Course details

Study options

Full-time: 12 weeks

Course level


Start date

See below

Course description

Do you have considerable experience working in education but still need to achieve Qualified Teacher Status (QTS)? We offer a flexible, convenient pathway to help you realise your ambitions and progress your teaching career.

Our Assessment Only Route to QTS could be ideal if you are:

Don’t let the lack of QTS restrict your career prospects. If you’re an experienced teacher with a degree, this route is your chance to demonstrate that you already meet all the standards for QTS – without the need for further training.

A fast-track route to qualification

The Assessment Only Route enables you to become formally qualified within a short space of time while you continue to teach. It takes 12 weeks of assessment to secure QTS and you can start at any time of the year.

You are required to demonstrate that you are a reflective practitioner who has met the Teachers’ Standards and can apply your skills, knowledge and understanding effectively in a wide range of school settings. In addition, you need to show that you can relate theory to practice and to evaluate critically the fundamental aims and values of education.

In-school assessments

As part of your route to QTS, you will be assessed while you are teaching by staff from both your school and the University.

During the assessment period, your supporting school will need to ensure that you have sufficient opportunity to meet the Teachers' Standards. You will need to comply with National College for Teaching and Leadership (NCTL) requirements, including a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check and meeting ‘Fitness to Teach’ regulations, plus any other relevant current legislation relating to the Teaching Profession.

You should normally be teaching at a school within two hours travel time from the University of Derby.

Support and inspiration

We have a rich heritage in training and assessing successful, confident and forward-thinking teachers. Your University assessor will come from our highly competent, experienced team and will offer you personalised support at every stage of theAssessment Only Route.

We offer potential candidates and their school advice and guidance prior to application and strongly recommend that we make an advisory visit to meet you in your school prior to the application process.

What you will study

The maximum period for the Assessment Only Route is 12 weeks. 

The Assessment Only Route is not suitable for candidates who require training in order to meet the Teachers’ Standards. Candidates who require training are advised to consider the PGCE Primary, PGCE Primary (School Direct) or PGCE Secondary (School Direct) routes.

Supporting schools need to provide candidates with sufficient opportunity to meet the Teachers’ Standards during the 12 weeks of assessment.

Please note that our modules are subject to change - we review the content of our courses regularly, making changes where necessary to improve your experience and graduate prospects.

How you will learn

Although there is no formal training linked to the Assessment Only Route, it is expected that you will continue to develop professionally as a teacher and, in particular, further develop your subject knowledge and teaching skills during the assessment period. You will be expected to have a professional mentor in school who will meet with you on a regular basis and also co-ordinate regular lesson observations and constructive feedback. 

How you are assessed

Assessment is made via the production of a portfolio of evidence measured against the Teachers’ Standards, the observation of successful teaching by school and University staff, a subject knowledge assessment and a final viva voce. You will have been observed teaching by your sponsoring school and your teaching must have been regularly graded as 'good' or 'outstanding'.

You will need to provide a variety of high quality evidence to demonstrate that you have met the Teachers’ Standards across two or more consecutive age ranges, and also evidence of having taught in two schools.

Entry requirements

You will need to:

Entry to this course is very competitive and the selection process includes:

How to apply

The application pack is available here:

AO Application Check List for Candidates and Schools 2019 - 2020.

AO Application Form 2019-2020.

AO Guidance for Trainee and School 2019-2020.

Overseas Trained Teacher (OTT) AO Application Form 2019-2020.

Please return your completed application form, partnership agreement and standards self-assessment documents via email or to:

Assessment Only Route to QTS
Institute of Education
Business Services Support
University of Derby
Kedleston Road
DE22 1GB

Please also provide us with a copy of your GCSE and degree certificates.


With Qualified Teacher Status (QTS), you will be able to advance in one of the most satisfying and important careers of all. The qualification opens doors to greater responsibilities, more senior roles and progression up the pay scale.

You could also consider taking your skills and knowledge to the next level. Our MA Education is an excellent option, especially if you have your sights set on more senior roles such as head teacher or deputy head teacher.

“The Assessment Only Route was the perfect route for me to gain my qualification. From the very start, I felt well supported by the University. I found the course to be really flexible in terms of timings of observation and interviews. This was invaluable to me because of my role in school. My assessor offered me excellent advice and resources to support the development of my teaching practice and my school-based mentor was involved at every stage of the process.”

Karen Hayes

Contact us

Assessment Only enquiries +44 (0)1332 591320

If you need any more information from us, eg on courses, accommodation, applying, car parking, fees or funding, please contact us and we will do everything we can to help you.

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† Additional information about your studies

You may start at any time during the year.

Teaching hours

Like most universities, we operate extended teaching hours at the University of Derby, so contact time with your lecturers and tutors could be anytime between 9am and 9pm. Your timetable will usually be available on the website 24 hours after enrolment on to your course.

Please note: Our courses are refreshed and updated on a regular basis. If you are thinking about transferring onto this course (into the second year for example), you should contact the programme leader for the relevant course information as modules may vary from those shown on this page.

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