This study examined the perceptions, attitudes and beliefs of pre-service teachers using the iPad for their professional learning purposes and for teaching during their school placements. The sample consisted of 117 pre-service teachers undertaking a one-year postgraduate qualification in England to gain qualified teaching status (QTS). A mixed methods design was employed to collect data using questionnaires and focus groups and the results showed how students' beliefs and attitudes, categorised as second order barriers, are significant factors in determining how effectively mobile technologies are used as a teaching and learning tool. Whilst the research literature suggests access, infrastructure and training, are diminishing as significant barriers for technology adoption, this study found that first-order barriers such as these still remain a significant challenge for pre-service teachers attempting to learn with and use mobile technologies in their practice. The article concludes with implications for practice in teacher education, theory and areas for further research.