Sourcing funding

Some postgraduate courses such as PhDs receive funding whilst the majority of Masters courses are self-funded, with students taking out a loan or finding sponsorship. If you are self-funding your postgraduate course, make sure you can cover both tuition and living expenses. It is advisable that you check with the institutions’ department / school about any funding opportunities available and when to apply.

There are a number of funding options that you may wish to research, such as loans, grants, bursaries as well as charities, trusts and research councils.

For Masters-level

Postgraduate loan

If you are a home or EU student, you can apply for a loan of up to £10,280 if you are taking a taught or research Masters course in the 2017-18 academic year.

Follow this link for more information, including eligibility and repayment information.

For PhDs

Research Councils

There are seven Research Councils which provide awards for academic excellence to Home and EU students.

The University of Birmingham currently hosts a number of Doctoral Training Partnerships and Centres for Doctoral Training that are funded by Research Councils UK (RCUK), via the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.

Doctoral Researcher database

You can search for PhD projects at this university and find out whether they can be funded e.g. competition funded in your college.

Visit the Doctoral Researcher database.

PhD loans

These are Government loans which will be introduced in the 2018/19 academic year. You must be a UK national to apply. They offer loans up to £25,000.

Find out more on the Prospects website.

For all postgraduate courses

Earning while you learn

Most Masters-level courses are self-funded, but there are plenty of ways to earn money during your course, whether through Teaching Assistantships, the Postgraduate Ambassador schemes or part-time work.

Charities and trusts

Some charities, trusts and foundations offer funds to students who are undertaking particular routes of study and research. Awards will have a range of amounts and eligibility criteria, which may include academic, sport, hobbies, parental occupation and residency.

Find out more about some of the funding bodies:

The Alternative Guide to Postgraduate Funding is a very useful resource to search for funding opportunities in the UK.

You can also order a Doctoral Research Prospectus from

Link to more information on charities and trusts.

Postgraduate funding database contains a range of funding opportunities for studying at Birmingham. Search by keyword or filter results by subject or nationality.

Professional and Career Development Loans

These are bank loans to pay for courses and training that specifically help with your career. You must be a British citizen to apply. They offer funding from £300 to £10,000.

Find out more on the Prospects website.


The University of Birmingham provides a number of university-wide as well as departmental and college scholarships:

Top tips sessions

Our innovative ‘Top Tip’ sessions delivered by our Student Peer Presenter Team are designed to give you the confidence and tools to make your way successfully through the application and selection process. Come along to a Top Tips session on campus or alternatively view our workshops online. 

Videos (left to right): "Top tips for sourcing funding for further study" and "Apply yourself: Top tips for applying for a Masters"



Professional Services