Subject Knowledge Enhancement in Chemistry - (SKE)

  • Level: Postgraduate Taught
  • Starting: March 2020, April 2020, May 2020
  • Study mode: Full Time
  • Location: City South
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If you wish to train as a chemistry teacher, but your degree did not provide enough chemistry content for you to gain automatic entry onto an initial teacher training course, completion of this SKE course, might be made a condition of an offer onto a secondary chemistry teacher training course.

This course will prepare you for an initial teacher training secondary chemistry course by developing your skills and giving you the confidence to recognise areas in your own subject knowledge which you need to develop during the enhancement course, initial teacher education and beyond. It will also help you to develop a 'deep' understanding of the knowledge, concepts and skills associated with chemistry as a subject.

What's covered in the course?

We aim to help you to come to a deep understanding of the concepts and skills associated at GCSE level. In addition, aspects of A level chemistry will be covered depending on the aptitudes and interests of the trainees.

Why Choose Us?

  • The SKE course is undertaken before starting an initial teacher training course. It is important that you have a conditional offer of a place on an initial teacher training course either at Birmingham City University or another provider before you start a SKE course.
  • There are no course fees. Bursaries for eligible students are funded by the Department for Education (DfE). Please visit the Department for Education website for further information.
  • We have a long and successful track record in developing secondary teachers.
  • You will be taught by experts in your chosen subject field and work alongside your peers in a face-to-face environment. 
  • This course will boost your knowledge and understanding of this subject.
  • Our course provides the ideal stepping stone to further study and achieve full Qualified Teacher Status (QTS).
  • You will get to see and work with teachers in action in a wide range of schools, which will expose you to a rich variety of cultural and linguistic influences, religious beliefs and social diversity.
This course is not open to International students

Postgraduate lunch drop in

Visit us to find out more

Come along to one of our upcoming events where our staff will be on hand to answer all your questions.

More information and book

New £10,906 postgraduate loans

You may be able to take advantage of the government’s plans to make loans of up to £10,906 available for postgraduate study.

More about postgraduate loans

Entry Requirements

UK students
Essential

The SKE chemistry course is suitable for graduates with a good degree from a UK higher education institution (or a recognised equivalent) who have sufficient chemistry knowledge to commence the course.

This could be through holding an A-level in chemistry, (not essential) having an element of science in your degree course and/or occupational experience of the subject.

Applicants must also meet the National College for Teaching and Leadership requirements for Initial Teacher Training, which means being medically fit and completing successfully an enhanced disclosure via the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS).

In addition to academic qualifications, candidates will be expected to have good communication and organisational skills, possess a desire to learn more about chemistry and demonstrate a commitment to teaching the subject.

To be eligible to start this course you MUST hold a conditional offer of a place on an initial teacher training course, for example a PGCE Secondary Chemistry course.

School experience

All our SKE courses include experience in schools, should this be a condition of your offer. 

UK or EU students

Award Start Mode Duration Fees
(SKE) Mar 2020 FT 16 Weeks
TBC
Apr 2020 FT 12 Weeks
TBC
May 2020 FT 8 Weeks
TBC

International Students

Sorry, this course is not available to international students.

If you're unable to use the online form for any reason, you can complete our PDF application form and equal opportunities PDF form instead. The University reserves the right to increase fees in line with inflation based on the Retail Prices Index or to reflect changes in Government funding policies or changes agreed by Parliament up to a maximum of five per cent.

How to apply

Once you have accepted a conditional offer onto a PGCE course you should apply using the link above. You will need to provide proof of this offer when you apply. Our admissions team will process your offer and further information will be sent to you. 

If you have any for further queries, please contact the Programme Lead for the SKE courses via email on: Tracey.Goodyere@bcu.ac.uk

Course fees

There are no course fees. A DfE bursary of up to £200 per week is available for eligible course participants. 

Financial Support

Although this is a postgraduate course, current PGCE students are eligible for the finance support package available to full-time undergraduates. You may also receive a Teacher Training Bursary of up to £30,000 per year, subject specific.

Find out more

Recently approved by the Royal Society of Chemistry, our SKE chemistry is currently only 1 of 4 providers nationally that has been awarded this status.

The SKE Chemistry course is designed to help students to discover and appreciate the areas of Chemistry that need to be refreshed in order to teach Chemistry successfully within the School Curriculum. It forms part of a flexible suite of Chemistry Subject Knowledge Enhancement and practical skills at KS3, KS4 and bridging the gap to KS5 (where suitable), which offers the Student a variety of possibilities and combinations to help them develop their own personal Chemistry SK to aide their specific needs.

The Chemistry SKE content will be given as taught practical sessions, independent/group directed tasks and first hand practical school experience. It is assessed by a combination of a practical university based course with the formation of a portfolio covering SK, misconceptions and practical work.

University's accreditation

Pre-initial teacher training Subject Knowledge Enhancement (SKE) courses are intensive programmes, which have been accredited by the National College for Teaching and Leadership.

As a provider of Initial Teacher Education (ITE) Birmingham City University is regularly inspected by the Office for Standards in Education, Children's Services and Skills (Ofsted).

Ofsted reports directly to Parliament and is independent and impartial. It inspects and regulate services which care for children and young people, and those providing education and skills for learners of all ages.

Ofsted inspections of ITE providers provide an expert and independent assessment of how well we are performing and the quality of teacher training offered. Information in the inspection report can help prospective trainees decide which universities suit their training needs.

In the latest Ofsted Inspection (March 2014) we were was awarded a grade 2 rating 'Good' for our primary and early years, secondary and post-compulsory education and training provision.

Further study

On successful completion of the SKE programme, you will progress directly onto an initial teacher training programme, for example a PGCE Secondary Science (Chemistry) course.

Our one year full-time PGCE Secondary Education Science (Chemistry) course, which starts in September, qualifies trainees to teach 11 to 16 year olds. The course offers the additional benefit of post-16 enhancement giving you maximum flexibility when looking for a job.

Enhancing your employability skills

After you have successfully completed a Subject Knowledge Enhancement in Chemistry course and then an initial teacher training course, for example a PGCE Secondary Science (Chemistry) course you will be ready to begin your career as a chemistry teacher in the secondary sector.

Placements

School visits

You will visit secondary schools for observation purposes and workshops. You will prepare and teach lessons to small groups of school students.

You will get involved in a range of activities, by observing lessons and acting as a teaching assistant. This will really boost your learning and give you valuable experience for when you start your initial teacher training.

More about our placement opportunities...

Our Facilities

We are constantly investing in our estate and are currently in the process of spending £340 million on new learning facilities.

As part of these plans, the University's Education provision will join the rest of the Faculty of Health, Education and Life Sciences at our City South Campus in Edgbaston during 2018.

This is the third phase of the University's project to move all teaching and learning to two campuses, City Centre and City South. By moving our Education provision, we are creating a hub for the provision of public service contracts and professional development at City South Campus and improving the student experience with a stronger sense of community and more consistent support services and facilities.

Campus

In addition to classrooms, a lecture theatre, social learning spaces, an open access IT suite and cafe facilities, the new £41 million extension to our City South Campus offers a range of specialist teaching and learning facilities for specific subjects including science, design and technology, drama and physical education.  

Departments

All our departmental facilities replicate the school learning environment.

  • Art and Design
  • Design and Technology
  • History
  • English
  • Mathematics
  • Religious Education
  • Music
  • Drama

Not only are we investing £41 million in a new building to house the laboratories and teaching spaces needed, but we also plan to open up these facilities to benefit all students and the wider community. This will complement our existing sports facilities, which already provide a base for students to compete in activities ranging from rugby to.

Mary Seacole Library

The Seacole library, based at City South Campus, is one of the UK's largest specialist health education libraries. The facility offers an extensive range of range of information and reference materials set out in a relaxing environment, conducive to studying. There are comfortable seating areas, group study areas, a silent study area and private study rooms.

Computer Facilities

The Seacole building houses a large open access IT Suite which comprises of 96 PCs, printers, photocopiers and scanners. Our PCs utilise the latest Intel i5 core technology, all with:

  • Fast (unrestricted) internet connectivity
  • Ability to save files to USB, DVD & CD
  • Microsoft Office software
  • Research and statistical software
  • Storage space which can be accessed from any PC across the University and from home

Our PCs are also designed to support students who may have difficulties with reading and writing, featuring specialised software with zooming/magnification and screen reading capabilities, which may also be customised for individual student needs.

The IT Suite offers extended opening hours and is supported by a specialist Open Access Assistant during term time. In addition to the open access PCs within the IT Suite, there are 12 networked student PCs available within Seacole library.

Tracey Goodyere new staff profile

Tracey Goodyere

Subject Leader for Design and Technology PGCE and Deputy Programme Leader and School Direct Coordinator

Tracey's teaching career began within the secondary phase. Her specialist subject was originally Textiles Technology but she soon developed her subject portfolio to include Food and Graphics Technology, Health and Social care and Child Development. She has worked as a Head of Department in a number of schools in the Birmingham area and within the Senior Leadership teams with responsibility for training school, ITT and NQT programmes and also gained AST status in 2003. Following this, she was seconded to Birmingham LEA as a Design and Technology adviser across the Central Collegiate group of Schools in Birmingham, supporting departments to improve standards within Design and Technology Teaching. She recently joined the University as the Subject Leader for Design and Technology PGCE.