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PG Dip Postgraduate Diploma in Teaching Learners with a Visual Impairment (with QTVI)

Start date(s):
Study mode:
Course duration:
2 years

Tuition fees

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About this course

Embark on this Mandatory Qualification for Teachers of Visually Impaired Learners (QTVI), delivered at St. Vincent's School, Liverpool in collaboration with LJMU.

  • Applicants will be asked to apply directly to St Vincent's School
  • The fee for the course commencing September 2023 is £3800 per year (total course fee £7600) payable annually to the Finance Department at St Vincent’s School
  • Designed by practitioners for practitioners
  • Study over two years on a distance learning basis
  • Includes six diverse Core modules including a UEB braille course
  • Take part in five residential weekends and a four week block teaching placement within a specialist or support service setting
  • Engage in work-based learning, person-centred inclusive thinking and teaching approaches designed to engage students as self-directed learners and reflective practitioners
  • Option to top-up to an MA degree by completing a 60 credit dissertation module after gaining your QTVI PgDip.

St. Vincent’s is a Specialist School for Sensory Impairments and Other Needs has been consistently rated as an ‘outstanding school’ by OFSTED in all of its school and residential provision inspections since 2008. The partnership between St. Vincent's and LJMU provides access to an environment adapted to those with visual impairment, and offers you a plethora of experience directly on site.

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.

Delivered and written by experts in the field, bringing their professional currency to the fore, this unique programme’s balance between professional practice and academic rigour stems from the relationship between Liverpool John Moores University and St Vincent’s School. You will experience practice-based learning support in schools and professional settings whilst at the same time having access to tailored support and guidance.

The MA Teaching Learners with a Visual Impairment masters degree is available as a 'top-up' once you've completed the PgDip. It involves completing one 60 credit Dissertation module, which is delivered part-time over one year. The MA start month is October.

Fees and funding

There are many ways to fund postgraduate study for home and international students


The fees quoted at the top of this page cover registration, tuition, supervision, assessment and examinations as well as:

  • library membership with access to printed, multimedia and digital resources
  • access to programme-appropriate software
  • library and student IT support
  • free on-campus wifi via eduroam

Additional costs

Although not all of the following are compulsory/relevant, you should keep in mind the costs of:

  • accommodation and living expenditure
  • books (should you wish to have your own copies)
  • printing, photocopying and stationery
  • PC/laptop (should you prefer to purchase your own for independent study and online learning activities)
  • mobile phone/tablet (to access online services)
  • field trips (travel and activity costs)
  • placements (travel expenses and living costs)
  • student visas (international students only)
  • study abroad opportunities (travel costs, accommodation, visas and immunisations)
  • academic conferences (travel costs)
  • professional-body membership
  • graduation (gown hire etc)


There are many ways to fund postgraduate study for home and international students. From loans to International Scholarships and subject-specific funding, you’ll find all of the information you need on our specialist postgraduate funding pages.

Please be aware that the UK’s departure from the EU may affect your tuition fees. Learn more about your fee status and which tuition fees are relevant to you.


Further your career prospects

LJMU has an excellent employability record with 96% (HESA 2018) of our postgraduates in work or further study six months after graduation. Our applied learning techniques and strong industry connections ensure our students are fully prepared for the workplace on graduation and understand how to apply their knowledge in a real world context.

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 the application of knowledge in the field of education practice in schools, colleges and settings.

The student experience

Discover life as a postgraduate student at LJMU.

Course modules

Discover the building blocks of your programme

The programme consists of six core modules, which all students will study.

Year 1: 

  • 7601QTVI Learners with Vision Impairments (20 credits) 
  • 7602QTVI Policy into Practice: The Role of the QTVI (20 credits) 
  • 7603QTVI Developing an Accessible Curriculum (20 credits) 

Year 2:

  • 7604QTVI Supporting Learners with Vision Impairments: Multidisciplinary Perspectives (20 credits) 
  • 7605QTVI Developing Effective Teaching Practices (20 credits) 
  • 7606QTVI Researching Professional Educational Practice (20 credits) 

Core modules

Learners with Vision Impairments
20 credits

This module aims to enhance participants' depth of knowledge and understanding of vision and visual processing, as well as the possible effects of ocular and cerebral visual dysfunction for learning and development.

Policy into Practice: the Role of the QTVI
20 credits

This module aims to enable participants to relate their professional experience to the overall developments in provision for pupils with vision impairment at both regional and national levels. A key emphasis will be on roles and responsibilities within the context of inclusion and the changing role of the specialist teacher and other professionals.

Developing an Accessible Curriculum
20 credits

This module will allow participants to explore the range of methods available for children and young people with VI to access the curriculum. It will support the development of deeper understanding of the possible implications of a VI for access in a number of curriculum areas, including communication/ literacy and numeracy.

Supporting Learners with Vision Impairments: Multidisciplinary Perspectives
20 credits

This module will enable participants to develop and evaluate forms of intervention most likely to support the social and emotional wellbeing of the children and young people you work with in your professional setting. It will also consider the role of the different professionals when working within a multidisciplinary team.

Developing Effective Teaching Practices
20 credits

This module will introduce the theory and application of existing teaching strategies and the development of new approaches to meet the specific needs of pupils with VI. The module will enable participants to identify and meet the learning needs of pupils with VI through the use of effective teaching and learning strategies.

Researching Professional Educational Practice
20 credits

This module will provide participants with the opportunity to investigate a particular professional issue and assess its educational and practical significance. The module will provide opportunities for professionals to:

  • Further extend their knowledge and understanding of practitioner research approaches
  • Develop an empirical base for the analysis of theory and practice, the application of research methodologies appropriate to the nature of the identified area of enquiry
  • Develop critical faculties in relation to the application of methodologies in workplace settings
  • Design, plan and construct a small scale research project


An insight into teaching on your course

Study hours

There are five residential weekends at St Vincent's across the two years. Students are also expected to carry out 170-190 hours of independent study per module. 

Teaching methods

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 also 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. 

Guest speakers and other professionals from a range of related disciplines also lecture in their field of expertise at these weekends. The time at St Vincent’s also provides students with 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. The 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.


Applied learning

All modules are linked to professional practice and require students to apply learning in their professional context and to reflect on links between new learning and their own professional context and practice. 7604QTVI Supporting Learners with Vision Impairments includes a Braille exam to help students to better communicate and empathise with their pupils. Students are also required to undertake a four-week teaching practice placement, linked to module 7505QTVI Developing Effective Teaching Practices through which they will be able to acquire and demonstrate pedagogical skills linked to teaching leaners with a visual impairment


How learning is monitored on your programme

To cater for the wide-ranging content of our courses and the varied learning preferences of our students, we offer a range of assessment methods on each programme.

Assessment on this programme therefore incorporates reflective practice assignments involving, but not limited to, individual and group work tasks, presentations, essays, reports, critical reflection on professional practice accounts and action research reports.

Entry requirements

You will need:

Qualification requirements

Undergraduate degree

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

International requirements


    • 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).

Further information

  • Extra Requirements
    • QTS
    • PgDip with Mandatory Qualification for Teaching Learners with a Visual Impairment
    • Current employment as an educational practitioner working with visually impaired learners
  • RPL

    RPEL applications are accepted from applicants holding the appropriate mandatory qualification, PGDip QTVI. In these cases, 120 credits will be awarded as part of the entry onto this MA programme where the following criteria has been met:

    1. Demonstrate a systematic understanding of the existing knowledge base and current issues relating to teaching, learning and support for visually impaired learners
    2. Demonstrate a comprehensive and critical understanding of research methodologies and debates relevant to the study of teaching, learning and support frameworks for visually impaired learners
    3. Synthesise current and original concepts for the creation and interpretation of knowledge in relation to teaching learning and support for visually impaired learners
    4. Demonstrate a critical understanding of the role of the educational professional within a wider social and professional setting
    5. Apply relevant knowledge of teaching and learning for visually impaired learners to a range of complex educational situations
    6. Critically assess current practice and issues in education relating to teaching and learning for visually impaired learners, informed by theory and leading edge research and practice in the field
    7. Demonstrate creativity in the application of knowledge and development of a critical and informed perspective on how techniques of research and enquiry are used to interpret knowledge and practice in Education
    8. Acquire and synthesise data and concepts from a range of sources and conceptual frameworks and apply this in reflecting on and evaluating educational practice in relation to teaching and supporting learners with a visual impairment
    9. Demonstrate competence in the application of appropriate learning to educational practice relating to teaching and supporting visually impaired learners
    10. Manage complex situations relevant to professional practice
    11. Apply the capacity for original thinking and critical analysis and reflection on participants' professional practice
    12. Engage in a process of critical evaluation of own value systems and conceptual assumptions
    13. Communicate effectively to a wide range of individuals by a variety of means
    14. Manage time and work to deadlines
    15. Deal with complex issues both systematically and creatively
    16. Be pro-active in recognising the need for change and have the ability to manage change
    17. Be adaptable and show originality, insight and reflection in dealing with professional issues
    18. Demonstrate self-direction and autonomy in dealing with professional issues
    19. Acquire effective learning strategies for the purpose of career long continuing professional development

The University reserves the right to withdraw or make alterations to a course and facilities if necessary; this may be because such changes are deemed to be beneficial to students, are minor in nature and unlikely to impact negatively upon students or become necessary due to circumstances beyond the control of the University. Where this does happen, the University operates a policy of consultation, advice and support to all enrolled students affected by the proposed change to their course or module.

Further information on the terms and conditions of any offer made, our admissions policy and the complaints and appeals process.