Subject knowledge enhancement courses

Subject knowledge enhancement (SKE) courses help you gain the knowledge required to start your course.

Watch trainee teachers and an SKE coordinator clarify what an SKE course is via YouTube.

Who are SKE courses for?

An SKE course is for those who are required to know more about their PGCE (Post Graduate Certificate in Education) subject before studying their PGCE. Also, you may have to if your degree is not in the subject you want to teach or it has been some time since you studied your subject.

We welcome career changers and mature candidates as well as recent graduates.


To be eligible for an SKE course you need to:

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

Where are they held?

The taught sessions will be held in the Department of Education and Childhood, S Block, Frenchay Campus during the daytime.

Our SKE courses


Our full-time mathematics SKE course runs between March and July. This will enable you to prepare for the PGCE course the following September.

Ideally, you would have a good A-level and further experience of the subject, for example within a related degree or through vocational experience.

Participants come from various backgrounds with degrees in economics, engineering, accounting, law and psychology.

Course options are the:

  • 8-week course for those with more experience of mathematics; or the
  • 16-week course.


Our Geography SKE course is for those wishing to teach A-level geography who may not have an A-level in geography or your degree isn't 100% geography-related.

We offer an eight-week or 12-week course depending on your needs and advice from your ITE provider. They both have a core of 16 face-to-face sessions with the remaining delivery through online learning. Both courses run on weekends between March and June.

You will learn how to teach both physical and human geography for the current A-level themes including:

  • water and carbon cycles
  • coasts
  • hot deserts
  • cold environments
  • hazards
  • global systems and global governance
  • population
  • urban environments and water
  • energy security.

Science: Biology, Chemistry or Physics

Our science SKE courses offer distance learning with a two-week practical module delivered at UWE Bristol. In the practical weeks, you will learn how to teach and what to teach.

You can only take the course of your PGCE subject. Although online GCSE optional modules in all three sciences are available if you're on the 24-week course. 

8-week course - If you intend to teach science up to age 16 or improve your subject knowledge to GCSE level.

12-week (chemistry or physics) or 16-week (biology) course - If you aim to teach at A-level. You will need to have a science degree related to your PGCE subject (eg engineering, biochemistry or pharmacology) and an A-level in the subject.

24-week course (Chemistry, Physics or Biology) - If you wish to teach A-level with no degree related to your PGCE subject. You will have an A-level in your PGCE subject or experience of working in the subject area.

View further details and apply online.


Our SKE courses are funded by the National College for Teaching and Leadership and attract a bursary of £115 per week.

We can offer additional financial support, if you would otherwise be unable to undertake the course.

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

How to apply

To apply please contact the Admissions office:

Telephone: +44 (0)117 32 83333

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