Knowing what funding you’re entitled to is a key part of the postgraduate process…
And it isn’t limited to student loans. There are a wide range of grants, bursaries and scholarships which you might be entitled to or are able to earn – depending on your current circumstances and what you’re studying.
We’ve already covered postgraduate student loans, but here’s everything you need to know about postgraduate scholarships:
What is a postgraduate scholarship?
A postgraduate scholarship is a grant provided to help support a student continuing their education.
It could come from a number of different sources, including the institution itself, a particular business or local charities.
However, there will be certain criteria students will need to meet in order to qualify.
Who is eligible for a scholarship?
Scholarships are usually awarded based on exceptional academic performance.
However, every university will have different rules on eligibility, so it’s always important to check requirements before you apply to your chosen course.
Which universities offer postgraduate scholarships?
All UK universities offer some form of additional funding for postgraduate students – although specific amounts will vary depending on the institution, the course you study, and your own situation.
If you’re studying at the same university you attended for your undergraduate degree, you may also be eligible for a tuition fee discount.
To find out exactly what’s on offer, Scholarship Search is a good place to start.
What other funding is on offer?
Aside from scholarships, there are a number of grants and bursaries postgraduate students may be eligible for, including:
Research Council grants – money provided to research students by Research Council UK.
Charity grants – money provided by trusts and charitable foundations (usually for those with certain economic or social disadvantages).
Hardship funds – money provided by universities to students undergoing financial difficulties.
However, there may be a number of other grants and bursaries available. For more specific information, contact the universities you’re interested in before you apply.
When do I need to apply?
Generally, the earlier you apply, the better.
Again, specific requirements will vary. However, somewhere between 12 months and 8 months before you start the course would be a good time to start looking for extra funding.
Can I use scholarships and grants for tuition fees?
Yes – depending on the type of funding you’ve secured.
Generally, scholarships provided by your university will allow you to cover the cost of your tuition fees. However, certain grants, such as hardship funds, aren’t allowed to be used towards tuition.
What are graduate assistantships?
Although not technically seen as scholarships, some universities offer teaching positions to help students supplement their income.
These are known as ‘assistantships’, and are especially suited towards research or PhD students, who may need to complete some teaching experience as part of their degree. And, as well as providing a wage, some of these positions come with subsidised university fees as a benefit.
Graduate assistantships will be listed directly on university websites.
Tips for securing a postgraduate scholarship
Whilst there’s no way of guaranteeing your eligibility for a postgraduate scholarship, there are a few things you can do to increase your chances of being considered.
Here are some tips to help secure a postgraduate scholarship:
- Start searching early – The earlier you apply, the better your chances.
- Talk to your university – They may be able to offer you the best options.
- Search your local area – Local and district councils may already have measures in place to help postgraduates in the area.
- Get your name out there – Contact charities and institutions you’re passionate about, and which may relate to your degree, to see if they can help.
- Get your records sorted – Some grants will be dependent on your financial situation, so make sure you have records (such as bank statements) sorted before you apply. The more prepared you are, the easier the process will be.
- Keep applying – Universities can’t transfer funds from year-to-year. So if you aren’t successful after your first application, always try again when you return to eligibility.
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