Department of Education

SKE Science

The most common question we are asked about the Science SKE course is whether you can study the non specialist subjects that you will be required to teach. At present, the DfE will only fund an SKE course in the subject that you are training to teach. So a trainee Physics teacher can only receive the DfE bursary to study the Physics SKE course. However, through our partnership with Vidlearn™ we will provide everyone with the resources needed to update your knowledge for Physics, Chemistry and Biology.

8 Week Biology, Chemistry or Physics: 200 Hours

For trainees requiring subject knowledge enhancement to GCSE level.

A single module divided into about 10 topics.

  • One GCSE module divided into 10 topics
  • First course starts in October and applications can be made to start a course any time after this
  • No application deadline
  • Practical Summer School in June and July (see FAQs below for dates)
  • All modules must be completed by end August, regardless of when course started.

For more information and to apply, visit the Vidlearn website

Royal Society of Chemistry logo16 Week Biology, Chemistry or Physics SKE: 400 Hours

For trainees requiring subject knowledge enhancement to A level standard.

Several modules with CORE resources, plus optional additional study at GCSE level in your non-specialist science subjects

Applicants should have an A level or equivalent in their specialist subject. Physics applicants should also have A level mathematics..

  • 8 A level modules
  • First course starts in September and applications can be made to start a course any time after this
  • No application deadline
  • Practical Summer School in June and July (see FAQs below for dates)
  • All modules must be completed by end August, regardless of when course started.

For more information and to apply, visit the Vidlearn website.

28 Week Biology, Chemistry or Physics SKE: 700 Hours

For trainees requiring subject knowledge enhancement to A level standard but do not meet the eligibility requirements of the 16 week course

Commences with a GCSE level module, followed by a 'Primer' module (Chemistry and Physics only) and A level modules from the ASKE.

  • 1 long GCSE module followed by 8 shorter A level modules
  • First course starts in October and applications can be made to start a course any time after this
  • No application deadline
  • Practical Summer School in June and July (see FAQs below for dates)
  • All modules must be completed by end August, regardless of when course started.

For more information and to apply, visit the Vidlearn website.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is it like to study on Science SKE courses?
Courses are divided into modules. At the start of each module you complete an online multiple choice test. You also complete a Subject Knowledge Audit (SKA) against the material covered in that module.
There are a number of pre-recorded lectures that you watch and you also work through a course textbook, focussing on the areas of weakness identified in your Audit.
Once you are confident with the material, you prepare a summary assignment for that section of the course. This is usually presented as a set of MS Powerpoint slides that could be easily adapted for use in the classroom. We also encourage you to access the exam board specification and past exam questions and include these in the assignment. Your Sussex Tutor will give you guidance on how to prepare the assignment to suit your personal needs.
You will also have access to ExamPro, a searchable database of hundreds of past exam questions, mark schemes and examiners reports for GCSE and A-Level in each of the 3 science subjects.
Once you have completed your assignment, you go back and take the test and Subject Knowledge Audit again to check that you have made progress. You will write a short reflection on your progress and set targets for any areas that you still need to work on. The Reflection and Assignment is submitted to your Tutor who will mark it and provide feedback.

What if I can’t commit to 25 Hours a week?
SKE courses are very flexible. You are expected to complete the suggested hours by the end of August to be eligible to receive the full bursary. However, you can complete the course at your own pace. Your bursary will be paid to you on a monthly basis as you log the hours.

Tell me about the Practical Summer School
We believe that you will get a lot out of the Practical Summer School and strongly encourage you to take part if you possibly can. But there are online alternatives if you cannot. Provisional dates for 2019 Summer Schools are as follows:
24-28 June: Physics and Chemistry A level
1-5 July: Joint GCSE
8-12 July: Biology A level

Queries and applications

For more information and to apply, visit the Vidlearn website.

You can also contact the SKE Science Leader: Pat Doe