References for UCAS Teacher Training applications

For your application, you'll need two references which are submitted online. Find out what to do and who you could ask.

Requesting a reference

A guide to requesting a reference to support your UCAS Teacher Training application.

UCAS Teacher Training is for postgraduate teacher training programmes in England and Wales. Apply through UCAS Undergraduate for all teacher training programmes in Scotland. 

When you make your choices, you’ll also have to make sure that two references are submitted online.

You will not be able to submit your application until both references are complete.

Ask your chosen referees in advance to do this. You’ll also be able to explain to them your choices, the reasons why you want to study the subject, and make sure they understand the deadlines. If you're applying for Teacher Education in Scotland through UCAS Undergraduate, you will only need one reference.

Encourage your referees to add to their contacts list, so our email doesn’t get blocked by their firewalls.

For tips on choosing your referee, read our UCAS Teacher Training reference blog.

You will need to request your references in Apply. To find out how download our  UCAS Teacher Training step-by-step guide to requesting a reference.

Please note, your application can’t be processed until both references have been received, so make sure you supply them so your application won’t be held up. Make sure you get your references in ASAP to minimise the risk of the training programme being closed while you're waiting for them.

Your referees

You will be asked to name two referees.

  • If you’re still at university or got your degree within the past five years, one reference must be from someone at your university who can comment on your academic ability and potential.
  • The other reference can be from someone who knows you from work, or who can comment on your character and your potential as a teacher.
  • If you’re applying for a School Direct (salaried) route, one of your references must be from an employer. If it’s from a school you have been or are currently employed by, it must be supplied by the headteacher.
  • If you left university more than five years ago, you can choose two referees who know you from work, or who can comment on how suitable you are for teaching. You can still use an academic referee if you think that’s the right thing for you.
  • If you’re providing a reference from a school where you have been employed or have done classroom observation, it should come from the headteacher.
  • If you're applying for a School Direct (salaried) training programme, one of your references must be from an employer. If you’re self-employed and unable to provide a reference from a former employer, your referee should be someone who knows you from work, who can comment on your work and suitability for teaching.
  • You mustn’t use family members, friends, partners or ex-partners as referees.
  • It’s important to use the correct email addresses for your referees:
    • do not use an email address that will result in an automated response (e.g. a generic HR address)
    • your references must be done online – make sure your referees know this. All details they need will be in the reference request emails they receive from us
    • we cannot accept paper or emailed references
Are you a referee for a UCAS Teacher Training applicant? Find out how to write the reference

What will my referees see?

Your referees will be able to see the following sections of your application:

  • Personal details
  • Additional information
  • Choices
  • Education
  • Personal statement

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