Male and female teacher talking in a staff room.

Train to teach in England as an international student

Train to teach physics or languages as a non-UK citizen and you could be eligible for a bursary or scholarship worth up to £29,000.

Citizens of every country in the world can apply to train to teach in England.

Already a qualified teacher?

If you’re already a qualified teacher, find out how you can teach in England if you completed your teacher training outside the UK.

Why train to teach in England?

Teacher training in England is practical, hands-on and supportive. As an international applicant, you’ll have the opportunity to train at a world class institution where creativity and innovation is valued, gaining lots of classroom experience along the way.

When you have successfully completed your training, you will be awarded qualified teacher status (QTS)(opens in new window), a professional qualification valued globally.

QTS will allow you to teach in all schools in England. Some courses combine QTS with a postgraduate certificate in education (PGCE) or postgraduate diploma in education (PGDE). These are optional: you do not need a PGCE or PGDE to teach in England.

Read teachers’ stories about the rewards of training to teach in England.

Other ways to train

You can also apply to train to teach in Wales(opens in new window), train to teach in Scotland(opens in new window) or train to teach in Northern Ireland(opens in new window).

If you don’t want to come to England to study you can apply to train for international qualified teacher status (iQTS). This meets the same high standards as English qualified teacher status (QTS)(opens in new window) and, if successfully completed, leads to the automatic award of QTS.

For teachers who qualified outside the UK, as well as those with teaching experience, other routes to qualified teacher status (QTS)(opens in new window) are also open.

Need to know

When you plan your training, bear in mind that:

  • international candidates can expect to pay between £12,000 and £22,000, plus living costs, to train (depending on your immigration status, you may get a reduction in fees and some financial support)
  • training lasts one academic year full-time, or longer part-time
  • you can apply for paid teaching jobs as soon as you successfully complete your training
  • you’ll earn at least £28,000 a year (or higher in London) when you qualify as a teacher
  • you can update, extend or switch your visa to live and work in the UK long-term

Apply for teacher training

We can help you make an application for teacher training in England. Sign up for a teacher training adviser to get help right away and throughout the application process.

1. Get support and advice

For help applying, you can:

  • sign up to get a teacher training adviser(opens in new window) – you’ll be asked for your phone number, email and location so a dedicated adviser can call you back in your time zone
  • call +44 800 389 2500, Monday to Friday between 8:30am and 5:30pm (UK local time) – calls will be charged at your standard rate
  • use the live chat service at the bottom of this page

2. Check your eligibility

To train to teach in England, you will need:

  • a bachelor’s degree (this can be from a university outside the UK)
  • an English language qualification which is the same standard as a grade 4 GCSE (General Certificate of Secondary Education)
  • a maths qualification which is the same standard as a grade 4 GCSE
  • if teaching children aged 3 to 11 in primary school, a physics, chemistry or biology (science) qualification which is the same standard as a grade 4 GCSE

A GCSE is an academic qualification awarded for exams in England, usually taken at age 16.

You will also need to:

  • have the health and physical capacity to train to teach
  • undergo safeguarding and criminal record checks carried out by your training provider or employer

Help comparing English and international qualifications

For help, call us on +44 800 389 2500. We can check your degree and other qualifications meet the standards set for English teacher training.

When you make your application for teacher training, some teacher training providers will want to see a statement of comparability(opens in new window) from the UK European Network of Information Centres (UK ENIC).

A statement of comparability proves that your school and university qualifications are the same standard as UK GCSEs and a UK undergraduate degree. We can help you with a free statement of comparability, once you’ve submitted your application, if your provider asks for this.

English language, maths and science proficiency

Your English language qualification could be evidence you’ve reached a certain standard in an English language test, for example, the International English Language Testing System (IELTS)(opens in new window), Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)(opens in new window), or C2 Proficiency, formerly known as Cambridge English: Proficiency (CPE)(opens in new window),

If you haven’t passed an English language test like this, or do not have qualifications in maths or science which are the same standard as grade 4 GCSE, some teacher training providers will let you sit tests in these subjects. It’s best to contact them to ask about their policy before you apply.

If you do not have a university degree

If you do not have a degree, you can apply to study a 3 to 4 year undergraduate course in England(opens in new window) which combines a teaching degree with qualified teacher status (QTS)(opens in new window). When you complete your studies, you’ll be able to apply for jobs as a teacher in England.

The UK Council for International Student Affairs(opens in new window) have lots of helpful information about studying at an English university.

3. Find out about fees and financial support

Fees vary between training providers, but range from about £12,000 to £22,000 in total. You’ll also have to pay your living costs.

Alternatively, you can apply for a salaried teacher training course and earn money while you train in a school. However, these courses are limited in number and very competitive. You will usually need to have achieved highly in your bachelor’s degree and have at least 3 years’ relevant work experience.

Financial support is usually dependent on your immigration status (unless you’re planning to teach physics or languages). Most non-UK candidates will not be eligible for financial support.

If you train to teach physics or languages

If you apply to train to teach physics or languages in the academic year 2023/24, you may be eligible for a bursary or scholarship from the UK government – even if you are not eligible for other types of financial support due to your immigration status.

Bursaries and scholarships are cash sums from the UK government that you do not have to pay back. You will not be awarded both a bursary and a scholarship.

Bursaries for physics and languages

You do not need to apply for a bursary – it will automatically be awarded to you through your training provider if you are eligible.

You may be eligible for a:

  • physics bursary of £27,000
  • languages bursary of £25,000

To be eligible, you’ll need a place on a course training to teach languages or physics with an accredited teacher training provider.

You’ll also need at least one of the following:

  • a bachelor’s degree class 2:2 (honours) or higher
  • a master’s degree
  • a PhD

Each bursary scheme will have their own individual terms and conditions – contact your chosen teacher training provider for more information.

The languages bursary covers all languages offered by accredited teacher training providers. If a course combines 2 subjects (for example, physics plus mathematics, or modern foreign languages plus English), at least 50% of the course must be made up of the bursary subject.

Find accredited English teacher training providers(opens in new window) offering languages and physics teacher training courses.

Scholarships for physics, French, German and Spanish

To get a scholarship, you’ll need to be a high-calibre student and pass a tough selection process, run by the professional body for your subject.

If you’re successful, your teacher training provider will pay the scholarship money directly into your bank account over a period of 10 months.

You may be eligible for a:

  • physics scholarship of £29,000
  • French, German or Spanish scholarship of £27,000

To apply for a scholarship, you’ll need a place on a course training to teach French, German, Spanish or physics with an accredited teacher training provider.

You’ll also need at least one of the following:

  • a bachelor’s degree class 2:1 (honours) or higher
  • a master’s degree
  • a PhD

In exceptional circumstances, you may be offered a scholarship with a bachelor’s degree class 2:2, if you have significant relevant experience.

You can check if you’re eligible for a scholarship and apply by visiting:

You can also email languagesteachertrainingscholarships@britishcouncil.org to register your interest for a scholarship to teach French, German or Spanish.

Already living in the UK?

You may be eligible to get financial support with your teacher training course if you:

Check your eligibility for financial support(opens in new window).

4. Search and apply for teacher training courses

Find postgraduate teacher training courses(opens in new window) in England leading to qualified teacher status (QTS)(opens in new window). When you have chosen your course, you can apply for teacher training(opens in new window).

First apply for your training place, then apply for your visa

If you need a visa to train to teach in England, you must have a confirmed offer of a training place on a course offering student or skilled worker visa sponsorship before you apply for your visa.

You can search for courses where student or skilled worker visa sponsorship is available(opens in new window). You can also search by location, teaching subject and age group, and for courses which pay a salary.

Due to rules about immigration, not all providers can accept international applicants – we suggest you contact them before you apply to check.

Already living in the UK?

If you have settled or pre-settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme(opens in new window), or indefinite leave to remain(opens in new window), you can apply to any English teacher training provider.

Choosing a subject to teach and preparing to apply

The subject you apply to teach must usually be the same, or closely related to, the subject you studied at university. (For example, engineering graduates can apply to train to teach physics, but computer science graduates are unlikely to be accepted to train to teach geography.)

Your teacher training adviser can help with:

  • your choice of subject
  • writing a personal statement
  • ways to research the English education system
  • preparing for your interview

Ways to train

You can train in a school or in a university setting, and study full-time (over a year) or part-time (over 2 or more years). Get a dedicated adviser(opens in new window) to learn about the different types of courses available, or explore how to train to be a teacher in England.

You may also wish to read detailed guidance about fee-paying and salaried courses and qualified teacher status(opens in new window).

5. Apply for your visa

If you’re not sure about your immigration status, you can check if you need a UK visa(opens in new window). You can also contact UK Visas and Immigration for help(opens in new window).

If you don’t already have an immigration status allowing you to train to teach in the UK, you’ll need to apply for a student visa(opens in new window). You can do this once you have a confirmed offer of a training place from a training provider who can sponsor student visas.

If you have a place on a salaried training course, you’ll need a skilled worker visa(opens in new window).

Alternatively, you may be eligible for a different type of visa which allows you to study without being sponsored by your training provider or employer.

Find out more about applying for the right visa for your teacher training course(opens in new window).

6. Plan your move to the UK

Visit the UK Council for International Student Affairs(opens in new window) for advice about immigration, finding a place to live and opening a bank account. Their Student Advice Line(opens in new window) also offers support over the phone.

Your teacher training provider may also be able to help you plan your move to the UK – contact them directly to ask.

7. Complete your teacher training and gain qualified teacher status (QTS)

If you’re accepted on to a teacher training course in England, you’ll train for one year (or longer if you’re part-time) to gain qualified teacher status (QTS)(opens in new window).

Apply for your first teaching job

When you have qualified teacher status, you will be able to apply for paid teaching jobs in all schools in England.

To find a teaching job, you must apply to individual schools (not the Department for Education). Use the Teaching Vacancies(opens in new window) service to search for jobs by region, subject specialism and age group.

You may need to apply for a different visa to work in England as a qualified teacher. Our guidance for non-UK nationals wishing to teach in England(opens in new window) explains the skilled worker visa and covers other ways you can update, extend or switch your visa when you finish your training.

Learn more about your first teaching job in England(opens in new window).

Learn more about life as a teacher and the English education system

Join the Aspiring Teachers Forum on Facebook(opens in new window).

Read interviews with real teachers.

Learn more about English education:

Contact

The Department for Education does not administer teacher training courses or appoint teachers, so we cannot help with individual applications to training providers or schools. You can get support and advice with your application.

However, if you have general questions about the information on this page, you can email us at teach.inengland@education.gov.uk.

Get free one-to-one support

An adviser can support you with your application and answer all your questions about training to teach in England.

Find out more about advisers