PGCE Secondary Education

PGCE Secondary Education Interviews

PGCE Secondary Education Interviews- Art and Design, Drama, English, Geography, History, Media, Modern Foreign Languages, Psychology, Religious Education

We look forward to welcoming you to Plymouth Marjon University for your interview day and hope that you will gain much from the experience. The day is important for both you and for us, as it is important that we see if you are suitable for the course you have applied for, but equally that you find out if this is the place where you want to study.

During the day you have the opportunity to

  • look round the University
  • find out more about the course and meet tutors and other trainees
  • meet school leaders or teachers from our partnership schools who are also involved in the interview process

There are a number of different components to the day which will provide us with a full picture of your ability and skills. We want you to present yourself in the best light on the day and we aim to make you feel comfortable and welcome. Please read the information provided in the letter and on the website carefully so you come well-prepared for the different parts of the day. As this is a professional course, please come suitably dressed for interview.


The interview

The interview provides you with an opportunity to demonstrate your potential for training and the role of a teacher.  You will require a pen in order to undertake some basic literacy, numeracy and subject-specific activities. You should also bring two copies of a lesson plan which you will not teach. It will form the focus of your interview and will be discussed in relation to the national curriculum, and the Government's current national priorities. The lesson plan should be for a 1 hour lesson of your choice at any Key Stage.

You will be interviewed by staff who work within the Secondary Teacher Education Partnership which includes  Marjon lecturing staff and teachers from our partner schools.  Questions will explore your communication skills, subject knowledge, awareness of teaching and learning and commitment to equal opportunities.  


Practical Assessments

1. Presentation activity: Candidates will be expected to plan and deliver a 10 minute presentation with the following title: Why is my specialist secondary subject taught in schools and how can I engage and motivate learners in the subject. A laptop and projector will be available if required.

2. Subject Knowledge assessments – you will be asked to discuss your strengths in your subject and may bring a portfolio to demonstrate your engagement in your subject if you wish.  


Literacy and Numeracy Assessment
During the day you will be given a task to assess your ability to read, understand and provide a response to a written article.  You will be expected to critically discuss the arguments presented within the article (click on the title to access), ‘Research schools: What are they and why do they exist?’ (Schools Week, 26th September 2017).

The numeracy task will focus on the type of mental arithmetic and ‘on-screen’ questions in the Skills Tests to support your preparation to take this test.

Criteria for Assessment
You will be selected based on the following criteria

  1. Knowledge, skills, academic background and prior experience
  2. Qualities, attitudes, ethics and values
  3. Aptitude for teaching
  4. Ability to communicate effectively

These criteria will be applied through all aspects of the day including the written activity, practical activity, leadership activity, formal interview and how your present yourself on the day.

In addition judgments will be made on your health and physical capacity to teach as outlined by the National College of Teaching and Leadership ITT criteria 2017.

Preparation for Interview
In order to prepare for the interview, all applicants for PGCE Secondary Education are asked to:

  1. Prepare for the activities stated above
  2. Access/read the National Curriculum for your subject, available here
  3. Complete the Subject Knowledge audit
  4. Complete the Education audit 

The above-mentioned documents are to be scanned and emailed to at least 7 days before your interview date.

Professional Skills Tests
Entrants for Initial Teacher Education programmes need to be aware of Government regulations regarding mandatory skills tests in numeracy and literacy. The cut-off date for achieving these is 30th June. 

Applicants should register here as soon as you have applied for an ITT programme,   . Prior to being able to take a place on at ITT course applicants must successfully pass both Literacy and Numeracy Skills tests.  We suggest that you take the time to familiarise yourself with the skills tests requirements, attempt practice tests and Register your tests at your local Test Centre.

We look forward to meeting you!



Interview structure


Arrival. Met by Student Ambassadors and taken to room for refreshments and registration


Introduction to programmes 


Numeracy and Literacy tests 


Campus tour


All Secondary PE candidates stay at Sport Centre for practical teaching exercise

PGCE Secondary subject candidates have individual presentations/ teaching episodes on main campus




Group interview for BEd Secondary PE students

PGCE students lesson plan based interview


End of interview session