Teaching & TEFL

  • Teaching & TEFL

Teaching & TEFL

Overview of the Sector

Education is the third largest sector in the UK in terms of how many it employs (www.totalprofessions.com). Jobs in education don’t necessarily mean working in a traditional school environment and there are other options available.


Teaching in Schools:

Early Years Teacher

Primary School Teacher

Secondary School Teacher

Lecturing in Further and Higher Education:

Further Education Teacher

Higher Education Lecturer

Special Educational Needs:

Special Educational Needs Teacher

Teaching English as a Foreign Language:

English as a Foreign Language Teacher

Teaching in Non-School/College Settings:

Private Music Teacher

Education Advice and Development:

Learning Mentor



There are two University based routes to becoming a Teacher in Northern Ireland: a full-time four-year undergraduate Bachelor of Education (BEd) with Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) or a one-year Postgraduate qualification such as the Post Graduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) at either Primary or Secondary level, known as initial teacher training (ITT). The course will provide the PGCE qualification and Qualified Teacher Status (QTS).  More information is available from the General Teaching Council for Northern Ireland


Applications are made direct to the institution.  Interested applicants should contact institutions directly for application forms and course details. Deadlines for NI institutions are generally in November and December.  Relevant experience is important for your application.  


Skills required to be an effective teacher are excellent communication and organisational skills, adaptable, team player, creative and a high standard of IT skills. Qualities include enthusiasm for teaching subject area and young people, committed, inspirational and fair-minded.  

Providers of Teacher Training in NI:

Useful Websites:

Where to look for jobs in NI

Controlled schools are under the management of the schools Board of Governors.  The employing authority is the education authority (EA).  Controlled sector advertises teaching jobs in NI on EA website http://www.eani.org.uk/ 

Northern Ireland Council for Integrated Education http://www.ni cie.org- vacancies available online 

Maintained (nursery, primary, special and secondary) are under the management of the Board of Governors. Employing Authority is the Council for Catholic Maintained Schools (CCMS) http://www.onlineccms.com/- for advertised teaching jobs 

Voluntary (Grammar) http://www.gbani.org/ Each of these schools is under the management of a Board of Governors- Make their own decision about where to advertise.  Examples: Belfast Telegraph - Tuesday/Friday; Irish News- Thursday 

Irish Medium- Education- vacancies advertised in Irish News- Thursday

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My Go Further Story

Brian Murphy
LLB (Joint Honours) Law and Accounting (Graduated 2010)
Teacher of Mathematics and Resident House Tutor, Harrow International school, Hong Kong

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Information for teaching and TEFL (Further afield)

Teacher Training in Republic of Ireland (ROI)

Primary level teaching - Professional Master of Education (Primary) Honours Degree with Leaving Cert or GCSEs requirements. Qualified applicants are offered a place on the basis of an interview and oral examination in Irish. 2 Year programme

Second level teaching - Professional Master of Education to qualify. Before applying, you need to ensure you have a suitable teaching subject as a major component of your honours bachelor degree.  2 Year programme

Find further information at Teaching Council Ireland.

Applying for Teacher Training in Great Britain

There is a central application system for teacher training in England and Wales known as UCAS Teacher Training.  For Scottish training programmes (PGDE), application is via the UCAS undergraduate scheme.  Relevant experience is essential for your application. Check relevant websites for closing dates.

Teach First- Graduates work towards achieving Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) as part of a PGCE, starting as an unqualified teacher, teaching a reduced timetable. By teaching and recording your reflections on the experience and participating in ongoing leadership development training, graduates develop the skills and behaviours that will earn them their teaching qualification.

Where to look for jobs in Republic of Ireland

Where to look for jobs in Great Britain

  • Guardian Jobs (online)                         
  • Times Educational Supplement/ TES Scotland 
  • If you know the city- search for the council eg. Newcastle city– then search for Newcastle city council Website will include teaching vacancies in their borough
  • Research inspection reports via Ofsted website to give you information about the standard of teaching

Information for teaching and TEFL (global)

Teaching English as a foreign language (TEFL) is a great way to incorporate working abroad and gaining work experience, especially if you wish to pursue a teaching career in Northern Ireland or the UK.  ELT, TEFL or TESOL qualifications will not qualify you to teach in a state school in the UK.

TEFL qualifications

This gives you a technical knowledge of English and the classroom skills you need to teach effectively. Private language schools across the UK offer courses and you want to look for a school that is a member of the Association for Accredited English Language Centers. There are distance learning or part-time options but make sure there is classroom experience.

Beyond Introductory Level

As a rough guide those planning to spend a year or more abroad would be wise to consider an accredited qualification.  The most widely recognised qualifications are validated by OCR / Cambridge University:

The CELTA programme is available at Belfast Metropolitan College and International House, Belfast.  The DELTA programme is only available by distance learning in Northern Ireland.

If you want to make this a career, you can take either a diploma or Masters (MA) in TEFL.

Useful Websites:

Professional legal bodies and organisations

Further reading and information

We have lots of really useful information resources in a variety of formats available in MyFuture and the Student Guidance Centre Hub which includes WI-FI, FREE TEA and COFFEE.

Prospects industry insights and Gradireland sector career guides will help you to search for employment in this employment sector.

We have a number of reference materials available in the Student Guidance Centre as well as some online resources listed below. Prospects industry insights and Gradireland sector career guides will help you to search for employment in this employment sector.

Prospects Job Sectors

Gradireland Career Sector Guides


This information is obtained from a variety of sources, including the Association of Graduate Careers Advisory Services (AGCAS), Association of Higher Education Careers Services (AHECS), Prospects, Gradireland and relevant professional organisations and other appropriate resources, as available.

We endeavour to ensure that our online resources are current and contain relevant information. However, we cannot accept responsibility for the contents of external websites.