Teaching Courses at the University of Cumbria

The University of Cumbria is highly-rated by OFSTED as a provider of successful teachers


9 in 10 of our graduates are in work

or further training within 6 months of graduating

What teaching course or teacher training route you can take depends heavily on what previous qualification you hold. Click the tabs below to explore the best course for you.

There are a number of bursaries, scholarships, loans and other financial aids available to help you fund your teaching course and living costs while you study with us. PGCE students also benefit from exclusive accommodation deals and Northern Ireland applicants will be interviewed and be able to do their placement in Northern Ireland.

Have any questions or would like to discuss the options further? Call us on 0808 291 6738 or email us on enquirycentre@cumbria.ac.uk for one-to-one tailored advice.



Routes into teaching if you don't have a degree

All state maintained schools require teachers to have the award of QTS (Qualified Teacher Status). Here at the University of Cumbria, you can take a degree in Primary Education and work towards you QTS award at the same time. You will be ready to get your first teaching job with no further study required. If your degree doesn’t include QTS you will need to get certified separately, through our PGCE programme or similar.

You can train in 3 years or 4 years with a specialism in Inclusion and Special Educational Needs and Disability.

Primary Teaching

BA (Hons) Primary Education (3-11) with QTS
Develop your desire for teaching with a focus on working with primary and early years children, whether in school or other settings. We will build your confidence and provide the support network so you can move with ease into your first teaching post.

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BA (Hons) Primary Education (5-11): Inclusion with SEND with QTS
If you believe that all children have the right to be taught by an inspirational, knowledgeable, creative and caring teacher, then this is the course for you. We'll provide you with the skills and placement opportunities to help children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities. 

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Secondary Teaching

To teach at secondary school level you will need to have a degree in the curriculum subject or a related field, followed by a PGCE with a secondary specialism once you have finished your degree. Here are some of our subject related degrees that would best complimented a PGCE with secondary specilism:


BSc (Hons) Animal Conservation Science
Live, study and research in the Lake District, the perfect place to learn more about animal life and what we can do to protect it. Every day brings new discoveries in the UK's oldest national park.

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BSc (Hons) Sport Rehabilitation
Want a career helping everyone from the occasional jogger to elite professional athlete recover from injury and get back to peak performance? Whether you want employment in the NHS, with professional sports clubs or as a consultant, we’ll help ensure you develop all the knowledge and skills you need to become a fully trained British Association of Sport Rehabilitators and Trainers (BASRat) sports rehabilitator.

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BA (Hons) Sport Coaching and Physical Education
Our strong links with sports partnerships and great opportunities to organise sporting events give you the valuable experience you need to make your CV stand out.

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BA (Hons) Creative Writing
Fire up your creative thinking under expert tuition, writing fiction, scripts, non-fiction and poetry. BA (Hons) Creative Writing will allow you to immerse yourself in literary techniques and explore a range of genres. There is a great balance of personal freedom and the discipline of the craft.

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BA (Hons) English Literature
Discover English Literature from the Renaissance to the present, in global and regional and local contexts. You will explore the local area through field trips to feed your passion for literature and to spark your imagination. Pursue your passion and creativity, whilst gaining practical skills such as recording a mock radio programme, designing a web page, and producing a real-world project relating to your personal career plans, in a beautiful location with rich literary connections.

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BA (Hons) Business, Accounting and Finance
Get the practical experience you need to get ahead in the business world. We work with your career ambitions to ensure you get the knowledge you need to succeed and strive.

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BSc (Hons) Zoology
Is your dream to work with animals? We provide the perfect place for you to study and work alongside animals, providing hands-on experience and expert advice from active zoologists.

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BSc (Hons) Psychology

You're intrigued by human behaviour. You want to explore the human mind. You have a desire to understand how we interact with the world around us.

Our Psychology course provides the equipment, expert lecturers and hands-on learning opportunities that will prove invaluable for achieving your career-goals. With our Psychology degree, we work to your career path to ensure you get the right information for your needs.

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BSc (Hons) Biomedical Sciences
We are helping support the creation of 27,000 new STEM jobs in Cumbria. For some there's nothing better than an afternoon in the lab, if this sounds like you, the University of Cumbria's £3.5million STEM labs are the perfect place for you to carry out your experiments. Surrounded by people just as passionate about science as you are and with cutting edge equipment.

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BSc (Hons) Biology - Microbiology
Microbiology is the study of bacteria, viruses, fungi and protozoa all of which have an impact on human health, the environment, food and pharmaceutical industries. Micro-organisms may be both harmful or beneficial and our understanding of their importance continues to grow through advancements such as genome sequencing. Micro-organisms affect every aspect of life on Earth. Whether you’re fascinated by the genetics of microbial resistance or aspire to make advances in the fight against disease,

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BA (Hons) Performing Arts

Do you have a passion to perform? Our specialist arts campus will build on your existing talents and provide you with a fun and friendly space to indulge in the performing arts.

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BA (Hons) Illustration
Your creative quest will take you on a journey to explore your passion and bring your ideas to life. You'll be immersed in a supportive community of like-minded creatives to find new ways to see the world, and new ways to express yourself. Study in the University of Cumbria's Institute of the Arts and let your curiosity fuel your future.

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BA (Hons) Fine Art
Seize your moment to do what you love and love what you do. The Fine Art course will enrich your knowledge enabling you to take your creativity into an exciting and fulfilling creative practice. Exhibit your work with your own show in our very own Vallum gallery plus unveil your talents at national shows such as 'Freerange' with your peers.

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BA (Hons) Film and Television
Achieve your true potential as a creator, this course guides students through the industry, with visits and lectures from prominent professional TV and film practitioners, it boasts a roll call of students who have scooped Royal Television Society Awards, become location scouts for Disney.com and continues to develop students to become experts in their chosen field.

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BA (Hons) Acting

Pursue your passion in contemporary and classical theatre, immerse yourself in fantastic creative spaces: allow yourself to achieve your true potential. BA (Hons) Acting will inspire you to discover your original thinking. It gives you the artistic freedom to discover who you are as a performer with guidance from professional tutors and leading industry directors.

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BSc (Hons) Woodland Ecology and Conservation
Help preserve our forests and woodlands for future generations to enjoy. We have a place for you among the next generation of planet protectors - will you join us?

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BSc (Hons) Outdoor Adventure and Environment
Your thirst for outdoor adventure and passion for our planet will be satiated in the Lake District - an awesome landscape packed with mountains, lakes and Sites of Specific Interest to be explored and researched for a real-life study experience like no other you'll get.

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BSc (Hons) Marine and Freshwater Conservation
Play your part in preserving, protecting and restoring damaged marine and freshwater ecosystems and vulnerable species on a course where the classroom has no boundaries. Learn from leading experts and researchers in the Lake District National Park - home to home to 55,690 hectares of Sites of Specific Scientific Interest. We'll help you to make a huge difference to our planet.

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BSc (Hons) Geography
Strive to solve 21st Century challenges and tackle critical issues that both our planet and humans face. And, do it in the Lake District, the UK's largest National Park and UNESCO site - the ultimate research lab and where you'll learn from world-leading experts to work with nature and not against it.

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Special Needs Teaching

If you are passionate about helping children with special educational needs, you have come to the right place. Our Primary Education with SEND course achieved 100% Satisfaction in the NSS (National Student Survey) 2019 report.


BA (Hons) Primary Education (5-11): Inclusion with SEND with QTS
If you believe that all children have the right to be taught by an inspirational, knowledgeable, creative and caring teacher, then this is the course for you. We'll provide you with the skills and placement opportunities to help children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities.

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Postgraduate Certificate of Education (PGCE)

If you already have a degree there are several options and routes you can take to become a teacher. Choose the options below to explore the best course for you.

Primary Teaching

You can train to teach at primary school within a year by taking our PGCE route. If you start in our January cohort, you will be qualified and ready to work in schools by November of the same year.

Our Post Graduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) is also equivalent to 60 credits towards a Master’s degree and it’s available with five different specialisms:


PGCE General Primary with QTS (5 -11 years)
PGCE General Primary with QTS will help you gain the knowledge and skills needed to be an effective primary school teacher, develop as an independent learner, and nurture the beliefs, values and self-motivation that you will need throughout your career.

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PGCE Lower Primary with QTS (3-7 year olds)
PGCE Lower Primary with QTS is for students who wish to teach children aged 3-7. Become an effective, skillful and caring teacher, and develop the values and self-motivation you'll need throughout your working life.

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PGCE General Primary with QTS (5-11 years) - Mathematics specialism
Imagine helping children be the very best they can be from the very start of their academic life and ensure they have the essential maths skills needed for everyday life – you can as a primary school teacher with a specialism in mathematics. Our highly-rated PGCE General Primary with QTS: Mathematics will support your journey all the way from student through to achieving status as a newly-qualified teacher.

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PGCE General Primary with QTS (5-11 years) - Physical Education specialism
Gain the knowledge and skills needed to be an effective primary PE teacher. PGCE Primary with PE specialism will help you develop as an independent learner, and nurture the beliefs, values and self-motivation that you will need throughout your career. You will also gain qualified teacher status (QTS).

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PGCE General Primary (5-11 years) with QTS: Inclusion/SEND
PGCE General Primary (5-11) with QTS: Inclusion/SEND will teach you the concepts, knowledge and skills needed to be an effective teacher for all pupils, including those with special educational needs and disabilities

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Secondary Teaching

You can train to teach within a year by taking our PGCE route. Our Post Graduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) is also equivalent to 60 credits towards a Master’s degree and it’s available with 14 different subject specialisms:


PGCE Secondary Education with QTS: Art and Design (11-16 years)
Bring your passion for art and design to the classroom and inspire the next generation. Our PGCE course will help you make a difference to the lives and futures of young people by being creative, enthusiastic and outstanding ‘art and design teachers of the future’.

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PGCE Secondary Education with QTS: Biology (11-16 years)

Do you want to help children make sense of the world around them and inspire scientists of the future? You can with rewarding career as a biology teacher in secondary schools.

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PGCE Secondary Education with QTS: Chemistry (11-16 years)
Love Science? Why not use your passion to help children explore the world around them and even become scientists of the future with a rewarding career as a secondary school teacher in Chemistry.

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PGCE Secondary Education with QTS: Computer Science and ICT (11-16 years)
Develop all the skills required to teach computing effectively, from the basics of structuring and planning lessons through to developing personal skills and confidence.

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PGCE Secondary Education with QTS: Drama

Students will have opportunity to acquire all the skills necessary for a competent classroom practioner at Key Stages 3 & 4. They will experience two contrasting school placements as per the dfE requirements where they will put theory into practice and develop their teaching skills.

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PGCE Secondary Education with QTS: English (11-16 years)

PGCE Secondary Education with QTS: English prepares you to become a specialist English teacher, trained to deliver the essential knowledge and skills that make English such a wide ranging and exciting subject.

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PGCE Secondary Education with QTS: Geography (11-16 years)

PGCE Secondary Geography helps you develop into a enthusiastic, reflective and thoughtful teacher of geography specialising in the creative use of fieldwork, enquiry-based learning and ICT. With qualified teacher status (QTS) included in the course, you'll be fully equipped to start your teaching career.

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PGCE Secondary Education with QTS: History (11-16 years)

PGCE Secondary Education: History will help you become a teacher who can make the past come to life for pupils, stimulate their curiosity and develop their critical thinking, writing and speaking.

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PGCE Secondary Education with QTS: Mathematics (11-16 years)

Our PGCE will help you develop your confidence in mathematics along with your ability to help young learners understand and appreciate the beauty of the subject. With qualified teacher status (QTS) built in, you'll graduate fully prepared to take on your first teaching role.

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PGCE Secondary Education with QTS: Modern Foreign Languages (11-16 years)

If your ambition is to teach modern foreign languages at secondary school, or even at university, then this is the course for you. We are rated as one of the top departments in the UK for PGCE Modern Foreign Languages with qualified teacher status (QTS)

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PGCE Secondary Education with QTS: Music (11-16 years)
Developing and making use of your music skills, explore teaching methods in all areas across Key Stages 3 and 4, which span ages 11 to 18, and learn how to nurture diverse musical talents and abilities. With this course, you'll gain qualified teacher status (QTS) which will allow you to start your teaching career right away.

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PGCE Secondary Education with QTS: Physical Education (11-16 years)

If you have a genuine desire to teach, a commitment and enthusiasm for working with adolescents, and a love of physical education and school sport, we look forward to working with you. PGCE Secondary Education with QTS: Physical Education will help mould you into an excellent, fully qualified PE teacher.

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PGCE Secondary Education with QTS: Physics (11-16 years)

Help children explore their curiosity about the world around them in an exciting and rewarding career as a science teacher! PGCE Secondary Education with QTS: Physics specialises in physics, but you will also learn to teach biology and chemistry at secondary school level.


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PGCE Secondary Education with QTS: Religious Education (11-16 years)
PGCE Secondary Education: Religious Education introduces you to a range of approaches to religious education, builds your confidence as a specialist in this area of the curriculum and encourages you to develop your own area of expertise, through the modules at masters level.

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Online/Part-time Courses

Training online and part time is a great way to gain the necessary qualifications at a pace and time that suits you, especially if you need to work full-time while retraining. It’s also a great course if you are looking into mentoring or other educational settings like working as an educator in museums and teaching hospitals to name only a couple.

While this will be enough to work as an educator or teach in some private and international schools, the online course does not give you the QTS (Qualified Teacher Status) certification required for working within state schools so you will have to take the QTS Assessment separately, as this will need to be assessed while you are working in a British school.

If your career goal is to teach in primary or secondary state schools, we highly recommend that you take the QTS Direct Assessment after or at the end of your PGCE online course.


PGCE Postgraduate Certificate in Education (non-QTS Online)
The Postgraduate Certificate in Education (non-QTS) is a fully online programme which can be taken flexibly, on its own or alongside full-time study or employment.

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QTS Direct Assessment Only Route
Achieve QTS with the University of Cumbria via interview, e-portfolio, and assessed practice.

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Special Needs Teaching

If you are passionate about helping children with special educational needs, you have come to the right place. 


PGCE General Primary (5-11 years) with QTS: Inclusion/SEND
PGCE General Primary (5-11) with QTS: Inclusion/SEND will teach you the concepts, knowledge and skills needed to be an effective teacher for all pupils, including those with special educational needs and disabilities

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