Male and female teacher talking in a staff room.

Apply for teacher training as an international candidate

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.

You’ll complete your training with qualified teacher status (QTS, or PGCE + QTS), professional qualifications valued globally.

You can apply to train to teach in England from any country in the world. This page explains how, step by step.

You can also apply to train to teach in Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland.

Key facts

  • Apply now for courses starting September 2022
  • Train for 1 year full-time, or longer part-time
  • International candidates can expect to pay between about £9,250 and £16,000 plus living costs to train (with fees and any financial support dependent on your training provider and immigration status)
  • Earn at least £25,000, and £32,000 in London, when you qualify
  • Update, extend or switch your visa to live and work in the UK long-term

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)
  • 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 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. Get help understanding English qualifications and their international equivalents.

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 which combines a teaching degree with a professional teaching qualification (qualified teacher status, or QTS). When you complete your studies, you’ll be able to apply for jobs as a teacher in England.

Visit the UK Council for International Student Affairs for lots of helpful information about studying at an English university.

2. Get help and advice

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’ showing their equivalence to UK qualifications.

Call Get into Teaching on 0800 389 2500 for:

  • guidance on the UK equivalents of your qualifications
  • a free statement of comparability detailing overseas degree equivalency from UK ENIC once you’ve submitted your application, if your provider asks for this

Get an adviser

You can also register with our Get an adviser service for personalised advice about teaching in England over email and phone, or use the online chat service on this page.

Get an adviser

3. Find out about fees and financial support

Many international candidates will not be eligible for financial support.

You can expect to pay between about £11,000 and £16,000 plus living costs to train; fees vary between training providers. Any financial support, including a potential reduction to the home fee rate (which is set at a maximum of £9,250) is dependent on your immigration status.

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

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

4. Search and apply for teacher training courses

Find postgraduate teacher training courses in England leading to qualified teacher status (QTS).

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

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). Contact your Get into teaching adviser for guidance on the different types of courses available, or see Ways to train to teach in England.

You can apply for a teacher training place without visiting the UK. However, due to rules about immigration, not all providers can accept international applicants – 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, or indefinite leave to remain, you can apply to any teacher training provider in England.

Your suitability for teaching

As part of the application process, your training provider will check you’re suitable for teaching in terms of your health, whether you’re safe to work with children and the standards you meet in maths and English.

Learn more about fee-paying and salaried courses and qualified teacher status

Find postgraduate teacher training

Apply for teacher training

5. Apply for your visa

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, once you have a confirmed offer of a fee-paying training place from a training provider who can sponsor visas.

If you have a place on a salaried training course, you’ll need a skilled worker visa.

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.

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

6. Plan your move to the UK

The UK Council for International Student Affairs delivers independent advice about all aspects of the international student experience, including immigration, finding a place to live and opening a bank account. Their Student Advice Line 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 QTS.

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 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

Search Teaching Vacancies to see what teaching jobs are available

Further information

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

Join the Aspiring Teachers Forum on Facebook

Read interviews with real teachers

Visit the following websites for 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.

However, for help with the information on this page, you can email us at international.teacherrecruitment@education.gov.uk.

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