Plymouth Institute of Education

PGCE Secondary (Design and Technology)

Transform your enthusiasm for design and technology into practical teaching skills. With school placements, tutor support and a graduated induction programme, our trainees are well prepared for teaching in secondary education, and have an excellent record of obtaining first teaching posts. Our full-time, one year PGCE programme will give you the training and support needed to develop the skills, knowledge and confidence to begin your professional teaching career.

Key features
  • Draw upon your own expertise in design and technology, and extend your own subject knowledge and understanding.
  • Build your confidence and gain practical teaching experience, with two main placements in local secondary schools and shorter visits to primary schools.
  • Access a range of bursary and funding options to help ensure you’re able to focus on your studies and placements.
  • Benefit from support throughout your training from both your faculty tutor and school mentors.
  • Stand out as a subject specialist with the knowledge, personal qualities and standards of professional competence necessary to stimulate the imagination of children and to maintain and improve standards in schools.
  • Learn about the latest curriculum developments, issues and innovations.
  • Deepen your understanding of teaching, and learn about the opportunities for continued professional development and the relationship between educators and society.
  • Make use of the latest technologies and developments in teaching and gain experience in developing multimedia resources for your subject.
  • Hone your CV, interview and job application skills and attend events that will introduce you to potential employers.
  • Leave with the skills, knowledge and experience needed to begin your career teaching design and technology to children of all abilities from ages 11–18.
  • Take advantage of free teacher training support from the Department for Education’s Premier Plus programme.
Course details
  • Year 1

  • You’ll spend two thirds of your PGCE on placement with 24 weeks in secondary school and five days in primary school, supported and supervised jointly by a school mentor and a faculty tutor. In addition to this you’ll cover modules on planning, assessment and teaching and you’ll also focus on the teaching of design and technology itself. You’ll maintain professional development and subject knowledge profiles enabling you to chart your development in meeting the professional standards required by the Department of Education. Assessments are based around school experience and are designed to be learning experiences shared with other students, mentors and tutors. You’ll learn to draw on your experience of teaching as well as provide evidence of reading and reflection.

Every postgraduate taught course has a detailed programme specification document describing the programme aims, the programme structure, the teaching and learning methods, the learning outcomes and the rules of assessment.

The following programme specification represents the latest programme structure and may be subject to change:

PGCE Secondary Design and Technology 5412

Entry requirements

Your suitability for the PGCE Secondary programme is judged on a range of factors including academic qualifications, ability to work with other people and a real interest in learning and teaching.

When selecting applicants for interview the admissions tutor will consider all parts of the application including a personal statement and references. The UCAS website has useful information on how to provide these.

Academic requirements

  • GCSE grade C (or equivalent) in English and mathematics. We offer our own GCSE Maths equivalency programme.
  • An honours degree (2:2 or above) or equivalent, from a recognised university (masters and PhDs also count towards entry requirements.
  • There is also a requirement to pass minimum standards for literacy and numeracy.

Masters and PhDs count towards entry requirements. A masters degree will be considered as a second class upper degree and a PhD as a first. This will also apply to international applicants.

For all other UK qualifications please refer to the UCAS website.

If you have overseas qualifications you can check how they compare with the UK equivalent through UK ECCTIS, who provide an advisory service.

English language requirements 

If English is not your first language then we’ll need evidence of your proficiency in English as follows:

Non-academic requirements 

Fees, costs and funding

New Student 2022-2023 2023-2024
Home N/A N/A
International N/A N/A
Part time (Home) N/A N/A
Full time fees shown are per annum. Part time fees shown are per a number of credits. Please note that fees are reviewed on an annual basis. Fees and the conditions that apply to them shown in the prospectus are correct at the time of going to print. Fees shown on the web are the most up to date but are still subject to change in exceptional circumstances. More information about fees and funding.

Additional costs

This course is delivered by the Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Business and more details of any additional costs associated with the faculty's courses are listed on the following page: Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Business additional costs.


There's lots of support available to help fund your teacher training, including tax-free bursaries or a salary while you train.

Visit the Get Into Teaching website to find out more.

How to apply

Applications for this programme are made via DfE Apply.

Please ensure when submitting your application form that you are available for interview during the 40 day turnaround time following the submission of your application form. DfE stipulate for all training providers to make a decision on applications within 40 working days. If you are not able to attend your interview during this period we will be unable to make a decision and therefore DfE will reject your application by default. If you are unable to attend interview until after the 40 day period, and your application is rejected by default, you will need to re-apply. If you have any concerns about this process email us at

For any further information and support to help you become a teacher, please visit

Interview guidance

All short-listed applicants are invited to an interview.  You will be asked to prepare a subject-based presentation and then engage in a discussion with other applicants before an individual interview with a PGCE tutor.  There will be a presentation to give you information about the PGCE programme and you will have the opportunity to ask questions. We are looking for people who can talk about educational issues and pupils' learning, drawing on their own personal experiences as learners and observations and experience in secondary schools. There is also an audit of your literacy and subject and curriculum knowledge. At the end of the process we want you to be clear about what the programme offers, what you can expect from us and what our expectations are of you.

Interviews with Plymouth Institute of Education

For many of our courses successful applicants will need to attend an interview and undergo a Disclosure and Barring Service assessment.
Learn more about your interview, with information specific to your programme of study
Two PIE Students at whiteboard

Practical teaching in schools

Teaching is a career that requires confidence in a range of different situations. That’s why two-thirds of your PGCE year will be spent engaged in practical teaching within our partner schools.
Students will be working on interactive whiteboards with teachers and pupils.
<p>PGCE students in the classroom</p>

Learning and assessment

All modules are assessed by coursework or by practical teaching. Our assessment is designed to ensure that you can achieve the professional standards required by the Department for Education.