Train to teach in England as a non-UK citizen

If you're a non-UK citizen interested in teaching languages or physics in England, you could be eligible for an international relocation payment worth £10,000.

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 apply for teaching jobs in all schools 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 £9,250 and £32,000, plus living costs, to train (depending on your immigration status and the subject you train to teach, you may get 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 £30,000 a year (or more 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.

Get support and advice

For help applying, you can:

  • sign up to get a teacher training adviser – 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) except on bank holidays(opens in new window) in England - calls will be charged at your standard rate
  • use the live chat service at the bottom of this page

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 General Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSE)
  • 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 digital e-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 one of the following:

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) has lots of helpful information about studying at an English university.

Find out about fees and financial support

Fees vary between training providers, but range from £9,250 to about £32,000. You’ll also have to pay your living costs.

If you are planning on training to teach languages and physics, you could be eligible for financial help worth up to £40,000, including an international relocation payment worth £10,000.

If you are not training to teach in these subjects, any support you get will depend on your immigration status. Learn more about fees and funding for non-UK trainees.

Search and apply for teacher training courses

Your teacher training course must lead to qualified teacher status (QTS)(opens in new window). 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.

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). Teacher training courses can also be ‘fee-paying’ or ‘salaried’.

Fee-paying and salaried teacher training courses

A fee-paying teacher training course means you pay a fee to study as a teacher. Most teacher trainees in England are enrolled on this type of course.

Fee-paying courses include:

  • university teacher training programmes
  • school-centred initial teacher training (SCITT) programmes

A salaried teacher training course means you are paid to work in a school while you learn to teach. However, these courses are limited in number and very competitive. Before you apply, contact the salaried teacher training provider to check you meet the entry requirements.

Salaried courses include:

  • School Direct salaried teacher training programmes
  • the Teach First Leadership Development programme
  • postgraduate teaching apprenticeships

Find out more about salaried teacher training.

Choosing a subject to teach

The subject you apply to teach must usually be the same as, 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.)

Finding the right course for you and getting help

Find postgraduate teacher training courses(opens in new window) lists courses leading to qualified teacher status (QTS)(opens in new window).

You can also search courses by:

  • location
  • teaching subject
  • age group
  • courses which pay a salary
  • courses for which student visa or skilled worker visa sponsorship is available

Writing your personal statement

It’s important that you give yourself time to write the best possible personal statement. Providers read your personal statement carefully as part of their assessment of your application.

Your personal statement can be up to 1000 words. 90% of successful candidates write 500 words or more.

Your teacher training adviser can help you write your personal statement and will also give advice on:

  • your choice of course and training provider
  • your choice of subject
  • ways to research the English education system
  • preparing for your interview

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.

For your teacher training place offer to be confirmed, you’ll have to pass criminal record and health checks, so we recommend applying to your training provider early. You can apply for teacher training from October, for courses starting the following year in September or January.

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.

Postgraduate teaching apprenticeships

If you are resident in the UK, you may also be eligible to apply for a postgraduate teaching apprenticeship. This allows you to earn a salary while you train.

To apply, you will need to meet both the following conditions:

  • you must have settled or pre-settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme
  • you must have been living in the UK or the EEA for 3 or more years before the start of your apprenticeship

If you do not have settled or pre-settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme, you will need to meet both the following conditions:

  • you must apply for a visa or immigration status allowing you to work in the UK
  • you must have been living in the UK for 3 or more years before the start of your apprenticeship

If you are resident in the UK, you may already have a visa or immigration status allowing you to work – for example, a graduate visa. If you need to apply for another visa – for example, a skilled worker visa – you’ll need to do this after you’ve been given a place on a postgraduate teaching apprenticeship.

Find postgraduate teacher training courses(opens in new window) lists fee-paying and salaried training courses, including postgraduate teaching apprenticeships, leading to qualified teacher status.

Find and apply for teacher training courses in England

Apply for your visa

To train to teach in England, you will need a visa or immigration status allowing you to study (or work, for salaried courses) in the UK.

When you have been accepted on to a teacher training course offering student or skilled worker visa sponsorship, you will be able to apply for your visa.

If you’re an Irish citizen you do not need a visa(opens in new window).

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

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 will not need a visa to train to teach in the UK.

How to apply

Learn more about applying for the right visa for your teacher training course.

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.

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

Meet other non-UK teachers and trainees and find information about English schools and teaching methods.

Why train to teach in England?

Watch our video interviews with non-UK citizens who’ve successfully relocated to train and teach in England.

Read the transcript for the ‘Why train to teach in England?’ video.

Understand English education

Learn more about:

Contact

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

For help with individual applications to training providers or schools, please register with a teacher training adviser. Advisers can give you personalised support with your application.

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. Chat through phone, text or email, as little or as often as you need.

Find out more about advisers