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 £25,000 – the equivalent of a pre-tax and national insurance salary of more than £30,000. The Institute of Physics also offers academically and professionally prestigious scholarships for trainee teachers with top degrees.

Financial support for physics candidates

Trainee physics teachers with a first, PhD, 2:1 or Master’s degree are eligible for funding of £25,000. This support is available in two forms:

  • through successfully applying for a scholarship from the Institute of Physics, or
  • through a training bursary, available to all eligible candidates

If you have a 2:2, you’ll be eligible for a bursary of £15,000. There are also £9,000 bursaries available if you hold a relevant degree and at least an A or B at A level in physics. Trainees will not be entitled to this bursary if they are also entitled to a higher bursary based on degree class. 

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 £25,000 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.

How you will be paid

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

Bursaries of £15,000 or more 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. Again, you should speak to the school(s) or university leading your training to confirm the exact details.

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.

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. 

To find out more, you can speak to a Teaching Line adviser 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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