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PGCE Secondary Education with Physical Education

Become a PE teacher in a secondary school.

Qualified Teacher Status (QTS).

Entry requirements

A degree at 2:2 or above.

GCSE English and Mathematics at grade 4 or grade C or above (or an equivalent qualification).

Experience of working with young people.

See also:


UCAS code X9C6

Duration 1 year full-time

How to apply for this course

Course Summary

Do you want to become an outstanding PE teacher? Our specialist PGCE Physical Education is a direct route to a career you can be proud of. Inspiring PE teachers provide a wealth of opportunities for all people, regardless of experience or ability to develop physically, socially, emotionally and cognitively. Great PE teachers can motivate pupils to be successful lifelong learners.

Trainees on our PGCE Physical Education acquire a broad and deep understanding of a teacher’s daily activities in challenging and diverse settings. Furthermore, our PGCE Physical Education trainees take up ‘enhancements’ linked to other curriculum subjects, primary phase or special education needs and diversity which enhance their employment opportunities.

At Marjon, we pride ourselves on the quality of our teaching programmes. Ofsted 2014 commented: “The large majority of physical education trainees... are already teaching at a consistently outstanding level”. If the idea of joining these trainees inspires and motivates you, it’s time to start the application process!

Why this course at Marjon?

Our trainees scored us 89% student satisfaction for postgraduate teacher training, this puts us in the top 25% quartile of all providers in England (Postgraduate Taught Experience Survey, 2019).

93.9 % of our graduates are in further study, sustained employment or both five years after graduating, compared to a sector average for England of 88.2%. We are 1st in the South West (LEO, 2019).

Marjon Teacher Education Partnership has well-established links with schools across the South West, London and Service Children’s Education, our connections span over 300 schools and settings.

Marjon education and teaching graduates are 3rd in all University providers for graduate earnings five years after leaving the university (Institute for Fiscal Studies, 2018).

Marjon Graduates are more socially mobile than other providers across the South West with more trainees gaining NQT employment in more diverse areas (DFE Supply, Retention and Mobility data, 2018).

We recognise the value of excellent role models in initial teacher training and promote the involvement of outstanding teachers and specialist leaders in education in working with trainees.

Students say...

Rachel Turner

“The course gave me hands on experience in a school straight away and allowed me to build relationships with staff and pupils which was been really beneficial when I started to teach. This alongside regular training sessions has enabled me to develop my knowledge and skills which has enhanced my teaching ability. Regular feedback and target setting has improved my teaching. I am enjoying the challenge this course brings. My confidence when teaching has improved so much, and continues to do so.”

Liam Cullen

“The support from all the staff has been amazing. Also, the closeness you have with your course mates fosters a spirit of togetherness which has been very enjoyable. The course has given me confidence to enter new situations and flourish. I feel far and away more knowledgeable about my subject than I ever did.”

This course is perfect if you're curious about

How can I build strong relationships with pupils, colleagues and parents in school?

How can I promote a love of learning in my pupils and a passion for Physical Education?

How can I develop individual’s interest in personal health and fitness?

What can I do to develop my ability to become a leader in education?

How do good teachers keep on top of their workload?

How do I best prepare for applying for teaching jobs?

There is a tremendous amount of excellent practice and hard work evident in the delivery of PGCE Secondary PE programme ... and the course team should be commended on their handling of the awarding of QTS ... the PGCE course is well designed and clearly effective in producing outstanding teachers of physical education.'
External Moderator - 2020

What might you become?

Plymouth Marjon University is widely renowned for producing excellent teachers. We have superb links with over 300 partnership schools throughout the South West, London and overseas and our graduates teach in schools across the country. Our wide and diverse partnerships were praised by Ofsted for making "effective use of local diversity and wider links which ensures trainees have breadth and variety in their training, so making them highly employable" (Ofsted, 2014).

We have a long established history of teacher education, we've have 180 years of experience in training teachers. A PGCE from Marjon represents a strong start to any teaching career. 93.9 % of our teaching graduates are in further study, sustained employment or both five years after graduating, compared to a sector average for England of 88.2%. This makes us 1st in the South West (LEO, 2019).



James Harris

“I love the fact every day is different and working with young people is the most rewarding occupation. Although some days are challenging, knowing you are making a positive impact on the pupils you work with is well worth it. My PGCE provided me with the opportunity to gain experience in a school environment to develop knowledge and skills needed for the work place. Staff are fantastic and very supportive through a challenging year! I would recommend the course and university to anyone.”

James is a PE teacher.

Modules for this course


1st Year

Professional Practice in Schools
By the end of this module trainees should be able to demonstrate the competencies of a newly qualified teacher (NQT) by achieving the minimum expectation required by the Teachers’ Standards. The module includes two placements in schools.
Learning Behaviours in Context
Research a range of learning and teaching theories and strategies to develop an understanding of how children learn. Critically evaluate research and current developments in education that inform the application of routines, relationships and responses in context.
Becoming a Teacher: A Reflective Journey
Systematically reflect on and evaluate the effectiveness of subject specific pedagogy on learning experiences and develop a range of approaches to use in schools.
Inclusion in the Secondary Classroom: Maximising Achievement
Investigate and discuss a wide range of sources to develop a secure knowledge and understanding of theory, policy and practice to help identify the issues around maximising pupil achievement. Develop understanding and skills which contribute to a fully inclusive classroom.
Understanding the Learner: Assessment and Progress
Understand the essential link between planning and assessment and develop a critical awareness of planning for progression and its effect on learning.

Fees and funding

Fees UK students: £9,250

Fees for International students: £12,000

Funding available for this course


Additional costs:


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Course location(s):


Teaching and assessment

How will you be taught?

Collaborative learning, critical reflection and a strong culture of support underpin the Physical Education PGCE, and trainees will enjoy a stimulating and effective learning environment from start to finish. You will have a minimum of 120 days in school in 2 block placements and 12 weeks in University undertaking a range of activities, teaching includes lectures, seminars, workshops, practical sessions, conferences, tutorials, independent study or research and school based training.

How will you be assessed?

Assessments relate to your development of practice in school. All are coursework based, you will generate reflective journals, portfolios, essays and presentations.


Course leader

Julie Stevens

Julie's specialist subject is Physical Education. Before working at Marjon she taught in schools in Plymouth and Sussex and worked for Youth Sport Trust. She is works in secondary schools, supporting teaching and learning strategies and staff development as a governor and trust member.

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Clare Bulford


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Clare graduated from Marjon as a PE teacher and returns as a lecturer following a very rewarding career teaching PE, mentoring trainee teachers, being Head of KS3 PE, House Leader and Assistant Head of Sixth Form.

Jonathan Cripps


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Jonathan’s career as a history teacher has spanned over 25 years, working in secondary schools in Sussex, Suffolk and Cornwall. Previously, he has worked for Cornwall LEA as an Advanced Skills Teacher, supporting history departments, NQTs and recent entrants to the teaching profession across the county. He is a Teacher Fellow of the Historical Association.

Gillian Golder

Director of School

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Gill Golder is Director of Marjon Teacher Education Partnership, she taught in schools for 13 years before joining the University, she works with schools, MATS and alliances to support whole school improve, develop evidence based practice and support teacher development. She spends some of her time in Westminster discussing latest ideas and initiatives with the Department for Education and other Education group.

Claire Hadfield


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Claire is an experienced secondary teacher and lecturer with a passion for literature of all kinds. From Shakespearean tragedy to the powerful performance poetry of Kate Tempest, Claire’s fervent enthusiasm for the infinite varieties of English pervades every aspect of the English degree. She is particularly interested in poetry, identity, language and social place and is currently completing her PhD here at Marjon. It focuses on the formation and evolution of trainee and early career teachers' professional identities.



Hannah Wood


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Hannah Wood studied Applied Sports Science & Coaching (with ICT), then took a PGCE in Secondary Physical Education and a Masters in Education (all at Marjon). She then taught for ten years and now teaches at Marjon, mostly working with trainee PE teachers. One of her main research interests is in mentor and mentee relationships; expectations, roles and responsibilities of each; a passion that she brings to the course recognising the often informal mentoring role that PE teachers particularly can play in young people’s lives.

More information

See our PGCE and School Direct presentation.

The programme is designed to combine PE subject knowledge (including practical activities & sports science), professional attributes and professional teaching skills. The programme is challenging and intensive whilst being immensely enjoyable, we pride ourselves on building a strong culture of support within the group and work on the ethos of collaborative learning.

The programme’s general aims are to:

  • Develop trainees’ critical and analytical thought, intellectual reasoning and practical skills in a range of diverse settings.
  • Help trainees from varied cultural and social backgrounds to fulfil their potential both intellectually and practically.
  • Provide a stimulating and effective learning environment in which trainees feel secure, motivated to learn and can demonstrate secure professional and academic knowledge, skills and understanding.
  • Prepare trainees for employment and further postgraduate study by equipping them with a diverse range of skills at Masters level through engaging in innovative and creative teaching and learning.

Findings from Ofsted 2014:

  • A key strength of the Partnership is "how well the partnership prepares trainees to make them employable, leading to all securing, and remaining in, teaching posts".
  • "Successful completion and employment rates are consistently high and well above national and regional averages".
  • "The enhancement part of the programme enables trainees to develop particular skills in a specific area; for many, this involves further development of subject knowledge to enable, for example, physical education trainees to teach another subject".



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