Skip to content

Subject Knowledge Enhancement (SKE) in English Certificate of Attendance

  • Level(s) of Study: Postgraduate taught / Short course; Non-credit
  • Start Date(s): April/ May 2022
  • Duration: 8 weeks full-time
  • Study Mode(s): Full-time
  • Campus: Clifton Campus
  • Entry Requirements:
    More information


If you want to train as a secondary subject teacher and do not have the necessary subject knowledge to enter an initial teacher training programme such as a PGCE or School Direct training programme, you may need a subject knowledge enhancement (SKE) course prior to your training.

Secondary Initial Teacher Training providers can make completion of a SKE course a condition of their offer. These courses are delivered across the country in different ways (face-to-face, online and a blended approach) and provide those starting ITT with the subject knowledge and confidence needed to meet the Teachers’ Standards.

What you’ll study

Language is power, life and the instrument of culture, the instrument of domination and liberation.”

Angela Carter

Who is this for?

This course is designed for those who have been offered a place on a PGCE or School Direct course but wish to enhance their current subject knowledge in English. This is a full-time Subject Knowledge Enhancement (SKE) course for graduates who have been offered a place on a PGCE or School Direct course, but wish to enhance their current subject knowledge in English. It runs for 200 hours over an eight week period.

What you’ll study

The English Subject Knowledge Enhancement (SKE) course is aimed at supporting trainees who need to develop their understanding of the subject, the curriculum and relevant educational theory. The fundamental principles of Reading, Writing, Grammar & Vocabulary and Spoken Language underpin our content and sessions focus on broadening subject knowledge and bringing innovation and creativity to classroom delivery.

The course covers the National Curriculum Programmes of Study for Key Stage 3 and 4. We focus on the key curriculum areas of Reading, Writing, Grammar & Vocabulary and Spoken Language. Our GCSE content includes an introduction to Language and key GCSE Literature texts. We will explore GCSE Language papers and accompanying mark schemes in in detail, giving students a deeper and broader knowledge of how students are expected to demonstrate progress.

We believe that a critical understanding underpins good teaching in the subject and will emphasise the intertextual and thematic links between key literary works in the curriculum. We will explore the importance of context to both Language and Literature and investigate a range of possible strategies for bringing these ideas to life.

11 - 16 SKE option

The curriculum is broadly based on the national programmes for study for KS3 and KS4, enabling you to teach the 11 - 16 curriculum with confidence.

How you’re taught

The course begins with a Subject Knowledge Audit to determine your current knowledge level and establish your areas that require further development. A final audit takes place at the end of your course to show your progress. Specialist tutors support your progression through the course content and set tasks, and are available to answer your questions throughout your studies.

These flexible courses are tailored to meet your experience and learning needs. Topics cover the National Curriculum at Key Stage 3 and 4 (and explore key stage 5), getting you up to speed before you begin your teacher training in September. Our SKE courses are short non-credit bearing courses, with a certificate awarded at the end of your course to provide to your training provider as proof of your successful completion.

Staff Profiles

Philippa Baker

Senior Lecturer

School of Social Sciences

Philippa Baker

Ruth Richards (Dr )

Senior Lecturer

School of Social Sciences

Ruth Richards (Dr )

Careers and employability

These courses are designed for graduates who wish to train to teach a particular secondary education subject, but do not have sufficient subject knowledge. To be eligible, you must already hold an offer of a place on a postgraduate teacher training course, and the provider offering that place must have made completion of the SKE course a condition of that offer.

Individuals who subsequently successfully complete their teacher training course will then be recommended for Qualified Teacher Status, and be ideally placed to pursue a career as a teacher in secondary schools or colleges.

Entry requirements

Entry to our SKE courses is available to those who hold the offer of a place on a postgraduate initial teacher training course, and for whom the provider offering that place has made completion of a SKE course a condition of their offer.

Fees and funding

SKE courses are funded by the Department for Education (DfE). Those eligible for the course will receive a tax free bursary of £175 per week for the duration of the course (subject to confirmation by DfE).

How to apply

If an ITT provider makes completion of a SKE course a condition of their offer of a place on an ITT course, then you should contact us directly at so that we can provide you with further information and secure your place on your course.

Please read our notes on the University's commitment to delivering the educational services advertised.