Postgraduate finance

Postgraduate study in the UK is an investment in both time and money.

This page gives ten links to external websites, all of which open in new windows.

The biggest difference nowadays between undergraduate and postgraduate student funding is that there is no Student Loans Company support for the latter. The only guaranteed funding available is for programmes in social work, nursing and teaching. That is not to say that loans and even grants for other areas are not out there, just that they are harder to find and entitlement is competitive. Another difference is that postgraduate course fees may well have to be paid at the beginning of the course, at least in part. postgraduate student

Your expenses will involve (i) tuition fees, (ii) course materials such as books, subscriptions, visits etc, and (iii) living expenses including housing costs.

The fees you will be charged should be clearly stated on the university or college's online course details. University websites might also indicate the average size of the second element, course material costs. These will vary considerably according to the nature of the course you are joining - it might be worth asking course staff or current students for realistic estimates. The third element, your living expenses, will also vary according to your own needs but also according to location.

To meet this outlay you are likely to need to build up the income side of your budget. Start by researching funding available through the university or college itself. Be aware that the funding available will vary as places are filled and the fund is used up.

For UK students postgraduate funding falls into three categories: government; commercial and professional; and charities. Most government funding comes from the seven UK Research Councils. Applications for funding from a Research Council are normally arranged through the university department to which you are applying to study.

Universities may also be able to give information about locally-based charitable funding which may benefit special groups, for instance students with dependent children, or those considered deserving in some other prescribed way. National charities are also potential sources of support, as is the Professional and Career Development Loan system.

For more on postgraduate funding visit Postgraduate Studentships which provides a good source of funding information and specific postgraduate funding opportunities from both universities and colleges and general funding sources.

If you are an international student searching for financial information about studying in the UK, please visit the UKCISA website.

If you have a disability, mental health condition or specific learning difficulty, you may be eligible for Disabled Students' Allowances (DSAs), which are designed to help with the costs that you incur, in attending your course, as a direct result of your disability or specific learning difficulty. How much you get does not depend on your income or that of your household, and the allowance does not have to be repaid. For further information, if you are living in England, visit the GOV.UK website; if you are living in Northern Ireland, visit Student Finance NI; if you are living in Scotland visit Student Awards Agency for Scotland; if you are living in Wales visit Student Finance Wales.

For hints on how to manage your money while studying, please visit the student finance pages of the UCAS website. These pages also include information about the different conditions in the various countries of the UK, information for international and EU students, student loans and budget calculators, and links to further advice.

Students enrolling on postgraduate and professional courses may be able to use StudentFunder to fund their studies. This works for UK, EU and international students by launching a crowdfunding campaign and applying for affordable loans. For more information, please visit: