A Mandatory Qualification for teachers of Visually Impaired learners at St. Vincent’s School Liverpool, A Specialist School for Sensory Impairment and Other Needs delivered in collaboration with John Moores University


Students enrolled on this MQTVI course, based in an outstanding school (OFSTED), benefit from the specialist knowledge and experience of expert practitioners; enabling children with VI to access a broad and balanced learning experience from 0 – 25 years.


What do our students say?

“The MQTVI course will allow me to build on my expertise in working with children with visual impairments. The course is perfectly set up allowing me to learn whilst in my educational setting, with built on residentials that will enable me to meet with other professionals, sharing experiences”.


“I am studying the MQTVI to further my career as a VI specialist teacher. The MQTVI course has taught me so much about working with children who have a visual impairment. The residential weekends provide a great opportunity to meet other teachers and share our experiences so we can all learn from each other. The VI specialists who attend residential weekends give us tactile learning experiences which enable us to understand learning from a VI perspective.”


“I am taking the MQTVI course to help me with my current work and enhance my career in the future. The residential part of the MQTVI course being at St Vincent’s offers the advantage of a setting in which the course content can immediately be reinforced with practical examples of equipment, classroom settings and students’ work. The expert tuition on the MQTVI course at St Vincent’s is given by people who have extensive practical experience on which to draw, some of which has been gained at St Vincent’s School itself.”


“Being enrolled on the MQTVI course within St Vincent’s school is giving me the perfect opportunity to learn, develop and understand the skills needed to be a teacher of the Visually Impaired. A wealth of knowledge beams from each and every staff member enabling me to query and question knowing the specialist knowledge from qualified staff members will be paramount to my learning and teaching in the future.’


St. Vincent’s School and Liverpool John Moores University are delighted to offer this nationally recognised qualification for existing qualified teachers. This collaborative programme will lead to a Postgraduate  Diploma in Teaching Learners with a Visual Impairment (PGDip QTVI.) It will provide rigorous underpinning to the professional requirements of such roles whilst at the same time incorporating the requirements of the national mandatory award for those employed in such roles (QTVI) following recognition of the partnership by the DfE in January 2016.


 Why train at St. Vincent’s School in collaboration with Liverpool John Moores University?


Training to be a Qualified Teacher of Visually Impaired Learners at St. Vincent’s School is a unique and unparalleled experience, as it is the only initial training course of its type that is delivered within the setting of a leading centre of excellence in the education of visually impaired learners – St. Vincent’s.


St. Vincent’s has been consistently rated as an ‘outstanding school’ by OFSTED in all of its school and residential provision inspections since 2008. All children are taught by QTVI’s experienced within their specific curriculum area who all hold or are working towards the mandatory qualification for teaching children with a visual impairment.


What makes us different and what advantages would you as a student gain from your training experience with us?


The school offers the opportunity for teachers wishing to gain the mandatory qualification for teaching visually impaired learners to observe the work of experienced practitioners teaching across all ages and curriculum areas including for example the National Curriculum and the extended curriculum of braille, mobility, independent living skills, life skills, and access technology. As a student you will have the opportunity of completing your teaching placement and undertake specific and appropriate practitioner research enquiries including analytical case studies at a school known worldwide for its delivery in the education of visually impaired learners.




St. Vincent’s is a specialist school with 21st Century facilities located in a building built on a tradition dating back to 1841.


These include;

  • Business Centre and Conference facilities.

  • Library containing the recommended reading materials that this course requires access to.

  • Well equipped, networked classrooms linked to the school intranet and the internet, with appropriate lighting and blinds, CCTV and computers with speech synthesizers, braille notes and large print facilities.

  • Specialist rooms for Science, Food Technology, Art and Information Communication Technology.

  • Music department offering a wide range of tuition and music technology studio.

  • Running track, playing fields, gym with multi-gym, heated indoor swimming pool, assault course, sensory and soft play room.

  • Well-equipped reprographics department.

  • High calibre, homely residential facilities

  • Youth club facility.

  • Bradbury House – a professional development centre with accommodation

  • All set in extensive safe grounds


The Course


Delivered and written by experts in the field, bringing their professional currency to the fore, the unique programme’s balance between professional practice and academic rigour stems from a unique partnership between Liverpool John Moores University and St Vincent’s School.  This Postgraduate Diploma qualification is a practical, unique and relevant programme designed by practitioners for practitioners. It meets the requirements of the Mandatory Qualification for Teaching Learners with Visual Impairments (QTVI.) Assignments and practical elements to the course are closely linked to improving professional practice. As a student you will have the opportunity of practice – based learning support in schools and professional settings whilst at the same time having access to tailored support and guidance. St. Vincent’s will provide you with access to an environment that is adapted to those with visual impairment where you will gain a wealth of experience that is unique and which offers a plethora of experience directly on site.


The Course is a distance learning course undertaken over a 2 year duration consisting of 6 Core Modules, a UEB braille course, mobility awareness, 5 residential weekends that are based at St. Vincent’s and a block teaching placement experience of 4 weeks which takes place within a specialist setting or support service setting. Students are also encouraged to carry out observational visits to a range of clinical and educational provisions for themselves. This teaching placement will allow students to acquire and demonstrate pedagogical skills linked to teaching learners with visual impairment. The programme has been designed to complement the existing portfolio of teacher education programmes in several ways. The overall aim of the programme is to meet the early professional learning needs of those working within the education and service sector for visually impaired learners and to produce postgraduates who are able to play a significant role in relation to application of knowledge in the field of education practice in schools, colleges and settings in this sector.


Work based learning, person centred inclusive thinking and teaching approaches are designed to engage all students as self-directed learners and reflective practitioners. The course is delivered over two years with a September start.  A blended learning model forms the basis of study for this programme. This includes distance learning via an online learning platform, where students will have access to study materials. Learning is supported by attendance at five residential weekends delivered at St. Vincent’s School in Liverpool. The residential weekends provide face to face teaching, networking and the provision for tutorial support including braille clinics – each student is allocated their personal braille tutor for the duration of the course. They also allow for guest speakers and other professionals from a range of related disciplines to deliver lectures in their field of expertise whilst at the same time allowing you as the student to have a hands on practical approach in gathering information from this centre of excellence to ensure the competent delivery in the education of the visually impaired learner. These study weekends offer extended opportunities for research and collaborative working with fellow students and other professionals. On site accommodation and catering is provided for students for the duration of the residential weekends.


Entry requirements (Home)


The normal entry requirements for the PGDip Teaching learners with a

Visual impairment are:

  • An Honours degree (or its equivalent) in any subject;

  • QTS

  • Current employment as an educational practitioner working with visually impaired learners


Applicants whose graduate study or relevant experience was undertaken

in languages other than English, will need to demonstrate English

language proficiency to the level of an IELTS score of at least 6.5

(minimum of 5.5 in each component.)


Entry requirements (International)

The normal entry requirements for the PGDip Teaching learners with a

Visual impairment are:

  • An Honours degree (or its equivalent) in any subject;

  • QTS

  • Current employment as an educational practitioner working with visually impaired learners

Applicants whose graduate study or relevant experience was undertaken

in languages other than English, will need to demonstrate English

language proficiency to the level of an IELTS score of at least 6.5

(minimum of 5.5 in each component.)


To find out more about this innovative course please contact

St. Vincent’s school direct on 0151 228 9968 or email


Angela Simpson (QTVI) Course Practitioner

Jackie Locke (QTVI) MQTVI Course Practitioner or  




To apply click link below:


MQTVI application form 2021-2022


Return completed applications to


St Vincent’s School
Yew Tree Lane
West Derby
L12 9HN
Tel: 0151 228 9968

Registered Charity No. 1102657

Admitted to Liverpool City Council's Freedom Roll of Associations and Institutions on 8th April 2015.