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Education and Teaching

The teaching and education sector is one of the largest employers in the UK. A significant number of Exeter graduates train to teach in UK schools and many choose to teach English as a foreign language (TEFL). There are also opportunities available to teach in higher education, in alternative settings and across a variety of non-teaching roles.

The Career Zone runs a range of employability schemes to help increase your work experience and networks in this area:

  • Aspiring Educators – explore a number of opportunities to gain teaching/education based experience on campus.
  • Career Zone Internship schemes – internships can be extremelyuseful, so try and get relevant vacation work or placements.  
  • Ask An Alum – a fuss-free way to connect with University of Exeter alumni to ask careers questions.  
  • Career Mentor Scheme – a popular employability scheme which matches a student or graduate with an experienced professional, for sector insight and one-to-one careers advice and guidance, over a 6-month period. 
  • Professional Pathways – a suite of sector specific training courses and paid week-long internships that take place in June.  

Sector overview



  • Academic Researcher and Higher Education Lecturer – these job profiles cover key responsibilities, necessary qualifications and skills and career prospects.
  • The PhD Journey – a guide to the key stages of a PhD
  • Vitae - careers site for researchers. Includes information on pursuing an academic career and researcher roles


  • English as a foreign language teacher – covers key responsibilities, necessary qualifications and skills, how to find relevant work experience and career prospects. The page includes lots of useful links including to sites listing training courses and vacancies.
  • Teach English Abroad – explains the range of TEFL qualifications available and how to find teaching jobs abroad.

To see if there are any Exeter alumni working in the education sector that you can get in touch with, use the LinkedIn Alumni tool.

How to apply for teacher training

To be employed as a teacher in a state maintained school you will need to gain Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) through a period of initial teacher training (ITT), followed by a period of induction as a newly qualified teacher (NQT). Although QTS is not a requirement for teaching in academies or independent schools, it may be preferred.

There are a number of ways to train to become a teacher. To learn more about these listen to the Career Zone podcast epsiode linked below:

From Campus to Classroom: Entry Routes into Primary and Secondary Teaching

To learn more about training to teach in primary, secondary and special ‘maintained schools’ visit the Get Into Teaching website. The site also has information on training to teach in further education.

To apply for teacher training in a university or school you will need to apply via the Department for Education's Apply for teacher training service in the academic year before you wish to start your training. Applications tend to open in mid-October each year. Popular programmes fill up very fast, so it is advisable to submit your application as early as possible. 

Use the sites below to learn more about the training options and routes available:

The University of Exeter offers the following accredited teaching experience programmes:


You will need a degree in a subject that is relevant to what you want to teach or research. For almost all disciplines, you will also need a PhD in a related area. Use the websites below to research courses and professional development opportunities.

  • FindaMasters and FindaPhD - both sites includes very useful careers advice and funding sections. 
  • Vitae - supports the professional development of researchers 

Please visit the Postgraduate Study information page for more information on choosing further study. 

There are relatively few advertised internships in the education sector, and most students obtain experience through volunteering or informal work experience.‌

There are a number of opportunities to gain teaching or education experience via the University of Exeter's Aspiring Teachers programme. Aspiring Teachers collates these in one place making it easier for you to start building your experience and skills. Opportunities include:

Find out more by visiting the Aspiring Teachers page.

Finding education experience 

  • Pathways to Professional Services in Higher Education - new for 2023-24, successful students will take part in four days of training, delivered by industry experts, followed by a paid internship within one of our directorates at the University of Exeter. 
  • Get school experience  – explains how to find school experience and the range of opportunities available.
  • Get teaching experience with an internship - students studying certain degree subjects are eligible to apply for a paid teaching internship. 
  • Volunteering in schools – how to get teaching experience in schools and alternative ideas for work experience.
  • Do-It and vinspired – volunteering opportunities in your local area.
  • The Brilliant Club - a non-profit organisation that recruits and trains doctoral and post-doctoral researchers to deliver programmes of university-style teaching to pupils in schools that serve under-represented communities.


It can be difficult to obtain work experience in academia as an undergraduate student. Occasionally, some Faculties and departments offer undergraduates the chance to work on research projects. Contact your department to enquire about any possible opportunities. One such example is the Research Support Internship Scheme in the Faculty of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences. This provides students with academic/research-related experience on campus. All positions are advertised on Handshake

In addition to the support you can get through the Career Zone, Get Into Teaching offer free one-to-one support.

For general information about finding graduate opportunities, please visit our Graduate Jobs page, and for a list of general job search engines please visit our general job sources page. You could also have a look at Handshake, our vacancy database with employers who are targeting University of Exeter students.


The Prospects website has a very comprehensive page outlining How to get a teaching job

Applications for posts in schools can begin as early as December in your training year, so make sure you don't miss the boat. Although there is a shortage of teachers in some subject areas this does not apply across the board and competition for some jobs can be intense. All local authorities must advertise their teaching jobs on their websites so it is worth visiting these directly, in addition to the sites below:

  • – vacancy site for teaching and non-teaching roles in universities, research organisations, FE colleges and charities (it is advisable to sign up for job alerts from individual university vacancy sites too).
  • Teaching Vacancies – free job-listing service from the Department for Education
  • Times Educational Supplement (tes) Jobs – the largest selection of academic, education and teaching job vacancies for primary schools, secondary schools and special needs schools in the UK.
  • Engage Education – Teaching jobs in London and the UK
  • eteach – education recruitment service. Includes job board and career advice.
  • Catholic Education Service – lists vacancies in Catholic Schools throughout the UK

Teach English abroad / TEFL


  • – vacancy site for teaching and non-teaching roles in universities, research organisations, FE colleges and charities (it is advisable to sign up for job alerts from individual university vacancy sites too).
  • tes Jobs – largest selection of academic, education, teaching, support and leadership positions
  • unijobs – global job board for roles in higher education
  • Academic Jobs EU - academic and research jobs in all disciplines
  • Academic Positions - academic, research and science jobs around the world in all disciplines 

As jobs are not always advertised, it can be useful to develop your networking skills and also apply speculatively.

There are only a handful of graduate schemes in the teaching and education sector, and most graduates enter the profession through a paid job. Here are a few examples of graduate schemes offered in the sector:

Professional bodies, associations and societies are a great source of information and advice. They exist to promote and further a career and the people who practice in it. Being a member of a professional body is voluntary however, it can be valuable for developing networks, continuing your professional development, and generally keeping up to date with what's happening in the sector. Many offer student memberships for free or a very low rate.