Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) involves teaching English to students whose first language is not English. This could be in the UK or overseas.

The students may be children or adults and be at varying levels of ability. The term TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) can also be used, but this commonly refers to teaching immigrants and refugees in the UK.

The Prospects website gives information on the work of a TEFL teacher, as well as industry insights into education, and country specific information: Prospects | English as a Foreign Language Teacher. 

What to Consider when Choosing a Course:

The course you choose may depend on how long you intend to work in teaching abroad. If you only intend to do this for a short time (maybe whilst travelling) you may prefer a cheap, shorter course. However, if it is for a longer period of time, most reputable employers abroad will want one of the qualifications below. Courses vary in how much teaching practice they offer but remember, the more practical experience you can get on the course, the better. Centre-based courses tend to be more intensive and offer supervised teaching practice which many students find very valuable. You can also find some teaching English jobs where a qualification is included in the package – further info later on.

The Cactus TEFL website is a comprehensive site offering a course list and extensive practical information which allows you to compare CELTA courses, Trinity Cert. TESOL courses and online TEFL courses in over 90 destinations worldwide.


TEFL qualifications are open to all graduates who are native English speakers or have extremely good spoken and written English. The two main fully accredited routes are:

Both of these qualifications are the most widely recognised both internationally and by the British Council and give you the greatest flexibility in the type of language schools and range of countries you will be able to find work. They are available widely in the UK and abroad, and can be studied full-time (typically lasting 4 weeks) or part-time and will include practical teaching experience. 

Course Providers in Manchester:

Contact the provider directly for course costs, and full info. 

CELTA courses:

Cert. TESOL courses:

Postgraduate Courses:

Many universities offer related postgrad courses, including MMU, which offers a course in foreign language teaching. Please note that this does not give you the Celta or Cert. TESOL award and you don’t usually need a qualification at postgrad level to do this kind of work: MMU Postgraduate Study


The cost of courses varies a lot depending on length and certification. A fully accredited and widely-recognised, four week CELTA certificate will cost upwards of £1,000. A 1 week basic online taster course will be much less, but may limit your job options. 

TEFL and Job Combined:

Some providers offer jobs/internships packages, which include a TEFL qualification. There is a cost to these programmes, but they can work out cheaper than gaining the standalone course first. For example, you could look at i-to-i, Premier TEFL or Education First


The Suzanne Furstner Foundation usually offers 2 free TEFL course scholarships annually, see The Suzanne Furstner Foundation for details. 

There is now some financial support available for those wanting to gain a CELTA qualification. It’s just been granted Advanced Learner Loan scheme eligibility, allowing learners to apply for a loan of up to £1,417. However, only around 40 CELTA centres across the UK accept Advanced Learner Loans. Students should contact their nearest centre from the list accessed via the link below, to find out more:

Finding Employment with a TEFL Qualification:

The demand for English language teaching abroad is very strong. Most good providers of TEFL/TESOL courses will provide help in finding jobs. Opportunities are also advertised in the Education Guardian, Times Educational Supplement and on TEFL websites such as TEFL and TEFL Search

Other Opportunities to Teach Abroad:

The following are well-known and established providers:

Good general advice about teaching abroad, and further links can be found here: TES | Essential Advice Teaching Abroad and country info here: Target Jobs | Working Abroad

Careers and Employability Support:

The Careers and Employability Service offers a range of support to Manchester Met students and graduates:

Detailed Careers Guides: Our full range of careers guides, including information on finding and applying for opportunities.

Ask a Careers Question Online: Get online advice through My Career Hub, ask your question at any time and receive support via email.

Careers Consultant Appointments: Book a 30 minute appointment to discuss working or studying abroad with a Careers and Employability Consultant.

Careers Events: Meet employers and enhance your employability by attending our workshops, employer events and careers fairs.

Term-time Drop-in:

Every week during term-time in Brooks Student Hub.

For more information visit MMU Careers.

Careers and Employability Support

We offer range of support services to Manchester Met students and graduates:

For more information visit mmu.ac.uk/careers