Training to be a teacher can be a big investment and you need to consider course and living costs, which can vary between programmes and regions of the UK. Find out what financial help is available…
Across the UK, Initial Teacher Education trainees (ITET) are entitled to the same student finance as undergraduates. Government Masters loans aren't available but there are lots of other options for PGCE funding.
School Direct salaried trainees are on paid teacher training from the beginning, as are others such as trainees on Teach First, some early year’s teacher programmes and those working in the post compulsory sector.
The amount of funding you receive will depend on:
- your degree classification or highest relevant academic qualification
- the subject you have chosen to teach
- which ITET route you have chosen
- where you live and plan to study
- your personal circumstances.
To encourage graduates to teach certain subjects non repayable bursaries of up to £25,000 are available in England. Eligibility depends on the subject and age range you plan to teach and your degree class. It's only available if you’re on a course leading to Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) and are not currently employed as a teacher.
Subjects covered by the bursary are:
- certain languages
- design and technology
Tax-free bursaries are offered for trainee primary teachers with a first or PhD and there are higher financial incentives for primary maths specialist trainees with a 2:2 or above.
For more detailed information on bursaries and scholarships see Get into Teaching - Bursaries and Funding.
Welsh teacher incentives are up to £20,000, dependent on the subject and age range you plan to teach and your degree class. Priority subjects for 2017/18 are maths, physics, chemistry, Welsh, modern languages and computer sciences. Teacher incentives are offered for trainee primary teachers with a first with higher awards for primary English, Welsh, mathematics and science specialist trainees. For more information, see Teacher Training Wales.
For advice on funding in Scotland and to see if you're eligible visit the Student Awards Agency for Scotland (SAAS).
Funding in Northern Ireland is broadly similar to that for students from England, go to Student Finance Northern Ireland for more information.
Teaching scholarships of up to £30,000 are available for PGCE funding in physics, maths, chemistry, computing, languages or geography in partnership with highly regarded professional subject associations. These competitive scholarships are aimed at those with a first or 2:1 degree. Applicants with a 2:2 and extensive experience can apply.
To find out more, see:
- Chemistry - RSC Teacher Training Scholarships
- Computer science - BCS Teaching Scholarships
- Geography - Royal Geographical Society (with IBG)
- Languages - British Council
- Mathematics - Mathematics Teacher Training Scholarships
- Physics - IOP Teacher Training Scholarships
On the Graduate Teacher Programme Wales (GTP) and School Direct salaried route, you will be a paid member of staff and training costs to gain QTS will be covered by the school. This may also include a PGCE. Your salary will depend on the school you train in and what subject you're teaching.
There is also the early year’s teacher status (EYTS) graduate employment-based route which is a one-year part-time route for graduates working in an early years setting. The salary is set by the employer.
Tuition fee loans
Tuition fee loans are paid directly to your university or college. You don't repay it until you’re working and earning, the repayment threshold is £21,000 per year. If you live in Scotland and are planning to do your training there, you don't normally need to pay tuition fees. To check your eligibility, visit:
- Student Finance England
- Student Finance Northern Ireland
- Student Finance Scotland
- Student Finance Wales
UK students starting a PGCE/PGDE one year course in 2017/18 could be eligible for maintenance loan and/or tuition fee loans. Students with children can apply for dependant’s grants.
European Union (EU) students will be eligible for a range of tuition fee loans, bursaries and scholarships
Details about these grants and the funding arrangements for trainees from the EU can be found at GOV.UK.
Professional and Career Development Loans (PCDL)
Students can apply for a PCDL three months before the start of their course to receive between £300 and £10,000 for fees and maintenance costs. You have to have been resident in the UK for three years prior to starting the course and plan to work in the UK/EU after the course. Competition can be fierce, so you need to apply as early as possible.
Disabled Students' Allowance (DSA)
DSA is paid in addition to other student finance to help pay the extra costs you may incur because of your disability. It doesn't have to be repaid, depends on your individual needs and is not assessed according to your household income. Postgraduate students can get a single allowance of up to £10,652 a year. Find out more about disability-related funding.