Universities are one of the key sources of PhD, Masters and other postgraduate studentships, scholarships, and bursaries for postgraduate students. They make funds available via four main routes:

1. Funds from Research Councils that provide studentships for both masters and PhD students under specific schemes and courses (see above). These are usually advertised by the institution concerned, and the involvement of the Research Council is acknowledged.

2. Funds that individual Universities, Faculties, Departments or Groups set aside specifically to develop their postgraduate capacities through attracting high quality Masters and PhD students. These may be part-funded studentships, where the student is expected to make up the shortfall. They may have subject, residence, country of origin or qualification eligibility requirements and/or they may only apply to specific courses. These opportunities are advertised by the institution concerned.

3. Named awards funded by gifts and endowments made by alumni or others to that Institution, to be used for specific courses or research studentships. These again may have strict eligibility requirements and may be only partial funding. Many of these are available annually, although some are ‘one-off’ funding.

4. Hardship funds: the UK government makes funds available to universities to support students with specific financial difficulties. These are usually relatively small amounts intended to help the student temporarily for one-off difficulties. Each university will have different eligibility requirements, and you should consult them individually, but most make some funds available to postgraduate students. You are strongly advised not to rely on this type of funding becoming available once you have started your course, or as a means of financing your way through the course. These funds are generally available only to UK/EU students, although some institutions may have Hardship funds available for some overseas students also.

You can start looking now for Masters funding and PhD funding.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I get postgraduate funding?

There are many ways to obtain funding for your postgraduate degree. However, one of the main sources is via universities themselves. Many offer studentships, scholarships and bursaries. 

How do I get a bursary?

The criteria for obtaining a bursary varies greatly but there are often bursaries available for students coming from disadvantaged backgrounds to encourage further study.

Do alumni get a discount on postgraduate study?

Many universities offer discounted tuition fees for students from their undergraduate programmes. These discounts on tuition fees are usually between 10% and 15%.