Careers Service

Application process

Teacher Training Application Process

Find information to help with the application process for teacher training, including information about how to research courses, when to apply and how to complete your personal statement.

Researching courses

Make sure you research the courses and training providers you're interested in so that you choose the right one for you. The following websites can help with this research:

If you are unsure which option to choose, call in and speak to a careers adviser.

Application process

The application process and closing dates vary depending on the training route you choose. See teaching in schools in our Occupations site to find out more about the different routes into teaching and visit the individual websites for more information on the application process.

For PGCE, School Direct, SCITT and Postgraduate Teaching Apprenticeships in England, applications can be made through the Apply for teacher training service on GOV.UK. Applications in Scotland or Wales are made through UCAS

Teacher training applications through GOV.UK usually open in October for entry the following year. Training providers will keep their applications open until they are full, so it's important to apply early for popular courses. 

The Department for Education (DfE) has a search tool for teacher training programmes in England. For more information and to access the search tool, see GOV.UK

On the Apply for teacher training service on GOV.UK you can apply for 3 course choices in your first application round. If your first 3 applications are unsuccessful you can apply for other courses one at a time through 'Apply Again'. 

Training providers have 40 days from receipt of your application to invite you to interview and offer you a place, or decline your application. 

For early years teacher training, you usually apply directly to the institution. The DfE has a list of accredited providers

Teacher Training personal statement

It's really important that your personal statement is relevant and effective

The format of the personal statement is different on GOV.UK and UCAS.

Apply for teacher training GOV.UK personal statement

There are two sections on the GOV.UK personal statement:

Why do you want to be a teacher?

You can write up to 600 words in this section. 

You can include:

  • your interest in the subject or age group
  • the demands and rewards of teaching
  • the personal qualities that would make you a good teacher
  • how you could contribute to a school outside the classroom
  • any experience working with children or young people, and what you learnt
  • your thoughts on welfare and education

Your suitability to teach a subject or age group

You can write up to 400 words for this section.

You need to include detailed evidence for the knowledge and interest you bring to the subject(s) you’d like to teach.

Evidence can include:

  • the subject of your undergraduate degree
  • modules you studied as part of your degree
  • postgraduate degrees (for example, a Masters or PhD)
  • your A level subjects
  • expertise you’ve gained at work
  • showing an understanding of the National Curriculum in their subject, age and key stage range.

UCAS personal statement

You can only submit one personal statement, even if you need to reapply through Apply 2. Think carefully about how much focus you want to place on your reasons behind choosing a particular training route, in case you need to choose a different route in Apply 2.

UCAS recommends that you write your personal statement in Word then cut and paste the text into the online application form, rather than work directly online. The personal statement section will allow you to enter 47 lines of text (about 4000 characters). Blank lines and other invisible formatting are included in this line/character count.

To make sure you keep within the line limit and permitted number of characters we recommend that you use Verdana, font size 11 and copy your text onto Notepad, or other simple text editing software, before pasting it into the application form.

Resources to help complete your application form and personal statement 

The following external websites provide advice on the application process:

Writing a personal statement for teacher training  (PDF: 157KB) can help you with writing the UCAS personal statement. 

Further help 

The Department for Education offers free application support and advice from an experienced teacher. Register for an adviser through the GOV.UK website.

The Careers Service runs workshops to help you prepare your personal statement. Details of these workshops are listed in Events when available. 

We can also give you feedback on your statement in an online 1:1 appointment. Log into MyCareer, click on 'Book', then 'Appointments' and use our Appointment Finder to book the right appointment type for you.

Alternatively, you can send your personal statement to us for written feedback - this can take up to 5 working days. Click on Resources in MyCareer (top right hand corner) to submit your query and upload your statement.


Interviews normally take place between the start of the year and the summer but if you have applied early in the cycle you may be interviewed as early as November. The interview process varies from institution to institution, but you are likely to be given a description of what to expect in the letter of invitation. The process is similar whether you are applying for primary or secondary.

For further information see our Teacher Training Interviews page.