PgDip Teaching Learners with a Visual Impairment (QTVI)

Start date(s)

September 2021

Study mode

Part-time (2 years)

Tuition fees 21/22

PgDip: To be confirmed

School of Education:

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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.

  • 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.

Teaching learners with a visual impairment

Professional body recognition

In partnership with St Vincent's, LJMU is accredited to deliver this Mandatory Qualification for Teaching Learners with a Visual Impairment (MQTVI).

You can find the register of providers accredited to deliver Specialist Teacher training on the Government website:

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)

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  • 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.

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Course modules

Discover the building blocks of your programme

Your programme is made up of a number of core modules which are part of the course framework. Some programmes also have optional modules that can be selected to enhance your learning in certain areas and many feature a dissertation, extended report or research project to demonstrate your advanced learning.

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) 

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Core modules

Learners with Vision Impairments
20 credits

Policy into Practice: The Role of the QTVI
20 credits

Developing an Accessible Curriculum
20 credits

Supporting Learners with Vision Impairments: Multidisciplinary Perspectives
20 credits

Developing Effective Teaching Practices
20 credits

Researching Professional Educational Practice
20 credits


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.

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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. Students will also be required to undertake a four-week teaching practice placement linked to module 7504QTVI Developing Teaching Practice through which they will be able to acquire and demonstrate pedagogical skills linked to teaching leaners with a visual impairment.

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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 techniques vary from module to module to reflect relevant assessment approaches and the key learning points of each topic.

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.

Course tutors

Clara Kassem

Clara Kassem

LJMU Link Tutor

Clara has worked as a Lecturer in Education and Early Childhood Studies at LJMU since 2011. Clara teaches on a range of modules across the Education Studies suite of programmes. Her principal teaching interests include: communication, language and literacy; disability studies; the representation of children and education in fiction and film. Clara’s research interests include: the representation of disabled people in the media (especially the representation of Paralympians and disability sport in the UK press and disability in children’s literature); bilingualism and bilingual education; the use of Web 2.0 technologies in teaching and learning in higher education (especially Wikipedia). The programme is also delivered by colleagues from St Vincents, including QTVI Jackie Locke.

My role as a QTVI working on this collaborative programme is such a rewarding way of ensuring and securing the future education of all children with visual impairments so they can become independent learners equipping them for adult life and beyond. These children deserve the best education possible and it is an honour to be a part of educating and informing those teachers who are aiming to be QTVIs of the future.                                            - Jackie Locke, Programme Team, St Vincent's                    

Entry requirements

You will need:

  • an Honours degree (or its equivalent) in any subject
  • Qualified Teacher Status
  • current employment as an educational practitioner working with visually impaired learners

Additional information

  •  IELTS score of at least 6.5 (minimum of 5.5 in each component)

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Please note: All international qualifications are subject to a qualification equivalency check via NARIC.

View country specific entry requirements

Contact LJMU's International Admissions Team for guidance on visa information. Further information is also available from our international web pages.

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Application and selection

Securing your place at LJMU

You will apply for the majority of postgraduate courses using our online application form. You should complete the form thoroughly and provide a detailed personal statement which reflects your suitability and aptitude for the programme.

Applications are reviewed by the programme leader and course tutor, who will assess your application form. 

You can find further information, along with the application form on the St Vincent's website:

All completed applications should be returned to

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.

Important info about this course