Natalie Wilkinson

 As well as refreshing my subject knowledge I also got a big confidence boost from the course.”

“It was while working as a teaching assistant that I decided to become a secondary school biology teacher. I chose Edge Hill University for my Science (Biology) PGCE, partly because it is near my home but mainly because of its excellent reputation for teacher training.

I hadn’t studied biology past GCSE, but my BSc (Hons) Psychology degree had a considerable amount on human biology and working scientifically, so my PGCE interviewers were confident that I had the potential to teach the subject. However, I needed to refresh my knowledge so enrolled on a six-month subject knowledge enhancement (SKE) Biology course.

My classes were mainly practical sessions with lots of experimentation, which I really enjoyed. The time between classes was spent studying the theoretical aspect, with lots of support via email from my tutors who were all really friendly and professional.

As well as refreshing my subject knowledge I also got a big confidence boost from the course. I know I would have struggled to teach a class of top set Year 11 pupils without the confidence in my teaching abilities that the course helped me to develop.

My SKE course also prepared me for my PGCE. It had been five years since I graduated, so it helped get me back into the routine of studying, writing essays and university life in general.

It was difficult at first because I was working full time and found the SKE study demands really intense, but luckily I was able to apply for a bursary which allowed me to drop some hours in work and focus more on my studies.

My advice if you are going back to university is to consider your work-life balance and put time aside for your course to ensure you get the most from the experience.”

To find out more about studying this programme, please view full course information for Subject Knowledge Enhancement Biology.