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

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 is available to download from the Application Process section of this website. As you’re able to prepare your application beforehand, 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 for student finance. To be eligible for a Maths Scholarship, you must be entitled to student support from the funding body/education authority for where you normally reside in the UK.

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.

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 and assessed. 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?  Please see our blog Applicants With Overseas Degrees.

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

4. Personal Statement

The personal statement is part of the initial criteria; the minimum that you are required to meet at the initial application stage, and has its own specific criteria. In 400 to 600 words, we want to know: why you want to become a mathematics teacher: how you will inspire secondary school students to take an interest in mathematics: why you want to become a Maths Scholar and how being a Maths Scholar will support your initial teacher training year and career in mathematics education. For clarification, a Maths Scholar is an individual who has received a Mathematics Teacher Training Scholarship.

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. 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. You will find this experience beneficial if invited to an Assessment.

As you have to write a personal statement for your teacher training application, why not use that with some appropriate amendments and inclusions?  Saves you doing the some of the work twice!

A few other pieces of advice for you when you come to writing your personal statement:

  • Do not copy the website verbatim. Those who are reading your personal statement wrote the website and they can recognise when their own words are being quoted back at them. It also makes you look like you do not fully understand what it is you are applying for. There is plenty of information on this website to help you learn about the Maths Scholarship, and how its benefits can help you during your initial teacher training year.

  • Whilst we encourage you to use the personal statement you produced as part of your application to teacher training as a basis for your personal statement to the Maths Scholarships, do not fall into the trap of thinking that all you have to do is replace ‘maths teacher’ for ‘Maths Scholar’ to address the two bullet points relating to the Maths Scholarship. It does not read as well as you think it does and, again, makes you look like you do not fully understand what it is you are applying for.

If you do not write at least 400 words and cover the four points listed in the first paragraph of this section (4) in your personal statement, your application will be rejected. The Maths Scholarships Team has the discretion to decide if your personal statement meets the points listed above. Similarly, 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 and time for an Assessment, ensure that you have put all the dates, up until the 31 August of the current academic year that you know that you are not available, i.e. holidays, exams, graduation, work experience, religious festivals. If you do not know the exact dates, then just put a timeframe that you are not available, i.e. you haven’t received the exact dates of your exams but you know they will be held in May, put exams are in May but exact dates are unknown.  We can work around that.

The date and time offered to you for your Assessment is based on the availability given in your application form. Our capacity for rearranging Assessments is severely limited and we have policies in place concerning the cancellation of confirmed Assessment dates. 

6. Referee

Your referee can be either your academic tutor, if still at university, or a senior colleague. If invited to an Assessment, your referee will be contacted by us for a reference in which they will be asked to address the following:

  • Predicted degree classification (if you are due to graduate the current academic year)

  • Why they think you are suitable for a career as a secondary mathematics teacher, referring to; your personal qualities, i.e. enthusiasm, communication skills (verbal and written), leadership potential, teamwork ability, your interest and commitment to education/teaching and your love of mathematics and desire to share this with others

  • Provide any other comments they feel may support your application

If you are yet to graduate, we will require your referee to be your university tutor to confirm your expected degree classification. We will not accept family members, relations and other applicants to the Maths Scholarships as your referee.

If you are a student of the Open University, please read this section. Due to the nature of the way the Open University operates, when a reference is supplied by them they focus on academic qualifications of an individual and not their personal characteristics. So that we have a comprehensive reference for you, you will be asked to provide details for an alternative referee who can focus on the second two bullet points listed above. This will be requested, do not submit details of an alternative referee until we have contacted you.

To allow the Open University to provide a reference, they will require your permission to do so. Please contact them to give permission, or request a reference using their web-form via the Open University website. If you need any further assistance, then please contact The Open University’s Student Recruitment team. More details on ways to contact them and opening times can be found on their Contact us page.

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…