The PGCE interview process
Master's and postgraduate taught
After you submit your PGCE application, you'll be notified by one of our team if you've made it to interview stage. Once you’ve heard back from all your choices, you have 10 working days to let us know if you'd like to attend an interview. If you're successful at interview, we'll send you an offer.
Preparing for your interview
Once you receive your interview invitation, please remember to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to confirm you can attend the interview day.
To get the fullest picture of you, we'll discuss your application form and your academic reference, your experience in schools, your subject awareness and your performance in the tasks and sessions during the day.
We'll assess whether you possess the appropriate personal and intellectual qualities to be a teacher, and your capability to meet the Teachers’ Standards by the end of your training.
Our interview process is fully compliant with the requirements of the National College for Teaching and Leadership. How we assess you and the criteria for selection can be found below.
Throughout our selection procedure, we'll assess your capability to meet the Teachers’ Standards by the end of your training. We'll also assess whether you possess the appropriate personal and intellectual qualities to be a teacher.
We'd like to hear about any teaching experience or observations you've had, and why you're interested in the PGCE you're applying for. We want to assure ourselves you're aware of the demands of teaching and have some idea about the English school system, including current curriculum developments.
Subject audit form
One of the standards you must meet to gain Qualified Teacher Status is knowledge and understanding of your subject. This requires you to be confident and authoritative in the subject, specifically in relation to the programmes of study for the Key Stages you're training in.
We'll send you a subject audit form ahead of your interview. The form helps us make an initial assessment of your subject knowledge. We'll use it to shape the questions we ask you at interview. If we offer you a place, the form will also help us tailor your pre-course reading list and preparatory work so you're prepared to start in September.
If you have gaps in your subject knowledge, we may still offer you a place. We'll make an assessment of your ability to meet all the Teachers’ Standards — subject knowledge is only one of them.
How you'll be assessed
You're required to prepare a short teaching session (no longer than 10 minutes) on a topic of your own choice. This doesn't need to be subject specific – microteaching is usually more effective and constructive when it's not. You could pick a skill, interest or hobby to teach to other applicants on the day.
You'll deliver your session to a group of about 5 other candidates. You should think about how to make your session accessible and model good teaching practice. Your session should have:
- A clear objective
- An appropriate task
- A means of assessing what participants have learnt
The group will take turns giving you feedback on your session and you'll also take a turn as the evaluator.
You must bring everything with you that you need. You won't have access to any additional teaching resources such as PowerPoint, OHP, whiteboard or flipchart. This is a deliberate decision we've made to get you thinking creatively. You may bring prepared resources or artefacts to support your teaching, but make sure you have enough for each participant.
Reading and writing task
The reading and writing task assesses your ability to communicate accurately in standard written English. You'll receive the task on the day and won't have to do prior preparation.
The group discussion task is designed to assess your ability to communicate clearly and accurately in spoken Standard English.You'll receive the task on the day and won't have to do prior preparation.
The individual interviews normally take place with your course leader and a school-based mentor. You can prepare for your interview by developing your ideas on areas such as:
- Why you want to teach
- What personal qualities make you suitable
- Your own experience of school as a child
- Your degree course and other post-school education, particularly your academic interests and enthusiasm
- Your previous work experience and other interests and hobbies which might help you make a contribution to school
- Your awareness of the demands of the PGCE course
- The degree to which you have the required subject knowledge — applicants for Maths and Modern Foreign Languages will be required to do additional subject specific tests
- Your knowledge of schools and any experience of working with children
- Your experience of Information and Communications Technology and your willingness to develop your experience
- How education today or in this country differs from your own educational experiences
- Broader challenges in our current educational system
After your interview
After your interview we'll reach out to you by email to let you know if your application is successful. We typically contact applicants within 2 weeks after your interview. If you're successful, you'll receive guidance on how to accept our offer and information on preparing for your course.