Funding for Your PGCE

How to Fund Your PGCE

Teachers with the right skills are in high demand across the UK. Depending on your subject specialism, level of expertise, and training route, you could get paid while you train, qualify for a bursary, earn a scholarship for your studies or fund your PGCE with an interest-free loan.



If you are a high-achieving candidate with an interest in a subject with high demand, then you could fund your Initial Teacher Training year with a tax-free scholarship. Awarded by leading organisations such as the Royal Chemistry Society, successful applicants also receive additional benefits such as membership to the organisation and access to their facilities.

To take advantage of these tax-free programmes, you will need to apply directly to the funding organisation, independent of your PGCE course application. Funding providers include:

BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT –  Computing

Royal Society of Chemistry – Chemistry

Royal Geographical Society (with IBG) – Geography

British Council – Languages

Mathematics Teacher Training – Maths

Institute of Physics – Physics

Scholarships of £28,000 are currently available for those training to teach computing, chemistry, geography, languages and physics. For maths candidates who land an initial scholarship of £22,000, they will also receive two early career payments of £5,000 paid within the first 5 years of employment as a teacher.

Scholarships are not strictly designed to cover your tuition fees, but as they are paid to the individual applicant (not the educational organisation) they can be used for this purpose.


Like a grant, a bursary is a monetary contribution to your studies that you do not need to repay. If you are eligible then a bursary goes a long way towards making your PGCE affordable.

As of 2017/18, the bursary amounts range from £6,000 up to £26,000 and are offered based on the recipient’s subject specialism and level of knowledge. For example, if you’ve got a PhD or Master’s then you could qualify for more money than someone with a Bachelor’s degree. The size of the bursary also reflects which subjects are currently in national demand, with higher bursaries available for priority subjects.

Those with 1st, 2:1, 2:2, PhD or Master’s degrees, who are training to teach STEM subjects, are eligible for the largest bursaries. Qualified candidates for physics, chemistry, biology and computing could potentially receive £26,000 towards their PGCE year. Future geography teachers and trainees for languages or classics can also apply for these hefty bursaries.

In an effort to incentivise career commitment, bursaries for trainee maths teachers are offered at £20,000 for the PGCE year with the government promising additional ‘early-career payments ‘ of £5,000 in the third and fifth year of teaching.

Bursary amounts available for English teacher training or primary maths specialisms do not vary by quality of your degree. Whether you’ve a 1st, 2:1, 2:2, PhD or Master’s, your English PGCE bursary would be £15,000 and the primary maths specialism bursary would be £6,000.

For design and technology trainee teachers, your PhD or 1st degree makes you eligible for a £12,000 and your 2.1 or Master’s could help you secure a £9,000 teacher training bursary.

Finally, history, music and RE trainee teachers with PhD or 1st degrees can apply for £9,000 towards their PGCE course and 2.1 or Master’s could net a £4,000 bursary.

Additionally, the university delivering your PGCE programme may have bursaries available for those with financial needs.



All postgraduate teacher trainees are eligible for tuition fee and maintenance loans which contribute to training costs.  A tuition fee loan will cover the costs of your course fees. A maintenance loan helps with accommodation and other living costs with the amount you get being dependent on your household income and if you’re living with your parents. If you take out a student loan, then the cost of tuition won’t need to be repaid until you’re in employment and earning above £25,000.

Most UK students can apply for a Tuition Fee Loan and/or Maintenance Loan via Student Finance England. They have an online application process with a 6 week turn around.

If you’re an EU student in the UK purely to enrol in a teacher training course, then you will also be eligible to apply for a Tuition Fee Loan. Unfortunately, the Maintenance Loan is not available to EU students.


Learn on the Job

If a scholarship, bursary or loan, isn’t a good fit for you, then you may be interested in financing your teacher training as you work. Programmes like University of Exeter’s School Direct allow you to work in a school on an unqualified teacher’s wage as you study for your qualification.


Need help deciding which is the best path for you? Read more about fees and finance at the University of Exeter or get in touch.

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