The Initial Teacher Training program is a post graduate level initial teacher training course offered, through a collaborative partnership, by Durham University UK ( and the International School of Geneva

This full time, face-to-face course runs for one academic year and is held in Geneva and daily presence is required Monday - Friday 09.00 - 16.00.

We do not offer a distance course, nor an online course.

You have to live in or near to Geneva from the end of August until the following June. A school placement may be possible in another international school from Feb-May but this is not guaranteed and will be decided if you are accepted onto the course. You will still have to live in Geneva before and after this 10 week placement from the end of August until January and from May until the end of June.

After a selection process by Durham University, with input from the International School of Geneva, places will be offered to up to sixteen trainees who wish to train to teach Primary or Secondary students in an international context. 

The course is composed of three modules: a professional module and two academic modules at Masters level.

The Professional Module:

This part of the course is delivered by the International School of Geneva and is primarily school-based. The teaching classroom is at the Campus des Nations, but students have observation and teaching placements on all three campuses of the Foundation and in other local partner schools in and around Geneva and Lausanne.

As part of the professional module there are seminars, workshops and a number of professional training weeks, linked to a variety of subjects including planning, EAL (English as an Additional Language), classroom management and assessment.  Workshops and lectures covering such topics as Special Needs, ‘Third Culture kids’, International Education and writing reports also form part of the professional module. 

In order to complete the professional module successfully, students need to demonstrate, via an e-portfolio, evidence of having successfully completed a set of professional standards linked to tasks.

There are two main periods of 'school experience' placements: one in the first term of six weeks and one, in the second and third terms, of 10 weeks.  During these times students, working at all times under the supervision of the regular class teacher, teach up to a maximum of 50% of timetable in the first placement and 75% in the second.

The two Academic Modules

Durham University delivers the academic part of the course. Each student is linked to an academic tutor in the School of Education at the University, who is responsible for subject specific tasks and guidance for the two Masters level modules.

Students are expected to keep in regular contact with the academic tutor by e-mail, telephone or video conference conversations. Students have access to Durham’s online teaching facility (DUO) and the Durham University Education Library.  

The two Masters modules are primarily delivered through the annual Reflective Practitioner Conference. These two modules form part of a Masters degree which can then, if the student desires, be completed, in Durham or Geneva, part time over the two years following on from the end of the PGCE (International) course.

Assessment of the Course

In order to be awarded the PGCE (International), the student is required to be successful in assessed school practice observations, and to have passed the two Masters level modules and the professional module.

(Note that this PGCE (International) cannot be awarded with QTS, English Qualified Teacher Status, as school experience will not have taken place in England. However, the students will have gathered a portfolio of evidence to demonstrate that they have met a set of agreed professional competencies).

International Baccalaureate Educator Certificate in Teaching and Learning

Durham University and the International School of Geneva have been officially certified to offer the International Baccalaureate Certificate in Teaching and Learning (IBctl) Level 1 alongside the PGCE (International) course. This is therefore a second qualification which students work towards during the year. 

Please note the IBctl is only offered as part of the PGCE (International) programme and cannot be followed as a stand-alone course.

Students choose one of the three IB programmes (Primary Years Programme, Middle Years Programme or Diploma Programme) and gather evidence in an electronic portfolio to meet IB standards. Understanding of the chosen IB programme is evaluated during a viva-voce interview – along with the balance of the PGCE portfolio - at the end of the course.

Please note: on successful completion, students pay a registration fee (USD 265) for the IBctl. For further information, please click on:

ICT and Library Facilities

Students on the course require a laptop which can be provided if necessary by the school, for use during the year of the course. As well as the Durham University Education Library, students also have access to the catalogue of the Institute of Learning and Teaching library at the Campus des Nations and will also be able to use the University of Geneva Education library.

General and Financial Conditions

The fee for this course is divided into 4 parts: The Enrolment Fee, Registration fee, the Professional fee and the Academic fee.  

Enrolment Fee: CHF 250
This fee covers the administrative costs of processing the enrolment for a place on the course. It is a non-refundable payment payable to the International School of Geneva before the interview.

Registration Fee: CHF 1,000
This fee secures a place on the course. It is a non-refundable deposit payable to the International School of Geneva. 

Professional fee: CHF 19,500
This fee is payable to the International School of Geneva. This is payable in three installments and the Registration Fee of CHF 1,000 is deductible from the first installment.
Academic Fee: GBP
Details concerning the academic fee payable to Durham University can be found at This is payable directly to Durham University, also in three instalments and is a flat fee for all students regardless of country of origin.

For detailed information bout the course fees, please request a copy of our 2022-23 Financial Conditions brochure


Applications for 2022-23

Online information sessions:

Tuesday 2nd November 12.30 - 13.30

Wednesday 24th November 12.30 - 13.30

Please email Lisa Parker to register.

Those interested in applying should be well qualified graduates, have a mother tongue level of English (C2) and be able to demonstrate a proven interest in teaching. All applicants must have Maths, English and for Primary also Science, to GCSE level grades A*-C, or equivalent.

Applicants are requested to send a personal statement detailing their professional experience thus far and their reasons for wanting to enter the teaching profession, along with a curriculum vitae, to Lisa Parker, Programme Administrator

Interested applicants with appropriate qualifications are invited to apply on-line to Durham University.

Further information

Information about applying to the programme should be addressed to Lisa Parker:

Programme Administrator

Institute of Learning and Teaching
International School of Geneva


Steph Tunstall
Admissions Team Manager

Durham University
Tel +44 (0) 191 334 48316

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