Subject Knowledge Enhancement

For further in-depth information on SKEs, including finance, start dates and course content lease go to the TES website

Subject Knowledge Enhancement courses (SKE) are available for candidates who have received an initial offer of a place from the MSC and may need to boost their subject awareness.  If the MSC feels that you have the right qualities to become a teacher, however, lack in certain areas of subject knowledge they may offer you a place subject to completing a SKE course (providing these are available in your subject.)

The MSC will specify the length of the SKE and the SKE provider (TES).



What SKE courses are available?

Chemistry* English Computing 
Biology* MFL** English
Physics* Geography Design and Technology

*At this time science trainees can only complete a SKE in their main Science and listed subject. 

**MFL candidates can undertake a SKE in their second language

What is a SKE

SKE courses prepare you for an ITT course, they assist you in gaining a deeper understanding of subject knowledge within the subject that trainees wish to teach. Often applicants applying for shortage subjects will undertake a SKE course. 

As a postgraduate teacher training trainee, trainees may be able to  access National College for Teaching and Leadership (NCTL) SKE funding to cover the cost of a Tes Institute SKE course and trainees may be eligible for a tax-free SKE training bursary (depending on the course length and availability of supplementary funding). 

How long do the programmes take?

As a minimum, SKE programmes comprise the equivalent of eight weeks' study, but some may be longer depending on whether you need a quick top-up or some in-depth knowledge. SKE courses vary in length from 8 week-24 week. The MSC will specify the length of SKE based on interview feedback. All Tes SKE courses are completed online, they carry a suggested 20-25 hours a week commitment, however, the courses are flexible and trainees can work more or less hours based on personal circumstances.

Where and when are the programmes available?

SKE programmes are available all over England. The MSC recommends TES SKE courses, all TES courses are completed entirely online. 

Applying for SKE programmes

Once you accept the offer of a place with the MSC, we will email you registration details for the SKE course, if you are eligible. If you completed a degree in a related subject, such as you are training as a maths teacher and completed a maths degree three years ago, you will no longer be funded on a SKE course. These courses are designed to refresh knowledge for those who studied some time ago. 

Following completion of the SKE courses, you are ready to start the ITT course. SKE and ITT courses should not cross over. Only one form of funding is permitted and SKE course funding will invalidate an individual’s bursary eligibility.

TES SKE courses run every month, the MSC will endeavour to register trainees on the next available date. 

SKE Details

Information from 


Feedback from one of our current English trainees, who completed a 12 week SKE online with Tes. 

‘It was quite hard work, but I did loads of meal prepping so my freezer was full of healthy food I didn’t have to cook, which helped a lot! In terms of hours, I decided to split it so I would try to spend 3 hours a night on a weekday, and 5 hours each day at the weekend - but I didn’t beat myself up about it if I didn’t manage all of that. It’s worth remembering that a fair bit of it was reading, which doesn't feel like so much of a chore! The first month was quite a challenge, but once I got into a rhythm it took up less of my time.  

My tutor was great, she was easy to reach and responded really quickly, and her advice and feedback was really helpful. We used email, so I could contact her any time. 

It was so helpful! I’m really glad I did it! I was a bit lacking in confidence in some areas of my subject knowledge, and it helped a lot with that. It also helped to get me in the groove for studying again, and the reflective aspect was really good training for this year.  

In a nutshell, it’s hard work and I had no social life for several months (though did manage a holiday to Italy halfway through where I worked in the mornings overlooking a lovely garden like some Romantic poet!!) but it was definitely worth it in terms of what I got out of it.’