Subject knowledge enhancement (SKE) programmes help you gain the depth of knowledge you'll need to teach your chosen subject.

These programmes are aimed at those who have already been offered a place on a postgraduate initial teacher training (ITT) course, subject to completion of an SKE programme. ITT providers and schools make the final decision on relevant subject knowledge. If your school or provider feels that you have the right qualities to become a teacher but you need to up your subject knowledge before you start training, they will talk you through the range of SKE programmes that are available.

If you feel that a subject knowledge enhancement programme would be beneficial to your application or your training, you should speak to your chosen provider or school at the earliest opportunity.

What SKE programmes are available?

There are currently programmes available for the following secondary-phase subjects:

How long do the programmes take?

As a minimum, SKE programmes comprise the equivalent of eight weeks' study, but some may be longer depending on whether you need a quick top-up or some in-depth knowledge. Depending on the individual programme, you can take this all in one go as a full-time programme, or spread over a longer period part-time, possibly through evening drop in sessions or weekend programmes.

Where and when are the programmes available?

SKE programmes are available all over England. Your provider or school will help you find a programme to suit your needs. SKE can be delivered by a wide range of suppliers, including:

  • A university education department
  • A university subject department
  • A school – in-house provision or accessed via another school
  • A third party supplier such as a Science Learning Centre

A range of available SKE programmes can be viewed in the SKE directory

Applying for SKE programmes

You should first apply to an ITT course. If the course provider or school considers you to have the attributes to make a good teacher, they may offer you a conditional ITT place and refer you to the SKE programmes in your region.

You can indicate on your ITT application form that you are interested in doing an SKE programme.

Upon your successful completion of one of these programmes, you are expected to go straight into an ITT course leading to qualified teacher status (QTS).

Already achieved QTS, but need to boost your subject knowledge?

Post-ITT SKE courses are designed to increase the mathematics, chemistry, physics or modern languages knowledge of in-service and returning teachers.

Find out more about post-ITT SKE courses