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Posted Oct. 15, 2020

Government postgraduate funding in the UK for 2021

UK Government FundingUK Government funding options for postgraduate students depend on where you are resident in the UK rather than where you are studying.

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Make sure you explore all the funding options available, including private loans, scholarships and bursaries, for example all postgraduate students studying their course at any university in the world are eligible to apply for a Postgrad Solutions Study Bursary worth £500. Let’s take a look at some of the different funding options available from the UK Government.

Part time, full time or research

When assessing UK Government postgraduate funding, it doesn’t matter if you are a part-time student or a full-time student, you should still meet the eligibility requirements. If a university states that a one-year masters program can be completed in two or three years part time, then you are eligible for the same full-time funding. Research postgraduate courses are also eligible for postgraduate UK Government loans, and research students are also often supplemented by funding from UK Research Councils, which are funded by the UK Government.

England & Wales

For English postgraduate students, loan applications are easy, particularly if your course is for more than one year, as you only need to apply once. Student Finance England will let you know in the subsequent years of your course about the amount of funding you are eligible for. Masters students are not able to access the funding available from courses such as the Childcare Grant, Adult Dependants’ Grant or Parents’ Learning Allowance. Other postgraduate courses – such as teaching courses – are often eligible for other funding and it’s best to check with your course provider to see what’s available. Welsh students can access similar levels of postgraduate loans from the Government but are also eligible for grants as well. Check with your course and with Student Finance England or Student Finance Wales to see what you can access.

Scotland & Northern Ireland

Full-time postgraduate students in Scotland can receive loans for both fees and living expenses in a similar manner to England and Wales, but their funding is through the Student Awards Agency Scotland. The funding calculator can help you work out what you will receive, and bear in mind part-time postgraduate students are only eligible for the tuition fee portion of the postgraduate loans. In Northern Ireland students apply for funding through Student Finance Northern Ireland where the postgraduate loans are available for tuition fees only.

EU students

Students from the European Union can still apply for financing from the home nation that they are going to be based in while studying in the UK. If they have been resident in the UK for three years or more, then they should apply to the student financing agency from the home nation that they are resident in.

Postgrad Solutions Study Bursaries

Disabled students

All students who are applying for postgraduate funding from the UK Government, but consider themselves in need of additional financial support because of disability can be eligible for support from Disabled Students’ Allowances.

Private loans

Prodigy FinanceIf your savings or funding from the Government doesn’t cover all of your tuition fees and living costs, then a private loan from a financial institution is an excellent option. There are loan providers – such as Prodigy Finance – who specialise in funding students and are experienced in all of the issues surrounding postgraduate study. International students, or UK students who plan to study abroad, find companies like Prodigy Finance helpful as they can fund studies in a range of different countries. Prodigy Finance has terms and conditions that suit students better than other financial institutions, with tailor-made loans and student-friendly repayment terms. 

Funding per nation

So, just how much funding does each home nation offer postgraduate students in the UK?

UK nations funding
Sources: Student Finance England, Student Finance Wales, Student Finance Northern Ireland and Student Awards Agency Scotland.

Prodigy Finance is one of many potential funding options for international postgraduate students. Other student funding options are available and advises you to research all your options thoroughly before making such a commitment. accepts no responsibility for your choice of loan and does not endorse or support Prodigy Finance. Prodigy Finance Ltd is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority, and entered on the Financial Services Register under firm registration number 612713.

Related articles

Prodigy Finance

Ways To Fund Your Postgrad Program In 2021

What Funding Is Available For Postgraduate Students In The UK?

Postgraduate Funding In Wales

Postgraduate Funding In Scotland

Postgrad Solutions Study Bursaries


Regina Codrington March 5, 2021, 3:59 p.m.

i have a letter of acceptance to study MBA September 2021 at the university of Surrey, can you please direct me to postgraduate funding for this course?

Charlotte King March 8, 2021, 6:42 a.m.

Hi Regina – we offer x20 Postgrad Solutions Study Bursaries worth £500 each towards any PG program and applications are now being accepted >
The University of Surrey may also have it's own funding opportunities so check their website too.

Cian Galvin July 29, 2021, 12:42 a.m.

Hi, I have a letter of acceptance to the university of Aberdeen. I'm planning to move from Ireland and the SAAS have said I'm eligible for a tuition loan. However they sent me the link to undergraduate application form and when I searched the website the postgraduate form requires an SAAS reference number which was never given to me to begin with. It's all a bit stressful as time is short at the moment. Can you provide any assistance?

Charlotte King Aug. 3, 2021, 9:11 a.m.

Hi Cian – Unfortunately I am having trouble getting in touch with the Student Awards Agency Scotland at the moment. I recommend you contact the finance office at the University of Aberdeen and let them know your issue – they should be able to give you some assistance. Good luck! Charlotte

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