iQTS information

Information on iQTS and alternative options, requirements for schools and mentors, technical guidance and support.

About iQTS

The iQTS is an online, internationally focused teaching qualification and enables you to engage in English teacher training online, based in international schools. On successful completion of one of our courses, the Department for Education (DfE) in England, will automatically award you Qualified Teacher Status (QTS), qualifying you to teach in schools in England too.

Our courses

Please refer to the course pages for information on qualifications, applying and interview requirements.

Course content and assessments

The course comprises of both live teaching and online content. This content will be accessed via an online platform called PebblePad. The live aspects will include the course induction, seminar sessions and tutor meetings.

This is a level 7 Masters qualification which means undertaking two 30-credit modules: Professional Studies, and Curriculum Inquiry. The practice component, International Practice, will also be completed alongside these modules.

Practical component

You need to be employed by a school to be successful at gaining a place on the iQTS (PGCE) course and this component involves completing at least 120 days in teaching practice. Experience of more than one setting is an essential part of your development and there can be flexibility in how this experience is achieved. Ideally you will be able to spend at least two weeks in an alternative school too, but we will offer support to secure an understanding of other school settings if this is not possible.

An online portfolio of evidence is produced, in addition to assessment by the school mentor and UWE Bristol tutor; this will be completed through lesson observations, professional conversations in meetings and monitoring of evidence/paperwork. This will be judged at pass or fail dependent on your ability to meet the iQTS Teacher’s Standards. Additionally, there is the expectation to complete a Viva Voce (oral examination) which will contribute to this assessment.

Teaching time hours

The teaching time hours includes time to observe lessons and teach parts of lessons, or whole lessons. The expectation is that the number of full lessons taught increases across the duration of the course.

Technical guidance

For this course, you should have access to the following software and equipment: 

  • A computer with Windows 10 /11 or Mac OSX 8.1 (or later).
  • A headset or speakers and a microphone.
  • Internet speeds for video conferencing (ie 10Mbps/2Mbps).

For recorded teaching we will be using IRIS Connect - the IRIS Connect Record App will need to be installed on your device. We will offer support with the software and guidance on how to download and use this app.

Additional software such as Microsoft Office is used across our courses and you will be given access to this as part of your course. We will give you the information required to access this through services at UWE Bristol.

There is more information on software through IT Services. Please contact us directly if there are any accessibility requirements

For support you with any technical issues relating to course materials:

For any general IT issue:


School requirements and role

Your school plays a key role in the course. The headteacher or delegate needs to be able to agree (confirmed in a written contract) to the following:

  • You have the appropriate safeguarding checks for the country.
  • There are no national policy barriers to you undertaking a teacher education course in that country.
  • Engaging in teaching practice of at least 120 days. We would expect dedicated contact time during the course to apply and progress skills acquired, building up to the last six weeks, to classes no smaller than eight students. All practice will feed into the last six weeks of assessed practice.
  • Organise a second teaching placement for you of at least two weeks, so that you have experience of a different school context. If it is not possible to organise a second placement, the school needs to liaise with UWE Bristol regarding an alternative.
  • Arrange for an appropriate mentor (see below) to work with you for the duration of the course. This will need to be agreed with UWE Bristol in advance of the start of the course.
  • Permission for you to record some examples of your teaching, via a secure online platform such as IRIS, throughout the year to self-evaluate, share, and discuss with your mentor and UWE Bristol tutor.
  • Time for you and the mentor to undertake a teaching observation at least once per fortnight, and once per week in the last six to eight weeks of the course.
  • Time for the mentor to meet with you and with the UWE Bristol tutor each fortnight.
  • Allow you to explore teaching strategies.
  • Liaise with UWE Bristol in a timely manner in the event of any problems which emerge during the course.

Mentor requirements and role

You will need a mentor to support your progress on the course. The mentor must:

  • Be qualified to teach in their country.
  • Have at least three years’ experience of teaching.
  • Complete the online UWE Bristol mentor training and development at designated points throughout the year, of approximately 30 hours. This includes mandatory pre-course training of approximately five hours.
  • Complete self-evaluation forms.
  • Engage with the portfolio and progress platform PebblePad.
  • Engage with the iQTS course schedule and content to enable them to support you with your focus and progress. This includes:
    • specific support to ensure you have the relevant subject and curriculum understanding appropriate to the school and phase/s being taught
    • supporting your understanding and progress with general teaching skills and attributes, including discussing course tasks and self-reflection.
  • Observe you and provide feedback at least once per fortnight and meet with you to discuss your progress at least once per week.
  • Engage in a variety of meetings as identified in training between all parties at regular intervals.
  • Engage in the suggested reading from professional development content delivered by UWE Bristol and embed into school-based training sessions.
  • Complete the relevant online feedback report relating to your progress.
  • Liaise with the headteacher and UWE Bristol tutor in a timely manner in the event of any problems which emerge during the course.

Support and advice

You will be given a tutor from our UWE Bristol Teacher Education team who will be contactable to discuss any concerns or issues. They will be able to offer support to find solutions, signpost to helpful resources, or adjust elements of the course where necessary. They can also liaise with school mentors to provide additional support.

Schools can contact the iQTS (PGCE) lead, Julie Buckland or Programme Leader, Karen Williams for support or guidance by emailing

iPGCE alternatives

Options to enhance and improve teaching without gaining iQTS

At UWE Bristol we have two iPGCE courses available that are designed to enhance teaching through studying a range of best practice pedagogical approaches.

The insights and knowledge gained by studying, applying, and evaluating teaching approaches used internationally will help to transform the way you teach. It provides the opportunity for you to position yourself as an internationally specialised teacher, which can support your progress into education management and leadership.

These flexible, practice-focused, online courses are available currently for Early Years, Primary or Secondary ages and are designed for those working in international contexts in any location. Please refer to the UWE Bristol iPGCE webpages for further information on the Primary and Secondary route as well as the Early Years iPGCE for the International Early Years route.

Similarities and differences between the iQTS (PGCE) and the iPGCE 

Some of the key similarities between the iQTS (PGCE) and the iPGCE course are: 

  • studying the iQTS (PGCE) and the iPGCE provides the opportunity to gain masters level credits
  • the iQTS (PGCE) and the iPGCE are both online courses and involve access to UWE Bristol Study Tutor support, through tutor meetings
  • both courses include engagement with recorded materials and live online seminars.

The main difference between the iQTS (PGCE) and the iPGCE is the iQTS aspect. This means that on completion of the iQTS (PGCE), iQTS is awarded which is a UK government-backed international teaching qualification, recognised by the Department for Education (DfE) in England, and is the equivalent to English Qualified Teacher Status (QTS). Another difference is the school requirement for the iPGCE is 60 days.

Please note: QTS is not awarded on the iPGCE.