Teacher trainee discusses subject with student

Free SKE courses for PGCE trainees

Fill your subject knowledge gaps ahead of your teacher training course


Training to become a teacher but have gaps in your subject knowledge? Boost your confidence and build your understanding with our Subject Knowledge Enhancement (SKE) courses.

The courses are free if you've accepted a place on the next intake of an Initial Teacher Training Course. You could even be eligible for financial support while you complete it.

The course can be taken before or during a teacher training programme. Choose from blended learning or fully online to suit your schedule.

Course details

What can I study?

You can take an SKE programme in Computer Science, English or Modern Foreign Languages.

If you're looking for an SKE programme in Science or Maths, please visit the Government's SKE Course Directory


Courses range from 8 weeks to 28 weeks depending on your prior knowledge.

  • Computer Science: 8, 16, 20 or 28 week courses
  • English: 8 or 12 week courses
  • French: 8, 12, 16, 20 or 28 week courses
  • German: 8, 12, 16, 20 or 28 week courses
  • Spanish: 8, 12, 16, 20 or 28 week courses

Course Dates

The courses start between April and July depending on the length of the programme. You can submit an application at any point in the academic year.

Course costs and funding

This programme is funded by the Department for Education, so if you meet the entry requirements you won’t need to pay any fees. You could also be eligible for a bursary of £175 for each week of the course.

What you'll experience

The SKE programme is taught primarily online to allow flexibility in when and how you learn. A typical week will include 25 hours learning, which includes:

  • interactive online learning
  • timetabled group learning
  • an individual tutorial support session
  • masterclasses (in person or online)

If you choose to undertake a blended learning course, there will be a full day interactive masterclass on campus in Portsmouth every 4 weeks. This allows you to engage in deeper learning on a specific area.

If you choose to take a fully online programme, the masterclass materials will be provided via our virtual learning environment for you to work on at your own pace.

Entry requirements

You must have received a place on an Initial Teacher Training course. You are likely to be eligible for an SKE if you have:

  • a degree that’s related to the subject rather than an exact match for it
  • studied the subject at A level, but not degree level
  • an unrelated degree but relevant professional knowledge in the subject
  • studied for a language’s degree, but need a second language at an acceptable level for teaching in schools
  • a degree in the subject but haven’t used your degree knowledge for many years

Unfortunately if you’ve been awarded a degree in your chosen ITT subject within the previous 5 years you won’t be eligible for a funded SKE course.

Find out more and apply

Please email ske@port.ac.uk for more information, or to find out about how to apply.

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