Postgraduate study is funded differently to first degrees and is often difficult to attain. Researching your options at an early stage is very important. An effective starting point is to consult the admissions tutor or course leader for your chosen course regarding the available funding options. Typically, you will also find information on the full range of postgraduate funding options via an institution’s postgraduate recruitment team and/or the scholarship/student finance office.
You can find out full details of postgraduate funding opportunities at Durham (including loans, postgraduate scholarships and bursaries) by clicking here.
Postgraduate Masters Loans
Non-means tested postgraduate student loans worth up to £10,280 are available for the vast majority of taught and research Masters programmes. If you're an English-resident, or EU student, you may be eligible for a loan to study a taught or research Masters in any subject. Application is made via Student Finance England. Funding for postgraduate loans is different if you normally live in Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland. Moving somewhere to study does not count as normally living there.Further information on postgraduate student loans is available on the Prospects website. FindaMasters also have a really useful step by step application guide online.
A similar loan arrangement has now been introduced for doctoral study.
The most important sources of research funding is UK Research and Innovation and the constituent Research Councils.Each has its own rules governing eligibility and applications. In the main you apply directly to the university department for funding, not the research council, and most would expect a 1st class or 2.1 degree. Gaining funding is competitive and deadlines are often early so make sure you explore all the options in good time. Funding is more commonly available for postgraduate research programmes.
Other means of funding:
- Combining work and postgraduate study – this will depend on the available modes of study for a particular programme (distance, part-time). This option will typically increase the duration of your course but provide greater flexibility for employment.
- Employer-funded postgraduate study or sponsorship – a good example of this is the Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP), which offers the opportunity to study, work and receive a salary.
- Research trusts, charities and foundations – useful sources of information in the Careers and Enterprise Centre include the Grants Register and
- Directory of Grant Making Trusts. The Alternative Guide to Postgraduate Funding which is an online resource that can help you to identify alternative sources of funding - especially charities - that can make awards (fees, maintenance, research costs) to any student regardless of subject or nationality. It contains a database of funding opportunities, comprehensive guidance and numerous tools to help you prepare a winning grant application. Students and University staff have automatic access to this resource on-campus via the University network and are able to register for a personal account to use when off-campus. Please note that as 'The Alternative Guide to Postgraduate Funding' is externally hosted, any data entered is at the user's discretion and risk. If you are a Durham graduate and would like free access to this resource, please contact us.
- University funding and employment – it is sometimes possible to gain funding from the university in which you hope to study. These positions or opportunities will often be referred to as research assistantships, scholarships and awards.
- Loans e.g. Credit Unions. Durham University is in collaboration with NEFirst Credit Union Limited to offer a Postgraduate Tuition Fee Loan of up to £7,000, to cover the cost of fees.
For information on these and other sources of funding, collect a copy of the Postgraduate Funding Guide from us (subject to availability) or via the Prospects website. FindaMasters also have a Complete Guide to UK Postgraduate Loans online here and FindaPhD have a guide to PhD funding.
Funding for Disabled Students
If you are a disabled postgraduate student from the UK and have disability-related course costs, then you might be eligible for funding through the Disabled Students Allowance (DSA) Scheme.
Funding for International Students in the UK
There is lots of useful information on the FindaMasters website here.
Student Scholarships and Awards
The Careers and Enterprise Centre will advertise scholarship opportunities in the UK and further afield as and when we are made aware of them. If no opportunities are displayed here please refer to the other resources highlighted on this page such as Prospects and Target Postgrad.
Fulbright Postgraduate and Scholar Awards
Fulbright Postgraduate and Scholar Awards provide funding for UK citizens to undertake study, research and/or teaching in any field in the US for a period of 3-12 months.Full details can be found here.
Daiwa Anglo-Japanese Foundation Scholarships
The Daiwa Scholarship - open to UK graduates (or those about to graduate) who have not studied Japanese , and the Daiwa Scholarships in Japanese Studies for UK citizens holding or completing a degree in Japanese. Full details and eligibility can be found here
Hong Kong PhD Fellowship Scheme
Established by the Research Grants Council (RGC) of Hong Kong in 2009, the Hong Kong PhD Fellowship Scheme (HKPFS) aims at attracting the best and brightest students in the world to pursue their PhD studies in Hong Kong's universities. Full details can be found here.
UCL Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health 3 Year PhD Studentship
The Child Health Research CIO (CHR CIO), a charity established to support the research of the Institute and Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children NHS Trust, has established a programme of postgraduate research studentships tenable for three years. Full details can be found here
Canada Memorial Foundation Scholarship
Full scholarships are available to British students applying for any year-long postgraduate course with an accredited Canadian further education provider.
For more details see Canadian Memorial Foundation.
Institution of Mechanical Engineers Postgraduate Masters Scholarships
IMechE is offering a number of Postgraduate Masters Scholarships to exceptional graduates with an IMechE accredited BEng(Hons) degree to allow them to undertake an IMechE accredited Masters degree for the purpose of obtaining the academic requirements for professional registration as a Chartered Engineer (CEng).
For more details see IMechE Postgraduate Masters Scholarships
FindaMasters and FindaPhd
New UK PhD Loans
The UK Government will introduce new doctoral loans of up to £25,000 for PhDs and equivalent postgraduate research programmes from 2018. Further details of the scheme will be finalised ahead of its introduction in 2018.