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How to Fund a PGCE

Want to study for a Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) but not sure about your options? You’re not alone. It can be confusing figuring out what funding options you are eligible for and how to pay tuition fees while keeping up with the costs of living during your time studying to become a teacher. To put your mind at ease, there are some good funding opportunities for students looking to help educate the next generation, which we have gathered here in this very article. Take a look at funding avenues to help you on your way to gaining a PGCE, including loans, bursaries and more. 


A PGCE is one of the postgraduate courses eligible for Student Finance. This means that a tuition fee loan from the government is payable directly to the university in exactly the same way as an undergraduate tuition loan. A maintenance loan of up to £12,662 is also available to help with living costs – how much you receive for your maintenance loan depends on where you’ll be studying and your household income. You will eventually be paying the loan back at a small interest rate, but you won’t begin to do so until you’re earning over a threshold amount. 

However, if you’re an international student, the availability of Student Finance becomes trickier, and you’ll need to phone them up to confirm what funding is available to you. 


A bursary is a chunk of money paid to you without needing to be paid back. You may be eligible for a bursary from the government dependent on the subject you are looking to teach. You’ll need a 2:2 or higher bachelor’s degree, a master’s or a PhD in the subject to qualify for this bursary. More terms and conditions about qualifying for this bursary can be found on the website.  

At the moment, the subjects below are the only ones where you can receive this bursary... 

Subject Bursary
Chemistry £27,000
Physics £27,000
Computing £27,000
Maths £27,000
Languages £25,000
Geography £25,000
Biology £20,000
Design and Technology £20,000
English £15,000



Similarly, some people will be able to receive a scholarship if they are looking to teach a certain subject. These scholarships do not need to be repaid, but keep in mind that you can’t get both a bursary and scholarship. The scholarships are offered by independent institutions, and each one has their own set of criteria for eligibility, though most are looking for at least a 2:1 undergraduate degree (or a 2:2 degree with significant experience). More information about these scholarships can be found on the relevant institution's website. 

At the moment, scholarships are available for the following subjects... 

Subject Scholarship Institution
Chemistry  £29,000 The Royal Society of Chemistry
Computing  £29,000 BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT
Maths  £29,000 The Institute of Mathematics and its Applications
Physics  £29,000 The Institute of Physics
Languages* £27,000 The British Council


*French, German and Spanish only

Local Grants 

For some, area-specific funding options are feasible, but these largely depend on your nationality. 

In Wales, there are teacher training incentives that gives graduates with certain degrees incentives if they want to train in order to become a teacher in Wales. There are also Welsh Medium Grants to support trainees who wish to teach in Welsh but require additional linguistic support. 

In Scotland, Living Cost loans can be drawn up to a maximum of £4,500 from Student Finance Scotland.  

School Direct 

Another option is to take a School Direct (salaried) course, in which you are employed, with a salary, as an unqualified teacher. You’ll be conducting your studies alongside your new job, so it’s a lot to take on, but some students prefer it as they feel better prepared as a result of learning on the job. You won’t need to pay tuition fees, though you won’t be eligible for a bursary or scholarship. 

School Direct (non-salaried) courses are also an option, where you will be doing teacher training at a university or college partnered with the school that you are based at. You won’t be employed by the school and you will have to pay tuition fees, but you may be eligible for student loans and bursaries or scholarships. 

Whichever School Direct route you choose, make sure you check with your school if the Initial Teaching Training qualification received from the course includes a PGCE. Most of them do include a PGCE, but not all of them will, as some prefer to offer equivalent qualifications. 

Next: Search for PGCE courses


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