Postgraduate Funding

External Funding Options

For postgraduate study local authorities in the UK do not usually provide financial support for students. Students need to ensure that they have finance arrangements in place before the course begins.  

UK Postgraduates Loans
All eligible students from Wales, England, Scotland and Northern Ireland are able to apply for a postgraduate loan. Eligible EU students also have access to postgraduate loans.

Funding for postgraduate loans is different if you normally live in Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland. Moving somewhere to study doesn’t count as normally living there.

You have to repay your Postgraduate Master’s Loan at the same time as any other student loans you have. You’ll be charged interest from the day you get the first payment.

You can also get extra support if you have a disability.

You won’t be eligible for an Adult Dependants’ Grant, a Childcare Grant or Parents’ Learning Allowance from Student Finance if you are studying a master’s course.

Welsh Students
Postgraduate support is available for those students for entry 2018/19 on a MA or MMus course. 

Students starting a full-time or part-time postgraduate Master’s course in September 2018 can apply for a loan of up to £10,280.

The loan will be a contribution towards the costs of study, i.e. it will be at students' discretion to use the loan towards fees, maintenance costs or other costs. The loan will be non-means tested and paid directly to the student. Repayments will start in April after graduation and once your income reaches £21,000 per year. The amount you repay is based on your income, not what you borrowed.

The postgraduate loan film will give you more details about what is available.

More information about postgraduate loans, including repayment, eligibility and disability support can be found via the Student Finance Wales  website.

English Students
Postgraduate Loans for Masters study (MA, MMus) in 2018/19 are available subject to eligibility criteria based on residency, nationality and age. Students must not already have a Master’s qualification. 

Loans are issued by the Student Loans Company, England. Repayments will be income-contingent and made alongside any undergraduate loans through the Student Loan Company.

If your course starts on or after 1 August 2018

You can get up to £10,609 for your whole course.

If you’re studying for 2, 3 or 4 academic years, the loan will be divided equally across each year of your course.

If your course started in academic year 2017 to 2018

You can get up to £10,280.

If you’re studying for 2, 3 or 4 academic years, the loan will be divided equally across each year of your course.

The loan is available for both full time and part time study. For full time study the 
course must be either 1 or 2 years in duration and for part time study, the study must be at a minimum 50% intensity and be completed within 4 years (equivalent 2 year full time course). Repayments will start in April after graduation and when your income is over £21,000 per year. The amount you repay is based on your income, not what you borrowed.  

The postgraduate loan film will explain the application process and how to repay.

More information about postgraduate loans, including repayment, eligibility and disability support can be found via the Government website.

Northern Ireland Students
The postgraduate loan is available for students study a PGDip, MA or MMus course from 2018. 
Loans are available up to a maximum value of £5,500, and are issued by the Student Loans Company. Repayments will start in April after graduation and when your income is over £17,775 per year.  

More information about postgraduate loans, including repayment, eligibility and disability support can be found via the Student Finance NI website.

Scottish Students
The postgraduate loan is available for students on a one-year full-time postgraduate course  - PGDip, MA or MMus course from 2018. Loans are available up to a maximum value of £10,000. This comprises of a tuition fee loan up to £5,500 and a non-income assessed living cost loan of £4,500. Part-time students undertaking an eligible course over two years can apply for a tuition fee loan up to £2,750 per year. Repayments will start in April after graduation and when your income is over £18,330 per year.  

More information about postgraduate loans, including repayment, eligibility and disability support can be found via the Student Awards Agency Scotland website.

You may also find the following websites useful when looking into sources of funding:

Educational charities and trusts  - you can apply for financial assistance from a variety of educational charities and trusts. For further information contact the Educational Grants Advisory Service, or obtain a copy of the Education Grants Directory, published by the Directory of Social Change.

Advanced Study Music Scholarships - support advanced music study for promising postgraduate musicians from Wales or who have studied in Wales. Awards up to a maximum of £5,000 will be made. The UK Government Guide to Postgraduate Funding.

Prospects provides advice and guidance to students and graduates including a specific section on postgraduate funding.

The Alternative Guide to Postgraduate Funding is a popular resource that provides general guidance on accessing funding, approaching organisations and writing applications. The guide can be purchased as a hardcopy or downloaded for a cost.

The Countess of Munster Musical Trust provides support to young musicians undertaking postgraduate study. As well as the awards available through the trust they also have a useful funding guide.

Help Musicians UK has a funding wizard to help identify funding options that may be available to you.

The Directory for Social Change is useful resource for those looking for funding.

Student Cash Point advises and assists students looking for funding options.

Turn2Us provides a directory of grants.

EU Students may find the European Funding Guide of use.

Erasmus + Masters Loans, may be available to EU students who opt to complete a Masters course in an EU country different to their country of residence and the country in which they studied their Bachelor’s degree.  

International Students

UK authorities are unable to provide financial support for students from outside the European Union. We recommend that you contact the Ministry of Education or Education Department in your own country for details of scholarship opportunities for students wishing to study overseas. You can also contact your nearest British Council office which will have details of British scholarship schemes.

The UK Council for International Education also provides advice on finance as well as visas and immigration on its website at https://www.ukcisa.org.uk/