I would love to pursue Maths teaching but I am unsure whether I would be accepted onto the programmes and whether I should complete an A Level in Maths with a view to apply for PGCE or Schools Direct Route in 2015.

Will getting my A Levels in Maths help to get admitted to a PGCE program?

As background: I'm 26 and hold a 2.2 degree in Biomedical Science from a British university. I took my A Levels in Biology and Chemistry but only got an AS Level in Maths and Art. My work background is that I have been a carer for family members for many years.

  • It appears you have asked this both here and matheducators.SE. If this is about positions lower than university, it is off topic here.
    – Chris C
    Sep 25, 2014 at 12:25
  • It was suggested to put my question on this forum. My question is in regard to postgraduate training. Sep 25, 2014 at 12:42
  • I have edited the question to make it more on-topic. If I have not preserved your intention, please roll back my changes.
    – earthling
    Sep 26, 2014 at 9:20
  • @ChrisC Although the teaching would be to schoolchildren, the question is about applying for a postgraduate teaching degree (PGCE). Sep 26, 2014 at 14:26
  • The question at matheducators.stackexchange.com/q/4462/77 currently has one answer and three votes to close.
    – JRN
    Sep 29, 2014 at 1:00

3 Answers 3


In the UK it should definitely be possible for you to become a maths teacher with your background, but I'm not completely sure whether you would need to do A-level maths first. I would expect that most maths teachers would actually have a degree in maths or a very closely related subject, but I don't know this for sure.

You might find helpful information on the UCAS website (the link is to the page about entry requirements for teaching).

From that page:

Obviously, you'll also need a strong understanding of the subject you want to teach before you start training. If your degree subject doesn't link closely to your chosen teaching subject, we'd advise you to take a subject knowledge enhancement (SKE) course before starting teacher training. You can only do these in England and in certain subjects.

  • 1
    Following on from this answer, I suggest you speak to the admissions people for some of the courses you are interested in applying to. You won't need to do A-level maths, but you may need to do the maths SKE (as mentioned above) if they don't think your degree is closely related to maths. I have a friend who has just started doing Schools Direct teaching maths. She has just completed an MPhil in Space Physics, and she was advised to do the maths SKE just to refresh her skills. I don't think she HAD to do it, but they recommended it.
    – emmalgale
    Sep 26, 2014 at 9:54

I do not believe taking A level maths will help you gain admittance to a PGCE program. The entry requirements for Goldsmiths PGCE program in Mathematics are:

The extent of mathematical understanding you bring to the programme is important. You should have a degree in Mathematics or a related subject. Engineers can generally offer enough Mathematics, as can actuaries and physicists. Those with qualifications in Business, Accounting or Computing need to be able to show a substantial amount of Mathematics in their degree. It is also important that you have some knowledge and experience of UK secondary schools. Some applicants may be referred to a TDA subject enhancement course.

The amount of mathematics in a Biomedical Science degree can vary substantially, however, even the most mathematically rigours biomedical science course, probably is not enough. Further, many PGCE programs also require you to have obtained a 2.1 or higher. I think the combination of those two factors will put you at a substantial disadvantage. I think a Mathematics Enhancement Course would serve you much better, in terms of gaining admissions to a PGCE program, than A level maths.


It depends, where. If you just want to teach very young children, that much of Maths probably everybody knows. However you may need to complete the minimum required pedagogical education. How much is required, is largely country and often school dependent. Normally it may be additional courses during studies, or independent studies lasting for a few years.

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    In the UK, children under the age of about 11 generally taught all subjects by the same person so there tend not to be specialized maths teachers for young children. Sep 26, 2014 at 14:23

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