Subject knowledge enhancement (SKE)

You may be able to do a subject knowledge enhancement (SKE) course before you start your teacher training to top up your subject knowledge.

This can help when you have (one or more of the following):

  • finished your degree more than 5 years ago
  • a different but related degree to the subject you want to teach
  • an A level but not a degree in the subject you want to teach
  • an unrelated degree but relevant professional experience
  • studied for a languages degree, but need to develop a second language to an acceptable level for teaching in schools

How to do an SKE course

When you apply for teacher training in England, talk to your training provider if you think you need to improve your subject knowledge. They’ll help you decide if you need to complete an SKE course, and may make it a condition of their offer to train with them.

You’ll choose your SKE course provider, but your teacher training provider can help you decide on the right one for you.

SKE subjects

SKE courses are currently available in 9 secondary subjects:

  • biology
  • chemistry
  • computing
  • design and technology
  • English
  • languages
  • mathematics
  • physics
  • religious education

You can also do one in primary mathematics.

The benefits of an SKE course

Learn more about how a subject knowledge enhancement course can help prepare you for the classroom in our video:

How SKE courses work

They’re usually online, but some courses can be classroom based and some can be a mixture of both.

Course lengths usually range from 8 to 28 weeks and are 25 hours per week. Your provider will decide which course length is appropriate based on your gap in knowledge. Different providers may offer different course lengths.

You can also do a part-time course and complete it over a longer period, or sometimes shorter. Your SKE provider will be able to discuss your options with you.

When to complete your course

You should complete your course before starting your teacher training. If you run out of time, your provider may allow you to continue your course at the same time as your teacher training.

Get an SKE bursary

If you train to teach in the 2022/23 academic year, you could be eligible for a bursary of £175 per week to complete your SKE course. If you do a part-time course and complete less than 25 hours a week, this will be paid in proportion to your course hours. How and when your bursary is paid will vary by your training provider.

You can use your SKE bursary for any extra costs you may have, for example, making up for any lost income.

Eligibility for an SKE bursary

You’ll need (one of the following):

  • a bachelor’s degree class 2:2 or above
  • a master’s degree
  • a PhD

You’ll need to complete your course before your teacher training starts to receive your SKE bursary.

If you’re a non-UK citizen, you’ll only be eligible for a SKE bursary if you’re training to teach physics or modern foreign languages.

Find your SKE course

Take a look at the different subject knowledge enhancement (SKE) courses available.

Search for a subject knowledge enhancement course

Get free one-to-one support

An adviser with years of teaching experience can help you understand how subject knowledge enhancement courses work. Chat by phone, text or email, as little or as often as you need.

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