Navigating initial teacher education programs and providers

Choosing a program is often one of the first steps in becoming a fully qualified teacher, and this factsheet will answer some of the questions you may have when making this decision.

What study do I need to complete to become a teacher?

There are a range of qualifications that can make you eligible to register as a teacher. These are known as initial teacher education (ITE) programs. The two most common are:

  1. An undergraduate teaching degree, often called a Bachelor of Education.
  2. a Master of Teaching (sometimes known as an MTeach), for those who already have an undergraduate degree. A full-time Master of Teaching usually takes 2 years, but there are some accelerated courses which may allow you to graduate earlier.

Studying part-time is an option at many institutions, although this would extend your total number of years studying.

You should ensure that this course is an approved initial teacher education course. Do a search to check first.

If you are unsure about a particular course or courses’ approval, check with your local teacher regulatory authority.

There are some accredited programs that allow pre-service teachers to undertake all or part of their supervised teaching practice days working in a school. Currently most of these programs, such as Teach for Australia, are at the secondary level.

Some jurisdictions have invested additional funding into building the capacity of these employment-based programs, including extra scholarships. More information about programs can be found at the respective websites:

Alternatively, you could explore what scholarship options are available within your specific tertiary institution for course-based learning.


Can I get recognition of any prior learning?

Yes – but it will depend on your prior learning and how recognition of prior learning (RPL) is recognised by each provider.

If you have a shortlist of providers, it is worth contacting each one regarding RPL. This can be helpful in making final decisions.

What is the LANTITE, and when do I have to complete it?

The Literacy and Numeracy Test for Initial Teacher Education Students (LANTITE) is a test designed to assess and ensure pre-service teachers have the required literacy and numeracy skills needed to be a teacher. All students undertaking an undergraduate or postgraduate education or teaching qualification must undertake the tests and meet the test standard prior to graduation. Some tertiary providers may also require you to complete the test as a requirement of entry.

How many placements days do I need to complete?

All postgraduate programs require you to complete a minimum of 60 placement days across your degree, which equates to around 12 weeks of schooling. Some institutions may offer or require additional placement days beyond the 60. In a combined early childhood/primary or primary/secondary program, the placement days will usually be split across your teaching areas. Some universities will organise your placements for you, and others require you to find the schools yourself.

Are lectures and seminars for teaching programs online or in-person?

This will depend upon the tertiary institution. Some courses are held fully in-person, some are totally online and some are a combination of the two.

When prioritising modes of study, you need to consider your current lifestyle, working needs and other factors. Once you have determined the best mode of study based on these factors, you can then narrow down the tertiary providers and programs you may want to apply for.

Once I have completed my study, can I teach anywhere in Australia?

Mutual recognition allows teachers to have their registration recognised in all Australian jurisdictions (states and territories) as well as New Zealand. If you wish to hold current registration in more than one jurisdiction, you may need to pay an annual fee to maintain each registration.

If you are studying in a jurisdiction that is different to the one you might like to work in, we suggest reviewing the registration requirements in the relevant teacher regulatory authority in the jurisdiction you would be interested in working in. In NSW, registration is called accreditation.

Can I work in a school while I am studying?

There may be opportunities to work in a school outside of your studies, which can help you gain some further experience in the classroom. This may include work as an Education Assistant, providing support to the classroom teacher.

You can also check with your local teacher regulatory authority about the options of working in a teaching role while you complete your studies.