Subject knowledge enhancement (SKE) courses

Don't hold back from applying for teacher training in maths, physics, chemistry, computing, design and technology, or a language because of your subject knowledge confidence. 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 school(s) or university 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 choose the subject you want to teach and not feel limited by your degree.

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

Get up to


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

We think you may be interested in

Upcoming events

View all events

  • LDBS SCITT – Teaching Taster Course

    29 April 2015 AT 09:00

    This two-day event is aimed at graduates who are interested in applying for School Direct (general primary and secondary) and core PGCE (in Early Years or general primary). We are a London based provider, providing highly personalised training that equips trainees well for employment in schools in London and further afield.

    London Open
  • Transform Teaching School Alliance School Direct open event

    29 April 2015 AT 14:00

    Please drop into this event to discuss how to apply for school direct, how the course is run, funding avaliable, places within local schools. There will be opportunity to talk to course leaders. We are looking forward to meeting you and answering your questions.

    Nottingham Open
  • Train to teach information evening

    29 April 2015 AT 15:30

    Come along to our information event to discuss how you can get into secondary teaching with TKAT Teacher Training.

    Portsmouth Open
  • Primary School Direct Open Day

    29 April 2015 AT 16:00

    This open day will provide an introduction to School Direct across the Essendine Teaching Alliance. The programme includes a tour of the school, an introduction to key members of staff, an outline of our School Direct programme, and information about the application process.

    Maida Vale Open