Subject Knowledge Enhancement courses (SKEs)

What are SKEs?

Subject knowledge enhancement courses are designed to help you gain the depth of knowledge you will need to teach your chosen subject before starting to train. They are available in shortage subjects where we need to train more teachers. They vary in length from eight to 16 weeks study.

Who are SKEs for?

These courses are aimed at those who have been offered a place on a postgraduate initial teacher training course subject to completion of a subject knowledge enhancement course. You may be recommended to complete a SKE if your degree is not in the subject you want to train to teach or if it has been some time since you studied your subject. We welcome career changers and mature candidates as well as new graduates.

What SKE courses are on offer at UWE?

  • Design and Technology (8 weeks)
  • Mathematics (16 weeks)
  • Modern Languages: French (12 weeks)
  • Science: Chemistry or Physics (12 weeks) 


To be eligible for a SKE course you need:

  • to be a graduate
  • to demonstrate at interview the necessary attributes for teaching
  • ideally to have already gained some recent experience of observing your subject being taught in a UK Secondary school
  • to obtain an offer of a place on a teacher training course

Where are they held?

The taught sessions will be held in the Department of Education, S Block, UWE, Frenchay Campus, Coldharbour Lane, Bristol BS16 1QY and run during the daytime.

Design and Technology

At UWE we offer an eight week SKE from 2 June until 25 July 2014. The Design and Technology SKE will cover subject knowledge needs for Key stage 3 and 4 in Design and Technology and the depth of knowledge needed to teach AS/A level Design and Technology.

All Design and Technology trainees will complete all aspects of the SKE (except for Food Technology which is an optional extra but will include L2 Food Safety in Catering Certificate). 

The SKE will be tailored to meet individual training needs and all participants will complete an audit to identify specific training needs and the focus of their SKE. A bursary of £200 per week is paid for this SKE.


The Mathematics SKE at UWE is a full-time course run between March and July which will enable you to prepare for the PGCE course the following September. We would expect you ideally to have a good A level and some further experience of the subject, for example within a related degree or through vocational experience. Participants on the Mathematics SKE course have previously come from various backgrounds with degrees in economics, engineering, accounting, law and psychology. A bursary of £200 per week is paid for this SKE.

Modern Languages: French

At UWE we offer a 12 week SKE from 19 May until 8 August 2014.

The Modern Languages: French SKE is designed for those applicants who need to develop their knowledge of French in order to be eligible for a Modern Languages PGCE. For example, you may have limited or no knowledge of French but are fluent in German or Spanish. This is a three month full-time taught SKE course and includes a study visit to France. A bursary of £200 per week is paid for this SKE.

Download the French SKE leaflet for course dates and further information.

Science: Chemistry or Physics

The Distance Learning SKE courses in Chemistry and Physics are designed to help you become a specialist in your subject to A level standard. The 12 week courses run throughout the academic year and have multiple access points. This means you can apply anytime between 17 March and the 20 June 2014, and learn at your own pace as long as you complete the course modules before the course end date (29 August 2014.)

These 12 week courses are structured into 6 modules, 5 of which are distance learning theory based plus the practical module, which is delivered by UWE and requires your attendance. The practical module is two weeks long and is delivered between Monday 14 July and Friday 25 July 2014 by the Department of Education, Frenchay Campus.

View further details and apply online

A bursary of £200 per week is paid for this SKE.

There are significant shortages of teachers of mathematics, physics, chemistry and some shortages in modern languages and design and technology. The Government offers bursaries to attract the best candidates to train to teach these subjectssubjects.

How to apply

To find out the available dates for any of the SKEs, and to apply, please contact the Admissions office:

Telephone: +44 (0)117 32 83333


Page last updated 3 June 2014

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