Subject knowledge enhancement (SKE) courses

Subject knowledge enhancement (SKE) courses

Don't hold back from applying for teacher training in biology, geography, maths, physics, chemistry, computing, design and technology, or a language because of your subject knowledge. You may still be able to train to teach these subjects (and be eligible for the bursaries they attract) by building up or refreshing your existing knowledge with a subject knowledge enhancement (SKE) programme.

The teacher training provider(s) you apply to may ask you to take an SKE course if they feel you have the right qualities to become a teacher, but they think you need to complete additional subject training first. If that’s the case, they’ll offer you a place that's conditional on doing an SKE course.

This could be for several reasons, including:

  • your degree wasn’t in your chosen subject, but it was closely related
  • you studied the subject at A level, but not at university
  • you have relevant professional experience, and an SKE course will show you how to apply that to the curriculum and your teaching

SKE courses are fully funded – so you won’t have to pay any tuition fees – and you may be eligible for a training bursary of up to £7,200 to support you throughout the course.

SKE programmes are available all over England at universities, schools, or third parties such as Science Learning Centres. They can be completed before your teacher training or could be delivered in parallel with some or all of your teacher training. The length of SKE varies depending on your need – from eight-week ‘refresher’ or ‘booster’ programmes, through to more extensive 36-week courses.

SKE can be offered as full-time classroom-based study, part-time and evening/weekend study, or delivered online. It could also be a combination of these approaches.

With so many options available, SKE provides an opportunity to think further about which subject you want to teach and how this relates to your degree.

Please speak with your chosen teaching training provider for more information before you submit your teacher training application.

Get up to

£7,200

while on an SKE course

Open the door to teaching a different subject

Find out from an SKE Co-ordinator and trainee teachers about eligibility and what subject knowledge enhancement courses involve. Transcript (PDF 47KB)

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

Mia Webb, trainee maths teacher

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    07 September 2015 AT 16:00

    The University of Reading hosts regular information meetings to explain School Direct and other routes into initial teacher training.

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