SKE Science Education (Chemistry, Physics, other science) Subject Knowledge Enhancement - University of Sunderland

SKE Science Education (Chemistry, Physics, other science) Subject Knowledge Enhancement

Course overview

This course is for people who need to improve their science subject understanding before starting a one-year Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) course.

The structure of the course will vary according to whether you want to teach chemistry, physics or another science. You should have at least an A Level in the science subject that you intend to teach, and, you should have already received a conditional offer for initial teacher training (ITT). You will complete this preparatory course ready for starting ITT in September.

When you successfully complete your ITT, your career prospects will be very good. There is a national shortage of science teachers, particularly in physics and chemistry. So there are excellent job opportunities both in the North East and throughout the country.

Sunderland has a heritage of teacher training which dates back to 1908. What’s more, we’re one of only a small number of teacher-training institutions in the UK offering a broad range of science.

There is no tuition fee for this course, and you will be paid a bursary while you are studying.

Watch trainee teachers and a subject knowledge enhancement coordinator explain what a subject knowledge enhancement course is:

Course content

You will complete a series of units which will equip you with essential subject knowledge, ahead of a one-year initial teacher training (ITT) course.

This course runs for up to 36 weeks and will complete in time to ensure that you are ready to start your ITT in September.

Teaching and assessment

We use a wide variety of teaching and learning methods that include lectures, independent work, distance learning, directed tasks, written assignments and presentations. We encourage you to undertake voluntary work experience in a school.

Information about our policies relating to student experience and quality assurance processes can be found on the Academic Services website.

Facilities & location

Course location

The course is a blend of on campus and distance learning. When on Campus you will be based in Forster Building on City Campus, just a few minutes from the main Murray Library and close to Sunderland city centre. It’s a very vibrant and supportive environment with excellent resources for teaching and learning.

University Library Services

We’ve got thousands of books and e-books on education topics, with many more titles available through the inter-library loan service. We also subscribe to a comprehensive range of print and electronic journals. Resources include the EBSCO Professional Development Collection, which is a specialised collection of over 500 education journals.

Learning Environment

Sunderland has a rich heritage in scientific studies. We are fully plugged into relevant industry bodies, with strong links and an exchange of ideas and people. Our vibrant learning environment helps ensure a steady stream of scientists who are well-trained and ready to contribute in a variety of fields.


Forster Building

City Campus, Chester Road,
Sunderland, SR1 3SD

Entry requirements

We usually require applicants to hold the following:

  • An honours degree (at least a 2:2) along with an A Level, or equivalent, in a relevant science subject

You should also have a place on a course for initial teacher training and fully met the conditions for entry.

If English is not your first language, please see our English language requirements.

Fees & finance

The course carries no charge for UK and EU students and is not available for international students.

If you are not sure whether you qualify as a UK, EU or International student, please see the International section of this website.

Employment & careers

There is currently a shortage of science teachers, and so there are excellent career opportunities both in the North East and nationwide, once you have Qualified Teacher Status (QTS).

This course enhances your subject knowledge, making it easier to complete a PGCE and achieve QTS.

The starting salary of an NQT is over £22,000, with extra if you work in London. Teachers see their salaries rise by an average of 30 per cent after their first four years in the job.

NQT's talk about how TES helps PGCE students get their first teaching job:


Support for your learning

From the start of the course you will be allocated a Personal Tutor who will meet with you at agreed times throughout your course. Personal Tutors encourage your personal development and are a useful point of contact for any queries about your course, extracurricular activities and issues where they can point you towards specialist services at the University. These include student counselling, financial advice and chaplaincy support.

Support for your development

To help ensure the course is meeting aspirations for personal development, we invite students to fill in questionnaires at the end of modules. This provides a structured way for you to keep us up-to-date with your views.

During your course, and particularly towards the end of it, we encourage you to make full use of the resources at our Careers & Employability Service. The Service helps you explore your options, clarify your ideas, develop a career focus and make effective applications.

Extracurricular activities

The University supports student-led initiatives that enhance the extracurricular activities available to you. Some of these are related to particular subjects while others allow you to pursue interests and social activities. It’s all part of the vibrant and life-changing atmosphere at the University of Sunderland.

For more information about all the support services you will have access to as a Sunderland student, please see Student support and guidance.

Apply for this course

To apply for this course, download the Course application form (.pdf). Information on how to complete the form and where to send it can be found on the form.

    Next Open Day

  • For further information on future postgraduate events, please contact the Student Helpline on +44 (0)191 515 3000.

Contact Sunderland

Programme Leader:
Rob Hughes

Contact the recruitment team for further information about studying at the University of Sunderland:

Recruitment Team
Telephone: 0191 515 3000 

The details

Course Name Science Education (Chemistry, Physics, Other Science)
Classification Subject Knowledge Enhancement
Course Mode Full-time
Course Level Postgraduate
Duration 8-36 weeks
Study Location On-campus (Sunderland)
Starting To be confirmed
UK/EU Fee £No charge
Intl Fee £Unavailable

Entry requirements

Honours degree (2:2 or above), and relevant teaching requirements

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