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Entry requirements

In order to apply for a place on School Direct, you must have:

  • A UK undergraduate degree or a recognised equivalent qualification.
  • A GCSE grade C or above in English and Mathematics.
  • A GCSE grade C or above in a science if you are applying to teach primary or key stage 2/3 (ages 7–14).
  • Passed, or have plans in place to pass, the Professional Skills Tests in numeracy and literacy; please see the Professional Skills Tests section of the Department for Education web site for more information on the core skills required by trainee teachers

If you will require a Tier 4 student visa then you will be ineligible to apply for a School Direct programme.

Before acceptance on the course students will also have had to:

  • Provide a satisfactory medical form
  • Completed an enhanced DBS/police check
  • Completed a Declaration of Suitability to Teach
  • Adhered to a Code of Professional Conduct and Fitness to Practise

Download more specific information on the required experience and entry qualifications (PDF, 310KB).

A minimum of one week of experience of working, or undertaking placement or purposeful voluntary experience in a state school setting, is essential for those applying for School Direct places partnered by the University of Birmingham and School Direct (Salaried) students must have 3 years or more work experience.

Months of entry


Course content

This initial teacher training programme enables lead schools to choose the provider they want to work with. These schools play a key role in recruiting and selecting trainees and they work with the University to provide a high-quality training programme which leads to the award of the Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) with Qualified Teacher Status at Primary level. Applicants apply direct to a lead school and undertake their placements within the lead school’s partnership. Partnerships may include a mix of primary and special.

Following successful completion of the 60 (level 7) credit PGCE (QTS) year, students may then opt to progress onto the Postgraduate Diploma in Teaching Studies and then the MA in Teaching Studies with the University of Birmingham.

Students who have completed the 120 credit PGDipEd (QTS) year may progress directly onto the MA in Teaching Studies.

There are two routes currently being offered:

  • School Direct students pay a tuition fee to the University of Birmingham and may be eligible for a bursary or scholarship.
  • School Direct (salaried) is normally for graduates with at least three years’ work experience. Students are employees of their schools and are paid a salary. The University does not charge fees for this route.

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

  • QTS
    full time
    12 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification

Course contact details