Certificate of Attendance

Subject Knowledge Enhancement (SKE) in English

SKE English
  • Level(s) of study: Postgraduate taught / Short course / Non-credit
  • Study mode(s): Full-time
  • Location: Clifton Campus
  • Starting: 16 May 2020 (TBC)
  • Course duration: 8 weeks full-time


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

Angela Carter

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.

Our SKE English course is fully funded by the Department for Education (DfE) and is designed to increase and support your subject knowledge before you begin your Initial Teacher Training (ITT) course as a PGCE or School Direct trainee.

What you'll study

We are currently reviewing the content of our courses to ensure that they remain relevant and current to our students’ future ambitions and society. Please continue to check this course webpage for the latest developments.

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.

Our SKE course for trainee teachers will help you gain:

  • Comprehensive knowledge and understanding of English at KS3 and KS4
  • The skills to design, present and evaluate pupil-centred English lessons
  • Well-developed critical analysis, reflection and evaluation skills
  • Sound preparation for English ITT
  • Some of the tools to become an outstanding English teacher
  • On successful completion of our SKE course, you will receive a detailed feedback report

How you’re taught

This 8 week course runs from May 2020 to July 2020. *Start dates are to be confirmed.

Taught sessions are from 9.30 am – 3.30 pm, Mondays-Thursdays. Fridays are for directed study where you will work independently, consolidating information from the week’s teaching, exploring key texts in more detail or furthering your own understanding in order to disseminate ideas with your peers in subsequent sessions.

Sessions will be practical and active, with a focus on discussion and development of critical thinking. Teaching is via a number of university based sessions, independent and supported distance learning.

The assessment for the SKE will include: a subject knowledge audit and action plan, a reflective log on the key themes of the module and an individual presentation to the SKE cohort.


AQA Power and Conflict poetry

Shakespeare – Romeo and Juliet, Macbeth,

Prose: Lord of the Flies

Drama: An Inspector Calls

19th Century novel - Jekyll and Hyde, A Christmas Carol, Frankenstein, Pride and Prejudice

Careers and employability

This course is designed for graduates with a degree in a subject other than English who wish to train as secondary English teachers. Trainees who continue and successfully complete either a PGCE or School Direct course which leads to a recommendation for Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) are ideally placed to pursue a career as a teacher in a secondary school or college.

This course does not offer placements.

Entry requirements

  • Confirmation (by your school or course provider) that you have been accepted onto an Initial Teacher Training (ITT) course, such as PGCE or School Direct.

By being interviewed, offered a place and accepting that place on an ITT course, you are deemed to have met the entry requirements for this Subject Knowledge Enhancement course.

How to apply

Provider referral

If a school or ITT provider decides that you would be suitable for secondary English teaching, but that you need to develop your English subject knowledge, they can offer you a place on their School Direct or PGCE course. However, this offer is made on condition that you successfully complete the SKE course prior to starting the ITT course. There are then two possibilities:

  1. Your school or ITT provider contacts us and, provided there are vacancies, refers you to the relevant course, or
  2. You contact us directly. In this case we will confirm with your school or provider that they have offered, and you have accepted, an ITT place.


Tel +44 (0)115 848 4460

Email: SKE@ntu.ac.uk

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

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

Fees and funding

Course fees are covered by the Department for Education (DfE).

Home UK, and EU full-time students may also be eligible for a tax-free bursary of up to £200 per week (subject to confirmation by DfE).

Still need help?

Aisling Walters
+44 (0)115 848 8949