Funding for UK Students September 2011 and January 2012 entry
Postgraduate study is an exceptionally good way to develop your skills, expand your knowledge and improve your career prospects. There are several ways to help fund your studies and give yourself a headstart when it comes to looking for work. It's important to note that it's up to you to do the research on your funding options.
Access to Learning FundThis is a non-repayable award, intended to provide help to students who encounter financial difficulties during their studies. It is not intended to meet the bulk of the funding. If you encounter financial difficulties, you can apply for grants from this fund, ranging between £100 and £750.
Professional and Career Development Loans
A Professional and Career Development Loan (PCDL) is a bank loan that can be used to help pay for learning that enhances your job skills or career prospects.
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 pays the interest on the loan while you are studying, 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 PCDL is a commercial loan product and interest rates may be high, it is important that you only consider applying once all other student funding options have been investigated.
For further information on financial assistance to support your learning, please visit the Directgov website or contact the Next Step service on 0800 100 900.
To apply for a PCDL you will need to quote our learner provider number, which is 7158.
The Research Councils
The Research Councils are the single most important providers of postgraduate funding. They cover most areas of academic activity at postgraduate level.
The Research Councils don't just support research degrees as they provide support for some taught courses too. However, these are usually connected to a longer-term research programme.
Between them, the Research Councils provide up to 11,000 studentships every year. A studentship, if you are a UK student, pays for your course fees and provides a maintenance grant (called a 'stipend') which can be worth approximately £14,000.
To be eligible, you will need a minimum of a 2:2 undergraduate degree. Full awards are available only to UK students and EU students are eligible for fees-only awards. Research Council studentships are not available to international students. Application deadlines vary but the earlier you find out about them, the better.
Competition for these studentships is high but you should not to be deterred from applying.
We recommend you refer to individual Research Council websites for the most up-to-date information:
- Arts & Humanities Research Council
- Biotechnology & Biological Sciences Research Council
- Economic & Social Research Council
- Engineering & Physical Sciences Research Council
- Medical Research Council
- Natural Environment Research Council
- Science & Technology Facilities Council
Other public funding providers
If you are studying a medical or healthcare-related degree, you might be eligible for a NHS Bursary. If you are interested in studying Social Work, you can apply for a bursary from the General Social Care Council.
Students from Scotland can apply to the Student Awards Agency for Scotland and students from Northern Ireland can apply to the Department for Education and Learning.
Another area of potential funding falls under the heading 'Charities Foundations and Trusts'. This describes numerous organisations of varying size that provide funding for postgraduate study.
The key information source on this type of funding is the Grants Register and data can be found on the Graduate Prospects website.
Our tuition fee page has information on the discounts we offer. It is also possible to pay your fee in installments.
Scholarships and Studentships
UK, EU and International students can benefit from can benefit from a range of Scholarships. Please visit our scholarship section for full details on the support we offer.
A straightforward approach to funding your postgraduate studies would be to finance them yourself. This could involve taking a loan from your bank or shopping around for a loans company that can offer you competitive rates and repayments. Part-time work is also an option. Remember postgraduate degrees can be time-consuming and demanding and you may not be able to spend too long working, so make sure you will be comfortable making the repayments. Similarly, you may be able to negotiate an increased overdraft with your bank to help finance your studies, or use savings to invest in your future. BU has a team of advisors on hand to help you with your budgeting. You can contact them via the Students' Union.
If you are currently in employment and your postgraduate study will increase your knowledge in that field and enable you to operate more efficiently, your employer may be happy to contribute. This could cover some or all of your costs so it is worth asking.
For more information, see Prospects - funding my further study or contact the Student Financial Support Advisers on +44 (0)1202 969696 or via email at: askBUstudents@bournemouth.ac.uk.Find out more:
- Students' Union
- Prospects - funding my further study