School Direct entry requirements

Students in class

Applicants for School Direct must have the following educational qualifications:

  • Honours degree (2.2 or higher), awarded by a UK university or an overseas award recognised as equivalent by NARIC.  For secondary trainees we would expect the degree to have a minimum 50% content of the subject in which the applicant is applying.  However, applicants whose degree does not meet this requirement should contact us to discuss further at
  • GCSE Grade 4 or above in English and mathematics (Grade C or above under the old grading structure).
  • Primary trainees must also have either science/biology/chemistry/physics/additional science or applied science GCSE Grade 4 or above (Grade C or above under the old grading structure).
  • Original certificates will need to be shown at interview.
  • All students from non-majority English speaking countries require proof of English language proficiency, equivalent to an overall IELTS score of 6.5 with a minimum of 6.0 in each band.

Equivalent qualifications

The City and Guilds Level 2 qualifications in numeracy and English are not deemed as equivalent to GCSE grade 4 or above for entry into initial teacher training.

The University of Hertfordshire does not accept equivalency tests in the place of GCSE qualifications.

International qualifications

If the qualifications have been taken abroad then these need to be verified by NARIC before applying for the programme. Visit NARIC for more information or call +44(0)870 990 4088.

Please send a copy of NARIC and your transcript for the degree or GCSE qualifications to David Ingledew, secondary ( or Julia Mackintosh, primary ( to be checked before your interview.


For anyone currently working on a first degree it will be necessary to show evidence of the end date and of grades allocated at the time of any interview. Degrees must be successfully completed before starting the programme and any offers of places will be provisional on that outcome.

School experience

Suitability to train to teach is assessed at interview.  We recommend that applicants undertake observation time in state school prior to interview but this is not essential.  We have created some activities to support observation in school that applicants - either before or after interview - may find useful.

At interview applicants will also need to show some knowledge of the school curriculum as well as the Teachers' Standards.

Skills tests

You will also be required to pass the Professional Skills tests in literacy and numeracy before starting the course.

Find out more about passing the skills tests.