STEP Entry Requirements

To be eligible for the Secondary Teacher Education Programme (STEP) you must meet the following criteria:

  • A UK 1st or 2nd Class Degree or recognised equivalent.
  • You will be required to take an English language test unless you are a national of an English majority speaking country (as defined by UKVI), or have completed an undergraduate and postgraduate degree taught in the following countries: Antigua and Barbuda, Australia, Barbados, the Bahamas, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Republic of Ireland, Jamaica, New Zealand, St Kitts and Nevis, St Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago, the United Kingdom, and the United States of America.

    If you are a national of Canada you are also exempt from taking the test. If you have completed an undergraduate and postgraduate degree in Canada and are not a Canadian national you will be required to take the test.

    Please note that undergraduate studies must be of at least twelve months duration and lead to the award of a qualification and completed no later than the summer two years prior to the proposed date of enrolment. For further guidance please refer to the UCL website (link is external)
  • Minimum of one year’s experience teaching in a Religious Education Centre that falls under the ITREB jurisdiction of any one of the following countries: Afghanistan, Australia and New Zealand, Bangladesh, Canada, Democratic Republic of Congo, Far East, France, India, Iran, Kenya, Madagascar, Pakistan, Portugal, Syria, Tajikistan, Tanzania, United Arab Emirates, Uganda, United Kingdom or the United States of America.
  • To enter a contract-bound commitment of a minimum of 3 years to work as a teacher within the ITREB network, with opportunities for career progression within the wider Aga Khan network of institutions.


  • The Secondary Teacher Education Programme (STEP) has been developed to support and promote the need for professionally trained secondary level teachers who can teach the IIS Secondary Curriculum within the Ismaili religious education system; therefore, candidates are recruited from the Ismaili community only.

Tier 4 Student Visa Requirements have now been updated (5 October 2020)


STEP is a fully-funded scholarship programme. Successful applicants receive housing, as well as a living allowance for the duration of the programme Programme-related fees and travel costs are also covered. Students who wish to contribute to their fees may make an unconditional donation to the IIS via the Aga Khaninfo-icon Foundation office in their country of residence.


How to Apply

Please note the last date to request an application pack will be Friday 16 October 2020 at 14:00 (GMT). The admissions team will not be able to process the pre-application form and send an application pack after this date and time.

The application closing date is 21 October 2020 at 12 noon.


For all other queries, please visit the STEP FAQs page, or contact





The Institute of Ismaili Studies is a registered charity. For our higher education teaching and learning provision, we are registered with the Office for Students (OfS), the independent regulator of higher education in England, and the Office of the Independent Adjudicator (OIA), the independent student complaints scheme for England and Wales.