Postgraduate Funding 2018/19

Whilst the prospect of further study may seem a daunting prospect to many students, it has become increasingly common for more students to return to university and start a postgraduate course. Before undertaking a postgraduate course it is best to consider how you could fund it. Obtaining funding for postgraduate courses has become a lot easier. For courses starting from September 2016 or later you can apply for a loan through The Student Loans Company as well as the University of Bolton's bursaries and scholarships. The maximum amount of postgraduate loan available for 2018/19 is £10,609.

Please see below for full details of all funding options:

Postgraduate Loan Scheme 

Students commencing a taught or research Masters Course from September 2016 or later may be able to apply for a loan from the Student Loans Company. The maximum amount of postgraduate loan available for 2018/19 is £10,609. The loan will be paid directly to the student. Loans are available for full 180 credit Masters only, full or part-time. To apply students must be aged under 60 and be a resident of England or the E.U. Get to know the facts about the scheme here. Application forms for the loans are now available from:

For further information on postgraduate loans please visit:

Telephone number for Student Loans Company helpline: 0300 100 0031

Alumni Loyalty Discount

The Alumni Loyalty Discount, a tuition fee waiver of £1,000, will be awarded to full-time and part-time U.K. and E.U. Masters students, irrespective of their financial means, who progress to a University of Bolton Taught Masters Course, having first completed an undergraduate Higher Education (H.E.) course of study at University of Bolton. You must also have registered to become a member of the Bolton Alumni and Friends Association (BAFA).

To register to become an Alumni member and for more information about Alumni and the scholarship please visit the link below:

Full information about the award is shown here

For more information on financial assistance to support your learning, please visit:

or contact 0800 100 900. 

You may also wish to contact the Student Funding Advisors on 01204 903497 or 01204 903499/01204 903448 or email:

Masters Taught Excellence Scholarship

The Masters (Taught) Excellence Scholarship will be awarded to full-time U.K. and EU Masters students, irrespective of their financial means, who progress to a University of Bolton Taught Masters Course.

There will be a maximum of three awards made in the 2018/19 academic year. Students who have previously attained a First Class Honours degree from a U.K. or E.U. institution can apply.


£1,500 will be paid as a tuition fee waiver.

Full information about the award is shown here 

100 Year Anniversary of the Great War award

This award is available to full-time students who are British Armed Forces ex-service personnel. Students must have completed a minimum of three years military service since their eighteenth birthday. The award amount is £500 per academic year. The application deadline for 2018/19 is 31st May 2019.

Full information about the award is shown here

Institutional Funding

Most institutions across the UK operate their own bursary and scholarship schemes. This is usually set to the institution's own set criteria and usually changes on a yearly basis. Applications are made to the relevant department if an award is available. 

For information on specific institutional awards please see below:

Research Councils

 Most students apply for funding from Research Councils. They are government funded councils who as part of their remit are responsible for postgraduate funding 

There are 7 councils and the competition for grants is intense. Only a few applicants are successful.  

Usually the Councils themselves do not accept direct applications from individual postgraduates though this is not always the case. Research Councils tend to allocate funding to individual departments and institutions and you should enquire directly to the department in the institution in which you want to study.

 A) Arts and Humanities (AHRC) -

B) Biotechnology and Biological Sciences -

C) Engineering and Physical Sciences Research -

D) Economic and Social Research Council -

E) Medical Research Council -

F) Natural Environment -

G) Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) -

Disabled Students Allowance (DSA) 

Students with disabilities may be eligible to receive DSA which can provide funding towards the cost of equipment, support tutors, travel and other course related costs.

Educational Trusts and Charities 

Alternative Educational grants may be available from numerous other sources depending on your individual circumstances. A list of these should be available from public libraries and include: 

The Educational Grants Directory

The Charities Digest

The Grants Register

Directory of Grant Making Trusts  

The Educational Grants Advisory Service is an independent advice agency for students seeking funding (with a focus on postgraduates). Please visit:|

 or  telephone:  020 7241 7459 

Professional and Career Development Loans

Professional and Career Development Loans are bank loans that can be used to help pay for work related learning. You can borrow between £300 and £10,000 to help support the cost of up to two years of learning (or three years if it includes one year's relevant unpaid practical work). The Young People's Learning Agency will pay the interest on the loan while you are learning and for one month afterwards. The loan can be used to pay course fees or other costs such as travel and living expenses. You can also use the loan to supplement other forms of support such as grants or bursaries. Because the Professional and Career Development Loan is a commercial loan product, they should only be considered as an option once all other student funding options have been investigated. For further information on financial assistance to support your learning, please visit or Careers Advice on 0800 100 900. Our learning provider registration number is: 1188.


Many students on postgraduate programmes are funded through their employer. Whilst each company's commitment to staff training is different successful students have managed to convince their employer that it is in the companies' interest to fund their studies. Some other employers may also take the initiative on this matter and actively push their employees into postgraduate and professional study. 


Despite the funding options available many students face the realistic prospect of funding postgraduate study themselves. Before taking on this financial commitment it may be prudent to work out whether it is financially feasible to go down this route especially if you are considering leaving work. Expenses for a years study do not stop at Tuition Fees, but also accommodation, food, family commitments and social life. The majority of students will supplement their studies with working part time and a large proportion will study part time so that they can maintain their full time careers and levels of income. 

Page last reviewed and updated December 2017.