Find your postgraduate Masters and PhD funding here
If you're looking for funding for your postgraduate study, you are in the right place. Welcome to PostgraduateStudentships, the only website designed specfically for postgraduates and intending postgraduates, that brings together all the different types of funding available for postgraduate students, at both Masters and PhD/Doctoral level.
LATEST POSTGRADUATE LOAN NEWS: Information on the new Master's loan scheme can be found HERE AND, find out more about the government consultation on postgraduate doctoral loans - and how to have your say HERE.
Browse our specialist database of funding from charities, research councils and other general funding bodies and see funding information from a range of Universities and Institutes.
Start looking now for Masters funding and PhD funding.
Introductory guides to postgraduate study and funding
To find out more in general about postgraduate opportunities in the UK, start with our quick introductory guides to postgraduate study and postgraduate funding. .
One registration, two specialist postgraduate websites
When you register (it's quick, easy and free!) on PostgraduateStudentships or MastersCompare, you'll find your account works on all three sites: once you've registered, just log in on any of the three websites' login pages.
Weekly email notifications
To receive a weekly notification from our Think Postgrad websites in your subject area, select your subject as you register. We'll email you with the latest funding added to PostgraduateStudentships in your subject, as well as new courses added to MastersCompare, and our most recent articles about all things postgraduate.
Compare Masters courses on MastersCompare
If you are looking for Masters courses as well as funding, take a look at MastersCompare: search thousands of Masters courses, compare up to 4 courses online at any one time, even on your mobile, and save the comparisons you make and details of the courses you are interested in.
If you still have questions and would like to know more about how to use PostgraduateStudentships most effectively, please see our frequently asked questions page.
Financial support for UK and EU students
It has been announced (02 July 2018) that tuition fees have been frozen for a second year and home fee status confirmed for EU students in 2019/20.
Damian Hinds, Education Secretary, confirmed that the maximum tuition fees that a university will be able to charge will be frozen for the second year running to cover the academic year of 2019/20. This will enable more students the access higher education or training.
It was also confirmed by the government that students from within the European Union who start a course in England in 2019/20 will still be eligible for ‘home fee status’. This means EU students will be charged the same amount for tuition fees as students from within the UK.
The financial support will be available to both undergraduate and postgraduate courses at institutions in England, as well as support at postgraduate level from UK Research and Innovation.
Want to be kept up to date?
To keep on top of the latest news on postgraduate funding as it is announced register now to receive our email updates.
Government funding announced for 1000 extra PhD places especially in STEM subjects
In the March 2017 Budget, the government has announced funding for one thousand additional PhD places in areas aligned with the government's Industrial Strategy:
Great news for students: 1000 NEW Funded PhD places announced
The budget announcement states that 80% of the funding will go to PhD places in STEM subjects - science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
The announcement also states that and 40% of this funding will directly help strengthen collaboration between business and academia through industrial partnerships.
It seems likely from the budget statement that this funding will be available over four years - there is no detail yet on how the money will be distributed, or how students can apply, but as most PhD funding is currently distributed, via the Research Councils to universities, and then advertised as available to students, it seems likely at this stage that the funded places will be accessed by students in the same way.
No information was included about which academic year the studentships will be available for - whether it will be 2017-18 or 2018-19.
Want to be kept up to date?
To find out more about new PhD funding as it becomes available and is announced on PostgraduateStudentships, plus updates on this new funding from the budget announcement, register now to receive email updates.
Confirmation of the Doctoral Loan
In addition, the budget statement includes a confirmation from the government of the basic terms of the doctoral loans which will start in 2018-19. These new loans were previously announced in the 2016 Budget. They will provide up to £25,000 for doctoral study - more information can be found here.
Students can now apply for a Postgraduate Loan for Masters study. Our guide below on how to apply and find answers to your postgraduate loan questions relates to the Postgraduate Loan for England.
The Scottish Government confirmed plans for £10,000 Masters loans in 2017. Further information for 2018/19 is available here.
A postgraduate tuition fee loan for Northern Ireland students is available for new and continuing students. Applications for academic year 2018/2019 are now open. Find out more here.
You can apply for a Postgraduate Loan in Wales if you’re starting a postgraduate Master’s course in 2018/19. You could get up to £13,000 to help towards your course and living costs. Find out more here.
The Master's Loan Scheme - Key Points
Here are the latest updates and key points about the postgraduate loan from Student Finance England. For more information on how to apply visit the SFE website here.
About the Loan
You can get up to £10,609 for your whole course. The loan will be paid directly to you, in instalments during the course, and can be used as a contribution towards fees, or other study or living costs during the master's course, as you decide.
Who is eligible for the loan?
1. You must be a UK National, or have settled status in the UK, and have been resident in the UK for three years on the first day of the academic year of your course start date. This must have most recently been resident in England.
2. You may also be eligible if you’re an EU national and all the following apply:
- you’re living in England on the first day of the first year of your course
- you’ve normally lived in the European Economic Area or Switzerland for the past 3 years (this is also known as being ‘ordinarily resident’)
- you’ll be studying at a university or college in England
3. You must be under 60 years old.
4. Eligibility is not based on income - the loan is not means tested.
Who is not eligible for the loan?:
If you are a UK national, or have settled status or leave to remain in the UK BUT you ordinarily live OUTSIDE England, ie in Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland, then you are not eligible.
If you already have a master's level qualification, or equivalent level qualification, or a higher level qualification, such as a PhD, you will not be eligible, under Equivalent Level Qualification (ELQ) rules.
Which type of courses are covered by the loan?
1. A master's qualification which is classed as either a taught, research, or professional master's - eg MA, MSc, LLM, MBA, MRes, MEd, MMus, MDes etc
2. Full time master's courses, or courses which are ' fifty per cent' part-time - ie a course that is one year full-time or two years part-time, or two years full-time and up to four years part-time will be covered by the loan, BUT (for example) a course that is one year full-time but three years part-time will not be covered for part-time study.
3. Both campus based and online courses are covered by the loan, as long as the course is delivered by an officially funded institution in the UK, which is authorised to award its own degrees (ie has taught degree awarding powers).
Are there any courses that are not covered?
Courses that are not at full master's level, for example postgraduate diplomas or certificates, including PGCE, or a graduate certificate, are NOT covered by the loan.
1. You apply for the loan via the Student Loans Company website.
2. Interest is calculated from the date when you receive the first loan instalment, but you won't start repayments until the April after you complete your course, AND if your income is less than £21,000 you will only start repayments once it reaches that level.
3. Loan interest is calculated at RPI+3%, and the repayment rate, once you start repayments is at 6% (the undergraduate loan is set at 9% so the PG loan is lower) of income above the £21,000 income threshold.
4. If you already have an outstanding undergraduate loan, you will have to pay the postgraduate loan off at the same time.
5. The loan will be issued by the Student Loans Company in 3 instalments across the year, starting once your enrolment and attendance are confirmed by your university. If you leave your master's part way through or move to another course which is not covered by the loan, you will be liable for all repayments.
Is there a student loan for a PhD?
For the latest details of the Postgraduate Doctoral Loan, see here.
What if I have more questions?
We will post updates on this page - we'd also suggest you talk to the universities you are applying to. And, to make sure you get regular updates on the loan and other master's funding, register now for our newsletter.
You can also check out the postgraduate loan video from Student Finance England
Applications are now open for PhD loans in England and Wales! Students have the opportunity to borrow up to £25,000 to help cover costs of course fees and living expenses while studying a UK PhD.
What is the Postgraduate Doctoral Loan?
- A loan worth up to £25,000.
- To help support the cost of living and course fees while studying a PhD at a UK university.
- Available to UK nationals and European Union nationals resident in England.
- Must be under 60 years old to be eligible and must not be receiving Research Council Funding.
How much will I be able to borrow?
You will be able to borrow up to £25,000. The amount you receive is not based on your family’s income and can be used to cover your cost of living and pay your course fees.
Am I eligible for a loan?
Your eligibility depends on:
- Your course
- Your age
- Your nationality or residency status
In order to qualify for a PhD loan, you must:
- Be a UK citizen, European Union (EU) national, or have ‘settled status’ and are residing in England
- Have been residing in the UK for the past three years
- Be under 60 on the first day of the first academic year of your course
- Not already have received a doctoral degree or equivalent qualification prior to applying
- Not be receiving government finance or scholarships towards your PhD, including Research Council funding or other government funding
- Not have begun your PhD before 2018/19
Is my doctorate eligible?
PhD loans are available for most types of doctoral degrees, in any subject, as long as your course is in the UK. This includes both academic and professional doctorates. The course must be a full, standalone doctoral course, not a top-up.
Your course must begin on or after 1 August 2018 and must last at least 3 years but must not exceed 8 years. You will be able to study full or part time, and the degree can be taught, research-based, or a combination of both.
How do I apply?
You can now apply for courses which start on or after 1 August 2018.
You can apply for a PhD loan online by logging into your Student Finance England account if you’ve taken out a loan before, or click here to set up a new account. Creating an account will take approximately 10 minutes and you will need your National Insurance number.
You can also download a PDF application form to apply by post. The address is located on the form.
When do I apply?
The deadline for applying is flexible and depends on when your course begins. You’ll need to apply within nine months of the first day of the final academic year of the course.
Below is an outline of the academic year. The first day of your course will depend on the point in the year when you begin studying.
Course start date between: 1 August – 31 December, First day of academic year: 1 September
Course start date between: 1 January – 31 March, First day of academic year: 1 January
Course start date between: 1 April – 30 June, First day of academic year: 1 April
Course start date between: 1 July – 31 July, First day of academic year: 1 July
How do repayments work?
You won’t have to start repaying your PhD loan until you begin earning over £21,000 a year. You’ll only pay back 6% of what you earn over the repayment threshold.
If you are employed and earning over £21,000 a year, then you will start repaying your PhD loan from either the first April after you leave your course, or the April four years after the course begins, whichever comes first.
It’s important to take into consideration that you will be expected to repay any outstanding undergraduate student loans at the same time.
Interest is charged from the day you receive the first payment until you repay the loan in full or it’s canceled. The current interest rate is set at 6.1% and may rise based on the RPI (Retail Price Index) +3% from March of that year.
Any remaining loan balance will be cancelled after 30 years from the point you first begin paying it back.
If you end up having to leave your course early or your circumstances change, you’ll have to pay back any overpayment regardless of whether your income is less than the repayment threshold. Get in contact with Student Finance England for further information.
Postgraduate Doctoral Loan in Wales
Applications are now open for Welsh doctoral loans. Students who are resident in Wales will also be eligible for a PhD loan worth up to £25,000.
Applications can be made online or by post and should be sent to Student Finance Wales.
Find out more
Further eligibility requirements can be found here on the GOV.UK website.
Sign up for or email updates for further information as well as the latest PhD funding opportunities as they are added to PostgraduateStudentships.
Looking for PhD funding? Attend our annual PhD Funding Fair in December
Who provides PhD and Masters (MA, MSc, MBA, MRes) funding: studentships, scholarships and bursaries?
Funding for postgraduate students usually comes from one or more of a range of key sources, described briefly below. Examples of most of these types of funding are included in PostgraduateStudentships.co.uk Funding Database, with the exception of funding you may be able to obtain from your Employer and Self-funding:
- Research Councils
- Charities and General Funders, including those funded by the UK government
- Overseas governments (international students only)
- Postgraduate Loan for Masters Students
- Postgraduate Loan for PhD Students
- Other Postgraduate Loan Providers
- Self-funding (including family funds)
Most of the funding listed on PostgraduateStudentships at any time applies to study in the UK, although there are some exceptions and some funding is listed for universities in Europe and occasionally outside Europe.
For more advice and information see our Think Postgrad pages.
Postgraduate study offers students a wide range of options. The following brief guide outlines some key issues about different types of study, and identifies some of the things you may need to think about when choosing which kind of study is right for you.
- Certificates and Diplomas
- Taught Masters
- Masters by research
- Professional, Specialist and Taught Doctorates
- Short courses and CPD
- Professional Postgraduate Qualifications
- Study Modes: Full-time, Part-time
- Study Modes: Distance learning and e-Learning/online learning
Why choose postgraduate study?
There are many different reasons for choosing postgraduate study, but in general most people choose to study at this level for one or more of the following reasons:
- interest in the subject
- career enhancement
- career change
- required career entry qualification
- interest in an academic or research-based career
- supplement to undergraduate degree, especially if lower than expected
- desire to postpone entering the working world.
Whichever reasons you identify most closely with, it is important to make sure that the programme you choose will help you realise your goals, and that you are realistic about the requirements and commitments of the programme as well as the benefits you expect to result from it, and the impact it will have on your life. This may therefore effect where and how you study, how much you can afford to pay or borrow, and how much funding you look for.
If you are choosing postgraduate study for more than one of the reasons above, it may be helpful to consider which of the reasons is more important to you, and which factors should determine how you choose your course.
Applying for postgraduate study in the UK
In the UK, Universities require you to apply separately to each institution, with each University having its own requirements and application form, usually online, and its own set of deadlines, which can even vary from course to course within a single university. There is no central postgraduate application system, although a small number of universities run some or all of their postgraduate applications through UCAS.
ThinkPostgrad: If you are thinking about postgraduate study as a means of postponing your entry into the world of work, we recommend that you consider whether you will really enjoy the course and benefit from it personally, professionally or academically, and take into account the pros and cons of study, including the cost, before applying.
Our annual PostgraduateStudentships PhD Funding Fair takes place on Wednesday 05 December 2018 in Central London.
The Fair is your opportunity to meet and talk with representatives from some of the top UK Universities. All of the Universities present at the Fair have PhD funding opportunities to offer and are looking for the best students. As this is a specialist Fair, there are limited spaces in both the morning and afternoon sessions. In order to attend, you will need to have applied, been accepted, and have received a personal invitation to the Fair.
Why attend the Fair?
- Dedicated event focusing on the needs of potential PhD students
- Face-to-face opportunity to discuss your PhD plans and aspirations
- Meet high quality Universities with definite PhD funding to offer
- Chat to current PhD students about their experience of looking for and being a PhD student
- Attend talks on how to apply for a PhD and funding
What universities can I talk to at the Fair?
University of Birmingham
London School of Economics (LSE) (Morning Session Only)
Specialist Subject Session
The fair will be divided into two main subject sessions covering PhD funding:
The Morning Session:
- Arts and Humanities
- Social Sciences
The Afternoon Session:
Participating Universities in each Session have specialist staff available to talk to students attending about funding that is already available, and funding to be announced, and how to apply for a PhD.
In each session, a number of talks from participating universities will help to give students insight into how to make a successful application, and what to expect when studying a PhD. The full programme for the PhD Talks at the PhD Funding Fair will be announced nearer the time.
PhD Students Peer to Peer Advice Room
The PhD Student Peer to Peer Advice Room is a unique opportunity which always proves very popular. You are able to chat in person to current PhD students about their experience of looking for and doing a PhD, and their tips for success.
Applying to attend the Fair
To apply to attend the PhD Funding Fair 2018 log in or register your details here.
What students think
Our 2017 Postgraduate Studentships PhD Funding Fair was a great success. Check out our PhD student testimonials on our YouTube channel to find out what others thought about previous events.
Get updates on the PhD Funding Fair
Sign up for our email newsletter to receive updates on the PhD Funding Fair, as well as details of the latest postgraduate funding opportunities posted on PostgraduateStudentships. (If you are already registered, simply change your account settings)
In the meantime you can check out the latest postgraduate Open Days, Fairs and Events coming up soon.
Meet the Sponsor
This year we are proud to bring the event to you in partnership with specialist education finance providers, Lendwise, a specialised education finance platform and is the alternative way to fund your PhD studies!
Through its innovative online platform, Lendwise offers fair, sensible and student-friendly loans at competitive rates for students who require funding to pursue their PhD studies across all disciplines and courses.
Their goal is to make it easier for you to pursue your educational aspirations, by offering simple to understand and personalised loans that take into account your specific profile including future earnings potential when assessing your credit worthiness.
Read more about them on the Think Postgrad Blog.
Enrolment or student status letters are NOT accepted as they do not show that you meet the Fair criteria.
Most of the funding that universities will be talking about at the Fair will be available to UK/EU students to apply for, although some of the universities attending will have some funding for international students. For this reason, we have limited places only available for international students, and we may not be able to offer a place to all international students who meet the criteria.