Students: Why Register? Find PhD and Masters Studentships, Scholarships and Bursaries here

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 Postgraduate Studentships, the only website designed specifically 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 News: Information on the  Master’s Loan can be found here. Find out more about the Postgraduate Doctoral Loan 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.

One registration, two specialist postgraduate websites
When you register (it’s quick, easy and free!) on Postgraduate Studentships or Masters Compare, you’ll find your account works on both sites: once you’ve registered, just log in on either sites’ login pages.

Regular email notifications
To receive a regular notifications 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 Postgraduate Studentships in your subject, as well as new courses added to Masters Compare, and our most recent articles about all things postgraduate.

Search and Compare Masters courses 
If you are looking for Masters courses as well as funding, take a look at Masters Compare.  Search thousands of Masters courses and compare up to 4 courses and save the comparisons you make and details of the courses you are interested in.

More Questions?
If you still have questions and would like to know more about how to use Postgraduate Studentships most effectively, please contact us.

Government confirms funding for EU students

Financial support for UK and EU students

Students from EU countries will be eligible for ‘home fee’ status and student finance support during the 2020-21 academic year. This means that EU students will be charged the same amount for tuition fees as students from within the UK. Your course must start in this time.

If you meet the requirements then the Government has confirmed that this will be available for the length of time your course takes to complete.

This commitment for the 2020-21 academic year is an additional commitment on student finance for EU nationals who start their course in the 2019-20 academic year.

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?

  • Find out more on the gov.uk website
  • Sign up for the latest news and funding opportunities from Postgraduate Studentships and Masters Compare
  • Search for Masters and PhD Funding now!

Masters Loan Scheme

Students can now apply for a Postgraduate Masters Loan. Our guide below relates to the Postgraduate Loan for England.

About the Loan

You can get up to £10,906 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 masters course, as you decide.

Who is eligible for the Postgraduate Masters 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
  1. You must be under 60 years old.
  2. Eligibility is not based on income – the loan is not means tested.

Who is not eligible for the Postgraduate Masters 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. See below for details on Postgraduate Loans in other parts of the UK.

If you already have a Masters level qualification (or equivalent), 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 Postgraduate Masters Loan?

  1. A qualification which is classed as either a taught, research, or professional masters – eg MA, MSc, LLM, MBA, MRes, MEd, MMus, MDes etc
  2. Full time masters courses, which are 50% 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. 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.

The Money 

  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.

Key Points
For more information on how to apply visit the SFE website here.

Postgraduate Loans in other parts of the UK

Scotland

In 2017, the Scottish Government confirmed plans for a £10,000 Masters Loans. You will need to apply through SAAS (Student Awards Agency Scotland) and must check that you meet the eligibility criteria. Further information for 2019/20 is available here.

Northern Ireland

A Postgraduate Tuition Fee Loan for Northern Ireland students is available for new and continuing students. The only way to know how much you may be eligible for is to submit your application, you could receive up to £5,500. Applications for academic year 2019/20 are now open. Find out more here.

Wales

You can apply for a Postgraduate Loan in Wales if you’re starting a postgraduate Masters course in 2019/20. You could get up to £16,000 to help towards your course and living costs. Find out more here.

What if I have more questions?
We suggest you talk to the universities you are applying to.  To get regular updates on the loan and other Masters funding, register now for our newsletter. You can also check out the postgraduate loan video from Student Finance England.

Postgraduate Doctoral Loans

Applications are now open for PhD loans in England and Wales! Students have the opportunity to borrow up to £25,700 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 £25,700.
  • 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 £25,700. 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 2019.

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 £25,700.

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 Postgraduate Studentships.

Next Steps

Search our listings of the latest PhD Funding available by subject area

Postgraduate Funding Guide

Who provides PhD and Masters 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 Postgraduate Studentships Funding Database, with the exception of funding you may be able to obtain from your Employer and Self-funding:

Most of the funding listed on Postgraduate Studentships 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.

You can start looking now for Masters  and PhD funding.

For more advice and information see our advice pages.

Postgraduate Study Choices

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.

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
  • self-development
  • 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.

You can start looking now for Masters or PhD opportunities with funding on Postgraduate Studentships, or for courses in your subject area on Masters Compare.

PhD Funding Fair

Our annual Postgraduate Studentships PhD Funding Fair takes place in December every year and is held in Central London.

The event 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 event, 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

Specialist Subject Session

The fair will be divided into two main subject sessions covering PhD funding:

The Morning Session:
– Arts and Humanities
– Law
– Management
– Social Sciences

The Afternoon Session:
– Science
– Engineering
– Mathematics

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.

Talks Programme

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.

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 log in or register your details here.

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 Postgraduate Studentships. (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.

Also, you can keep up to date with the latest PhD Funding Fair news and PhD opportunities added to Postgraduate Studentships on our FacebookTwitter and Instagram pages.