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:

  • obtain an offer of a place on a teacher training course conditional on completing an SKE course.
  • 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.

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 (for the 16-week course) and May and July (for the 8-week course).

Ideally, you will 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.

  • 8-week - for those with more experience of mathematics
  • 16-week.


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 completely geography-related.

We offer an eight-week with a core of 16 face-to-face sessions with the remaining delivery through online learning, 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 in the 28-week course. 

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

16-week (Chemistry, Physics, Biology) - 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.

28-week (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.

Science: Computer Science

This SKE course offers a flexible approach through distance learning. Plus, it runs throughout the academic year with multiple access points.

8-week - If you want to improve your science subject knowledge to GCSE level. Only suitable for those training to teach science up to age 16.

16-week - If you aim to teach Computer Science to A-level.

28-week - If you wish to teach A-level with no degree related to your PGCE subject.

View further details and apply online.


An eight-week intensive course if you're proficient in another language, with some existing basic understanding of French. The course aims to consolidate and build upon your knowledge and application of the language to teach confidently to KS3 (ages 11-14).

The ‘ab initio’ element of the course in the initial fortnight provides a rapid recap of grammar basics such as phonics and the alphabet before moving on to content taught at Key Stage 3 and beyond.

There will be 15-20 hours per week of taught sessions (this varies from week to week depending on the content) at UWE Bristol. This is supplemented with group tasks and self-directed study (set tasks and online learning) to consolidate the face-to-face input.


The application form helps us to establish the level of your French to structure the course according to individual needs. A further interview may be required on receipt of your application form.


You will complete a weekly reflection log to self-assess your progress across all four skill areas. This will be submitted to course tutors each week. In addition to the reflection log there will be weekly tasks to complete which encompass: group/individual presentations, vocabulary tests, written tasks and a final assessment, which will all contribute to your record of progress made across the eight weeks.


Our SKE courses are funded by the National College for Teaching and Leadership and attract a bursary of £200 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

Please note: Apply online for the Science SKE courses.

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