Assessment Only Route to QTS Short course - University of Sunderland

Course overview

The Assessment Only Route is for experienced but unqualified teachers, who have been teaching whole classes for a minimum of two years. To be recommended for the award you will need to have teaching experience in at least two schools and across two or more consecutive age ranges.

The Assessment Only Route allows you to demonstrate that you already meet all of the standards for QTS. The assessment period is a maximum of 12 weeks.

We will ask you to present detailed preliminary evidence at interview – and we will assess your teaching – usually at the school where you are currently working.

In addition, you will need to pass the professional skills tests in literacy and numeracy before being accepted onto the route. You will also need a current Disclosure and Barring Service certificate and Fit-To-Teach approval.

Typical students on this course include people who have taught for more than two years in the independent sector or overseas. You could have taught in early years primary or secondary level.

If you are awarded QTS, the next step is to undertake a year as a newly qualified teacher. This includes a personalised programme of professional support and further assessment against the core professional standards for teachers.

The University of Sunderland is an accredited provider for the Assessment Only Route. More details are available from the Department for Education.

Claire Rushworth, Primary School Teacher at Broadway Junior School, talks about her experiences at the University of Sunderland, where she studied for a BA (Hons) Primary Education and MA Teaching and Learning with ICT:

Course content

There is no formal teaching on this Assessment Only Route.

Teaching and assessment

Assessment takes place in the school where you are employed.

Assessment periods are for a maximum of 12 weeks. We provide an individualised assessment plan to suit your requirements which includes the recommended assessment period. If we consider that a longer period would be beneficial, we will advise you to consider applying for one of our ITT training courses.

Information about our policies relating to student experience and quality assurance processes can be found on the Academic Services website.

Facilities & location

The assessment will take place at the school where you are currently teaching.

Entry requirements

We require applicants to have the following:

  • An honours degree
  • GCSE grade C, or equivalent, in mathematics and English language. If you intend to teach at primary level you also need at least a grade C in a science subject
  • Full proficiency in English language
  • Recent significant experience of teaching in at least two schools
  • Teaching experience across two or more age ranges, either at early years primary or secondary level
  • Successful completion of the Skills Tests
  • An enhanced check from the Disclosure and Barring Service and Fit-To-Teach approval
  • References recommending you for the Assessment Only Route from the headteacher/principal of the schools in which you have gained your experience

We invite potential students to an interview where you present a portfolio of initial evidence that shows clear progress towards meeting the QTS standards.

If English is not your first language, please see our English language requirements.

Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL)

If you feel you already know some of the topics covered in this course, either due to previous learning or from experience of work, then you may not need to study all of the course.

Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL) is the name given to the process of gaining credit towards a qualification because of something you have learnt in the past. If you are eligible for APL you won't have to learn the same topic again, and so you can be exempt from a module, set of modules or year of a course. 

Read more about APL in the Quality Handbook (.pdf). If you think you may be eligible for APL, please contact the course leader.

Fees & finance

The fee for this course is:

  • £1,750 plus assessor expenses as required

This course is not available to international students.

Employment & careers

After a successful assessment, you will become a newly qualified teacher (NQT) and you will be able to apply for roles in state-maintained schools in England and Wales.

All qualified teachers in state-maintained schools are paid according to the School Teachers’ Pay and Conditions Document. Benefits include access to the country’s second largest public sector pension scheme. Currently the main pay scale goes up to around £37,000 (with more if you work in London) and pay for advanced skills teachers goes up to around £57,000.


We listen carefully to your career aspirations in order to ensure that we provide the option that you need. If the Assessment Only Route is right for you, we can complete the assessment within 12 weeks.

Apply for this course

For full details of the Assessment Only Route download a copy of the Assessment Only Route FAQ .

Contact Sunderland

For more information, contact the Assessment Only Route Administrator:

Diane Simpson-Scott
Tel: 0191 515 2399

The details

Course Name Assessment Only Route to QTS
Classification Work based
Course Mode Full-time
Course Level Postgraduate
Duration 6 - 12 weeks
Study Location Off-campus
Starting To be confirmed
UK/EU Fee £See entry requirements page
Intl Fee £Unavailable

Entry requirements

Honours degree and teaching experience (see Entry requirements tab)

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