If you have questions about applying for STEP please take a look at the frequently asked questions (FAQs) below, or contact IIS Admissions.

Entry requirements and eligibility

All candidates must have completed a first degree of good standing from an accredited university, equivalent to a British Bachelor’s degree with Honours. Proof of English language proficiency in the form of a valid IELTS Academic or other Academic Skills Test (Please see below for details on accepted tests, scores and subscores).

Please note that we are currently not accepting applications from candidates from the ITREB Tajikistan jurisdiction.

All candidates will need to satisfy both the IIS and UCL’s academic requirements of a minimum of a UK Lower Second Class Bachelors (Honours) degree or overseas qualification of equivalent standard. You can check UCL’s entry requirements, including country specific requirements on UCL’s website.

Entry requirements

You will need to have completed a first degree of good standing from an accredited university, equivalent to a British Bachelor’s degree. This is usually a three- or four-year degree, but varies depending on country, institution and discipline.

UK ENIC is the UK National Information Centre for the recognition and evaluation of international qualifications and skills and provides services for individuals and organisations to compare international qualifications against UK qualification framework levels. You can compare non-UK qualifications to the UK system by contacting UK ENIC.

Please note, however, this may incur a cost to you. The IIS will only check degree equivalency once applications have been submitted and cannot confirm candidates’ qualifications are eligible prior to application.

International candidates can find out the equivalent qualification for their country by selecting their country from the list on the UCL prospectus page. General information about equivalent qualifications in your country can also be found here.

Yes, you can still apply, however we will require an interim transcript detailing all modules taken to date. If you are accepted, your offer of acceptance will be conditional upon successful completion of your degree and upon meeting the minimum grades set by the selection committee. If selected, your final official transcripts and/or certificates will need to be submitted by early July (or mid-May for PASHE).

In accordance with UK visa rules, the IIS exempts candidates from the English language requirements if they are nationals of, or have completed undergraduate studies taught in, the following countries: Antigua and Barbuda, Australia, the Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Canada (only if you are a national), Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, 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.

  • Please note if you are exempt from taking IELTS Academic due to the fact you have completed an undergraduate or postgraduate degree taught in an English majority speaking country but are not a national of that that country, you also will need to meet the UCL requirement below.
  • UCL rules state in order to be exempt from the IELTS Academic test or other Academic English Skills test, you must have completed your undergraduate or postgraduate studies no later than the summer two years prior to the proposed date of enrolment (i.e. Summer 2023 for a 2025 enrolment) otherwise you will be required to take an Academic English Skills test. 
UCL - English Language Requirements

To meet the English language requirement, it is preferable that applicants take a Secure English Language Test (SELT) such as the UKVI version of IELTS Academic where possible, as UCL IOE require a SELT for entry onto the Preparation for Academic Studies in Higher Education (PASHE) programme when it is taught face-to-face rather than online. Those who do not have a UKVI IELTS and are required to do face-to-face1 PASHE would need to retake the UKVI version of IELTS (or another accepted SELT) as a condition of entry. Note that there may be other SELTs that UCL accepts and this list will be released by UCL at a later date. The minimum requirements for English language proficiency are as follows: an overall band score of 7.0, or UCL equivalent, with a minimum score of 6.5 in each component in an IELTS Academic test certificate. Applicants with an overall score of 6.5 (with a minimum 6.0 in each component), or the standard equivalent in the alternative English language tests listed on the UCL website, will be considered on the understanding that they will attend and engage in IELTS Retakes classes from January 2024 to mid-April 2024 and, if selected, will be eligible to receive a conditional offer and invited to retake IELTS in April 2024 (see further details below).

Please see entry requirements for more.

Yes, you will still have to prove your English language proficiency. Completing a module/term or year does not exempt you from the English language requirement.

Yes. The IIS will not accept or consider your application for STEP unless you have provided an accepted Academic English Skills certificate prior to the deadline.

The consistency of your name on all documentation is very important and it is imperative that your name is always spelled and written exactly the same on all formal documents which includes your passports, evidence of previous qualifications and Academic English Skills certificate. Should you have any discrepancies, you will need to provide an affidavit with your application. This affidavit should confirm all variations of your name are one of the same person. Successful Afghan nationals will need to provide evidence of a passport valid for the entire duration of study prior to arrival flights being booked.

You should provide details for referees as requested when you complete your application online. We will accept email references in the event than an applicant is unable to apply online and only if they come from the referee's professional or academic account. Any references received from personal email accounts will not be accepted. If sending an application by post, each referee is required to return the reference letter and reference form in a sealed envelope with his / her signature across the seal.

It is a statutory requirement of the Home Office, that any individual who will be teaching in a UK school or works with children or young people must be in receipt of a satisfactory Enhanced Disclosure Certificate (child workforce) from the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS). The DBS checks will be arranged by UCL Graduate Admissions team in line with the UK regulations. The cost of the DBS will be covered by UCL but there will be a charge to get your ID documents checked at a Post Office.

Teaching practice places students in a ‘position of trust’, as set out in the Exceptions Order to the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act (ROA) 1974. Students will need to supply a criminal record check (Police Report) from the relevant authorities in their home country, and from every other country in which they have previously spent 6 months or more in the past 5 years. This document should contain details of any cautions, convictions, reprimands, warnings or bind overs recorded against the student’s name, or confirm that there are none. If this information is not in English, students will also need to supply an official certified translation of the document. This will need to be supplied to the UCL Graduate admissions team.

Failure to submit a satisfactory criminal record check will jeopardise a student’s teaching practice, if their clearance remains outstanding at the time of enrolment.

UCL guidance document on DBS checks

UCL policies

Yes. However, each programme has distinct aims. Therefore, you are encouraged to think very carefully before applying about how either programme would meet your academic and career goals. In reviewing your application(s), the respective selection committees will be looking for your ability to make a strong case for your decision to apply to a particular programme.

Application process

Applications are submitted online via our application portal, accessible on the STEP main page. You will be required to register your details and complete an online form, as well as upload the necessary documents. Postal applications are only accepted in very exceptional circumstances. Please email us to discuss options.

STEP programme

Once your application has been received you will receive an email confirming your submission.

All complete applications once received will be processed and assessed by the STEP Selection Committee. The role of this assessment is to ascertain the suitability of an applicant in terms of experience, potential and professional commitment, and academic performance.

In this process due consideration will be given to:

your university degree
the grades achieved in individual units/components of your degree
your references
your personal statement
your teaching experience, both voluntary and professional (where relevant)

You will be informed as soon as a decision has been made. We aim to communicate all offers and decisions in early April.

The online portal will not accept incomplete applications. Any incomplete postal applications will be rejected.

If you have any complaints relating to the admissions process, please see our complaints policy on the IIS website.

Studying in London

Students reside in accommodation in King’s Cross. Located minutes away from the King’s Cross Rail and Tube station, in the heart of London, the building has 198 bedrooms all designed to enhance students’ experience of living and studying. Designed by award winning Stanton Williams Architects, the building offers a number of amenities such a reception, reading rooms, communal kitchens, a gym, a roof terrace and a courtyard. The cost of living at the residence is covered by the students’ scholarship. You will be provided with a single room. The rooms are based in “Cluster Flats” with individual rooms, each with its own ensuite shower room. Each cluster has six to eight rooms, with a shared kitchen and living area. All students are required to live in this residence.

All STEP students receive a monthly stipend for the full two-year programme, the amount of which is in line with UKVI guidelines. During the Field Teaching Practice (FTP) in their home contexts, students will be paid a stipend based on the World Bank Purchasing Power Parity (PPP) model. This may be more or less than the normal monthly stipend payments.

Students spend approximately 15 hours per week in class for the MA, PGDip and other related lectures, seminars and tutorial sessions. The MA programme follows a lecture – seminar – tutorial model. The PGDip is a mixed mode course which includes online tasks as well as face-to-face teaching sessions. Additionally, students spend two to three days a week teaching at London mainstream schools and one day a week teaching religious education classes at RECs. Students are also expected to keep up with both their MA and PGDip assessments alongside their lectures, readings and class work.

As of January 2024, international students are no longer able to bring dependents with them to the UK unless they are enrolled in a postgraduate course designated as a research programme. Eligible programmes include PhDs and other doctoral qualifications or masters programmes with a research component, including a requirement to produce original work. This restriction applies to all students starting courses from 1 January 2024. The STEP programme does not meet the criteria above and therefore it will not be possible to bring dependents with you to the UK.

Secondary Teacher Education Programme

Training and developing exceptional individuals to become teachers and mentors that inspire future generations wherever they are in the world.