Cambridge CELTA course

Once you have completed one of our four-week intensive Cambridge CELTA courses, you'll be able to work as a TEFL teacher anywhere in the world.

Join our TEFL jobs for CELTA graduates page to see TEFL jobs you could apply for after completing the course.

The Cambridge CELTA course

Our course leads to the internationally recognised Cambridge CELTA (Certificate in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages). This is the first professional qualification for TEFL (teachers of English as a foreign language).

Typical participants include:

  • Applicants can be both English naitive speakers and non-native English speakers
  • College graduates
  • Professional people looking for a career change
  • Teachers of other subjects
  • People who see TEFL as a means of living and working abroad
  • Gap-year students

Entry requirements:

Applicants must:

  • be at least 18
  • have A-levels or equivalent as a minimum standard of education
  • have an awareness of language and a competence in both written and spoken English which will enable them to undertake the course
  • have the potential to successfully complete the written assignments and the assessed teaching practice.

If English is not your first language, you should have a level of proficiency in English of C2 or high C1 (grade A or B in Cambridge Advanced or an IELTS score of 7.5 and above).

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Course aims


Our CELTA course will give you all the basic skills and the essential knowledge you need to find a good job as a TEFL teacher anywhere in the world. It consists of 120 hours of class time and 6 hours of supervised teaching practice (TP).

The course will enable you to...

  • acquire essential subject knowledge and familiarity with the principles of effective teaching
  • acquire a range of practical skills for teaching English to adult learners
  • demonstrate your ability to apply your learning in a real teaching context.

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Key CELTA course content:

The syllabus consists of five specific topic areas:

  • Topic 1: Learners and teachers, and the teaching and learning context
  • Topic 2: Language analysis and awareness
  • Topic 3: Language skills: reading, listening, speaking and writing
  • Topic 4: Planning and resources for different teaching contexts
  • Topic 5: Developing teaching skills and professionalism

The course runs from 9am to 5pm each day. On the afternoons you need to prepare for the next day's Teaching Practice, support sessions may extend slightly beyond 5pm.

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Success on the CELTA course

Our course is very practical, covering all the fundamental principles of teaching English. This will help you develop your confidence as you learn more useful TEFL classroom techniques, and cover all the fundamental principles of teaching English as a foreign language.

After the course you will be familiar with a range of task types for all sorts of lessons, and will feel confident about teaching in different circumstances anywhere in the world!

We believe our programme will give you all you need to begin a successful career in TEFL anywhere in the world.

Every TEFL course provider is different. Our focus on quality, and the fact that we offer far more than the minimum requirements of a CELTA course, will help you become a confident TEFL teacher able to teach in a variety of different circumstances.

In addition, you will have all these advantages:

  • Our excellent range of TEFL materials: We have a well-stocked study room with a vast range of TEFL resources
  • Life in a busy language school, where you can get to know all our students personally
  • Daily contact with foreign students from all over the world: We generally have 10-15 different nationalities in school at one time
  • Top-quality teaching from experienced TEFL teachers who are also examiners and materials writers
  • Career guidance: Very practical advice about traps to avoid and how to ensure you have the best chance of getting the TEFL job you want in the school you choose.

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Meet our CELTA teacher trainers

Schools in the International House network train about of half of all CELTA graduates in the world each year, and here at IH Bristol the same people have been delivering our teacher training courses for more than a decade. Although they update their skills regularly, the foundations that their teaching philosophy is based on remains the same. This continuity of staff not only assures quality, it also means that every trainee at IH Bristol is consistently trained to the same high standard. 


Application Process

  • First of all you will need to complete our online application form.
  • If you meet the minimum entry requirements for the CELTA course, you will then be sent the Pre-Interview Task to complete. This includes language awareness questions and an extended writing section. The objective of this task is to help you start thinking about language from the learner's point of view. Remember, we do not expect you to know everything and would expect you to research many, if not all, of the answers.
  • The next step is the interview, which is normally done face-to-face at the school but can also be done via Zoom or Skype if you live far away. The school will contact you to arrange a suitable date and time.
  • If you are successful in the interview, you will be offered a place on the course.
  • Once you have accepted this offer, you will need to pay a deposit of £250 within a week of acceptance to secure your place on the course. The remainder of the course fee is due 4 weeks before the start date.
  • After acceptence onto the course has been confirmed, you will be sent the Pre-Course Task, which you will need to complete before the start of the course.

See upcoming CELTA dates and apply here

Frequently asked questions

Q: What's the difference between CELTA, TESOL, TEFL and  ELT?

A: TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) and ELT (English Language Teaching) both refer to the industry of teaching English as a foreign language. TESOL and CELTA both refer to the qualifications that can be gained if you would like to teach English in the UK or abroad. CELTA refers to the Cambridge Certificate in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages and TESOL refers to the Trinity Certificate in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages.

Q: Are there any differences between the Cambridge CELTA and the Trinity Cert TESOL?

A: Not really. Both Certificates teach the same basic TEFL/TESOL skills and require the same number of hours of teaching practice and observation, for example. Both lead to the same level of professional qualification, which is Level 5 of the National Qualifications Framework, and both have equal status on the TEFL job market.

Q: What's the difference between your course and a cheaper weekend online course?

A: Weekend or ‘taster’ courses may be helpful in giving you an idea of what to expect when teaching English as a foreign language. However, you will not get the full range of input ‒ training in teaching methodology, language analysis, classroom management, and so on ‒ that you will get on a longer course. More importantly, it is not a recognised qualification and no quality school would accept you as a qualified teacher.

Only a CELTA qualification will give you access to a full range of teaching posts.

Q: Do I have to pay when I apply?

A: No, we don't ask you for money until after you have accepted a place on the course. When you get to the payment page of the application form, it says you do not pay at this stage. Please see the application process (above) to get an idea of the timeframe for applications and when payment is required.

Q: If I leave the course early for any reason, will I get a refund?

A: No. If you start the course, the fees are due. If you cancel before the course starts, our cancellation terms apply. It is sometimes possible to defer to a later course but this is not automatic.

Q: I've never studied English grammar. I'm worried I won't understand how to teach it. Is that a problem?

A: Don't worry. Many, many participants say this. On the course we'll help you understand how grammar works, what the key terms mean, and how to teach it effectively. There are lots of books to help you, too.

Q: Will I be teaching real students?

A: Yes! The students in the classes you will be teaching in your assessed lessons are people who are living in Bristol, either for work or study, and who come from a variety of different countries such as Italy, Spain, Poland, Romania, China, Taiwan, Brazil, Greece and France.

Q: What's a typical day like?

You will be at school from around 8.30 to 5pm Monday to Friday. In the morning you will attend input sessions led by one of our tutors and in the afternoon you will be doing assessed teaching practice, peer observations, participating in group feedback and doing lesson preparation for the next day. You will also have work to do in the evenings and at weekends, which will include lesson planning, writing your lesson plan and completing your written assignments.

Q: How many hours of assessed teaching practice will I do?

You will do six hours of assessed teaching practice, which is divided up into 40 minute lessons. Your first TP (teaching practice) is normally on day two of the course for 20 minutes.

Q: I don't live in Bristol. Can you help me with accommodation?

A: Of course. We can arrange accommodation with a host in Bristol - you can choose from half-board or self-catering homestays, and we will try to place you as close to the school as possible. Alternatively, for private accommodation, Clifton Short Lets and Your Apartment are popular options for many of our students. See our Accommodation page or contact us for details.

Q: Will I be able to continue with my part-time job during the course?

A: No It's not a good idea. You'll have a lot of reading and preparing to do after classes in the evenings. You'll probably want to organise your notes and catch up on some reading during the weekend, too. You need to be giving 100% to the programme. After all, it's the start of a new career; don't jeopardise it before it's even started.

Q: Where can I find work after passing the CELTA course?

A: There is a lot of work for certificate English teachers, one of the easiest ways is to search for an online English teacher job on Jooble or other big international job boards.

Q: Do you offer the CELTA online?

A: IH Bristol ran the CELTA online during lockdown and beyond; the course is 5 weeks long, instead of 4, and results in exactly the same qualification as studying the CELTA in person.

We currently don't have any dates scheduled for future online courses (see our full list of upcoming dates and book here), but do contact us to register your interest. 

Q: What technology is required for the online course?

A: Lessons will use Zoom. If you are using a PC or a Mac we recommend downloading and installing the Zoom desktop client (alternatively Zoom can be run from a modern browser).
Sharing of digital materials (PDFs, Powerpoints, Word documents) is done via Microsoft Teams. You will be emailed a Teams login a few days before the start of the course. We recommend that PC and Mac users install the Teams desktop client (you will need to supply your IH Bristol's Teams login to access the download) - alternatively Teams will run within a modern Browser. Finally, Teams can also
be installed from your phone's app store if you would like up-to-the-minute updates from IH Bristol's CELTA class's Team.

Q: I'm not a native speaker of English. What level do I need to do the course?

A: You need to have at least a high C1 level of English. 

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Pre-Course Task and recommended books

If you are accepted on the course, we will send you a pre-course task to complete. The aim of this task is to introduce you to some of the areas covered on the CELTA course and to provide you with the opportunity to prepare for the course.

You will need to buy one of the following grammar books to use as reference for the pre-course task, and for during and after the course:

  • Swan, M - Practical English Usage (OUP) This is a comprehensive grammar reference book, which would be invaluable for your teaching career.
  • Murphy, R - English Grammar in Use (CUP) (Intermediate B1-B2) If you don’t feel confident with grammar, we recommend starting with this book. It is a valuable resource for after the course that can be used with students as it includes practice activities.

You will also need to buy one of the following methodology books:

  • Scrivener, J - Learning Teaching (Macmillan)
  • Harmer, J - How to Teach English (Longman)

Other useful books you may wish to purchase include:

  • Aitken, R - Teaching Tenses (Nelson)
  • Thornbury, S - How to Teach Grammar (Longman)
  • Underhill, A - Sound Foundations (Macmillan)

Apply now

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"I am so pleased to have passed my CELTA with IH Bristol. The course has been brilliant and I have learnt so much. Thank you for all your help and guidance. 

My next aim is to try and get a job with International House or a similar organisation. The reason I am particularly keen on International House is because they seem like such a professional organisation; as a teacher, I would like to work for an organisation that has a really good quality of teaching and excellent standards as well as offering ongoing professional development for staff and future international work opportunities if I want to travel abroad again in the future." 

- Caroline, CELTA online graduate July 2020

"If you are in two minds about whether to do the CELTA at IH Bristol (as I was!), I would say "do it - it's an amazing experience!" It's a demanding course, but I learnt so much from Joe and Charlie, and also made some amazing friends" 

- Penny, CELTA graduate October 2021

"A fantastic course in every respect. I had not taught before, but now I feel confident to get out there and start teaching. Very intense but worth every moment"

- Michele, CELTA graduate October 2021

"A really well-structured course with lots of useful learning and teaching strategies. I feel like I have been given a very solid foundation to get started on my language teaching journey"

- Jolene, CELTA graduate October 2021 - see more testimonials from the October 2021 CELTA group here

- Tom, CELTA graduate October 2020

Dates and prices

Dates and fees can be found here

Apply for the CELTA course now

All courses take place at our language school in Clifton, Bristol unless otherwise stated 

This price includes all tuition, use of resources and Cambridge fee of £156 and VAT. You will need to purchase Learning Teaching by Jim Scrivener, which can be bought from Amazon for approximately £25, and read it before the start of the course.

You do not pay at the time of applying. International House Bristol will invoice you for a deposit of £250 once you have accepted an offer of a place on the course. Please note that if you cancel your place on the course, the registration fee of £100 is non-refundable.

Please note that we would cancel any course if we had fewer than six candidates signed up.

Shadowing can be done at any time before or after the course and for any duration by arrangement. The cost is £36 per day.


Interested? You can apply directly online here, or we are happy to answer any questions you may have - contact