The University of Southampton
Southampton Education School

SKE Computer Sciences Subject Knowledge Enhancement

To be ready for the challenges of teacher training and teaching the developing Computing curriculum, your subject knowledge and understanding of information technology and computer science has to be of a sufficient standard.

Introducing your course

Do you want to teach Computer Science but don't have a Computer Science degree or A level qualification? Want to change your life with a career that will see you providing children with an invaluable digital and computing education that will ensure their future employment? Take the SKE Computer Science Subject Knowledge Enhancement course and gain the essential skills you need to make the most of the PGCE and become a Computer Science teacher. There is no better gateway course for preparing you for the challenges of teacher training in Computer Science.


Our new SKE programme in Computer Science is a course for graduates who need to develop a greater depth of subject understanding prior to training for qualified teacher status. We have specifically developed our 12 week programme of face-to-face, online and in-school activities starting in May to equip you with the necessary skills and subject knowledge to teach the computer science elements of Computing across the 11-18 age range.

For more information about SKE, please visit What is subject knowledge enhancement SKE in Computer Science blog page.

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 12 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. The BCS offer a £25000 scholarship to some applicants - Academy of Computing website. Contact for advice.


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: Dr Cynthia Selby

Programme Structure


The aims and outcomes will focus upon developing attendees’ competences in the subject content criteria required for Key Stage 3, Key Stage 4, and Post-16 programmes of study in Computing. Indicative content includes:

  • Computational thinking (decomposition, abstraction, algorithm development, generalisation, and evaluation)
  • Programming in graphical and text environments
  • Number representation (binary, hexadecimal)
  • Von Neumann architecture and the fetch, decode, execute cycle
  • Networking (addressing, routing, and security)
  • Logic gates, Boolean logic, and truth tables

Resources currently in use in schools will be utilised to provide both good subject knowledge and good pedagogic knowledge. 


Key Facts

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What is a SKE?

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) through Subject Knowledge Enhancement programmes (SKE).

Entry Requirements

Typical entry requirements

GCSEGCSE in Mathematics and in English Language at grade C or above, or the equivalent qualifications. This is a government requirement, and ‘equivalent qualifications’ are as designated by the PGCE admissions team (IELTS qualifications are not considered equivalent).
Selection process

Intake: 10 (2014-15)

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 DBS 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

Typical course content

The 12 weeks course will focus upon the skills related to programming and the embedding of computer science concepts.

The attendees will be able to code competently in at least two programming languages, demonstrate an understanding of and use of concepts such as selection, repetition, procedures, variables and relational operators. The attendees will breadth of knowledge set out GCE/GCSE Computing curriculum.

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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