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, those doing teacher training 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, government bursaries are available in England. For 2023/24 these are:
- £27,000 for chemistry, computing, mathematics and physics
- £25,000 for geography
- £20,000 for biology, design and technology, and languages (including ancient languages)
- £15,000 for English.
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 are available to fund your teacher training:
- £29,000 for chemistry, computing, maths and physics
- £27,000 for languages (French, Spanish and German only).
Each of the professional scholarship bodies sets its own eligibility criteria and you’ll need to apply directly to them. To find out more, see:
- chemistry - Royal Society of Chemistry
- computer science - BCS, the Chartered Institute for IT
- languages - British Council
- mathematics - Institute of Mathematics and its Applications
- physics - Institute of Physics.
For more detailed information on bursaries and scholarships see Get into Teaching - Bursaries and Funding.
If you're studying a secondary maths or physics course that leads to qualified teacher status (QTS) then you may be eligible for a £9,000 bursary. You may also be eligible if you're studying an opt-in QTS course in secondary mathematics, physics, computing or languages.
How much you'll receive depends on when you started your QTS course. You don't get the bursary in each year of your study and will often receive it in the final year.
Teaching bursaries for training in Wales
The priority incentive scheme for 2022/23 will provide funding for the teachers that are most needed in Welsh schools. All students with a 2.2 or higher in, biology, chemistry, design and technology, information technology, mathematics, modern foreign languages (MFL), physics and Welsh will be entitled to receive an incentive of £15,000. Three payments will be made to eligible students during their ITE programme and early career. 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 employer sets the salary.
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 2022/23 are eligible for a 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 £12,667 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.
Undergraduate bursary for veterans
This is a £40,000 bursary for veterans who have left full-time employment in the British Army, Royal Air Force or Royal Navy and want to retrain as teachers. It's aimed at those wanting to teach secondary maths, biology, chemistry, physics, computing, or languages.
You'll need to:
- have served for at least four years
- be within five years of your discharge date at the start of the programme
- not already have an undergraduate degree
- meet the entry requirements for the degree course.
You will apply for the bursary at the same as applying for your course through UCAS. Whether you’re eligible will be decided by your training provider and they will pay the bursary directly to you. With or without the bursary, you can apply for a tuition fee and maintenance loan.
You'll receive £20,000 in each of the last two years of your course in equal monthly instalments. You will need to confirm the actual payment schedule with your teacher training provider.
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 2023/24, postgraduate students in England can receive a single allowance of up to £26,291, while students in Northern Ireland may be eligible for up to £25,000. Scottish students may get even 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. Welsh students can receive up to £33,146 for this academic year.
Find out more about Disabled Students' Allowances.