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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 12 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 an 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?

  • Mathematics (16 weeks)
  • Modern Languages: French (12 weeks)
  • Science: Chemistry or Physics (12 weeks) 


To be eligible for an 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.


At UWE we offer a 16 week SKE with a start date of 16 March 2015.

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.

Modern Languages: French

At UWE we offer a 12 week SKE with a start date of 11 May 2015.

This 12 week intensive course supports graduates proficient in a language other than French to learn to teach French accurately and confidently to at least KS3 (ages 11-14).

The course 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.

There will be 20 hours per week of taught sessions at the University with peer and self-supported learning outside sessions. A two week funded study visit to France is a compulsory part of the course. This will take place in late June/early July 2015.

Science: Chemistry or Physics

This course is a 12 week Accelerated Subject Knowledge Enhancement in Chemistry or Physics. It is mainly distance learning with a 2 week attended practical module which is delivered by the Department of Education, UWE during the month of July 2015.

It is designed to update your subject knowledge of school science up to A-level standard and includes resources in your specialist subject at GCSE, A Level Primer, A Level and A Level+.

The course runs throughout the academic year and has multiple access points which means you can apply anytime between January and the 30th June 2015, and learn at your own pace as long as you complete the course modules before the course end date (end of August 2015.)

View further details and apply online.

Funding for SKE Courses

All SKE courses are funded by the NCTL and attract a bursary of £200 per week.

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 subjects.

How to apply

For further information about any of the SKEs, and to apply, please contact the Admissions office:

Telephone: +44 (0)117 32 83333


Page last updated 28 January 2016

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