Government postgraduate funding in the UK for 2020

Government funding is available to postgraduate students studying their courses in the UK.

However, the different nations that make up the UK fund postgraduate students slightly differ no matter where they are planning on studying within the UK. Let’s take a look at UK government funding.

UK Government funding for full-time students

The UK Government has a system of postgraduate loans that are available for tuition fees and living expenses for full-time students. Students from England and the EU can apply for a loan for £11,222. Scottish residents from the UK or the EU who are studying a course not available in Scotland can receive a tuition fee loan of £5,500 and a loan for living costs for up to £4,500. Students from Wales can access a combination of a loan and a grant that totals up to £17,000. The grant amount is means-tested and the minimum grant is £1,000 with the loan making up the remaining total of £17,000. Northern Irish students can have a loan of up to £5,500 for tuition fees only.

What are the options for part-time students?

Part-time students who are completing a postgraduate course in two or three years that would normally be completed in one year are eligible for a loan for tuition fees only and are not entitled to any help with living expenses.

Is there any special funding for specific subject areas?

Many students who are undertaking their teaching qualification as postgraduate students can access a range of funding options including bursaries, grants and loans. The NHS offers bursaries and other funding options for those wishing to train in a variety of medical professions at the postgraduate level. If your course is eligible for subject-specific funding this is usually on the course page on the individual university's website, but check directly with the institution you are applying to for funding advice.

What about PhDs or Masters by Research?

Many PhDs are indirectly funded by the UK Government through the UK Research Councils and often these funding options include a stipend to live on as well as covering the tuition fees. For students studying Masters by Research degrees will find that if it is your first masters level course in the UK, it will be covered by the normal funding routes for postgraduate students.

What about students from outside the UK?

EU students who are currently and normally resident in the UK are still entitled to apply for funding as UK citizens are, although this situation is likely to change when the Brexit transition period is over at the end of 2020. International students may find that the UK Government will fund their studies through the British Council's scholarships, which are organised by British Embassies around the world.

Do other governments fund students in the UK?

Many countries will fund students to study in the UK to gain skills and knowledge that will be useful to their economies. If you are applying from outside the UK and the EU to study in the UK, then check with the university you studied in at home or with your own country's educational authorities about funding your studies.

Other funding options

Any student from anywhere in the world wishing to study any postgraduate program at any recognised university in the world is eligible to apply for a Postgrad Solutions Study Bursary worth £500. Find out more here.

UK student numbers

How do the four nations of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland compare for postgraduate student numbers?


Related articles

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The Ultimate Postgraduate Student Funding Guide

Postgrad Solutions Stusy Bursaries



Nkumire Kenneth April 18, 2020, 4:32 p.m.

I am a holder of unconditional offer of admission at the University of Glasgow looking for scholarship

Charlotte King April 19, 2020, 8:10 a.m.

Hi Kenneth – congratulations on your offer. You are now eligible to apply for a Postgrad Solutions Study Bursary worth £500 towards your tuition fees >
Good luck!

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