PD QTS Assessment Only (Secondary 11 - 16)

If you are a graduate currently working as an unqualified secondary school teacher in England, the University of Bolton’s Assessment Only route can allow you to achieve Qualified Teacher Status (QTS). It is ideal if you work in a school and already possess significant experience teaching the 11 to 16 age group. We can support you to demonstrate that you already meet the English Teachers’ Standards without additional training.

QTS Assessment Only (Secondary 11 - 16)

Key information



Mode of Study:



3 months


University of Bolton

Start date:

08/01/2024, 08/04/2024

Course Details

If you are a graduate with significant experience teaching children aged 11 to 16, the University of Bolton’s Assessment Only route supports you to demonstrate that you already meet all the standards for QTS without the need for further training.

If you live and work in the United Kingdom, this course prepares you for assessment against the English Teachers’ Standards. If you are successful, we will recommend you for the award of QTS.

Who is this course for? This course is designed for unqualified teachers working in paid or unpaid roles in secondary education who are keen to gain QTS. You may be working in a state-maintained school, an academy, an independent school, a special school or a pupil referral unit. You may be employed as a cover supervisor, Higher Level Teaching Assistant (HLTA) or supply teacher. It could be that you trained as a teacher overseas and do not automatically qualify for QTS. Alternatively, you may be an experienced further education lecturer now working in a school.

Supporting you to achieve QTS Our expert team of education tutors will provide access to excellent resources and offer you timely, personalised advice. Working closely with your school-appointed mentor, we’ll help you understand the requirements for gaining QTS. With our guidance, you can compile a detailed and high-quality portfolio of evidence ready to demonstrate that you meet the Teachers’ Standards. Regular observations by staff at your supporting school will contribute to your portfolio and practice development.

A University of Bolton tutor will visit you in school, observe your lessons and review your portfolio to verify that you meet the criteria before recommending you for QTS assessment. You will receive formative and constructive feedback to help you identify what you are doing well and where you need to improve.

For the assessment, a University assessor will observe your lessons and inspect your portfolio of evidence. You will also undertake a subject knowledge assessment and a viva voce (oral examination). If you are successful, they will recommend you for QTS. The Department for Education (DfE) will award QTS based on the assessor’s recommendation.

Please note, it can take up to six months to assess whether your application meets all the criteria to begin the Assessment Only Route to QTS programme. Once we have completed all the necessary application checks, you will be invited to enrol on the next available start date.

  • The University of Bolton is an approved Assessment Only provider. We can assess you in your supporting school, offering you the opportunity to demonstrate that you meet the Teachers’ Standards.
  • This flexible programme can help you realise your ambitions and progress your teaching career.
  • We offer support and guidance as you develop your portfolio of evidence and prepare for your subject knowledge assessment and the final viva voce (oral examination).
Key Features
  • Our tutors will visit you in your supporting school and communicate with you online, so you won’t need to attend the University in person.
  • Our experienced tutors and assessors will work closely with you and your school-appointed mentor, ensuring you receive personalised support at every stage of the process.
  • The timings of observation and interviews will be flexible to fit in with and around your role in school.
Professional recognition

The programme is aligned with the Department for Education’s Teachers’ Standards. If you pass the QTS assessment, the University of Bolton’s assessor will recommend you for QTS. The Department for Education (DfE) will award QTS based on the assessor’s recommendation.

  • For full guidance regarding the entry requirements and assessment criteria for the assessment only route to QTS, along with supporting advice, please visit the UK government website at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/the-assessment-only-route-to-qts/assessment-only-route-to-qts-criteria-and-supporting-advice
  • Please note that this course is only available to Home students.
  • You must have a lower second class (2:2) honours degree (or equivalent).
  • Before starting the programme, you must also have GCSEs in English and Mathematics at grade C or above or grade 4 to 9 (or equivalent). If appropriate, the University of Bolton offers GCSE equivalence testing and accepts equivalence results from other providers.
  • You must be working in an appropriate role in a secondary school so that you can fulfil the requirements of this Assessment Only route to QTS. Your supporting school will need to ensure that you have sufficient opportunity to meet the Teachers’ Standards.
  • You must have a minimum of two years experience as a teacher. Before entering the Assessment Only route, you must have taught in at least two schools (including your supporting school). Before the end of the Assessment Only QTS period, you must have taught children and young people from different backgrounds, across all abilities in the 11 to 16 age range and gained experience of different approaches to teaching and learning and school organisation and management.
  • The Head Teacher of your supporting school must sign the partnership agreement before you submit your application.
  • The University of Bolton will review your application to ensure you have the necessary qualifications and experience. You will need to provide a portfolio of evidence of your experience of teaching so that we can evaluate your ability to meet the Teachers’ Standards within the necessary time frame. We will also confirm that your supporting school provides a suitable environment for assessment to enable you to reach the standards required for the award of Qualified Teacher Status (QTS).
  • If your qualifications are not from a recognised UK education institution, advice will be taken from the International Office on comparability.
  • You will be required to attend an interview as part of the application process. You will be required to show original qualification certificates at your interview, along with proof of ID.
  • You will need to provide satisfactory references, a satisfactory health declaration and a satisfactory student agreement before enrolling on the course.
  • You will also need to provide evidence of a current enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check.
  • Normally, your supporting school will be within a 50-mile radius of the University of Bolton.
  • Please note that this course is subject to the University of Bolton's Fitness to Practise procedure.

Where changes are made to material information contained in this course description or a decision is taken to suspend a course between the offer of admissions and enrolment, we will inform applicants at the earliest possible opportunity and will outline the various options available to the applicant.

Is the lack of QTS restricting your career prospects? Formalising your teaching skills can enhance your professional status. If you are an unqualified secondary school teacher with a degree and substantial experience working with children aged 11 to 16, this course allows you to gain QTS without doing a teacher training programme.

This Assessment Only route does not lead to a PGCE qualification and is not suitable for candidates who require training to develop and demonstrate the Teachers’ Standards. While you do not need a PGCE qualification to teach in England, you may find it helpful as your career evolves, for instance, if you wish to teach in another country. The University of Bolton offers a range of master’s-level PGCE qualifications, or you could consider school-led teacher training programmes if gaining a PGCE is important to you.

What can I do with this qualification?

After gaining QTS, you will be eligible for an Early Career Framework-based induction, a two-year training and support programme available to early career teachers. You will be ready to take on greater responsibilities. As you gain experience, you will be able to seek more senior roles and progress up the pay scale.

You may also wish to undertake further study. Popular topics include education management, theory and policy. You could follow a master’s in education, pursue a PhD by research or study for a professional doctorate.

Course fees

Useful information

Tuition fees may be paid by you, your supporting school or a combination of both. Please note that student finance is not available for this route.

Important note regarding tuition fees for the 2023-2024 academic year: EU nationals who meet residency requirements (have settled or pre-settled status) may be eligible for 'Home' fee status. If you do not meet these residency requirements, overseas fees will apply. Irish citizens living in the UK or Ireland will be eligible for 'Home' fee status under the Common Travel Area arrangement. Please read the student finance for EU students web page on www.gov.uk for information.

The fees for a student's course of study will be set for the normal duration of that course subject only to inflationary increases – measured by the Consumer Price Index (CPI) recorded in March each year to take effect for subsequent start dates.


Click here for more information about the scholarships and bursaries available to University of Bolton students.

For details of how to apply for this course, please choose your status from the options below:

You may apply directly to the University using the University's online application form. Please select your chosen start date from the list below:

You should have to hand:

  • Details of the educational establishments you attended and dates

  • Your certificates for the qualifications you are using to gain entry to the course – you will need to enter the completion date and upload copies

  • Details of any employment history including name, address, dates and role

  • Personal statement – this can be either input into the relevant field or uploaded separately

  • Details including e-mail addresses of two referees, at least one of which should be someone who can provide an academic reference

Please make sure any documents you wish to upload in support of your application are in pdf or jpeg format. Personal statements may be word documents.

Please ensure your data is correct at each stage of the application before you proceed to the next page. If you use the back button at any time during the application, you should check the validity of the data you have already input.

If you experience difficulties during the application process, contact the Admissions Team on 01204 903394 or admissions@bolton.ac.uk

International applications are not possible for this course

As an international student you are not allowed to study this course because of the restrictions on your visa.

We offer a wide range of full-time courses in lots of different subjects, many of our courses start in September and January. If you would like to see what courses are available please visit our Course Search.

To achieve QTS, you need to show that you meet the Teachers’ Standards for your chosen teaching specialism. You will need to have taught across two key stages and in two schools, and have the equivalent of at least two years of teaching experience.

As part of your route to QTS, your teaching will be assessed by staff from your supporting school and the University of Bolton. Your teaching must be regularly assessed as ‘meeting standards’. A school-appointed mentor will meet with you frequently to promote your professional development as a teacher, and your University tutor will be on-hand to provide advice and answer questions. Although there is no formal training linked to the Assessment Only route, you will be expected to further develop your teaching skills and subject knowledge throughout the assessment period. We will encourage you to reflect on your practice and identify your strengths and weaknesses.

Your teaching practice will be measured and assessed against the Department for Education Teachers’ Standards and documented through session planning, observation reports and reflective journals. You will evidence your progress on our online learning platform. This information will form the portfolio of evidence we require to recommend you for QTS if you successfully meet the Teachers’ Standards during the assessment.

You will also need to demonstrate competence in the fundamental English and mathematics skills required of teachers working in schools. English skills include speaking, listening, reading, writing, and communicating with different audiences and for different purposes. Mathematical competence includes analysing data, statistical information, and monitoring pupil progress, for example, through interpreting graphs and databases. Finally, you will need to demonstrate reflective practice, showing you can effectively apply your skills, knowledge, and behaviours to undertake a range of responsibilities in school settings.

  • QTS Assessment Only (Secondary 11-16)
Assessment methods
LevelAssesment method
Level oneCoursework 100%
Learning activities
LevelLearning activity
Level oneGuided independent study 10%, Placement/study abroad 90%


The university will use all reasonable endeavours to deliver your course as described in its published material and the programme specification for the academic year in which you begin your course. The university considers changes to courses very carefully and the university will minimise any changes. Please be aware that our courses are subject to review on an ongoing basis and changes may be necessary due to legitimate staffing, financial, regulatory and academic reasons. The content of course modules and mode of associated assessments may be updated on an annual basis. This is to ensure that all modules are up-to-date and responsive to employment and sector needs. The published course material and the programme specification contain indicative ‘optional modules’ that may be subject to change due to circumstances outside of our control. For this reason, we cannot guarantee to run any specific optional module.

The academic staff detailed above teach across a range of courses in this subject area and may not teach on this course specifically.

Programme Contacts

Joanne Hornby
Programme Leader and Admissions Tutor


+44 (0)1204 903342

Initial Teacher Training and Qualified Teacher Status Enquiry Team
University of Bolton


+44 (0)1204 903903

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Help Centre

We have the answers to your questions, find all the advice and support in one place.

Part of the University of Bolton Group

Bolton college
Alliance learning
Anderton centre2
QQA Scheme Participant