Student Finance for PGCE
As when you study for an undergraduate degree, on a PGCE programme most applicants are eligible for student finance support provided by the UK government. This support includes a loan which covers all of your tuition fee - £9250 for your PGCE, as well as a maintenance loan, which takes into account your personal situation to provide the support you need to live comfortably whilst on your course. At the University of Cumbria, we have a dedicated money advice team who can provide bespoke guidance on making your PGCE student finance applications and help answer any queries.
University of Cumbria PGCE Scholarship
We offer a range of grants, scholarships, and bursaries to support low-income students, students from partnered organisations, those who go on to study a PGCE course, and more. If you are enrolling on university based PGCE programmes in Lancaster in September 2022 and are alumni of the University of Cumbria, University of Central Lancashire, University of Lancaster or Salford University are entitled to a £1,000 cash payment and up to £1,000 off accommodation fees. Additionally, this scholarship is open to individuals coming from Northern Ireland who are alumni of St Mary’s University College, Belfast or Stranmillis University College, Belfast. If you are enrolling on University based PGCE programmes in London and are alumni of Uiversity of Cumbria or Queen Mary’s University you are eligible for £1,000 cash payment and £200 cash towards travel. Find out more here.
“Before I joined the university, I was a passionate chemistry and science teacher working in 11-18 secondary schools for 20 years. I am equally passionate about training secondary teachers in all subjects. However, I am worried about the number of people thinking of becoming a teacher of what are described as shortage subjects (maths, physics, chemistry, computer science and to a slightly lesser extent geography, languages, and biology.) All these subjects are arguably, crucial to society and it needs passionate teachers to inspire children to be interested in pursuing them in school and beyond. If you are passionate about teaching and interested in teaching one of these subjects there is a wide range of financial support that can help afford to train.” – John Cawkwell, Interim Principal Lecturer for Secondary PGCE
Certain secondary PGCE subjects are classed as shortage subjects, this means that the UK government has identified gaps in the number of applicants training to become teachers in these subjects. The government offers tax free bursaries to attract people to train in these subject specialisms.
The DfE has announced the following changes to support for people training to be teachers for 2023-24:
- Mathematics, physics, chemistry and computing bursaries will increase from £24,000 to £27,000.
- Bursaries for languages and ancient languages will increase from £15,000 to £25,000.
- The geography bursary will increase from £15,000 to £25,000.
- The biology bursary will rise from £10,000 to £20,000.
- The design and technology bursary will rise to £20,000, up from £15,000.
- A bursary of £15,000 has been brought back for English.
There have been no announced changes to bursaries for art and design, business studies, history, music and religious education, which are currently given no funding.
You will need to have achieved a minimum of a second-class honours degree in a discipline which contains a substantial amount of the academic subject you will be teaching. However, if you would like to pursue one of the shortage subject areas, but do not hold a relevant degree, you could still enter the specialism. This route requires you to have achieved a minimum C at A-Level in the subject and the completion of a Subject Knowledge Enhancement (SKE) course. SKE courses are usually completed prior to starting your PGCE and can be completed flexibly online, meaning you can complete an SKE whilst still working in your current job or completing your undergraduate degree!
SKE’s run from early Spring to August each year and have various course lengths. The DfE funds SKE programmes in shortage subjects, meaning there are no fees associated with SKEs and what’s more many offer a bursary* meaning you actually benefit financially when you complete an SKE in a shortage subject.
As of September 2022, all teachers will experience a landmark increase in salaries. The starting salary for Early Career Teachers will see a 5-8.9% uplift, meaning that in 2022/2023 those teaching outside of London could begin their career earning £28,000 a year. The salary increase will aim to support those teachers at the beginning of their career, with an emphasis on the first five years of earning.
Find out more about teaching salary increases here.
External PGCE Scholarships and Bursaries
Beyond the PGCE funding provided by your chosen University or the Department for Education, individual subject bodies also provide initiatives to target teacher training in certain specialisms. Although you are not entitled to apply to both a DfE and an external PGCE bursary, the difference could be up to an extra £2000 over the ten-month period. From Chemistry and Maths, to Physics and IT, you could be eligible for £26,000 in tax-free bursary award whilst you train for your PGCE. Find out more:
- Royal Society of Chemistry Scholarships
- The Chartered Institute for IT Scholarships
- Mathematics Teacher Training Scholarships
- Institute of Physics Scholarships
Discover our PGCE Secondary Courses
At the University of Cumbria, we are proud that our trainee-teachers join us from a range of backgrounds and circumstances. Our PGCE programmes are designed to support you however you may need, from 1-1 support from your personal tutor to funding and financial support. We do all we can to help you get the most out of your training and grow into a confident educator who will make a difference in the lives of children and young people.