The University of Southampton
Southampton Education School

SKE Mathematics Subject Knowledge Enhancement

To be ready for the challenges of teacher training, not to mention the classroom, your subject knowledge and understanding of it has to be of a sufficient standard. If your degree subject is not close enough to the subject you want to teach, you can take additional training before your initial teacher training (ITT).

Introducing your course

Do you enjoy mathematics and would like to teach it but have insufficient mathematics for direct entry to our PGCE? Would you like to help young people develop their confidence, skills and understanding in mathematics? Take our mathematics Subject Knowledge Enhancement Course prior to your teacher training and gain the depth and breadth of knowledge, skills and understanding you need to make the most of your PGCE in order to become a confident and inspiring mathematics teacher.


Pre-initial teacher training enhancement courses are intensive programmes for graduates who need to develop a greater depth of subject understanding prior to training for qualified teacher status. Enhancement courses are suitable for graduates with experience of the subject to at least A-level standard. This is a specifically-developed course which will equip you with the necessary skills and subject knowledge to teach mathematics across the 11-16 age range.

The Mathematics Enhancement Course at the University of Southampton is 28 weeks long. It begins in February with on-line activities and some school related work. Teaching sessions, based in on the Highfield campus, begin in February with further on-line support and finish in August.

To Apply

You should apply in the usual way for an initial teacher training (ITT) course - in this case, PGCE - through UCAS Teacher Training. You should indicate in your application that you are interested in doing a subject knowledge enhancement course ahead of the standard PGCE.

Fees and funding

You will not have to pay any fees to complete an enhancement course. A bursary may be available for the 28 weeks' duration, funded by the NCTL. The funding arrangements for your subsequent initial teacher training are the same as for all trainees on one year PGCE courses.


For further information on this programme, email the ITE office or telephone: 023 8059 2413. You can find general information on teaching as a career, including the criteria for QTS, on the Department for Education website.

Programme tutor: Ros Hyde

Key Facts

Upon your successful completion of the course, you are expected to go straight into an initial teacher training course leading to qualified teacher status (QTS).

Entry Requirements

Typical entry requirements

GCSEGCSE in Mathematics and in English Language at grade C or above, or the equivalent qualifications.
A Levels:
GCE A-levelA good pass in Mathematics.

If you have a good A level in mathematics but minimal or no mathematics content in your degree, you will need to take Subject Knowledge Enhancement (SKE) prior to the PGCE. The SKE course may also be suitable for those with A level equivalent mathematics study. For further advice please contact the PGCE mathematics team.

If you already have a mathematics degree or a degree with substantial mathematics content, for example engineering, you can apply direct to the PGCE Mathematics course.

Selection process

Intake: 25 (2013-14)

Selection for PGCE with preliminary SKE is in most respects identical to selection for direct entry to Mathematics PGCE.

You will be invited for interview on the following basis:

  1. your application shows good prior knowledge from study and/or
  2. it shows good experience has been gained through observation in a school or college or from working with young people and/or
  3. it is well written and persuasive.

The selection criteria applied are

  • enthusiasm and good subject knowledge and/or ability to learn further
  • good knowledge of educational issues and a strong sense of the professional demands
  • good interpersonal skills and an ability to communicate effectively (oral and written).

A good academic reference must also be provided from your most recent university or college or from an employer (where you have been away from studying for some time). All places offered will be conditional on enhanced CRB and health checks.

This page contains specific entry requirements for this course. Find out about equivalent entry requirements and qualifications for your country.


Typical course content

This intensive course starts by recapping the 'tricky' topics at Higher level GCSE and also covers a substantial amount of statistics, this subsequently leads onto the AS level work and other topics in pure mathematics. In addition, it includes some applied mathematics including an introduction to A level Statistics and some Mechanics work. There are also opportunities to work with pupils in schools and post-16, including a two week school placement. Assessment is through a portfolio of tasks, practice questions and examination.

During the course you will have the opportunity to spend two week observing lessons in schools and/or colleges. During this time you will have the opportunity to deliver a topic to a small group of pupils. Throughout the course you will be able to develop your subject knowledge in mathematics through a range of approaches: we offer workshops, micro-teaching activities, independent and group research, and the opportunity to use some of the wide range of teaching resources currently available; published schemes, worksheets, calculators, interactive whiteboards and software packages.

Please note: This specification provides a concise summary of the main features of the programme and the learning outcomes that a typical student might reasonably be expected to achieve and demonstrate if s/he takes full advantage of the learning opportunities that are provided. More detailed information can be found in the programme handbook (or other appropriate guide or website).

Fees & funding

Tuition fees

Fees for postgraduate taught courses vary across the University. All fees are listed for UK, EU and international full-time and part-time students alphabetically by course name.

View the full list of course fees

Scholarships, bursaries, sponsorships or grants may be available to support you through your course. Funding opportunities available to you are linked to your subject area and/or your country of origin. These can be from the University of Southampton or other sources.

Explore funding opportunities

Costs associated with this course

Students are responsible for meeting the cost of essential textbooks, and of producing such essays, assignments, laboratory reports and dissertations as are required to fulfil the academic requirements for each programme of study.

In some cases you'll be able to choose modules (which may have different costs associated with that module) which will change the overall cost of a programme to you. Please also ensure you read the section on additional costs in the University’s Fees, Charges and Expenses Regulations in the University Calendar available at

Learning & Assessment

Study locations

EEE Building

Highfield Campus, Southampton Education School (B32, B34)

The Southampton Education School is based on the Highfield Campus, in ...Find out more

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