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Funding your studies

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Universities may ask to see evidence that you will have enough funds, and may let you pay tuition fees in instalments (or offer a discount for full payment upfront). Postgraduate study can be very expensive, so check the costs involved. As well as course fees, expenses could include accommodation, travel, books, equipment, insurance, etc.

Taught courses generally cost more than research based courses. An MBA course will cost considerably more than a Masters course. Courses involving laboratory work are usually more expensive, charging an additional laboratory fee.

Some of the main ways to fund postgraduate study

  • Universities may have bursaries available – details and conditions vary so check out the details at the university you hope to attend. Some funding is merit based and some may be means tested
  • Turn2us - Charitable organisations and trusts; try the grant search tool to find organisations you could apply to. 
  • Some students also use crowdfunding, see Guardian article (January 2020) on funding via charities and crowdsourcing
  • Employers sometimes fund employees or give financial support towards relevant qualifications (check individual employer websites/graduate training schemes for details)
  • Part time employment – depending on the demands of your course it may be possible to combine part time work with your study, or you may have the option of studying on a part time basis for a longer period while working
  • Ask your prospective university about institutional or Research Council funding; check out the postgraduate pages on their website for information about fees and funding.
  • There is more funding available for research, so if you are considering a PhD, ask departments and supervisors about funding in your subject area.

Postgraduate Masters Loans

For information about funding for postgraduate study (including loans) see the GOV.UK website. You can read more about this loan system on the University's Postgraduate study pages.

  • UK national ordinarily resident in England, studying in the UK
  • EU national with pre-settled or settled status may also be eligible
  • Subject to personal eligibility (includes age, nationality and any previous Masters level study) and course eligibility
  • Contributes to course and living costs, up to £11,836, not based on income
  • Repayments start once you are earning £21,000 or more

Useful links

  • IAEA Marie Sklodowska-Curie Fellowship Programme - Masters funding for females studying in a nuclear related field. Apply July to September, see information for applicants
  • Martingale scholarships for Mathematics (or related subject) students from lower socio-economic backgrounds with home fee status, for Masters at one of: Cambridge, Imperial, King's, Oxford, UCL, Bristol or Edinburgh, with support to apply for a PhD. Applications are now closed; sign up to their newsletter to be alerted to applications for 2024/25.

Be aware of scholarship scams. Indications a site is linked to a scam include offering scholarships on a prize-draw basis, asking for money from you, minimal application requirements or asking for unnecessary personal information. 

Funding for international students studying in the UK