Professional Course

Assessment Only Route to Qualified Teacher Status (QTS)

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:

Formalise your teaching skills and open up your career prospects. If you are 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 up to 12 weeks of assessment to secure QTS and you can start on any of the start dates shown below.

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. You will be required to demonstrate competency towards the Teachers’ Standards prior to applying for the course. Candidates and schools need to complete an Assessment Against the Teacher’s Standards (AATS) form and candidates also need to complete an evidence towards the Teachers’ Standards folder on their electronic portfolio. Candidates will need to contact the central AO team to be put in touch with an assessor who will arrange an advisory meeting to talk through all relevant documentation and evidence to ensure a full application is made.

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.

International candidates will have 2 observations of their teaching from university assessors using a live online platform, along with weekly mentor feedback during the duration of the route, to ensure that assessment is securely moderated, and the process is rigorous and robust.

During the assessment period, your supporting school will need to ensure that you have sufficient opportunity to develop, and demonstrate the Teachers' Standards. 

For UK candidates - You will need to comply with the Department for Education (DfE) 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.

For international candidates – You will need to provide evidence of an enhanced DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) check and other relevant employment checks including providing evidence of Certificates of Good Conduct for each country you have been resident in and an ICPC letter (not more than 6 months old). Further information is available here

Cost of the route varies depending on where you are based and the distance from the university. Costs are detailed below.

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 work alongside your school-appointed mentor to offer you personalised support at every stage of the Assessment 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 develop and demonstrate Teachers’ Standards. Candidates who require training are advised to consider the Level 6 Teacher Apprenticeship with QTSPGCE Primary, PGCE Primary (School Direct) or PGCE Secondary (School Direct) routes.

Supporting schools need to provide candidates with sufficient opportunity to further prove and evidence how they are meeting 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 further develop your subject knowledge and teaching skills during the assessment period. You will have a school-appointed, professional mentor in school who will meet with you on a regular basis and also co-ordinate regular lesson observations with formative and constructive feedback. 

How you are assessed

During the assessment period you will need to:

Entry requirements

You will need to:

Entry to this course is very competitive and the selection process is detailed below.

Completion of an online application with supporting documentation including:

You'll then attend formal interview.

Application Support

Due to the route requiring a number of additional documents, we offer the following support for all applicants, including:

Fees and funding

UK fees are based on the location from the University of Derby, DE22 1GB:

International Candidates:

The cost of the route is £3325 per candidate


How to apply

Please look at our application deadlines before you apply.

UK students

Students should apply directly to the University.

Apply directly to the University

Application deadlines and course start dates

Places on the Assessment Only Route to QTS are subject to meeting the entry requirements, successfully passing an interview, and the availability of a place on a given intake date.

The next application deadlines are:

Application deadline Course start date
25 July 2023 25 September 2023
1 November 2023 8 January 2024
2 February 2024 15 April 2024


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 middle and senior leadership roles.

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

Please see 'How to apply' for start date information.

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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