will be useful to have this as one of your A-level choices. Get more tips for picking the right A-level subjects with our six-step guide.
 

What A-levels are essential to getting on a teacher training degree?

You’ll need at least one of the curriculum subjects below. Curriculum subjects are subjects that are taught as part of the UK National Curriculum. Some unis might ask for two of these at A level. If you’re unsure, you can check the entry requirements for your uni course search and take a look now:
  • art
  • biology
  • chemistry
  • design and technology
  • English
  • French
  • German
  • history
  • IT
  • Italian
  • maths
  • music
  • physics
  • physical education
  • religious studies (theology)
  • Spanish

Other A-level subjects popular with students on a teaching course are:
  • psychology
  • sociology
  • sports science

You should also note that for primary teaching you must have GCSE maths, English and science, all at grade C (or 4/5 under the new grading system) or above.

This is a government requirement for all teaching courses. For secondary teaching, you may be able to get away with not having this for science.

Take a look at individual teacher training courses on Which? University you should always have a look at entry requirements when deciding where to apply, but you can also see the most popular subjects students studied before taking a teacher training degree.

.
Learned something useful?
Get more tips for applying to uni, right when you need them most. Add yourself to our email list.
Our emails are packed with advice for getting in and getting on at uni, along with useful information about other Which? Group products and services that can help you make good decisions.
  • No spam and you can unsubscribe at any time - see our privacy policy.
    Close panel
    Thank you!
    You’re all signed up. Look out for your welcome email from us shortly.
    Oh, no!
    Sorry, there's been an error. If you experience persistent problems, please contact us at whichuniversity@which.co.uk
    Try again
     

    What are the entry requirements to get onto a primary education course?

    Below are a few examples of primary education courses offered by different universities and the A-level entry requirements they ask for in the September 2018 intake (as of 23 January 2018).

    You should always check the entry requirements yourself before you apply, but this will give you a rough idea of what to expect.

    University of Nottingham – Primary Education leading to Qualified Teaching Status (QTS): 'A-levels: BBB.'

    Leeds Trinity University – Primary Education: Later Years (with QTS) BA (Hons): 'A-levels: BBC.'

    Liverpool Hope University Primary Education with QTS BA (Hons): 'A-levels: BBB-BBC.'


    Search for degree courses and narrow your search down by your predicted grades or Ucas points.
     

    What other subjects are similar to taking a teacher training degree?

    Not quite sure whether teaching is for you, but interested in the educational sector, or learning early behaviour? You could try: 
    These similar subjects may have different A-level requirements to teaching, so if you want to keep your degree options open, be sure to check before you finalise your choices.


    What can you study at university with your A-levels? See what similar students went on to do, with our A-level Explorer...
     

    What about teaching assistants?

    You don’t have to have a degree to be a teaching assistant. You will need basic literacy and numeracy skills, and experience of working with children, though.
     

    Where could your A-levels take you?

    Enter your A-level choices below to find out

      Add another subject

    Search Which? University

    Find further advice or search for information on a course or university

    Expert tips for uni - straight to your inbox
    Free to students, teachers and parents
    Sign me up