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Funding for training to teach physics

If you’re successful in your application to teach physics, you could be eligible for the highest band of training bursaries. These are tax-free and can be as much as £30,000 – alternatively you could earn a salary while you train on School Direct (salaried) or with Teach First. 

About the bursaries

The amount of funding you could get is dependent on your degree class. Trainee physics teachers could be entitled to a tax-free bursary worth:

  • £30,000 with a first-class degree or a PhD
  • £25,000 with a 2:1, 2:2 or Master’s degree
  • £9,000 if you have a degree in a relevant subject that is lower than a 2:2, and have a grade B or above in physics at A level (or equivalent)

About the Institute of Physics scholarships

Prestigious physics scholarships reward the most gifted individuals, giving you the chance to become part of a large physics community and plenty of opportunities for professional and academic development. You’ll be invited to networking events with fellow scholars, newly qualified teachers and physics specialists. You’ll also get free IOP membership and mentoring support from a specialist physics teacher for up to two years. 

If you’re awarded a scholarship, you are guaranteed £30,000 to support you throughout your teacher training year. Apply for a scholarship via the IOP website to see if you could get access to a valuable support network on your journey to becoming a teacher.

Earn a salary while you train

School Direct (salaried)

If you have three or more years of work experience in any field, you could earn a salary while you train on a School Direct (salaried) programme. This year a number of schools are offering an enhanced salary of more than £21,000 nationally and £25,000 in inner London to trainees in physics. The cost of your training to achieve QTS is covered by the school – you should enquire with the school before you apply to check if they are offering this higher rate and whether this also includes a PGCE. 

If your degree isn’t in the subject you wish to teach, you may be eligible for a funded course to increase your subject knowledge before starting your training. 

Teach First

If you’re a graduate or career changer and have a 2:1 or above, you could also earn a salary while you train with Teach First.

How you will be paid

Bursaries and scholarships 

If you qualify for a bursary, the payments will be processed automatically by the school(s) or university leading your training. Bursary awards of up to £15,000 will be made in equal monthly instalments for the duration of your course; the organisation leading your training will confirm the exact payment details. 

Bursaries of more than £15,000 will also be paid in equal monthly instalments for the duration of the course, but these will be enhanced by larger payments in February and July, or in the final month of your course. The payment schedule for scholarships is generally similar to that of bursaries. The schools and universities that lead teacher training make the final decision on trainees’ eligibility for financial support – so it’s worth asking what might be available to you before you apply.

If you are not eligible for a bursary, you can still access standard student loans and/or grants to help fund your training and cover tuition fees. 

If you have a degree from outside the UK, you should refer to the overseas degree equivalency table to see the bursary your degree may attract. Make sure you contact your preferred training provider as they make the final judgement on equivalency. You also need to be eligible for a bursary based on your nationality and residency status. Contact your training provider or Student Finance England to find out if you will be eligible for a bursary and student finance.

School Direct (salaried) programme

If you are accepted on the School Direct (salaried) programme you will be paid a salary by the school you are employed by. Salary arrangements should be discussed with your employing school.

To find out more, you can call us on Freephone 0800 389 2500.

Charlotte reflects on the feeling she gets when year 7 students see her lab for the first time. Transcript (PDF, 75KB)

As I had no money worries due to having a bursary, all that mattered was focusing on studies and becoming an effective teacher. 

Neil Simpkins, physics trainee

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