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Develop the knowledge and skills you need to teach a specialised subject in secondary schools.

The information on this page is meant for guidance to those who might think they require an SKE and for general information.

If you have already received an offer of a place for secondary teacher training, you may need to complete an Subject Knowledge Enhancement (SKE) course in order to fulfil the conditions of entry.

SKE courses are designed to help you increase your subject knowledge in line with the appropriate standard needed to teach at secondary level.

SKEs are only available for certain shortage subjects, for example: Biology, Chemistry, Computer Science, Mathematics, English, Modern Foreign Languages, Design and Technology, Religious Education and Physics. You will need to have a related degree or an A level in your chosen subject.

Programmes available

We offer SKEs in the following subjects:

  • Chemistry
  • Mathematics
  • Physics
  • Biology

For 2021-22 the University of Reading will be running 8 and 12 week SKE programmes in Mathematics and 8, 12, 16 and 20 weeks SKE programmes in Physics, Chemistry and Biology.

By the end of the SKE, you will have better subject knowledge and be more prepared to start your PGCE Programme

An SKE may be offered to you if without the SKE you would be highly unlikely to meet the subject knowledge requirements of the Teachers' Standards by the time you completed your ITT course. For you to enrol on an SKE it must be a condition of your ITT offer, and you cannot apply for it without that conditional offer.

Further guidance on SKEs can be found on the page.



  • 8 weeks (200 hours) -25 April 2022 to 24 June 2022
  • 12 weeks (300 hours) -25 April 2022 to 22 July 2022
  • Half-term week: w/c 30 May 2022 (tutorials previous week).

Science (Physics, Chemistry, Biology)

  • 8-week (200 hours) -6 June 2022
  • 12-week (300 hours) - 9 May 2022
  • 16-week (400 hours) -11 April 2022
  • 20-week (500 hours) - 14 March 2022
  • Practical weeks-13-17 June 2022 (GCSE) and 25-27 July 2022 (A-level)
  • Tutorial weeks - Monthly – Finish date Friday 29 July 2022

Fees and funding

The Department for Education (DfE) have announced that they will fund Subject Knowledge Enhancement (SKE) providers for existing programmes.

Eligibility and funding:

  • SKE candidate bursary £175 per week
  • Subjects: biology, chemistry, computing, design and technology, English, languages, mathematics, physics, religious education. Primary mathematics is also funded.
  • Tightening eligibility for SKE to exclude those who have a degree in their chosen ITT subject awarded in the previous 5 years.

Applications and enquiries

For more detailed information about SKE courses at Reading, what to expect from the courses we run, and how the application process works alongside the PGCE application process, please contact the SKE administrator on or call +44 (0) 118 378 2626

Postal address

The SKE Administrator The Institute of Education Reading University London Road campus 4 Redlands Road Reading RG1 5EX

Department of Education (DfE) 

Subject knowledge enhancement explained


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