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Subject knowledge enhancement (SKE) courses

Don’t hold back from applying for teacher training due to your subject confidence - you can top up your subject knowledge with an SKE. These fully funded courses are available if:

  • your degree wasn’t in your chosen subject, but is closely related
  • you studied the subject at A level, but not at degree level 
  • you have an unrelated degree, but relevant professional experience in the subject
  • it's been some time you used your degree knowledge 

SKE courses are available in: maths, physics, languages, chemistry, computing, biology, geography, English, design and technology, and primary maths. Schools or universities will identify your need for an SKE as part of their selection process, usually at interview. If they feel you need to enhance your knowledge, but have potential to be a great teacher, they'll offer you a teacher training place on the condition that you complete an SKE course. 

Length of courses

The length can vary from an eight-week refresher course to 28 weeks. Your training provider will decide the course lengths, which will depend on the required specialist knowledge you'll need to teach the subject effectively. 

Tax-free SKE bursary of up to £5,600

You could get a tax-free SKE bursary of £200 per week to support you throughout the course. Depending on the course length, in total you could receive a bursary of £5,600 for a 28-week course or £2,400 for a shorter course of 12 weeks.

Delivery of SKE courses

SKE courses are available all over England at universities, schools, or with other organisations. They can be completed before, or alongside your teacher training and are available to study full-time or part-time, classroom-based or on-line. The SKE directory sets out what courses are provided. 

SKE in modern foreign languages

You can now complete two fully funded SKE courses to refresh your main teaching language and to study another language. Your training provider will decide the length of each SKE course you may need.


If you think an SKE course will benefit you, contact the schools or universities you attend to apply to for more information. Alternatively, you can speak to our expert advisers on Freephone 0800 389 2500 or via our online chat service between 8am and 8pm, Monday to Friday. 


Related content 

Find out more from trainees and teachers who took advantage of an SKE course

Explore your options and and discover the types of courses available to you and the subjects you could be eligible to teach


Find out from an SKE co-ordinator and trainee teachers about eligibility and what subject knowledge enhancement courses involve. Transcript (PDF, 112KB)

SKE taught me the difference between knowing the syllabus as a student and teaching the syllabus. 

Mia Webb, trainee maths teacher

Upcoming events

View all events

Train to Teach Newcastle

30 June 2018 10:00

This event in Newcastle will give you the chance to ask experts about your teacher training options and what it’s like to teach.

Newcastle upon Tyne

Preparing for your teacher training

25 June 2018 18:30

If you've been offered a teacher training place, this online session will answer your questions on how best to prepare for your teacher training.

Gaining school experience for primary teachers

27 June 2018 12:00

This online event will provide advice on gaining school experience for those interested in primary teaching. It will offer helpful hints and tips on gaining and making the most of your primary school experience and it's relevance to your UCAS application.

Teaching a STEM subject and SKE

02 July 2018 18:30

Teaching is a great way of making your knowledge in a STEM subject count. We’ll help you with your routes into teaching and how subject knowledge enhancement (SKE) can help build up or refresh your subject knowledge before you commence your teacher training.