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How to Become a Teacher Without A Degree

Are you put off by the financial cost of enrolling onto a teaching degree? And also the time span it will take to achieve?. The good news is that there is an alternative pathway to becoming a fully qualified teacher without a degree. Typically this is achieved by gaining the Level 5 Diploma in Education & Training and then applying for QTLS with the Society for Education & Training.

Level 5 Diploma in Education & Training

The Level 5 Diploma in Education & Training (L5 DET)  is the final step along the Level 3, 4 & 5 Education & Training Pathway. It’s designed for candidates who are already in a teaching / training role because there is a requirement to log 100 hours of current teaching as part of the qualification. The teaching hours can even be voluntary but they must be structured lessons delivered to groups.

The average completion time of the level 5 diploma in education & training is 8 -12 months which is a fraction of the timespan taken to complete a bachelor's degree of education at University. Train Aid also offers this course for £990, which can be compared to a three year university degree costing on average £27,000.

Helpful hint - You can go straight onto the L5 DET and skip levels 3 & 4 if you are already in a teaching / training role. Please have a look at the full course information here

Functional Skills

It is not a prerequisite to hold qualifications in functional skills (Maths & English) to enrol on the L5 DET. However when applying for QTLS with the society of education & training you will need to have a level 2 Maths & English qualification (A* - C) or Grades 4 - 9 in the new style system. Please also bear in mind that if you want to teach Maths and English at secondary school it is a requirement to have a level 3 qualification (A Level).


Since April 2012, teachers and trainers holding QTLS who are also members of SET (Society for Education & Training) have been recognised in legislation as equivalent in status to teachers with QTS in schools. They are able to teach across all subjects and all ages on equal pay and conditions, opening up career development and wider employment opportunities.

L5 DET graduates need to sign up on the Society of Education & Training portal during one of the application windows. Generally you should put aside around four months to gather the required evidence for your portfolio, which will require evidence from a mentor at your own teaching / training establishment. Once complete you then wait for the next application window to open, finding out if you were successful and then finally achieve QTLS certification. 

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This course contains an e-learning element. You will be required to complete this before receiving your certificate.