Money In JarBefore undertaking a postgraduate course of study it is best to consider how you could fund it. Obtaining funding for postgraduate courses can be difficult. The level of support which you may have experienced at undergraduate level is not available for further study. 

Postgraduate students therefore normally fund their studies through a number of different options. 

Research Councils 

You are recommended to apply for funding from Research Councils 1.5 to 2 years before commencement of your course of study.  

Research Councils 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.

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.

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.

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 037  or telephone  020 7241 7459

Alumni Taught Masters Scholarship

The Alumni Masters Scholarship, a tuition fee waiver of £1,000, may 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). Available for full 180 credit Masters courses only.

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

Taught Masters Excellence Scholarship

The Masters (Taught) Excellence Scholarship is available to full-time U.K., EU and International Masters students, irrespective of their financial means, who progress to a University of Bolton Taught Masters Course, having attained a First Class Honours degree from a U.K. or E.U. institution. Available for full 180 credit Masters courses only.

There will be a maximum of three awards made in the 2016/17 academic year, paid as a tuition fee waiver of £1,500.

For further information please visit:

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 Skills Funding 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. 

Postgraduate Masters Loan

From the 2016/17 academic year a non means tested loan of up to £10,000 will be available from the government for the purpose of completing an eligible postgraduate Master's qualification. Available for first Master's courses only. Students must reside in England or the E.U. and be under the age of sixty. Available for full and part-time students, for full 180 credit Master's courses only. For further infromation please visit:

Application forms are available from:

Student Loans Company helpline: 0300 100 0031 


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.


If no funding options are available to you and you are intending to fund the course yourself you will need to consider the full cost of tuition fees and living expenses, especially if you are considering giving up employment to study. 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. 

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

Please note the information given above is provisional and subject to change.

Page last reviewed and updated August 2017