Want to submit a successful application to the Mathematics Teacher Training Scholarships?

Nearly 50% of the applications received last year failed at the first hurdle… …here is some advice for improving your chances.

 1. Take it seriously!

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!

When completing the application form, consider the following:

  • The information you are providing is correct, especially your contact details.  You do want to hear from us…?
  • The information is provided in full.  For example, if you abbreviate your degree name, don’t assume everyone will know what this means.
  • Grammar
  • Spelling
  • Capitalisation of names and proper nouns.  However, please do not use capitals throughout your application, THERE IS NO NEED TO SHOUT AT US!

The online application system does not have the facility to save part completed application forms. To help you prepare your application, a sample application form available to download from the How to Apply page on the Institute of Mathematics and its Applications’ website.

As you’re able to prepare your application, ask someone else to read over your application.  A fresh pair of eyes is always helpful in spotting those silly mistakes.

2. Eligibility

The first key criterion is your eligibility as a home student, i.e. are you an UK or EU citizen and has been resident in the UK or EU for the last 3 years?

If you answer ‘no’ to this question, then depending on your circumstances you may still be eligible. You will need to demonstrate how you qualify as a home student for the purpose of paying tuition fees by your training provider.

One way is by having been resident in the UK, European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland for the past three years and having the right to live in the UK or EEA without any visa restrictions.

If you are still unsure, either contact the Students Loans Company, to find out if you are eligible for a student loan, or apply for your course early so that you can get a definite answer from your training provider on whether you are eligible to take up a training place.   This confirmation is needed when submitting your application.  

If you do not demonstrate your eligibility sufficiently, this may result in your application being unsuccessful.

3. Qualifications

Along with a minimum degree classification of a 2:2, a Masters or PhD, we are looking for applicants to have a degree in a subject that contains strong mathematical content, such as mathematics, engineering and physics.

If it is not obvious to us from your degree title, as it may be a subject outside of our area of expertise, then you will be asked to provide further evidence to help us assess the mathematical and statistical content of your degree(s).  We are particularly looking for evidence of where Linear Algebra (including vectors and matrices) and Calculus (namely differentiation and integration, including from first principles), have been studied.  Such evidence can include:  

  • A copy of your degree transcripts, i.e. the list of modules taken as part your studies and the marks gained
  • The syllabus for the relevant part of your degree (s)
  • Providing examples of coursework or examination papers
  • Demonstrating evidence from work experience

If we ask you for this information, send as much as you can to support your application, especially if the maths topics we are looking for are embedded in module(s) you studied at university, which may be called something other than Calculus or Linear Algebra.

Got an overseas degree?  Then you need to demonstrate how your degree is equivalent to a UK degree with honours by either:

  • Using the government’s Overseas degree equivalency: table
  • Submitting a copy of your NARIC Statement of Comparability.  You will need this when you apply through UCAS for your ITT course.

If you do not demonstrate your eligibility sufficiently, this may result in your application being unsuccessful.

4. Personal Statement

In 600 words, we want to know about why you want to become a teacher, why you think you will make an inspirational teacher, why you believe you will be good at teaching mathematics and how you meet the criteria required for a Maths Scholar.

Make sure you include any school teaching/observation experience you have, or are planning to get and when, in your personal statement as this helps to demonstrate that this is what you want to do.  

You are welcome to include experiences from all stages of education, though we are particularly interested in your experience in secondary schools.  You will find this experience beneficial if invited to an Assessment Centre and also, initial teacher training providers require you to have completed at least10 days recent secondary school experience.

We also encourage you to support your personal statement with any other relevant experience of working with young people, including employment and voluntary work, interests and hobbies, such as scouts youth clubs, coaching sports teams, UAS module or a STEM Ambassador.

As you have to write a personal statement for your UCAS application, with some appropriate tweaking, why not submit that?  Saves you doing the same thing twice!

If you do not demonstrate your desire to become a secondary school mathematics teacher sufficiently, this may result in your application being unsuccessful.

5. Availability

To help us assign you a date for an Assessment Centre, ensure that you have put all the dates up until the 30 September 2017 that you know that you are not available, i.e. holidays, exams, graduation, work experience.  

6. Referee

Your referee can be either your academic tutor, if still at university, or a senior colleague.  If invited to an Assessment Centre, your referee will be contacted by us for a reference in which they will need to advise us, where possible, how they feel you fulfil the requirements in the application criteria.  If you are yet to graduate, we will require your referee to confirm your expected degree classification.

We will not accept family and relations as your referee.

7. And finally…

If you do receive an email from the Maths Scholarships Team, asking for clarification on something in your application or requesting further information, then please do respond to us.  Without this, we may be unable to continue processing your application…