Computing SKE

Subject Knowledge Enhancement (SKE) Computing (Secondary)

Year of entry

Our SKE Computing courses are tailored to your individual subject knowledge needs, with the flexibility of studying online for 8, 12, 16 or 20 weeks.

Courses are free for those eligible for funding (see 'Funding and Fees' section below).

The online SKE booster courses are designed to:

  • strengthen and enhance your existing knowledge;
  • prepare you for your future training;
  • give you confidence in another subject area.

Study is flexible and can fit around your lifestyle and commitments. There will be live video tutorials with an experienced specialist to help you to progress through the online content and tasks. The course will help you to:

  • upgrade and expand your subject knowledge;
  • develop an understanding of how your subject works;
  • develop an understanding of the key concepts and processes;
  • promote and develop independent learning skills;
  • improve your ability to identify and address your learning needs.

The SKE courses are designed for those due to embark on their Initial Teacher Training (ITT) who need to strengthen their existing subject knowledge. A certificate of completion is provided that you can forward to your training provider when you have finished the course.


  • If you are a serving teacher, you should check with your Teaching School Alliance (TSA) to determine if they will commission us to provide you with access to the SKE course materials.
  • The SKE may also be of interest to others who feel they would benefit from completing a course, but do not match the entry requirements for funding. See 'Funding and Fees' section below.

The Computing Subject Knowledge Enhancement course, through a blend of self-directed learning and online tutorials, aims to:

  • Refresh, consolidate and improve subject knowledge;
  • Develop computational thinking;
  • Develop an awareness of a specialist subject in real-life contexts;
  • Promote and develop independent learning skills, improve meta-cognitive skills and develop your ability to identify and address your own learning needs

The course will cover the full requirements for the National Curriculum Programme of Study in Computing from Key Stages 3-4, introducing you to the requirements for Key Stage 5. Wherever possible, all material encountered is linked to good classroom practice and appropriate pedagogy.

Programming and programming techniques are the core of the new curriculum; however, you will also gain a deeper understanding of the tools and techniques that encapsulate the main tenets of computer science:

  • Computational thinking
  • Abstraction
  • Decomposition
  • Algorithmic thinking
  • The place of computing in the 21st century workplace
  • The impact of design and creative decisions.

Sample Course material

How the course works

All course content is accessed online through the University’s Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) and consists of the following:

  • An initial audit to help you plan the areas of study on which you wish to focus. This also provides a baseline from which to measure your progress.
  • Online, regular ‘Live’ tutorials with the subject tutor at fixed times during the week.
  • Online ‘on-demand’ sessions, resources and associated tasks that can be accessed at any time.
  • An online e-Portfolio where you collect the evidence of your work, assessed by the tutor at the end of the course.
  • A final audit which will demonstrate the progress you have made at the end of the course.

The on-demand material is supported by the online tutorials which use a problem-solving approach and ideas and concepts are revisited throughout the course. These weekly video conferences are scheduled in groups with a tutor who is an experienced specialist in the subject.

You will need a headset with an inbuilt microphone and USB connection to enable you to participate fully in the live tutorials.

Subject Knowledge Enhancement Course Dates, 2017-2018

The number of places available on each cohort is subject to The National College for Teaching and Leadership allocations.

All Pre-ITT courses

(All start and end dates fall on a Saturday.)

No Dates are available

Post-ITT (Serving Teachers)

Course length and start and end dates are by arrangement with your school.


For eligible pre-ITT applicants, a limited number of places on these courses are fully funded by the National College for Teaching and Leadership (NCTL). We deal with the funding request directly from your application information.

For serving teachers, funding must be secured via the Teaching School Alliances (TSA) who will then pay us direct for your access to the SKE materials.

So that we can confirm whether or not you are eligible for NCTL course funding for this pre-ITT SKE course, you must:

  • have accepted a conditional offer of a place on a Postgraduate Initial Teacher Training programme in the same subject area as the SKE subject area of study. For SKE Primary Mathematics the offer must be for a Primary Mathematics Specialism or Primary Mathematics Specialist Initial Teacher Training programme.
    For all courses you must also have the completion of an SKE course as a requirement of your conditional offer.
    Evidence of the requirement to complete an SKE by the appropriate ITT provider will need to be provided as part of the application process.
  • not be undertaking or apply for any other Pre-ITT SKE courses with any other providers during the same academic year
  • be a Home or EU student and not classed as an overseas fee paying PGCE, School Direct or SCITT student
  • not be employed as a teacher, already hold Qualified Teacher Status or be eligible to be awarded QTS
  • hold a minimum honours degree classification of 2:2 or equivalent, except for Physics and Maths.
    Students who are studying on a Maths or Physics SKE with a 3rd class relevant degree and a B at A Level in the subject they are studying may be entitled to a bursary. Students with overseas qualifications will be required to provide a NARIC statement and transcripts clearly showing that their qualification is equivalent to a Bachelor Degree with Honours at a 2:2 or above or a 3rd in a relevant degree with a B at A level in Maths, further Maths or Physics as appropriate.

Tuition fees (for non-funded places)
Applicants who do not meet the criteria for a funded place will need to pay the appropriate tuition fee for the course length they wish to study.

Contact us for the self-funded fee rates.

Training bursaries are available for those who meet the NCTL criteria for an SKE bursary in their chosen subject. Those starting an SKE course after 26th January 2017 and before 31st July 2017 will be assessed for a bursary which will be the equivalent of £200 per week of study on the SKE course. All students who enrol on an SKE course will be assessed against the criteria to determine their eligibility. Further details on the eligibility criteria available in the bursary guidance.

For full information, read our SKE Bursary Guidance (pdf)

To apply for funding and a bursary, you will need to submit the following:

A certificate of successful completion is given to those who show progress, submit the required evidence and engage throughout the course. NB: This is a non-credit-bearing course.

Course activity and engagement with online tutorials is monitored by our software and is compulsory.

Progress in the course is demonstrated in part by the difference between an initial audit and a final audit score. A portfolio of set tasks also demonstrates your learning progression and is assessed at the end of the course. This can serve as evidence towards Standard 3 of the QTS Teaching Standards.

You are expected to spend a minimum average of 25 hours a week working on the course.

The following are needed for the course:

  • A desktop or laptop personal computer (Windows PC or Mac);
  • A stable, reliable internet connection.
  • A headset with a USB connection that incorporates a microphone.
    (You will need this to enable you to participate fully in the live tutorials.)
  • Access to a smartphone/digital camera or scanner to capture handwritten evidence for the online portfolio.

For further details: Minimum Required Computer Specification (pdf)

Please note: if you do not have the equipment listed, you will need to purchase it as funding is not available for IT equipment.

  • Introduction to Virtual Programming Language
  • Introduction to Computational Thinking
  • Getting to Grips with Computing - an Introduction
  • Numbers and Programming
  • Character Sets and Character Encoding
  • Advanced Number - Dealing with Negative Binary Numbers
  • Dice Adventure in Python - building the program
  • Peripheral Devices
  • Systems Development Life Cycle
  • Implications of Computer Use
  • Investigating and Testing
  • MB to Mb Converter
  • Validation and Verification
  • Hardware - Processor Components
  • Data Transmission and Testing
  • Recursion and Iteration
  • Human Computer Interaction (HCI)
  • Software
  • Translators
  • Essential Mathematics Skills

You can view some Sample Course material.

Please contact us for further information or if you have any questions.

Fact file


  • 8, 12, 16 or 20 weeks, online

Entry requirements

  • Pre-ITT: You must have accepted a conditional offer of an ITT place where the conditions indicate an SKE course must be completed.

    Post-ITT (serving teachers): Places must be requested through a group of Teaching School Alliances (TSAs) that have secured the funding for courses this year. The TSA can then commission us to provide access to the SKE course materials.

    Other: We can provide our SKE courses to candidates who can't secure a free place but would still benefit from completing a course.

    Further information: Please contact us for further details.


  • Online


More about

Print or share this page

Last edited: 28/04/2017 14:30:00