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PGCE Secondary Education

PGCE Secondary Education Interviews - Art and Design, Biology, Chemistry, Drama, English, Geography, History, Mathematics, Modern Foreign Languages, Physical Education, Physics, Psychology, Religious Education.

We look forward to welcoming you to Plymouth Marjon University for your interview and hope that you will gain much from the experience. The interview is important for both you and for us; it's vital 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 your interview you will have the opportunity to:

  • Take a campus tour around the University
  • Find out more about the course and meet tutors and other trainees

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


Qualifications, DBS documents and online health check

You will need to provide copies of any qualifications already achieved and identification documents for a DBS check to prior to your interview date. 

As part of DBS checking guidelines, we are required to see physical copies of the DBS documents and we ask to see these at the initial interview stage. Please bring original versions of the documents that you will you scan and send to us in advance of the interview.

If you are successful at interview and accept an offer with us, we will be in touch regarding your DBS check and online health assessment. We will send you information about applying for a DBS check through Marjon - you cannot apply for this independently.

Please see your interview invitation letter for further information about the documents you need to send us and if you have any queries, please email


The Interview

The interview provides you with an opportunity to demonstrate your potential and be deemed suitable to be trained to teach. You will have an individual interview with a member of staff who works within the Secondary Teacher Education Partnership.  Questions will explore your communication skills, subject knowledge, awareness of teaching and learning and commitment to equal opportunities. 

Criteria for Assessment

  1. Appropriate qualities, attitudes, ethics and values
  2. Subject knowledge and understanding
  3. Intellectual and academic capabilities
  4. Suitability for the course

These criteria will be applied through all aspects of the selection process including your personal statement, references, formal interview and how your present yourself on the day.

We will be making judgments on your capability to meet the Teachers’ Standards over the course of the 3-year degree programme. In addition, we have the responsibility to ensure that you have the health and physical capacity to train to teach as set out in the Education (Health Standards) (England) Regulations 2003. 

Your interview process will ensure that you have the intellectual and academic capabilities to train to teach.

If you are successful, you will be required to obtain a satisfactory Disclosure and Barring Service record check (DBS) and complete an online health assessment. If you accept an offer, Admissions will be in touch to guide you through completing these checks through Marjon.

Preparation for Interview

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

  1. Accept your interview invitation
  2. Prepare your lesson plan (see details below)
  3. Access /read the National Curriculum for your subject and examination specifications for your subject 
  4. Complete the Subject Knowledge Assessment
  5. Complete the Education Assessment

The 2 assessment documents listed above should be scanned and emailed to at least 7 days before your interview date, along with copies of your qualifications and DBS documents as detailed in your interview letter.

Sometimes interview invitations are sent with less than 7 days to go to an interview; if this applies to you, please return completed assessments and other documents no later than 48 hours before your interview.

We look forward to meeting you!

Interview structure

PGCE Secondary PE

Time  Activity

Arrival at Main Reception- met by Student Ambassadors,

refreshments and registration


Introduction to programmes


BEd & PGCE PE Campus tour led by student ambassadors


Practical teaching session for BEd and PGCE PE candidates




Formal individual interviews, including lesson plan



Non PE PGCE Secondary Subjects

Time Activity

Arrival at Main Reception- met by Student Ambassadors,

refreshments and registration

9.15am-9.45am Introduction to programmes
9.45am-10.15am PGCE candidates taken on a 30-minute campus tour

PGCE Secondary subject candidates have individual microteaches (KS3* Topic focused) on main campus

*KS4 Topic focussed for PGCE Secondary Psychology 

12.00pm-1.00pm Lunch
1.00pm-4.00pm Formal individual interviews, including lesson plan discussion


Learning plan guidance

All PGCE Secondary candidates (not Secondary PE) are required to prepare a full lesson on a KS3 topic (KS4 for PGCE Secondary Psychology) using the Marjon planning template. You MAY use PowerPoint to prepare your microteach, but it is not compulsory. Please ensure that you email your lesson plan and any supporting resource for the microteach into by the Monday before the interview date.

The microteach should be the starter ONLY of your planned lesson and you will be teaching it to course staff and a small group of other applicants as if they were your class. Do not explain the context of the starter, but just dive straight into the teaching. You will have the opportunity to explore and discuss the full lesson plan during the interview itself. We would anticipate that you deliver an 8-10 minute session to the group. 

Microteach sessions take place before lunch and your individual interview will be after lunch.