Male and female teacher talking in a staff room.

Train to teach in England as an international student

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

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 a postgraduate diploma in education (PGDE). These are optional, you can get QTS without a PGCE or PGDE.

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), Scotland(opens in new window) or 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), which meets the same high standards as English qualified teacher status (QTS)(opens in new window) and 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 1 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 £25,000 a year, and £32,000 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. There are a number of steps to follow.

1. Check your qualifications

To teach children aged 11 to 18 in secondary school, you’ll need:

  • a bachelor’s degree (this can be from a university outside the UK)
  • to meet a standard in English and maths equivalent to a grade 4 GCSE

To teach children aged 3 to 11 in primary school, you will also need to meet a standard in physics, chemistry or biology equivalent to a grade 4 GCSE.

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

If you do not have qualifications that are equivalent to GCSEs, you may be able to sit a test set by training providers to show your knowledge of English, maths and science.

Contact us for advice about your qualifications.

If you do not have a university degree

If you don’t have a degree, 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.

2. Get support and advice

To get advice about training to teach, you can:

  • 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
  • sign up to get a dedicated adviser(opens in new window) – you’ll be asked for your phone number, email and location so a teacher training adviser can call you back in your time zone

Get help with international qualifications

If your qualifications come from a non-UK institution, your teacher training provider may want to see a statement of comparability(opens in new window) from 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.

Call us on +44 800 389 2500 for:

  • guidance on the UK equivalents of your qualifications
  • a free statement of comparability, once you’ve submitted your application, if your provider asks for this
  • advice about what to do if you do not have English, maths and science qualifications of grade 4 GCSE standard

3. Find out about fees and financial support

Fees vary between training providers, but range from about £12,000 to about £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

Any financial support, for example a reduction in your fees to the rate paid by UK applicants (set at a maximum of £9,250) is dependent on your immigration status. Most international candidates will not be eligible for financial support.

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

You can find postgraduate teacher training courses(opens in new window) in England leading to qualified teacher status (QTS)(opens in new window).

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

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.

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

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) 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).

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 teacher training provider in England.

Your suitability for teaching

As part of the application process, your training provider will confirm you’re suitable for teaching. They’ll check:

  • your health and physical capacity to train to teach

  • whether you’re safe to work with children (you’ll need to undergo safeguarding and criminal record checks)

  • the standards you meet in English, maths and, if you want to teach primary school age children, science

You can find postgraduate teacher training(opens in new window) and when you have chosen your courses, you can apply for teacher training(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).

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.

8. 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.

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

Further information

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:


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.

However, for help with the information on this page, you can email us at

Get an adviser

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Advisers can answer your questions, help with your application, and support you on your teaching journey.

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