IH Director of Studies Course

The International House Director of Studies course is for anyone who is looking to move 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 from an academic manager or DoS and 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 >>

Why Take the IH DoS Course?

It's a 9-module course which deals with many aspects of educational management. It gives you time to reflect and get other people's input on your ideas. For those who are already Directors of Studies, the course gives you an idea of what happens in different contexts rather than just in your school. The contribution of your cohort gives you new ideas and perspectives and the confidence to try something new as you are learning from other people's experiences. For those who are not senior staff yet, it prepares you for the role.

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, or who 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 modules are taught over 9 weeks covering the following areas:

  • Becoming an Academic Manager
  • Time Management
  • Communication
  • Managing Change
  • Motivating Staff
  • Recruitment and Induction
  • Developing a Teacher Development Programme
  • Observing
  • Customer Satisfaction

You will learn about each task one by one and the theory behind each topic.


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 >>


The final grade for the IH DoS course is a pass or fail. The assessment for the IH DoS course is based on a final project that must be submitted within 2 weeks of the end of the course, as well as participation in the weekly tasks throughout the course. The project is based on procedures in a school and as such, it is necessary to either be working in an ELT context at the time of taking the course or have extensive experience in an educational setting that you can draw on to complete the project. You will work on the project throughout the course, receiving feedback from your tutor which makes it a formative experience for participants.

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


The course is delivered by qualified tutors with considerable experience in academic management and teacher training.

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 in this course is the online community, the opportunity to share best practices, 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 in 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 to 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.

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 & fees                  

  • 12th October - 14th December 2024 - £633 (£538 IH staff)

*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. 

How do you apply?

  1. Choose your dates and fill in the application form, which is sent directly to us. You will have to answer some basic questions about your qualifications and experience, but there is no need to submit any documents or proof of language level.
  2. We will review your application and get in touch if we have any queries.
  3. Once your application is approved, we will send you a payment link to pay for the course via debit/credit card. 
  4. Once the payment fee is paid (by you or your employer) we will confirm your place on the course.
  5. A few weeks before the start date we will send your login details, and you can access the platform / VLE to familiarise yourself with how it works before the course starts. We will also send you any pre-module reading materials.

There is no deadline for applying, but once we have 12 people confirmed on a course, then it is full – so it is better to send your application form in as soon as you’re interested, to secure a place on the course!

We create each new course specially for the participants, and so we need to close applications on the Wednesday before the course begins to give us time for this.