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What if I don't know the subject well enough?


Wondering how to increase your knowledge on a topic?

You might want to look into a Subject Knowledge Enhancement (or SKE) course.

An SKE course is ideal if you don't have enough specific subject knowledge to begin your chosen PGCE. It's designed to help you gain in-depth knowledge needed to train in Biology, Chemistry, Computing, Design and Technology, Geography, Languages, Mathematics or Physics. Please make sure you state in your UCAS application that you are interested in doing an SKE.

*An SKE can only be taken if it is a condition of offer.

Who can apply?

SKEs are for people who don't have enough specific knowledge to begin a subject-specialism PGCE course, for example:

  • You would need to be classed a ‘Home’ or ‘EU’ student (unless you gain a place on a School Direct Salaried PGCE course)
  • You've studied a subject to a highly advanced level, but over time you may have lost some of the basics needed to teach at secondary level
  • You've studied a degree which is related to the subject, rather than an exact match
  • You've recently graduated from a degree unrelated to the subject, but have a related A level
  • You've decided to change careers and may have an unrelated degree, but with a lot of related knowledge including an A level
  • You have a language degree, but need a second language at an acceptable level for the schools market

Where can I study?Who offers SKEs?

We don't deliver SKEs at Warwick, so you'll need to approach other suppliers directly.

We only accept providers who are already involved in Initial Teacher Training (ITT): you can see a list of suppliers here.

Please note you are unable to use any provider outside of this list.

*Please note that Mersey Boroughs have suspended SKE provision as their funding from the DfE has reached capacity.

How long does it take?How long does it take?

An SKE programme can vary from an eight-week refresher or booster programme, through to a 28-week course, depending on the subject knowledge required and the providing institution. Ideally, you need to complete this before joining the PGCE course.

Occasionally we may allow overlaps until the end of the autumn term, but we need to make sure you're capable of the extra workload first.

Please note that you will have to provide evidence of successfully completing your SKE course before the end of your University of Warwick PGCE in order to be eligible for the award of PGCE and recommendation for Qualified Teacher Status (QTS).

When can you apply?

If you need to take an SKE course, you’ll be advised about the length and type of course in your interview.

You must enrol upon it as soon as possible, and you'll need to provide evidence of your enrolment to meet your condition of offer for the PGCE course.

You can study some of the SKE programme alongside your PGCE, but your SKE needs to finish by the end of the autumn term so that you’re not at a disadvantage.

If you fail your SKE programme, you won’t meet Teaching Standard 3 (Subject Knowledge), and this could mean you fail the course.


Trainees may get funding to cover the cost of a SKE course and may be eligible for a tax-free SKE training bursary up to £5,600 (depending on the course length). For more information please visit .Gov pages.