International Nursing Programme

Our International Nursing Programme is a Pathway  for overseas nurses to equip them with the qualifications needed to work in the UK as a nurse. This programme combines the OET Medical English Programme and the Route to Employment Programme.

Foyle is an official OET Test Venue and Derry is also home to one of three OSCE 2 centres in the UK (Ulster University).

This course provides overseas nurses with: 

  • OET Grade B
  • Interview preparation
  • Interview with UK healthcare employers
  • 8 month PAID work placement
  • OSCE 2 exam
  • NMC registration
  • 2-3 year employment contact in UK private healthcare 


For an overseas (non-EU) nurse to qualify to work in the UK, there are 3 qualifications required:

  1. Recognized English Test – OET Grade B OR IELTS 7.0
  2. OSCE 1 – Computer Based Test
  3. OSCE 2 – Practical Exam

This pathway programme equips nurses with all 3 of these qualifications, resulting in a 2-3 year employment contract in private healthcare (Registed Nurse in Care/Nursing home setting)


  • Cultural Adaption and Orientation to life in the UK and Northern Ireland – hit the ground running when you start your career here in the UK
  • Accommodation organized by Foyle International
  • Student Services and Welfare – i.e. help with setting up a bank account, registering with a GP
  • 24-hour Emergency helpline
  • 15 hour OSCE 2 preparation course 
  • Interview preparation
  • Interviews organized with employers by Foyle International
  • Chance to meet with employer and view place of work for Route to Employment part of programme 
  • Visit to OSCE 2 centre see where the practical exam will take place
  • Support with Visa application
  • Take the OET and OSCE 2 exams in the same location! 
And finally, NMC registration and an employment contract in the UK. 

Course Overview

The course is devised in two parts, with the first comprising of two semesters. The length of the programme overall will vary, depending on the length of study needed for the English Language preparation. 

1. OET Medical English Programme

This is the English Language preparation element to the course, which included OSCE 1 and interview preparation, as well as an OSCE 2 centre visit. 

  • Duration: 3,6, 9+ months, depending on level of English 
  • Visa: Student Visitor Visa
  1. Cultural Orientation and Adaptation
  2. General English Preparation
  3. OET Preparation
  4. OSCE Part 1 Preparation (CBT)

The first semester will help you to improve your general English and communication skills. The course provides 15 hours per week of general English and OET preparation. During these morning sessions your teacher will work on all areas of the OET test: Reading, Speaking, Listening and Writing. Practice includes examination tasks and mock exams.

An individual log is kept of your scores to highlight stronger skills and pinpoint weaker areas for further development. The aim of this is to show progression and to form the basis for assigning supplementary work to improve on these areas. In addition, the course will also cover study techniques, research methods, IT skills, self-development and cultural awareness in order to help you prepare effectively for third level education or employment in an English-speaking environment.

An afternoon programme is provided which comprises of talks and tours which compliment morning lessons, allowing you to meet and interview local residents and gain real-life practice and experience with your language.
Guidance will also be given for the Pearson CBT Test to enable students to pass OSCE 1.


  1. Higher OET
  2. Interview Techniques and visits to potential employers
  3. Visits to OSCE2 Examination centre
  4. Guidance on OSCE 2 preparation
  5. Medical English

The second semester aims to further develop your language skills. If you do not achieve OET Grade B within the first 6 months, you can still continue to prepare for the OET Exam. Those who have successfully achieved Grade B will follow a further course of study in Medical English and prepare to successfully pass the test of competency (OSCE Part 2) which facilitates full NMC registration.

The OSCE (Objective Structured Clinical Examination) is designed to assess your ability to competently apply your professional nursing or midwifery skills and knowledge in the UK. It is set at the level expected of nurses and midwives as they enter the profession (at the point of registration). This means you must show that you are capable of applying knowledge to the care of patients at the level expected of a newly registered nurse or midwife.

The units offered during this semester are understanding the cultural and working environment, note taking and treatments. At each unit of the course the student will be introduced to:
• Functions and vocabulary related to unit theme.
• Medical documents
• Current medical articles
• Case histories

The course uses authentic cases which have been drawn from a range of specialisms as diverse as obstetrics, ophthalmology and neurology. All texts used on the course will be taken from the most up to date journals.

2. Route to Employment Programme

Nurses will undertake a paid work placement in private healthcare in Northern Ireland, UK. The nature of work will typically be as an Auxiliary Nurse in a private Care/Nursing home. During this time they will prepare for an take the OSCE 2 practical exam in Derry. 

  • Duration: 8 months (fixed)
  • Visa: Tier 2 (employment) visa  


This course is specifically for overseas nurses who ar qualified to work as a nurse in their home country.

This course varies in duration – from 12 months to 24 months in total. The duration depends on the nurses’ level of English at the start of the programme – studying OET Medical English from 3-12 months in total. The Work Placement part of the programme is fixed at 8 months.  

  • Qualified nurse in home country
  • Minimum level of English IELTS level 5.0/5.5 (IELTS certificate is not required for application for Student Visitor Visa)

To apply for this course, or to find out more information, get in touch at