7 reasons why Foyle International is the best place to study OET in the UK

From our highly qualified staff, to our unique location, here are some reasons why Foyle International is the best place to study OET in the UK.

1. Prepare for AND take the OET exam at Foyle International

There are several study options for overseas professionals regarding OET at Foyle International. For those who need to improve their English language, whilst developing and learning skills and techniques needed to pass the OET exam, our OET Medical English preparation courses would be perfect for you.

Depending on your level of English you would study OET Medical English for 3/6/9 months (or more), and taking the OET exam at the end of the course. The aim is to achieve OET Grade B.

For those who already have a high level of English (approx. OET Grade B/IELTS 7.0) and require exam skills and techniques to pass the OET exam, our 1 week Preparation Course would be ideal.

Students can then take the actual OET exam itself in Foyle International, as we are N Ireland’s first and only OET exam centre!

2. Foyle International have specialised in Medical English for 20 years

We pride ourselves on our highly experienced staff who are trained in delivery of OET preparation courses, ensuring any study you take here will be of the highest quality.

We first specialised in Medical English in 2000 when we had a large number of student doctors and nurses from the Middle East and India who were starting their journey in healthcare here in the UK and in Ireland.

3. Derry is a growing Medical Hub

Derry is a unique location – specifically for overseas nurses – as it is the only place in the UK where you can study for and take the OET exam, as well as prepare and take the OSCE 1 and OSCE 2 exams.

Ulster University, based in Derry, is one of three OSCE 2 examination centres across the UK.

Read more about the NMC Test of Competency examinations here.

OSCE 2 exam centre at Ulster University, Magee campus in Derry 

4. Nurses studying with Foyle International can visit the OSCE 2 exam centre

An advantage for those nurses studying OET in Derry is that they can actually go to see the test venue where they will be taking the practical 4 hour exam, and will also be offered a 15 hour OSCE 2 preparation course as part of the Route to Employment programme. 

5. Foyle will find you a Route to Employment

Foyle International offers nurses who achieve OET Grade B an 8 month PAID work placement, with the opportunity to secure a 2-3 year employment in the UK at the end.

For overseas nurses who study OET with Foyle International and enrol on the Route to Employment programme, by the end of the OET preparation they will

-          Be prepared for interviews for jobs in Northern Ireland

-          Secured a job offer for an 8 month paid work placement

-          The employer will typically reimburse the flights to home country

The nurse will then have to return to their home country to reapply for their Tier 2 visa and then return to complete their work placement in Northern Ireland.

During the 8 months they will prepare for and have 3 attempts to pass the OSCE 2 exam in Derry.

6. Derry is the most affordable UK city to live in

As the UK’s number 1 most affordable city to live in (Lloyd’s Bank 2019), the cost of living is significantly lower than our neighbours in England and the rest of the UK.

Studying and or working in Derry means that the cost of living is lower, with better value for your money.

Overall, Northern Irish cities are much more affordable than anywhere else in the UK.

7. We have the best of British education and Irish hospitality!

A unique location – situated on the border of the UK and Republic of Ireland, means that Derry has the “best of both”.

In addition, Derry was voted one of the UK’s friendliest cities, when you visit Derry you won’t be surprised as to why! A small and safe city, many Derry locals are welcoming and chatty to foreign students and tourists, often keen to share more information about our historic city! 

For further information on our OET courses or booking an OET exam, get in touch with aine@foyle.eu or download an application form here.

OET Preparation course

5 Reasons to do an OET Preparation Course

Considering taking an OET preparation course ahead of your OET exam? At Foyle International we offer several options for study to best prepare you to pass the Occupational English Test (OET).

A preparation course will provide you with: 

  • Advice on which areas of your English Language skills which need improved 
  • Up-to-date and unique preparation material, personalised feedback on your skills and techniques, to help you achieve your desired OET grade  
  • Expert guidance throughout your study journey in an English speaking environment.

At Foyle, we are an official OET Preparation Provider Programme, and we take pride in our expert staff and high quality teaching. Here are 5 main benefits to studying an OET preparation course before taking the exam:  

1. Practise English in real workplace scenarios 

The speaking section of an OET exam is a 5 minute role-play which focuses on real healthcare scenarios. This is designed to assess how well you can use English in an everyday professional situation. 

Nothing like online courses taking an OET preparation courses gives you the opportunity to practise with your teacher and other classmates face to face, whilst also receiving valuable feedback and guidance.

2. OET preparation courses are designed for individual needs and profession

Each healthcare profession requires different skills and techniques. OET preparation courses can be tailored to your job role – helping you to achieve your goals

At the beginning of the course, you will complete a needs analysis and confirm your profession, so that you are prepared for the correct test papers, and that the English skills you learn will be as useful as possible for your new career in the UK or Ireland.



3. Improve your exam skills and techniques 

The OET has four sections:

Listening - Reading - Writing - Speaking

It's similar to other English exams. 

A preparation course gives you the opportunity to practise your English and work on your exam skills and techniques across all four components. Your teacher will guide you through the exam structure and show you what to best expect in each section – how much time you need, what kind of language you need to use, what you should study, and how to approach the answer in the right way. Taking an exam preparation course will give you the confidence in knowing you can do your best on exam day

4. OET preparation courses fit into the OET exam schedule

Whether you do a 6 month OET prep course or a 1 week intensive course, they will run in conjunction with the OET exams, which are on a Saturday. That means that when you finish your course on the Friday, you will take the exam the following morning at our exam centre

5. Flexible course options, depending on your level of English 

We offer two options for OET preparation: 

This course will develop your English language skills, focusing on Medical English, so that you are able to achieve OET Grade B (IELTS level 7.0), whilst also giving you the techniques required to pass the exam itself. 

The intensive course focuses on improving your language skills and techniques, equipping you with the study skills required to pass the OET exam. This is best focused for those who already have a high level of English, and really only need skills and technique preparation. 


  • Well experienced, highly qualified teachers  
  • We provide homestay or self-catering accommodation  
  • This course is valid for 12 healthcare professionals: doctors, nurses, dentists, pharmacists, physiotherapists, speech pathologists, occupational therapists, optometrists, dietitians, Vets, podiatrists and radiographers.   
  • OET is accepted by the NMC and GMC and also UKVI for visa purposes

Interested in taking one of our preparation courses? Get in touch with aine@foyle.eu or check out our courses.


Foyle International is Northern Ireland’s first OET test centre

Foyle are delighted to announce that we have been chosen as a test centre for the Occupational English Test (OET), an English Language test for overseas healthcare professionals.

Having specialised in Medical English for more than 20 years, Foyle offer a one-week intensive OET preparation course before exam dates as well as 3, 6 or 9 month courses for those who require more preparation to improve their level of English.

What is OET?

The OET is an Australian developed international Medical English test that assess the language proficiency of healthcare professionals. It assesses all four language skills – listening, reading, writing and speaking – through test material designed to reflect real healthcare scenarios.

This initiative comes amid widespread concern of a shortage of NHS medical professionals across the UK. 

For overseas nurses to work in the UK, they require OET Grade B and to pass the OSCE 1 and OSCE 2 exam. Ulster University’s Magee campus in Derry is one of 3 OSCE 2 exam centres across all of the UK, making Derry a unique and attractive location for international nurses to gain the qualifications needed to work in the UK. 

Paul Murray, Director of Foyle International said: “We at Foyle International are delighted to be the first OET centre in the north of Ireland. 

Having specialized in Medical English for over 20 years, Foyle intends to work closely with the new OSCE 2 centre located at Magee Campus, Ulster University to increase numbers of international doctors and nurses qualifying in the North West region as healthcare professionals and grow Derry as an International Medical Hub.  

Thank you to all our staff and associates for their hard work in bringing this project to fruition.”

OET test centre, Foyle International in Derry


Foyle International in Derry

A spokesperson for Ulster University commented: “International nurses play a vital and important role in our high quality health and social care provision. At the nursing Competency Test Centre on the Magee campus, over 450 internationally educated nurses each month complete the second exam of their Test of Competence, facilitating their entry onto the Nursing and Midwifery Council live register in order to work in Northern Ireland and across the UK as registered nurses. 

English language skills are central to those nurses being able to meet the criteria to pursue their careers in nursing and we welcome the launch of the first OET centre in Northern Ireland at Foyle International as it will play an important role in facilitating those who wish to pursue a career in nursing."

OSCE 2 centre at Ulster University in Derry


OSCE 2 centre at Ulster University in Derry

Who recognises OET?

OET is recognised and trusted by healthcare boards and councils in the UK, Republic of Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, Dubai and Singapore. Many organisations, including hospitals, universities and colleges, are using OET as proof of a candidate’s ability to communicate effectively in a demanding healthcare environment. 

The test is recognised by the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC), the General Medical Council (GMC) in the UK and the Nursing and Midwifery Board and the Medical Council of Ireland

In April 2019 the Home Office announced that overseas medical staff will no longer be required to pass a second English Language test in order to enter the UK on a Tier 2 visa – but can now apply using either IELTS or OET.

OET exam

Foyle International is the 4th test centre on the island of Ireland. There are test dates every month and 14 dates in total for the year. 

More information about the OET test and dates can be found here: https://www.occupationalenglishtest.org/test-information/test-dates-locations/

For any enquiries, please email aine@foyle.eu or call 028 71 371 535