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Subject Knowledge Enhancement (SKE)

A Subject Knowledge Enhancement (SKE) course offers you the chance to prepare for teacher training by building up or refreshing your existing knowledge. It can also help boost your skills in a particular subject area if you already have qualified teacher status (QTS) but did not train in the subject you are now teaching.

For this reason, we offer two types of subject knowledge enhancement courses: pre-teacher training and in-service/post-qualifying.

Pre-teacher training

A pre-initial teacher training SKE course is right for you if you’re a prospective teacher of secondary education and a SKE course has been made a condition of your offer of a place for teacher training. Our courses are designed to strengthen and enhance your existing subject knowledge, and support and prepare you for your training to be a secondary teacher.

They are intensive programmes funded by the Department for Education.

How do SKE courses work?

A SKE course might be offered to you during a teacher training interview or made a condition of your offer to take up a teacher training place for a number of reasons including:

  • To build on your prior knowledge and understanding in your chosen area.
  • Even though you are a graduate, your area of subject expertise might be outside the subject you wish to teach.
  • Your subject knowledge may have come from a minor part of your degree, studied at A Level or gained through professional work/other employment.

Most SKE courses are 16 weeks long but we do offer longer SKE courses in Mathematics of 24 and 20 weeks. 

It is possible, however, that you could be identified as needing only a shorter course of 12 or 8 weeks to boost your subject knowledge. To facilitate this we offer further entry points to the course. 

During 2020 we are offering SKE courses in the following subjects:

Courses will start at different times, depending on the length of SKE course you've been advised to take to ensure your subject knowledge is developed enough to begin your teacher training course, however, all courses will be complete by the end of July 2020.

For eligible Initial Teacher Training (ITT) applicants, these courses are fully funded by the Department for Education (DfE). You do not have to apply for the funding as this will be dealt with by the School at the University. A training bursary of up to £200 per week is available for eligible course participants. 

On successful completion of a SKE programme, you will progress directly onto an initial teacher training programme, (PGCE or QTS only, with a higher education institution or School-Centred Initial Teacher Training (SCITT), or a School Direct route).


If you have already achieved QTS but you wish to boost your subject knowledge, you can undertake a post-ITT SKE course. We work with a number of Teaching School Alliances (TSAs) across the region to deliver courses in mathematics and physics.

Find out more about post-ITT SKE courses