Publication - Factsheet

STEM teacher education bursary: eligibility criteria

Published: 25 Feb 2019

Details of the eligibility criteria for the STEM teacher education bursary.

25 Feb 2019
STEM teacher education bursary: eligibility criteria
Applications should be made direct to the STEM Bursary Scotland website.

Bursaries will be available to career changers wishing to undertake a one year Postgraduate Diploma in Education (PGDE) Initial Teacher Education (ITE) course in Scotland that leads to the award of registered teacher status in the hardest to fill STEM subjects.

For applications to start a PGDE ITE course in August 2020 the eligible subjects will be: maths, computing science, technical education, physics, chemistry and home economics. 

The level of bursary will be £20,000 per student.

The bursary is an incentive to ease the financial  transition for career changers to undertake initial teacher education and will be over and above any normal student support provided by Student Awards Agency for Scotland (SAAS), as long as students meet the SAAS eligibility criteria.

Eligible students will also have their tuition fees paid by the Scottish Government and must apply to SAAS to have them paid.


Applicants need to have been in employment for at least 36 months out of the last 60 months (including career breaks).  Applicants who can evidence they have been in receipt of carers allowance for 36 months out of the last 60 will also meet the employment eligibility criteria.

Applicants need to hold a 2.1 degree or meet the minimum initial teacher education (ITE) entry requirement with a relevant masters qualification, the content of which would make them suitable to teach maths, computing science, technical Education, physics, chemistry or home economics.

Normal entry requirements for PGDE ITE also apply, including a requirement to have Higher English (or equivalent) and National 5/credit level Maths (or equivalent). 

At the point of application, applicants need to be at least 36 months away from full time education (excluding those who have completed three years of a remunerated PhD which includes teaching experience).  Further and at the discretion of SDS, any applicant who has since 30/9/17 undertaken a short full time top up course to meet the academic entry requirements of their chosen PGDE) including but not limited to, Higher English and National 5 Mathematics will be deemed eligible.

Applicants must have accepted an offer of a place on a PGDE ITE programme at a Scottish university before applying.

To qualify for the bursary students will need to satisfy SAAS residence conditions as outlined on the SAAS website:

  • be ordinarily resident in the United Kingdom, the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man for the three years immediately before the first day of the first academic year of the course (the relevant date)
  • be ordinarily resident in Scotland on the relevant date (you will not be regarded as being ordinarily resident in Scotland if your main purpose in coming here is to receive full-time education and that you would have otherwise been living elsewhere)
  • have 'settled status' in the UK (as set out in the Immigration Act 1971)

Further information on residence eligibility is available on the SAAS website.

Those already in receipt of any other subsidised ITE provision where salaries or allowances are already in place will not be eligible. Examples of such programmes include salaried distance learning/learn to teach programmes, Supported Induction Route at Dundee, and PGDE Internships at Aberdeen university.

1. Applications

Applications will open on 16 March 2020. Applications should be made direct to the STEM Bursary Scotland website, which will go live on that date.

Applicants will be informed if they have been successful within 20 days of receipt of their application.

Payments will be made in 10 equal monthly instalments from September 2020 to June 2021 direct to students. In the event of an individual in receipt of a bursary withdrawing from the PGDE programme, payments will cease with immediate effect.

On gaining PGDE, the individual will be required to undertake a place on the Teacher Induction Scheme to complete their standard for full registration.

If you have any questions or require any assistance with the application, please email 

2. Background information

The bursary and its eligibility criteria for 2020-2021 has been reviewed by STEM Bursary Advisory Group