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.
If you're on a salaried teacher training course, such as the School Direct salaried route or Teach First, trainees are treated as employees from the beginning. This means that you'll earn a salary while you train, and so won't be entitled to the financial support detailed on this page.
The amount of funding you receive for teacher training depends on:
- your degree classification or highest relevant academic qualification
- the subject you have chosen to teach
- where you live and plan to study
- your personal circumstances.
Teaching bursaries for training in England
To encourage graduates to teach certain subjects, bursaries are available in England. You'll need a first, 2:1, 2:2, Masters or PhD to be eligible for a bursary. Certain eligibility requirements depend on the subject and age range you plan to teach and your degree class. Bursaries are only available if you're on a course leading to Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) and are not currently employed as a teacher.
An alternative to a bursary, teaching scholarships of £26,000 are available to fund your teacher training in physics, maths, chemistry, computing, languages or geography in England, in partnership with highly regarded professional subject associations. Each of the professional scholarship bodies sets its own eligibility criteria.
To find out more, see:
- chemistry - RSC Teacher Training Scholarships
- computer science - BCS Teaching Scholarships
- mathematics - Mathematics Teacher Training Scholarships
- physics - IOP Teacher Training Scholarships
For more detailed information on bursaries and scholarships see Get into Teaching - Bursaries and Funding.
Teaching bursaries for training in Wales
Welsh teacher training incentives are up to £20,000, dependent on the subject and age range you plan to teach and your degree class. The following bursaries are available in Wales:
- £20,000 for postgraduate secondary courses in maths, physics, chemistry, Welsh or computer science if you have a first, Masters of PhD.
- £15,000 for postgraduate secondary courses in modern foreign languages, if you have a first, Masters of PhD.
- £10,000 for postgraduate secondary courses in maths, physics, chemistry, Welsh or computer science if you have a 2:1.
- £6,000 for postgraduate secondary courses in modern foreign languages, if you have a 2:1.
- £3,000 for postgraduate secondary courses in design and technology, English, biology, history, RE, art, physical education, music, drama, business studies, outdoor studies, general science or geography if you have a first, Masters of PhD.
Additional teacher training incentives of £3,000 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 Student Finance Wales.
Funding in other regions of the UK
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 (NI) is broadly similar to that for students from England. The type of funding you're entitled to depends on the training route you choose. Universities and colleges decide what's available, but those based in NI have to offer a minimum payment to students who get the full maintenance grant and/or pay the maximum tuition fees. See NI Direct - Initial Teacher Training for more information.
Salaried teacher training
On the Graduate Teacher Programme Wales (GTP), School Direct salaried and the Postgraduate Teaching Apprenticeship 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.
Alternatively, if you're a graduate or career changer with a 2:1 or above you could earn a salary by training with Teach First. For more information, see routes into teaching.
There is also the early years 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 - it doesn't matter if you already have a student loan from your undergraduate degree. You can still apply for this loan to support your teacher training. You won't repay a penny until you're working and earning. The repayment threshold is £19,390 per year (or £26,575 for English and Welsh students who started their undergraduate course on or after 1 September 2012). 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 one year postgraduate teacher training course in 2020/21 could be eligible for maintenance loan and/or tuition fee loans. Tuition fee loans up to £9,250 are available to cover course costs, while maintenance loans up to £12,010 are available to help with living costs. Students with children or a disability can apply for further funding from Student Finance - this could include the Childcare Grant, Parents' Learning Allowance, Adult Dependents' grants and Disabled Students' Allowance, which don't have to be paid back. European Union (EU) students could also 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.
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. In 2020/21 postgraduate students in England, Wales and Northern Ireland can get a single allowance of up to £20,580 a year. Scottish students may get more, with full-time students receiving a basic allowance of up to £1,725, a large items allowance of £5,160 and a non-medical personal help allowance of up to £20,520.
Find out more about Disabled Students' Allowances.