Assessment Only route leading to Qualified Teacher Status

Why choose this course?

If you already have significant teaching experience in a UK school and are looking to gain Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) without the need for further training, this Assessment Only (AO) route is ideal. The assessment period can range from 6-12 weeks depending on the individual. After gaining your recommendation for QTS, you will need to complete an induction Newly Qualified Teacher (NQT) year at your supporting school.

You must demonstrate that you are already teaching at either "good" or "outstanding" level against the Teachers' Standards and be ready to be formally assessed by a university tutor in your school.

Following a successful assessment period, you will be recommended for QTS.

If you have gained your teaching qualification from one of the countries listed below, you may be recognised as a qualified teacher so may not need to undertake the AO route. You will need to apply to the Department for Education for the award of QTS.   

  • USA
  • Canada
  • Australia
  • New Zealand
Mode Duration Start date
No attendance 3 months (maximum) Ongoing entry
Location Work based

Reasons to choose Kingston University

  • Kingston University is an accredited and approved provider of the Assessment Only (AO) route into teaching and works with a number of partnership schools across the South East region.
  • This course recognises highly competent teaching staff who do not have Qualified Teacher Status
  • You will have a mentor and receive structured support from your school throughout the assessment route.

What you will study

The Assessment Only route allows you to demonstrate that you already meet all of the standards for QTS without the need for any further training. You will need to present a detailed portfolio of evidence, and your teaching will be assessed in a school by an accredited and approved provider.

Subjects offered:

  • Primary - early years (ages 3-7)
  • Primary - general (ages 5-11)
  • Any secondary subject

Entry requirements

You need to have taught at a minimum of two schools.

Typical offer

  • A minimum 2:2 UK honours degree or equivalent (NARIC to be provided for overseas qualification). For secondary, your degree must be at least 50% in the subject you wish to teach.
  • GCSE English and mathematics (plus science for primary) at grade 4 or above (C or above for examinations taken before 2017). If you do not have GCSEs in English, mathematics and science, you may take an equivalency test at the School of Education following acceptance of any potential offer given.
  • Extensive teaching experience in two or more schools (the applicant must currently be employed at a school) across two consecutive age ranges within the primary or secondary phase. This must include some experience in a mainstream UK state school:
    • 3–7 yrs
    • 5–11 yrs
    • 11–16 yrs
    • 14–19 yrs
  • Teaching observed by current school must be judged at either 'good' or 'outstanding'.
  • Satisfactory Disclosure Barring Service (DBS) enhanced disclosure and medical checks undertaken by the school.

Equivalency tests

If you do not meet the GCSE English, mathematics or science requirement, you will be pleased to know you can take an equivalency test (one attempt only) at the School of Education (free of charge) following acceptance of any potential offer given for a teacher-training course.

Please note: a pass in these tests is considered to be of the same standard as GCSE grade 4, however, it does not offer a formal GCSE qualification. Therefore, passing the test(s) will allow you to gain entry to a teacher-training course at Kingston University only and not any other course or training provider.

As you are only allowed one attempt in each subject, we encourage you to prepare for your test and have included some useful links for English, mathematics and science to support you with this.




We have listed dates for the test sessions so you can plan ahead. Please get in touch with us if you are looking to accept your offer with Kingston University and need to complete a GCSE equivalency test so we can send you further details.

  • Thursday 30 April 2020
  • Thursday 28 May 2020

Teaching and assessment

You will be formally observed in your school setting, to demonstrate your teaching strengths and abilities. You will be set SMART targets to enhance your portfolio of evidence and develop your teaching practice.

Guided independent study

When not attending timetabled sessions you will be expected to continue learning independently through self-study. This typically will involve reading journal articles and books, working on individual and group projects, undertaking preparing coursework assignments and presentations, and preparing for exams. Your independent learning is supported by a range of excellent facilities including online resources, the library and CANVAS, the online virtual learning platform.

Support for postgraduate students

As a student at Kingston University, we will make sure you have access to appropriate advice regarding your academic development. You will also be able to use the University's support services

How you will be assessed

Assessment consists of observations, analysis of your portfolio of evidence against the Teachers' Standards. There is also a written assignment which is set at the initial meeting and focuses on your specific areas of development.

Your portfolio needs to include evidence from two school settings, with different age ranges.

Feedback summary

We aim to provide feedback on assessments within 20 working days.

Who teaches this course?

The tutors for your course have experience teaching in schools. They continue to be actively involved in a range of education related activities, such as further study, research and direct work with schools and in educational settings.

Course fees and funding

2020/21 fees for this course

The fees for the Assessment Only route are £2,500 (2020/21) which will need to be met by the candidate or their supporting school or a combination of both.

The cost covers the following:

  • application and initial screening;
  • initial assessment day (interview at school with head teacher and university tutor);
  • initial tutor observation and portfolio examination;
  • additional tutor visits (if required);
  • final tutor observation; and
  • tutor travel expenses.

Please note, this programme is not eligible for Student Finance.


Candidates are not eligible for government funding on the Assessment Only route.

Kingston Hill

There is a wide range of facilities at our Kingston Hill campus, where this course is based.

Kingston Hill is a leafy, hillside campus situated about three miles away from Kingston town centre. It is a quiet, secure place to study with easy access to London, meaning it provides the best of all worlds for our students.

Find out more about the Kingston Hill campus in the virtual tour.


One of the highlights of the Kingston Hill campus is the modern library, called the Nightingale Centre after Florence Nightingale, who was a regular visitor to Kingston Hill.

The library provides a spacious and attractive place for students to meet and study and features a cafe, more PCs and zoned study areas. Long opening hours give you plenty of access to specialist education books, journals and online resources.

Find out more about the Nightingale Centre in the virtual tour.

Computer and online facilities

There are many computers (PCs and Macs) available for you to use across the Kingston Hill campus when you need a place to study. Access to the wireless network across the campus means you can also work from your laptop or mobile device.

Using IT to support your studies is crucial. Kingston has an innovative virtual learning environment called Canvas. This allows you to access course materials and contact fellow students and staff while away from the campus.