University Of Cumbria Subject Knowledge Enhancement

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University Of Cumbria Subject Knowledge Enhancement

Subject Knowledge Enhancement (SKE) courses are perfect for those interested in teaching who lack the formal qualifications to take a PGCE. If this sounds like you, find out how you can sign up to our courses below.

What are Subject Knowledge Enhancement courses?

The 28-week course in Mathematics is designed for those wishing to embark on a PGCE in this subject who do not have enough of the subject knowledge in their degree, but who can demonstrate that they have a level of expertise in their chosen subject that could be developed to enable them to teach the subject.

The shorter 8-week courses (Chemistry, Computing, Mathematics and Physics) are designed for students already holding an appropriate degree to commence a PGCE but who need to develop their knowledge of the 11-16 school curriculum in the subject in which they will train to teach.

The courses are designed to boost subject knowledge to a level which is appropriate to start the PGCE course in September 2016. Examples of the qualifications and background of some past applicants on the 28-week course are shown below:

Maths SKE

  • A degree in business studies with an A level in maths
  • A degree in economics and has used some mathematical modelling in their previous work

Physics SKE

  • A degree in engineering with experience as an army instructor in mechanical engineering
  • A degree in automotive ergonomics design with some physics related modules

SKE in Mathematics

The university will be offering a 28 and 8 week SKE course in 2017.

The 28-week course begins on the 20 February 2017 and has two further entry points (24 and 20 week courses) beginning Monday 20 March 2017 and Monday 17 April 2017 respectively.

SKE in Chemistry, Computing, Mathematics and Physics

The 8 week course is available in Chemistry, Computing, Mathematics and Physics. These courses will begin on Monday 10 July 2017 and complete on Friday 1 September 2017.

We are able to offer 8-week Subject Knowledge CPD courses to qualified teachers. These courses are aimed at teachers who will be teaching a shortage subject as a non-specialist or those thinking of returning to teaching after a career break. A course fee will apply for those undertaking SKE as CPD. For more information or to apply, please email

For those accepted on a PGCE these courses are fully funded by the National College for Teaching and Leadership (NCTL) so you don’t have to pay any fees.

The courses also carry a generous bursary of up to £200 per week, which is paid up to the start of the PGCE course when the PGCE bursary takes over.

Structure of the course

For the 28-week course, the mode of learning will be a blended approach with face-to-face study, supported independent study and flexible distance learning. The 8 week courses will consist of face-to-face taught sessions for the first two weeks with the remainder of the course adopting a flexible distance approach with tutorials near the end of the course

It is important that prospective applicants appreciate that these courses constitute a substantial workload and it requires effort and commitment to succeed.

How to Apply

All applicants must firstly secure a place on a PGCE programme in their chosen subject unless they are an existing teacher undertaking SKE as CPD.

If it is your intention to study for your PGCE with the University of Cumbria (including School Direct), you may express interest in the SKE course as part of your initial application and will be offered a place on the SKE at the recommendation of the interview panel.

If you are an external candidate who has accepted a place at another institution, please visit the appropriate course page below.

Contact Us

To discuss any aspect of SKE, please contact the programme leader, David McLaughlan:


Phone: 01524 384 767