IH Director of Studies Course

The International House Director of Studies course is for anyone who is looking to moving into academic management or someone who has already made that step and needs more support in their new academic manager role. This online CPD course will give you an overview of what is required as an academic manager or DOS, the variety of tasks and responsibilities involved, so that you feel confident that you have the training and knowledge required for the role of Academic Manager.

Choose your dates and apply for the IH Director of Studies Course now >>

If you are interested in taking the IH DOS course, watch the video below for more information from two of our course tutors, Olga Connolly and Lisa Phillips.

Who is it for?

  • Language teaching professionals from all over the world
  • Experienced teachers, preferably with a Diploma qualification
  • Teachers that are about to start in, or recently took on, an academic manager role
  • Experienced teachers that are new to International House and looking to take on a Director of Studies role
  • Experienced International House teachers that are preparing to take on a Director of Studies role


The course is delivered by qualified tutors with considerable experience of academic management and teacher training.  The modules are taught over 13 weeks covering the following areas:

  • Defining the Duties of an Academic Manager
  • Communication
  • How to Manage Change
  • Time Management
  • The Recruitment Process
  • Induction
  • Developing a Teacher Development Programme
  • Conducting Observations
  • Motivating Staff
  • Conducting Appraisals
  • Customer Satisfaction
  • Financing

In the video below, tutors Olga and Lisa talk more in detail about what you can expect to gain from the IH DOS course.


The course is an asynchronous online course.  It is designed this way so that you can access the material whenever it suits you. You don't have to attend at a certain time which means that wherever you are in the world the time difference is never an issue.

A new module is covered each week and the material for that module is provided over the course of the week. You are given tasks to do both in groups and individually. Participants are expected to dedicate a minimum of 5 hours per week to the tasks in each module. The discussion forums are a great opportunity to share ideas and learn from your peers all over the world. It is advisable to log on regularly so that you keep up to date with the ongoing discussions.

The tutors also log on frequently and monitor the discussions. They will give you guidance and support as needed as they are experienced Academic Managers themselves.

Read our IH OTTI FAQs >>


Your tutors mark your tasks as the course progresses and there is the opportunity to resubmit if necessary.  Participants are expected to submit a minimum of 60% of the tasks.  At the end of the course there is a final assignment which pushes you to reflect on what you have learnt on the course. The assignment along with your tasks makes up the portfolio that is submitted electronically to the IHWO Assessment Unit.  Your tutors are on hand for support throughout. The final grade is a pass or fail.

You can find out about the certificate you will receive here.


There are at least two tutors per course but this also depends on the size of the group. The number of participants can range from 12 to 16. The minimum is 8. Tutors are all Directors of Studies with many years of experience.

Meet our online course tutors

Time commitment

It depends on the individual, but we recommend a minimum of 5 to 7 hours per week spent online and doing tasks. Your study hours are flexible, but some tasks require group input and have set deadlines. The more time you can devote to the course, the more you will gain from it.

What is the one thing that is unique about this course?

What participants really value on this course is the online community, the opportunity to share best practice, exchange ideas and discuss experiences they have had with Senior Teachers and Academic Managers from all over the world.

Participants feel that the discussion forums and online tutors are almost like having a mentor on tap. A mentor that has experience of a variety of different contexts, different language learners and managing teachers from different countries. This course is about getting involved in the discussion forums and learning from each other as well as from the tutors.

There is not often a right or wrong answer in how best to be a DOS, but by understanding what is advisable for different situations, you are more likely to have the judgement to evaluate your own context and make the right decision for your school.

Is there a reading list in preparation for the course?

We provide a course booklet which participants are encouraged to read before the start of the course. It gives a breakdown of all the modules and provides some ideas for additional reading that you can do either during or after the course.

How often does the course run?

It runs three times a year in February, May and October. We advise choosing the time of the year when you can best manage the joint demands of work and study.

Course dates                   

  • 15th October 2022 – 21st January 2023  (plus two weeks for the final assignment and to prepare your assessed portfolio)         

How do you apply?

Fill in the application form which is sent directly to the Academic Head of Training and Development and they will contact you if they have any questions about your application.  Once your application is approved, we will be in touch to let you know how to pay.


The course fees stated are exclusive of 20% VAT.  VAT will be added to the fee if it is paid by a business or individual located in the UK.

Course fees must be paid in full prior to the start date.