Subject knowledge enhancement (SKE)

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

This could be because 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 improve knowledge either in a main language, second language or both to an acceptable level for teaching in schools

How to do an SKE course

If your training provider thinks you need to improve your subject knowledge then they might decide that you’ll benefit from an SKE course.

You can only complete a funded SKE course if your training provider makes it a condition of the offer to train with them.

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

SKE subjects

SKE courses are currently available in 5 secondary subjects:

  • chemistry
  • computing
  • languages
  • mathematics
  • physics

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:

Read the transcript for the ‘Subject knowledge enhancement explained’ 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 range from 8 to 28 weeks and are 25 hours per week. Your provider will decide which course length you need based on your gap in knowledge. Different providers may offer different course lengths.

You can do a part-time course and complete it over a longer period or complete it in a shorter time with compressed hours. 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. But if you get an SKE bursary, your payments will stop once your teacher training starts.

Get an SKE bursary

If you start your teacher training course between September 2023 and July 2024, 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.

If you complete your SKE course with compressed hours, this might reduce your bursary amount. How and when your bursary is paid will vary by training provider.

You can use your SKE bursary for any extra costs you may have while studying, 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 can still do your SKE course while you do your teacher training but you’ll only be eligible for a SKE bursary up until your teacher training course starts. This is because you may then be eligible for other financial support, for example a subject bursary or tuition fee loan.

If you’re a non-UK citizen, you may 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.

Find out more about advisers