Funding for Postgraduate courses. Masters and PhD studies.

Roll of moneyThere are lots of funding sources and often postgraduate students get different amounts from different places to fund their studies. Therefore the key thing is to apply to as many sources as possible.

Funding is also competitive and there are different eligibility criteria and deadlines, so make sure you do your research and know exactly what you are applying for.

Masters students

The new UK Government Postgraduate loans scheme has still not been unveiled but you can find out what we know so far here

Unfortunately there isn’t much funding for taught masters, however this shouldn’t put you off asking your prospective universities/institutions if funding is available. Contact the course admissions tutors and enquire whether there are any specific funding awards for that course.

If you’re thinking about studying in Manchester our Postgraduate Taught Open Day is taking place on Wednesday 25th November where you will get the chance to speak to people from academic schools where you can ask about funding.

  • If you are applying to The University of Manchester you can find out about funding here
  • Looking to study elsewhere in the UK or overseas? Come along to the Postgraduate study Fair on 16 Nov here in Manchester and ask all your funding questions!

PhD Students

There is much more funding available for prospective PhD students due to funding streams for research. Again get in touch with prospective departments to find out exactly what funding is available for the subject you are thinking of doing.

Sources of funding:

Most universities will set aside money so they can offer a number of scholarships to students who are accepted onto a course. Highly ranked universities usually offer the greatest number of this type of scholarships. The amount of money also depends of the scholarship.

Bursaries are different from scholarships as they take into account the financial need of the student. Bursaries usually range from £100 to £4,000. The sum of money may be deposited into the student’s bank account, so they can use it to pay for any university related expense they choose or the university may automatically deduct it from the tuition fees.

Funding opportunities at The University of Manchester

The main source of funding for UK and EU PhD students are seven research councils. Grants are usually called ‘studentships’ which can be used for fees, living expenses or both. Students do not apply directly to the Research Council – applications are handled by the university.

  • AHRC Arts and Humanities Research Council
  • BBSRC Biotechnology & Biological Sciences Research Council
  • EPSRC Engineering & Physical Sciences Research Council
  • ESRC Economic & Social Research Council
  • MRC Medical Research Council
  • NERC Natural Environment Research Council
  • STFC Science & Technology Facilities Council

Alternative Funding

There are a number of charities, foundations and trust who offer funding awards. Take a look at the Alternative Guide to Postgraduate Funding and find out how to apply for funding from charities. The University of Manchester subscribes to the advice and a database of awards, all students and staff can get access using their university email address.

Many Postgraduate students fund their studies through working part-time, opportunities may be available in the local area or at your University. It may be possible to earn money teaching or as a research assistant where you are studying. Under the scheme, research postgraduates receive direct payment or a waiver of fees in return for undertaking teaching or research duties.  Postgraduate students may also be able to apply for pastoral roles in Halls of Residence.

Studying overseas?

Check with the institution the costs and potential funding options. Depending on the country you may or may not be able to work while you study.

Further information

The above are just a few areas to start looking for postgraduate funding. Make sure you check out your university Careers website for other sources.

Download our guide or use our website for more information on searching for courses, making applications and further sources of funding.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s