STEP Entry Requirements

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.
  • Applicants must submit an IELTS (Academic) for UKVI score with their application (any IELTS test must have been taken no more than two years before the proposed start date of the programme being applied for). 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 IELTS (Academic) for UKVI test certificate. Applicants with the overall score of 6.5 (with a minimum 6.0 in each component) will be considered and, if selected, will be eligible to receive a conditional offer. All conditional offer holders will be required to attend and successfully complete the pre-sessional programme at UCL IOE and demonstrate that they have reached an overall score of 7.0 before they are enrolled onto the STEP programme. For more information, please read the PDF below:
  • 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 Requirement

  • 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 UKVI limits how long a student may spend in the UK studying at degree level (and above) to a total of 5 years. This may affect your application if you have already studied in the UK. Please promptly notify Student Services if you have any queries in this regard. For further information please visit the UKVI website.
  • Statement of Comparability, for students who are not nationals of the above countries but hold a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree from one of these countries, you will be required to provide a statement of comparability from UK NARIC. Please check UK NARIC for further information.


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 18 October 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 2019 at 12noon

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.