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Funding for mature students

Mature student fundingFunding for mature students can often be more complicated than for younger students, and this is partly the case because many more mature students study part time. 

Government funding in the UK

Both full- and part-time postgraduate students qualify for some sort of Government funding in the UK, but please note that or full-time and part-time students a masters course must be worth 180 credits to qualify for funding. Part-time students must complete the course in either two or four years (depending on the length of the full-time course) or three years if no other part-time option is available. Part-time students are not eligible for Government loans for living expenses, but they are for those loans covering tuition fees. The other major thing that affects Government funding in the UK is whereabouts you live.

For students living in England they can claim up to £10,906 over the duration of their course. 

If you are a resident of Wales, the Government offers a combination of loans and grants up to a total of £17,000, depending on your household income and this is for full- and part-time students. 

In Scotland, both full and part-time students can claim a loan of up to £5,500 for their tuition fees and full-time students under 60 years old can claim a loan of up to £4,500 for living costs. 

Northern Irish students can claim a loan of up to £5,500 to help towards the cost of tuition fees. 


Another option that many mature students choose is self-funding. This usually is either through savings or by working as well as studying their postgraduate program. Most students who work and study are part-time students, but with online or distance learning courses you may find that you are able to work and study full time. 

Employer contributions 

If a colleague with a specific skill set is due to retire or leave, then you might find that your boss will agree to fund a postgraduate course that qualifies you do fill that position when it becomes free. It is fairly standard practice in the UK for employers to insist that employees who are having their studies funded by the business or organisation sign a contract agreeing to work for at least two years, otherwise the student will be liable to repay the costs of the course. 


Spend some time searching through scholarships and bursaries especially those available directly from your university as they are usually open to a wide range of students. Applying to scholarships often requires writing a personal statement and providing grade transcripts throughout your studies. And don’t forget if you get offered a place on a postgraduate program you will be eligible to apply for a Postgrad Solutions Study Bursary worth £500.

Private loans 

There are a few financial institutions that offer career development loans and postgraduate study loans. Be sure before you borrow the money, but since you are a mature student, this is probably not the first time you've borrowed money. 

Help if you have a disability 

Both the Government and universities themselves offer additional funding to students with disabilities. Mature students are more likely to have a disability, so make sure you find out what additional help you could get with the Disabled Student Allowance. 

Full- and part-time mature PG students

Here is a table showing the numbers of full- and part-time mature postgraduate students by age group and study mode in 2018-19 

Mature students study modes



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