Careers Service

Funding Further Study

Funding Further Study

Course Provider

Competition for funding can be fierce, but there are a number of options open to those looking to fund further study. Begin by contacting the admissions office for the course you're 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 don't normally accept direct applications from students. It's likely 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?
  • Are there any discounts?

Our guide to funding and funding database gives information about funding opportunities.

Our students can also access the Student Financial Support Team and the Student Advice Centre for financial advice. 

International students

In addition to the resources on these pages, universities sometimes offer scholarships and bursaries for international students. Contact the department or institution you are applying to for more information. We offer several international scholarships each year.

Studentships/research assistantships 

The admissions office should also 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 here are advertised on the individual school or institute's pages.

Ask the admissions office if there are research assistantships available within the department. These are salaried positions 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.

Studentship information can be found at: 

• FindAPhD - details of studentships - PhD studentship information

Further information

The following websites provide further information on funding, including funding offered by course providers:

For further information on funding study outside the UK, see individual country information under studying abroad on our Finding Courses page. 


Scholarships are not normally expected to be repaid. They can often fund both your study and some living expenses. Because of this they are extremely competitive.

Scholarship awards are based upon various criteria, which usually reflect the values and purposes of the donor or founder of the award. For example, you may need to study a specific subject, have certain personal characteristics (such as your nationality or gender) or study in a particular country or university.

Most scholarships have strict deadlines so carry out your research well in advance of starting your studies. Check websites and contact the admissions offices of universities you are interested in. They may have a scheme that is not listed here.

International students

For international students, in addition to the resources listed here, the British Council lists scholarships schemes offered by the UK government and colleges and universities.

Other Funding

If there is no funding available through the institution, consider finding your own funding through alternative sources. 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. 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 event 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. You can find further details in the following publications available in the Philip Robinson Library:

See also FindAPhd - guide to Funding PhD Study Without a Scholarship - which has advice on applying to a charity or trust for funding.

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


Some universities, including Newcastle, offer financial support to their students. This includes the Student Financial Support Fund (UK students) and the Financial Assistance Fund (international and EU students) which are intended for emergencies and unplanned circumstances.


For specific sectors, such as teacher training or social work there is some government funding that you can apply for. There is also the UK Government Postgraduate Loans Scheme.

UK Government Postgraduate Loans Scheme

A non-means-tested postgraduate loan scheme is available for all eligible Master’s level students, including taught and research Master's qualifications.

The loan, administered by Student Loans Company, is repayable and interest will be charged. Full eligibility criteria and application details can be found at Postgraduate loans.

Information can also be found on Newcastle University's Postgraduate Master's Loan Scheme page

FindAMasters also has regularly updated information on the scheme.

Ask SFE about Postgraduate Loans is a Student Finance England video guide to the postgraduate loan presented in British Sign Language. 

Northern Ireland 

Tuition fee loans are available to Northern Irish students wishing to study taught postgraduate courses. Prospects: Postgraduate loans in Northern Ireland has answers to most key questions. 

Funding for teacher training, social work, medical and healthcare courses

You can apply for funding for:

Graduate-entry medical students can also get support from Student Finance England for fees charged over £3,465.

UK Government Postgraduate Doctoral Loan

If you’re starting a doctoral degree,  if you are eligible, you could get a Postgraduate Doctoral Loan to help with course fees and living costs.

It is not based on your income or your family’s and it’s paid directly to you.

Local Authority discretionary awards

Local Authority discretionary awards are rare and are usually only for vocational courses.


If you are funding yourself, it will involve making a major financial investment, so there are a number of things 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.

Year out

This could be an opportunity to gain relevant experience and earn some money.

Support from family or 'crowd funding'

Financial support can come from family members or through 'crowd funding' (Guardian article - 'How to find funding for your PhD').

Bank loan

Postgraduate/professional studies loans are available from specific banks and loan companies. Each individual bank will have its own rules and regulations, eg you may need to transfer your account to them.

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.