What Funding Could I Access on a PGCE Secondary Course?

What Funding Could I Access on a PGCE Secondary Course?

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  

Salary Increase 

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

Shortage Subjects/SKEs

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*:  

  • Chemistry  
  • Computing  
  • Maths 
  • Physics  
  • Classics  
  • Languages 
  • Biology  

*Shortage Subjects correct at time of writing (June 2022)  

If you train to teach in chemistry, computing, maths or physics you could be eligible for up to £26,000 over the ten-month training period. Specialising in languages or geography could entitle you to £15, 000 over the same period, and biology provides around £10, 000 in tax-free bursary.  

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.  

* For shortage subjects as a ‘condition’ of an offer for a place on a PGCE 

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:  

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.

Search Secondary PGCE Courses