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Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

Types of course

I want to become a teacher: what should I do?

There are many ways to become a teacher.

I want to become a college teacher, what should I do?

For further education enquiries, please contact the Centre For Lifelong Learning.

Am I too shy to become a teacher?

Many people are shy until they really know what they're doing, but if you love your subject and working with your chosen age-group, you're already halfway there. You'll build your knowledge and confidence with us, since our training courses focus on putting theory into practice and supporting you to gain the confidence you need to become a great teacher. If you'd like to learn more, why not visit one of our events?

How do I know if I'd be a good teacher?

A good teacher is committed and resilient; a hard worker who enjoys working with children or young adults, and is adaptable to changes. Before you apply, we'd always suggest engaging in school experience. Our partners are always keen to help prospective trainees - don’t be afraid of asking your local schools as well, or talking to some of our Teaching Fellows during an open evening to get some personalised insights.

How can I be a teacher and a full-time parent?

Teaching while taking care of a family can be quite challenging, but that's true of many jobs, and many of our trainees are also full-time parents. They use nurseries, childminders, clubs, and make arrangements with friends and family to cover, and focus on developing a good work-life balance. You can be inspired by other teachers and get tailored advice from Get Into Teaching. If you have a low income, please see the PGCE Student Funding webpagesLink opens in a new window for details of any possible supplementary grant options (e.g. Childcare Grant).

What's the difference between University-led courses and School Direct courses?

There are two main routes into studying teaching:

University-led PGCE

  • For this route, you apply through DfE Apply Link opens in a new windowto the University of Warwick.

  • We'll organise your placements. We’ve worked with our partner schools over many years and developed strong links, and all our mentors in schools are trained to support you during your time on the course.

School Direct PGCE

  • For this route, you apply directly to a Lead School via Dfe ApplyLink opens in a new window.

  • The Lead School will arrange that you are placed with them or at another school within their alliance.

  • Within School Direct, there is also the option of applying for the salaried route, meaning you will be paid whilst you train as you will be employed by the school as an unqualified teacher. The salaried route is most suited to applicants with a greater level of previous experience who will have the confidence to undertake an employment-based role.

For all routes, you will still have teaching days based at the University.

I want to choose the School Direct route: what should I do?

You need to apply directly to one of the lead schools who we work in partnership with on DfE Apply.

  • For a full list of the lead schools we work with please search w20 on DfE Apply or visit our School Direct Partnerships page. The lead schools often have a number of other base schools within their alliance, so you may be placed in one of the base schools during your training.

  • As part of the School Direct course you will have placements at two different schools: you’ll spend autumn and summer at a 'host' school, and spring at a 'complementary school'.

  • Usually the course is structured with four days spent in school, and one day spent at the university. But this is guidance only.

Do you have open days?

Yes, we have a variety of events throughout the year, you can find more information following this link.

When are the closing dates for applications?

Applications usually close around June or July, but if a course is full it will close earlier.

How do I know if there are still places available on the course I want to choose?

As long as vacancies are still open on DfE Apply, there are still places on the course. You can explore live vacancies on the government's 'Find' service using teacher provider code W20. We'll keep our course pages updated with information too.

We'd always encourage you to apply as early as possible to secure a place though.

Entry requirements and academic qualifications

General entry requirements

You can see our entry requirements on the following links for our PGCE Primary (2-7), PGCE Primary (5-11) and PGCE Secondary (11-18).

  • What if I have lost my GCSE certificates?
    It is a formal entry requirement that you provide an original copy of your degree and GCSE certificates (or equivalent) to the University. Without these, you will not be able to start a PGCE. Copies of your certificates will be taken at the interview stage. Please note we cannot accept a provisional statement of results or a signed letter from your school as proof of your GCSEs. If you have lost/do not have your GCSE certificates, you will need to contact the exam board you sat your GCSE’s with to obtain an official replacement. You do not need to have obtained these by the day of your interview, but we would encourage you contact your exam board as soon as possible as this process can take some time.

  • What qualifications do you accept that are equivalent to GCSEs?
    See our guidance about GCSEs equivalencies in Maths, Science Link opens in a new windowand EnglishLink opens in a new window. Please also see our International FAQsLink opens in a new windowif relevant.

  • I don’t have GCSE’s, what could I do to meet the entry requirements on the course?
    If you don’t have GCSEs or the equivalent qualifications, you can sit the IGCSE’s offered by Cambridge or the traditional GCSE exam. Another option could be to sit a GCSE Equivalence Test with a provider accepted by the University of Warwick - please see the 'Entry Requirements' sections for Primary & Secondary for information.

  • I am planning on resitting my GCSE’s, can I still apply on DfE Apply?
    You can apply on DfE Apply before you have sat GCSE’s, however please check whether each listing considers candidates with pending GCSEs or not (our University-led course does, please check our School Direct listings on a case by case basis). You will need to indicate this within your DfE Apply application, and will need to ensure you get the final results before the start date of the course.

  • I have a 3rd class degree, can I still be considered for a PGCE?
    Our standard entry requirement states that you would need to have achieved a 2:2 or above. However, you are still able to apply with a 3rd class degree. If the course selector felt they wanted to offer you a place despite this, it would involve us making a special case request, noting that your other experience and qualifications show that you are capable of undertaking the course.

    If you have completed further study beyond your BA degree, such as a Masters or other higher qualification, this will make it more likely that your application will be considered despite having a 3rd class in your first degree (although you can still apply without this).

    Your application would have to be strong in other areas to be considered for a special case. Having considerable experience in schools or industry, or a demonstratable exceptional knowledge of the subject you wish to teach. You may also be expected to have a good A-level in your subject to supplement your degree classification. There’s lots of advice on our website on strengthening your application. More information on the full process can be found here.

  • I have an integrated degree in my Masters, can I apply for the PGCE?
    If you have an integrated Degree within your Masters you would need to provide us with the transcript of your grades, however ifit is graded at a 2:2 or above it is likely to be suitable.

  • Can I apply to the Secondary PGCE if I do not have a degree relevant to the subject I want to teach?
    Having a relevant degree is beneficial, but it’s not a formal entry requirement, as your degree subject doesn’t need to be the same as the one you intend to teach, if you can demonstrate Subject Knowledge in other ways. We advise that around 50% of the content of your degree should relate to the subject you wish to teach, but if you have an A-Level in your subject this might also be taken into account, as will any other experience or recent study experience that you have. Do your best to strengthen all other areas of it to demonstrate your suitability as a candidate instead, with as much experience in schools as possible and a thorough knowledge of the subject you wish to teach.

  • I have lost my Degree certificate, who should I contact?
    If you're a Warwick graduate and need a replacement copy you should contact the Awards & Ceremonies Office.

School experience
  • How much school experience do I need?
    The school experience part of your application is not mandatory but is very useful. We recommend that you aim to gain at least 10 days school experience in UK schools so that you can get a ‘flavour’ of how a classroom works, the role of a teacher and whether it is the career for you. We know it can be tricky to get this much experience in one go - you might want to get some before your application to inform your personal statement, and then arrange more before the start of the course.

    We appreciate that post-pandemic, getting experience in schools has not been so easy. This will be taken into consideration but please do document any historical experience you have in working with children and young people.

  • How do I gain school experience?
    Read our advice about getting experience in schools.

  • Is my experience at school more important than my academic qualifications?
    Our courses are academically based, although existing school experience is really valuable, the entry requirements are set up by the DfE and followed by the University.

  • I have been teaching abroad, is it a valuable experience towards my application?
    We'll take this into consideration but we advise you to supplement this with about 10 days UK experience where possible, ideally pre-interview. Read more about getting experience in schools.

Subject knowledge enhancement
  • My degree is not in the subject I want to teach, or is from a long time ago. Can I get onto the course by doing a Subject Knowledge Enhancement course?
    SKE courses are available to refresh your knowledge in a subject. You are only able to apply for an SKE once you have attended an interview and have received SKE as a condition of any offer you receive. The University of Warwick does not deliver SKEs, however, you will be provided with a list of SKE providers as part of your offer - find out more.

  • I was recommended an SKE at the point of my interview, what do I do?
    Please follow the link above to find out more.
  • What is the SKE funding rate? How do I claim funding?
    Please check the Government SKE funding page, if you have any further questions, please get in touch with your SKE provider or alternatively at

International applicants
  • I will be classed as an 'Overseas' student or I have qualifications from abroad, how do I find out more?
    Please see for some useful information
  • How can I get a Student visa?

    The University of Warwick will sponsor PGCE students on ‘University-led’ and ‘School Direct Training’ routes with a Student visa. To apply for a Student visa, you might find it useful to check this page, or you can contact Warwick's immigration service.

    Please also see our International FAQsLink opens in a new window 

  • How do I know if I need to take an IELTs test?
    If English is not your first language, you will be likely to be asked to gain an IELTS pass at Band B or above within 2 years of the course start date. Please be aware that you are likely to need it before the start date of the course. More information at our International FAQsLink opens in a new window

  • I have passed English within my high school qualification, is this the GCSE English equivalent?
    If your high school qualification is shown to be equivalent to GCSE grade C/4 or above but considered ‘English as an Alternative Language’, you would need to consider sitting a GCSE, iGCSE or online GCSE Equivalence test from the two accepted providers. Please see the entry requirements sections for Primary & Secondary for information on sitting GCSE Equivalence tests. More information is at our International FAQsLink opens in a new window

  • I'm a native speaker and want to teach my native language but I don’t hold a relevant degree. What can I do?
    For our Secondary PGCE courses, we ask that you have graduated, or be about to graduate, from a UK Higher Educational Institute or equivalent, with a 2:2 or above honours degree - we suggest that having a degree in the subject you wish to teach is beneficial, but isn’t essential if you still have a good knowledge of the subject and you can demonstrate it. Please also see infromation on Subject Knowledge Enhancement courseLink opens in a new windows if required.

  • What is a UK ENIC statement?
    The UK ENIC Statement of Comparability is a document that can be used in support of your international qualifications. It guides universities, colleges, employers and professional bodies on how your qualifications (including professional qualifications) relate to UK qualifications and certificates. It is not a compulsory document, but can be useful when applying for work or study in the UK. There is some advice on applying for a free UK ENIC Statement (formerly NARIC) at the Get into TeachingLink opens in a new window website.

  • Do my international qualifications meet the entry requirements for the PGCE?
    Once you get your UK ENIC statement of compatibility, please do get in touch with us, and find out more information about your degree equivalency.

Completing your form
DfE Apply
  • What DfE Apply codes should I use to apply?
    Our DfE Apply provider’s code is W20. If you can’t find the Course code on the DfE Apply list, please leave us an email at

  • Who should be my referees on my DfE Apply application?
    Your referees can be both academic and professional referees. Ideally if you have left University within 5 years of your application, DfE Apply would seek for at least one academic referee and the University would seek for at least one if you have graduated less than 2 years ago.

  • My application has expired: what can I do?
    Unfortunately if your application has expired you will have to reapply on DfE Apply. It will have saved most of the information, so you would not need to re-type.

  • How long does it take to process my application on DfE Apply?
    Once you have submitted your DfE Apply application, it is received by our central Postgraduate Admissions department who carry out checks on qualifications and references. Your application is then reviewed by a teaching fellow who is experienced in your subject. If your application is successful, at this stage you will be invited to interview. This process usually takes approximately 7 working days. It can take longer to process your application if we require extra information – such as checking international qualifications.

  • How do I accept an offer on DfE Apply?
    You can accept an offer on DfE Apply by withdrawing all your other applications first. For more information you can check the DfE Apply website.

  • I have received a conditional offer, what does it mean?
    A conditional offer means that you have a number of conditions to meet before you receive an unconditional offer and can enrol on the course. These conditions can range from passing the professional skills test to passing a DBS check.

Changing your course
  • I want to defer my offer, is it possible?
    You can ask for a deferral if you have a valuable reason to do so. The deferral should be supported by evidence. You can contact our Admissions and Enrolments Team about this.

  • I have applied for the primary PGCE but I want to do secondary: can I swap?
    If you have already been invited for an interview and if you have been made an offer on DfE Apply, you would need to contact us to discuss this further. Should you wish to swap, please ensure that your application is strong enough to support this and that you have organised some Secondary school experience.

  • I have applied for the secondary PGCE but I want to do primary: can I swap?
    If you have already been invited for an interview and if you have been made an offer on DfE Apply, you would need to contact us to discuss this further. Should you wish to swap, please ensure that your application is strong enough to support this, that you have organised some Primary school experience, and that you hold a Science GCSE with a grade C or above.

Interviews are being conducted both face-to-face and online. Please bear in mind, online interviews are primarily for those living a good distance from the Warwick campus (50 mile radius) and are limited in availability. Details will be included in your interview invitation, should your application be successful.
  • When will I know if I can attend an interview?
    Once you have submitted your application on DfE Apply, in most cases you will have a response within 7 working days.

  • I can’t make any of the available interview dates. can I have a later interview date?
    Yes. If you can’t make any of the available interview dates please contact and we will look into alternative dates. Please note: your DfE Apply application ‘times out’ after 40 days and is ‘rejected by default’ after these 40 days are up. Therefore, depending on how long ago you submitted your DfE Apply application, you should only accept an interview date well within these 40 days.

  • When will I hear back about my interview day?
    You will be able to see the outcome of your interview on DfE Apply within 2 weeks.

  • I have been rejected at my interview day: can I get some feedback?
    We understand that being rejected at the interview stage can be very disappointing and we are keen to help support you. If you would like to receive feedback about your University-led PGCE interview please send an email to and you will be provided with further information and detailed feedback. If you would like to receive feedback about your School-Direct PGCE interview please send an email to your lead school and you will be provided with further information and feedback.

  • I have been invited for an interview but I have a disability, how should I inform you of this?
    If you would like to inform us of your disability please contact us -

  • I came for an interview and I was made an offer but my DfE Apply track is not showing the offer, is this normal?
    Yes. Please be advised that it can take some time for our postgraduate admissions team to update your offer on DfE Apply. Please allow up to two weeks for this to happen.

  • I am living abroad and can’t come to attend an interview
    If you are currently living abroad and would be unable to attend an interview it is possible to arrange an online interview. Please email and we will try and arrange this for you. If you are applying to School Direct, you will need to contact the lead school to discuss. Please also see our International FAQs.

  • Will I be able to park on the Westwood campus on the day of my interview?
    There is some limited car parking available on the Westwood campus. See how to find us.

  • Can I still attend my interview without my certificates and my ID documents?
    Yes. It is important to bring your ID and certificates along to your interview, however if this isn’t possible please don’t worry. You will have an opportunity to provide these at another time if you receive a conditional offer.

Recruitment process

Will I need a new DBS check if I have one?

Although you might have already completed a DBS check for different reasons, it is very unlikely that we will be able to use this.

I am a current student at Warwick, is my DBS check enough to pass the disclosure condition?

We can, under certain circumstances, accept existing DBS Checks completed through Warwick, such as those obtained for the Warwick in Schools programme. The criteria for accepting it are below:

  • The check must have been completed through Warwick and dated within the last two years
  • The check needs to be at the same level (e.g. Enhanced DBS Check including the Children’s Barred List)
  • The check cannot have been obtained for a voluntary role (Warwick in Schools is considered non-voluntary as it is part of the student’s course of study)
  • You must have been fully enrolled for the whole time since the check was completed (so if you completed a DBS Check, but then deferred for a year would not meet this criteria)

I have been living abroad within the last 5 years (for 6 months or more), what should I do?

You will be asked to provide a Certificate of Good Conduct from the country you were residing in. This is required as the DBS only conducts checks within the U.K and you are required to provide evidence that you do not hold a criminal record overseas. It is important to start the process for obtaining the relevant overseas checks as soon as possible, as it can take some time for them to be obtained. For more information please check our website.

My name on my certificates is not the same as my ID: what should I do?

If your name is different on your certificate and on your IDs you will need to provide a proof of the name change. This can be through a solicitors letter, an original marriage certificate or deed poll etc.

Finance and funding

How much do courses cost at Warwick?

Our current course fees can be found on our webpages by course.

If you are have a nationality other than 'British' selected on your application you may be classed as having overseas fees status unless evidenced otherwise. Please contact our Student Opportunity: Immigration and Compliance team for advice on your fees status before you apply. Please also see our International FAQsLink opens in a new window.

Are there scholarships and bursaries for trainees?

Please see the PGCE Student Funding webpages for details about bursaries and scholarships available to trainees on a fee-based teacher training courses in England.

What extra costs will I need to plan for during my PGCE?

  • Travel: You'll need to pay for travel to and from their placement schools either using private and public transport. You may need to be prepared for the possibility of extra travelling time too, although we'll make every reasonable effort to minimise your journey times.
  • Books: Books are recommended but there is no requirement to purchase specific texts and you have access to the University of Warwick library.
  • Materials: You will need writing materials. Ideally, you will need a laptop or tablet: you will certainly need access to some type of PC.
  • Computing requirements
    A computing device with a browser and broadband internet access is required for the course. The university provides central guidance on the recommended specification for any device you use to undertake your academic work.

Can I apply for funding if I am an international student?

Please see the PGCE Student Funding webpages for details.

Can I get sponsorship to fund my course?

Please see the PGCE Student Funding webpages to find out more about available scholarships.

Can I get childcare support?

If you are/will be a Home student on a PGCE course and have a low income, please see the PGCE Student Funding webpages for details of any supplementary grant options (e.g. Childcare Grant).


Where will my school placements be? Can I arrange my own?

For the Univesity-led route, before the start date of the course, you will receive a form to fill about school placements. You should be aware that there may be a commute of up to an hour. If you would like to know which schools are within our partnership, you can check on our website. You can contact us if you would like to discuss potential partnerships.

For the School-Direct route, please discuss with the School Direct AllianceLink opens in a new window regarding the most likely school you will be placed in.