Get into teaching FAQs

We want to make your application to London Met as stress free as possible. That's why we complied a list of the most frequently asked questions to help you navigate through the process. 

Frequently asked questions

Do you offer PGCE courses part-time?

Our teacher training programmes are only delivered full-time as they are intense and require our students to dedicate a considerable amount of time to study and placement.

How do I find a programme of study?

You can search on our routes into teaching page which will give you a great idea of the options available to you.

When can I apply? 

You can apply throughout the year from October. The normal cut off point for applications is July, after that applications would be considered as ‘late applications’ if there are still places available.

Early application is highly recommended as courses may fill up before July; many candidates will also need to complete SKE or other conditions so should give themselves time to complete these.

What routes into teaching are there?

The most popular route into teaching is the Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) pathway, which combines school placements (120 days) with studying education theory at university. Alternatively, you can take a Graduate Apprenticeship which is a salaried route into teaching, but you will already have to work in a school as a unqualified teacher or need to have found a school willing to support you.

What is School Direct? 

This is a non-salaried, employment-based route into gaining a Qualified Teacher Status (QTS). You apply to a school but the course is delivered by the university in conjunction with the school. This route is almost identical to the University’s own ‘core’ PGCE, though you would have a slightly closer link with the school and would complete placements there.

How do you train to teach for sixth form or colleges?

To teach at a further education college you will need a degree in the subject you wish to teach, however you do not need a PGCE qualification. If you are considering working in sixth form you will probably need to gain Qualified Teacher Status (QTS).

Are UK teaching qualifications recognised internationally?

Yes, PGCE is an internationally and highly recognised qualification. However, “QTS only” routes are rarely recognised abroad (all of the LMU training routes offer QTS plus PGCE).

If you are applying for a training bursary, please be aware that you would only be eligible for this if you are committed to teaching in England on completion of your training.

I have a disability, can I still become a teacher?

Yes, teachers with disabilities make important contributions both in the learning of their students as well as culture of the school they work in. Therefore you should not be dissuaded from pursuing a career in teaching if you have a disability.

If you have a disability we will aim to make reasonable adjustments to help you progress with your application and to help you do your course.

Providers have a responsibility to ensure that trainees have the health and physical capacity to train to teach and will not put children and young people at risk of harm. The activities that a teacher must be able to perform are set out in the Education (Health Standards) (England) Regulations 2003. Providers are responsible for ensuring that only trainees who have the capacity to teach remain on the programme.

What does fitness to teach mean, I want to teach biology not physical education?

Being fit to teach means that you meet the physical and mental fitness requirements to perform teaching duties without putting children and young people at risk, and that's the case for all subject pathways, not just physical education! Teaching is a stressful and hard working profession and it is important that trainees are aware of this and have the resilience, both mentally and physically, to cope with a job in teaching. 

All applicants are required to complete a Fitness to Teach questionnaire and may have to demonstrate that they “have the health and physical capacity to train to teach and will not put children and young people at risk of harm”. The activities that a teacher must be able to perform are laid out in the Education (Health Standards) (England) Regulations, 2003.

Do you recruit trainee teachers from overseas?

Yes we do. You will have to meet all of the University and course entry requirements and ensure you meet the new government guidelines. You should also be aware of the latest updates on studying in the UK.

What are the minimum entry requirements?

Please check the entry criteria on the course page for the subject you are applying to study as each route has its own specific requirements.

All routes into teaching require you to have a university degree. 

For routes into primary teaching, there is no specific degree required. For secondary routes, most (but not all) candidates will have a degree relating to their subject area; if your degree is not in the subject area, you would need to demonstrate strong subject knowledge.

Do I need GCSEs? 

Yes, you will need a C/4 or above (or equivalent) in English and Maths as an essential requirement for all pathways. For primary and early years PGCEs you also need to have a pass in a GCSE in Science, Maths and English.

What if I do not have a GCSE in Maths or English? 

You will need to make sure you have the GCSEs and certificates in place before you can take up a place on a PGCE programme. You can retake GCSE well ahead of applying with a local college, or you can take equivalency exams with our approved providers. 

If you are taking a GCSE or equivalency, you should apply to the PGCE early and let us know in your personal statement that you are undertaking this qualification.

If your GCSE English was taken in English as a foreign language (ie in a non-English speaking country), please be aware that you will need to gain an English GCSE for speakers of English. A Star Equivalency and Equivalency Testing both offer equivalency tests.

I have an international qualification, will you accept this? 

You can contact the Get Into Teaching team on 0800 389 2500 and they can provide you with a free UK ENIC statement of comparability once you’ve submitted your application.

I’ve worked in the industry will this be considered in my application? 

Yes, it will be beneficial to have experience working in a school before applying for an initial teacher training course. You’ll still need the essential qualifications as indicated by the Department for Education (DfE). 

Many of our trainees are ‘career-changers’ and are welcomed by schools because of the skills and experience they bring.

Do I need to have work experience in schools before applying?

This is not a requirement but is highly recommended. You will need to demonstrate commitment to the profession and an understanding of it.

I’ve been teaching as an unqualified teacher what are my options to becoming qualified?

You could study towards a postgraduate qualification in teaching (PGCE), or take the Graduate Apprenticeship. The latter option will require you to get the school you’re teaching at to support you through the apprenticeship, or to  apply for one of our partner apprenticeships in a different school.

You may also be suitable for the Assessment Only route if you already hold a degree. For the AO route you need to have at least 2 years whole classroom experience across the age range for your phase, and experience teaching in at least two schools

I did some things when I was younger and have a criminal record, can I still do a PGCE?

Having a criminal record does not prevent you from becoming a teacher, but we’d need to review each case against DfE criteria set out. Read the University's criminal convictions guidance.

Do I have to have an interview?

Yes, all applicants are required to have an interview, these are individual interviews and are offered online or on campus.

What will the interview look like? What will I be asked to do?

You will be asked to do a presentation, which will be briefed to you before the interview so you can prepare. 

At the interview, you will then do your presentation to the tutor, or sometimes to other candidates as well, and the tutor will ask you questions about it. 

You will then have an individual interview; you will be asked standard interview questions about why you choose this course and what your experience is. 

The tutor may question you about information you put in your application form. 

Finally you will be asked to take a Maths and English diagnostic assessment.

To give yourself the best chance of succeeding at a teacher training interview, follow these simple guidelines:

  1. Research your subject: 
    • read around the requirements and expectations for teachers
    • read up about recent initiatives, debates or changes in the world of education
    • read about the curriculum requirements for your subject or phase – what is in the National Curriculum? SATS tests? GCSE syllabus?
  2. Prepare for your interview:
    • follow the instructions for your presentation carefully, and practise it out loud – try it on a friend or family member
    • think about the kind of questions you might be asked at interview – consider how you would answer these
    • make sure to check the interview details carefully and be early

How do I apply?

You can apply for all teacher training courses, apart from the assessment-only route, through the Department for Education’s “Apply for teacher training” service.

How long does the process take?

When you apply, your referees will have to submit their references before we receive your application. We have 40 days to give you an offer, but we’re usually a lot quicker than that from the point of receipt of application.

How do I know if you offer me a place?

We will write to you.

If you offer a place is this guaranteed?

You will need to meet conditions set in your offer. You will not be able to enrol if you have not met all the conditions.

What if I’m not accepted?

You may apply again next year, but you will have to address the conditions and advice given to you in the first interview.

Can I postpone my place to the following year? 

In order to defer your place you would need to have met all your entry requirements and have an unconditional offer.

If the offer is still conditional, you would need to apply again when the recruitment cycle re-opens in October. 

At that point, if the recruitment processes have not changed, you may be exempt from repeating those parts of the interview that you have already completed successfully.

What sort of references will be needed?

An academic reference and a professional reference are the best combination, but not from a family or friend. 

If you have worked in a school or any other place of work, it is useful if the professional reference comes from a line manager in that workplace.

What is a personal statement and how do you write one?

A personal statement demonstrates your commitment and dedication to becoming a teacher. This is looked at very closely by the admissions panel. You will need to explain why you want to become a teacher and demonstrate an understanding that teaching is a vocation and not just a job. You will need to showcase your passion for teaching and your chosen subject.

You should also explain any relevant experience that you have, either to teaching in general or to your specific subject or phase. Tell us about any qualifications that you are undertaking or planning to take before the course start.

It is very important that your personal statement is written in good English, as good command of the English language is an essential quality you will need to possess as a teacher. Therefore you should proofread your statement very carefully.

Can I get a bursary?

Trainee teachers may be able to receive a bursary of up to £26,000 from the Department of Education (DfE) depending on course and degree classification. Please check the DfE website for full details. There are no bursaries for primary teaching subjects, but you will be able to get a postgraduate student loan.

It is important to note that trainees would only be eligible for a bursary if they are committed to teaching in England on completion of their training.

How much does the course cost?

Course fees can be found on course pages.

Does the University offer any financial assistance? 

Our alumni can get up to 20% discount on postgraduate study with us.

We also offer a range of grants and allowances. For more information visit and to check your eligibility visit our finance pages.

I heard there were incentives given to teachers in certain subjects, is this still the case and which subjects?

There are higher bursaries for certain subjects. Please check the DfE website for full details.

Where can I find work experience opportunities?

Depending on your circumstances you might gain a short experience of school life, either by by writing to your local schools or by joining in the DfE’s School Experience Programme.

If you are looking to get more extensive experience you can volunteer at local schools or possibly find employment as a Teaching Assistant.

Teaching assistant jobs are often advertised locally, so local newspapers and online directories are another good way to start. 

Or The Guardian newspaper publishes jobs in education.

Where are jobs in education advertised?

The government runs a teaching vacancies website, used by most schools.