STEM teacher education bursary: eligibility criteria

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

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 2021 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 72 months (including career breaks).  Applicants who can evidence they have been in receipt of carers allowance for 36 months out of the last 72 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.

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 30/9/18 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 received an offer of a place on a PGDE ITE programme at a Scottish university before applying.

Applicants must meet all the eligibility criteria for SAAS tuition fee support applicable at the date of the Application.

Those already in receipt of any other subsidised provision in respect of any PGDE (ITE) excluding Bord na Gaildhlig bursaries will not be eligible.

1. Applications

Applications will open on 5 April. 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 30 working 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 must complete their full probationary period, which must be undertaken within a Scottish local authority Secondary School (which shall be deemed to include (but not be limited to) Jordanhill Secondary School), and thereafter become fully registered with the General Teaching Council of Scotland, with documentary evidence of the above to be supplied (as soon as reasonably practicable) to SDS on request.

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

2. Background information

The bursary and its eligibility criteria for 2021-2022 has been reviewed by STEM Bursary Advisory Group.



Back to top