Subject Knowledge Enhancement

Feedback from trainees

Click HERE to view feedback on the SKE course from past trainees (now NQTs) and current trainees

Subject knowledge enhancement (SKE) courses

Don’t hold back from applying for teacher training due to your subject confidence – you can top up your subject knowledge with an SKE. These fully funded courses are available if:

  • your degree wasn’t in your chosen subject, but is closely related
  • you studied the subject at A level, but not at degree level
  • you have an unrelated degree, but relevant professional experience in the subject
  • it’s been some time since you used your degree knowledge

SKE courses are available in: maths, physics, languages, chemistry, computing, biology, geography, English, design and technology, and primary maths. Schools or universities will identify your need for an SKE as part of their selection process, usually at interview. If they feel you need to enhance your knowledge, but have potential to be a great teacher, they’ll offer you a teacher training place on the condition that you complete an SKE course.

Length of courses

The length can vary from an eight-week refresher course to 28 weeks. Your training provider will decide the course lengths, which will depend on the required specialist knowledge you’ll need to teach the subject effectively.

Tax-free SKE bursary of up to £5,600

You could get a tax-free SKE bursary of £200 per week to support you throughout the course. Depending on the course length, in total you could receive a bursary of £5,600 for a 28-week course or £2,400 for a shorter course of 12 weeks.

Teach RE DfE Funded SKE 200 hour course

This course is specifically for those students who have been granted funding by the Department for Education through their ITT Provider to undertake a SKE course before or during their ITT year beginning in September 2019.

Students undertaking this funded SKE course are entitled to a bursary of £200 per week for the 8 weeks they are studying ( or part time equivalent). This is administered through the ITT provider who has offered the student a conditional place.

Delivery of SKE courses

SKE courses are available all over England at universities, schools, or with other organisations. They can be completed before, or alongside your teacher training and are available to study full-time or part-time, classroom-based or on-line. The SKE directory sets out what courses are provided.

SKE in modern foreign languages

You can now complete two fully funded SKE courses to refresh your main teaching language and to study another language. Your training provider will decide the length of each SKE course you may need.

SKE with TES

Our online subject knowledge enhancement courses are perfect for you if you are applying for teacher training in biology, chemistry, computing, English, French, geography, German, maths, physics or Spanish and either your degree is not subject-specific or you lack confidence in your subject.

Our SKE courses prepare you for initial teacher training by helping you to gain the depth of subject knowledge and skills you need to be able to teach your chosen subject. We recommend that all postgraduates applying for teacher training in a shortage subject complete an SKE course prior to or during their initial teacher training.

As a postgraduate teacher training trainee you could access Department for Education (DfE) SKE funding to cover the cost of a Tes Institute SKE course (worth up to £5,600*) and you may be eligible for a tax-free SKE training bursary of up to £5,600 (depending on the course length and availability of supplementary funding).

Please follow the link to find out more:


VIDLEARN® is the UKs leading provider of Distance Learning Subject Knowledge Enhancement (SKE) courses for those who are thinking of training to teach in one of the shortage subjects.

We work with a network of partners across the country and are also an accredited SKE provider in our own right. VIDLEARN® 100% Online provides Subject Knowledge Enhancement courses in all of the shortage subjects.

Candidates following a School Direct, SCITT, PGCE or Teach First training path can complete their SKE with VIDLEARN® 100% Online.