Funding Further Study
Further study can offer the path to the future you want but one large obstacle may be standing in the way - money. It's often easier to secure a place on a course than it is to get funding.
Competition for funds can be fierce, but there are a number of options open to those looking to fund further study.
Funding available through your course provider
Begin by contacting the admissions office for the course you are interested in. Your chosen course may have a quantity of funded places available. Many of these will have been financed by Research Councils or other sources including industry and professional bodies. These organisations do not normally accept direct applications from students so it is likely that you will need to apply through the institution offering the course.
Questions you could ask the admissions office include:
- Is there funding available for the course?
- How and when should I apply for it?
- If funding is not available, how do current students fund themselves?
- How have previous students funded themselves?
- Can I study part-time?
The admissions office should be able to tell you if there are any studentships available. Studentships vary between institutions and departments but they may offer a maintenance grant and/or payment of tuition fees. Studentships are usually offered for very specific research projects at both PhD and master's level. Studentships at Newcastle University are advertised on the university vacancies pages.
Ask the admissions office if there are research assistantships available within the department. This is a salaried position within the department, with the work being registered for a higher degree, or time allocated to pursue your studies. Conditions and salary vary, so find out exactly what your duties will involve.
Other sources of funding
If there is no funding available through the institution consider finding your own funding. There are numerous bodies which will support further study, but some only provide small or partial grants. You should apply early, as the awarding committees may meet infrequently, and investigate them carefully as they can have narrow eligibility. You will
need to write a persuasive application letter and CV. You can get help with your application from the Careers Service. You can also attend our careers workshop
on How to Write Your CV, which runs throughout the year.
Some charities and grant making trusts may offer funding to support students undertaking postgraduate study. Use the search box at the bottom of this page to look for contacts. You can find further details in the following publications available in the Robinson Library:
- The Educational Grants Directory
- Charities Digest
- Directory of Grant Making Trusts
- The Grants Register (The most recent edition is available in the Walton Library.)
The Association of Charitable Foundations (ACF) is the leading membership association for grant-making charities in the UK. They produce a downloadable leaflet Applying to a Charitable Trust or Foundation
and have an extensive list of links to UK Trusts and Foundations
Also use the drop-down box at the bottom of the page to search for trusts and charities.
Other possibilities include:
- industry/company sponsorship - talk to academics to identify companies with a potential interest in your research or knowledge. You may be asked to work voluntarily for the company that sponsors you.
- professional bodies - relevant organisations such as the Law Society, and the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) may occasionally help students with their postgraduate course funding. Academics and Careers Service staff can help you identify organisations.
- your local Learning and Skills Council (LSC) may have funding schemes for further study in shortage areas.
- Local Authority discretionary awards. These are rare and are usually only for vocational courses.
- look through the relevant volume of the Current Research in Britain (CRIB) register. Each project description includes details of the funding body. Copies are available in the Robinson Library.
Some universities, including Newcastle, offer financial support to their students. This includes the Access to Learning Fund (UK students) and the Financial Assistance Fund (international and EU students) which are intended for emergencies and unplanned circumstances only.
If you are funding yourself, it will involve making a major financial investment. You might want to consider:
- part-time study and work - ask the admissions tutor if this is feasible for your course but be realistic about your study commitments
- a year out - this could be an opportunity to gain relevant experience and earn some money
- financial support from family members
- a bank loan - postgraduate/professional studies loans are available from specific banks however, each individual bank will have its own rules and regulations e.g. transferring your account to them
- Professional and Career Development Loans - a deferred repayment bank loan for learning that enhances your job skills or career prospects.
- Tax Credits - you may be entitled to Child Tax Credit or Working Tax Credit. The Student Wellbeing Service can give you guidance on your eligibility for this
Additional funding resources
- Turn2us - select the 'direct educational costs' criteria within the grants search facility.
- postgraduatestudentships.co.uk - funding opportunities open to potential postgraduates, at both taught and research level.
- Prospects offers information on funding further study including information for law students; students with disabilities and international students.
- NHS Student Bursaries - information for those considering an NHS-funded health professional course.
- TARGETcourses - finding funding for postgraduate study.
- Directgov - funding postgraduate study.