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Posted Aug. 15, 2021

How can you fund a masters degree?

Funding your masters degreeWith the current competition in the job market, many people are finding that an undergraduate degree is not enough, however postgraduate education is not cheap, especially if you are an international student.

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Therefore, if you plan to study for a masters degree in the UK, you must have a plan on how to pay for it. The cost of a masters degree in the UK may not be as high as you think, but funding it may be a little bit challenging than funding an undergraduate degree.

This blog will help you identify various funding types available for both home and international students looking to study their masters degree in the UK.

Average UK masters degree fees

This table shows the approximate tuition fees for UK and international/EU students studying various different types of masters degree in the UK.

Masters degree tuition fees

How to fund a masters in the UK

For UK students, there are several ways you can fund your masters at a local university. The most common source of funding for masters students is a masters loan provided by governments of all UK nations. You should apply for this loan at your nation of residence, but not where you plan to move to study.

Other sources of funding include:

  • Private loans
  • University scholarships
  • Employer sponsorship
  • Charities and trusts
  • Research Council funding
  • Disabled Students’ Allowance
  • Assistantships and fellowship

Postgraduate loans

In addition to student loans from the government, masters students in the UK can get additional funds from other lenders with special loans tailored for postgraduate funding. These loans are easy to apply if you are from a country supported by the lending company.

Prodigy FinanceProdigy Finance is a good example of a loan you can take to fund your postgraduate degree. The lender is a private loans company that specialises in helping both home and international students get funding to join their dream universities without collateral or a co-signer. Prodigy Finance supports over 750 schools in more than 18 countries, meaning it is easy to obtain funding for your masters degree.

LendwiseStudents looking for a source of funding for their masters degree in the UK should also check the loans on offer from Lendwise. These loans are easy to apply for online, plus in many case you will not start on the repayments until after graduating. While their target borrowers are UK residents looking to fund their studies, Lendwise also accepts applications from European and international students with an offer from UK universities or other certain European universities or business schools.

University scholarships

Since universities want to encourage good applicants to their postgraduate programs, they will offer financial resources like postgraduate scholarships to attract such talents. If you are already enrolled in a masters program, you can gather more information about the scholarships available for your specific source or department. Students who are yet to enrol can start by researching the available scholarships for their preferred courses before applying. You might find a university offering scholarships for the masters program you plan to enrol in. In many cases UK universities offer Alumni Scholarships to encourage their undergraduate students to go on to their postgraduate studies at the same institution, so it is worth checking if this is the case, too.

Other scholarships

In addition to university scholarships, it is also worth investigating other scholarship sources – such as those offered by private companies or charities. The Scholarship Hub is a website that provides a roundup of many of the university funding opportunities available to postgraduate students via its comprehensive database. 

Research Council funding

Since the seven UK Research Councils have a duty to support research projects and train new researchers, they provide funding to researchers looking to gain more skills through masters and PhD programs. The funding will cover your course fee and a tax-free maintenance grant. It is easy to find programs with research council funding as they are advertised as such.

Employer sponsorship

If you are working and plan to further your studies, you can ask your employer about the possibility of support to gain new skills. If relevant to your career, you may find that your employer is willing to support your studies if the postgraduate education will provide relevant skills for your job. For example, an IT consultancy firm could support your studies if you enrol in an IT-related masters degree that will help you gain helpful skills in the field.

Charities & trusts

Since some organisations want to promote new research in particular fields, talented postgraduates can benefit from such programs. If you are the sort of person that such organisations are looking for, you can approach them to receive funding for your postgraduate education.

Disabled Students’ Allowance

Disabled Students’ Allowance (DSA) is support by the government that helps students cover study-related costs they have because of a long-term illness, mental health problem or any other disability. You can get the funding on its own or as an addition to any other student finance you have. Unlike other forms of government funding, the amount that each DSA applicant gets depends on their individual needs – not their household income.

Assistantships & fellowships

Most universities offer reduced or free tuition to postgraduate students who agree to help as teaching assistants during their studies. In addition to relieving you from the burden of funding your masters degree, teaching or assisting with research at the university will also provide skills that will be valuable after graduating.

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Patrick Samson Wate Aug. 18, 2021, 2:22 p.m.

Acknowledged the different means outlined in accessing financial support meet tuition fees.

Charlotte King Aug. 25, 2021, 7 p.m.

Yes the UK Government masters loans do meet the costs of the tution fees of masters courses.

ERKABOEVA FIRUZA ALIMJANOVNA Sept. 10, 2021, 9:27 p.m.

Hi. I'm obs-gyn doctor in Uzbekistan. How can I obtain PhD in UK?

Charlotte King Sept. 12, 2021, 11:39 a.m.

If you have the relevant qualifications and English language skills you should be able to apply for a PhD in the UK once you have decided upon your areas of research and possibly also approached a supervisor. Here are the PhDs in this field that are currently available to study in the UK and Ireland >

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