This is where you will find answers to the most common questions about the Maths Scholarship Programme. We have grouped the questions into sections entitled: Eligibility, Teacher training; Scholarship Funding and Applying. If you have an any questions please submit them and we'll be in touch as soon as possible.


What qualifications do I need?

You need to have achieved, or be predicted to achieve, at least a 2(i) honours degree. If your degree classification is lower but you hold a PhD or Masters qualification or confirmed equivalent you will also be eligible as they equate to a First and a 2(i) respectively.

Do I need a maths degree to apply for a Scholarship?

No, however, you will either need a degree with a strong mathematical content, or have extensive mathematical professional experience, or you have undertaken (or are undertaking) a Subject Knowledge Enhancement (SKE) course in Mathematics of at least 20 weeks in duration. This will be discussed with you on an individual basis regarding your degree's match and suitability.

I have a degree with strong mathematical content, but I am undertaking an SKE course of less than 20 weeks.  Can I still apply?

Yes, as you meet the requirement of having a degree with strong mathematical content the duration of your SKE course can be of any duration.

Can I apply if I have a 2:2 degree classification?

Yes, you are welcome to apply but you need to demonstrate significant relevant experience.

I have a 2:2 degree classification and the application criteria say that I 'may also be eligible if you bring significant relevant experience' that we approve.  What does 'significant relevant experience' mean?

We will consider applications from those that have a 2:2 degree classification where there is strong evidence of subject knowledge together with either more advanced study or some relevant experience, such as mathematical professional or teaching experience and/or experience of work with young people. What is deemed 'relevant' will be at the discretion of the Scholarship scheme administrators.

What types of 'advanced study' are you looking for?

If you have a 2:2 degree classification, then we are looking for evidence that you have achieved the minimum level of education (2:1) that we require successful Scholars to have. Examples of advanced study include a relevant Masters degree or PhD.

My overseas degree is comparable to a ‘Bachelor degree’. Is this eligible?

According to NARIC, this degree demonstrates elements of both an Ordinary and Honours degree, but will not necessarily be directly comparable to one of these degree types. Therefore, you are required to submit a copy of your degree transcripts with your application for further consideration.

Can I apply if I live overseas?

To be eligible for the scholarship you must  be eligible for student finance and meet the bursary eligibility criteria set out in the Department for Education (DfE) bursary guidance.

If you are classed as an international student, then you are not eligible to apply.

Part of the eligibility criteria is that you must be eligible for student finance.  What does this mean?

To be eligible for a Maths Scholarship, you must be entitled to student support under the Student Finance England criteria.  Residents of Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland will need to be entitled for support as set out by your country’s student finance body (Student Finance Wales, Student Awards Agency Scotland or Student Finance NI).

To check your eligibility, please contact Student Finance England.  There’s a different process for checking your eligibility if you’re a student from Scotland, Wales, or Northern Ireland. Contact the education authority if you live in the Channel Islands (Jersey and Guernsey) or Isle of Man.

The Department for Education has published information on who will be eligible for undergraduate, postgraduate and further education financial support from Student Finance England; New eligibility rules for home fee status and student finance for the 2021 to 2022 academic year policy paper.

I’m an Irish national.  Am I eligible to apply?

Irish nationals living in the UK or Republic of Ireland will continue to be eligible providing they meet the eligibility criteria for Student Finance England, as your right to study and access benefits and services under the Common Travel Area arrangement will continue on a reciprocal basis. 

To check your eligibility, please contact Student Finance England

The Department for Education has published information on who will be eligible for undergraduate, postgraduate and further education financial support from Student Finance England; New eligibility rules for home fee status and student finance for the 2021 to 2022 academic year policy paper.

I'm am an EU national.  Am I eligible to apply?

EU nationals resident in the UK before the end of the transition period on 31 December 2020, and who qualify for pre-settled status or settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme, will continue to be eligible for home fee status, student financial support and ITT bursaries/scholarships on a similar basis to domestic students, subject to meeting the usual residence requirements.

You can contact Student Finance England to check if you are an your eligible to receive grants and loans towards tuition fees or living costs according to Student Finance England criteria.

The Department for Education has published information on who will be eligible for undergraduate, postgraduate and further education financial support from Student Finance England; New eligibility rules for home fee status and student finance for the 2021 to 2022 academic year policy paper.

I'm already doing my teacher training, can I apply?

The Scholarships are only available for those who commence their teacher training in the academic year 2021/22. If you have already started your teaching training in the current academic year then you are not eligible to apply.

Teacher Training

Do I need to already have an offer of a PGCE place?

You do not need to already have your teacher training place organised to apply for the Scholarship, but by September 2021 you must have secured your training place on an eligible secondary mathematics PGCE or unsalaried School Direct course in England for the 2021/22 academic year which leads to Qualified Teacher Status (QTS). The decision for entry onto a PGCE course will be made by the teacher training provider. If you are offered a Maths Scholarship but unsuccessful in securing a place on an eligible PGCE or School Direct course by September 2021 the Scholarship offer will be withdrawn.

However, if you apply to the Maths Scholarships for a third, or more, recruitment year, then you will be asked to provide a copy of your confirmation of place letter from your ITT provider before your application is processed.  The copy of the letter provided must be an official document, i.e. on letter headed paper. 

Can I apply if I apply for a Scholarship if I apply for the School Direct Training Programme (salaried) course?

A School Direct salaried student would not be entitled to a Scholarship, as they are employed rather than in training.

I am planning on applying to Teach First to teach Maths, does this qualify me for the scholarship?

Those undertaking Teach First are not eligible to apply for a Scholarship.

I'm on the Future Teaching Scholars programme. Am I eligible to apply?  

For an ITT trainee to be eligible to receive a Maths Scholarship, the trainee must meet the eligibility criteria in the DfE’s Initial teacher training bursaries funding manual.  In particular, a trainee must not be undertaking paid teaching work when in receipt of the bursary nor simultaneously be undertaking any other ITT course, training scheme or programme that leads to QTS.
As a Future Teaching Scholar you will be earning as you learn, being paid on the unqualified teacher scale during your Initial Teacher Training (ITT) year, and on an alternative programme leading to QTS.  Therefore, an individual undertaking the Future Teaching Scholars programme is not eligible to apply for a Maths Scholarship.

Does the IMA arrange my teacher training course?

No, the Scholarship will be awarded independently of your teacher training. You must apply for a secondary mathematics teacher training place and receive an offer before starting in September 2021. You can apply for our Scholarship at any time in this process.

Can I do my teacher training part time and still receive the Scholarship?

You are still eligible for the same Scholarship, but the payments will be spread out throughout your training period.

What PGCEs are eligible?

Eligible PGCEs are those that contain at least 50% mathematics, are a DfE funded ITT place and lead to Qualified Teacher Status (QTS).

My course leads to Qualified Teacher of Learning and Skills (QTLS), is this an eligible course for a Scholarship?

Courses which lead to QualifiedTeacher of Learning and Skills (QTLS) are not eligible for a Mathematics Teacher Training Scholarship as QTLS is a Further Education qualification. The bursaries from the DfE and the Scholarships are for secondary phase training only, i.e. ITT courses that lead to Qualified Teacher Status (QTS).

I want to do my initial teacher training outside England, can I still apply?

The Maths Teacher Training Scholarships are run in partnership with the DfE, which has responsibility for teacher training in England only.  This responsibility has been devolved to the Scottish, Welsh and Northern Ireland Governments.  Therefore, the Maths Scholarships are only available for eligible initial teacher training programmes in England.

Scholarship Funding

How much is the Scholarship worth?

The Scholarship will provide a £26K tax-free bursary in your training year.  There is also considerable value in the additional benefits that you will receive.  

How will I be paid my Scholarship?

All DfE scholarship payments are made to you via your Training Provider, rather than the Institute of Mathematics and its Applications.  More information about how the Scholarship is paid can be found on the Get into Teaching website. If you have any further questions relating to payments, please speak to your ITT provider.

Will I also receive the government bursary?

If you are awarded a Mathematics Scholarship it will be instead of the government's training bursary, you will not be eligible for both.



How do I apply?

Applications are made via an online system.  Please ensure that you have read  the information provided about the application process and use the sample application form before completing your application as you are not able to save this part way through completion.

When do I need to apply by?

Applications are open from 9am on Monday 11 January 2021 and will close on 9am on Monday 24 May 2021*. We are unable to process any applications received after this date. Please visit the About page for further details. 

In previous years we have received an overwhelming number of applications which led to the Scheme closing earlier than expected. Should this happen again, then we will close early. We recommend applying early to avoid disappointment.


This year, we have a limited number of Maths Scholarships to award which means we have a limited number of Assessment places.  Due to an overwhelming number of applications received, our Assessment places are now full.

We are now only accepting applications to go on a waiting list for an Assessment to become available.  Please note, that we have limited the number of places on the waiting list to 50, and being on the waiting list does not guarantee you will be allocated an Assessment.

We will close at 9am on Monday 24 May 2021 or when our waiting list is full, whichever is sooner.

Due to the current Coronavirus pandemic, how will the Assessment Centres run?

For 2020/21, our Assessments will be held online using our videoconferencing software.  If you are required to sit the mathematics test as part of your assessment, this will also be held online.

I’m currently on a Subject Knowledge Enhancement course as part of a conditional PGCE offer, should I apply now or wait until I’ve completed it?

You can apply to the Maths Scholarships before you have completed your SKE course.  As with all applicants, we recommend applying sooner rather than later because in previous years, we have had to close early due to receiving a high number of applications.

How do I submit a successful application?

As with all job applications, give your application to the Maths Scholarships the time and care it deserves.  For some of you, this will be one of the first steps towards your future career and first impressions count for a lot! Please take the time to read our advice on how to submit a successful application

Who should I nominate as my referee? 

You are required to provide contact details of one referee as part of your application. We ask referees to provide details on how they think the candidate meets the application criteria therefore you should nominate someone who can comment on your personal attributes. If you are due to graduate from your undergraduate degree your referee should be your university tutor as they will be able to provide details of your expected degree classification. For further information take a look at our blog on references and who you should nominate.

How do I prepare for a Maths Scholars Assessment ? 

When invited to an Assessment you will be given a briefing paper which will provide you with details on how to prepare. However if you would like more details read our top tips.

I recently attended an Assessment when will I receive the outcome? 

You will be advised if you have been successful in obtaining a Scholarship no later than 10 working days following the Assessment. Working days do not include weekends and bank holidays.

Please note that if you’re unsuccessful at any stage you cannot reapply in the current application year.

Is it possible to defer the Scholarship offer? 

We understand circumstances can change which may prevent you from starting your teacher training. In this case we can offer you the option to defer the Scholarship offer. We can only defer the offer for a maximum of one year and is subject to the scheme continuing for the next academic year.

If we are running for another year, the benefits of the Maths Scholarship, including the bursary, offered to you will be the same as what is offered to those starting their initial teacher training in the academic year that you start your intial teacher training.

I've been informed I have been unsuccessful in applying for a Scholarship, can I appeal the decision? 

Applicants have the right to appeal against decisions made at any stage of the Maths Teacher Training Scholarship assessment process. Appeals can only be made on the basis of a failure of process and not against any academic or professional judgement. Please use the following document for further information: Appeals Process.pdf

Do you have more questions?

If you are in doubt about any aspect that has not been covered in these Maths scholars FAQS please submit a question. If you are unsure about any of the answers on this page please contact us using the Contact Us form.

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