Welcome to secondary initial teacher training

Welcome to PGCE Secondary applicants

Our teacher education courses have been designed for graduates who are passionate about the idea of becoming secondary teachers. 

Our schools partnership network covers a wide range of areas: inner-city, suburban, mixed and single sex, inclusive, non-selective and selective and high achieving, as well as those in more challenging circumstances.

The teaching year begins in September and ends in July. You’ll attend five days a week and spend the equivalent of 24 weeks in schools. 

We are one of only a few institutions that provide a range of Subject Knowledge Enhancement (SKE) programmes to prepare you for teaching your subject. Find out more about SKE courses.


  1. You are strongly encouraged to have completed a minimum of two days observing in a secondary school, or to have attended a School Experience programme.
  2. As part of your preparation for the interview, please draw up a lesson plan for a Year 7 lesson, lasting for an hour, on any topic appropriate for the subject. You will not actually have to make a formal presentation of the lesson but the programme tutor will ask you about your ideas for this lesson and how you intend to teach it.


Interviews will be conducted via Microsoft Teams.
Please download the Microsoft Teams App and we  will send you a link for your online interview. You will receive this approximately 2 working days before your interview date.
Please ensure you accept this invitation to confirm your attendance.
If you unable to attend, you can decline the invitation and re-book in the Applicant Portal.
Due to high demand for this course you should try to attend the original date you booked as we cannot guarantee future dates will be available.
The email will contain a link which states 'Click here to join', which you will need to do 10 minutes before the start time of your interview.


You will need to have a camera and microphone for the interview. If your laptop or computer does not have this, you can use your smartphone or tablet.
Please also ensure you have a valid form of photo identification, such as a passport or driving licence.
You will also need to have completed and submitted the Student Suitability Declaration Form before the interview which you will have received a separate email for.
You will also need to upload copies of the following to your Applicant Portal using the link sent to you:

  • Degree Certificate
  • GCSE English Language certificate (or equivalent qualification)
  • GCSE Mathematics certificate (or equivalent qualification)
  • GCSE Science certificate (or equivalent qualification)


You should allow approximately an hour for the entire interview process. It will consist of the following tasks: 

  • a written task to assess your literacy skills in English
  • a task to assess your subject knowledge 
  • documentation check
  • an individual interview.


Written tasks
You will be asked to write in response to a text. As well as assessing the content of what you write, we will consider the legibility of your handwriting, and the accuracy of your spelling, grammar and punctuation. You will also be asked to complete a subject task.


During the interview you will present your lesson plan. You will be asked questions which relate to the selection criteria below. The tutor will also question you in some detail about your subject knowledge.

You may need to remind yourself of the topics or texts you studied, particularly if you completed your degree some time ago. You will also be given an opportunity to ask the interviewer(s) about the course and any other issues that are relevant.

Interview - selection criteria

Throughout the interview process you must demonstrate that you have:

  • The ability to communicate effectively in spoken English
  • The ability to communicate effectively and accurately in written English (the candidate must have completed a written task to assess the standard of written English)
  • Subject knowledge/any other particular requirements of the specialist subject
  • Enthusiasm and interest in the specialist subject and the ability to convey this to learners
  • Intellectual qualities and the ability to reflect creatively and critically
  • Positive attitude to, and involvement with, young people: an understanding of the importance of establishing respectful, supportive and constructive relationships with them.
  • High expectations of children and young people and a commitment to their achievement
  • An understanding of the scope of a teacher’s professional skills and responsibilities
  • Ability to cope well in highly pressurised and demanding contexts
  • Commitment to collaboration and co-operative working as part of a team
  • Commitment to teaching and to the programme
  • Positive attitude to equal opportunities and towards education in and for an inclusive society


We will notify you of the outcome of your interview through DfE portal and through email. You will be required to accept/decline your place within 10 working days. If you receive and accept a place at UEL you will be given additional tasks and reading to do over the summer term in preparation for starting in September.


Please use the ‘Contact Us’ tile in your Applicant Portal - you have been sent an email with a link to access.


Teacher trainees may be entitled to receive a bursary over the duration of their ITT study, ranging from £4,000 to £28,000.  The level of bursary that trainees are entitled to is dependent on the subject in which a trainee wishes to teach and the grade of their highest, relevant academic qualification.  

Further information is available on our Funding webpage.

If you have any questions, please contact out Student Money Advice and Rights Team (SMART) on +44 (0)20 8223 4444.

Student declaration form

Information about student declaration for courses accredited by the Professional Statutory and Regulatory Bodies (PSRBs)

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Fees and funding

Find out about fees and funding for international students coming to UEL

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